Two Days in Matlock Bath with Young Children

Daddy had a week off between leaving his old job and starting his new one so we thought we’d take the opportunity to book a spontaneous mini break. At first, we looked at glamping as my lovely friend Anna had raved about it but everywhere nearby was fully booked. Instead, we opted for an Airb&b in Matlock Bath.

Stu and I visited Matlock a lifetime ago before children. It’s so beautiful and family friendly that we knew it’d be ideal. Because our trip was so last minute, we decided to just roll with it and not plan anything. This worked out great but if you want to get a bit more organised, why not follow this itinerary or just take some ideas.

Day One

Arrive and Settle in

We arrived about 2:30, had a quick scout around our apartment, had a snack and then headed out to Matlock Bath for a look around.

Matlock Bath

Here you’ll get a definite holiday feel. There are amusement arcades, ice cream parlours and souvenir shops.  We just had a little walk along and ended up at the Aquarium and Spa. For adults it’s £3.30 and children under 4 are free. This entertained us until dinner.


There are plenty of fish and chip shops and restaurants so this is what we opted for and decided to take ours back to our apartment. However there were plenty of places to eat in.

Day Two

After breakfast we took the very short drive to The Heights of Abraham. We parked in Matlock Bath train station car park and walked the three minutes to the cable car base station. Here we caught a cable to the summit and enjoyed the spectacular views. The tickets are a little pricey but do include all the attractions at the top. Also children under five ride for free with an adult ticket.

Venturing Underground

Tours of the show caves were running every 30 minutes. We went into the Masson Cavern and it was like a mini adventure underground. Our guide was amazing at keeping the facts punchy and not talking for too long which was perfect with little ones.


We took a picnic and sat enjoying the amazing vista from the amphitheatre. This was a popular spot for photographs. There is also a cafe again overlooking the rolling hills if you don’t fancy packing your own lunch.

After lunch, we attempted the precarious climb up Victoria Prospect Tower. If you decide to tackle the narrow stairs with children, I suggest you do so very slowly and climb directly behind your little ones. The 360 degree view from the top was amazing though.

Adventure Playgrounds

If all the steps and climbing hasn’t worn out your little one yet, head to one of the two adventure playground. There are huge slides and lots of fun to be had. We also popped into the Fossil Factory and checked out the Metallic cows on display.

By now the girls were getting tired so we decided to head back to the apartment for a break. They happily took a nap before we ventured back down to Matlock Bath for some amusement fun. We spent £2 on the 2p shuffles in an attempt to win some silly key ring or sweets.

As our efforts were fruitless we opted to visit the huge sweet shop and buy a little treat instead.


We bought a fancy sausage and pasta meal and posh bread that just need to be thrown in the oven.

Day Three

We needed to be back in Leicester pretty early so didn’t plan anything for after check out. However if we hadn’t, I’d eyed up Matlock Meadows. This local dairy farm has a outdoor play area and soft play. You can also find out about the workings of the farm and head to the ice cream parlour to sample the local flavours produced on site.

Where have you taken children for a mini break?


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