Bakewell is said to date back to Anglo-Saxon times with settlers being attracted by a cluster of warm springs in the region. The original Bakewell Parish Church, now a Grade I listed building, was founded in 920 and has a 9th century cross in the churchyard. It was replaced as a place of worship by the current church, originally constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries, but virtually rebuilt in the 1840s by William Flockton.
The crossing of the River Wye, where the beautiful Grade 1 listed five-arch bridge now stands, was key to Bakewell’s establishment as a meeting and crossing point and led to the town’s development as a trading centre; a market being established in 1254.
The construction of the Lumford Mill by Richard Arkwright in 1777 was followed by the rebuilding of much of the town in the 19th century. Now tourism is the town’s main industry, thanks mainly to its standing, since 1951, as Derbyshire’s capital town of the Peak District National Park.
The aforementioned Bakewell market, winner of the Great British Market Awards 2020 Best Large Outdoor Market, operates every Monday from early in the morning. It brings together over 160 market traders spread down Market St, which is temporarily pedestrianised each week. Additionally, Mondays see the livestock market running in the Agricultural Centre, only a two minute walk from the traders market in the centre of town.
Whilst Bakewell enjoys its status as the capital town of the Peak District, holidaymakers will find themselves spoilt for choice with things to do in the region. The famous and stunningly beautiful Chatsworth Country House with its acres of fabulous countryside is on the outskirts of Bakewell and is on most visitor’s itinerary. Haddon Hall, another glorious private residence open to visitors, sits on the other side of Bakewell and intrigues all with a glimpse into the history of its 900 years existence.
Elsewhere in the Peak District, there are numerous gorgeous towns and villages to explore. Try Castleton and visit the caverns with the underground canal or visit Eyam (pronounced Eam) and read about the history of how they cut themselves off to save the people of the Peak District from the Great Plague in 1665.
Hathersage, the 19th century centre for the needle, pin, and wire drawing industry, attracts visitors in high numbers. So too do Tideswell, Hartington, Cromford and many more of the picturesque villages throughout the region. Wherever you venture, you’ll be sure to find a great tea room, a typically English Country pub and a plethora of friendly and welcoming locals.
Back in Bakewell, there are a number of events that run during the course of the year, including the Bakewell Food Festival, Bakewell Carnival Week and Wells Dressing, Bakewell Christmas Weekend (in November), Bakewell Baking Festival and more. For latest information on Bakewell events, go to our local events listing site.
Above The Bakewell Tart Shop & Coffee House is a spacious 3-bedroom apartment that sleeps up to seven. Centrally located in Bakewell, it provides an excellent base for exploring Bakewell, the Peak District and all of the above attractions. While it's self-catering, you are of course perfectly situated to pop downstairs for one of our famous breakfasts or stop in for a well-deserved afternoon tea after a day exploring the gorgeous countryside.