9 Fun Things To Do in Bakewell, Derbyshire

View from Monsal Head, Bakewell, Derbyshire

I was asked by Omio, to travel to a destination in the UK, as voted for by our Facebook followers. The choices were – Bakewell, Tenby or Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The vote went to Bakewell in Derbyshire.

Bakewell is one of those picture-perfect English market towns, with cobbled streets, cute shops and tea rooms. It’s also surrounded by the beautiful English countryside.

I had a great time in the town and wanted to share some of my favourite things to do in Bakewell to help you have a wonderful trip!

9 Fun Things To Do in Bakewell, Derbyshire

Beautiful Derbyshire

Getting to Bakewell

I booked my ticket to Bakewell via Omio (formerly Go Euro) the night before departure. Omio are a travel search engine where you can search for transportation across Europe, including by National Express coach.

The site was quick and easy to use, so I was booked in no time and received an e-ticket to my phone, that I showed to the driver at the bus station in Preston. After a changeover to another bus in Manchester, I was on my way.

When my friend Cat and I arrived in Bakewell it was raining (oh, England) but we headed out to explore the town!

Interior of the Lavender Tea Rooms Bakewell

Have Afternoon Tea at the Lavender Tea Rooms

The Lavender Tea Rooms is a loved little place, tucked away in a pretty courtyard, just off the main street. Blink and you might miss it. Inside is really pretty and quaint and the ladies who work there are all really nice and wear purple neckerchiefs!

They offer breakfast, sandwiches, soups, cakes, jacket potatoes and other lite bites (such as omelettes and teacakes), as well as Cream Tea and Afternoon Tea! I just had cheese on toast (and a glass of Prosecco, obviously), but the people on the table next to us were having Afternoon Tea, which was huge and looked amazing. 

They are very busy though, so to avoid disappointment, make sure you book in advance. We were really lucky and got the last table, but countless people came in afterwards and had to be turned away.

The Lavender Tea Rooms Bakewell

Try Some Gin at Juniper

This post is starting to get quite alcohol heavy, however I couldn’t exclude Juniper, a lovely little gin bar in the centre of town.

Once known as ‘Mother’s Ruin’, gin has had a resurgence in recent years and as well as generally being beautifully packaged (and marketed), it’s also known as one of the ‘better for you’ alcoholic drinks – if there is such a thing?

At Juniper, they have lots of specialist gins, all in pretty bottles. I of course had the Liverpool Gin, to pay tribute to my home city. I’m not a fan of tonic though, so I had mine with ginger ale instead.

If gin isn’t your thing, they also have other drinks including locally brewed Thornbridge Beer.

Cycling the Monsal Trail

Have Dinner at The Manners

In the evening, we ate at a pub called The Manners, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the main part of town. We were recommended to eat here by the owner of our b&b and she was spot on with her recommendation.

I love hearty pub grub and this place does it well. I ordered the hanging kebab which was really nice!

The atmosphere is also really lovely and cosy and the food and drink reasonably priced, so both Cat and I were really happy with our choice of venue!

The Monsal Trail Tunnels

Stay at One Castle Street

We stayed at a lovely B&B right in the centre of town, called One Castle Street.

As our trip was pretty last minute, we decided to wing it and find somewhere when we got to Bakewell. Bad idea. Bakewell is a popular town and there aren’t that many places to stay, relatively speaking. Luckily, we found this place online and knocked on the door. As fate would have it, they’d just had a cancellation that morning so we were able to take their last room. Very lucky!

The building is really old and full of character. Honestly, if you’re looking for old school, British charm, then this place has it in abundance. Our room was super cosy and the bed was unbelievably comfy!

The owner Janette was really friendly and gave us loads of advice on where to go, what to see and where to eat and drink! And she made us a great full-English breakfast in the morning too!

Cycling the Monsal Trail

Cycle the Monsal Trail

The reason Cat was so keen to come to Bakewell, other than to hang out with me of course, was to cycle the Monsal Trail. She’d been dying to try this route for some time, so when I’d said I was going to Bakewell, we quickly formed a plan. So the next morning, we headed out towards Buxton.

The Monsal trail is a former railway line that is now a traffic-free path for cyclists, wheelchair users, walkers, joggers and horse riders. It runs for 8.5 miles between Bakewell and Blackwell Mill (near Buxton).

We hired bikes from Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire and began our trip from there.

On the trail, you will go through a number of tunnels that are really fun to ride through and you’ll get to see views over the stunning Derbyshire countryside! We turned around when we got to Bakewell and began making our way back.

We stopped on the Headstone Viaduct and made the steep hike up to Monsal Head, which has fantastic views over Monsal Dale and the Wye Valley. Luckily, at the top there’s a couple of pubs, so we had lunch and a drink at The Stable Bar at the Monsal Head Hotel.

The trail is slightly uphill when you are heading back towards Buxton, so you will need a moderate level of fitness. However, they do also have electric bikes for hire if you don’t fancy doing all the work yourself.

The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

Try a Bakewell Tart or a Bakewell Pudding

If you have never had a Bakewell Pudding or a Bakewell tart, then you are seriously missing out! And where better to try them than in the place they were invented.

The Bakewell Pudding and the Bakewell Tart, are both distinctive with their almond and jam filling but are quite different in the way they are made. Although the Bakewell Pudding was the original, the Bakewell Tart is arguably the more famous of the two outside of the town and the one that I prefer if I’m honest.

There are a number of places in the town that sell these delicious cakes! We bought ours in the morning and ate them as a treat after our bike ride.

Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire

Visit Chatsworth House

Our last stop was Chatsworth House, one of the most beautiful stately homes in all the land and home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, although you may recognise it as the home of Mr Darcy in the film, Pride & Prejudice (the version with Keira Knightley).

You can explore the house and gardens, however, at the time we visited some of it was being re-modelled so some things were closed so we couldn’t see it all, but it has since re-opened.

Bakewell Derbyshire

Go to a Festival

It may be a small place, but Bakewell has a few festivals that I’ve heard on the grapevine that are very good! There’s the Eroica Brittania Festival which takes place in June and the YNot Festival which takes place in July. It’s a small festival, but those are often a very cool alternative to huge festivals like Glastonbury

There’s even a Bakewell Baking Festival in August – although, I guess if anywhere would have a baking festival, Bakewell is the obvious choice.

I hope this list of things to do in Bakewell help you have an amazing trip! If you’ve already been, anything else you’d add to the list?

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9 Fun Things To Do in Bakewell, Derbyshire
9 Fun Things To Do in Bakewell, Derbyshire

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  1. Yay my homemade town. I didn’t know we had a winery so you’ve taught me something new and given me an activity for the weekend. The Manners is my fave dinner spot so good choice. My mum set up the Bakewell Tart shop so that’s always my favourite ??

    Glad you had fun, when were you there? Come visit again soon xx

  2. That’s so much fun! You know. I went to Bakewell while I was traveling through the Peak District. I wish I had stayed more time though it seemed like a great place. And I didn’t know there was as much to do as you have listed here!

    1. Hey Anwar! Before I went I didn’t know either, but it’s a lovely place hey? Very green! I want to see it in the sunshine too!

  3. Awesome! Looks the Lavender Tea Rooms picture, Awesome Hospitality. My favorite topic was Cycle the Monsal Trail of this content. I liked it very much. Because It is very good service for a traveler.

  4. I’m just reading your blog on my way home from a weekend in Bakewell. Over the years I’ve done everything on your list except the festival. We stayed at The Monsel Head hotel this time and walked from there to see Monsel Head weir. It was beautiful

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