Heights of Abraham – Cable Cars and Caverns (Peak District)

Heights of Abraham – Cable Cars and Caverns (Peak District)

The Heights of Abraham in the Peak District is a fun and exciting day out with the kids. Your adventure starts with a cable car ride up to the top where the entrances to both the Great Rutland and Great Masson caverns are located.

The cavern tours provide lots of information on the history of lead mining in the area and how the magnificent caverns are formed. With additional exhibitions, woodland trails and adventure playgrounds all with breathtaking views, the Heights of Abraham has plenty for the whole family.

Families Can Travel were kindly gifted tickets to the Heights of Abraham cable cars and caverns in return for our honest review.

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Planning a visit to the Heights of Abraham - Peak District?

In this review, we share everything about our visit to the Heights of Abraham including our recommendations on what order to do everything and information on their Covid-19 safety measures.

We hope the information we share will help you to plan a great day out at the Heights of Abraham in the Peak District.

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How to get to the Heights of Abraham

The Heights of Abraham is located on the edge of the Peak District in the beautiful village of Matlock Bath in Derbyshire.

If you’re arriving by car, use sat nav postcode DE4 3NT. Alternatively, Matlock Bath train station is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the Heights of Abraham cable car station. Trains and buses run regularly to Matlock Bath from Derby and Nottingham.

If you do arrive by train or bus you can get 20% off your ticket prices. You will need to pre-book your discounted tickets using this special link and present your valid bus or rail ticket upon entrance. 

Heights of Abraham cable car entrance

Heights of Abraham parking

Due to its location being high on top of the hillside, there is no dedicated Heights of Abraham parking. The closest car park is the train station car park located just a few minutes walk from the Heights of Abraham cable car station. We parked here and paid £6 for an all-day ticket.

Heights of Abraham Covid-19 safety measures

This was our first day out to an attraction since the start of Covid-19.  With a new 4-week old baby, we were extra keen to maintain our safety and hygiene.

Covid Safety Video – I was reassured straight away when I visited the website and watched a video showing all of the safety measures in place. This is great as I knew what to expect and felt confident that we could stay safe during our day at the Heights of Abraham.

Pre-booking Tickets – To ensure visitor safety, the Heights of Abraham are operating at a reduced capacity. It is recommended that tickets are purchased online in advance of your visit. If there is availability, tickets may be purchased at the cable car station on the day.

Hand Wash Stations – There are outdoor hand wash stations at the cable car station entrance and at the top, outside the Vista Bar and Restaurant. I love the fact that they are operated by a knee pump! We were able to wash our hands before entering/leaving the park and throughout the day without having to go to the toilets. 

Wash Stations at Heights of Abraham Cable Car Station

Hand Sanitiser Stations – There are also plenty of hand sanitiser points dotted around the estate and at entrances to all indoor areas including the caverns.

Face Coverings – Must be worn in the cable cars and indoor areas including the caverns. The staff are really good at reminding everyone to wear their face coverings.

Heights of Abraham Cable Car

Social distancing – there are markers on the floor to remind visitors to respect each other’s space. Only family members or group bubbles ride together in a cable car. They’ve even installed CCTV and screens at the bottom and top of the Victoria Prospect Tower so that you can ensure the spiral steps to the top are clear. 

Things to do at the Heights of Abraham

All of the attractions at the Heights of Abraham are free once at the top and suitable for both adults and kids. At the cable car entrance, you’ll be given a map of the estate with all of the attractions on. This is also available on the website if you want to plan ahead like we did. 

We tried to do things in the best order to avoid the crowds and have listed everything in the order that we did them.

Heights of Abraham cable car ride

It’s hard to miss the Heights of Abraham cable cars gliding up and down over the Derwent Valley as you come into Matlock Bath. The cable car ride is certainly an exciting way to start the day and one that provides spectacular views

We had no problem wheeling our pram into the cable car. We have a big traditional style pram and it fit inside the cable car comfortably along with the four of us.

