Things To Do In Bakewell
Bakewell is the biggest town in the Peak District and is perfect for those seeking a quaint market town. Known almost exclusively for it’s namesake pudding, the town has much more to give besides a flaked tart dessert.
One of the defining features of Bakewell is its setting, with many beautiful scenes to be found in the town. Enjoy the banks of the River Wye, and the medieval bridge built across it. You can also admire the towns mellow stone buildings, many of which have pretty courtyards.
Bakewell also has a social buzz, it’s a friendly town and it’s easy to integrate into its community spirit. Having been a market town since 1330, Bakewell has kept all the qualities of a community-led market. It gives local farmers and grocers with a platform to sell their high-quality produce, which visitors can enjoy and soak up the camaraderie shared between stall-owners and shoppers.
Things to Do Near Bakewell
Bakewell’s positioning next to the Derbyshire Dales lends the town beautiful backdrop scenery. This makes the town an ideal starting point for some Peak District hiking.
Thornbridge Brewery – Craft beer has hit new heights in popularity in recent years. Bakewell’s very own independent brewery, Thornbridge, were on the scene long before Brewdog. Emerging from humble beginnings in 2005, Thornbridge soon had to invest in a bigger, 30-barrel brewery in order to meet demand. The brewery made a name for themselves through brewing several hoppy delights including the beers Tzara, Halcyon, and Brother Rabbit.
Visiting Thornbridge Brewery is a must for anyone interested in the modern craft beer scene. The brewery offers a 90-minute tour, where visitors can learn all about the brand’s beginnings, the fermentation process, and even try a few samples along the way.
Bakewell Market – Bakewell prides itself on a varied and extensive market, which takes place every Monday between 09:00 and 16:00. Claiming to be the biggest market in the Derbyshire Dales, Bakewell’s markets have gained a quality reputation.
Every week, over 100 stalls set up to sell fresh food, jewellery, clothes, ornaments, yarn, and everything else you’d expect at a local town market. Also, on the last Sunday of the month, Bakewell welcomes in the second largest farmers market in the UK. It is loaded with a wide variety of local farm foods and produce.
Old House Museum – Bakewell’s well titled Old House Museum is exactly what it says on the tin. The attraction showcases Bakewell’s local history in an old tax collectors house, constructed during the reign of Henry VIII. The exhibits focus on both industrial and agricultural life in Bakewell from Tudor to Victorian times. On display there is a wide range of artefacts including a Victorian Privy and a Tudor toilet. There are dress-ups and games available for younger visitors. The museum has been reviewed by visitors as being informal, with beamed rooms creating a welcoming, homely atmosphere.
The objects on display and the historic setting of this museum is sure to make for an unforgettable and enjoyable learning experience. The house opens its doors every day from March through to November, and tickets are valid for the whole year.
Walks & Hikes
Monsal Trail – the Monsal trail in Bakewell is an exciting 8.5-mile walk. It runs partially through some former railway tunnels, and is the best way to take in Bakewell’s surrounding area. The tunnels opened to the public for the first time in 2011, and have since been popular amongst hikers, bikers, and horse riders. There are four tunnels in total, each being roughly 400 metres in length. This long walk is kept interesting through its variety of terrain. Alongside the Bakewell Mill, this route passes several local landmarks, and features many views of the famed Peak District limestone dales.
Magpie Mine Walk – combine the outdoors with a bit of local mine history with a hike to Magpie Mine. It’s just 5km from Bakewell, so you can either reach it via the Bakewell to Flagg road, or take your car part of the way. This was the last working lead mine in the Peak District and is surrounded by fascinating buildings as well as other mines.
Haddon Hall is a stately medieval manor house, located on the River Wye. One of the best-preserved examples of its kind, this Tudor style manor showcases the development of British architecture throughout the middle ages. Some of the building date back as early as the 12th Century, and feature gargoyles perched on the building’s exterior. Inside, fascinating original murals and a carved-alabaster retablo can be marvelled at. There’s a Tudor-style banqueting hall, set up to look like it did in the 14th Century.
Haddon Hall has been used extensively in film and television, including the 1996 film ‘Jane Eyre’, 1998’s ‘Elizabeth’, and, most notably, the 2005 academy-award winning ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
The house is open to visitors all year, with free guided tours happening throughout the day every Monday. The 17th century stable block has been turned into a restaurant, which offers gourmet food and afternoon tea.
Chatsworth House is an English Baroque-style stately home located in Bakewell, Derbyshire. The 105-acre estate was originally bough by Sir William Cavendish and his wife Bess of Hardwick in 1594. Today it is the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, having been passed down through 12 generations of the Cavendish family.
Through the centuries, Chatsworth has played host to a vast number of the country’s rich and powerful, from noblemen to royalty. Most notably, Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner at Chatsworth regularly between 1569 and 1584.
The building has undergone reconstruction regularly since it was built, having been last modified in the 19th Century under the eye of then-Duke of Devonshire, William Spencer Cavendish. He contributed the newest part of the house, the North Wing.
Visitors can explore over 25 rooms of the history-rich house, which includes restored guest bedrooms, the Victorian theatre, and the sketch gallery. Home also to Devonshire Collections – one of the largest private art collections in Britain. The house boasts paintings and artwork by the likes of Rembrandt, Veronese, and Reynolds, alongside ancient Roman and Egyptian artefacts and sculptures.
The surrounding grounds, too, are worth exploring; complete with an exotic plant-decorated Victorian rock garden, a yew maze, and several bright and decorative floral gardens. For kids, there is a modern wooden adventure playpark. There is also a working farmyard, which offers daily cow milking demonstrations.