The administrative centre for both Derbyshire Dales and Derbyshire County Council, Matlock has something for everyone; regular markets, bus station, mainline railway station as well as a private railway offering pleasure rides in a steam train, shops galore, restaurants, takeaways and accommodation. The Derwent flows through a large park in the town centre and Matlock’s houses, and more shops, spread along the river to Matlock Green and up the hillsides. One lofty hill is topped with a gaunt ruined castle, built by a hydropathic pioneer who really put Matlock on the map. His massive former hydro, now County Hall, takes prime position over other prominent hydros just below the skyline on Matlock Bank. Matlock lays on special events throughout the year, not least the Victorian Christmas Market and a Boxing Day raft race.