“Cute town, but I don’t like the tarts” is how my husband Kevin describes our visit to Bakewell, home of the famous Bakewell Tarts and I can safely say Mackenzie and I feel much the same. Maybe it’s because we are Australian and its not high on the list of things we grew up eating, but we did give Bakewell benefit of the doubt by trying their tarts and if anything they were the best we had ever tasted.
The Bakewell Tart is a much loved bakery item here in the UK and consists of a pastry case filled with jam and frangipane, topped with flaked almonds and is often referred to as a pudding rather than a tart. The variant most people are familiar with is the Cherry Bakewell that is topped with an almond fondant and glazed cherry and if I had to choose it would be the original, almond fondant is just not my thing. I understand that it started as an accident in the early 1800’s when recipe instructions were misinterpreted at the local pub that is no longer there.
Homity Pie (also known as Devon Pie) however was a real treat and there have been links made to it being a staple during World War 2 when rationing meant that meat was hard to come by. The pie consists of a pie casing filled with potato, leek and onion which is then covered in cheese – what’s not to be liked? The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop offered a beautiful terrace where we enjoyed a late lunch served by a wonderful person who noticed our accents and shared with us about her time living in Australia. This is what we love about travel, meeting locals and hearing about their favourite local items, their own travel stories, and their recommendations for must do’s in town.
Running beside the town and car park is River Wye and it is there that you can find a place to sit, but also to see the walk bridge filled with locks not much different to what is seen in some areas of Paris. Cute as it is we have seen in the past the damage that is caused to essential bridges by this practice so I would recommend looking but not adding to this feature.
Located in Derbyshire within the first ever National Park in England – the Peak District, Bakewell is both scenic and well positioned to access so many areas of natural beauty and activities. Sheffield is a mere 30-40 minute drive away if you want to explore the city like we did, but you can also just stay local and enjoy what Bakewell has to offer. Markets, boutique stores, bakeries for days, but the town is also surrounded by hiking and biking trails. We would love to visit again and do the Monsal Trail which starts just north of Bakewell and is ideal for walkers, horses, bikes and wheelchair users. It includes a series of tunnels from the former Midland Railway, not unlike those we rode through in Levanto, Italy and are great for a fully accessible trail in one of the most beautiful places in England.
If you would like to explore what Bakewell has to offer check out this miniguide.
Cheers From Derbyshire, Tams