This enchanting spa town of Buxton has a timeless beauty that makes it well worth visiting. Sitting at 1000 ft. above sea level, Buxton is England’s highest market town and is tucked effortlessly within the terrain of the Borough of High Peak, Derbyshire.
Aside from its breathtaking setting and surrounding hiking trails, Buxton is a terrific place to visit because of its historical relevance, well-known Georgian and Victorian architecture, lovely gardens, and many shops, bars, and restaurants.
From the best attractions, theatre and arts to exciting outdoor activities, walks and hikes, from the best bars and restaurants to some uncelebrated jewels, we’ll show you the best and most incredible things to do in Buxton right here.
So let’s explore together and find out about the best and most surprising things to do in Buxton.
60+ Fun Things To Do In Buxton: No More Boredom!
1. The Pavilion Gardens
The Pavilion Gardens is an excellent place if you’re looking for somewhere beautiful but straightforward to explore. The gardens feature a large lake, statues and fountains, a maze and a rose garden.
The park has lovely trees and flowers that create a canopy over the paths, making it feel like you’re walking through a forest. But as the tracks are made of brick, you won’t have to worry about getting your shoes dirty.
2. Buxton Opera House
The Buxton Opera House is a stunning building with a fascinating history. The structure has had a variety of purposes over the years, including hosting plays, dances, film screenings, and concerts, but it is best known for its use as a theatre.
The opera house was built from local stone and features an intricate facade with arches, turrets, and other architectural details that make it look like a castle.
It hosts many events, including plays and concerts by local artists and travelling performers worldwide. See what’s happening when you’re in town!
3. Poole’s Cavern
Look no further than Poole’s Cavern if you’re looking for a day trip that will keep your kids entertained. Poole’s Cavern is a unique cave system with an underground lake and a series of underground tunnels.
The Cavern is about one mile long and was formed by an underground river that flowed through sediment and dissolved the limestone over millions of years. The Cavern’s walls are covered with stalactites and stalagmites, formed when water drips onto the rock ceiling or drips from the cave’s surface into pools on the floor below.
4. Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
A visit to the Buxton Museum & Art Gallery is necessary if you wish to learn more about Buxton’s history, archaeology, and geology. The museum holds various artefacts dating back to the Iron Age.
They also features many exhibits covering local history and there’s many artwork pieces from local artists and ones from worldwide too.
5. Devonshire Dome
The Devonshire Dome is another historic structure in Buxton. As part of a larger strategy to advertise Buxton as a spa resort, the reigning Duke of Devonshire commissioned the first stables and crescent on the site in 1785.
A portion of the structure of the Devonshire Dome was converted into a hospital, and the remaining part was renovated. An award-winning spa is also located inside the Buxton Dome, offering various luxurious wellness services to enhance your well-being.
6. Buxton Park
The first thing you’ll notice about Buxton Country Park is the smell, like a combination of fresh-cut grass, pine trees, and rain! Picnic tables are available throughout the park, so you can sit down to enjoy your lunch while you watch the ducks swim by.
Many trails throughout the park are meant for hiking or biking. You can also go on historical tours of the park, including information about its history and wildlife.
7. Solomon’s Temple
Walking through the forest trail for around 30 minutes will bring you to Solomon’s Temple, which is perched eminently on the summit of Grin Low.
Solomon’s Temple was constructed on top of an ancient burial mound. You will be treated to breathtaking 360-degree views of Buxton and the surrounding area from the top of Solomon’s Temple.
8. GO Ape Adventure
If you’re looking for something quick and fun to do with your friends or family on a day trip from London, this is worth checking out.
GO Ape Adventure in Buxton is an outdoor activity park where you can swing through the trees like Tarzan and Jane. You’ll come across zip lines, rope bridges, Tarzan swings, and more, all set in the lush green hills of Buxton.
9. St. Ann’s Well
St Ann’s Well has been a place of worship since the Middle Ages. Even today, visitors come from around the world to pray and drink from its waters.
