Tourists have been coming to Buxton and the Peak District since the 14th Century. Today Buxton is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Peak District.
Within an hour’s drive of Manchester, Sheffield, Derby and Stoke, Buxton with its famous Georgian and Victorian architecture provides an impressive backdrop to a rich and vibrant range of music, theatre and festivals. The Buxton Festival of World Cinema takes place around March/April, with the Big Session Festival of folk music at the end of April and the annual Antiques Fair in May. July brings the Buxton International Festival, the Buxton Well-Dressing Festival, Buxton Fringe Festival and the Buxton Military Tattoo. And this is just a small selection of what's on during the year!
There is much history in Buxton! The magnificent Buxton Crescent which is currently under renovation was built in 1780 and is home to the Natural Baths which are located on the site of the original Roman Baths. Due to open in 2019, the Crescent will become a luxury 5 star hotel and spa.
The Old Hall Hotel dates back to 1573 when the captive Mary Queen of Scots stayed at the hotel and sampled the healing properties of Buxton’s famous spa water. In 1636 the philosopher Thomas Hobbes named the ‘Seven Wonders of the Peak’, two of which are found in Buxton; Poole’s Cavern and St Anne’s Well. Don't forget to stop by the famous 'Lions Mouth' to sample our famous spa water for free!
Now part of the University of Derby, the Devonshire Dome is one of the most dramatic spaces in Britain and the largest unsupported dome in Europe. Built in 1779 by the 5th Duke of Devonshire, this magnificent grade II* listed building has dominated the Buxton skyline ever since.
There's lots in place to make sure you don't miss anything while you're visiting the area. The newly refurbished Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is due to re-open shortly and explores the geology, archaeology and history of the Peak District through seven time zones. There's a Heritage Trail if you fancy stretching your legs or if our hills look a little daunting you can take a guided tour aboard the fabulous Wonder of the Peak Tram. For a unique peek into the past Discover Buxton also run a number tours, complete with local character guides such as Mary Queen of Scots or Vera Brittain. Or take a glimpse behind the curtains of Buxton Opera House with one of our Back Stage Pass theatre tours.
Every September some 40,000 volunteers across England organise 5,000 events as part of Heritage Open Days to celebrate our fantastic history, architecture and culture. It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences in Buxton – all of which are free to explore!
Shopping, Food and Drink
There is a wealth of independent and high street shopping opportunities as well as an ever expanding choice of cafes, bars and restaurants.
The Green Man Gallery is housed in a fascinating Victorian building in the centre of town and is home to extensive and ever-changing exhibitions of original contemporary art and craft from across Derbyshire. The Gallery in the Gardens is a showcase for locally made, high quality art and craft. The Gallery is situated within the beautiful 23 acre Pavilion Gardens complex, in the main building adjacent to the Tourist Information desk.
Added to all this there is the stunning ornamental Pavilion Gardens, Poole’s Cavern show caves and the high thrills of Go Ape’s aerial rope walks. Buxton is also home to an Adventure Festival which includes a regular programme of events throughout the year. Buxton is the Gateway to the Peak District, and it’s a great base for all the huge range of outdoor activities that the National Park has to offer, but there’s so much going on in the town itself that you might find yourself hard pressed to leave!
Find out more:
We hope you enjoy your visit to Buxton. For more information about what there is to see and do in the town, you can go to the Visit Buxton or Explore Buxton's websites, pick up a copy of the Buxton Town Guide from the Tourist Information Centre in the Pavilion Gardens complex, or go to the Pavilion Gardens website.