It’s easy to take it for granted when you live in or close to one of England’s prettiest towns, surrounded by the Peak District, which, as locals, we all love to roam on a regular basis. Buxton is a treasure trove of things to do…But how many have you actually done? Are a true High Peak lad / lass at heart? Tell us how many you’ve ticked off on our Facebook page or tweet us…
This petting farm which opened in 2013 houses an array of cuteness for all the family where the children can interact with the animals and learn about them too. There’s fluffy bunnies, sociable pygmy goats and cuter than cute kune kune pigs, oh and tortoises too and not to forget Archie the donkey himself and his other donkey friends. Guaranteed smile material it’s brilliant fun for adults and its not every day you have a chat with an alpaca…
If you’re a local and haven’t ridden the miniature train in the Pavilion Gardens yet – then you should! Ok, it’s not exactly a thrilling adrenaline inducing rollercoaster of a ride but it is fun and the kids will love it. Don’t forget to go shout and wave as you go through the tunnel…
It’s easy to overlook Poole’s Cavern if you’re a local but it makes for a great day out and a nice walk after. Explore the vast limestone caverns and see how the spectacular crystal stalactites and stalagmites have lined the chambers over millions of years. With new LED lighting, the caverns look spectacular along the effectively illuminated walk ways, so don’t forget your camera. A day out at Poole’s Cavern can be enjoyed by everyone and the Cafe in the Cavern serves a varied, tasty menu. Guided tours are every 15-20 minutes. The walk through Grin Low Country Park opposite the cavern entrance up to Solomon’s Temple offers breathtaking views of Buxton.
An event it seems that is still relatively unknown to many locals, the coffee mornings held most Saturday mornings at the Opera House are run entirely by the volunteer staff at the theatre. The volunteer staff will offer to do a short tour of the theatre to visitors at the coffee morning and you can wander round the auditorium at the various levels, from the Upper Dress Circle down to the Stalls and also have a quick sneak peak backstage depending on show schedules. The staff are really knowledgable and the homemade cakes on offer in the Dress Circle bar are pretty good too.
Many of us are aware of the well (who isn’t?!) but have you tasted the water? Well, do. It’s a soft tasting mineral water, luke warm when you drink it and it really is fresh from the spring. Healthy.
The Ring of Trees trail takes you all the way around Buxton, through various pretty woodlands – but have you walked it all? The woodlands are lovely in summer with various flora and fauna to see. A cheap day out offering a good walk if you don’t want to venture further into the Peak District. Go to Buxton Civic Associations website where you can find a map of the trail to follow and lots of local information.
Winner of Day Spa of the Year yet again 2015, it’s easy to see why. But how many of us locals have actually been inside the spa and tried out the sauna, steam rooms, hydro pool, foot spa and the various treatments on offer? The prices are superb and extremely reasonable for what is on offer – the spa has a real luxury feel inside and for those who haven’t tried it yet then you really are missing a trick. A gem of a place right on our doorstep.
Coal mining is not something commonly associated with Buxton but there are traces of a 300 year old industry if you know where to look. Buxton Civic Association just recently produced (2015) a handy walking guide that makes it easier to find and it’s makes for a lovely walk with great views of Buxton too.
Buxton Festival began in 1979, but how many of us still haven’t been to see one of the major operas they stage every year? Now recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading arts festivals, Buxton Festival is a summer celebration of the very best opera, music and literature and the operas are some of the best you’ll get to see in the country without London prices. If you’re not sure, you can always try a taster at their ‘Song at Six’, held on the band stand in the Pavilion Gardens, most days of the festival, providing a 15 minute excerpt from an opera – and it’s completely free.
The Bike-and-Go bikes are definitely a lesser known Buxton offering – and it’s crazy because they’re only £3.80 to hire for 24 hours. You could have a day out in the peaks cycling with friends or family that doesn’t cost much and you don’t even need your own bike. We love this so spread the word.
We’ve tried it for ourselves and can confirm this is transport cafe food at its best. The portion is decent and will keep you going all day and everything tastes really good.
So, who’s been in Buxton Carnival then? What did you dress up as? Buxton’s biggest annual event is always a lark and attracts crowds of thousands every year. Watching the carnival and enjoying a few drinks is a Buxton tradition but joining in the parade, everyone has to it just once…
This open mic night at Buxton Tap House is firmly established as part of Buxton’s live music scene and all genres are welcome – have you performed? It makes for a good mid-week outing and you can enjoy a few cask ales while your at it or to give you the courage to get in front of the microphone.
Both these walks offer cracking views across Buxton and across the Peak District, both at around 1300ft elevation. But have you walked either or both of these? If not, why not? The woodlands are both lovely and ideal spots for walking the dog or a picnic in summer.
Most locals know Buxton has a museum – but you have you actually ever ventured inside? Currently closed to make way for a brand new £1.5m gallery and exhibition, the programme of events is superb with lots on for kids where they can have fun but learn cool stuff too. It’s a hidden gem in Buxton and the museum has a great little gift shop too – ideal for presents if you’re stuck for something unusual; there’s dinosaur print placemats, vintage postcards of Buxton, a huge array of rocks and minerals to buy and loads of things the kids will love. Re-opens in May 2017.
We know The Dome is there – but have you ever been for a coffee or lunch here? Or…taken the audio tour? You can take the tour then grab some lunch from the excellent cafe and just enjoy being in this stunning building – it’s huge inside and weirdly echo’s depending on where you stand. The audio tour gives a brief overview of the history of The Dome – and it’s good to learn about your own town sometimes.
Photo credit: Behind Closed Doors
The Crescent closed to the public in 1992 when the library was housed in the grand Assembly Room. Currently being redeveloped into a luxury 5 star hotel – have you been inside this magnificent building? What memories do you have? Did you drink here when it was the St Ann’s Hotel? If so, you’re a true Buxtonian…
Reputed to be England’s oldest hotel, Mary Queens of Scots famously stayed here in 1576 – 1578 and parts of the hotel date back even further but the present building dates back to 1573. The New Hall as it was once known was built by the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury; the Countess being the redoubtable ‘Bess of Hardwick’ who built Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth.
Geocaching is a world wide treasure hunt basically – you register online and you’re away…but who’s played in Buxton? There’s quite a few to be found in and around the town, we’ve found 3. It’s a great way of getting out and about and going on random adventures.
So come on, fess up, who’s been to the Level 2 nightclub past the age of 35 and stayed until the end – and loved it? It’s a guilty pleasure many are loath to admit to but the club does put on some great nights with some some pretty well known artists from on a regular basis.