The picturesque town of Bakewell is a lovely destination to visit, with itsĀ old cottages, narrow alleyways, hidden courtyards and beautiful riverside walks.

Five Arched Bridge Bakewell

Bakewell's Ancient Five Arched Bridge © TAB

The High Street has many old stone houses, with several quaint little shops and cafes. Many fine buildings such as the Old Market Hall, Town Hall and Almshouses can be found on South Church Street. The towns ancient five arched Bridge over the River Wye is often photographed and much painted.

The Romans originally discovered the warm springs in this lush valley, just below the Peak District hills. They built a settlement there to take advantage of its pleasant waters for bathing. It was settled later by the Saxons, who called it 'bad quell' (bath well). The town's rich brown-stone buildings date mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries. The surviving Bath House, built in 1697 (at a time when Bakewell was still an important spa town) is still fed today by a spring at a constant temperature of 15°C (59°F).

The town's local delicacy 'Bakewell Tart', was created in error, when a local cook at the Rutland Arms spread an egg mixture over a plain jam tart. Several bakeries in the town centre still bake and sell this tasty treat today (known locally as a pudding). Both the town and the Rutland Arms Hotel were featured in Jane Austin's famous novel 'Pride and Prejudice'.

Each summer the town's folk celebrate the ancient custom of Well Dressing, during which the local wells are decorated with flower collages, arranged to make vividly coloured pictures.

A traditional market is held each Monday, a 700 year old tradition. The Bakewell Carnival is held on 1st Saturday in July and there is also an arts festival in August. Just upstream of the town is Holme Hall (privately owned) with its ancient Packhorse Bridge (circa 1664).

Visitor Information Centre:

Old Market Hall, Bridge Street, Bakewell - DE45 1DS - Tel: 01629 816558

Content by Steve B

Places of interest to visit in Bakewell

The Old House Museum

This lovely old building dates back to 1534 and is said to be the oldest house in Bakewell. Exhibits include lace, textiles and costumes from the Tudor period to Victorian times.

Opening times: daily 11.00 am to 4.00 pm Admission Charge
Location: Cunningham Place, Off North Church Street, Bakewell - DE45 1DD - Website

Almshouses

A line of fine stone built former almshouses. Founded by Sir John Manners, some 300 years ago, as part of St John's Hospital. Recently renovated to provide local affordable housing.

The Old Town Hall

Built in 1709 it has a long history. It was once used as a butter market, a courtroom and a grammar school. It currently operates as a clothes shop.

Old Market Hall

This 300 year old Stone built open sided market hall once served as a focal point for trade in the town. It currently houses the Bakewell Visitor Centre. An ideal spot to pick up information and leaflets about the surrounding area.

Bakewell Bridge

This lovely 700 year old, five arch, stone built bridge was constructed near the site of the original Roman crossing. Believed to be one of the oldest bridges in Derbyshire. The bridge is a starting point for number of lovely Riverside walks. You can either go upstream through the rich meadows of Scot's Garden or downstream towards the recreation ground.

The Monsal Trail

Monsal ViaductThis popular trail follows the old Midland Railway line, which once ran between Manchester and London. It is an easy level pathway, ideal for walking, cycling or horse riding, and is a haven for wildlife. The section from Bakewell towards Buxton has a number of tunnels and crosses over the iconic Monsal Head Viaduct.



Map of Bakewell

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