They say if you drink from St Ann’s Well, you’ll be cured of any illness or disease, including mental conditions. The water is also said to be suitable for skin disorders and to help with joint pain due to arthritis or gout.
10. St Anne’s Church
St Anne’s Church is a beautiful spot to spend a few minutes looking out at the town below or praying for your loved ones.
Whether you’re looking for peace or guidance or simply some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, St Anne’s Church will provide an experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired to keep going.
11. Charlotte’s Chocolatier & Cafe
Charlotte’s Chocolatier & Cafe is a small shop specialising in handmade chocolates and sweet treats. It is a cosy little cafe that serves hot chocolate drinks and cakes made from scratch with fresh ingredients.
They also have an extensive selection of sandwiches, salads, soups and hot meals if you’re looking for something more substantial. Their desserts are made fresh daily, offering take-out options and seating inside the cafe. Popping in to this shop for some delicious chocolate is this is easily one of the best things to do in Buxton!
12. Cavendish Arcade
The Cavendish Arcade is a historic shopping arcade in Buxton, so it has a long history of bringing people together for fun times and good memories.
It’s a great place to start your day with coffee and shopping. If you’re looking for a place to shop, this is the perfect place. You can find everything from clothing stores to art galleries.
13. The Arches
The Arches is a beautiful artisan market in the heart of Buxton. The market is located in an old railway arches area and has been transformed into a vibrant shopping destination where you can find anything from handmade jewellery to home decor.
If you’re looking for something more hands-on, there are workshops where you can learn how to make jewellery, pottery, or other crafts.
14. Buxton Raceway
Buxton Raceway, a car racing track, is a delightful place to visit. If you’re a fan of cars, you’ll love the variety at Buxton Raceway.
There are races you can enjoy watching, and there are plenty of things non-racing fans can do too. You can take a guided tour around the track or ride on the train alongside it.
15. Goyt Valley
If you’re looking for a bit of culture and history in your travels, the Goyt Valley is the place to go. The River Goyt runs through the valley and is one of the main reasons it’s so beautiful.
Limestone cliffs and hills surround it with trees growing on them. You can do many things here, like go for a walk along the river, horseback riding, or hiking along one of more than 30 trails through this stunning landscape.
16. Buxton Crescent Hotel
If you’re looking for a hotel with culture and history just a few minutes’ walk from some of the country’s most famous landmarks and attractions, this is your place.
It was converted into an elegant boutique hotel with luxury guest rooms with high ceilings and antique furniture. They also have suites perfect for larger groups or families travelling together.
17. Chatsworth House
If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful place to visit, look no further than Chatsworth House. This historic estate is just a short drive from Buxton and is a classic example of an English country house with a park.
There are many ways to enjoy Chatsworth House. You can take a guided tour through the rooms and gardens, climb up the tower to see what life was like centuries ago, or buy products from the farm shop and picnic on the grounds.
18. Buxton Crescent Heritage Experiences
If you’re looking to explore the history and culture of Buxton, then you need to check out this crescent of houses. Buxton Crescent Heritage Experiences is an outdoor museum that showcases how people lived in the Victorian era.
It is an old-fashioned street highlighting Victorian and Edwardian architecture. It featured many styles, including Georgian, Regency and Gothic Revival.
19. The Gallery in the Gardens
The Gallery in the Gardens is a lovely place to visit. It’s a beautiful space full of art, with a garden area perfect for relaxing. The gallery has been around for centuries, making it one of the oldest private galleries in the world.
Inside you’ll find artwork and paintings from local and famous artists. There are also sculptures and prints and other pieces spread throughout the house.
20. Axe Edge Moor
The moor is known as the “edge” because it’s on the edge of the Peak District and is a famous place for walking, climbing, and mountain biking.
The moor is beautiful, covered in heather and surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. The landscape is rugged and wild, but there are also plenty of paths for those who want to see it up close.
21. Archie’s Farm
Children can pet and engage with various friendly domestic animals at Archie’s Farm, a rural attraction in the picturesque Peak District countryside.
