Matlock Bath Illuminations

A night in Matlock Bath at the annual Victorian illuminations

This evening we travelled to Matlock Bath to see the illuminations. It's somewhere we've been before several times, but we've never been to the illuminations together. In fact, the last time I saw them was in 2005! I remember enjoying it back then and wanted to take Anneka so she could enjoy it too. There are two parts to the illuminations - the standard shapes lit up along the paths, as well as a boat procession around a closed off section of the river Derwent. On certain nights during the event, there is also a firework display, but we weren't on one of those nights this time.

The illuminations have been going since 1897, when they were first held to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The illuminations have been held almost every year, except for 1901, 1902 and the whole of World War Two. In 1998, severe flooding on the river caused a 14ft model - which had taken its creator Paul Henshall 100 hours to build - to be ripped from its mooring and sink. The theme of the creation? The Titanic...

This is going to be a fairly lengthy post as I actually remembered to take my camera with me. I'm just going to post the photos in the order I took them, with very little text. The boats go around in an oval a few times so there might be photos which seem out of order. It's just the second or third time the boat had been past!

This is my beautiful partner Anneka. I can almost hear her shouting "Put that bloody camera away!"

More illuminations...

This is an animated GIF I made using five still photos of the fish illuminations:

At another point along the path, there was an illuminated animation of some flying swans. Once again, I've created an animated GIF from the still photos:

Back to non-animated illuminations...

On the way back to the car, I decided to take a photo of a coffee shop and ice-cream parlour which bears Anneka's family name. Sadly, they're not relations. They also don't give a discount if you have the same surname - we did ask!

We really enjoyed our evening here. Matlock Bath is an unusual little place - because of the promenade (which is actually one small section of the A6 with two names - one called South Parade and one called North Parade!); all the little chip shops, amusement arcades, amusement park (Gulliver's Kingdom), caf├ęs and ice-cream parlours; along with the fact that it's a real tourist trap; makes it feel almost like being at the seaside! We definitely recommend a visit during the illuminations - but get there early if you want to park anywhere remotely close by and stand any chance of getting tickets!

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