Bakewell: The Complete Guide

All Saints Church, Bakewell
Attribution / Rob Bendall

Nestled alongside the serene river Wye, Bakewell, the largest town in the Peak District National Park, beckons with its warm-hued stone structures, medieval five-arched stone bridge, and delightful courtyards, attracting painters, photographers, and visitors seeking picturesque sights.

According to local lore, the renowned Bakewell Pudding was born out of a culinary mishap by a resident cook in the mid-19th century. Today, this tantalizing “jam tart gone wrong” can be savoured at various bakeries and cafes, and even shipped worldwide!

Every Monday, the lively outdoor market offers an abundance of bargains, while the livestock market provides a thrilling experience with its theatre-like auction ring.

Indulge in the finest local produce at one of the country’s best Farmers’ Markets or explore specialty shops that offer everything from high-end fashion and outdoor clothing to artisanal chocolates and rare whiskies. Enjoy a light snack, lunch, or dinner at the numerous cafes, restaurants, pubs, and tea rooms. For beer enthusiasts, a tour of Thornbridge Brewery offers the chance to sample world-class craft beers.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Bakewell Carnival Week and Well Dressing in July, or witness the time-honoured Bakewell Show, one of the country’s oldest agricultural events, in August.

Bakewell, cleverly disguised as “Lambton” in Jane Austen’s literary masterpiece Pride and Prejudice, is an ideal destination for a captivating town walk. Wander through its charming streets, discover scenic architecture and picturesque courtyards, or enjoy a leisurely riverside stroll while feeding the ducks.

Visiting Bakewell for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Bakewell on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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12 Best places to See in Bakewell

This complete guide to Bakewell not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Bakewell and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Bakewell Bridge

Bakewell, Medieval Bridge
Public Domain / Tony Grist
Very little of Medieval Bakewell remains today, making the preservation of the five-arched bridge over the Wye all the more significant. Constructed using ashlar sandstone, this remarkable bridge, designated as a Grade I-listed structure, is believed to have been built around the early 14th century. It showcases Gothic pointed arches and triangular cutwaters that extend […]
Location: Bakewell Bridge, Bridge Street, Bakewell, UK | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Bakewell Bridge

Old House Museum, Bakewell

Old House Museum, Bakewell
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Elisa.rolle
Situated just a stone’s throw away from Bakewell’s medieval church, you’ll find the Old House Museum—an extraordinary testament to local heritage. Dating back to 1534, it holds the distinction of being the oldest house in Bakewell and has been meticulously preserved as a captivating museum. Step inside and explore the ten rooms that are open […]
Location: Bakewell Old House Museum, Cunningham Place, Bakewell, UK | Hours: 25 March to 5 November 2023 Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 4 pm | Price: Adult £6.50 | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Old House Museum, Bakewell

All Saints' Church, Bakewell

Bakewell, All Saints Church, Sir George Vernon And His Two Wives
CC BY-SA 4.0 / AndyScott
Under the pressures of invasions, the Christian faith waned, but it was reintroduced to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in the late 7th century by missionary bishops who established minster churches. Among them was Bakewell. Within the churchyard, you can find two Anglo-Saxon stone crosses adorned with intricate carvings. Additionally, the porch proudly displays numerous […]
Location: South Church Street, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1FD, UK | Hours: During the spring and summer the church is open from 9am to 5pm. In the Autumn and Winter after until the clocks change it is open from 9am to 4pm. | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting All Saints' Church, Bakewell

Thornbridge Hall Gardens

Thornbridge Hall
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Natalie-S
Thornbridge Hall, a Grade II listed stately home nestled amidst the picturesque hills of the Peak District, is a true gem. Spread over 100 acres of breathtaking parkland, it serves as the private residence of Jim and Emma Harrison, and has been meticulously restored to its former glory. Today, it is renowned as one of […]
Location: Thornbridge Hall, Ashford in the Water, Bakewell, UK | Hours: Daily 10:00 - 16:00 | Price: Gardens: £5.60 House: £12.00 | Website | Distance: 2.40km
Visiting Thornbridge Hall Gardens

