Bakewell is a picturesque town, located in the heart of the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, which dates back to Saxon times. The town is named in the Domesday Book, as Badequella, which means Bath-Well. Historians have interpreted this as a reference to the warm springs underneath the town.
Bakewell is also notable for playing host to the writer Jane Austen in 1811 and she mentioned the pub she stayed in - the Rutland Arms Hotel - in her famous novel Pride and Prejudice.
Today, while Bakewell remains a quaint town it is also very alert to its status as a tourist attraction and has a wide range of accommodation, restaurants and souvenir shops for visitors to enjoy.
There are frequent buses from Sheffield, even at weekends and the Steel City is only 17 miles away - the drive being a picturesque route through the Peak District National Park. There are also good bus links to Manchester and Chesterfield.
Motorists can take the A621 from Sheffield, the A6 from Manchester and the A6 coming up from Derby. The town has good parking provisions, although on a weekend spaces can be tight.
Why Visit Bakewell?
While Bakewell is on the one hand just one of many quaint hillside locations in the Peak District National Park, it has gained notoriety for its Bakewell Puddings. These were adapted and given national attention by Mr Kipling, who iced the desert and called them a tart instead. However, several shops still sell the original recipe, most notably the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.
Bakewell also has one of the oldest markets in the area, dating back to 1300. It is still held every Monday. Furthermore, the town still has a thriving livestock market at the Agricultural Centre and hosts the Bakewell Show on the first Wednesday and Thursday in August, attracting farmers from all over the country.
There are also some wonderful walks in the area. Rambling up to Arkwright's mill via Holme Hall - a fortified manor house dated 1626 - affords visitors wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and the chance to fill the lungs with some relatively unpolluted countryside air.