The Peak District: 2 days in Bakewell

In May 2021, as hotels were re-opening and we were finally allowed the absolute joy of a staycation, our first choice for the bank holiday weekend was The Peak District – far enough from home it felt like a holiday, but not too far that we’d spend the whole time in the car. Our base for the stay was Bakewell, and then we added on a third day exploring Castleton (post HERE). Set to a backdrop of beautiful hills, walks and quaint houses and shops, Bakewell makes the perfect base to see some of the Peak District’s best attractions. I’ve put them in to a laid back itinerary for the perfect 2 day stay.


Day 1 – Bakewell and The Monsal Trail

A. Bakewell Bridge

Start the day with an early morning stroll along the river in Bakewell. You’ll pass the love lock bridge and then come to the Bakewell Bridge, a grade I listed stone bridge that crosses the River Wye. Here you can get some lovely views up and down the river and feed the ducks whilst having some breakfast on one of the many benches lining the river path.

Bakewell Bridge in the sunshine

B. Bakewell Town Hall and Almshouses

The Bakewell Almshouses are special, having been founded by St. John’s Hospital in 1602 for the poor. They’ve been renovated and restored and are absolutely beautiful. Also in the area is the town hall and a few lovely little lanes of gorgeous cottages.

C. All Saints Church

Sitting on the hill, Bakewell’s parish church is imposing and beautiful. The church was founded in 920 during the Anglo-Saxon times, and the churchyard still has two 9th Century crosses. You can still find Anglo-Saxon stonework in the porch and in some ancient stone coffins – amazing!

All Saints Church

D. Bakewell Pudding

Bakewell is most famous for its dessert variety tarts. But did you know the Bakewell tart was actually originally a Bakewell Pudding? And you can sample said original pudding in The Bakewell Pudding Shop in the heart of the town. Now, disclaimer – I am allergic to almonds so can’t eat said puddings and have no idea if they’re nice or not, but people assure me they are.

E. Little Longstone

At this point of the day, it’s time to head out of Bakewell and on to Monsal Head car park, around a 15 minute drive. From there, stroll in to Little Longstone to enjoy the pretty cottages and beautiful church, before indulging in a delicious pub lunch at The Packhorse Inn. We timed it for a Sunday and enjoyed an incredible roast.

F. The Monsal Trail

The Packhorse Inn is the start point of an amazing walk which takes in one of the Peak District’s most famous walks – the Monsal Trail. The route is constructed from an old railway line which connected Manchester and London on the Midland Railway from 1863 to 1968. Once closed, the old railway route was converted to a walking/cycling trail which is 8.5km in length.

Instead of walking straight along the trail, we decided to complete the route as shown HERE. This gave us a bit of variety – partially along the trail, across the viaduct, through tunnels, climbing for stunning ridge views and rambling along the river to take in waterfalls. Overall the route we took was around 5 miles and took us 2.5 hours to complete.

Views from the top down to the Viaduct

After finishing the walk we were exhausted so collapsed in a pub with a drink and an ice-cream, before heading back to our hotel to freshen up and head out for dinner.


Day 2 – Chatsworth

Chatsworth House lies a 15 minute drive from the centre of Bakewell, and is a must see on any visit to this area of the Peak District – especially as it’s often voted as Britain’s favourite country house. The house you see today was built in the 1500s, and during that century, Mary Queen of Scots was even held here. Since the mid 1600s, the house has been open for people to see despite being a residential home right up to the present day, with 16 generations of the Devonshire’s calling it home.

There is so much to do on site, and we easily filled a whole day.

A. Explore the parkland

Our first stop was a loop around the parkland in front of the house, taking in the views full of sheep and across the river and bridge down to the main house. In total we spent about 1 hour strolling around. It’s really important to do this first thing because by about 10.30am the whole grass area in front of the house was covered in cars as it’s the overflow carpark.

Views of the House from the parkland

B. Tour the house

After a short walk, we then went in to the House. You have to book timed entry, which run in 15 minute entry slots. You can then tour around a set route in the house, taking in the grand stair case, beautiful wood panelled rooms and more chandeliers than you can shake a stick at.

