The famous pudding town in the Peak District

May 8, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Destination Guide

Bakewell lies at the heart of the Peak District, with some of the highlights of the National Park within just a few miles. The town lies on the meandering River Wye with banks of green willow and an ancient five-arched bridge, much painted by artists, spanning the river. The fine spire of All Saints Church looks down on the town, where there are some grand old houses, notably the Market Hall, The Old Town Hall and the almshouses on South Church Street. With its attractive courtyards, independent shops and cafes.

There is a good choice of holiday cottages in Bakewell to rent. Derbyshire Cottages have the widest choice while Cottages4You have over thirty and English Country Cottages have nearly twenty. Sykes Cottages have a good selection of holiday properties in the area, with a few in the town. Hoseasons have a few cottages in the countryside around Bakewell.

Bakewell is a hugely popular destination for tourists and the only market town within the National Park. Of course many also come to taste Bakewell Pudding – just one of Britain’s great local delicacies and one which is very hard to find outside the town. It is similar to the ubiquitous Bakewell Tart, which was named after the original pudding. The town has three pudding shops; all claim to possess the original (and supposedly secret) recipe, so the only way to find out which is the best is to try one of each!

Haddon Hall barely a mile away down the valley is probably the finest example of a Medieval manor house currently in existence in England. The hall is set on a rocky outcrop overlooking the River Wye. It has particularly fine Medieval kitchens and a banqueting hall as well as a 16th-century long gallery. Described by Simon Jenkins in 1000 Best Houses as, ‘the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’, this remarkable old house is surrounded by terraced Elizabethan gardens and is set amongst the rolling countryside of the Peak District National Park.

Just three miles from the town is Chatsworth House one of the true treasure houses of Britain and among Britain’s finest stately homes. Standing on the banks of the River Derwent, Chatsworth is set in expansive parkland, and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland. Everything here is on a massive scale, opulent and designed to impress. The house itself is magnificent, if a little overwhelming, while the gardens are a treat and the surrounding park is a superb area of open space with fine scenery, woods and views of the house and its environs. Home to Devonshires since the 15th century, it is a living and working testament to how a major country house can become so much more than just a crumbling pile in which an aristocratic family live. It contains a unique collection of priceless paintings, furniture, Old Master drawings, neoclassical sculptures, books and other artefacts. Chatsworth has been lovingly cared for, restored and kept in wonderful condition and is quite rightly one of the most popular historic houses in the country.

On the outskirts of Bakewell is the start of the Monsal Trail, a nine-mile former railway line, now a popular route with walkers and cyclists. As it heads towards Buxton the trail passes Monsal Head, a famous beauty spot with magnificent views of the dale and river deep down below and of the viaduct that once carried the Midland Red Railway Line.

My pick of cottages in Bakewell to rent

Cottages in Bakewell to rent choice

With views over the church and surrounding countryside, this pretty cottage lies just a short stroll from the centre of Bakewell with its specialist array of shops, pubs and restaurants. Furnished to a high standard, it retains many of its original features and offers a comfortable holiday base for exploring all that the Peak District has to offer. Click here to view details.