In the Peak District, Bakewell serves as an excellent base for exploring nearby -- and even distant -- stately homes. Below, our home away from home at the Rutland Arms and the local specialty, variously known as a Bakewell Tart or Bakewell pudding. All the versions we tried were delicious.
This was my second visit to the Rutland Arms in Bakewell and I found the hotel much updated and still charming. It is very close to Chatsworth, country estate of the Dukes of Devonshire, and Haddon Hall, which still belongs to a branch of the Rutland family. I had a cozy single room in the annex. Many photos and paintings of local luminaries and antique costumes adorned the walls.
Above, two photos of hotel windows into which are scratched names and dates which some think were done by Jane Austen herself. Most Austen scholars do not agree and point out there is no evidence at all that Miss Austen ever visited Derbyshire or saw Chatsworth, even though the estate is mentioned in Pride and Prejudice. Only if you greatly enlarge the photos can you see faint traces of the writing. Personally. I doubt Miss Austen would have scratched her name into window glass, and I wonder what she would have used if she tried. Nevertheless the legend reappears from time to time.
Above, the suite in which we gathered to watch the funeral and burial of Queen Elizabeth II. Below, left, the river Wye in Bakewell from the 14th Century bridge; right, All-Saints Church.
Victoria Hinshaw, Author