They can also learn exciting facts about the farm’s pigs, alpacas, and goats during scheduled feedings, and they can pet guinea pigs twice a day. Children can also play with sand diggers and space hoppers at the farm.
22. Miller’s Dale
Miller’s Dale is a stunning valley that feels like it was designed by nature to be photographed. The picturesque scenery of the enchanting valley and the surrounding hills are so beautiful that they’ve been used as filming locations for many different movies and TV shows.
The village is surrounded by limestone cliffs and hills, home to lots of different flora and fauna. Miller’s Dale has many trails for hikers who want to explore this scenic area on foot too.
23. Monsal Trail
Monsal Trail is the place for you if you’re looking for a trail that’s easy to access and offers a lot of bang for your buck.
The trail is so well-travelled that there are even guided tours available to walk with a guide if you want more information about the history of the land and what’s being done to preserve it. The Monsal Trail is easy enough for beginners and offers plenty of beautiful scenery.
24. The Green Man Gallery
If you’re looking for a little bit of art and nature, look no further than The Green Man Gallery. The gallery boasts a wide variety of exhibits that showcase local artists and their work.
Many different types of art are on display, including paintings, sculptures, handmade pottery, jewellery, and more. The art ranges from modern to traditional, so there’s something for everyone.
25. The Ring of Trees trail
The Ring of Trees trail is a short walk that takes you through the woods surrounding Buxton’s historic Crescent Gardens.
This trail is a perfect way to taste Buxton’s local flora and fauna without going too far from the town centre. The course takes you through fields, forests, a beautiful river, several ruins, and many ponds and lakes.
26. Buxton Buzz Comedy Club
Buxton Buzz Comedy Club is the place to be if you’re looking for a night out with a side of laughter. Located in Buxton, this comedy club is the perfect place to enjoy good food and drinks while watching some of great comedians.
The club hosts performances every night, and they also host two different kinds of shows, Comedy Nights and Open Mic Nights. In our opinion this is easily one of the best things to do in Buxton!
27. The Buxton Coal Mining Trail
The Buxton Coal Mining Trail is a great way to see this area’s history while enjoying its natural beauty. The mining trail was a coal mining site from the late 19th century until the mid-20th century.
Along the mining trail, you will see beautiful views, other natural landmarks, and remnants of mining operations, such as old mine shafts and tunnels.
28. Eat in the Park
The Eat in the Park festival is a food lover’s dream. It features food stalls from all over the country and restaurants worldwide serving delicious treats.
The festival is an annual celebration of food and drinks on Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens grounds. It’s a great way to sample some local produce and get a taste of British culture.
29. Devonshire Spa and Health Club
When looking for a spa getaway, you need to look no further than Devonshire Spa and Health Club. This spa is located in the Peak District National Park and is one of the most luxurious health clubs in the area.
The spa offers many treatments, including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and more. You can also enjoy some leisurely time in the sauna or steam room before or after your treatment.
30. Buxton Well Dressing
The Buxton Well Dressing Festival is an annual festival celebrating the art of Well dressing. It’s a centuries-old tradition that involves covering wells with layers of clay and chalk to create elaborate designs and patterns.
The wells are decorated with flowers, fruits, vegetables and other natural materials. It’s believed that this ancient practice was used to protect wells from evil spirits or diseases.
31. Discover Buxton Tours
If you’re looking for a heritage tour provider highlighting the town’s history and stunning architecture, look no further than Discover Buxton Tours.
This tour company offers private walking tours of the town and its surrounding villages, as well as guided horse-riding tours through the Peak District National Park. Additionally, they provide guided geology, walking, and Mary Queen of Scots trips.
32. The Old Sun Inn
A trip to Derbyshire isn’t complete without a visit to The Old Sun Inn. It’s an old-fashioned pub with a history that dates back to the 18th century.
The pub was originally built as a toll house for the Peak District Turnpike Trust. The building is a unique architectural and historical building and was built using local materials, such as sandstone from nearby quarries, oak from local forests, and lime mortar.
Visiting this pub is definitely one of the best things to do in Buxton!
