Wednesday 29 July 2020

Day trip | How to spend a day in Matlock Bath

Let’s be real there aren’t many good/positive things to come out of 2020 for any of us, but there is one huge thing that this shit show coronacoaster has taught me, and that’s...Lockdown has allowed me to discover the true beauty and excitement of day trips locally. An afternoon out exploring a new place with those close to me will forever hold more memories and value to me than a quick shopping trip or meal out at the same restaurant on repeat ever will. And the best bit is these gems are right on my doorstep too, but had this situation not happened I probably wouldn’t have discovered this passion of mine. 

So today I want to introduce you all to the beauty that is Matlock Bath. 

Of all of the places I’ve visited lately Matlock is definitely up there as one of my all time favourites. In fact, as soon as we drove into the little village I fell in love almost instantly. There’s a fish and chip shop almost every other shop and the amount of old fashioned sweet and ice cream shops are endless. They also have the arcades, a few little pubs and the chance to ride along the river and give your rowing boat skills a go. It has such a seaside feel to it which is strange to say as there’s no sea or beach but as soon as you visit you’ll know immediately what I’m talking about. 

Anyway enough of the rambling before I bore you all, here’s how I spent my day seeing the sights...

As there aren’t too many spaces to park and you only get a very limited time of an hour, we decided to park further up at the pay and display car park around a three minute walk away from Heights of Abraham. I thought including this information would be handy for any of you wanting to visit as finding a space could prove to be a bit of a nightmare, especially when it’s partcially busy, so this is my first tip. 

Unfortunately Heights of Abraham wasn’t open when we visited but I’d definitely recommend as it looks like it would be an amazing experience taking in all of the stunning views from above. Because of this our first port of call was a stroll along the river whilst nosying at all of the shops and experiences on offer. The little rowing boats are £15 and look so so fun. I imagine on a sunny day the walk along the river would be even nicer. 

Our next spot was the small aquarium next to the arcades, it’s only a very tiny place but at £3 an entry you can’t complain and it was quite enjoyable in its own little way- obviously the real life nemo fish being my favourite thing about it. 

Of  course we then had to have a play in the arcades on the slot machines and grab a cute snap in the photo booth to remember the day by. I think now you may realise why I mentioned earlier about Matlock having a real seaside feel to it which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. However, on the flip side if that doesn’t appeal to you quite so much there’s still stunning views to take in and activities to enjoy without feeling too ‘ typical touristy’. 

All of the sight seeing can prove to be quite thirsty work so pub trip it was. There’s a few pub choices if I remember correctly, but we chose the first one we came across which was Rose Cottage. Being my first pub visit since they reopened I was a little apprehensive as to how it would all work but it turns out it’s actually planned very well as far as distancing from others goes. All in all plenty of space and the perfect spot to people watch and take in the surroundings. 

It would be criminal not to spend at least ten minutes browsing each sweet shop like a child when there’s so many staring at you screaming to come in. Either I’m very easily pleased or this is just the best sweet shop to exist?! Another thing I adore about Matlock are the cute, quirky ice cream and chip cone characters outside the shops along with the Union Jack flags, those kind of things make me the happiest as everywhere you turn there’s a perfect photo opportunity. 

PS: Please do not buy the extra extra sour watermelon sweets, they’ll have you foaming at the mouth like I did, they’re 100x worse than five toxic waste sweets at once...lesson learnt. 

 No British day trip would be complete without fish & chips would it?! We decided that we definitely had to end our day sat outside one of the many chip shops talking through our day. I’ve got to say we definitely chose the right chippy as they were gorgeous. 

And that’s it, my very first visit to Matlock Bath, and it certainly won’t be my last. To summarise: a beautiful stroll along the river boat spotting, my first glass of wine at a pub for months, making friends with the real life Nemo’s in the aquarium, nosying at all of the cute shops and arcades, and then finishing off with good old fish & chips. Basically a day at the seaside... just without the beach. 

I can’t wait to visit again, lots of people say it’s incredible in the evening when they have their illuminations so that’s the one thing I cannot wait for this year. Derbyshire villages really do have a special place in my heart and I certainly won’t be forgetting about this one in a hurry, it really was the dreamiest day ever and I can’t even tell you just how happy it left me feeling. 

Have you been to Matlock Bath before, what do you think? And if you decide to visit after reading this post I hope that you enjoy just as much as I did! 

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