For centuries, visitors have been drawn to Buxton and its many landmarks like the Opera House, the Crescent and the imposing Devonshire Dome. Being a thousand feet above sea level, another notorious feature of Buxton is its micro-climate. The town actually has its own weather website and daily forecast! However, it was an unexpected shower that led me to the Gallery in the Gardens. A few years ago, I took shelter in the Pavilion itself and found myself in this wonderful art gallery. I had not planned to buy art this day but I fell in love with a fantastic and very affordable print of a cat and the place has now become an essential stop on my day off.
The format of the gallery is very user-friendly, divided into a sequence of mini-exhibitions, each by a different artist. As you turn each corner, you are greeted by a fresh fusillade of creativity. As well as paintings, you’ll find a plethora of jewellery, textiles, sculpture, prints, illustrations, glass and photography.
The Gallery in the Gardens is home to the High Peak Artists group, around 45 local artists and craftspeople with an emphasis on quality, established in 1996. They run the gallery themselves and are on hand to talk about the work if you have any questions. The vibe is very relaxed and informal. If you need some time to consider a purchase, adjacent is the Pavilion Kitchen, Ice Cream Parlour and the Little Gin Garden Bar, as well as the gardens themselves.
The Pavilion might not seem an obvious location for an art gallery but nestled amongst the landscapes of the gardens, it actually works really well. Gifted to the people of Buxton 150 years ago by the Duke of Devonshire, the park provides a gentle and picturesque stroll around a park in the middle of town.
Many of the artworks in the gallery reflect local scenes from Buxton and the Peak District beyond. I’ve yet to walk away empty-handed and I’m sure you can find something unique for your own abode, regardless of whether you’re a local or a visitor, and it won’t leave a big dent in your purse either.
When we visited this week, I see the gallery has new lighting which really shows off the works. It’s always exciting to see new additions to the group too. The latest member of High Peak Artists is photographer Andrew Brooks who captures truly stunning shots of the famous local landscape, including iconic Buxton locations. You can find out more about his work here.
The gallery is open 7 days a week and throughout September 9.30am – 5pm each day. Entry is free.
Gallery in the Gardens, Pavilion Gardens, St. John’s Road, Buxton, SK17 6BE
T: 07849 673058 / 01298 23114