33. Corbar Cross
Corbar Cross is a beautiful example of the kind of early Christian art that can be found in the Peak District. It’s an ancient stone cross that stands in a small square near the centre of Buxton.
It is believed to have been erected sometime between the 8th and 11th centuries CE. The cross is made of sandstone and was carved by hand with detailed carvings on all four sides. The top of the Corbar Cross was lost over time, but it once held a statue or effigy of Christ.
34. Swains Centre
If you’re looking for a place to get your adrenaline rush, look no further than Swains Centre. It is a place where you can drive your car on a race track!
Even if you don’t know anything about cars or racing, it’s still worth a visit just to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy other activities, like go-karting and mini-golf.
35. Roller Energy
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking your skills to the next level, competing in competitions, or having fun skating with friends, this club is for you. This club is the perfect place for any skater who wants to learn how to do more than just gliding around on wheels.
They offer classes for all skill levels and ages, not just kids. They also have a great selection of gear from top brands so that you can practice with comfort and style.
36. The Pavilion Arts Centre
The Pavilion Arts Centre is a gorgeous piece of art with its stately architecture and houses an extensive collection of art from around the world. The museum is home to everything from traditional paintings to modern sculptures.
It’s not just the actual exhibits that are worth seeing. The grounds around the building are also just as impressive. The Pavilion also hosts musical performances throughout the year and classes for children of all ages.
37. Samuel Turner Memorial Drinking Fountain
If you’re looking for a historical water fountain in the area, look no further than Samuel Turner Memorial Drinking Fountain. A historical relic, Turner’s Memorial is a free water fountain that serves as a memorial to the deceased treasurer of the Devonshire Hospital and Buxton Bath Charity.
Despite not being as elaborate as many other things to do in Buxton, it is worth seeing and trying. It is one of the few water fountains where you can get the satisfying, genuine, and famous Buxton Mineral water.
38. Dukes Drive Viaduct
A bridge is a great place to start when understanding the local culture. The Dukes Drive Viaduct is no exception. It’s a popular spot for locals to get their pictures taken or simply hang out and enjoy the view.
Along the way, you’ll pass through a tunnel and several bridges. It is also an exciting place to stop if you’re interested in industrial archaeology, where you’ll see plenty of abandoned mines and quarries along your way down.
39. Ashwood Park
You’re immediately transported back to another era when you walk through the gates of Ashwood Park. The park was built in 1864 and is full of stunning architecture and design reminiscent of the Victorian era.
You’ll immerse yourself entirely in nature while exploring this beautiful park. There are also several ponds with walking paths that follow around them.
40. The Springs Shopping Centre
The Springs Shopping Centre is one of Buxton’s most popular shopping places and one of the oldest shopping centres in the region. The centre is named for its natural spring water source that feeds into an underground reservoir that powers the fountain at the mall’s centre.
This mall has everything you need to get your holiday shopping done. You can find a wide variety of stores, fabulous jewellery, cosmetics, clothing, and more.
41. Northfield Farm Horse Riding and Trekking Centre
Northfield Farm Horse Riding and Trekking Centre is a highly recommended, beautiful place to spend the day if you’re looking for something fun to do with your family. You’ll like this farm because it offers various activities for all ages.
You can rent a pony for your kids to ride around on, or you can take a tour of the farm on horseback. Or you can even go on an obstacle course with everything from barrels to jumps.
42. Cavendish Golf Club
When you’re looking for a golfing trip that’s just as much about the experience as it is about the game, look no further than Cavendish Golf Club. It is an excellent place for beginners and experienced golfers alike.
With a course that winds through stunning hill scenery, this is one place where you’ll feel like you’ve travelled to another world. The views are breathtaking, and the challenge will keep you coming back for more.
43. Pig and Pepper
Pig and Pepper Bakery is a delightful little bakery with a great selection of pies, pastries, and bread. They also have delicious coffee and tea options and other drinks and snacks.
In this small, welcoming workshop in a private kitchen, you can also learn the art of baking real bread! Various loaves will be baked and shaped, and you’ll get to take them home, along with the recipes. Lunch and drinks are included in every course.
