Towering above the Derwent Valley gorge that runs through the pretty village of Matlock Bath, is where you will find The Heights of Abraham, one of Britain’s top visitor attractions. The Estate has been welcoming tourists for over two centuries, but it wasn’t until 1984 when an ambitious plan to install cable car transport system was realised, that visitors literally started to take off.
Prior to the introduction of the cable cars, guests had to walk up the steep paths from the riverside through the winding hillside streets of Matlock Bath. Earlier still, as tourists from fashionable parts of Victorian England started to arrive, horses and carts were used to convey visitor up the labyrinth of tracks to the Victoria Prospect Tower at the top.
Now, thirty-five years later, whilst the views are just as inspiring, it’s the award-winning 60-acre estate at the top that makes a trip to the Heights a “must-see” for anyone stepping into Derbyshire.
Awarded “Gold” for its visitor experience and customer care by Visit England earlier this year, the Heights offers a complete escape from everyday life. Inspiring scenery, underground tours through illuminated showcaverns that look like they belong on an episode of Game of Thrones, galleries and exhibitions housed in strange triangular buildings, and a unique dining experience at the Vista Restaurant and Bar.
A discreet distance away is the large Woodland Adventure play area nestled into the hillside with far reaching views across the valley. Smooth pathways weave around the hillside, from the lookout tower at the top, through a cascading wild garden and down to the entrance of the Rutland Cavern and one of the popular picnic spots.
Dogs are welcome and travel free on the cable cars. Whilst they can’t be allowed in the caverns, they do have their very own activities on two “Waggy Tail Trails” lasting from 25 minutes to over an hour. Dogs are also welcome on the café’s outside terraces, and water bowls can be found throughout the site.
This year the Heights is celebrating 35 years of cable car flight with a series of live events, heritage dedications, mini-festivals and themed weekends. Events include a myth and magical weekend and a walking festival in May, puppetry and puzzle trails during the summer holidays, and a Food and Drink extravaganza in September. There are also regular creative craft sessions for young children in the Art Tent and storytelling in the Masson Pavilion. Full details of the published programme can be found here > https://www.heightsofabraham.com/see-and-do/whats-on/
Admission to all the attractions is free once you’ve purchased your cable car tickets from the Base Station. The ticket office is located a short riverside walk from the Matlock Bath railway, car and coach park on the norther edge of the village.
Cable car tickets can be purchased online in advance of a visit, or on the day at the ticket office. For savings, buy your tickets online at www.heightsofabraham.com