If you’re looking for a little evening entertainment, between Buxton’s incredible Edwardian Opera House and the state-of-the-art arts centre in the Pavilion Gardens, you have several spaces that host everything from opera, drama and dance, right the way through to live comedy, cinema and the always-excellent Buxton Festival. Sports fans can also find out more about the town’s football, speedway and cricket clubs.
Entertainment in Buxton
It may come as a surprise that one of England’s finest and most popular provincial theatres is right here in the High Peaks. Buxton Opera House is a sublime 902-seat venue designed by theatre architect extraordinaire Frank Matcham. Of his myriad entertainment venues, which can be found all over Britain, the Buxton Opera House is one of his finest. Hence, it’s also home to a small Frank Matcham museum that commemorates the big man and this marvellous opera house.
It’s always worth seeing what’s on at the Buxton Opera House as it curates an excellent programme of opera, drama, dance, comedy, classic theatre, music and pantomimes with more than 450 performances per year. It’s also the famous Buxton Festival across two weeks in July. It’s one of the best events of its kind in the UK, which has been bringing world-class opera, music and literature to Buxton since 1979 when the Opera House reopened as a live entertainment venue following a half-century spell as a cinema.
You can also pay a visit to the Pavilion Arts Centre. It’ll never get out of the shadow of the Buxton Opera House, but that’s not to say it’s not an excellent arts centre in its own right. You’ll find it in the Pavilion Gardens, just behind the opera house. The venue dates back to the 19th century but has been fantastically refurbished and transformed into a state-of-the-art theatre with a 352-seat main room and a 93-seat studio theatre.
The Pavilion Arts Centre’s main room attracts some excellent touring companies, hosts the hilarious Buxton Buzz Comedy Club and is home to the Buxton Cinema where you can see all the latest blockbusters. The Studio, on the other hand, is for fans of fringe theatre and limited-release independent films.
Buxton Opera House
Sport in Buxton
If you fancy a bit of footie during your stay, the Buxton Football Club is a semi-professional club that tops the sporting options in Buxton. It boasts heaps of history, having been founded in 1877. You can see the Bucks play their home games at the Silverlands, which owns the lofty accolade of being the highest-altitude football pitch in England at some 1,000 feet above sea level. Sadly, the Buxton Football Club has never reached the heights of the Football League. However, it’s still a lot of fun, and tickets are cheap, so why not try and catch a game?
The town is also home to the Buxton Hitmen, a successful speedway team that races in the British National League. They’re among the most celebrated speedway teams in the country and stand unique as the only team to complete the treble of honours in 2010. You can watch them zip and zoom around their purpose-built track next to the old Buxton Racecourse, which is south of the town centre and just a 10-minute drive from our Buxton hotel.
Lastly, cricket fans will want to try and watch the Buxton Cricket Club at its beautiful Park Road ground, which was formerly used by the Derbyshire County Cricket Club. It’s just a five-minute walk from the town centre and an excellent way to spend a few hours when the sun is shining during the summer cricket season.