Matlock Bath Aquarium

For lots of things to do in Matlock Bath, consider Matlock Bath aquarium as a great place to entertain the children, especially in wet weather.

The former Victorian consulting rooms of the original Victorian Thermal Baths, is now home to the aquarium, which contains a selection of British and tropical freshwater species. There are so many interesting fish to delight the children with, from piranhas to terrapins which come from different regions of the world. There are some beautiful Malawi cichlids, and the aquarium provides something of interest for all the family.

The Petrifying Well is a great source of amazement and interest in old and young alike and almost forgotten now. Even in Matlock Bath, where several wells were once visited by thousands of Victorian trippers, the aquarium is delighted to let visitors come and see the petrifying process taking place as they watch in the working well, as the famous Matlock Bath thermal water is sprayed onto objects and gradually turning them to stone before your very eyes.

When you have finished marvelling at all the different varieties of fish and boggled your eyes at the petrifying well, there is also an amazing Hologram Gallery.

This exhibition is a fusion of photography and reality and it really is a unique and fascinating collection of three-dimensional pictures which are produced by laser technology. You will find yourself wanting to touch the seemingly 3-D images, which seemed to float in space before you, so real, that you won’t believe your eyes!

Surrounded by some of the most dramatic scenery in the Derbyshire Dales, the Matlock Bath aquarium also hosts a gemstone and fossil collection, which is a beautiful worldwide collection of gems and fossils including the infamous local Blue John stone, which is not found anywhere else in the country.

All the attractions which are set in this gorgeous Victorian building, which was formerly the Matlock Bath hydro dating back to 1883, are reminders of its former splendour and can be seen in the fine stone staircase, the drinking fountain and the huge iron girders which span the thermal pool.

The thermal pool is fed by a spring from the hillside which gushes out 600,000 gallons of water a day at a constant temperature of a balmy 20°C. Once upon a time, patients would immerse themselves in the pool or take to the water is to relieve their rheumatic ailments and improve their digestive disorders. Today the health giving properties of the water are enjoyed by the famous collection of huge carp, some which weigh over 30lbs and visitors are welcome to feed the fish with food obtained from the aquarium. The aquarium also offers a fish sales and rescue service, housing wanted specimens until they can be suitably relocated.

There is one ticket price, which includes all the attractions and if you are in organised groups of 20 or more, then a 20% discount is available. It is open daily from Easter to the end of October, 10 AM to 5:30 PM and times are extended during high season and holiday periods.

In winter it is open at the weekends, 10 – 5pm and it is also open during the Christmas holidays.

School visits are welcomed all year round by arrangement and there are special discounts for educational groups.