The beautiful Peak District village known as ‘Little Switzerland’ with cable cars and an adventure playground
As much as we love the iconic British countryside, it’s always a pleasant surprise to find somewhere that reminds you of somewhere a bit further afield. For example, who would have thought that you would stumble upon an Italian seaside resort in North Wales?
There’s another slice of Europe that lies just outside the Peak District. Abraham’s Heights is a hilltop park in Matlock Bath, a village in Derbyshire, and it has been dubbed ‘Little Switzerland’. To get to the park, you can take a cable car with trips of up to 554 feet to the top of Masson Hill, offering stunning views of the verdant landscape. On a beautiful sunny day you will truly feel like you are in an alpine resort looking out over the Derwent Valley
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The estate first welcomed visitors in 1787 and you can still follow the original trails through the park today. With 60 acres of land to explore when you get to the top of the hill, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
A network of trails meanders through the park, which will take you to the various sites that the heights have to offer. At one of the park’s highest points is Tinker’s Mine Shaft, which reflects the estate’s industrial past and is also a great vantage point.
Or you can go underground and take a guided tour of the estate’s two exhibition caverns, the Masson Cave and the Rutland Cave. There are regular tours throughout the day where you can learn about the 350 million year history of the caves.
Back outside, there is a children’s play area and a butterfly trail. Meanwhile, older visitors will enjoy the exhibits on display at the Masson Pavilion.
Another must-see gem is The Summer House, a quaint thatched cottage hidden among the trees that was first built in 1801 and initially served as a resting place for tourists walking up the hill. The walls of the building are made of tuff rock, formed from calcified organic matter including twigs, leaves and snail shells.
After all the walking, you can treat yourself to a meal at the Vista Restaurant which offers incredible views of the valley. You can even buy a souvenir for your visit at the Rock Shop where you can buy Blue John stone jewelry, a mineral unique to the region and mined in the village of Castleton.
Tickets cost £23 for adults when booked online, children aged 5-15 cost £15 online while a family ticket for two adults and two children costs £69 online. Tickets can be purchased at the door but may be more expensive.
You can book your tickets online at www.heightsofabraham.com.
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