Peak District from Grinlow Buxton

How to enjoy a Peak District staycation without a car

Many visitors to Buxton assume that they need their own transport to explore the area but as the Festival is situated in the middle of the Peak District there are plenty of ways to see the local sights without a car.

It’s very easy to travel from London to Stockport from London with our sponsor Virgin Trains. One quick change and you arrive right in the heart of the town after a scenic journey through the hills.

You can spend a week in Buxton during the festival 5-21 July and be fully entertained, but if you want to travel further afield, we’ve shared a couple of ideas for car-free Peak District adventures in our 5-day itinerary:

Mon 8 July

Arrive at Buxton after a relaxing train ride and make your way to your accommodation. Once you’ve settled in, stretch your legs with a gentle stroll around the Pavilion Gardens and have a meal at a local restaurant. Choose from two world-class performances in the evening – either the riotously brilliant Orpheus in the Underworld or the beautiful notes of Out of Africa: Cape Town Opera at St John’s Church.

Tuesday 9 July

Inspired and ready to go, hop on the 442 bus * at Buxton Market Place and travel through the Peak District to the pretty village of Hartington where you’ll find shops, pubs and a lovely duck pond! If you’re feeling energetic then why not follow this Snap the Peaks route to the magical Beresford Dale and Wolfscote Dale? The historic Biggin Hall Hotel and Restaurant is only a short bus ride away and perfect spot for lunch or dinner.

Wednesday 10 July

A day for armchair travels at the Buxton International Festival. First set off on Travels through time with historian Peter Moore and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch as they record a podcast for History Today. Buzzing with ideas, wander around the town to appreciate the Georgian architecture and sample our independent shops such as Isla Fine Art, Cards and Gifts.

In the afternoon, pick up some culinary tips at Michelin-starred chef Max Fischer’s cookery demonstration then amble across to join author Robin Hanbury-Tenison as he looks at what drives explorers to push back the boundaries of the world. Enjoy a cosy evening at Peter Moore’s literary salon where he’ll be introducing guests to Samuel Johnson’s Art of Happiness.

Thursday 11 July

Time to hit the road again, this time to Bakewell. Take the Transpeak bus from the Market Place and travel through the White Peak to this quaint town. Walk by the river, buy a bottle or three from John Hattersley Wines, find out more about Peak District history at the Tudor Bakewell Old House Museum.

To end on a rural note, book a seat at an Audience with Kate Humble and celebrate the joys of country living.

Bakeell Old House Museum

Friday 12 July

It’ll be hard to tear yourself away from Buxton at this point so make sure you see at least one event before you say goodbye to Derbyshire. The Orphans of Koombu offers a chance to see professional singers and local school pupils singing together in a 75 minute performance. If you’ve booked on a later train then don’t miss soprano Soraya Mafi and Artistic Director, Adrian Kelly’s Iranian/Irish recital which finishes at 1pm.

Bursting with music, enjoy a smooth journey home and make sure you reserve your seats for the 2020 Buxton International Festival!

* Check bus timetables online before travelling to avoid disappointment.