|Image: limstone karst landscape north of Matlock.|
The two show caves of the Matlock area are both located in a holiday park called The Heights of Abraham. Like Castleton and Buxton, the caves are located at the border of the Peak District limestone area. Both caves have a lead mining background.
Nearby is the Temple Mine and the Peak District Mining Museum, which show the history of mining in the area.
There is ample, if not expensive parking in Matlock Bath, just off the A6 trunk road by the railway station. Allow a minimum of 4 hours for your visit, though if you are taking children you might like to a make a day of it. As well as the two caves there is the Tree Top Cafe and Restaurant with a Gift Shop and at the entrance to Great Rutland Mine is a licensed snack bar/gift shop and a free exhibition, all with toilets nearby. There are two adventure play areas for children, woodland walks and the Prospect Tower where an internal spiral staircase leads to a viewing area with a magnificent panorama of the valley.
The Country Park can be visited either by cable car or on foot. The fee for the Cable car also includes admission to the two caves. Most noticeable on our visit were the friendly staff who cheerfully answer all our questions. Photography is allowed in both caves.
Text by Tony Oldham (2001). With kind permission.