With its grand Georgian architecture, central crescent, leafy parks, tourists and thermal waters, Buxton invites comparisons to Bath. It’s smaller in scale, however, and lodged a little less far up its own backside. While the Romans discovered the natural warm-water springs, the town’s heyday was not until the 18th century when ‘taking the waters’ was highly fashionable. After years of relative obscurity, ambitious restoration projects have put the sparkle back into the town, especially the resurrection of the Opera House, which had fallen into disuse in the 1970s.
Every Tuesday and Saturday, colourful stalls light up Market Pl. The town itself is made for hours of browsing idly and café-crawling.
Situated just outside the border of the Peak District National Park, Buxton is an excellent, picturesque base to get to the northern and western areas.