It’s taken 17 years and £70m to restore this architectural gem on the edge of the Peak District to its former glory. Has it been worth the wait?
Whichever direction you arrive from, the drive to the Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel will almost certainly involve winding through a glorious stretch of the Peak District national park. On my route from the south, I passed herds of grazing cattle fenced in by a pretty zig-zag of dry stone walls. Above them low-hanging clouds were already threatening rain. I had come to Derbyshire for the water, just not that kind.
My visit was to test the natural warm springs, first harnessed by the Romans around 2000 years ago and later by the Georgians and Victorians. For two centuries, visitors came to Buxton for curative dips which promised to help with the likes of gout, rheumatism and sciatica.