The Town and Architecture
Buxton is a lovely town which owes much of its character to its fine architecture. When visiting, take your time to explore the town and make sure you include a visit to The Crescent and The Dome. The Crescent (1780-1784) is based on Bath’s Royal Crescent and was built when the spa waters in the town became really popular, it also has a grand assembly room with a beautiful painted ceiling. The Dome (1780-1789) is one of the grandest building in Buxton, formerly a hospital, it’s now part of Derby’s Devonshire university campus. The Pavilion Gardens, the natural baths and the original pump room are a must see and if you have time, walk to Solomon’s Temple a granite, crooked folly built in 1834, which offers great views over Buxton and the Peak District.
The Opera House
Buxton’s famous opera house was built in 1903 and lovingly restored to its former glory in 2001. It’s an exquisite example of an Edwardian theatre and officially the highest Opera House in England. It hosts 450 performances each year including dance, comedy, children’s shows, drama, musical concerts, pantomime and opera as well as a lively Fringe Theatre and Community and Education Programme.
Sampling the Spring Water
You cannot come to Buxton without trying the famous spring water which is also bottled and sold all over the world by the Buxton Mineral Water Company. Head towards St Ann’s Well (located next to the pump rooms and the crescent) and fill one of your own bottles from the permanent flow rising from the underground geothermal spring.
Pedestrian-friendly Buxton offers all the usual high street shops, some very good specialist designer boutiques and individual independent shops selling everything from antiques and crafts to interiors and home-ware. There is also a lively market every Tuesday and Saturday, a monthly farmer’s market and a Museum and Art Gallery which holds regular exhibitions of paintings, ceramics and photography. Well Dressing is held here every summer.
The surrounding countryside
Buxton is positioned right on the edge of the Peak District national park hence it’s nickname ‘Gateway of the Peak.’ It’s surrounded by beautiful countryside which is perfect for walking, to the west of the town is Poole’s Cavern-a natural limestone cave and popular attraction. There is also a lovely woodland country park which can be found next to Poole’s Cavern.
The Romans developed the settlement that eventually became the town of Buxton. The Romans called the town the spa of the goddess of the grove and Buxton was an important Roman site with three bath houses and a shrine. Many Royal visits including Mary Queen of Scots (who visited here for the proposed healing qualities of the spa waters) enhanced the reputation of the town.
- Buxton’s geothermal spring rises at a constant temperature of 28°C