Dementia-friendly cafés and places of interest around Matlock

Providing support for people in Matlock who have dementia includes the need to take them out and about wherever possible. This can help them to have a degree of independence while also giving them enjoyment and mental stimulation.

Home Instead Leek and Moorlands have therefore put together this selection of five great places to visit in and around Matlock – where you and your older guest can also enjoy a refreshing cuppa! The venues have been carefully chosen because they provide dementia-friendly access and facilities. We hope you enjoy exploring them.

The Grand Pavilion

The Grand Pavilion at The South Parade, Matlock Bath, is on the edge of a Derbyshire World Heritage Site. It plays host to a range of community activities and public events but is worth visiting in its own right as a historical venue, with plenty to see and do. One of its many attractions is the Restoration Café, a lovely, quirky place where you and your guest can enjoy a quiet cuppa while watching the world go by. It serves various snacks, drinks, cakes, and light meals

All proceeds raised through café sales contribute to ongoing maintenance and restoration projects. There’s wheelchair access to the café, although the toilet there is fairly small. The Peak District Lead Mining Museum, also on the site of the Great Pavilion, has disabled access and disabled toilets. However, the mine itself has a ramp and steps, and the floor is uneven and can become wet and slippery.

Cromford Mills

The historic Cromford Mills is advertised as, ‘The birthplace of the modern factory system’. It’s a Grade I listed building, established in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright, and is the world’s first successful water-powered, cotton-spinning mill. In the main yard, is Arkwright’s Café, with snacks, light meals, and delicious scones! There’s both indoor and outdoor seating available.

Cromford Mills is open daily, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and has won an ‘Accessible Derbyshire’ award for its Visitor Centre and Arkwright Experience. Most of the attractions can be accessed by wheelchair, and there are accessible parking spaces outside the main gates. However, the yard is slightly uneven, with some cobbles, which could represent a slight trip hazard. There are two accessible toilets on site. The shops and cafés that have raised thresholds usually have ramps installed. A wheelchair is available (for a deposit) and a motorised scooter (Tramper) can be hired from the Mill Shop.

Cafe in the Park

In Hall Leys Park, in the centre of Matlock, you can find the Café in the Park, where an older guest living with dementia can sit, relax and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. The café is a friendly, family-run venue that provides a wide variety of snacks and meals, many of which are home-made. This includes Afternoon Tea for 2, with a selection of sandwiches, cakes, clotted cream scones, and tea or coffee. And as an added incentive, senior citizens receive a 15% discount during promotional winter periods!

The café was recently renovated, with the addition of a disabled toilet. It has indoor and outdoor seating and is open from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm in the summer and from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the winter. The café is wheelchair accessible and has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor.

The National Stone Centre

The National Stone Centre in Wirksworth is a Heritage Centre run by a small group of volunteers. Located within six former limestone quarries, it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), due to its geological formations. Its facilities include a Visitor Centre with a café (see below), shop and ‘Building Britain’ exhibition – and its galleries explore the history of Wirksworth. There are also outdoor fossil trails around the centre’s ‘free to access’ site.

The gift shop has a range of attractive fossils, crystals, and stone household items, along with many other types of gifts.The centre is fully accessible for wheelchair users and is equipped with hearing loops. It’s open every day (except at Christmas) and admission is free. Dogs are allowed throughout the building.

Blue Lagoon Café

While you’re visiting the National Stone Centre, take the time to pop into the Blue Lagoon Café for some much-needed refreshment. The café’s friendly team serves both hot and cold food, using local ingredients, as well as excellent coffee and speciality teas. And to get those taste buds tingling, it also offers freshly baked, home-made fruit or cheese scones.

The Blue Lagoon Café is so called because some 330 million years ago, there was a bright blue equatorial lagoon covering the site and far beyond, with volcanoes and coral reefs. But don’t worry – you won’t see any sharks there these days! The café is dog-friendly and is open every day – with items from the menu being available until 3:00 pm. There’s plenty of onsite parking, along with disabled parking next to the Heritage Centre. The venue is wheelchair-friendly.

From a taste of history that might spark some memories, to a taste of delicious home-made fare, there’s plenty around Matlock for those with dementia. And Home Instead can help with specialist dementia home care. Our training programme was developed by leading experts in ageing and dementia. This enables us to provide the best possible support for your loved ones.

If you’d like to discover more about home care in Leek and Moorlands, drop us an email or pick up the phone - we’d be happy to help!

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