What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear ‘Bakewell’, well being from the UK, to me it is all about the tart! Bakewell in England is of course the home of the Bakewell tart, but originally it was the Bakewell Pudding that soar the limelight. It is a variant of the Bakewell tart but consists of a much softer centre with a flaky pastry base, and is a tastier version in my opinion! The pudding version is much more harder to get your hands on, so we made sure we brought one home from our visit. As you would expect there are are various shops in the town that sell them and 2 claim to have the original recipe – Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop and Bloomers Bakewell Puddings.
Now that’s enough of pudding talk, lets get onto the town. It is a sweet but small market town in the heart of the peak district with a good amount of sights to see and things to do. The medieval five-arched stone bridge is the main entrance to town where you are then greeted by mellow stone pubs and cottages adorned with flower baskets. The old original Bakewell Pudding shop had a large queue filled with hungry tourists, so make sure to book! Then we took a walk down the smaller winding streets of the centre filled with boutiques and little tea rooms. The union jacks draped from buildings, the old brick walls and the cute window displays completed the market town look.
A good selection of shops are waiting for you, most using the Bakewell name to bring you inside: The Bakewell Pudding Parlour, The Bakewell Gift and Bear shop, The Bakewell Tart Shop… Down the road, The old Tudor house stands as the towns main museum with a random collection of historical artefacts all with some link to Derbyshire’s Peak District. It was built during Henry VIII’s reign and still retains the Tudor charm, later it was used by local legend Richard Arkwright in the industrial revolution, who built the very first water powered spinning wheel at Cromford Mills down the road.
We went to see the ‘love lock’ bridge a short walk down the River Wye, set in a beautifully picturesque spot as well as being absolutely packed with padlocks from previous visitors. I don’t know when or what started this tradition in Bakewell, but there was not a single place to add a new lock, every little space was filled! To finish we had a drink in the 16th century Castle Inn that is now a local pub. Overall, the town is a great place to spend a sunny summer afternoon, there is not much to do though picking up the famous Bakewell Pudding is worth the visit for me!