There are many excellent tourist attractions too in The Peak District, some too bordering the area, all within easy reach of Woodside, Railway House. Below is a sample of what’s on offer, though this represents only a fraction of the attractions on offer.
Possibly Britain’s most famous Theme Park, its certainly the scariest. A great day out for kids and parents, located about 30 mins drive from Woodside. See our links page for further details. Party discounts are available, and certainly 16 people staying at Woodside would qualify. Check with the park for discount offers. Allow a long and full day for a visit here, and even then, don’t expect to see it all.
Some form of wet weather clothing is recommended here as it is possible to get quite wet on some of the water rides. Arrive early as queues can be massive at busy times. If you can tolerate the crowds, its a must do.
Check also ride height regulations as many rides are not able to accept smaller children.
National Stone Centre
The National Stone Centre is open all year. From Easter to the end of October the opening hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is the best place to find information about the rocks of the area and see how each one of us uses 350 tonnes of stone in our lifetime. Inside, there is the Story of Stone Exhibition (admission £1.60 adults; 80p children) which describes how the rock was formed and the variety of uses that stone is put to. A self guiding leaflet can be purchased (10p) to the Discovering the Past trail. This is a gentle walk around the site where prehistoric fossil reefs and tropical lagoons are to be found. Also outside, there is an area where it is possible to pan for minerals (50p whatever the age). Minerals found have included iron pyrites (fool’s gold) and Olivine. Adults often make the mistake of only paying for children to try panning. Experience shows that adults have an even stronger desire to relive the heady days of the prospector and they soon take over after a few minutes. And the child, they get sent to get another pan. Back inside, there is a well-stocked shop where the failed prospector can buy the minerals unsuccessfully panned for (or the ‘some of us are just born prospectors’, can increase their mineral collection). The shop also sells books, fossils and tea.
The Heights of Abraham and Gullivers Kingdom
Matlock Baths beautiful scenery has been compared to that of Switzerland and, together with the thermal qualities of the water, added to the attraction of the area. In Victorian days facilities started to improve and the visits made by Queen Victoria, in 1832 and 1844, improved its reputation further.
It is a busy little place well stocked with gift shops, cafes and amusements. But its spectacular views are what are most admired, as anyone who has gazed at the view from a good vantage point on either side of the narrow gorge can confirm. It is a popular haunt for serious rock-climbers who test their ability against the sheer rock face of High Tor. A much easier way to climb is to take the cable car up to the Heights of Abraham, named after General Wolfe’s famous assault on Quebec.
Steeple Grange Light Railway
Steeple Grange Light Railway is located just off the main road from Wirksworth to Cromford, at the top of Cromford Hill and can be easily accessed by visitors who travel both by car and public transport. A short walk along the High Peak Trail, from Black Rocks Picnic Site brings you to the station. Here, the railway provides walkers with the opportunity, to put their feet up for a short while and enjoy a relaxing train ride before continuing along the High Peak Trail. Built on a branch line of the former track bed of the old Cromford and High Peak Railway – now the High Peak Trail, the ride lasts for about twenty minutes and passes through what is known locally as Killer’s Dale. The name does not have any sinister implications, but refers to the name of the former owner’s of the land who lived in the area. A few years ago cricketers visiting the nearby village of Middleton-by-Wirksworth were confronted with a fearsomely named pace attack of Killer and Death, two local family names. It used to be said that ‘if Killer does not get you then Death will!’
The train journey from Steeplehouse House Station takes passengers on a very interesting journey up a one in twenty seven gradient to Dark Lane Quarry, a long disused limestone quarry now overgrown with sycamore, ash and hawthorn trees. Many of the surrounding fields are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and well over one hundred and twenty species of plant have been recorded within the old quarries. The more shaded areas are covered with mosses and lichens with cowslips in the lighter parts. a wild snapdragon known as Toad flax, geraniums called shining Cranesbill and a host of other wild flowers can be found close to the railway. The railway also acts as a home to an abundance of wildlife including rabbits, foxes, voles and even barn owls.