Rich in grandeur and style, the spa town of Buxton in Derbyshire is surrounded by the exquisite Peak District National Park. It is a beautiful spa town dating back to Roman times full of architecturally impressive buildings. Book a self-catering holiday in a beautiful townhouse or restored apartment with views over the moors above the town. This town, one of the highest in Britain, was developed as a spa town by the 5th Duke of Devonshire, in the eighteenth century, based around the spring waters, discovered (as usual) by the Romans. There are many Neo-Classical buildings - The Devonshire Royal Hospital (1790) and the Crescent, rivalling Bath, the iron and glass Pavilion, with its twenty three acre Gardens. The Opera House, (known as "The Theatre in the hills" for its beautiful setting) stages a multi-cultural Music and Arts Festival in July. Buxton's rich culture is symbolised by its 18th Century spa, The Devonshire Dome and its Edwardian Opera House, the latter now restored to its former glory and home to the prestigious Buxton Festival and the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival.
Buxton is also quite rightly immensely proud of its architecture; perhaps this is why it is such a popular holiday destination. That and its location in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
Visit the former town baths now house a shopping arcade and the tourist office (01298 25106). It's here that a thermal spring spurts at the rate of 1,540 gallons an hour. Buy a bottle of it, or get it for free from a public fountain at St. Anne's Well opposite. The Slopes, very steep gardens, drop from the Crescent to the Museum and Art Gallery, which has won awards for its geological and archaeological displays.
Visit the Poole's Cavern, a show-cave, the longest horizontal cave view in Britain, or pop into the Bookstore, Brierton Bar, on Ashbourne Road, to find 20,000 books. It is one of the largest discount bookshops in the country - and has a kids' play area and coffee shop.
Drive further afield in Derbyshire to visit the magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire - Chatsworth Park (01246 565300) and Haddon Hall, the Tudor home of the Duke of Rutland (01629 812855). Arrive in the future at Jodrell Bank Observatory, with one of the largest steerable radio telescopes in the world. Its attractions include a Planetarium, exhibits for the younger members of the family, and even an arboretum and birdwatching hide (01477 571339).
The White Peak area of the Peak District National Park (the first in the country, created in 1951) has an age-old feeling of isolation and solitude while you walk and cycle through it, looking out for the fine Stone Age "henge" at Arbor Low. And finally, enjoy an original Bakewell Pudding (they're not called 'tarts' here) bought at the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop. Despite being landlocked, there's a lot for visitors to enjoy in Buxton and its surrounding villages in addition to a healthy choice of attractive holiday cottages to act as a comfortable base. Attractions include Go Ape' - let loose for the day and swing like Tarzan through the wonderful forest surrounding Buxton.
Go hiking across the Peak District admiring the world-status surroundings, reckoned unbeatable in terms of natural beauty by many of its regular visitors. Indulge yourself in a cream tea at the end of a long day trekking through the beautiful Derbyshire countryside around Buxton and relax and take in the great outdoors.
On top of all this, Buxton is greatly unappreciated in terms of its shopping, being host to an eclectic collection of shopping centres and a sophisticated line up of bars and restaurants. Although Buxton is perhaps most famous for its bottled spa water, it is clear that there is much more for visitors of the town to drink in when holidaying here.