Just south of the town of Matlock, holiday cottages in the village of Matlock Bath lie in a lush river gorge, with dramatic limestone crags, wooded hillsides and stunning waterside walks. After its spas were discovered in the 17th century, Matlock Bath became popular among tourists and was nicknamed ‘Little Switzerland’ by the poet Lord Byron. This historic Derbyshire community is located between Buxton and Derby, on the southeastern edge of the spectacular Peak District National Park. In the village centre, visitors will find a charming mix of independent shops and eateries. For a pint of local ale or a hearty pub lunch, try The Fishpond, on South Parade. Book a holiday home in the village in September or October to witness the Matlock Bath Illuminations, when the riverside and cliffs are transformed into a breathtaking display of light and colour, with decorated boats, fireworks and live entertainment.
Don’t leave your holiday cottage in Matlock without taking the cable car to the Heights of Abraham, a woodland park with caverns, fossil exhibitions and the magnificent Victoria Prospect Tower. In around the village, you’ll find unique family-friendly attractions, such as the Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park, an aquarium, a photographic museum and the excellent Peak District Mining Museum. Self-catering holidays in Matlock Bath are perfect if you’re planning to explore the Peak District National Park. With its limestone dales, turbulent rivers, plummeting gorges and windswept moors, this 555-square-mile is unforgettable, and many of its most picturesque walks can be found within a short distance of the village. If you’re feeling brave, get in touch with one of the region’s many adventure companies, such as Peaks and Paddles, and experience the thrill of white-water rafting, abseiling or canoeing. Alternatively, book a steam-train ride with Peak Rail and relax in a traditional carriage as miles of breathtaking countryside float by.