Bakewell is an exceptionally beautiful market town at the heart of the Peak District. Sat prettily along the banks of the River Wye, Bakewell evokes an Olde-English charm that keeps visitors returning year on year. Bewitching narrow streets, secret courtyards and a sweet blend of independent shops that proffer lovely bespoke gifts and keepsakes which characterise the town. It’s a great location for foodies too as there is an endless array of eateries and stores from which to pick up local delicacies. The town’s name has famous associations with baked goods such as the delicious, iconic Bakewell Tart or Pudding. Bakewell is also known for its connections to the author Jane Austen, who used the environs of the town to inspire the fictional Lambton that features prominently in Pride and Prejudice.
Read on to learn about what to do in Bakewell during your stay and and also things to do in the surrounding Peak District National Park. There’s so much to see and do here.
Why not stay at one of our lovely holiday cottages in Bakewell? We have cottages all over town and the wider area for couples, families and larger groups.
The famous Bakewell Pudding was invented by accident at the Rutland Arms, and ever since the original recipe has been a closely guarded secret up there with the Colonel Sanders mysterious blend of herbs and spices (KFC). Legend has it that a staff cook poured egg mixture over the jam instead of stirring it into the pastry one evening whilst preparing desserts for his/her diners. The result was a pudding variation on the well-known tart.
Ownership of the recipe is a sticking point for local historians – it is thought that the original recipe for the Bakewell Pudding was left by a Mrs Graves in her will to a Mr Radford. In turn, Radford shared the recipe with Mr Bloomer, a Bakewell baker. You can find a Bloomers in Bakewell to this day that makes and sells original recipe Bakewell Puddings – a culinary treat for all of you with a sweet tooth.
The Rutland Arms is one of the most historic pubs in Bakewell, and also has a literary connection to Jane Austen, who is said to have stayed here whilst writing her famous novel, Pride and Prejudice.
Stay at: Rutland Loft – Sleeps 4 guests
Just under 3 miles from the centre of Bakewell is Haddon Hall. This fortified manor house is one of the only surviving examples of a country house that dates back to the Middle Ages. Built in the 11th century with Tudor additions in the 13th century to bolster its prospects, this country house is a favourite for anybody with an interest in architecture, landscaped gardens and British history.
Reputed to be the best of its kind in the UK, Haddon Hall is home to an interesting collection of furniture, tapestries, and fittings. The Elizabethan-era walled garden makes it one of the most significant historical house destinations in the country. There is a full range of visitor facilities on-site too that include a restaurant and a gift shop where you can buy plants and more. Eagle-eyed film fans will recognise it from just about every adaptation of Jane Eyre including the most recent version (2011), starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender.
Stay at: Sugar Cottage - Sleeps 4 guests.
Chatsworth House and Estate is one of the best-loved visitor attractions in the Peak District National Park, and one of the top things to do in Bakewell. Found on the banks of the lush River Derwent, the estate is the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Brimming with history, the house has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family since the 1500s.
With over 30 rooms showcasing collections of art, ancient artefacts and sculptures spanning 4000 years. Enjoy over 105 acres of formal gardens and wild meadows. Admire breathtaking scenery including the rampant parkland and verdant woodland; lose yourself in the Victorian rock garden and the seriously intriguing maze. For tots, you can all meet some cool animals at the farmyard. There are also places to eat and a lovely gift shop on the estate too.
Stay at: Baslow Cottage - Sleeps 5 guests.
Cycle or walk the spectacular 8.5-mile-long Monsal Trail, one of the best walks on offer in and around Bakewell. It’s a great way to get an authentic feel for this wonderful area of the Peak District. With rolling green hills, deep valleys and fells, you will also encounter caves and the remnants of the Industrial Revolution. There are viaducts and old mills and mine workings to see too.
The Monsal Trail follows the former course of a railway through the countryside close to Bakewell. Originally constructed in the 1860s to link Manchester with London, the railway line closed in 1968. First opened as a public path for wayfaring in 1981, the Monsal Trail runs between the Topley Pike junction in Wye Dale and Coombs Viaduct, just 1 mile outside Bakewell. There are numerous cafes and eateries along the way, also pack a picnic if your heart is set on a particular beauty spot.
Stay at: The Mill Wheel - Sleeps 6 guests.
No market town is complete without its annual show. The Bakewell Show takes place each August and it has the distinction of being one of the oldest agricultural shows in England adding up to 200 years of history. A bold variety of attractions, traders and competitions jostle for your attention at this popular Bakewell event, making the Bakewell Show a great escape for any family. Try local foods, watch farmers and breeders present their finest animals and take part in live demonstrations to get a fun feel of life in the Peak District National Park. The event usually takes place at the Bakewell Showground which has handy facilities onsite.
Stay at: Chalice Cottage - 2 guests.
Uncover all that this beautiful market town has to offer when you stay at one of our wonderful holiday homes in Bakewell. From large farmhouses for the family to cosy cottages just for two, perfect for a romantic break, choose from our collection of fabulous properties in and around Bakewell and make your next Peak District holiday unforgettable. We also have cottages all across the National Park.