As new arrivals in Derbyshire, husband Phil and I were keen right from the start to explore the area on foot. And, lovely though the area around Matlock is, we sometimes want to travel further than our feet can take us. The plethora of local buses have been a boon in this respect, taking us to Ashbourne, Buxton, Bakewell, Chatsworth and Wirksworth, amongst other attractive destinations. With the £2 cap on bus fares in England now extended to the end of 2024, there’s never been a better time to use local public transport, whether for leisure, work or socialising. You won’t be generating any additional carbon emissions or traffic congestion, you can relax and enjoy the view, and you can use buses as part of a linear walk, avoiding the need to retrace your steps or find a circular route. Particular delights are the leisurely #172 between Matlock and Bakewell, serving several smaller villages (Youlgrave, Elton, Winster, Birchover), and the bijou #160 between Matlock and Chatsworth. Some buses also stop at the recently-reopened Bus Interchange outside Matlock station, making connections with the rail network so much easier.
Given that there are several different bus companies operating in the area, how do you access information on routes and timetables? There are various options, including:
• timetables displayed at (some) local bus stops,
• sites such as www.derbysbus.info and www.traveline. info,
• the user-friendly (but unofficial) Public Transport Hub maps available for Matlock (and several other local towns) from enjoyingtheviews@ outlook.com