A Taste of the
Peak District, Derbyshire Buxton information, Monsal Trail, B&B, self catering holiday cottage accommodation, hotels, tourist attractions, walking, climbing, mountain biking, local information, shops and businesses …
Buxton, an Elegant Georgian Spa Town in the High Peak Area of Derbyshire.
The Romans were attracted to the Peak District by the minerals, particularly lead, however at Buxton they also found thermal springs which were extensively developed during the eighteenth century.
Thermal springs became fashionable in the Georgian period and the Duke of Devonshire constructed the impressive buildings that lie at the heart of Buxton. The Crescent is similar to, but smaller than the one at Bath. The money came from the lucrative copper mines at Ecton. The pump room, standing opposite the crescent is a Victorian building and is starting to show it's age. There are many more fine Victorian buildings in the same quarter of the town.
Up the hill, with the Crescent behind you, you will reach the market place (Tuesdays and Saturdays we believe). The 15th century cross was moved to it's current location just after the Second World War.
The Opera House is part of the Pavilion Gardens buildings and hosts a wide variety of famous artists, not just opera! Parking is easy as there is a two storey car park close by. Each year Buxton hosts an annual festival, centred on the Opera House, which the organisers bill as a 'feast of opera, music and literature'. Full details are available from their web site.
The Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is well worth a visit.
Geographically, Buxton is regarded as the source of the River Wye, which flows southwards through a dramatic Gorge known as Cheedale, through Ashford in the Water, Past Haddon Hall and Chatsworth and into the Derwent. To the west of Buxton, the geology is of gritstone, giving rise to the high, bleak moorland of Axe Edge and the Cat and Fiddle, one of the Highest inns in the UK. Into the grit, the Goyt Valley has been cut and is one of the sources of the River Mersey. There is great mountain biking, walking and climbing in the region for those who prefer that to the culture - Buxton a town that has something for everyone!
Buxton lies just outside the National Park and was probably not included because of the extensive quarrying in the area.
Why visit Buxton?
There are a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants for today's visitor - Buxton is a great centre for the tourist. There is quick access to the wild moorlands of the North Peak District whilst if you leave buxton on the A515 you can reach Ashbourne and Dovedale in well under an hour.
3 miles away to the east of Buxton is the northern end of the Monsal Trail, of of several trails set up by the Peak District National Park Authority. The Monsal trail is particularly interesting because you get the opportunity to walk or cycle through several tunnels and some of the most spectacular scenery of the White Peak in Miller's Dale and Chee Dale. There is a cycle hire and refreshments centre conveniently situated at Blackwell Mill ( more information on the Monsal Trail >>)
A little to the west of Buxton lies the Goyt Valley which offers great scenery for sight seeing and a variety of short and long walks. Parking for the Goyt valley can be found alongside Fernilee Reservoir. There are some great mountain bike circuits to be explored, although in general, you need to be an experienced and confident rider. The descent into Burbage from Derbyshire Bridge is one of those 'not to be missed' sections which is easily incorporated into a loop which just dips into Buxton. Alternatively, why not sample the Three Shires Head area from the nearby Cat and Fiddle. There are some challenging sections around there too.
For walkers, just get yourself a map and off you go. There is masses of choice for all levels. See if you can find the Spanish Shrine ... and then find out for yourself why it is there.
Buxton is a good base for climbing, particularly limestone. In Chee Dale, you will find both trad and sport routes, Staden Quarry offers a number of superb E grade routes (including the legendary 'Bicycle Repair Man' which goes at E1 and which will undoubtedly be lost when the new bottling plant is built since the developers have included a pointless little visitor centre as the usual sweetener to get the planners on side who seem to be always swayed by such drivel). At nearby Harpur Hill, there are a number of bolted routes but some are quite chossy - be warned, rockfall has killed people here. But if you are a genuine climber, you will know that there are always risks.
Please remember, we are not telling you to go and do or see these things, you make your own choices so if it all goes pear shaped, sorry but we can't accept responsibility.
BEST WESTERN Lee Wood Hotel, Hotel Buxton - North West of the Peak District
Barceló Buxton Palace Hotel, Hotel, B&B, Buxton - NW of the Peak District
Built in 1868, this magnificent building is full of heritage combined with contemporary comforts - a landmark in the heart of the Peak District. It's magnificent exterior ... More
information or visit Barceló Buxton Palace Hotel web
Victoria Lodge, Self-Catering, Buxton - NW of the Peak District sleeps 4 to 16
Jericho Farm - Poppies Court, Self-Catering, Earl Sterndale, Buxton - NW of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4
These quality and characterful barn conversions are set in striking "White Peak" scenery and each enjoys one of the most breathtaking views in the Peak Park, across to the jagged and dramatic ... More
information or visit Jericho Farm - Poppies Court web
Total number of accommodation listings: 4
To the east and west of Millers Dale station you can spot
limekilns, used to produce quicklime for a variety of uses. Litton Mill
from Millers Dale station and is notorious for the uncompromising treatment
of orphans by Ellis Needham, some as young as 9 years old, from London
and other major cities. These provided a source of cheap labour with no-one
to show any concern. The graves of many of these child labourers are found
in nearby churchyards. Despite its dark past, the mill is an interesting
building which is now converted into luxury apartments. A path leads steeply
down from the trail to the river and the Litton Mill pond.
Further downstream still lies Cressbrook Mill, which was opened in 1783 by William Newton. Previously the site had been a herb distillery. Richard Arkwright supplemented his Cromford Mills through the use of Cressbrook. As happened to several of the Mills, the original one burnt down. The subsequent mill was in use until the mid 1960s. The imposing building seen on the site today was built in the early 19th century to house the workforce - what a great view they woke up to! Today, as with Litton Mill, the building has been converted into luxury apartments. More information can be found at the point the footpath to Cressbrook Mill joins the Monsal trail. The Monsal Trail runs the whole length of Miller's Dale and can be easily accessed from Buxton via the Blackwell Mill end.