Things to do in Buxton and Derbyshire

Things to do in Buxton and Derbyshire

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Buxton – or Aquae Arnemetiae, as it was once known – is one of Britain’s only two Roman bath towns, famous throughout history for the curative properties of its mineral-rich spring water, which rises from 5,000 feet below ground at a steady 27 degrees. It was remodelled during the late 18th century as a fashionable wellness resort to rival Bath, attracting wealthy visitors from across the country and leaving a fine legacy of grand Georgian and Victorian architecture in its wake. Yet, it was also here that many of the ‘sick poor’ of Industrial Manchester were brought to be treated – and Buxton has always remained true to its friendly, down-to-earth, quarry-town roots.

Today, it would be fair to say that the capital of the Peaks is undergoing something of a second revival. A number of major National Lottery Heritage Fund projects have led to the restoration and reopening of its finest buildings, and the launch of a luxury thermal spa in the historic Crescent building has attracted widespread excitement. The renowned Buxton International Festival has long positioned the town firmly on the UK’s cultural map. Additionally, the magnificent Buxton Opera House, designed by celebrated theatre architect Frank Matcham, and neighbouring Pavilion Arts Centre offer an impressive year-round programme of film screenings and live performance.

With a thriving community of local independent businesses, Buxton offers plenty in the way of good food, drink, shopping, and general mooching. Cavendish Arcade, with its eclectic mix of boutiques and cafes, and Buxton Pudding Emporium are among our favourites.

Located in the heart of the UK’s oldest national park, and with both Chatsworth and Haddon Hall on its doorstep, this is a great base for exploring the rest of Derbyshire too. Check out some of our favourite country pubs and rural retreats, as well as Britain’s highest whisky distillery, or enjoy panoramic views over the hills and a two-millennia-old show cave within easy walking distance of the town centre. With trains running every hour from Manchester Piccadilly and the station conveniently positioned just a short stroll away from nearly all of our recommendations, Buxton is the perfect getaway for those wishing to escape the big city.

Discover our top picks

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Try your hand at pottery at Earth Pig Studio in Buxton’s Green Man Gallery; a longstanding community arts hub, shop and gallery.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Join local historian Brian Shepherd for a walk around the town and learn what Buxton may have looked like during Britain’s Roman occupation.

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton’s audio tours of The Peak cover the area around Buxton and are designed to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Sheffield District Guides

Abbeydale Picture House. London Road & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield

London Road & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield

Experience London Road, with its array of restaurants, & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield packed with vibrant independents and vintage stores.

Things to Do in Sheffield. Kelham Island, Sheffield

Kelham Island, Sheffield

Once the beating heart of the steel industry, Kelham Island is now one of the most exciting districts in Sheffield.

Hunter's Bar in Sheffield. The Beer House.

Hunter’s Bar, Sheffield

Encompassing Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale Road, Hunter’s Bar is known for its wide range of restaurants, bars, cafes and mix of independent and high street stores.

Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield

Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield

Spanning Devonshire Street and Division Street, the Devonshire Quarter brings the feel of an ‘urban village’ to Sheffield city centre. Head here for culture, vintage shopping and one-off cafes and bars.

City Centre, Sheffield

City Centre, Sheffield

Easy to explore on foot, Sheffield city centre boasts striking architecture, independent cultural destinations, retail and nightlife.

Record Collector Sheffield. Broomhill and Crookes.

Broomhill and Crookes, Sheffield

Just west of the city centre are the suburbs of Broomhill and Crookes. Check out the interesting mix of cafes, shops and bars, and unwind in Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours