The Heights of Abraham are a popular tourist attraction on the edge of the Peak district in Matlock Bath. The former mines turned tourist attraction opened to the public in the 1780s. In addition to tours of the complex network of underground tunnels and caves left by the mining activity, there are viewpoints, historical monuments, museums and a cable car trip to enjoy.

Guided tours of the mines range from 30 to 45 minutes. Above ground, there are both guided and audio tours of the area. There are plenty of photo opportunities along the walk and it is recommended to allow half a day for your visit. For the younger, there is an alternative ‘ghost tour’- a spooky audio tour through the various landmarks.

The current owners restored the mines and surrounding structures, adhering to strict health and safety standards. The walks and tours are suitable for visitors of all ages.


The first significant traces of human activity at the Heights of Abraham can be traced back to roman times. The deep lying caves were explored for lead and fluorite, an activity which carried on all the way until the 1700s. As there was little in the way of health and safety regulations, it was risky work and many men lost their lives in the pursuit of precious metal and minerals.

While the closure of the mines left many out of work, some became tour guides offering wealthy visitors a unique insight into the geological world that lies under the green hills of Britain. One such visitor included the future queen of England, the then Princess Victoria. She was said to be staying nearby and chose the Heights as a daily excursion. Her chosen mode of transport? By donkey… how royal!

Since then, the Heights have become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. The addition of a cable car circuit in 1980 increased accessibility to the park and over 7 million people have taken the ride since they opened.

Did you know? The Heights of Abraham were named after a battle in 1759 in Canada. It was an important victory for the British and helped cement their position as the dominant force in North America.

Things To See & Do at The Heights of Abraham

The Cable Cars – It was only after a trip to Switzerland that the owners of “The Heights of Abraham” installed cable cars. Prior to opening, visits to the heights were done by foot. Or for the wealthier, by donkey and cart. The cable spans 1,136 metres to reach it’s summit at Masson Hill 339 meters above sea level.

Show Caverns – Lead mining in Matlock Bath dates back to Roman times. The ground was rich with lead and fluorite. With the area fully excavated for metal and mineral, the mines had to close. Ex-miners began offering tours of the complex network of tunnels and caves where they once extracted their living. There are two tours to choose from: the more challenging tour around the 350 million year old Masson Cavern which takes 45 minutes, and the Rutland Cavern which takes 30 minutes.

Tinkers Shaft – Located at the exit of the Masson Cavern, the Tinkers Shaft viewing platform offers an incredible view of the Derbyshire Dales. For hundreds of years, it was used by miners hoping to extract a living from the caves below. While there were no health and safety regulations back in the 1800s, it has been totally restored to allow you to enjoy the unique views in total safety. It has been designated a site of special scientific interest for its unique network of tunnels and mineshafts (an SSSI).

The Fossil Factory – 330 million years ago, Matlock Bath would have been deep underwater. A tropical island with coral waters and deep blue waters full of fish. The fossil factory offers an insight into this aquatic history.

The Victoria Prospect Tower – Built in 1844 by ex-miners to celebrate Queen Victoria, who scaled the Heights in 1832. The Tower takes you up an old spiral staircase upon which you can enjoy a 360 panoramic view of the surrounding area.

The curious case of the Metallic Cows – Grazing the grass and enjoying the views outside the Victoria Prospect Tower are three metallic cows. How did they get there? Well… It’s actually no mystery… The owners of the Heights saw them at the 2017 RHS flower show and decided they needed a new home.

Good to Know

– There are numerous viewpoints along the way, including a marvelous 360 degree vista from the top of the Victoria Prospect Tower– make sure you bring your camera!

– Due to coronavirus concerns, bookings for cable car tours need to be made in advance. There are other restrictions in place so make sure to check the Heights official website for updates.

– The owners reserve the right to close the park due to adverse weather or other external conditions. Please check before planning your visit.

– The park is closed for winter and plans to reopen in February 2021.

– It is advised to allow 3-4 hours to visit the park in full.

– There is a choice of places to eat and drink at the Heights, including the Vista Restaurant, Vista Bar and Terrace Cafe. The restaurant needs to be booked 48 hours in advance.

Opening Times and Prices


2020 Group Rates


Normal Rate

Group rate


16 yrs and over




5 yrs  to 15 yrs inc



Senior citizens

Over 60 years of age



Under 5’s




Family – (2 adults, 3 children) – £36.20


Getting There

The heights of Abraham are located on the edge of the Peak District at Matlock Bath. Less than one hours drive from Sheffield, Derby and Nottingham, the nearest car park is Matlock Bath Station Car Park