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall
Attribution / Rob Bendall
Haddon Hall, located a couple of miles from the center of Bakewell, is a magnificent country house that was constructed in stages from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Once a residence for the Dukes of Rutland, it is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional surviving medieval manor houses in the UK. Remarkably, […]
Location: Haddon Hall, Bakewell, UK | Distance: 2.90km
Visiting Haddon Hall

Monsal Trail

Monsal Trail
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Mike Peel
The Monsal Trail offers a scenic and car-free path for walkers, cyclists, horse riders, and wheelchair users to explore the breathtaking limestone dales of the Peak District. Stretching 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale and Coombs Road in Bakewell, the trail follows the former Midland Railway line. In 1981, most sections of the […]
Visiting Monsal Trail

Magpie Mine, Sheldon

Magpie Mine
CC BY-SA 4.0 / AndyScott
Located near the village of Sheldon in Derbyshire, England, within the parish of Ashford in the Water, Magpie Mine stands as an exceptionally preserved disused lead mine. It forms part of a walled enclosure comprising five lead mines, namely Magpie Mine, Dirty Red Soil, Great Red Soil, Maypit, and Horsesteps, which collectively hold the status […]
Location: Magpie Mine, Bakewell, UK | Distance: 4.50km
Visiting Magpie Mine, Sheldon

Arbor Low

Arbor Low Stone Circle And Gib Hill Barrow
CC BY-SA 4.0 / AndyScott
Arbor Low, often referred to as the “Peak District Stonehenge,” is hailed as the finest henge monument in northern England. The site consists of a henge monument with an added stone circle. The outer bank of the henge forms a roughly circular shape, measuring approximately 259 x 246 feet in diameter. Enclosed within the henge […]
Location: Arbor Low Stone Circle and Gib Hill Barrow, Long Rake, Monyash, Derbyshire, UK | Hours: Open any reasonable time during daylight hours. | Price: Access through private land, for which the owner issues £1 charge per person. | Website | Distance: 7.70km
Visiting Arbor Low

Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak

Ilam Hall
Attribution / Rob Bendall
Ilam Park is situated on the picturesque bank of the River Manifold, nestled amidst steep hills. It offers visitors the chance to explore a stunning formal Italian Garden, enjoy panoramic views of Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill, and take leisurely walks through enchanting ravine woodlands. Ilam Hall, which is under the management of the YHA, […]
Location: Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak | Hours: Park: Daily 9am to 7pm | Price: Free | Distance: 18.00km
Visiting Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak

Thor’s Cave

Thors Cave View
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Iankelsall1
Just beyond the village of Wetton in the Staffordshire Peak District lies the impressive Thor’s Cave, a natural cavern nestled within a steep limestone crag. Its grand arched entrance is easily visible and accessible from the footpath below. Thor’s Cave has provided evidence of human habitation dating back to the later Stone Age, approximately 11,000 […]
Location: Thor's Cave, Ashbourne, UK | Distance: 18.20km
Visiting Thor’s Cave

Throwley Old Hall

Throwley Old Hall
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Graham Hogg
Throwley Old Hall, located near the village of Calton and alongside the River Manifold in north-east Staffordshire, England, is a historic stately home in a state of ruin. It holds the distinction of being a Grade II* listed building and a scheduled monument. Currently, the estate is privately owned. The house, positioned in a north-east/south-west […]
Location: Throwley Old Hall, Farwall Lane, Ashbourne, UK | Website | Distance: 19.40km
Visiting Throwley Old Hall

Manifold Way

Thors Cave Staffordshire Peak District
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Martin Spamer
The Manifold Way, also known as the Manifold Track, should not be confused with the longer Manifold Trail, which is a 23-mile walking route stretching from Dovedale to the village of Flash. While the Manifold Way and the Manifold Trail share some sections of the route, the Manifold Trail is not legally accessible for cyclists […]
Visiting Manifold Way