Matlock to Macclesfield
Head through historic market towns and across the moors
Matlock to Macclesfield Itinerary
Follow the route - Matlock to Macclesfield
Matlock to Bakewell
> Leave Matlock on the A6 and at Cromford turn right on to the A5012 signed Buxton. Turn right at Grangemill on to the B5056 then the A6 to Bakewell.
The fine five-arch stone bridge built in 1300 to span the River Wye, is the principal feature of this market town. The Romans came here first for the warm springs; the Saxons named it Bad Quell or ‘bath well’. Most of the buildings are 17th- and 18th-century, but the Old House Museum, with its wattle-and-daub walls, is at least a hundred years older.
The town boasts more than 50 shops, including the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop. Bakewell Pudding – don’t dare call it ‘tart’ here – is supposed to have originated in the kitchens of the Rutland Arms Hotel, when a cook poured an egg mixture on to the jam instead of the pastry.
Places to stay in Bakewell
Bakewell to Tideswell
> Go north on the A6 from Bakewell. At Ashford-in-the-Water turn right on to the B6465 and, in 4 miles (6.5km), left on to the A623, then turn left into Tideswell.
Tideswell grew with the medieval wool trade – being granted market status as early as the 13th century. Over the intervening years it has become a sleepy backwater away from the main roads, and little remains to indicate the town’s heyday, with one glorious exception. The 14th-century Church of St John the Baptist, with its soaring tower, is known as the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’. Tideswell is a venue for well-dressing, the tradition of decorating wells with flowers, which takes place at the end of June or very early in July.
Places to stay in Tideswell
Tideswell to Buxton
> From Tideswell go south on the B6049, then join the A6 heading west to Buxton.
At 1,007 feet (307m), Buxton is one of the highest towns in England. People have sought the town out since Roman times for its springs of mineral water. Not only is it good for rheumatics, but it tastes nice too. Bring a bottle and help yourself, free, from St Anne’s Well; you can even swim in warm spa water in the Pavilion’s indoor pool. It was in the 18th century that the town took off as a spa resort, thanks to the 5th Duke of Devonshire, who built the beautiful Doric-style Crescent and the huge domed riding school and stables, now part of Derby University.
The town has two golf courses, an elegantly restored Opera House and the lovely Pavilion Gardens. Walks are plentiful; one that offers a panoramic view of the town is the round trip up to Solomon’s Temple, a folly on Grinlow.
Places to stay in Buxton
Buxton to Macclesfield
> Leave Buxton on the A53, going right on to the A54. Turn right again on to the A537 signed Macclesfield and in 5 miles (8km) turn left on to unclassified roads past Tegg’s Nose Country Park into Macclesfield.
Specialising in silk was the salvation but ironically also the downfall of the Cheshire town of Macclesfield. Originating as a market town serving the surrounding rich Cheshire farming countryside, Macclesfield first became known for buttons, then for all kinds of silk products. By the mid-19th century, the town was literally bursting at the seams, with 56 silk ‘throwsters’ (producing the thread or thrown silk) and 86 businesses creating silk fabric or finished goods.