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suggestion on route to Bakewell please

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Perth Australia
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suggestion on route to Bakewell please

HI all

We will be laving Gatwick first thing on a Sunday morning and heading to Bakewell. We are using Bakewell as a base to visit family etc. I can see the journey on the map as part of the way on the M1. I know this is a very broad question and could open a can of worrms but here goes. Could someone please suggest a nice area to stop somewhere along the way as I dont know where to start. It can be a stop for morning tea or late lunch or both. A castle, a nice quaint village or a beautiful cathederal that would be a shame to drive by and miss. No museums or art exhibitions though. That will be another time. We are not in a hurry to get to Bakewell so dont mind the deviations. In fact we just want to see and enjoy as much as we can and it will be some years before we can visit again.

Thanks to all for all the help

West London
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1. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please


Just a couple of stupid questions (sorry). Are you hiring a car at Gatwick, or are you planning to take a train from Gatwick to London and hiring a car in London? Do you drive on the same side of the road as the Brits do?

Which month of the year are you planning to do this? And is the idea that you drive halfway to Bakewell - stop somewhere nice - and then get to your destination on the second day?

Please also put this question on the Bakewell, Derbyshire forum if you haven't done that already - they know what's on the route just as well as Londoners do.


Edited: 14 December 2012, 04:57
Perth Australia
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2. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

Hi Glyn1

We are hiring a car on May 19th next year and plan to arrive in Bakewell later on the same day. Yes, thank goodness we Aussies drive on the same side as the Britts.

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3. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

It's a bit obvious and only round the corner from Bakewell but Chatsworth House is a good one. Devonshire Arms at Bealey (on the Chatsworth Estate) for a very nice meal.

Haddon Hall is great too and a real contrast to Chatsworth.

I can't think of anywhere half way between Gatwick and Bakewell that is up to much - Woburn Abbey perhaps, Hatfield House (a bit of a diversion to the A1 road)....

London, United...
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4. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

Without much of a detour you could leave the M1 at Junction 20 and visit Market Harborough,it is the epitome of a market town, very quaint, a number of historic buildings and a good choice of eateries.

It would leave a shortish drive in the afternoon.

Also without much effort you could visit Warwick Castle, a good example of an English castle although it has undergone much restoration over the ages. Plenty of places to eat in Warwick or nearby Leamington Spa.

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5. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

St Albans - market town, cathedral, lots of Roman history

Woburn Abbey (or even the safari park?)

Bletchley Park (WW2 codebreakers)

Coventry Cathedral

don't know if any of those come in the "kick yourself if you drove past them" category but it's all I can come up with

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6. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

Another vote for Warwick, probably add about 20 miles to your journey .

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7. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

Warwick makes better sense if you go North via the M40/M42/M6, in which case you pass right by. I would be tempted to take this route anyway, it is slightly longer, but the M1 is a detestable motorway. Lichfield Cathedral is another option if you go this way, but it would still need a bit of a detour.


Edited: 14 December 2012, 14:50
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8. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

It is a bit of a detour but doable - if the weather's fine Stowe might be worth a stopover - and it's got a cafe so a good lunch break:


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9. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

I'd also recommend the route via the M40 to Warwick. It should take you a couple of hours.

Alternatively you have the option of coming off the M40 at Oxford and driving through the Cotswolds - I would recommend the route via Woodstock (maybe stopping at Blenheim Palace) - Chipping Norton - Shipston on Stour -possibly Stratford - then on to the M40 and M42 to bypass the more urban areas around Coventry and Solihull - before coming off the M42 again to take the A38 up to Lichfield, which itself is a beautiful small city with a lovely cathedral.

After Lichfield you can take small roads all the way from there to Bakewell - I recommend the A515 to Ashbourne (worth a stop). Ashbourne is the start of the Peak District and all the countryside between there and Bakewell is beautiful.

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10. Re: suggestion on route to Bakewell please

It is worth checking the National Trust website as a lot of historic houses in the Derbyshire area which also have tearooms. Sudbury Hall, Kedleston Hall, Hardwick House all spring to mind.