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Buxton Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    Buxton is surrounded by mountains and is itself a mountain spa producing natural mineral water. Its life as a spa town began in Roman times, when it provided warm mineral waters for people to bathe in. The spa town became famous in the Elizabethan era when it was regularly visited by Mary, Queen of Scots. A hall was built over the bath at this time by her custodian, the Earl o...Read moref Shrewsbury. The town became very popular in the 18th century and facilities were built in the shape of a crescent, providing hotels, houses and an assembly room. One notable section of this, The Great Stables, was completed in 1789. Hall Bank, built largely in the 1790s, provided lodging houses and the Square, built 1806, offered town houses. Buxton continued to grow as an important spa town in the Victorian era, when more facilities were built and the population increased. Many of the Victorian and Edwardian buildings can still be seen in the town today. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Buxton sits in what is known as the High Peak of Derbyshire. It is the largest town within the Peak District and has become a popular holiday destination for tourists wanting to explore the National Park. The University of Derby has a Buxton campus that offers further education and higher education. One of its most impressive buildings is the former Great Stables, with its hug...Read moree dome, which was previously used as part of the Derbyshire Royal Hospital. The Crescent buildings are undergoing a major development to create a five-star spa and 79-bedroom development. Read less

  • 3. Events

    There are many events to choose from in Buxton’s annual calendar. The Buxton Festival celebrates opera, music and literature and takes place over two weeks in July. Buxton Festival Fringe runs alongside the main festival and includes dance, drama, music, poetry, comedy, film, exhibitions and magic. In August, the town is taken over by events for the international Gilbert and...Read more Sullivan Festival. Thousands of performers take part in this festival in venues across the town. The Buxton Puppet Festival takes place in July and includes a wide range of puppetry styles, while the Four Time Festival of live music offers a programme of rock, pop, folk, blues, jazz and world music. The Buxton Wells Dressing and Carnival takes place in July and includes the town tradition of creating a picture made of natural materials to be positioned at the town’s wells. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    Poole’s Cavern is a limestone cave that has formed over millions of years. The site has a rich history to tell; evidence of pre-historic life from the Neolithic and early Bronze ages have been found at the site and it was said to have been visited by Mary, Queen of Scots. There is a modern visitors’ centre, restaurant and children's play area at the site. The Buxton Museum...Read more and Art Gallery takes the visitor through seven time zones in the Peak District and includes a Victorian scientist's study and a changing programme of exhibitions of art, craft, local history and photography. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    The Pavilion Gardens include a Victorian building, conference and exhibition facilities, a restaurant, café and swimming pool and over 23 acres of gardens. There is also a large children's play park, adventure playground and miniature railway. The Great Stables and Dome was built in the 18th century to house horses and servants, and is now part of the University of Derby. Vis...Read moreitors can enjoy the cafés, shops and restaurants in the space. Go Ape! is a high wire forest adventure course for adults and children over the age of 10. It includes rope bridges, Tarzan swings and zip-wires. Climbing, mountain biking, caving, walking and horse riding are just some of the activities on offer in the surrounding Peak District. Read less

  • 6. Business

    Farmers’ markets and arts and craft fairs are held regularly at The Pavilion Gardens in the town. Markets are also held in the town’s Market Place on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Shopping is varied in the town centre. The Spring Gardens Shopping Centre has many high street names as well as some local specialist shops. The Cavendish Arcade has shops selling crafts, fashion, anti...Read moreques, books and more. There is no shortage of restaurants, cafes, wine bars and tea rooms to choose from in Buxton and many of these have an emphasis on locally produced food. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    By car, Buxton is accessed by A-roads: A6, A515, A54, A53 and A537. The nearest motorways are the M6, to the west, and the M1, to the east. Manchester Airport is the closest airport to the town and is easily reached by rail or road. The town’s train station is in Station Road and has good services to the rest of the region.

  • 8. Entertainment

    Buxton Opera House is one of Britain’s leading provincial theatres, and offers around 450 performances each year including dance, comedy, children’s shows, drama, music, pantomime, opera and even shows on ice. Local and regional bands play open-air concerts every Sunday afternoon and on Bank Holidays at the bandstand in the Pavilion Gardens.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    The Crescent building is a Grade I listed site with a great history to tell. It has been dubbed as “Britain’s first leisure resort” and was built in 1780. The site is currently the subject of a regeneration plan.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    Buxton is 1,000ft above sea level and this makes it the highest market town in England.

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