Take a day out in Derbyshire: Matlock
With Spring upon us and the days getting longer, people are looking forward to spending some time with family and friends out and about.
However, with budgets tight and petrol prices high it can cost a small fortune for a family to visit a theme park or major attraction and so we're starting a series of features highlighting the best of Derbyshire and some of the hidden gems in the towns which you may not usually think of for a day trip.
We're starting with the county's administrative centre, Matlock, which has a lot more to offer than some people might think. Situated at the southern edge of the Peak District it's an easy place to get to from most parts of the county, via the A6. There is quite a lot of pay-and-display parking available in the town centre with the new spaces recently created by the District Council on the former Lido site, opened after the creation of the award winning Arc Leisure Matlock.
If you're looking for some fabulous vintage inspired fashions and accessories then the best place to start would be Bella Figura, on Smedley Street, which is near the top of Bank Road but is worth the walk up the hill.
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Recently opened Designate at the Gate is at the end of Smedley Street and if you're in the mood for a great one-pot meal then they have daily specials as well as regular music and entertainment nights. This is also home to Designate's range of gifts and home including unique clocks and mirrors.
After a walk back down into the town centre you may need a cup of tea and Peli Deli in crown Square is a popular and friendly café, serving lovely coffee and light lunches as well as some delicious cakes.
Just across the road from Peli Deli will soon be the site for The Cosy Cup, the vintage themed café and part of Bow Boutique, a great shop to find lovely things for you, your family and your home, such as upcycled furniture, vintage pieces, cards, gifts and ranges by Cath Kidston and Orla Kierly.
Keep going along Dale Road and you'll end up in Matlock Bath, once known as Little Switzerland, where you can visit the Matlock Bath Aquarium, Mining Museum, Gullivers Kingdom Theme Park and the cable cars and caverns at The Heights of Abraham, or spend some time in the numerous amusement arcades.