Leek ‘Queen of the Moorlands’ is a traditional market town just 5 miles from Lane Head Barns. Leek’s wealth was built in the 19th century through the silk industry and there are still many former silk mills in the town, some of which have been converted for residential or other use. Leek has a population of just over 20,000.
From a practical perspective there are plenty of supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl) but it’s the wealth of independent shops, cafes, pubs, regular weekly and speciality markets that make Leek really special.
Check out this short video to get a really good idea of what Leek and the local area has to offer.
A few highlights:
On the first Sunday of the month visit Leek’s ‘Sunday Supplement Market‘ for up to 80 stalls of locally produced artisan products from photography, art, jewellery, glass work, clothing and plants to fresh bread, honey, cheeses, beer and chocolates. Or head to the Leek Farmers and Craft Market on the third Saturday of the month for local food, street food, live music, crafts and collectables.
The Foxlowe Art Centre – for exhibitions, talks, monthly comedy night, cafe, and film nights.
Leek Arts Festival runs from the end of April to the beginning of June every year and features between 30 and 40 events including national and internationally known artists.
The Nicholson Institute and Gallery houses a collection of oil paintings, ceramics, local history and a fine selection of the famous Leek embroideries.
The Nicholson War Memorial, at 90ft high one of the tallest war memorials in the country and an elegant landmark.
Hartington (7.5 miles away) no longer has a market, but it’s well worth a visit for its attractive layout of independent shops, pubs and cafes set around a beautiful village centre. Hartington has footpaths radiating on all sides. To the south is Beresford Dale, leading to Wolfscote Dale and the famous Dovedale and to the the north, you will find the Upper Dove valley with quieter paths to Pilsbury Castle and Crowdecote. The Beresford tearooms are named after Beresford Dale and are nothing to do with the Beresfords at Lane Head Farm (but still worth a visit)!
More about Hartington here.
You are sure to have eaten a Bakewell tart but have you ever tasted an authentic Bakewell Pudding that can be bought from the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop? Bakewell (18 miles from Lane Head) is idyllically situated on the banks of the river Wye and has beautiful mellow stone buildings, a medieval five-arched stone bridge and quaint courtyards. There are lots of independent cafes and shops and Monday is market day for the outdoor market as well as the cattle market.
More about Bakewell here.
Buxton (13.5 miles to the north) is a historic spa town with a population of just over 22,000. According to TimeOut, it is one of the best places to visit in the UK in 2019! The town’s Pavilion Gardens are beautiful ornamental gardens with good accessibility for all. Within the gardens is the newly restored Octagon Hall where you can view the work of the High Peak Artists and relax over a bite to eat in the cafe (with children’s menu and soft play area). More local contemporary art can be found at the Green Man Gallery. Buxton’s famous Georgian and Victorian architecture provides an impressive backdrop to a rich array of independent shopping, music and theatre (Buxton Opera House), cinema (newly opened Buxton Cinema), restaurants and, in July each year, Buxton International Festival.
Take a tour of the town by foot or tram with Discover Buxton.
Find out more about Buxton here.
Ashbourne (13.5 miles to the east) is a picturesque market town in the Derbyshire Dales with a population of just over 7,000. It contains many historical buildings and independent shops and is famous for its annual Shrovetide football match. Ashbourne Festival takes place every June / July and has hosted some of the best street theatre, musicians, comedians, artists and writers working in the region, nationally and internationally.
Find out more about Ashbourne here.