44. Errwood Reservoir
The beautiful Errwood Reservoir is a great place to visit for a day trip or weekend getaway. The lake and surrounding area are home to many species of birds, including the rare and beautiful red-necked grebe.
The reservoir is also a haven for anglers who fish for trout and brown trout. There are also miles of walking trails that wind around the lake, making it easy to explore the area on foot.
45. Motivate Bootcamp
If you’re looking for a fun and challenging workout to help you push yourself to your limits, look no further than Motivate Bootcamp. This unique fitness centre in Buxton offers classes seven days a week and has been helping people get fit for over a decade.
They offer a variety of fitness classes, from yoga to barre. They also have a CrossFit and weight loss program designed specifically for women.
46. The Ale Stop
This quaint little pub offers a friendly atmosphere and a menu of traditional pub food and drinks. The Ale Stop has a warm atmosphere that makes it easy to relax even if you don’t plan on staying long.
There’s something for everyone on the menu, from burgers to fish and chips to pizza. If you’re looking for something more traditional, try one of their steak pies or pastries.
47. Three Shires Heads
If you’re looking for an easy hike still packed with beautiful scenery and plenty of history, look no further than the Three Shires Heads. This area is one of the best places to go hiking in all of England. It’s a gorgeous place with views of rolling hills and beautiful countryside.
The trails are easy to navigate, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take pictures. You’ll be guided on a path that winds through beautiful forests and fields. The course is well-maintained and well-made, so it’s easy to follow.
48. Peak Ascent Cycles
Peak Ascent Cycles is a bike shop that has been in business for decades and is a full-service bike shop that provides sales, repairs, and maintenance services for all types of bikes. Their staff has extensive experience working with customers who need assistance with their bikes or are looking to buy their first one.
They have an excellent selection of road, mountain, hybrid, electric, and other accessories such as helmets, water bottles and lights. Their prices are competitive with other shops in the area while maintaining quality customer service.
49. Little Rascals Play
Little Rascals is a soft play area and event location indoors that provides particular play areas for kids ages 0 to 10 and newborns and toddlers.
Their designated baby area is completely enclosed, and they provide a variety of interactive and soft toys. Their toddler area has an open ball pool, a two-lane slide, building blocks, and puzzles for children up to 3 years old. Giant balls, a doughnut ring, a two-lane Astro slide, a football area, tunnels, climbing decks, and a lookout ball are all part of their main frame, which is appropriate for children up to 10 years old.
50. Scrivener’s Books and Bookbinding
A visit to Scrivener’s Books and Bookbinding is a must-do if you’re in the Buxton area. This shop is one of the oldest bookstores in England, and you can easily find it on Market Street. You won’t miss it due to the large sign for Scrivener’s outside. Visiting is definitely one of the best things to do in Buxton!
Inside, you’ll find books from around the world and throughout history. You can even get your book bound here. The store also hosts events like poetry readings, talks with authors, and exhibitions of rare books.
10 More Fun Things To Do in Buxton:
Whether you’re craving some fresh air or just want to get away from it all for a bit, there are plenty of things to do in Buxton that will keep you busy.
Here are ten more other things to do in Buxton when visiting:
- Grab your cask ale and continental beer at The New Inn
- Buy some clothes, gifts, and accessories at the historic shop of Potters of Buxton
- Travel to the Jurassic world at Jurassic Encounter
- Purchase high-quality gifts, fragrances, wall art, and home decors at Hargreaves & Son
- Discover the Peak District’s treasures through the Peak Minibus Tours
- Book your helicopter ride at Adventure 001 Experiences
- Tour the mellow paths, quiet roads, and gentle tracks of the Peak District with Carina Adventures
- Look for quirky and stylish homewares and other unique products at Isla Fine Art, Cards, & Gifts
- Enjoy mountain biking, climbing, caving, and canoeing at White Hall Centre
- Drink some of the best craft beers, cider, and artisan spirits at the Beer District