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28 October 2014
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June 2003
Get to know Buxton
Octagon
Octagon Gardens - apparently the phrase 'Beatlemania' was coined here.
Some people think Buxton's stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Clive Leighton tells us why being tucked away in the North of Derbyshire is the place to be.

Aaaaah Buxton!

When the map was carved up there could be an argument that this area was slightly overlooked.

Buxton weblinks

Is the High Peak part of Derbyshire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Midlands or Shropshire?

Well, Buxton is The Jewel in Derbyshire's Crown.

When the map was carved up there could be an argument that this area was slightly overlooked.

Having lived here for over 16 years I can confidently state that there is no other area like it.

The perceived exclusion only strengthens the undeniable feeling of independence. The geography doesn’t need any 21st Century assistance, the towns and villages although somewhat insular really have survived this long.

Some think that "there isn’t much here" is both a blessing and a curse. Buxton and its surrounds contain breathtaking countryside and architecture. A rich history of hard quarrying and pioneering landscaping work make this a country playground - not yet another indistinguishable urban sprawl.

Is it the middle of nowhere or is it unbelievably central? And what is there to be found once directed here?

Set in the heart of the Peak District, accessible for everyone (well most people) and in the middle of all that lush greenery; walkers, cavers, pot-holers, climbers and the great outdoor types have extra reward for their environmental exploits.

Not only do they have daytime delights to excite them they also have access to the most extraordinary amount of evening and entertainment events for miles around.

Within an hour away; Sheffield, Derby, Manchester, Birmingham, Leek, Chesterfield, Stoke and Macclesfield.

Buxton itself has the famous Frank Matcham theatre – the Buxton Opera House – home to the Buxton Festival, Gilbert and Sullivan, The Alexis Korner Memorial Concerts.

The adjoining buildings – The Pavilion Gardens hosts a seemingly endless amount of markets, exhibitions and antique fairs.

The Octagon in the Gardens boasts that the Daily Mirror coined the phrase "Beatlemania" there on 18 October 1963.

Buxton weblinks

In February 2003 the two joined forces with The Old Clubhouse to present the inaugural Buxton Festival of Jazz Folk and Blues. This event featured the likes of Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green, Bill Bruford, Courtney Pine, Jools Holland as well as local and regional legends. In February 2004 the repeated Festival - now known as Four Four Time - firmly established a new fixture on the music circuit.

The Eagle Hotel, once an overnight stopping off point included in your fayre when traveling the London to Glasgow stagecoach is now the central venue for live music. Club Acoustic Sessions - mainly folk and folk rock - are held here every other Wednesday. Public-i's Thursday Eagle provide the masses with live bands offering tributes, originals and cutting edge music from around the North and Midlands every Thursday.

The Cheshire Cheese, The George and Level Two really work hard for your leisure too.

But it’s not just music.

Poetry sessions, art and photographic exhibitions, University of Derby's Buxton initiatives, community events, agricultural shows, carnivals and all sorts of other fun stuff.

Buxton’s one of these places that a lot of people say that they’d like to visit but couldn’t see themselves living in.

As I look around I can already see five residents who said that to me about six years ago.

You don’t have to live here but as some people will testify that they only exist in other parts of this Fair Isle – the least and possibly best thing you could do is – visit.

You may even stay a little longer than you thought.

Clive Leighton
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