Once famed for its hydros and spa treatments, Matlock is now a bustling town surrounded by the spectacular countryside of the Derbyshire Dales. Overlooked by the imposing Smedleys Hydro (now the offices of Derbyshire County Council) and Riber Castle, the town owes much its status to John Smedley who built both these grand edifices, plus several more. The River Derwent and the A6 road both run through the middle of the town, which centres on Crown Square. Matlock boasts an award-winning park - Hall Leys Park, complete with boating lake, riverside paths, tennis courts and skateboard park. It is the first of five beautifully restored public parks stretching along the River Derwent to Matlock Bath. The hillsides around afford some superb viewpoints and superb countryside is literally on the doorstep. With a good range of shops and restaurants plus excellent bus and rail links (on the Derwent Valley train line from Derby) this is an ideal base for exploring the area. Peak Rail runs heritage steam and diesel trains from Matlock station and there is a superb new Leisure Centre on the edge of the town. Don't miss the magical Matlock Bath Illuminations which take place a little further along the river at weekends during September and October.