Situated in the heart of the Peak District National Park, Bakewell is a picturesque market town on the River Wye. The town is famed for the eponymous pudding, but Bakewell also lays claim to an important literary link. Jane Austen visited friends here in 1811, while finishing work on Pride and Prejudice. And it’s believed that Bakewell provided the inspiration for Lambton, where Elizabeth Bennett stays with her aunt and uncle on their tour of the Peak District. Austen’s descriptions of Mr Darcy’s Pemberley also bear a striking resemblance to the nearby Chatsworth House.
Nestled among the gritstone hills of the Derbyshire Peak District, Hathersage is a bustling village and a popular tourist attraction. Its most famous son was Little John of Robin Hood fame, who is buried here in the graveyard of St Michael’s Church. The village also claims an important literary link. In 1845, Charlotte Brontë came here to visit her school friend ,Ellen Nussey, and although she only stayed for three weeks, the village became a major source of inspiration for her first novel, Jane Eyre. It's widely believed that she based Rochester's Thornfield on the nearby North Lees Hall, which was owned by the Eyres, a local noble family and presumably the source of her heroine's surname.
The novel opens at Longbourn, the Bennet family's home in Hertfordshire. Most of the story takes place at fictional locations in Hertfordshire (Longbourn, Meryton, Netherfield Park and Lucas Lodge). Austen doesn't give many clues about the actual location of these places, except for their distance from Gracechurch Street in London, where the Gardiners live. There's a great article on Jansa.org, which makes a strong case for Harpenden, Redbourne and Kimpton being the real locations.
We can pinpoint some real places that Austen used towards the end of the novel, when Elizabeth travels to the Derbyshire Peak District with her aunt and uncle, Mr and Mrs Gardiner. They visit Lambton, a fictionalised version of Bakewell, and stay at the inn, which is though to be based on The Rutland Arms.