Lyme Park is one of the most popular locations to visit on our Peak District Tours, whether it is for fans of the 1995 BBC production of Pride & Prejudice, or just as part of a scenic experience. Situated a few miles from the Peak District national park, Lyme is the largest house in Cheshire and is Grade 1 listed. Lyme's history can be traced as far back as 1346, when the estate was gifted to Sir Thomas Danyers by Edward III, in gratitude for his service to the Black Prince at the Battle of Crecy. Danyers had retrieved the standard of the Black Prince and was rewarded with annuity of 40 marks per year, which could be exchanged for land belonging to the Black Prince.
It is probably best known for its pudding, but Bakewell is a bustling market town with a fascinating history. Surrounded by the atmospheric streets of Bakewell, it's easy to imagine the scene witnessed by Jane Austen when she wrote "There is not a finer county in England than Derbyshire".
The capital of the Peak District, Bakewell is is the largest town in the national park, with around 4000 population. In fact, it's the only town in the Peak District, as the planners for the national park boundaries, back in 1951 when the Peak District was established as the first national park in Britain, deliberately excluded built up areas such as Buxton, Matlock and Glossop due to their industry, particularly quarrying.
Jane Austen's Inspiration for Pemberley
"They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road, with some abruptness, wound. It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high, woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!"
(Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice)