2019 Travels – Matlock Bath and Matlock

Inspired by the YouTube channel All the Stations, in which a couple from London travelled to all 2,563 railway stations which were open at the time (2017) in Great Britain, I have decided to try to visit all 76 stations in the East Midlands Ranger area. I have no time limit on this, just as and when I can find the time for it. The only “rule” I have is that I must board or get off a train at the station. It’s not enough to just visit the station itself.

I had already been to eight of them in the past (Burton on Trent, Cromford, Derby, Nottingham, Tamworth, Tutbury & Hatton, Uttoxeter and Willington), and I decided to knock out another two on Wednesday 10th April 2019. I saw on Google Maps that it’s not far to walk from Matlock Bath to Matlock, and so I planned to get off at Matlock Bath, have a look around there, and then walk up to Matlock and get the train back.

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My journey started at my home station of Burton on Trent. My first train was on time, which was a pleasant surprise. I took a seat next to a woman who was playing some awful music on her phone. I almost contacted the British Transport Music Police, but such an organisation doesn’t exist, unfortunately.

I had to change at Derby to get the train up the Derwent Valley Line to Matlock Bath. By great luck, the train I needed to get was at the other end of the platform that I had just got off at, so I just needed to wait at the platform. It was a sunny day, but still cold on the platform.

The train arrived on time, and made its way through the city of Derby, out into the edge of the city and then into the beautiful scenery of North Derbyshire. It made its way through the countryside, stopping at stations with such great names as Whatstandwell, Ambergate and then on to Matlock Bath, where I got off.

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Matlock Bath station, looking North towards Matlock.
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Station sign, and drawings by local children on the fence.

After leaving the station, I made my way into the main street. It is very tourist-orientated, with several fish & chip shops, and a fireworks shop worryingly called “Lit Fireworks”. I hope that it’s just a name, and that the fireworks aren’t lit when they sell them to you. I went looking for the entrance to Derwent Gardens, a park by the edge of the River Derwent which flows through the village. I walked for a while and completely missed the entrance, and I was actually on the road back to Cromford. I found a bench, sat down and got my phone out, and looked on Google Maps to see where I was actually supposed to be going, then set off back up the road.

I eventually managed to find Derwent Gardens and took a few pictures while I was there.

After leaving the park, I started walking up the A6, Dale Road, towards Matlock. I passed the Heights of Abraham cable car, but decided against going on it. I am not good with heights at the best of times, and I didn’t fancy being suspended from a wire in a box several feet in the air.

It only took about twenty minutes to get to Matlock. On the edge of town, there is a footbridge over the river which leads to a path, which leads up to the Pic Tor War Memorial. I climbed up the path, which was a little bit of a struggle for me. As I was getting out of breath and nearing the top, I thought to myself “I hope this is worth it”.

It was totally worth it.

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The view of Matlock from the top of Pic Tor.
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Pic Tor War Memorial, listing the names of the men from Matlock and the surrounding area who died in the First and Second World Wars.
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Panorama of the view from Pic Tor.

After getting my breath back, I made my way back down towards the town. I had a walk through Hall Leys Park, a pleasant public park in the centre of town. I’ve never been to Matlock before, so I didn’t know my way around. I crossed over a bridge, and wondered to myself where the railway station was. It turned out that it was right in front of me. I checked the train times and found that I had half an hour to spare before the next train back to Derby was due, so I had a walk around the town.

Matlock is a nice looking town. I later read that there has been an effort to regenerate the town centre in recent years. Unlike some towns which are full of the usual chain stores, vape shops and charity shops, Matlock has a wide range of independent shops. I didn’t really have time to have a proper look around, but I hope to return to Matlock sometime in the future.

After my walk around the town, I headed over the Derwent Bridge towards the station. Matlock station has only one platform in use for regular train services, but the platform on the other side is where a heritage railway, Peak Rail, departs from.

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Matlock railway station, with the Peak Rail platform on the other side of the tracks.

My train had just arrived when I took the photo, as you can hopefully see, so I got on it, and then went home. Thanks very much for reading.

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