Experience the very best of the beautiful Peak District, embracing the history, heritage and scenery that make up the heart of rural Derbyshire. From a base in the picturesque spa town of Buxton, we enjoy fascinating visits to some of the country’s most iconic stately homes, as well as discovering the delights of Bakewell, Matlock Bath and magnificent Dovedale.
Whether by road or rail, arrive at your historic hotel in the spa town of Buxton in a way to suit you.
Affectionately known as the gateway to the Peak District National Park, this afternoon we take in the history and highlights of Buxton on a guided walking tour. At every turn, you might spy the beautiful contrasts of Regency architecture, Georgian terraces and Victorian attractions which make up its distinct character. Some of the main highlights, which we will see on our guided tour, include the Buxton Opera House, Pavilion Gardens and the Devonshire Dome, which was once the largest unsupported dome in Europe, built in 1779.
After our tour, there’ll be time to get acquainted with this charming town, so why not return to the stunning Pavilion Gardens, a great spot for a leisurely stroll along the river Wye. Tonight, reconvene with you fellow guests in the hotel’s bar before dinner is served in the restaurant.
After breakfast, we drive to one of the most iconic and renowned stately homes of the Peaks, Chatsworth House. Our picturesque journey takes us through the gently rolling landscape of the Derbyshire countryside as we head to the impressive home of the Cavendish family, whose sixteen generations have owned the property since 1549.
Against an impressive backdrop of densely wooded hills and rugged heather-clad moorland, this magnificent honey stone building is simply breathtaking, with the perfect symmetry of its grand façade, acres of carefully tended grounds and glorious vistas at every turn. There will be plenty of time to explore the extravagant interior with its regal state rooms and opulent Painted Hall.
Step back in time as you wander the gleaming marble floors, taking in the extraordinary frescoes, intricate sculptures and sweeping staircase. Admire a vast collection of artworks spanning 4,000 years of history, from Roman and Egyptian treasures to priceless masterpieces by a host of artists from Rembrandt to Lucian Freud. Take a stroll through its beautifully designed gardens of sweeping lawns, neatly manicured maze, and regimented borders, pausing to admire what is undoubtedly one of the grandest houses in England.
Throughout November and December, the house will be transformed with beautiful Christmas displays, which we will experience during our visit. We return to Buxton in the afternoon.
This morning we drive to nearby Bakewell with free time to explore this picturesque market town. Located on the banks of the river Wye, with a fine arched medieval bridge, it’s a true delight to wander the historic streets fringed with pretty stone buildings, independent shops, galleries and inviting cafés. Make sure you sample some Bakewell Pudding too; unlike the better-known Bakewell tart, the celebrated pudding is made with a puff pastry base before being filled with a signature almond mix.
Later we continue to Cromford Mills, nestled in the heart of the Derwent Valley to find out more about the Peak District’s fascinating industrial history. Founded in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright, the innovative mill rose to fame, becoming the birthplace of the modern factory system and the first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill in the world.
We then enjoy a scenic drive through the Peak District to Dovedale where the river Dove winds a spectacular path through this stunning limestone valley, and we will have afternoon tea whilst soaking up the views.
This morning we head to Bolsover Castle, dramatically perched on a hilltop overlooking the Vale of Scarsdale. Built on the site of a medieval fortress, and based on a Norman great tower, this magnificently preserved castle was built as a fashionable retreat for 17th-Century courtiers to entertain influential guests.
Explore this fairy-tale Stuart mansion with its quirky turrets and towers and grand interior, absorbing the remarkably preserved wall paintings, stunning ceiling frescoes and opulent marble fireplaces. Take a walk along the ancient walls taking in the panoramic views and stroll the restored Fountain Garden, enjoying the colour and scent of a whole spectrum of plants and shrubs and visit the superb Riding House, one of the country’s oldest and most complete with a spectacular roof and viewing galleries.
We return to Buxton in the afternoon.
After breakfast, return home with delightful memories of Derbyshire, perhaps taking a stroll around the Pavilion Gardens or booking in at a local thermal spa before you leave.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:
Just like our classic tours, with 25 or fewer people in your group.
On a range of tours we are delighted to offer the option to travel in a small group of up to 25 people.
You’ll enjoy the same sociable atmosphere of a typical Riviera Travel holiday - but with a smaller number of travellers and a touch more exclusivity. Just look out for the icon on holiday pages.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
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