Buxton Things to Do

  • St Anne's Church
    St Anne's Church
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  • St Anne's Church- interior
    St Anne's Church- interior
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  • St Anne's Church- painted ceiling
    St Anne's Church- painted ceiling
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Most Recent Things to Do in Buxton

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    Pavilion Gardens - Don Redfern Memorial Bandstand

    by suvanki Updated Sep 13, 2013
    The Band stand
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    This Band Stand is named in honour of this 'Conductor, player and promoter of Brass Bands' one Don Redfern (1927-1991)

    It was opened on September 7th 1997 by the then Mayor of High Peak, Marion Williams.

    Two bronze plaques on the stand commemorate the occasion and the name of the band stand.

    Concerts are held through the summer - check the website below for programme and times etc (usually 14.00 - 1600). Free to enjoy, but donations are wecomed. Deck chairs for hire, or bring your own chairs/ picnic blanket. Oh and wrap up warm ;-)

    The Bandstand is also licensed for Civil Weddings - 55 seated, 90 standing.

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    The Crescent

    by suvanki Written Sep 6, 2013
    The Crescent from The Cenotaph
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    During our visit in November 2012, The Crescent and nearby buildings were under scaffolding, as permission had finally been given to convert the historical building into 'the only second genuine Spa hotel to open in a century' This will be a 79 bedroomed , 5-star spa hotel, which will incorporate the neighbouring Natural Baths, and is due to open Spring 2015.
    Read All About it

    The Crescent was built between 1780 and 1789, by John Carr of York for the 5th Duke of Devonshire, it was seen as a revolutionary type of building in England, but was already known on the Continent. This was to serve as accommodation for those visitors coming to Buxton to 'take the waters' They wanted to out do their southern rival Bath, another Roman Spa town, but the Royal Institution of British Architects deemed the Buxton building to be "more richly decorated and altogether more complex", It is now a Grade 1 listed Building.

    At the Western side was St Ann's Hotel.The Great Hotel was at the Eastern side. In between were lodging houses and a town house for the afore mentioned Duke and were all originally detached buildings, until the hotels expanded through time, taking over some of these other buildings.
    Attached to the Great Hotel was The Assembly Rooms, a popular feature in the 18th Century, where they were 'Social Clubs' Dancing, card playing, gossiping and socialising were the main activities for residents and visitors.

    Shops were built on the ground level, while kitchens (below stairs), were used to cook meals and prepare snacks for hotel guests.

    To be continued...

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    The Cenotaph - War Memorial

    by suvanki Updated Sep 6, 2013
    The Cenotaph - Winged Victory
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    Known locally as The Cenotaph, this impressive memorial sits on The Slopes. over looking the Crescent, It commemorates the men of Buxton who died in WW1 (314) and WW2.(70) Roll of Honour

    The Slopes is a park registered by English Heritage as having special historical interest.
    A low granite wall, with timber seating, encloses the memorial, which was sculpted by Lewis Frederick Roslyn RBS, London, who has many war memorial sculptures around the country. He served in the Royal Flying Corps. It was a few days after Remembrance Sunday, and there were quite a few wreaths made from red paper poppies.
    .

    The obelisk is formed from Ashlar gritstone and is set upon a stone plinth/pedestal. It was unveiled in in 1920.

    On the four sides of the plinth are bronze plaques. The front has an imposing statue of Winged Victory, holding a garland aloft, with a sword pointing downwards in her other hand, the words ‘Pro Patria’ and the dates of the two wars are also on the front plinth.
    The other three plaques contain the names of the men who lost their lives in the two world wars. An application was made in 2010 to add the names of others who have died in service in later wars/campaigns, which was accepted (subject to time limit and approval of the lettering etc)

    This is surrounded by a gritstone paved area enclosed by a low wall with
    timber seating around the sides. The names of the soldiers are cast in bas-relief on 3
    bronze plaques fixed on the two sides and rear of the memorial.

    The Memorial was officially opened in 1920 and is listed (Grade II) a

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    Pavilion Park

    by suvanki Updated Sep 6, 2013
    Pavilion Park
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    These 23 acres of land surround the Pavilion Gardens and Opera House. They underwent a large restoration programme at the start of the 21st century, and are a pleasant place to wander or to rest for all ages.The Gardens are enjoyed by over one million visitors per year.