The cable car ride lasts a few minutes and stops halfway giving the perfect opportunity to take photos of the beautiful views.

Once at the top, the whole of the estate is pram/pushchair friendly apart from the Great Masson Cavern and the Victoria Prospect Tower. For these two attractions, we used a baby wrap (see below for the wrap we use and love).

The Great Rutland Cavern

We arrived just after the 10 am opening time and originally planned to visit the Great Masson Cavern first before it got too busy. However, after taking a second look at the map and watching where other people were going, we realised that nobody was heading to the lower part of the estate where the Great Rutland Cavern entrance is located.

Going here first was a great choice because when we got to the entrance, we were the only ones there so got a private tour with just us and the cavern guide.

The Great Rutland Cavern is quite spacious, flat ground and the way in is also the way out.

For anybody claustrophobic, I’d recommend giving it a go. It doesn’t go too far in and you can always come back out if you want to. It’s also suitable for prams and pushchairs.

Heights of Abraham - Great Rutland Cavern

The tour lasts about 15 minutes and provides interesting information about the history of lead mining, the tools they used and stories from the past.

The girls were shocked to find out that children as young as 6 years old would work in the mine. They soon forgot about this when the cavern guide found some pretty crystals for them.

The Explorers Play Area

Despite the excitement of a bigger cavern to explore, the girls were desperate to try out one of the two play areas. Whilst they played, we took the opportunity to sit down, eat our picnic and feed 4-week old Alessia.

There’s plenty of picnic areas and seats dotted around and most come with a beautiful view.

We were able to wash our hands at the nearby wash station before we ate. We also saw a member of staff cleaning the play area which reassured us – this was the first play area the girls had been on in about 7 months due to worrying about the virus!

The Victoria Prospect Tower

We headed to the Great Masson Cavern but just missed the next tour (they were running every 15 minutes). So we decided to climb the Victoria Prospect Tower instead.

We had to queue to climb up the tower due to social distancing but we didn’t mind if it meant keeping ourselves and others safe.

Climbing the spiral steps up to the top only takes a few minutes, despite it looking higher from the outside.

The high wall at the top offers safety for children but does mean you’ll have to lift them up to admire the panoramic views.

The Great Masson Cavern

The Great Masson Cavern is a longer tour that takes you approximately a quarter of a mile through the mine and out the exit right at the top of the estate near Tinker’s Shaft.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you suffer from claustrophobia, it will take longer to get out if you want to exit the tour. Face coverings also have to be worn on both cavern tours. We were completely comfortable wearing ours but there are quite a lot of steps which can make breathing with a face covering a little uncomfortable.

Our bubbly cavern guide introduced herself with the traditional Derbyshire phrase “Ayup me duck!” She was really enthusiastic and entertaining as she told stories of the mine’s history and its workers.

The highlight of the tour is when you reach the large natural chamber. The cavern guide demonstrates what it would have been like down the mine from a single workers candle to a chandelier when the Victorian tourists used to visit.

At the end, the whole chamber is illuminated with spectacular coloured lighting.

Heights of Abraham - Great Masson Cavern

Tinker’s Shaft

The Great Masson Cavern exit brings you out near Tinker’s Shaft. Thankfully, the entrance to the mine shaft is safely covered so there’s no risk of falling down it! This is probably the highest part of the hillside estate so we spent some time just taking in the views whilst the girls ran around.

Heights of Abraham views from Tinker's Shaft

The Masson Pavillion

If you don’t do the Great Masson Cavern tour, then you can experience it by film instead inside the Masson Pavillion. There’s also an exhibition of photos of iconic places in the Peak District along with information to accompany them.

Woodland Adventure Play Area

Next it was time to let the girls play on the second of the two play areas and this one was by far their favourite. They loved racing each other down the giant slides!!

