Buxton Country Park and Solomon’s Temple
Buxton Country Park and Solomon’s Temple is a great, local walk. It will take you on a circular loop through the famous Pavilion Gardens, up through Higher Buxton to Poole’s Cavern, Grinlow woods and Buxton Country Park where you can admire the fine views from the top of Solomon’s Temple, a fortified hilltop folly, funded by public subscription and built in the 19th Century to provide work for the local unemployed.
In the 17th and 18th Centuries Grinlow woods were the site of extensive lime workings which can be seen by the hollows and mounds found abundantly throughout the woods which were once the kilns and dwellings for the lime workers and their families.
The landscape in Buxton Country Park and Solomon’s Temple was not pleasing to the sixth Duke of Devonshire, who planted Grinlow woods in the 1820’s to hide the eyesore. The area is now a site of special scientific interest resulting from the rich plant, animal and insect life that thrives here. Just follow the route below to explore Buxton from above.
Location: Buxton Country Park and Solomon’s Temple
Start and finish: Pavilion Gardens park
What to keep an eye out for: grey squirrels, rabbits, and a variety of birds – don’t forget to look out for the wooden sculpture of a lime burner too
Distance: 3 and a half miles
Landscape: paths, road, pavement, some steep woodland sections, and stiles. Optional steps up Solomon’s Temple
- From the entrance to the Pavilion Gardens walk towards the bandstand and bear left to cross a wide footbridge. Turn left towards the opposite corner of the gardens and pass through a wrought iron gate. Cross over the road to the Old Hall Hotel, turn right and head up the short flight of steps leading to the slopes. Continue up towards the distinctive War Memorial on your left.
- From the War Memorial continue on the footpath along an avenue of trees to the entrance of Buxton Town Hall. Turn left, then immediately right to walk around to the front of the building and to the Market Cross. From here walk across to the pavement on the right, pass the Eagle Public House, and then just after Sainsbury’s take the next turn on the right into Fountain Street. Walk down the pavement all the way to Broad Walk, crossing a junction half -way down as you go.
- Turn left along Broad Walk, continue to the end and cross over Burlington Road. Then bear left towards the junction with Macclesfield Road and make your way to a pedestrian crossing on the right. Go over the Macclesfield Road here and walk up Temple Road. Cross to the pavement on the opposite side of the road. You will pass the entrance to Buxton Community School. Ignore the first signposted footpath and take the next footpath on the left adjacent to some metal railings. Note: there is no footpath signpost here, so be careful not to miss the turn.
- Follow this footpath, which bears to the right to eventually join another road. Cross straight over the road and turn left, and then after a few yards turn right down a track which will bring you to the car park for Poole’s Cavern. Bear left around the edge of the car park to some steps and a footpath into Grinlow Woods.
- Turn almost immediately left after going through a gate onto the lower footpath. You will pass a large and impressive wood carving depicting local wildlife. After a few more metres stay left on a broad and keep to the green way markers. At another fork in the path with some wooden steps ahead, stay to the left. At the next fork, stay on the main broader path which bears right and climbs uphill to a gate in a stone wall.
- Go through the gate and follow the eroded footpath directly uphill. You will now catch your first glimpse of Solomon’s Temple on the horizon ahead. Continue up to the tower and enjoy the views from the top before returning to the entrance doorway.
- Go left out of the entrance and head towards the stone wall. Follow the line of the wall going downhill, and just before a stile bear right and walk across to another stile signed to Poole’s Cavern. You are now back in Grinlow Woods. Stay on this path all the way down through the woods, looking for the larger-than-life sculpture of a miner as you go! Ignore some steps down to Poole’s Cavern on your right, continuing to pass a cottage on your left before joining the road at the bottom of the woods.
- Turn right along the road, and after a short distance take the first left down Temple Road which bears sharp right after a short distance. At the Macclesfield Road go over the pedestrian crossing you passed earlier and return to Pavilion Gardens.
For more great ideas of local walks, places visit and things to see in the Peak District just click here. Or alternatively have a read of more about the Country Park and Solomon’s Temple by clicking here.
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