Visit Bakewell and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Bakewell, Derbyshire, has a beautiful setting and contains much of interest. The small market town is built almost entirely in warm, brownish stone and lies in a sheltered valley of the Derbyshire Wye with rolling wooded hills to the north west, and east which make fine walking country. Bakewell's most impressive building is the large Parish Church of All Saints, standing halfway up the hill on the west side of the town, its spire a landmark. Parts of the present buildings date from the 12th century but there is evidence of a church here in Anglo-Saxon times; and in the churchyard stands an 8th-century sculptured cross, much worn but with many of the symbols carved on it still recognizable. Many other stone fragments dating from Anglo-Saxon times are on view in the church porch. Among the monuments in the church is an imposing table tomb to Sir George Vernon, the last of his line, known as the ‘King of the Peak’ because of the lavish hospitality he provided at nearby Haddon Hall.
Bakewell's name has nothing to do with baking or its renowned pudding. The first part comes from an Anglo-Saxon personal name and ‘well’ refers to the warm springs which come to the surface here - you can swim today at the 17th-century Bath House in water which remains at a natural 15 °C. winter and summer. Other buildings of interest are the 13th-century, bridge over the Wye, one of the oldest in England; the old Town Hall, dating from 1709; the Old House, just above the church, the oldest house in the town and now a museum; and the Rutland Arms Hotel where the Jane Austen Room is still preserved. It was here that the famous novelist stayed in the early 19th century while working on Pride and Prejudice and it is believed that the Lambton in the novel is, in fact, Bakewell, and that two of the novel's romantic scenes are set in the room at the hotel.
The hotel is also connected with the ‘discovery’ of the famous pudding, the result of a misunderstanding between a Mrs Greaves, then mistress of the hotel, and her cook. Instead of stirring the egg mixture into the pastry and then filling the tart with jam, the cook put the jam into the tart and then poured the egg mixture over it. So successful was the outcome that the recipe was preserved and Bakewell puddings have been made to the original formula ever since 1859 at the pudding shop in The Square.
Bakewell is a convenient centre from which to explore much of central and western Derbyshire. Dovedale, Darley Dale, Monsal Dale and Lathkill Dale are within easy distance; Haddon Hall and Chatsworth are not far away; Arbor Low, a prehistoric monument, is only 7 miles south west; and Eyam, the plague village, only 6 miles north. At Flagg, about 6 miles west, are held each April the exciting High Peak point-to-point races; near Birchover, 4 miles south are strange rock formations; and a number of the local villages engage in the Derbyshire custom of well-dressing.
Nearby towns: Buxton, Chesterfield, Darley Dale, Matlock
Nearby villages: Ashford-in-the-Water, Baslow, Beeley, Birchover, Bonsall, Brushfield, Edensor, Farley, Great Longstone, Great Rowsley, Hassop, Hathersage, Hope, Nether Haddon, Newhaven, Over Haddon, Pilsley, Sheldon, Stanton in Peak, Winster, Winster, Youlgreave
Have you decided to visit Bakewell or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Bakewell bed and breakfast (a Bakewell B&B or Bakewell b and b)
- a Bakewell guesthouse
- a Bakewell hotel (or motel)
- a Bakewell self-catering establishment, or
- other Bakewell accommodation