Visiting Matlock with your dog

Black Rocks Cromford

Black Rocks Cromford

If you’re heading to Matlock with your dog, you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds – beautiful countryside walks and a warm and friendly welcome from numerous cafes and pubs in the town.

Matlock is wonderful – that’s probably why you’re going there, to walk round and take in the beauty of the town. But your dog doesn’t need to be left out of it all. The town may be busy at times, if walking your dog through the central areas, but there are several picturesque walks to take in when you are visiting Matlock with your dog.  

Matlock’s parks, including the award-winning Hall Leys Park on in the town centre and on the banks of the River Derwent, all allow well behaved dogs, while a walk along the Cromford Canal just outside of the town will stretch the legs a bit more.

The cliff tops also provide an exhilarating dog walk as well as views of the town and surrounding countryside from up on High Tor and around Riber Castle  there is a footpath that is regularly used by dog walkers.

Some of Matlock’s attractions are dog friendly, you can ride on the four-mile long Peak Rails heritage railway between Matlock and Rowsley with your pet as well as visit the Crich Tramway Museum, located just outside Matlock in Crich. Dogs are welcome on the site and are able to ride on the trams, some of which are almost open air. There is also a woodland walk and sculpture trail at the museum.

By the time you’ve taken in the parks, countryside or just had a good old look around, you’ll no doubt have built up an appetite for lunch or dinner and Matlock has numerous dog friendly cafes and pubs.

The Peli Deli, located in Crown Square, The Loaf, which is in Matlock Green and on The Common in Crich, and the Fountain Tea Rooms in Bonsall are all cafes where dogs are welcome.

If you’re thinking a nice refreshing pint is on the agenda then the MoCa Bar on Dale Road is both dog and children friendly and other options within the Matlock area include, The Miners Arms in Brassington, The Rising Sun on Middleton top. You will also find dogs welcome at the The Boat Inn and The Bell in Cromford, The Red Lion in Birchover and the Flying Childers in Stanton in Peak.

Buxton Tram

Tilly waiting to board the Buxton Tram

Tilly waiting to board the Buxton Tram

Try the new “Buxton Tram” – known as “The Wonder of the Peak”. It is actually a converted milk float which has been built to look like a tram.  They are dog friendly as the picture shows!

Tilly is pictured here with Nick, our driver and co owner of the tram.

We experienced the Town tour and Nick gave us lots of information about the Opera House, Old Hall Hotel, The Crescent, The Devonshire Dome, Buxton Museum on Dale Road, then St Anne’s Church, followed by a whiz down Bath Road and past Broadwalk and then back to the Opera House.

I’m told most dogs fall asleep during the tour! However Tilly wanted fuss from everyone on the tram – all of which were doggie people…

The tram also visits Poole’s Cavern, however you need to check with the driver first before boarding the tram, just to check that they are doing that route.

For dog walkers, the Poole’s Cavern stop would be great, whilst dogs aren’t currently allowed in the cavern (due to safety reasons), there is a lovely dog friendly cafe inside the cavern complex, where dog biscuits are offered to all dogs. There is also Grinlow Woods, next to Poole’s Cavern, which is a dog walkers paradise.

New footpath markers in Grinlow Woods

New footpath markers in Grinlow Woods

There are newly constructed footpath signs that you can follow, so that you won’t get lost! Leaflets are available from the Poole’s Cavern reception.

All in all, this is a fun trip, however, just as a word of caution, the tram only seats 8 people, so it is quite cosy if they are busy. It is also courteous to check beforehand that all tram riders are happy with dogs onboard, we had no problems the day we travelled, but it is wise to check first.

For dog friendly stops in Buxton, you can visit the Old Hall Hotel, where you can sit in either of the lounges at the front of the hotel, and you can be served tea, coffee, cakes etc… Also an alternative is Barbarella’s (a wine bar) which is very dog friendly, but sadly children are not allowed due to licensing laws, and can be found at No7, The Quadrant.

Overall, a nice day out in Buxton with your dog!

To experience the tour costs £5 and more information can be found on their website

Treak Cliff Cavern

Dog Friendly Treak Cliff Cavern

Dog Friendly Treak Cliff Cavern

Well this one was a surprise!  I only found out about this because staff at another Cavern told me.  Having checked their website, it quite clearly states that Dogs are welcome at all times!

Treak Cliff Hill in Castleton, is said to be the only place in the world, where Blue John stone naturally occurs. The Treak Cliff Cavern continues to mine, process and manufacture Blue John to this day.

This mineral known as the Blue John stone, is a unique banded form of flurospar and the name is said to have come from the french words “bleue et jaune” or blue and yellow to you and me.

There are plenty examples of this mineral that can be purchased both in the gift shop and other shops around Castleton and the Peak District. Many have been worked into pretty pendants and jewellery, but you can also buy pieces of the stone.

It is great to see that dogs are allowed in this special cavern, because all members of the family can visit the cavern and see the spectacular sights that await them.

Check their website for details about special events and times.

Afterwards there are plenty of dog friendly pubs to visit in Castleton or perhaps try a dog friendly cafe.

Crich Tramway Museum

Tilly at Crich Tramway Museum

Tilly at Crich Tramway Museum

We spent a lovely day last summer visiting the Crich Tramway museum. Dogs are welcome on the site and are able to ride on the trams, which Tilly found quite a thrill. Some of the trams are almost open air, so it really made her ears flap!

The staff are very knowledgeable and are happy to answer any questions that you might have whilst you are aboard the trams.

There is also a woodland walk and sculpture trail where you can exercise your pet, however they will have to remain on the lead. There are plenty of picnic places to have some lunch and play areas for the children too.

There are often craft events that are held, and my daughter spent a few happy moments making a very beautiful hat!

For those of you who have a sweet tooth, you can visit Barnett’s sweet shop where you will find old fashioned jars of sweets and confectionary. There is also a lovely tea shop that you can visit, but dogs sadly are not allowed inside. There are however tables and chairs outside, so if the weather is quite pleasant you will be fine.

Crich Tramway museum can be found in Crich, near Matlock.
Postcode for Sat Nav is DE4 5DP
Check their website for details of special events.


Peak Rail with your dog

Dog Friendly steam trains

Dog Friendly steam trains

Travel back in time and experience the thrill of a byegone era whilst travelling on Peak Rails heritage railway line. The line forms part of the old Midland Railway line which ran between Manchester and London St Pancras. It has been re-instated mostly by volunteers and currently runs between Rowsley and Matlock, over a distance of four miles.

There are special events held throughout the year, and it is best to check their website prior to going, just to check availability.

Dogs are welcome to travel on the train, and will appreciate the low windows and the slow pace that the train travels.

There are a number of dogfriendly pubs and dog friendly coffee shops within a short walk of Matlock station.

You will also find that the Limestone Way is easy to get to from Matlock station if you fancy a walk over the hills towards Bonsall.