Bakewell is a picturesque historical market town in the heart of the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire famed for its Bakewell Puddings and Bakewell Tarts. There are several shops claiming to hold the 'original recipe' although I'd recommend The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop on the main road because of the quality of goods, friendly staff, 'traditional authenticity' of the place and the wonderful smell of baking that comes from it. So be sure to try at least one Bakewell pudding whilst you're here.
It is an immensely popular destination for weekend visits because of its beautiful Peak District location, and its "typical country town" feel.
Compact town, completely walkable (church and museum up a hill).
A typical Peak District stone town, with the usual Church, Museum, Shops, River, Old Bridge.
- 1 Haddon Hall (On the way, to Matlock, barely 5 minutes from Bakewell by car, well under an hour by (mostly) riverside path). A lovely medieval hall, expanded piecemeal over the centuries to give very organic and lived-in feel.
- 2 Chatsworth House (A few miles from the town). Massive and spectacular late-17th-century stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire (inspiration for Pemberley, apparently), open to public, pay for parking but with free access to surrounding area (flat riverside ambles, wooded hillside trails, famous fountain. Restaurants, at old stables, cafe at car park in grounds.
- Near Chatsworth in Pilsley is Chatsworth Farm Shop: plays heavily on noble connection: "Duke's cure bacon", "Duchy of Cornwall Biscuits" etc., etc. (Mrs Bucket would shop here) but also popular because of huge range of good fresh fruit, veg and meat, and some exotic stuff not so easy to obtain elsewhere (venison, boar, etc.). Includes a tea shop.
- Monsal Dale. A deep picturesque dale complete with the Monsal trail, a disused railway line providing easy walking, cycling and horse riding. Enjoy going through the old tunnel and exiting on the 70ft high viaduct over the River Wye.
Museum, riverside walks, a weekly market on Monday and the agricultural market on various other days. Bakewell is a great base for a Peak District walking weekend, with lovely walks all round (easy riverside, meandering field paths, gentle hill walking, or strenuous crag hopping). Bus to Rowsley for trip on "Peak Rail" steam train to Matlock
Usual "country" things: good outdoor shops, discount books, fresh food. Excellent shop specialising in Scotch Whisky. Take home an original "Bakewell pudding" or "Derbyshire oatcakes".
Excellent tea shops abound, several claiming to serve the genuine (or original etc.) Bakewell pudding.
Lots of pubs, some feel traditional, some a little more "mass market". Nearly all serve real ale. Plenty of choice, all central pubs and hotels do food.
Cafés & Coffee Shops
- 1 The Bakewell Pudding Parlour, Wye House, Water Street, ☎ .
- 2 The Bakewell Tart Shop & Coffee House, Matlock Street, ☎ .
- 3 The Honey Bun Café, 1 Water Street, ☎ .
- 4 The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, The Square, ☎ .
- 5 Upstairs Café, 3 Market Street, ☎ .
- 6 Byways, Water Lane (through an undistinguished door and up a flight of stairs), ☎ . has creaky wooden floors, wonky ceilings, and a very traditional tea shop feel.
Diners, fast food etc.
- 7 Wye Plaice, Granby Road, ☎ . Fish and Chip Shop
- 8 Piedaniels Restaurant, Bath Street, ☎ . French
- 9 Rajas, Bridge House, Bridge Street, ☎ . Indian Restaurant
- 1 The Manners Hotel, Haddon Road, ☎ . Serves food during the day.
- 2 The Queen's Arms, Bridge Street, ☎ . Serves food during the day.
- 3 The Red Lion, The Square, ☎ . Serves food during the day.
- 4 The Wheatsheaf, Bridge Street, ☎ . Serves food during the day.
Many B&Bs in town, or in surrounding farms. Many pubs do accommodation.
- 1 The Rutland Arms Hotel, The Square, ☎ . Serves food
- 2 The Peacock Hotel, Market Street, ☎ . Serves food during the day.
- 3 Castle Inn, Castle Street, ☎ . Serves food all day.
- 4 Bolehill Farm Cottages (Peak District Cottages), Monyash Road Bakewell (2 Miles From Bakewell), ☎ . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Our eight Peak District self-catering cottages are converted farm buildings set in courtyard surrounded by spectacular rural landscape yet only 2 miles for the Peak District Market town of Bakewell from £180.
Bakewell is the local centre, so has very good connections with local towns and villages (lots of small buses). It is situated in superbly beautiful limestone ("White Peak") scenery: green fields, stone walls, sheep, rounded hills topped by horizontal lines of limestone crags. Some of the best walking country in England, makes local places easily accessible on an afternoon stroll.
- Many, many nearby villages nearly all worth a trip by bus or car or on foot, and most have a pub or tea shop. Examples include Over Haddon, Monyash, Ashford in the Water and Youlgr(e)ave with two names.
- Matlock is 15 minutes by car, and there are also buses, and a steam train from Rowsley. Another Peak District town, a little less cute than Bakewell (preferred by some because of that), with usual shops and pubs and a pleasant riverside town park with a little lake (try lawn bowls – "Crown Green Bowling").
- Matlock Bath is just beyond Matlock. Strange "seaside" feel, almost as far inland as you can get in England, cable cars to hilltop caves and popular meeting place for motorcyclists at the weekend, worth visiting to see hundreds of bikes lined up along the main street.
- Cromford is a mile beyond Matlock Bath. A tiny town in a green setting, yet its main draw is "Arkwright's Mill" from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the first large factory (water-powered cotton spinning mill) in the modern world. Also the Cromford Canal is a lovely waterway in a very rural setting – but not yet reconnected to the English canal network, so few boats.