Matlock is really two destination, the town itself is the main shopping and administrative centre for the area, while Matlock Bath a few miles down the road is the tourist trap.
Matlock Bath merits a visit for its natural setting and Victorian charm. The riverside is developed on one side only - the West bank - with woods and crags on the opposite bank, through which wind the Lovers' Walks. Although about as far as one can get from the sea in England, it has an almost seaside feel and none of the elegance of spa towns such as Buxton, Cheltenham, Leamington or Bath.
Matlock is the terminus station on the Derwent Valley branch railway from Derby, from where connections can be made to all major cities in UK. Railway stations at 1 Matlock for the town itself or 2 Matlock Bath (1.5 miles S) for the scenic Derwent gorge area, the Heights of Abraham attraction, caves and cable car service.
Nearest airport is East Midlands Airport, accessible by regular shuttle bus to/from Derby railway station.
Local bus services are operated by Trent Barton and a number of small independent operators such as G.J. Holmes, TM and Hulleys. See the Derbyshire County Council public transport website for timetables and information for all buses countywide.
There are regular services northwards towards Bakewell, Buxton and Manchester, and southwards towards Belper and Derby. Services linking the smaller villages away from the main A6 trunk road may be restricted to certain hours of the day (e.g. school runs) or even certain days of the week.
There are two bus stations in Matlock, one is next to the railway station on Derwent Way, and the other is situated on Bakewell Road in the town centre.
There are pleasant river views from Hall Leys Park in the town centre. A riverside walk starts in the park and proceeds into the Derwent gorge towards Matlock Bath; this also gives access to a footpath up the East side of the gorge and along the cliff tops above High Tor, the spectacular sheer limestone crag between Matlock and Matlock Bath.
- 1 Peak Rail, Matlock, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Steam train rides.
- 2 Peak District Mining Museum, The Grand Pavillion, South Parade, DE4 3NR, ☎ .
- 3 Heights of Abraham. Cable cars to gardens.
The town comes alive at weekends in summertime, particularly on Sundays when large numbers of motorcyclists converge on the promenade to meet up and show off their machines. Matlock Bath is the biggest regular bike 'meet' in the Midlands and attracts bikers from many miles around; its appeal dates back to late Victorian times, when it became a popular destination for bicycle touring clubs from industrial cities such as Sheffield, Derby and Nottingham.
- Boxing Day Raft Race: 26 December annually.
- Matlock Bath Illuminations: 8 September – 27 October 2018. Lights on the river and fireworks. Illuminated boats parade on the River Derwent every Saturday and Sunday. Derwent Gardens Adult £5 - £7. (date needs updating)
For a relatively small town, Matlock has a number of bars centred around the Dale Road area, although there are numerous other venues around the town centre.
- 1 Glendon Guest House, 7 Knowleston Place, ☎ .
- 2 Hodgkinsons Hotel, 150 S Parade, ☎ .
- Derbyshire Country Cottages, 90 Cavendish Road, DE4 3HD, ☎ . Holiday cottages available throughout Derbyshire and the Derbyshire area of the Peak District.