Image: Derbyshire village of Bakewell, one of the gateways to the Peak District.Bakewell is the largest town in the Peak District and is often referred to as as the 'Capital of the Peak District'. It is a market town of Saxon origin and still hosts a regular agricultural market on the purpose built market ground. The architecture of the market building resembles a marquee and looks unusual but not intrusive in this town of traditional stone buildings. The name of Bakewell is believed to originate from 'Badeca’s well'.

Bakewell grew up around 3 fords over the river Wye, a short distance south of Ashford-in-the-Water. These fords were eventually superseded by bridges. Holme bridge to the north of the town was originally a pack horse bridge and it dates from the 17th century. The main bridge in the centre of the town dates back to the 13th century and may have been built wide enough for carts to cross. Both bridges have pedestrian refuges, built atop the 'cutwaters' (ship-shaped bases to the supporting arches designed specifically to allow easy passage of the river water, especially in times of winter floods). There are paths along either side of the river Wye from the main bridge and a favourite pastime of visitors is to feed the many ducks that congregate there.

For walkers, Bakewell offers a good base to access the rest of the Peak DIstrict National Park, but there are some decent short walks near Bakewell that are worth an hour or two of your time.

Bakewell Church was largely rebuilt during Victorian times but if you look closely there are remnants of earlier versions. For example, the western front is in partially Norman as is the west end of the nave. The eastern part of the church and also the south transept date from the 13th century. The chancel stalls with their misericords and also the font date from the early part of the 14th century. There is a collection of Saxon carvings which date from the ninth century - it is possible that Bakewell had a school for Saxon carvers. The Saxon crosses in the churchyard were originally placed elsewhere in the parish and were probably used as preaching crosses.

Image: Eating a Bakewell pudding in one of the cafes in Bakewell Town, Derbyshire.Probably the reason that Bakewell is a household name in the UK is the pudding (often incorrectly called a tart) that is named after the town in which it was invented. The pudding was apparently invented by accident at the Rutland Arms Hotel. There are various stories concerning the origin of the pudding, one suggests that the cook misunderstood some instructions and ended up pouring an egg mixture on top of the jam of a jam tart. The visitors complimented the landlady on her unique pudding - so the cook’s job was safe and the Bakewell Pudding was invented. The main Bakewell pudding shop is a charming ‘olde worlde’ building, even if you do not purchase a pudding, it is worth seeking out for its architecture. Other shops also claim to have the original recipe, naturally it is a secret wherever you go! For a recipe for the tart as opposed to the pudding, here is the recipe from the BBC.

The Rutland Arms Hotel is also associated with the writer, Jane Austen. She is reputed to have stayed there whilst writing her novel Pride and Prejudice.

Bakewell is quite often a bustling place, especially on market days when travelling the roads hereabouts can be difficult owing to traffic volume, don't expect to get anywhere in a hurry! There are a wide variety of shops, including outdoor clothing shops, supermarkets, two filling stations and a great deli (on the corner by the roundabout). There is also a tourist information centre (like the pudding shop, worth checking out for the architecture), library and small swimming pool plus a good choice of places to eat such as pubs and cafes. The Bakewell car boot sale is worth going to, both as a seller and a buyer.

Bakewell is an important cross-roads of the A6 - which carries on northwards to Buxton, Manchester and the Lake District - and the A619 to Baslow, giving access to the North Eastern Peak District, Sheffield and Chesterfield. The railway station is out of the centre of town and is now a business unit. The line closed down in 1968 and was re-opened as the Monsal Trail about 12 years later. The Monsal Trail follows the track bed of the former Midland Railway Line and now carries foot traffic and cyclists. It was not a particularly satisfying one to follow on a bike as it was discontinuous owing to the number of unsafe tunnels, which were closed to to the public. However, after massive investment, the tunnels were made safe in 2011 and the Monsal trail now offers almost 9 miles of traffic free cycling from Bakewell to Blackwell Halt.

A short drive to the south of Bakewell lies Haddon Hall, and Chatsworth Park and House is not far away, making Bakewell a good centre for sightseeing.

Accommodation in or close to Bakewell

Thumbnail:  Luxury 4 star holiday home in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Castle Hill Cottage, Self-Catering, Bakewell - SE of the Peak District sleeps 3,4,5,6

This charming adjoining 18th-century self-catering Derbyshire 4 star holiday cottage, set in its own mature gardens, offers unashamed luxury in Bakewell ... More information or visit Castle Hill Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Corner Cottage, Self catering cottage holiday accommodation in the Peak District of Derbyshire - Bakewell.

Corner Cottage, Self-Catering, Bakewell - SE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4

With views over the church and surrounding countryside, this pretty cottage lies just a short stroll from the centre of Bakewell with its specialist array of shops, pubs and restaurants ... More information or visit Corner Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Dragonfly, Bakewell, Derbyshire holiday accommodation to rent.

Dragonfly Cottage, Self-Catering, Bakewell - SE of the Peak District Sleeps 2,3,4,5,6

This beautiful, newly renovated, 300-year-old, detached, stone cottage is located just 350 yards from the heart of Bakewell, yet stands on the top of Fly Hill with its breathtaking views over the River Wye ... More information or visit Dragonfly Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Cokaynes at Harthill Hall, Bakewell, large self-catering holiday cottages to rent.

Cokaynes, Harthill Hall, Self-Catering, Bakewell - SE of the Peak District sleeps 5,6,7,8,9,10

Set in a dramatic and varied Peak District National Park setting close to Bakewell ... More information or visit Cokaynes, Harthill Hall web site..

Thumbnail: Bagshaw Hall B&B in Bakewell.

Bagshaw Hall & Sleep Lodge, B&B, Self-Catering Apartment, Bakewell - SE of the Peak District 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14, 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30

The best features of boutique hotels and holiday apartments in the historic building of Bagshaw Hall, Bakewell ... More information or visit Bagshaw Hall & Sleep Lodge web site..

Total number of accommodation listings: 5

Businesses in Bakewell

Plumbers in Bakewell - click here
Other Bakewell trades to follow in due course.

Restaurants, Bars and Pubs in or near to Bakewell

Eating out, Bakewell area - click here


Peak District Derbyshire - Bakewell

A Derbyshire town on the River Wye close to the Chatsworth estate.

A short way to the south is the interesting and often visited Haddon Hall. In Bakewell you can find outdoor shops, food shops, filling stations, restaurants and pubs. Accommodation centre for the Derbyshire Peak District.

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