Bakewell is the only market town actually in the Peak District. It is an attractive and popular place with lovely shops and cafes. Famous for both the Bakewell tart and the Bakewell Pudding, both are available to buy in various bakeries in the town. The town hosts a sizeable Agricultural Show in the first week of August plus has Well Dressing Week with a Carnival parade plus an annual Arts Festival.
Monday is market day in Bakewell with an agricultural market selling livestock at the Agricultural Centre. Bakewell Farmers’ Market is the last Saturday of the month (except December). There are up to 70 stall holders with local produce.
Buxton is most famous for its natural spring water and Georgian architecture. The town was founded by the Romans who called it Aquae Arnemetie. However, it was the fifth Duke of Devonshire who put Buxton on the map with development of the stunning Georgian crescent which is the town’s centrepiece.
Visitors to Buxton can fill their own bottles for free from the permanent flow of Buxton spring water at St Anne’s Well in front of the crescent! There is lots to do and see in Buxton including the 23 acres of The Pavillon Gardens, the Winter Gardens plus the famous Opera House. This is home to the Buxton Festival which has become one of Britain’s largest opera and literary festivals. Additionally, the Opera House offers a huge range of productions throughout the year.
Also worth visiting is the Devonshire Dome which is the largest unsupported dome in the country and now home to the University of Derby’s campus but guided tours are available and it is worth a look.
There are many cafes, restaurants and independent shops plus lots of craft and art galleries
Also, Buxton has a market on Tuesday and Saturday.
At the other end of the Hope Valley it is worth a visit. Hathersage is home to the David Mellor Cutlery Factory with a kitchen shop and cafe. Meanwhile there are at least three climbing and walking equipment shops just in case you need to top up on boots, socks, rainwear or maps. Hathersage also has a lido style outdoor swimming pool (heated) which is absolutely charming.
Robin Hood’s wingman, Little John is reputedly buried in the Anglican Churchyard (Loxley being a meer 10 miles away). The church and vicarage is also associated with Charlotte Bronte who stayed there and started writing Jane Eyre shortly afterwards (Eyre being a significant local
surname in the valley.) North Lees Hall, too, is associated with her.
The village has a number of excellent cafes and restaurants.