    The gardens are included on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest and is Grade 2 listed.

    They were designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and Edward Milner (his pupil) They worked at Chatsworth House, the family estate of the Devonshires, at the time of the 6th Duke, William Cavendish. As well as designing and creating the gardens and park land, they were also gifted architects and had built the green houses at Chatsworth. They were responsible for some of Englands iconic buildings such as Crystal Palace and Tatton Park.

    The gardens and pavilion were partly funded by the 7th Duke of Devonshire, who offered £5,000, as long as the townspeople matched this, which they did - Buxton had some wealthy business men and land owners etc at this time. The duke also offered 9 acres of land (later increased to the present 23 acres), with strict instructions that the grounds were for the enjoyment of the public and for recreation and as Pleasure Gardens.

    Funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, enabled the £4.7 million restoration of the gardens to go ahead. The Friends of Pavilion Gardens are active in raising/securing funds as well as organising recreational and educational events and activities.

    The Park now contains Landscaped lawned gardens, Shrubs and trees, floral displays.
    Water features include The River Wye, Waterfalls/cascades, lakes and an illuminated fountain.
    Look for the Lew Mounsey Memorial sculpture.

    Things to do... Childrens Playground, Bandstand (with concerts), Young Peoples Sport Facility, Outdoor Fitness Centre and Miniature Railway. ( Operates 11.30 - 17.00 at weekends and every day during school holidays. Children 3 years and under travel for free. Other passengers - 2 circuits of the track for £1 per person.
    In extreme weather conditions, these times may change)

    Hungry? Thirsty? Need to spend a penny? - There is a kiosk with Ice Cream and light snacks also public toilets. If the weather's good, bring a picnic!
    The Pavilion Gardens and Opera House also serve refreshments and have toilets.

    Pay and Display Car Parking for nearly 300 vehicles (including 8 Disabled Bays) on the junction of St Johns Road/Burlington Road.

    Look out for the old gas lamps in front of the large stone houses edging the park.

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    Pavilion Gardens Xerscape Outdoor Fitness Centre

    by suvanki Written Sep 6, 2013
    Xerscape Outdoor Fitness Circuit

    I've seen similar circuits in parks in the UK and abroad, and think that they're a good idea, why should it only be children who get to play in parks?

    Now, I'd love to see swings, mountain slides, see-saws, climbing frames, Bouncy Castles, trampolines, Ball Parks, zip wires etc for adults to use, much more fun than going to the gym!

    So, I guess this is the next best option.

    I was hoping to sneak a go on one of the pieces, but this was thwarted by a large boisterous group of children/teenagers with their teachers/carers.

    I didn't get any photos, as all of the equipment was in use by this group. Sadly, there is a lot of sensitivity re taking photos in parks etc, where children are present.

    Free to use
    Aged 12 upwards

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    Pavilion Gardens - A tribute to Lew Mounsey

    by suvanki Written Sep 6, 2013
    Lew Mounsey Memorial
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    We came across this unusual monument in the Pavilion Gardens, near the childrens playground.. It is the work of local sculptor Sarah Brindley as a commission by the High Peak Borough Council, a tribute to a former employee Lew Mounsey. He had dedicated his working life to creating public places, which the public could enjoy and 'enrich their recreation'

    A plaque on the memorial states ;

    'Dedicated to the memory of Lew Mounsey 8.4.1947 - 10.2.2003

    Landscape Officer H.P.B.C

    A planter, a pianist painter and poet he lived his life in harmony with the natural world.His love and knowledge of the Peak District inspired his work in Landscape Design and his passion for horticulture served to enrich our public parks and open spaces.

    This Sculpture is a tribute to the man and his work

    ......."and as he left this early life behind, he trailed fine blooms and wove secret paths for others to travel" BH '

    Blimey! I can't imagine that many of us would have such a Thanks for their work! I hope he was as appreciated when he was working.

