DISCOVERING THE HEART OF THE PEAK DISTRICT WITH FAIRFAX AND FAVOR
by Ben Buxton,
First Published: 21 Dec, 2023
Forget your standard travel guides; this is a journey through Bakewell, the gem of the Peak District, tailored for the discerning Fairfax & Favor aficionado.
So, zip up those Explorers and let's dive into the first ever National Park in the UK, specifically its quaint market town and surrounds, where history meets style meets… you!
1. THE FAIRFAX & FAVOR STORE IN BAKEWELL'S HISTORIC TOWN HALL
Our Peak District journey starts at the Fairfax and Favor store, of course. The brand-new Bakewell store is nestled in the Old Town Hall, a gorgeous two-story stone building with a history reaching back to 1602. Here, you can indulge in our latest collections, book a private shopping experience, or stare longingly at your favourite shoes in front of your significant other. Christmas is just around the corner, after all.
And if your friends or family need a distraction whilst you ‘Fairfax & Favor’ away the day, the Old House Museum is just a few steps uphill. Open from late March to early November, this tax collector’s cottage turned mill worker’s abode is now a delightful interactive museum.
Fairfax & Favor Match: Whichever item brings you the most joy in store on the day.
2. NIBBLE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF BAKEWELL
Bakewell is a treasure trove of antiquities, quaint tea shops, and spots to enjoy the famous Bakewell Pudding (not to be confused with a tart!). Whilst legend has it that this pudding was, in fact, created by mistake, today both Bloomers and the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop claim to have the original recipe… so the only logical thing to do, of course, is to try both and compare. Perhaps twice.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a cosy escape from the weather after a successful Fairfax & Favor store visit, the Rutland Arms Hotel does a fabulous afternoon tea and excellent coffee, and the Lambton Larder is a must-visit for fresh, local treats, which you can eat in or take away in a giant hamper.
3. ICONIC BRIDGES AND A VISIT TO BAKEWELL’S VISITOR CENTRE
A ‘gephyrophile’ is a person who has the compulsion to cross bridges. A ‘pontist’ is someone who is very enthusiastic about bridges. A ‘tourist’ is someone who is both of the above… but only on holiday. What is it about bridges when you are exploring somewhere new?
Bakewell is the ideal location for pontists and tourists alike, as some of Bakewell’s most defining and memorable features are the tranquil River Wye and the many bridges from which to cross it. Stroll to the Bakewell Bridge, a 14th-century stone arch marvel, and don't miss the Love Lock Bridge (grab a padlock from the cobbler in Matlock Street if you wish to). The Visitor Centre, housed in the original market hall, is a great starting point, especially on Mondays, which are market days.
5. SAY YEAST: THORNBRIDGE BREWERY AND WYE BAKERY
Bread and beer are made from different strains of the same yeast species (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, though we’re slightly embarrassed to know this), so it’s not just you who thinks they make an excellent combination. Nature made them as a matching set, sort of like boots and tassels.
Just a stone's throw from the town centre, the Thornbridge Brewery awaits. Pre-book a tour, enjoy their popular tap room, and if you're a fan of beer and pizza, you're in for a treat. Nearby, the Wye Bakehouse offers delectable sourdoughs, pastries, and coffee, a local favourite from Wednesday to Sunday.
4. THE JANES: CHATSWORTH HOUSE AND HADDON HALL
Just a short drive from Bakewell, Chatsworth is the largest privately owned house in the UK. Chatsworth has over 25 rooms to explore, each filled with 4,000 years of art, from ancient Roman and Egyptian sculptures to masterpieces by artists ranging from Rembrandt to David Nash.
Chatsworth House was the inspiration for Jane Austen’s Pemberley House in Pride and Prejudice, which means it is as close as you can geographically get to Mr Darcy in the real world. Whilst (sadly) Colin Firth is unlikely to emerge from the river these days, there is still much to entertain, including the May Horse Trials and the September Country Fair.
Meanwhile, just two miles away, Haddon Hall has been the location for no fewer than three film adaptations of Jane Eyre… which, we suppose, makes it the closest you can get to tempestuous Mr Rochester. Haddon Hall has also been called ‘the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’ and has free guided tours and an enchanting Christmas Artisan Mercatum.
Fairfax & Favor Match: Grace trench coat in tan suede – elegance and history combined.
6. CASTLETON CAVES
If you’re willing to explore a little further afield, Castleton is a stunning village just thirteen miles from Bakewell. It is home to Peveril Castle and is also the world’s only source of Blue John stone. Castleton is definitely worth a visit if you’re up for an adventure, from trekking around the ruins of Peveril Castle where you can admire a stunning view of the Peak District, to exploring one of the four caves and even boat through a flooded tunnel in the old Speedwell mine.
However, CW Sellors has a store in Bakewell that sells jewellery made from Blue John stone, sourced directly from Castleton’s Treak Cliff Cavern, so you don’t even need to leave Bakewell to experience a little of the Castleton magic.
And there you have it, a not-so-typical guide to Bakewell, brimming with history, charm, and the perfect Fairfax & Favor pairings for every occasion. Don't forget to share your Bakewell stories and snaps with us – we're always eager to see our customers' adventures!