Things to do at the Heights of Abraham in the Peak District & Derbyshire
Located on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District, Matlock Bath is home to the Heights of Abraham. Famous for its cable cars, which take visitors on an exciting flight through the scenic Derwent Valley, passing over river, road and rail before reaching the summit of Masson Hill. Once at the summit the 235-year story of the Heights springs to life. Visitors can take two different tours through underground illuminated caverns, with professional guides to lead the way. Above ground, there are three exhibitions, delving deeper into the heritage of the 60-acre estate. Relax in the Vista restaurant with an outstanding view to accompany your meal. Adventure playgrounds are on offer to keep the children busy, with heritage gardens and sculptures too. The Heights is a truly unique and memorable day out.
The Cable Car
Begin your day at the Heights of Abraham by taking a flight in one of the famous cable cars, first installed in 1984 and modernised in 2004. Travel across the picturesque Derwent Valley in style and enjoy the views of Matlock Bath below. The journey takes you over 554ft upwards to the summit, 100ft above sea level.
Once you reach the summit, experience the Peak District surrounding this special place, with views of peaks and valleys everywhere you look. Holding a 235-year story the Heights tells many unexpected tales of heritage and history. The estate first opened in 1787 and has been welcoming visitors ever since. With links to the industrial revolution, visits from royalty and a rich mining history, listen to the self-guided audio tour through your mobile phone, to reveal history at your own pace.
Take a guided tour into the two famous show caverns at the Heights, the Great Masson Cavern, and the Great Rutland. Discover the hidden world and the geological formations of the Great Masson Cavern as you head 1/3 of a mile underground into the hillside. Take in the cavern scenery from the light of a single miner’s candle to the entire cavern being illuminated in a wash of colour. The Great Rutland Cavern explores the life of a 17th Century lead mining family, and the roles everyone in the family played at the time. Learn about the tools used for the job, the uses of lead and what happened to the miners once the lead dried up.
With such a long story to tell, visitors can find out more about the heritage of the Heights in three different exhibitions. The Long View tells the tale of tourism in Matlock Bath, including famous faces and how the Heights began. Upstairs in the film theatre, find out how the cable cars were built in 1984, with daring engineering and white knuckle moments! A Mirror on the Past is the newest exhibition at the Heights and showcases exquisite reproductions of period costumes that visitors would have worn on a day out between 1787 and 1910.
Restaurant, Café and Bar
The Vista Restaurant and Terrace Café at the Heights of Abraham are almost 1000ft above sea level. The exclusive Vista balcony gives views for miles across the valley, a great place to soak up the surroundings while enjoying a freshly made meal, accompanied by a local ale or gin. Visitors can take a light lunch with friends in the downstairs café, with far-reaching views to enjoy with a hot drink and a delicious cake. Tables at the Vista are highly sought after, and it is recommended to book these in advance.
Let the kids loose on the Woodland Adventure and Explorer’s Challenge playgrounds, with giant slides, climbing equipment, basket swing and so much more! Enjoy an ice cream while they expend their energy, with a scenic view of course.
Heritage Buildings, Gardens and Sculptures
The Heights was first opened as a pleasure garden in 1787 for Georgian visitors to explore. Modern visitors can enjoy the modern take on the landscaped grounds whilst still exploring the heritage buildings, the Victoria Prospect Tower and The Summerhouse, both built in the 1800s. Newly installed willow sculptures by artist Caroline Gregson further tell the tales of the past 235 years by depicting important moments of Masson Hill, paused in time.
Shops and Facilities
There are two gift shops at the Heights, one with a selection of souvenirs and the other focused on rocks and crystals. Browse the beautiful Derbyshire Blue John jewellery and maybe even take home a fossilised creature. Across the estate there are toilet facilities, seating areas and covered picnic spots.
There’s always something happening at the Heights. Check out the ‘What’s On’ page on the website to see what’s happening at the summit on the day of your visit!
Access to everything at the Heights estate is included in the cable car ticket, giving you entry to fascinating exhibitions, historic buildings, spectacular viewpoints and more. Entry to all seasonal events is also granted. It is highly recommended to book your day out in advance at www.heightsofabraham.com
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Picnic site
- Baby Changing Facilities
- Children welcome
- Facilities for educational visits
- Facilities for groups
- Guided tours for groups
- Parking with charge
- Dogs Accepted
- Gift shop
- Public toilets
- School Trips
- Accepts groups
- Coach parties accepted
- Single sex groups welcomed
- Contactless Payment Accepted
- Coach parties welcomed
- Children's outdoor play area
Awards and accreditations
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