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    The Baths

    by suvanki Written Aug 31, 2013
    Buxton Natural Mineral Water Baths
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    The natural mineral springs have been known of since the Romans arrived here (on the look out for gold and lead). Medieval pilgrims recognised their healing powers and Mary Queen of Scots was a fan

    Buxton became well known as a Spa Town, when fashionable Victorians flocked here by train to take the waters. The natural hot spring water (a constant 28 degrees) was pumped to a bath house, built here next to The Crescent around 1820.
    Bathers could enjoy the steamy atmosphere of the Hot Thermal Baths. Next door (which is the site of the old Tourist Info Office) The Natural Baths provided various treatments such as massage and friction and exercise programmes.

    To be continued.......

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    St Annes Well - Bring your empty bottles to fill

    by suvanki Written Aug 31, 2013

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    Free Buxton Spa Mineral Water

    Well....... I was hoping to get a closer look (and try some of the Buxton Spa Water), but this woman was 'there for the duration' We waited a while, moved away and looked at the Crescent etc, came back and she was still there.

    The geothermal spring waters are piped to this well,which has been a shrine to St Anne since medieval times. Pilgrims would come to 'take the healing waters', with those suffering from all manner of ailments, appearing to have had a dramatic cure, Lameness,apparently being particularly responsive to this particular H20, as many accounts mention crutches left at the former St Anne's Chapel in gratitude for their cure. (I'm afraid that I can't help envisaging a Monty Python type sketch here)!
    You can just see a figure of St Anne on the well.

    Mary Queen of Scots, during her 'captivity' in Sheffield, would often visit Buxton, specifically to 'Take The Waters'. She stayed at Buxton Hall, which was owned by George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. George and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, were her 'Custodians'
    Her last visit to Buxton was in 1584.

    St Anne's Well Dressing takes place each July

    So, bring your bottles and get in line - otherwise, available ready bottled and at a premium price from most supermarkets nationwide!

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    Buxton Opera House

    by suvanki Written Aug 31, 2013

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    Buxton Opera House
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    Designed by the leading Theatre Architect Frank Matcham the Opera House, with it's Art Noveau frontage is another of Buxtons attractive buildings. It opened on 1st June 1903
    Curiously, Matcham died in 1920,of blood poisoning, caused by his excessive trimming of his finger nails!!
    It opened as a theatre, with plays, West End shows, touring Shakespeare companies, musical comedies, concerts and ballet. In 1925, Anna Pavlova performed the Dance of the Dying Swan on this stage.

    Two years later, the theatre became a cinema, this being the time of Silent movies, but it then embraced 'the talkies'

    By the 1960's the cinema had taken over from theatre as the most popular form of entertainment, and by 1976, audiences had dwindled so much that the Opera House had fallen into disrepair and closed in 1976, for a while.
    Luckily, its historical importance and future potential was recognised and in 1979, a large restoration programme began, followed by another between 1999 -2001.

    The Dying Swan was revived, and is undergoing a successful time,with a packed programme of entertainment through the year catering to all tastes and ages.

    I keep meaning to go along to a performance, especially to view the ornate interior, but the Friends of Buxton Opera House organise Coffee Mornings and tours of the theatre

    Pheeew ...... just checked pics before I posted - I've altered the position of my Main pic- Calendar Girls and The Vagina Monologues being advertised!

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    The Pavilion Gardens

    by suvanki Written Aug 31, 2013

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    Buxton Pavilion Gardens
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    This iconic building, surrounded by 23 acres of parkland is one of the landmarks of Buxton.

    The Spa Baths heralded Buxton as an attractive place to visit, but it wasn't until 1863 and the arrival of a rail service into Buxton, that it's full potential could be envisaged.

    In November 1867,The 7th Duke of Devonshire proposed a Winter Garden be built, styled on an English Country house, with glass walls and ironwork, where visitors could shelter from the wind and rain, but still enjoy the outside views.
    He offered 12 acres of land and £5000, with the proviso, that the town was to come
    up with the other half of the money. It took a while, but the towns folk were eventually pursuaded of the benefit to them and the Buxton Improvement Company was formed, with local business men etc acting as trustees.
    An admission charge to the gardens would be made.

