When I discovered that a real Bakewell Tart didn’t look like this, not only did the bottom fall out of my world but the cherry dropped off as well! However, the scales were rebalanced again from our little trip to Bakewell in Derbyshire when it became obvious that this cute historic town WAS the cherry on the top!
Fast forward several years later and Bakewell has become a regular stop-off for us on our trips to the Peak District. Sometimes to grab a tart and move on with our journey, sometimes to stop and wander a while. We love it and we think you will too!
So, check out our ‘Bakewell Things To Do’ list and enjoy your vist!
Best Things To Do In Bakewell, Derbyshire…
1. Taste The Bakewell Tart
Perhaps one of the most serendipitous mistakes ever to grace culinary history? The Bakewell Tart should, in fact, have had the jam on the top if the recipe had been executed the way it was requested. But, over at The Rutland Arms the cook misunderstood her orders and placed the jam on the bottom.
Mr Kipling may have brought his little iced pudding to the masses but you HAVE to try the real deal from Bakewell, England.
Pick one up from the Bakewell Pudding Parlour on Water Street and if you’re struggling to decide between a tart or a pudding, just get both! (The tart is made with shortcrust pastry and the pudding is made with puff pastry – the pudding is traditionally served warm)
2. Peruse The Shops And The Bakewell Market
One of the best things to do in Bakewell town is take advantage of the array of independant shops and boutiques. More book shops, gift shops and art galleries than your average Derbyshire town and top quality too. Here are some of our favourites…
- The Rutland Arms Antique Centre for unique finds in an old stable block built by the Duke of Rutland.
- Peggyann Sweet Emporium – the best kind of old fashioned sweet shops.
- Cheese And Wine Emporium – does what it says on the tin, but with loads of free tasters!
- Critchlows Farm Shop – outstanding pork pies and other meaty morsels.
- Hebden Court – a courtyard of curiosities and quaintness. Plus The Lavender Tea Rooms.
Bakewell Market day Monday and sells local produce alongside antiques and usual market gubbins.
There is also an excellent Farmers Market in Bakewell on the last Saturday of every month from 8.30 – 1.30 pm held at the Agricultural Business Centre and is a great place to pick up some Derbyshire delights!
When visiting Bakewell, parking can be trickier on market days so either get there early or pick one of the car parks on the edge of town (they are well signposted)
3. Wander Along The River Wye
The banks of the Wye in Bakewell are a pleasant place to take a stroll and glimpse a bit of its Medieval history.
The Bakewell Bridge is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to the 14th century. The 5 Gothic arches and triangular quoins make it quite unique!
Further along the river there is also a lovelock bridge where sweethearts declare their affections whilst their shed doors sit unsecured.
4. Sample An Ale At A Bakewell Pub
The most famous pub in Bakewell has to be The Rutland Arms which was the setting for a couple of love scenes in Pride and Prejudice. If it was enough inspiration for Jane Austen then surely that’s good enough reason to have a swift half?
Another favourite of ours is The Red Lion, especially for Sunday Dinner.
But honestly, you’ll find great hospitality at all the pubs in Bakewell – this is a friendly kinda town.
Incidentally, if you LOVE beer, you might be interested in a tour at the Thornbridge Brewery on the outskirts of town. A ten-minute walk from the centre and you can sample as much as you like at this award-winning craft brewery.
5. Sit A While In The Bath Gardens
Peace and tranquility right in the heart of the Peak’s most visited market town.
The famous Chalybeate waters which propelled nearby Matlock and Buxton to spa fame also spring forth in the town of Bakewell. But there are no Speedo-clad patrons here, just the Robin’s and Wren’s vying for a bath in their very own Bakewell spa fountain!
It’s a beautiful spot and no matter what time of year we’ve visited, we’ve always been able to find a quiet bench in the shade of a tree – a real hidden gem right in the middle of town!
6. Learn The History Of Bakewell At The Old House Museum
Wattle and daube and Tudor beams take you back far enough at this 16th century Yeoman’s house, but the museum itself is a delight too. Give yourself half an hour to peruse a bit of Bakewell history and you’ll leave feeling closer to your new friend in The Peaks.
More Things To Do Near Bakewell In The Peak District
If you’re spending a few days in Derbyshire, Bakewell makes for a pretty good base as you’re close to some really great days out in the Peaks. We have a really good Bakewell hotel we can recommend too (see below). But here are a few ideas of places to visit near Bakewell town.
- Chatsworth House – the finest stately home in England, known as the ‘Palace of the Peak’. Wander the famous gardens and home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and see where Mary Queen of Scotts was imprisoned for a short while.
- Cycle or walk the Monsal Trail, a disused railway line. One of the most scenic walks in the Peak District, and car-free. And, It’s an absolute MUST that you sip a beverage at our favourite pub in Derbyshire – The Packhorse Inn at Little Longstone, a short walk from Monsal Head.
- Haddon Hall. Only 10 minutes from Bakewell by car, this impressive 900 year old home has been in the same family since it was built! There are amazing views of the Peaks from the gardens and the hall is one of the best surviving example of medieval architecture.
- Go wild swimming in Youlgreave. (We wrote about it here)
- Pick one of our favourite Peak District walks from this list here – you’re surrounded by some of the most scenic countryside in England!
WHERE TO STAY IN BAKEWELL
One of the best hotels in Bakewell is The H Boutique Hotel. It’s stylish, sparklingly clean and the cooked breakfast is a winner! The rooms are large and they even have family rooms. It’s right in the centre of town and there’s a lovely terrace to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening. For the best deals click here.
Alternatively, we’ve also found a cottage in Bakewell with a hot tub – and a view from the hot tub too! We’ve never stayed there but I’ve read the reviews and we’ve earmarked it for the next time we visit Bakewell. See the All Saints View Cottage here.
*NB. We use affiliate links in our posts which means that we get a little bit of comission if you book through our links. This comes at no extra cost to you but it helps to fund the running costs of our website. So, thank you!
If you’re visiting the Peak District for a few days, check out our other blog posts about the area…
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