C. Enjoy the gardens

Chatsworth’s gardens are really something special. There are acres of stunning formal gardens, including waterfalls, ravines, a big maze, caves and kitchen gardens. My favourite area is the long pool with a fountain in it, looking to the back of the House – it’s a really beautiful view and a great spot to sit and take everything in.

Enjoying the gardens at Chatsworth

D. Indulge in afternoon tea

Chatsworth has a number of eating options, ranging from pizza food truck, to café bites, all the way through to formal afternoon tea. We decided to treat ourselves and book afternoon tea in The Flying Childers restaurant. Dress code is relaxed, but the restaurant itself is beautiful. I particularly loved the posh china and the tea was actually the best tea I’ve ever had and I drank the whole pot. To start, they bring you salmon, followed by a variety of finger sandwiches, followed by a stack of sweet treats including two scones each and delicious desserts. You can also choose to have champagne with it, or order other drinks from the bar.

E. Hike to the Hunting Tower

After afternoon tea, it was time for the final walk of the holiday – a short 15 minute hike up to Chatsworth’s Hunting Tower. This Tower is now actually an Airbnb, but the views from the top and the tower itself are beautiful. We sat up there with a final drink, before heading back to our car and heading home after a wonderful weekend away.


So that brings an end to 2 days in and around Bakewell. If you have longer for your stay in the Peak District, then add on a visit to Castleton, another picture perfect town in this amazing region.

Thanks so much for reading – I really hope you’ve enjoyed it and perhaps been encouraged to visit. Stay safe and happy travelling everyone.

17 Comments

  1. You had a really nice break away in a beautiful place! Wow, that All Saints Church with it’s history – must be quite amazing to visit. And what lovely views you had on your trail … a tunnel, waterfalls, a river – sounds like the perfect hike to me 😊.

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    1. Ah thank you, it really was a beautiful place to discover and I’m so glad we went even if jut for the weekend – I agree the views were wonderful and more than we were expecting 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting – have a lovely evening.

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  2. I love the Bakewell bridge and your picttures from town. I thought that would be my favourites but then the countryside and the hike along the old railway, may have taken over.

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    1. Aww thank you so much for your lovely comment – you’re right though, it was all just so picturesque and such a lovely part of England. I’ve just got back from a hiking holiday as well in the North of England so stay tuned for lots more hiking and countryside pictures! Thanks for reading and have a lovely evening 🙂

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  3. Beautiful! I have never been there but as always you make me want to explore these places that I have never even heard of! The Bakewell bridge looks so cute and romantic!! Thanks for making us discover all of these amazing places 😍

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  4. Gosh, everything looks so picturesque– helps that you went on such gorgeous, blue-sky days! Bakewell looks like a real delight, from the stunning interior of the Chatsworth House to the quaint Almshouses. Thankfully, I’m not allergic to almonds, and I’d be keen on trying out the Bakewell pudding! I also haven’t had afternoon tea in a long time, and I miss it dearly; I haven’t had a roast, but I’ve heard it’s legendary (and quintessentially British)! Another gorgeous, underrated spot in the UK, and I’ll have to add it to my list to visit once I can return to traveling someday. 🙂

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    1. Yes we were definitely very lucky with the weather – such a beautiful day. Bakewell is such a lovely place, definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the UK again… You definitely have to try a roast one day (roast beef and a Yorkshire pudding with lots of gravy is the best in my opinion) 🙂

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    1. Aw thanks so much Lyssy, that’s so kind of you. I’ve got a couple of weekends at home, but will be off on another adventure soon; it’s a lot of fun to share them on my stories so glad you enjoy them 🙂

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  5. The phrase ‘perfect weekend getaway’ comes to mind. The countryside is gorgeous and the food shots are making this Englishman very nostalgic. I really hope I get the chance to explore The Peak District next year.

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  6. Great post and so many wonderful photos. Now I know what Bakewell, the home of the traditional and my favorite dessert, Bakewell Tart looks like. I love Bakewell’s mellow stone buildings, medieval stone bridge, and would love to spend the night at the Hunting Tower – such a fascinating building. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

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    1. Thanks so much Aiva, that’s so nice of you to say. It really is such a beautiful place; and if it’s home to your favourite dessert, you’ll have to visit one day and try the original 🙂 Have a great weekend x

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