We love to welcome all visitors to the Heights, but due to the nature of the site not all areas are accessible. Please read the information below before planning your visit.
SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS AND THOSE WITH REDUCED MOBILITY
By it's very nature, the Heights of Abraham is a steep, high hillside estate first opened to the public in 1787 when little thought was given to wheelchair users and accessibility.
Although our cable cars can accommodate one wheelchair per car, many of the paths that run up, down and around the Estate are very steep. In our experience many carers can struggle to push wheelchairs around the site and electric scooters may not be powerful enough on the slopes. Those with reduced mobility may also find it challenging to scale the steep slopes.
Whilst we have ramps into our exhibitions and other buildings, there is very little we can do about the gradients on our paths and in the caverns. The caverns are very narrow and in the case of the Great Masson Cavern, contain over 100 steps.
The incline up to the ticket office is also fairly steep, and gives a realistic indication of what it is like to push a wheelchair around, or walk up and down, the 60 acre estate once you arrive at the top.
Here is additional information for wheelchair users, which we urge you to read ahead of planning your trip.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT ACCESSIBILITY
We make every effort to ensure that as many areas as possible are accessible to all visitors, but please be aware that due to the natural gradient of the site and natural formation of the caverns, certain areas of the estate are inaccessible to wheelchairs and people with mobility issues or of limited vision.
Please be aware there is a natural steep sloped access to the cable car base station, handrails are provided.
Our cable cars were upgraded in 2004 making them larger and more accessible, enabling them to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility scooters. As the size of wheelchairs and mobility scooters vary, the following measurements are for our 'safe area' that should allow a wheelchair or mobility scooter to fit comfortably into the a cable car.
Safe area: Length 114cm x Width 70cm.
Our safe area does not include an additional passenger/carer. If you require anymore information please give us a call 01629 582365. Please ask our cable car stewards for assistance on the day of your visit if needed.
At the Summit, the exhibitions are accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who cannot use stairs. We also have a virtual tour of the Great Masson Cavern in our Masson Pavilion. Please speak to a tour guide of the cavern who will show you to our accessible ramp entrance.
Hearing & Other Aids
If you are hearing or visually impaired we do, where possible, provide print or Braille resources and for the hard of hearing there are Loop Systems in key areas. We also provide a large print copy of our leaflet upon request.
Dogs are welcome on the cable cars, outdoor cafe terrace and throughout the landscaped grounds, as long as they are kept on a lead. Water bowls provided. Unfortunately. for safety reasons dogs are not allowed in the indoor food catering areas and underground caverns. For more information about where you can take your dog at the Heights, please click here.
Guide dogs and assistance dogs are allowed into the exhibition buildings as long as they are kept on their leads.
All car parking is provided by the Derbyshire Dales District Council. The nearest is the railway station car park in Matlock Bath which is approximately 400m from the Cable Car Base Station. There are disabled parking bays adjacent to the railway crossing and a level walk adjacent to the railway.
At the Summit
Once at the summit there is limited access, due to the very steep natural terrain at the Heights; however, there is access to The Long View exhibition, Fossil Factory exhibition, the Window on the Peak exhibition and Through the Lens film show of the Great Masson Cavern and How the Cables Cars were built (please ask a tour guide for assistance), Vista Bar & restaurant, The Terrace Cafe and Gift Shops.
There is also access to the top of the amphitheatre which provides spectacular views across the valley.
The following are also available at the Summit:
The natural formation of the caverns is such that they are unfortunately not suitable for people with walking difficulties, wheelchairs or the visually impaired; however, there is access to watch the introductory film, which is shown prior to the tour of the Great Masson Cavern and does include a hearing loop.
Due to the nature of the terrain, pathways down to the Great Rutland Cavern are very steep and are not suitable for wheelchairs or people with walking difficulties.
If you do not suffer from mobility problems but have hearing disabilities please advise your guide who will supply a written safety briefing and script of the tours.
Scripts of the Cavern Tours are available in large and regular print.
Although the West Lodge pedestrian entrance is situated at the bottom of the estate, it is still at the top of a very steep hill and is therefore not suitable for people with impaired mobility.
Unfortunately in the interest of health and safety we cannot permit visitors to bring vehicles onto the estate. The small roads on the estate are difficult to navigate and are unsuitable for normal cars.
Please note we are an equal opportunities employer and any future product development will always take into consideration the needs of the disabled.
Please see our 2020 Accessibility Statement below.