Right at the heart of the Peak District, this area offers ‘England in miniature’ – beautiful countryside, stately homes, sparkling rivers and a wealth of pretty villages. Centred on the market town of Bakewell, the surrounding scenery is unbelievably varied – with wide green valleys overlooked by towering gritstone edges and spectacular narrow gorge-like valleys with craggy limestone outcrops. Riverside paths by the Derwent, Wye and Lathkill offer gentle walks, whilst stretches of heather moorland such as Stanton Moor give a feeling of being ‘on top of the world’. Picturesque villages, all built of local stone, nestle in the landscape often around a village green or pub, with well dresssings and carnivals taking place in the summer months. Chatsworth, Haddon Hall and a clutch of smaller historic halls show off their grand architecture; whilst little cottages are resplendent with their hanging baskets and pretty gardens.
Bakewell Tourist Information Centre, Old Market Hall, Bridge Street, Bakewell 01629-813227