Last weekend in the midst of a weekend camping in the Derbyshire Dales, we found ourselves taking to the Heights of Abraham. It’s been a little while since we’ve shared one of our adventures, so I thought I’d share what we got up to on our visit.
What are the Heights of Abraham?
The Heights of Abraham are set within 60 acres of country park located on Masson Hill. Accessible via cable car which raises you 169 metres (554ft) up the hill, there is a second assent usually accessible by foot via an extremely steep path. However, due to Covid restrictions in place to limit the number of visitors, this is currently closed.
Once at the top, there are a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy.
The Punch and Judy show
As soon as we arrived, one of the four daily Punch and Judy shows was starting which the kids LOVED! Covid restrictions means that things are a little different to what they were 6 months ago (no singing or shouting allowed) but they managed to work around it well.
There are two adventure playgrounds for little ones to enjoy which are brilliant for all ages.
The Explorer’s Challenge is the first we explored and had something for both little and big kids. There is also a great amount of seating around the area which means that it’s a great place to settle and have a little lunch too which is exactly what we did.
The second play area – The Woodland Adventure – is located on the way down the hill and is suitable for bigger kids. Pack with things to climb and explore, the area is dominated by two massive slides that our kids absolutely loved.
There are two cave tours available as part of our admission price and I have to say that these are a must see as part of your visit.
The Masson Cavern
Running every 30 minutes from the summit, the Masson Cavern tour takes you through a variety of tunnels to a massive main chamber. Taking around 45 minutes, it does include a lot of steps so bear this in mind before starting out. It’s worth every step though.
The Rutland Cavern
The second tour is on the lower slopes of the hill and takes around 30 minutes and takes you back in time to hear about a miner’s way of life straight from their mouth (in a brough Derbyshire accent of course!)
Yeah I know, I sniggered too.
Although not a cave, the Masson Cavern tour emerges at Tinkers Shaft which provides some incredible panoramic views across the Derbyshire Dales. Whether you do the tour or not, you need to head up the hill to just drink in that view. It’s simply stunning.
Now this is a new category for me but it’s worth a mention in our current climate. Masks were mandatory in all indoor spaces at Heights of Abraham and that included in the cable cars and caves. I like that this was actively enforced by the employees rather than just advised by poster.
There was also a massive amount of hand sanitiser points across the area as well as reminders from tour guides to ensure you use them.
I saw a good number of cleaners while we were there, including in the play areas and on a whole other visitors kept their distance and gave each other room. There are always exceptions of course and while we were at the second woodland play area, a massive group arrived and pretty much took over the space without respecting anyone else. We simply took that as our cue to round up the troops and move on to the next part of the attraction.
What we thought
I won’t lie, at £51 for the four of us (2x adult, 1x child and 1x under 5), this is an expensive day out. Though, to be fair it was a full day out and one that kept us all entertained. The cable cars, the caves and those views: just wow! There was definitely something for each of us.
We arrived at around 11am and didn’t leave until around 4:30pm so I would be confident to say that we got our money’s worth. However, I would also say that you would need to be sure to spend the whole day to ensure that it is value for money. That being said, they do offer a half day ticket option for anyone who perhaps wouldn’t want a whole day at the Heights of Abraham.
If you fancy popping along to the Heights of Abraham then you need to be sure to book your tickets in advance. They are currently operating at around 50% capacity (as of August 2020), so pre-booking is essential.