Situated on the undulating valleys of Derbyshire (Dale district of Derbyshire), is a little known gem—Bakewell– quaint little market town, known for its tantalizing walks, cycle paths and mouth-watering puddings. Nestled on River Wye, Bakewell is a firm favourite with adrenaline-junkies, bikers and cyclists as well as poets, lovers, painters, bird-watchers, artists and of course, the true vagabonds.
As soon as you enter Bakewell, a rapidly changing skyline welcomes you—undulating valleys, beautiful foliage, old houses turning into small delis, shops and pubs; eye-catching meadows and greenery in various hues teasing your senses. You are likely to feel like walking into a picturesque postcard.
Bakewell is steeped in history; legend has it that town was probably founded in Anglo-Saxon times. The Bakewell Parish Church, a popular attraction and Grade 1-listed building, is said to have been founded in 920, and has a cross which dates back to 9thcentury – reason enough for its heritage status. The popular Bakewell market was established in 1254, while its five-arched bridge over the River Wye, also Grade 1 listed, was constructed in the 13th century. With so much history around, it is hard not to fall in love with the town.
Bakewell is known as one of the best walking destinations in northern England and it’s an honour not wasted. Wander along the banks of the river Wye littered with snowy winter leaves and aquatic birds happily crackling away on its water, or through the town’s many delis and vintage shops. The melancholy parish church sitting atop the hillside is a breath-taking sight and is a treasure trove of many little wonders: wooden shields, pre-Raphaelite windows, the sanctuary and altar.
It’s only natural that your stomach starts to growl after giving your limbs so much exercise and this is the place for all food lovers – particularly the sweet connoisseurs amongst you. Bakewell is the birthplace of the famous Bakewell pudding. There are many little bakeries all claiming to be the origin of the pudding; ditch the need to find out the truth because all of them are equally good. Also don’t forget to sneak a peek inside the famous Rutland Arms Hotel, where Jane Austen penned her legendary work Pride and Prejudice. Maybe the writer inside you will come alive.
Bakewell has something for everyone. It is a paradise for those who wish to discover vintage charm, eat good food, or simply wander the many cobblestone paths and meditate amidst the valleys and parks.
(There is no direct transportation from London to Bakewell. So, it is advisable to start early. Take an early cross-country train from Kings Cross and head to Sheffield; from here there are plenty of buses heading to Bakewell)