Matlock Bath - The Lovers' Walk
w/e 08 October 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Matlock Bath

It's five years since we last featured Matlock when the Olympic torch passed through in 2012 and it's an even longer ten years since our Sentimental Journey to Matlock Bath so a return visit was long overdue. There may have been some subtle changes over the intervening years but to the casual observer, North Parade looks very much the same.

Flower Display

Our objective this time though was the other side of the river so we walked past the still colourful flower displays to the Jubilee Bridge.
Jubilee Bridge

The Jubilee Bridge opened to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887 was cleaned, repainted in its original colours and reopened in 2014 and links directly to paths on the other side of the River Derwent that are called The Lovers' Walks.
Thermal Baths

Anyone with a camera who crosses the bridge will surely have a similar photo to this classic view of Matlock Bath showing the Victorian Thermal Baths towards the right of the picture on North Parade.
Autumn Colours

They may not however how this view also taken from the bridge of the River Derwent in the opposite direction but at this time of year it is just as attractive as the trees at the side of the river beginning to don their autumn colours.
Craft Market

Turning left after crossing the bridge we walked a short distance to the end of the riverside path before retracing our steps. The path does continue further but at the moment a temporary barricade bars the way and I remember a little while ago The Lover's Walk was closed altogether because of the danger of falling rocks. On the way back to the Jubilee Bridge we noticed the Old Methodist Chapel which now houses the Matlock Bath Indoor Craft Market.

We had already walked past the bandstand but as we returned to the bridge (visible on the right through the trees) we noticed an engraved stone that said it had been opened on June 29th 1893 by Mrs C A Peters. Mrs Peters was the wife of Charles Augustus Peters, local businessman, patron of many philanthropic societies and responsible for the Pavilion and Gardens Scheme in Matlock Bath.

We continued beyond the bridge and walked to the south by the side of the river. The Lovers' Walks not only follow the river but also rise up the cliffs by means of several flights of steps. This is one of them.
Viewing Area

Eventually another bridge comes into view and moored on the other bank are a number of small boats that are used in an illuminated parade when darkness falls at this time each year when the Lovers' Walk becomes a viewing area.
River Derwent

The bridge that crosses the River Derwent from The Lovers' Walk into the Derwent Gardens was built in 1969 and from it is a good view of the area of Derbyshire that is often called "Little Switzerland". I wonder what the Swiss would think of we referred to their homeland as "Big Matlock Bath".
Derwent Gardens

To conclude our walk we now returned northwards on the opposite side of the river through the Derwent Gardens and back to the main road through Matlock Bath. Hopefully it won't be another ten years before we return. There's much more about The Lovers' Walks, Derwent Gardens and the Matlock Bath Illuminations on the Derbyshire Dales District Council's website where there are many photos and videos like the one below.

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