Wells Dressing – A Celebration of the Ephemeral

Wells Dressing – A Celebration of the Ephemeral

Buxton is host to an annual Wells Dressing Festival established in 1840 and three wells are dressed in the town every year. The dressing of the boards takes place over three days before the boards are displayed around the wells themselves. These special tours include seeing the petallers at work between 5th – 7th of July and then visiting the wells with an explanation of the history of wells dressing.

Tour Journey

Leaving from the Opera House the tram trundles slowly through the Square, passing by The Old Hall Hotel and St Anne’s Well. We then continue up Hall Bank to the market place to see one of the wells. We next visit St Anne’s Church to see their annual flower festival. Finally arrive at St John’s Church where you have the opportunity to see the petallers at work.

You can stay here to admire and talk to the petallers while they carry out their traditional craft or return on the tram to your start point.

Tour Highlights

Flower Festival at St Anne’s Church

Visit to the dressed market well

Petallers at work at St John’s



  • Price: £8.00 per person
  • Length: Approx 1 hour
  • Seasons: 5th - 7th July to see the petallers
    8th - 16th July to see dressed wells and visit flower festival
  • Times: 10am -5pm


  • "Tour of Buxton Town and visit to see the preparation of the Well Dressings"

    We began our visit by having a lovely cuppa and toasted teacake in the pretty Pavillion Gardens Tearooms. Staff were very pleasant and efficient. Then we met our Guides, three of them, two taking walking parties around and the third a ride on the Victorian Tram for people with walking difficulties. A magical tour of a historical town. At the end we entered the Church to see the Petallers finialising the Well Dressings which were to be officially opened at the weekend. Cannot praise too much the guides, I didn't hear anyone in our group complain about anything, that's a first. Well done Buxton

  • "So informative entertaining. Loved it."

    My sisters and I took the tour last Friday and finished at St Johns to visit the Well Dressers. As expected most of them were ladies but we did notice a couple of gents keeping up the rear, one sweeping up the dropped petals and greenery and the other making the tea! Well done ladies and gents! We moved here 5 years ago but my sisters are visitors. I'm so proud of my adopted town. Well done too to our guide Fred for showing us the hidden gems. So informative entertaining. Loved it.

    Joanie Crook

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