Guided Tours in Buxton

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor

Who doesn’t love a good guided tour? And with Buxton’s rich history, it has them aplenty, offering a quick way to get to grips with the ancient spa town.

Discover Buxton’s Wonder of the Peak tram tour aboard a converted Victorian milk float is perhaps the most unique of our picks, taking passengers on a 40-mile circuit that departs from the Buxton Opera House and incorporates all of Buxton’s key sites. These 60-minute journeys are led by a lively conductor, who often draws rounds of applause, and have the added appeal of being able to sit on the open-top upper deck if you should so choose (blankets available).

For those that would rather a stretch of the legs, a number of guided walking tours also depart from the Opera House. These range from a traditional History & Heritage amble around the lower town (1hr), to a Natural History Explorer Tour through Buxton’s protected woodlands and down into the Wye Valley (3hr), and a Food & Drink experience (3hr) combining local history with a chance to sample some of the region’s finest produce, including beer from Buxton Brewery and cheese from Hartington.

Or, if you prefer a little drama thrown in then one of the rather colourful ‘character tours’ (1hr) might appeal. Each brings Buxton’s past to life through the eyes of one of five historical figures connected with the town. Among these include Mary Queen of Scots, who visited Buxton on seven occasions to ‘take the waters’ as a cure for her various illnesses, and the feminist writer Vera Brittain who treated wounded First World War soldiers during her time as a nurse at the former Devonshire Royal Hospital (now the Devonshire Dome).

If you’re keen to check out the areas surrounding Buxton, and have your own wheels, download an audio tour from the Discover Buxton website. These include an introduction to the 17th century travel writer Charles Cotton’s Seven Wonders of the Peak, and a journey through some of the smaller, very quaint nearby villages, each with its own fascinating history.

Finally, we’d highly recommend local historian Brian Shepherd’s introduction to Roman Buxton, exploring its ancient history as one of Britain’s only two Roman bath towns, then called Aquae Arnemetiae.

Our top picks

Buxton Opera House

Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN - Visit now

Buxton Opera House is also one of Britain’s leading receiving theatres, presenting around 450 performances each year, spanning dance, comedy, children’s shows, drama, music, pantomime and opera. This is a place to experience theatre-going at its finest. Take a guided backstage pass tour (including a visit to the Matcham Gallery) to learn more about the history of this iconic Edwardian building and the man who designed it.

Buxton Brewery Tap House & Cellar Bar

Buxton Brewery Tap House & Cellar Bar, The Old Courthouse, George Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6AY - Visit now

Behind  the crescent in the vaulted basement of the Old Courthouse, the Buxton Brewery Tap House & Cellar Bar is a must-visit destination for beer lovers. The tap house showcases the fruits of these labours admirably, serving a rotating selection with four hand pumps and 16 key keg beers on at any time. Almost all of the beers are vegan and can be ordered by the third as well as the more-traditional half and full pint measures.

Buxton Brewery Tap House & Cellar Bar
Courtesy of Buxton Brewery Company

Devonshire Dome in Buxton

Devonshire Dome in Buxton, 1 Devonshire Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6RY - Visit now

Positioned less than five minutes’ walk from the train station and offering a great view of Buxton from its beautifully manicured lawns, this iconic building is worth including in any visit to the town. The Devonshire Dome is a building with a fascinating backstory. It’s also one of  Buxton’s most famous landmarks, sporting what was once the world’s largest unsupported dome.

Devonshire Dome in Buxton
Courtesy of Devonshire Dome

Where to go in Buxton

Buxton
Simply Thai Restaurant

The restaurant is currently open every day for takeaway with 10% discount when ordered form the main menu on collection and free evening delivery (without discount) within 2 miles radius for minimum order of £30.

Buxton
Vintage Tea Rooms Buxton

The Vintage Tea Rooms is currently offering a selection of its favourites for take away including tortes, home baked cakes and its famous scones bursting with cream and jam.

Buxton
The Herb Garden Vegetarian Bistro

Enjoy the Herb Garden at Home service means that if you place your order by 3pm you can enjoy a next day delivery service of all your favourites including Vegetable and Bean Tagine, Mousssaka and Spaghetti alla Puttanesca.

Buxton
Eat
at Number 5

The Tea Room is currently offering a range of take away options including fresh soups – cream of butternut squash & sweet potato anyone? Cheesecakes, tartlets, and muffins. For something more substantial its main courses are a daily special featuring Szechuan chicken with sesame veg noodles and Jamaican jerk chicken with spiced rice & peas topped with garlic pickle.

Buxton
Hotel
Palace Hotel Buxton & Spa

Designed in the style of a French chateau, this impressive hotel has sat proudly on its hill overlooking Buxton for over 150 years.

The Devonshire Arms at Beeley
Buxton
Restaurant
The Devonshire Arms
at Beeley

Located in a cosy corner of the Chatsworth Estate, The Devonshire Arms at Beeley is an award winning pub, fine dining restaurant, and traditional country inn.

Pillock at Contact
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