“Pick of the Month” – Buxton’s brilliance brought to you by the 65
It’s an unsung hero of the Great Scenic Journeys collection and a route that is increasingly pulling the crowds and getting the plaudits. Stagecoach’s 65 service from Meadowhall to Buxton is not only the gateway to the Peak District from the bright lights of the city and its environs, but it provides some stunning and memorable insights into this region of natural beauty. What’s more, it can be part of a scenic sojourn by bus which also includes the fantastic new open top Peak Sightseer bus, also from Stagecoach, which runs into the Autumn and in the run up to Christmas.
The reason why this route is our ‘Pick of the Month’ is because it fulfils the kind of dreamlike wistful thoughts of escaping the hub-bub of industrial, yet modern city life, so quickly and for only £2 too! So soon after leaving the shopping whirlwind of Meadowhall and then the hustle and bustle of Sheffield and its pretty outskirts, the bus is plunged into a lush green landscape of hills, forests, streams and snippets of Yorkshire, turning to Derbyshire village life.
From the woodland of Padley Gorge to the blissful Burbage Brook stream, then Grindleford and Calver Slough on the banks of the River Derwent, the bus stops and starts, picking up scenery lovers, walkers and folk going about their daily routines – how lucky those that live nearby are to be on a bus route surrounded by wonderful countryside that gets more dramatic with each passing stop! It’s a happy, sociable service too – when our team travelled on the 65, we observed more amiable chitter-chatter from locals and scenic thrill seekers than on most other buses we’d sampled during the Summer! Little wonder, as many walkers were on-board and they love a good chinwag and anticipating talk around the incredible walks around Padley Gorge or to Longshaw Estate, as well as their climbing feats to follow at Burbage or Horeshoe Quarry. The 65 is a paradise for walking lovers or just those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors!
The customer service is also fab too on this service! At Great Scenic Journeys, we review and accredit the routes in our collection. In late August, we visited the 65 and it achieved Premium Customer Service Rating in our assessment. Here’s a couple of quotes from our mystery shoppers.
“The driver was meticulous at greeting every customer and giving eye contact and a smile and thanking every single person audibly and sincerely when they alighted. He also made several customers happy, by telling them about the £2 fare and saving them from spending more and he went out of his way, in some detail, to give onward travel directions to some customers alighting the bus”.
“This is a truly fascinating journey, more so, in our view, than many others across the UK and beyond, particularly in terms of the variety of scenery and places of interest and sights (with many hidden gems), as well as with links to great walks and other experiences”.
But, it’s the destination of Buxton that makes this route such a prize draw. As if the journey and the view from the bus window doesn’t make the journey THE attraction in itself, but the end point is just as good. Buxton is the highest market town in England and is about 1,000 feet above sea level, hence why it’s worth wrapping up warm because it can get bit chilly. It’s also the source of Buxton Natural Mineral Water, the famous bottled brand – the water coming from local springs. The Romans built a bathhouse and settlement around the springs and folk can visit it today. The geothermal water in Buxton rises at a constant temperature of 28°C (82°F) and is believed to have great health benefits.
It’s not just water that makes Buxton so famous! Renowned author Jane Austen used Buxton as a setting in her novel “Jane Eyre” and the famous scene where Mr. Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Mason, is revealed to be locked in the attic is set at a house in the town. There’s an abundance of Victorian and Georgian architecture, showcasing its prominence as a chic spa town – be sure to check out The Buxton Crescent, a grand Georgian building.
Culture vultures will also love Buxton for its annual extravaganza known as the Buxton Festival, attracting artists and performers from around the world. The town is also part of the Derbyshire well-dressing tradition, where intricate designs are made of flower petals, leaves and other natural materials created on wooden frames.
There’s greenery aplenty in Buxton, alongside eye-catching, typical stone buildings, particularly in the Pavilion Gardens, with its 23 manicured acres, including a miniature train, play areas, fountain and wildlife. It’s also worth checking out the lovely Ice Cream Parlour, Pavilion Kitchen and Team Rooms as well as the Promenade with its bandstand and bridges. It’s like being at the seaside here in Buxton, except some distance from the coast!
There’s so much to see and do in Buxton, though if your appetite has been whetted, then catch the TP3 bus onwards to the picturesque and delightfully sleepy Ashford-in-the-Water for a quick change to the amazing Peak Sightseer bus which showcases the lovely Peak District countryside even further and Chatsworth House.
It’s a circular tour that, once you’ve tried it, you won’t forget it and there are great bus links from the route to other parts of the Peak District, including the lovely Matlock, with its fantastic Cable Car up the ‘Heights of Abraham’ and to Chesterfield or further afield, Derby, to connect with trains back to Sheffield so as to make a circular tour! Indeed, with the bus picking up and dropping off less than 5 minutes walk from Sheffield railway station (at the Bus Interchange), it’s easy to travel from all parts of the UK by rail, bus or coach to join the 65 and devour the delights of Buxton and the Peak District. Some Peak Sightseer services run to/from Chesterfield station direct, making it easier to join the amazing Peak District from all parts of the nation!
Be sure, to go onto the link below to discover the delights of our ‘Pick of the Month’ the truly barnstorming 65 service and plan your journey!
Meanwhile, for the ultimate combination of two fabulous routes, then find out more about the Peak Sightseer and to enjoy the lovely view of the approach to Chatsworth below from the front of the open-top bus and with the breeze blowing your cobwebs away, check out Peak Sightseer – Great Scenic Journeys