The spa town of Buxton has a growing selection of shops, cafes and restaurants, including small independent shops at Cavendish Arcade.
It is home to the Buxton opera house and the annual literary festival in July. Buxton's beautiful Opera House was designed and built by Frank Matcham, one of Britain's finest architects in 1903. Recently restored to its former glory after a major refurbishment programme, the theatre is well worth a visit. Expect a spectacular auditorium complete with cherubim, exquisite ceiling paintings and gold leaf decoration. A varied programme of events includes musical concerts, drama, children's shows, dance, pantomime, comedy and opera. Prices vary according to performance.
Also worth a visit are the Pavilion Gardens with 23 acres of Victorian landscaped garden. Inside the Pavilion is the Buxton tourist office, providing lots of useful local information as well as a good shop, cafe and visiting art and craft fairs (dates vary so do check the webiste link given).
Buxton water, bottled at source is renowned for its purity. Fill up your own bottles at source from St Anne's Well opposite Buxton's magnificent Crescent.
If you are looking for somewhere to visit on a rainy day try the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery. It has recently come in for high praise from novelist and TV presenter Stuart Maconie in his novel Adventures on the High Teas. Go to Buxton Museum and Art Gallery for details of attractions and opening times.
Buxton has also been listed by The Sunday Times as one of Britain's best places to live (March 2013)!
The Bookstore Trading Post (+44 1298 71017) at Brierlow Bar (3 miles south east of Buxton on A515) is a massive bookstore selling books, cd's, cards and gifts at great prices. There is a large car park and refreshments. Open 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.