Bakewell good base in Peak District?

Jan 7th, 2009, 09:02 AM
  #1  
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Bakewell good base in Peak District?

My college age daughter and I are thinking about a May/June trip to the English countryside, and would be trying to do it economically. We also propose to stay a week in London, but I have a decent handle on that end of things.

How is Bakewell for a base away from the big city? We'd be sketching, walking, maybe peeking into a Stately Pile, and would therefore need a car for local sightseeing?

Any thoughts on accommodations a step or two above hostels?
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Bakewell meets your brief almost perfectly.

You don't actually need a car: it's got a terrific bus network - which includes frequent links to the main railhead at Chesterfield, as well as to Macclesfield and Sheffield stations. You can easily walk to Chatsworth and Haddon Hall - but there are buses there too (they're proper walks: not just a 400 yd stroll), as well as to lots of other nearby places.

Till very recently, most tourism came by public transport - and there are still loads of walkers at weekends coming in by bus from the S Lancashire/E Midlands conurbations. A car helps you get about more - but I'd say Bakewell is about the best small town in Britain to be without a car in.

Can't help on "step above hostels": the Rutland's the only hotel I've ever used there: OK, but pricey for what it is and has a higher opinion of itself than it ought to. Staff are nice, though.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 11:20 AM
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I know you want something a "step above hostels," but the YHA hostel at Hartington, near Bakewell, is really great. It doesn't look or feel like what you might think of as a hostel - very nice common areas, locally brewed ales and cider, good locally sourced food, etc. We spent two nights there and would happily do it again.

Here's a link:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9d62d5

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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Thanks, flanner. Very helpful! We hope for a walkable town with some commerce. Five or ten mile walk would be right up our alley. Is there a walking path to Chatsworth, do you know?
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Nice, Lee Ann. Thanks! Is there a town with bakeries, pubs, etc. in walking distance?
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 12:31 PM
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BTW, flanner, this daughter knows you as the one who priced your house out of Colin Firth's range.
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 01:48 PM
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Of course there's a path. This is England: there's always a path - and Bakewell's at the centre of an awful lot. .

HOWEVER, I was thinking about my earlier comment over supper. You CAN visit Bakewell without a car - but we never have. It rains a lot in Derbyshire, and having to depemd on public transport if you're staying in a nice, but not wonderful, B&B can be pretty miserable.

I'm not sure, BTW, that Firth couldn't afford our house: it just might not have been grand enough for him. We had a reputation in those days for writing much better ads for our houses than estate agents could ever manage. Got lots of visitors - but a fair few thought the ads were more attractive than the house.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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Lee Ann, I booked Hartington Hall for a couple of nights in April based on your review (and those of others which concur.)

I'm mainly going to visit Chatsworth and Haddon Hall. Apart from the scenery and the 'walks' are there any other 'must sees' or 'off the beaten track hidden gems' close by?
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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<<Is there a town with bakeries>>

Indeed, I believe there are quite a few tarts in Bakewell

Geordie
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Jan 7th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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Oh, dear, Geordie. Now I have to figure out how many double entendres, if any, were in that sentence, or whether it's merely culinary reference over my head.

Thanks, flanner. Would Chesterfield be the sort of town where someone could rent a car? Alternately we could put the theoretical unspent car money into a wonderful hotel.

re: Firth. I'd prefer to think the house was too good for him, if it's all right with you. We must have our little illusions.
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 07:35 PM
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We stayed a bit outside of Bakewell in a B&B(couldn't have been more than a few minutes drive out of Bakewell) - I think you'll love staying in Bakewell as it's a very cute town.

Don't know if this is what you are looking for, but you might want to check the Chatsworth website about accomodations on their property. Lots of cottages to rent, and you can even stay in the hunting tower...it probably will be impractical to stay there if you don't rent a car though.
Anna1013 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Hartington Hall YHA is on the edge of Hartington, which is pretty small. There is at least one pub and some stores; we didn't spend a lot of time in town, so I can't tell you what all is there. By the time we got done with our daily activities, all we wanted to do was grab a pint and put our feet up in front of the fire.

Eigasuki, I hope you like it as much as we did!

Lee Ann

ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Anna, the Chatsworth inns look beautiful. Unfortunately, I haven't even broken it to my husband or other daughter that we're looking into this trip. (Had promised him we'd all go to Yellowstone this summer.) So surrounding ourselves with luxury on top of breaking promise would not go over well.
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:18 AM
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Sorry, flanner. Chesterfield seems to have lots of car rental places per quick web search.
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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Hi Stokebailey
There are plenty of gems but they are not so well hidden. These are within easy reach:
1 Castleton - lovely village set in the scenic Peak District;
2 Eyam - the atmospheric plague village;
3 Dovedale - for scenic but easy walks;
4 Hathersage - connections with the Bronte's and the resting place of Little John.

As walking is one of your interests you wont be disappointed.
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Jan 8th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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Thanks, stevelyon. Intriguing!
Would that be Robin Hood's Little John?
Atmospheric plague village. Cool! Coincidentally, this same daughter became interested in The Plague for a few months when she was ~nine, but there weren't too many good children's books on the subject. (An author opportunity for someone.)
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Jan 8th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Eyam is notable because when plague came to the village via some old clothes from London, the villages put themselves into quarantine and prevented the disease from spreading
see
http://www.eyamvillage.org.uk/plague.htm
MissPrism is offline  
Jan 8th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Thank you, Miss P. That really is a good story. Human cooperation for the greater good.

I see the germ of an economic justification for the trip:
1. arrive at Eyam with bare bones of children's book.
2. soak up atmosphere at the source.
3. return home, polish, give JK Rowling a run for her money, buy my own Stately Pile.
stokebailey is offline  

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