    The original Winter Garden was built between 1870-71.

    Today, admission is free, and visitors can enjoy its architecture, while enjoying wandering around the conservatory, gift shop (which houses the Tourist Info Office), coffee bar and cafe.

    The Buxton Improvement Company was formed, with the towns people contributing money to help with the planned buildings and projects.

    Buxton Pavillion opened in 1871, with a design more commonly seen in Seaside resorts of the era.It is one of the earliest surviving examples,which warrants it's Grade 11 Listed protection.

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    The Pavilion Gardens Conservatory

    by suvanki Written Aug 31, 2013

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    Pavilion Conservatory
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    On a grey and drizzly November day, the conservatory was a brightly coloured contrast and escape. It would have been quite peaceful if 'Proud Dad' hadn't let his 'little adults' run amock, When under a Victorian roof, I feel that children should act accordingly i.e be seen and not heard! For the record, my ankles were respectfully covered!!

    The entrance is at the side of the Opera House. This Victorian Winter Garden provides a favourable climate for the many plants sent from around the world.
    another feature is the fish pond.This is one part of the Pavilion complex.
    Not surprisingly, this is now a venue for private functions and is licensed for Civil Weddings.

    Information boards tell of the history of the Pavilion gardens and conservatory, plants to look out for, and articles about Buxton.
    Palms, ferns, bamboos etc provide a background for the more colourful plants on display. These are regularly re-arranged.

    The Conservatory itself finally opened in 1891, it is the East wing of the central section of the pavilion, and has attractive bracketed ornate iron roof trusses supported by cast iron columns.
    Between 1900-03, some sections were altered to make way for the Opera House. A stone porch was added at the same time.

    In the 1980's the fish pond and an aviary were added, along with the flower beds.

    In 2001, the East Wing entrance work was completed, with a cast iron canopy and stained glass in Art Noveau style to match the Opera House Entrance.

    In 2008, work was carried out to repair the damaged ironwork and foundations.

    Free Admission
    Open 09.30 -17.00 Daily (except 25th December).

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    St Anne's Church

    by suvanki Written Aug 31, 2013

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    St Anne's Church
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    This is a 'hidden gem' in Buxton as well as being the oldest building in the town.It dates back to the 16th Century (the date 1625, on the porch, signifies the date of the porch, a later addition)

    Entering the church, I was amazed to see the stunning stained glass windows and painted ceiling above the altar.I wasn't expecting to see these.
    . The church had quite a warm feel to it, and even Mr B commented on how much he liked it here - praise indeed from someone who 'tolerates' my Church explorations, even though he can often be heard muttering "ABC"! (Another Bl***y Church- Thanks to VTer Grets for this expression, which he has now claimed)

    I paid for a very informative leaflet about the church (donations box in the wall) - History, and things to see, and spent quite a while wandering around.

    The original St Annes Chapel was located by the Holy Wells, and from the Middle Ages until the time of King Henry 8th, locals and pilgrims gathered there to worship and give praise for The miraculous healing powers of the spring water, aided by the patroness of healing wells - St Anne.
    Around 1536, the wells and chapel were closed down by Order of Lord Cromwell, as they were seen as a place for superstition and 'Worship of Idols'

    Materials from this chapel were probably used in the construction of a church on this present site, but it was dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, and not St Anne.The building has undergone many cycles of restoration and dereliction.

    By the mid 17th Century, the church was probably in quite a poor state, enough so, that it didn't warrant any further destruction by Oliver Cromwells 'heavies' when they visited in 1650
    Good times were ahead though, and Buxton was on the Up! So, money was available to renovate and extend the church in the early 1800's, only for it to be once again in ruins by the end of the 18th Century.
    Funding was offered for the building of a new church - the first Parish Church of Buxton -the Church of St. John the Baptist, which attracted the worshippers of the town. St Annes closed as a church, later re-opening as a school, re-opening as a church in 1841, for a short period, then once again becoming a school, a Sunday School and even a mortuary chapel.