Heights of Abraham Woodland Adventure play area

The Long View Exhibition

We saved this for the last part of the day and we were the only ones inside. The exhibition tells you all about the history of Matlock Bath, its thermal waters, mining and how tourism has evolved over the years.

The Fossil Factory

Above the Long View Exhibition is a gift shop and fossil exhibition displaying fossilised remains from millions of years ago. 

Heights of Abraham Food and Drink

We didn’t eat at the Heights of Abraham as we took a picnic with us and sat outside. The Vista Bar & Restaurant looked very tempting, especially the fish & chips which we saw someone eating.

There’s also a Terrace Cafe which provides stunning views across the Derwent Valley. The prices looked reasonable too – they do a cake and hot drink deal for £4.50.

We were tempted by the ice cream kiosk near the summit cable car station but didn’t want to spoil our plans for fish and chips in Matlock Bath.

Things to do near the Heights of Abraham

Whilst the Heights of Abraham is located in its own hilltop estate, parking and access to the cable car station is in the village of Matlock Bath.

There’s plenty to do in Matlock Bath alone including Gulliver’s Kingdom theme park, Temple Mine, Matlock Bath Aquarium and the Peak District Lead Mining Museum.

If you don’t have much time to spare at least make sure you have fish and chips. There’s plenty to choose from along the promenade (yes, Matlock Bath feels like being at the seaside but without the sea).

If you’re interested in things to do further afield, then there are plenty of options including Crich Tramway Village, the High Peak Trail, Chatsworth and Bakewell.

Accommodation near the Heights of Abraham

Use the interactive map below to search for accommodation near the Heights of Abraham, Peak District.


Common questions answered...

Is the Heights of Abraham dog friendly?

Dogs are allowed on the Heights of Abraham cable cars, around the estate and outdoor at the Vista Restaurant and Terrace Bar. They are not allowed in the caverns.

Can you walk up to the Heights of Abraham?

There is a footpath up to the Heights of Abraham but it is currently closed due to Covid-19. Previously, visitors have been able to walk up to the Heights of Abraham for free but needed to pay for the attractions once at the top.

Is the Heights of Abraham pushchair friendly?

The Heights of Abraham cable cars, around the estate and all indoor areas are suitable for prams and pushchairs. The only places not suitable are the Great Masson Cavern and the Victoria Prospect Tower. As the estate is on a hillside, there are some paths that are quite steep so will give you a good workout.

What to wear at the Heights of Abraham?

Much of your time will be spent outside or inside the caverns which are cold so dress in warm clothing. You will also need suitable footwear inside the caverns which can be slippy in places.

How much is the Heights of Abraham?

At the time of our visit (October 2020), an adult ticket was priced – £19, child ticket – £13 and family ticket – £60. Under 5’s are free. Please check the up-to-date ticket prices here.

Where to park for the Heights of Abraham?

There is no dedicated parking for the Heights of Abraham so you will need to park in one of the council car parks in Matlock Bath. The closest car park, just a few minutes walk from the Heights of Abraham cable car station is the train station car park.

Are there any Heights of Abraham discount vouchers?

The Heights of Abraham do not work with any partners to offer discount vouchers. If you arrive at the Heights of Abraham by train or bus, you can get 20% of the standard ticket price. To get the discounted ticket price, you will need to book using this special link and show a valid bus or rail ticket upon entrance.

Final Thoughts...

I’m sure the views on our way back down from the Heights of Abraham are even more impressive than on the way up.

We spent about 5 hours at the top but did take our time and had a couple of breaks to feed the baby and let the girls enjoy the play areas.

The Heights of Abraham really is a great day out with the kids in the Peak District. The cable car ride and cavern tours are the best parts of the day.

The whole estate is really accessible with prams and pushchairs with the exception of the Great Masson Cavern and the Victoria Prospect Tower.

We were also really impressed with the Covid-19 safety measures they have in place and felt really safe the whole time we were there.

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