3 days in Buxton with a chance to visit the Buxton Brewery tap house sounded like a damned good idea to me. We housed up in a cottage within walking distance of the centre, albeit down (and up) a rather long and steep hill.
We spent the first day exploring the local area, enjoying the Pavilion Gardens and wandering around a few of the shops.
Next day we visited Calke Abbey, a once stately home which seems to have been abandoned in a bit of a hurry, with much of its interior left pretty much as it was during its years of decline. It’s a building that showcases the steady decline of the aristocracy, with the Harpur Crewe family who once inhabited this grand home unable to continue its upkeep. It now rests in the hands of the National Trust.
Although there were plenty of pubs in the area, the choice was disappointing as most of them belonged to inferior breweries such as Robinsons. We spent most of our drinking and eating time in the Buxton Tap, a decent enough place though the food was nothing to get excited about.
On day three we opted for a bit of a climb up to Solomon’s Temple, a Victorian folly at the top of a steep hill which gave great views over the surrounding area. Parking up at Pool’s Cavern, we took a pleasant walk through a wood before crossing over to the adjacent field and beginning the climb. It was very windy and not very warm.
For some reason we then chose further punishment after heading to Castleton. The ruins of Peveril Castle were visible above the town and after some debate we decided to make the climb. It was a lot further than we thought. It was so steep that the path zig-zagged all the way up; there were seats at regular intervals where everyone stopped to rest. It took us quite a while to reach the top, breathless and sweating. It was an interesting place however, steeped in history from the time of the Normans, and worth the effort to get there.
After the descent we refreshed ourselves with a well earned pint in the Castle Inn just at the end of the road.
Our last evening took an unexpected twist when I got a text message from brother Harry. He and his wife had been doing a bit of random touring and had also ended up in Buxton. After we had our meal in the Buxton Tap we then headed across town to meet up with them and finished off our holiday with a few ales in the local Wetherspoons.