    Having suffered these indignities, the building was ready to reclaim its pride ..Reverend William Malam, the then Vicar of Buxton, fought for the church to re-open for worship, and in 1885, the newly dedicated St Annes took to the stage......with Reverend William Lear taking the spot light - enveloped in ornate richly decorated vestements, silver and gold metal crosses and candlesticks gleaming in the lamp light, while scented flowers perfumed the air.Services were being held twice daily, if not more. Later, the services would become even more ceremonial, and controversial, with the introduction of incense into the church.
    St Annes was indeed High Church, and attracted equal criticism and praise.
    Over the centuries, further renovations and improvements have been made, including underfloor heating, which was quite noticible at our visit.

    Famous Visitors to St Anne's.

    John Wesley, preached outside the church, I'm not sure if he set foot inside

    Lady Gladstone, Daughter in Law of William Gladstone, and her family worshipped here whenever they visited Buxton. The statue of St Anne in the church (pic 5) was a gift from her in memory of her two deceased sisters.

    John Kane (1746 – 1799) was a distinguished actor and comedian, who was quite partial to roast beef, accompanied by fiery horseradish sauce. While appearing at the Opera House, he was served his favourite dish, however, Conium maculatum was mistaken for horseradish, and Kane experienced an agonising death - poisoned by this variety of hemlock.
    Born in Ireland, his grave is at the back of St Annes church and is Grade 2 listed. The aforementioned Reverend Lear is also buried in the church yard.

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    Buxton Railway Station Fan Window

    by Gillybob Written Jun 9, 2013

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    Buxton Railway Fan Window
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    Arriving in Buxton via train? Don't forget to check out the historic fan window.

    In 1863, two railways arrived in Buxton almost simultaneously :

    * The Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway, which was heavily promoted by the London and Northwestern Railway (LNWR), built its line from Manchester to Whaley Bridge, and extending it out to Buxton.

    * Meanwhile, the Midland Railway extended their Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway from Rowsley. The Midland's extension of its main line to New Mills in 1867 was to bypass the LNWR, with Buxton becoming a branch line from Millers Dale.

    Two stations were built, side-by-side, with identical frontages designed by J Smith (with guidance from Joseph Paxton), each having a wrought iron glazed train shed.

    The Midland's station closed in 1967, along with the line to Rowsley, and the site is now a road. However, the line through Dove Holes Tunnel from Chinley is still used for freight, such as limestone from Tunstead, along with the old Midland branch into Buxton. The LNWR station now handles local trains into Manchester, using its line through Dove Holes and Chapel-en-le-Frith.

    At the end of the train station you will see the fan window, which formed part of the LNWR station. The window, with its associated screen, is Grade II listed.

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    Discover Buxton Tram Tours

    by Gillybob Updated Jun 9, 2013

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    Wonder of the Peak

    Daily guides tours from Pavilion Gardens to Pooles Cavern commencing from 10:00 and running hourly riding on the Wonder of the Peak. Each journey provides a showcase of the best which Buxton has to offer.

    The tour includes the richly decorated architecture of The Crescent by John Carr, tells you about Mary Queen of Scots and her visits to the town, stops at the Opera House where you can see the lower town below, eventually arriving at Pooles Cavern where you can alight to see the crystal stalactites or take a stroll through beautiful woodland trails to Solomon's Temple, returning on a later tram.

    Tickets can be purchased from the driver at the terminus and cost £5 per passenger.

    Tours run daily from April to October.

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    Miniature Train at Pavilion Gardens

    by Gillybob Updated Jun 9, 2013

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    Train making a circuit
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    Making a visit to Pavilion Gardens? Bringing along young children? Why not take a ride on the miniature narrow gauge train?

    Located within the gardens, the miniature train operates daily through the summer and school holidays as well as during weekends through the rest of the year (weather permitting).

    Children 3 years and under travel free of charge, whilst other passengers ride the track for just £1 per person for two circuits.

    RULES OF CARRIAGE

    The driver will collect money from seated passengers.
    An adult must accompany all children under the age of 6.
    Passengers must remain seated at all times.
    Do not lean out of the carriage.
    Keep hands and feet in the carriages at all times.
    Do not attempt to get on or off the train whilst it is still moving.
    Please read all safety signs displayed in the carriages.

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