Check out our ultimate guide to the top 20 things to do in Buxton. Discover the very best in attractions, theatre and the arts, outdoors and activities, events, best bars and eateries, and, some lesser known gems you really shouldn’t miss if you’re here.
This petting farm 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…
Go Ape Buxton is in walking distance from our historic spa town and you’ll also find the two-million-year-old natural limestone cave Poole’s Cavern, in Buxton Country Park. If you’re looking to give your pupils a school trip to remember, or you fancy giving your little monkeys a birthday party they won’t forget or you like the idea of swinging through the trees on your next hen or stag do –this thrilling outdoor activity is lots of fun and the woodlands are really pretty too.
Redeveloped in 2017 with a £1.5m Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the Wonders of the Peak exhibition has been completely transformed. The museum now has 10% more objects on display and much more for children to explore and engage with – such as the Bear Trail, because yes, the bear is still here, who, over the years has become an unofficial mascot for the museum loved locals. The collection of archaeological artifacts, minerals and fossils from the Peak District as well as artwork, photographs and objects owned by people who lived in Buxton, make this a must visit. And, it’s free entry too. You can really gain a sense of understanding about the social, geological and cultural history of the area. The gift shop has also had a complete makeover with a fantastic range of merchandise, gifts, postcards and souvenirs now on sale.
See the richly decorated architecture of The Crescent and a dome bigger that St. Pauls Cathedral at the University of Derby.
and discover more about Mary Queen of Scots and her visits to Buxton at the Old Hall Hotel. This superb tour of the town gives will take you to Buxton’s most iconic locations and buildings and is great value for money too.
Opened in December 2017, Buxton Cinema promises to be something quite different than your standard multiplex. A developing project, which will continue to grow over time, it is hoped that the Buxton Cinema can start to fill the cinematic void which has previously left Buxtonians forced to travel for up to an hour to get their cinema fix. Showing the latest blockbusters as they’re released and a snip with tickets are priced at £7 (Students/Children £5).
If 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 shout and wave as you go through the tunnel…
Poole’s Cavern makes for a great day out come rain or shine and there’s a nice woodland nice walk on offer too if you fancy a ramble. In the cave, explore the vast limestone caverns and see how the spectacular crystal stalactites and stalagmites have lined the chambers over millions of years. With 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 @ 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 knowledgeable and the homemade cakes on offer in the Dress Circle bar are pretty good too.
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 in 2015, it’s easy to see why. This small spa beautifully kitted out has a sauna, steam rooms, hydro pool, foot spa and various treatments on offer with the therapists. The prices are superb and extremely reasonable for what is on offer too. The spa has a real sense of luxury inside and you can also book full day packages that include afternoon tea.
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 and it’s fascinating once you get started too. Buxton Civic Association produce a handy walking guide that makes it easier to find and you’ll spot things in and amongst the landscape you might never have noticed before. This makes for a lovely walk with great views of the town too.
Frank Matcham designed this 902 seat theatre dating back to 1903, displaying both a spectacular exterior and interior.
The year-round programme offers drama, comedy, music, family events and opera and the theatre is home to the well known annual Buxton International Festival, as well as many other regular festivals. The programme is diverse with something on offer for all ages and there’s regular workshops for children too.
The Bike & 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.
The magnificent dome, home to the University of Derby, is well worth a visit and while you’re here you can enjoy lunch or a Costa Coffee and stare at what was once Europe’s largest unsupported dome. There is also a fine dining restaurant here too – which you need to book in advance. All food is cooked by the students and is extremely reasonable price wise.
One of Derbyshire and Buxton’s largest annual events in July which attracts crowds of thousands every year. Watching the carnival and enjoying the live entertainment is a Buxton institution but joining in the parade, well you can always do that too if you fancy it.
This open mic night at Buxton Tap House is firmly established as part of Buxton’s live music scene and all genres are welcome to join in. It makes for a good mid-week outing and you can enjoy a few cask ales while your at it 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. The woodlands are both lovely and ideal spots for walking the dog or a picnic in summer. Corbar Cross in Spring is famous for it’s glorious carpet of bluebells. A walk to Solomon’s Temple can always be mean a visit to Poole’s Cavern as the walk starts at the entrance to the cave – and you can also enjoy a snack or lunch in the cavern cafe before or after a walk up here.
A day out for all the family to enjoy – with the thrills and spills of stock car racing. There’s burgers and a licensed car here to keep you going during too.
The gallery offers a wide ranging and regular programme of workshops – for all abilities. If you fancy trying something completely differently such as book binding, life drawing, rag rug making and so much more, this is the place to come. The gallery generally has an exhibition on too as well as the superb gift shop here which sells the gallery resident artists’ work. The workshops are also a great meet new people locally too.
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 seeing different parts of the Buxton, if you want to explore the town a bit more.