Located just a short drive outside the lovely town of Matlock, Crich Tramway Village is a fabulous place to spend a day, with plenty to keep the whole family happy. It’s home to the National Tramway Museum, with more than 60 vintage trams for visitors to admire in airy exhibition halls.
But there’s so much more to Crich Tramway Village than a museum! You can explore the beautifully-recreated period village, complete with a vintage pub, café and olde-worlde shops. A number of the trams run through the village and can be hailed at historic tram stops, allowing visitors to take unlimited rides for more than a mile into the surrounding countryside, with stunning views of the surrounding Derwent Valley. There’s also a wonderful Woodland Walk and Sculpture Trail to explore, and play areas for children of all ages.
It’s just as well your ticket to Crich Tramway Village allows free return admission for 12 months, because you’ll find there’s far too much to see here in only one day!
The National Tramway Museum
The Great Exhibition Hall at Crich Tramway Village takes you on a fascinating journey through a hundred years of tramway development, from 1860 – 1960, taking in horse trams, steam trams and electric trams. The exhibition features a huge range of restored trams, some of which can be explored inside, along with interpretive panels and audio displays for the whole family to enjoy.
In the Great Exhibition Hall at Crich Tramway Village you’ll also find fascinating archive film shows projected on the windows of two of the trams. Take a look at the story of Blackpool’s trams, which features some of the earliest archive film footage the Museum holds, or see the last days of the tramway systems from the 1950s and how the Museum came to be the home of these vintage vehicles.
On arrival at Crich Tramway Village you can collect your old penny, pay the conductor your tram fare, and receive a ticket for unlimited use all day. Trams depart regularly throughout the village and call at various stops along the mile long track. The views of the surrounding Derbyshire countryside are spectacular!
Regrettably the vintage trams were not designed to take pushchairs or buggies, but these can be left in the Buggy Shelter while you enjoy your tram ride. The trams are great fun for children and they’re dog-friendly too. There is a specially adapted tram for wheelchair-users which operates on request.
Check the Crich Tramway Village website for more details about tram rides.
Take a walk back in time along the beautifully-recreated period village street at Crich Tramway Village.
Many of the buildings have been rescued from towns and cities across the UK, such as the façade of the Derby Assembly Rooms which came to Crich Tramway Village after a tragic fire. The beautiful Red Lion Pub and Restaurant came all the way from Stoke-on-Trent and was re-built brick by brick. You can now dine and enjoy a pint here while looking out across the street scene.
In the Period Village you’ll also find olde-worlde shops, including a fabulous sweet shop and an ice cream parlour!
Keep a look out for the vintage street furniture too, including the Bundy Clock at Town End Terminus, and the Exhibition Hall windows which were rescued from the Doncaster tram depot.
And best of all, throughout the Period Village you’ll never have to wait long for the rumble of a vintage tram!
Woodland Walk and Sculpture Trail
The Woodland Walk and Sculpture Trail is a beautiful countryside trail that winds through native woodland at Crich Tramway Village, offering spectacular views across the Derwent Valley and the Derbyshire countryside. It’s dotted with wonderful sculptures by the resident sculptor; you may see him at work in his outdoor studio. Look out for the Giant Wood Ant and the Green Man.
The Trail is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, and it’s perfect for allowing little people to stretch their legs, plus there’s a picnic area and a children’s playground. It’s the perfect place to escape to for an al fresco lunch, or to while away the hours surrounded by nature.
Eating and Drinking
Formerly a working public house in Stoke-on-Trent, the Red Lion pub has been rebuilt at Crich Tramway Village, brick by brick, and is a popular part of the Period Village. Open daily serving hot and cold food, hot drinks and a fine selection of cask ales, the pub is popular with all visitors, including four-legged friends!
Alternatively, Rita’s Tea Rooms are the perfect place to take a breather and relax, serving hot meals from 12pm – 2.30pm (3.00pm at weekends and in the summer months), as well as sandwiches, a range of pies and mouth-watering cakes. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. On summer days try Rita’s delicious ice-cream sundaes, with 3 scoops of ice-cream, topped with cream and a chocolate flake!
And if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, try Barnett’s Sweet Shop, an Aladdin’s Cave of old-fashioned jars of sweets, tins of confectionery, foil-wrapped bars of fudge and toffee. You’ll also love the Ice Cream Parlour, serving Matlock Meadows local, traditional ice cream and hot drinks from 11:30am.
Check the Crich Tramway Village website for menus and more details about places to eat and drink during your visit.