On this page you'll find loads of helpful information and tips to inspire you for a great day out in the Peak District. The sixes 6.1 is our really good, scenic bus service running every hour between Derby city centre and Bakewell with some great places to stop off and visit on the way, like Belper, Wirksworth, Cromford, Matlock Bath and Matlock.
Whether you enjoy browsing around market stalls or want to be the first to enjoy new designs, Belper’s range of friendly, independent and speciality shops are just waiting to be discovered. And with such tempting delights as artisan bakeries, a chocolatier, delicious delis, plus antique and craft shops, the town offers a really great high street experience.
Local foods straight from the producer can be found at the lively farmers market on the second Saturday of the month, and several award-winning cafés and restaurants provide a wide range of eateries and speciality foods to tempt your taste buds. For evening entertainment, the town has a relaxed atmosphere with restaurants, real ale pubs and a fabulous art deco cinema. And you must take a look at Belper North Mill, one of the oldest iron-framed water powered spinning mills in the world, or stroll in the tranquil Belper River Gardens.
Get there on the sixes
Choo choo choose a really good day out at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. This scenic, preserved line runs between Wirksworth and Duffield using heritage diesel railcars, with some steam hauled trains on the short section between Wirksworth and Ravenstor.
Want some fresh air in your lungs? Jump off at Ravenstor and take the pleasant uphill ramble along part of the High Peak Trail, or discover the National Stone Centre close by.
Get there on the sixesVisit the website
Wirksworth is a pretty market town with fine buildings and the impressively grand St Mary’s parish church. Look out for the Saxon coffin lid, Norman font and intricate carvings.
Wander through the narrow, winding backstreets leading off Market Place to really get to know the town and stop for a bite to eat. There are galleries, craft shops, teashops and some excellent pubs in the town. And there’s a farmer’s market on the first Saturday of the month.
The traditional well dressing takes place on 24-28 May, and on 28-29 June you can follow a trail around 20 gardens in the town, normally hidden from view, with home-made cakes and teas en-route. Several have live music, too. Proceeds from the event are donated to local charities.
The town also hosts the well-known annual Wirksworth Festival from 5-21 September. This is when Wirksworth throws open its doors and warmly invites you to see inspirational art and sculpture in a truly wonderful setting. Both international and local artists fill the streets and houses for this really fantastic event.
Get there on the sixesdestination Wirksworth
Popular with walkers - the High Peak Trail starts near here, or there are easier canal side trails to follow - Cromford Mill is part of the Derwent River Valley UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was established by Richard Arkwright in 1771 and was not just the first water-powered cotton spinning mill in the world but the first to successfully implement the combination of power, machinery and human labour which really started the industrial revolution.
The mill is now a visitor centre owned and run by the Arkwright Society. It has several shops and a café, and is open daily.
Sir Richard Arkwright’s later 1783 Masson Mills - shown above - are the finest surviving and best preserved example of an Arkwright cotton mill. It’s now a working textile museum illustrating Arkwright’s legacy, but includes a superb shopping village with four floors of designer, ladies and men’s clothing from Edinburgh Woollen Mill, shoes, gifts, food, whisky, a riverside restaurant and more besides.
museum 10am-4pm (from 11am Sun)
shops 10am-5.30pm (11am-5pm Sun)
Get there on the sixesCromford MillsMasson Mills
Matlock Bath is always a firm favourite in trentbarton land - on a gloriously sunny day it has a real seaside feel, quite continental in fact, and it’s had visitors flocking here since the late 17th century, including Queen Victoria, twice!
There are interesting shops to nose around in, cafés and restaurants to keep you refreshed - everything from a quick cappuccino or an ice cream to a slap-up meal - and the riverside setting in a steep gorge is quite spectacular.
Heights of Abraham
For a ride in the sky, take the cable car up to the Heights of Abraham for views that’ll blow your socks off. And there are show caverns to explore, exhibitions, picnic and play areas, great places to eat and drink and much more. The Fossil Factory is an exciting new addition, bringing to life the story of rocks and fossils and how the Peak District was formed.
29 Mar-2 Nov
daily 10am-4.30pm (open later busy days)
Get there on the sixesVisit the website
Got the kids with you? Treat them to a day at Gulliver’s Kingdom, a theme park for families with children that’s got over 65 rides, attractions and shows to keep them amused all day and hopefully tired out at the end of it (you too, probably).
open daily 5-27 April
weekends in May
Wed-Sun in June
daily Jul-Aug & weekends in Sep (mostly 10.30am - 5pm)
Find out more
Matlock, actually the county town of Derbyshire, is a lovely, attractive town on the edge of the Peak District with friendly independent shops as well as familiar high street names.
It’s a great place to visit, especially for the traditional market held on Tuesdays and Fridays in the Market Hall. And there’s also a craft and flea market on Saturdays, always fun to rummage through and find something unusual. The town also boasts the brilliant Hall Leys Park, complete with a boating lake, mini-golf, play area for the kids and a miniature railway. It’s worth coming here on the third Saturday of every month just to buy from producers of the finest, freshest, tastiest local produce at the farmers’ market held there.
The park also regularly hosts major events and festival, and is the focus of Matlock’s Victorian Christmas Weekend held every year on the first weekend of December.
Get there on the sixesPlan your trip
Chatsworth is one of the great houses of Britain with a vast collection of paintings, furniture and treasures, priceless items collected over the centuries by different generations of the Dukes of Devonshire. Chatsworth’s landscaped gardens are a joy - there’s even a maze to get lost in - and look out for impressive sculptures, the long water cascade and the spectacular Emperor Fountain. And there’s a farmyard to delight the little ones.
Between Rowsley and Bakewell you’ll find this imposing house on a hillside overlooking the River Wye. It’s an absolute gem, steeped in history and romantic tales, and surrounded by beautiful Elizabethan terraced gardens. Still privately owned, with parts dating from the 12th century, Haddon Hall is probably the finest example of a fortified medieval manor house in existence and really interesting to look round.
5-28 April Sat/Sun/Mon
Easter 18-22 Fri-Tue
May-September daily (closed 18-20 July) 12noon-5pm
(open until 8pm Thursdays in June & July)
Get there on the sixesHaddon Hall
Bakewell is one of the most picturesque towns in trentbarton land, and well worth riding to the end of the sixes 6.1 route for! Cobbled alleyways lead to hidden courtyards, and the riverside walks, old stone buildings, high quality shops and range of cafés make Bakewell the perfect destination for a great day out.
There are always things going on, too. Market day is Monday, when the town is at its busiest - Bakewell has held markets every Monday for at least 700 years - and farmers markets are held in the Agricultural Business Centre on the last Saturday each month, where you can buy fresh, locally-produced foods direct from the farmers. A trip to the Annual Bakewell Show, held on the first Wednesday and Thursday in August, is a must. It has a spectacular programme of events and displays.
Then there’s the Bakewell Carnival on the first Saturday in July and an arts festival in August. The town boasts some fine old houses, notably the Market Hall, The Old Town Hall and the Almshouses on South Church Street. The ancient five-arched bridge is much painted by artists, and upstream from this is the ancient packhorse bridge near Holme Hall.
Get there on the sixesVisit Bakewell
Peak Shopping Village
The small village of Rowsley is a nice stop off too, especially for shoppers who can make the most of the discounts at the Peak Shopping Village.
Get there on the sixesPeak Shopping Village