Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Heights of Abraham - Matlock Bath

If you are stuck for something to do this summer I have put together a small list of places of interest for all ages. The first one on my list is the Heights of Abraham.

The Cable Car System - Since first opening its gates to visitors in 1780 the Heights of Abraham has remained one of the Peak District's most popular destinations. Originally the Heights of Abraham was reached on foot and required visitors to scale the steep slopes of Masson Hill. Since 1984 a visit begins with a journey on Britain"s first alpine style cable car system. Rising from the valley floor, the observation cars transport you in comfort and safety and allow stunning views of the Derwent Valley and surrounding Peak District.

The Hilltop Park and Views - Situated on the site of historic lead mining the Heights of Abraham originally opened as a Regency style 'Savage Garden'. Today the paths still follow many of the original routes around the 60 acres of Woodland hillside. Now, 200 years on, the planting scheme has matured, providing homes for a range of birds and wildlife.

The Show Caverns - It is said that the mining of this area began in Roman times, reaching its heyday in the 17th Century. The miners are now long gone but in emptying the ground of the rich mineral deposits, they left behind a large network of naturally formed caverns and passageways dating back millions of years. Now, regular guided tours allow you to retrace the footsteps of the Miners underground, and experience the spectacular caverns they left behind.

The Masson Cavern - Experience first hand our spectacular cavern system as it winds its way deep underground and into the hillside. With the help of a state of the art lighting installation your guide will take you on a fascinating journey. From the light of a single miners candle to the whole chamber being flooded with changing colours you will hear all about the caverns million year history.

The Rutland Cavern - Here, young and old alike can head underground to experience a day in the life of a 17th Century lead mining family. Once underground the miners tales are brought to life by a series of animatronics, recreating the atmosphere of life underground.

Who Why What - The perfect place to find the answers to all your questions about the history of the estate, and its attractions. Exhibitions as well as audio visual presentations are used to tell stories including the construction of the cable car system. Those daring enough can also have a go on one of our emergency rescue vehicles which thankfully we haven't had to use yet!

The Fossil Factory - An exciting new addition to the site which brings to life fun and interesting facts about rocks and fossils and the formation of the Peak District. In addition there is a film presentation about one of the Heights' own showcaves The Great Masson Cavern and perhaps most excitingly it is home to the fossilised remains of a giant Ichthyosaur, alive at the same time as the dinosaurs. At around 3 metres long it is one fossil you won't want to miss.

Heath & Heaven - A stunning exhibition of aerial photography. Shot by world-renowned photographer John Beatty on a single summers day the exhibition is a patchwork of fascinating aerial shots of the surronding Peak District accompanied with words and poems by Si Homfrey.

Play - Some may say that there is already plenty to see and do here at the Heights but should any children have any energy left they may wish to test their wits on the Explorers Challenge or take the plunge down our giant slide.

Open 10am – 5pm until 31st October

Prices: Adult £11.50, Children and OAPs £8.50 Family of 4 £35, family of 5 £42

More information HERE

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