Familiar to most in Britain as the source of one of the country’s more ubiquitous sparkling water brands, Buxton is also a fine gateway town to the Peak District National park. Most of the people who visit, then, have their eyes firmly set on the nearby hills, though there’s also much to recommend the town itself, which bristles with fine regency architecture, while Tuesdays and Saturdays a great market is set up in the historic market square.
Accommodation wise, there’s not much for those on a real shoestring budget, but the mid-range hotels and B&Bs are excellent value, mostly specialising in a very particular brand of British countryside luxury. Ideal if you’ve been out the previous few days, roughing it on the hills.
9 Green Lane Bed & Breakfast
From £72/ night
In a beautiful limestone mansion just ten minutes from the centre of town, this represents close to the top end of the British B&B phenomenon, even while its prices are relatively low. There’s a stylish comfort to the rooms that stops just before straying into the sort of twee that can mar these establishments. And, of course, there are all the conveniences here that you could need in terms of TV and Internet, and the all important tea making facilities.
The Palace Hotel Buxton & Spa
From £79/ night
This hotel just oozes romance and elegance, and its proximity to the town’s famed water source, conjures images of Victorian and Regency dowagers gracefully living out their twilight years as residents. And there’s also a fine twist of modern style and plenty of youthful guests fresh from traipsing the nearby countryside, looking to unwind in the onsite spa. An exceptional journey’s end, however far you’ve been.
From £80/ night
They don’t come much more authentic than this. Hawthorn Farm is a Grade II listed Tudor property, providing modern comfort and home cooking to weary travellers, as well as those just popping up from the city to luxuriate on a countryside minibreak. Despite its heritage WiFi is current throughout and all rooms have flat screen TVs, while directly outside the door, countryside walks abound.
The Westminster Hotel
From £75/ night
With views out towards Buxton’s beautiful Pavilion Gardens, this family-run place abounds with character in the very best of ways, and offers plenty of old fashioned comfort too. The rooms are bright and high ceilinged, with plush carpets running throughout, right down to the communal room where hikers can gather and share war stories about their time on the peaks. WiFi extends throughout the building, and the town centre is barely 10 minutes away by foot.
The Old Manse
From £72/ night
Right in the heart of town, this award-winning guest house in a Victorian building is perfect if your plan is to explore Buxton itself: the market square is less than five minutes away. It’s also got an interior bursting with charm and original features, as well as offering WiFi throughout, and, we’re not kidding here, one of the best English cooked breakfasts in the entire country… And by a simple extension of logic, the world.