Festivals and Events in the Peak District  

Festivals and Events in the Peak District  

The Peak District is a wondrous place, brimming with incredible places to visit and unmissable events to attend. Boasting a full calendar of festivals and fairs throughout the year, the oldest of the UK’s national parks has an unrivalled appeal. From literary celebrations in charming market towns, to alfresco walking festivals in the heart of the hills, to family-friendly food and music events in showstopping locations, there is something for everyone.

If you can’t wait to fill your rural sojourn with your favourite celebrations, here are some of the best festivals and events in the Peak District this year.

Derbyshire Food and Drink Fayre

A view tents and visitors milling on green grass at Derbyshire Food and Drink Festival

13th - 14th May 2023

If you have a taste for fine food and drink, there’s no better way to start your season of festivals than with Derbyshire Food and Drink Fayre. Kicking off the region’s food festivals in style, this annual fair just outside of the Peak District promises food, drink, crafts and gifts galore, curated by producers from across the county. Take a hamper with you to bundle up local goodies, from buttery pies to rich preserves to botanical-infused gins. Or, to savour delicious tastes in the festival’s family-friendly setting, make way to the buzzing street food area and choose from an array of sweet and savoury treats, all the while serenaded by the festival’s live music.

Derby Book Festival

Books on stand at Derby Book Festival

19th - 27th May 2023

In the Derbyshire Dales just south of the Peaks, Derby Book Festival encompasses fifty events over nine days for a page-turning spectacular. Held throughout the town across ten different venues, it is one of the key events in the county’s cultural calendar and brings together literary lovers from far and wide. Look forward to a broad programme of events from mid-morning to early evening each day, including workshops and talks from renowned authors, historians, politicians, broadcasters and more. With a wide selection of themes and topics, you’re sure to find something to capture your imagination and inspire your next greatest read.

Ashbourne Festival

A giant puppet sculpture operated by people at Ashbourne Festival

16th June - 2nd July 2023

Dubbed the Gateway to the Peak District, the market town of Ashbourne is located on the southern fringes of the national park within the Derbyshire Dales. Close to the White Peak, this picturesque market town is perfectly placed for exploring local delights and each year transforms its winding, cobbled streets into a flurry of colour and activity. Running for two decades, Ashbourne Festival hosts fantastic street theatre, musicians and bands, comedians, writers and more, celebrating the best of local and international talent. Head over to enjoy the action and soak up the atmosphere of this cultural oasis in the Peaks.

Peak District Summer Hill Climb Festival

A view of rolling hills and a steep cliff in the Peak District

23rd June - 7th July 2023

For two weeks this summer, walkers, climbers and hikers from near and far are invited to join the Peak District Summer Hill Climb Festival. A brilliant fourteen-day celebration of all things outdoors, this event is particularly geared towards adventurers and creates the perfect opportunity to roam within spellbinding landscapes. Encompassing some of the best climbs in the Peak District, this festival features a range of walks of varying difficulty to pitch the perfect pace for everyone. Three of the festival’s four climbing races also boast close proximity to a pub, affording even more incentive to break out the walking boots and conquer new routes.

Buxton Festival Fringe and Buxton International Festival

A view of Buxton Opera House during Buxton International Festival

5th - 23rd July 2023

Running in tandem with each other, the Buxton International Festival and the Buxton Festival Fringe are two unmissable festivals taking place in the spa town of Buxton in High Peak. A bountiful source of inspiration, Buxton is a real hub of artistic talent, with its arts festivals renowned as among the best in the UK. From carnivals to world-class opera, both the Fringe and International festivals combine to create an artistic kaleidoscope of things to see and do. Experience the joy of live music, pore through the pages of books, and watch as performers parade through the streets of England’s highest market town for unforgettable memories.

Bakewell Country Festival

An aerial collie jumping over a hurdle during a dog show at Bakewell Country Festival

16th July 2023

In the heart of the Peak District, Bakewell awaits with not only some of the UK’s most delicious puddings, but also some brilliant family-friendly events. Amongst the most anticipated, Bakewell Country Fair is a long-running agricultural and horticultural show held at Bakewell’s showground. A family-focused festival, it offers an extensive line-up of activities and attractions, including live music, animal meet-and-greets, a culinary theatre and food courts, heavy horse competitions, rural crafts, a dog show and much more. On land, look out for vintage tractors, and in the sky, keep your eyes peeled for the show’s Lancaster Bomber flypast.

Y Not Festival

A big red and white tent and festival-goers with a hilly backdrop at Y Not Festival

28th July 2023

Held in Pikehall, Derbyshire, Y Not Festival is the place to go for all musos. A brilliant music festival in a jaw-dropping rural setting, Y Not promises a weekend of smooth tunes and unbeatable rhythm, with incredible sounds played across various stages around the site. Headlined by some of the biggest names in the industry, its line-up is graced with world-famous and upcoming artists, from international music legends to BBC Introducing’s latest talent. Secure yourself some tickets for hours of music magic and let iconic beats set the soundtrack to one of the country’s most awaited festivals.

Matlock Food and Drink Festival

A group gathered together eating delicious street food

26th August 2023

A two-day festival on the outskirts of the Peak District National Park, Matlock’s Food and Drink Festival is a magnet for all foodies. Paying homage to excellent food and drinks crafted and produced both within the region and beyond, it encourages visitors of all generations to sample culinary classics and try out brand-new flavours. Family and dog-friendly, this festival complements its menu of foodie stalls and street food with an exciting array of things to see and do, from live entertainment to unique craft stalls and much more in between. Just remember to bring a bag with you, ready to take some mouth-watering delicacies back to your retreat.

Chatsworth Country Fair

Horses and their suited guard handlers in royal livery at Chatsworth Country Fair

1st - 3rd September 2023

Chatsworth Country Fair is one of the country’s largest outdoor events. Spread across three days in September, it takes place within the spectacular, thousand-acre grounds and parkland of Chatsworth Estate near Bakewell in the Peaks. If you’ve never been before, expect a spectacular array of activities and attractions, from gripping entertainment in the Grand Ring, to captivating culinary masterclasses with celebrity chefs, to spectacular air displays. Be thrilled by stunt teams and aerobatics, treat yourself to some unmissable shopping opportunities, and enjoy sky-high views on the show’s big wheel for a weekend to remember.

Chatsworth Christmas Markets

The inside of Chatsworth House at Christmas time adorned with pretty decorations

4th - 26th November 2023

Heading back to the wonderful Chatsworth Estate this November, you can look forward to one of the region’s best Christmas celebrations. Decorating the courts and grounds of this impressive stately home for two weeks, Chatsworth’s Christmas Markets are the perfect place to start your Christmas shopping and soak up the feel-good atmosphere of this special time of year. With lots on offer, you can peruse a collection of more than one hundred market stalls, each one laid with beautiful Christmas decorations and gifts (not to mention food and drink) made by artisans from the local area and beyond.

Bakewell Christmas Market

Christmas decorations with fairy lights and pine needles at a festive Christmas market

24th - 30th November 2023

One of the best winter events in the Peak District, Bakewell Christmas Market is an annual festival that heralds the start of the town’s festive season. Promising all kinds of winter wonders, this weekend-long event sees countless Christmas stalls and stands line the streets of the town, bedecked in everything from bubbling pans of spice-infused mulled wine to the finest jewellery handcrafted by local silversmiths. Whether you’re looking for a thoughtful gift, fun stocking filler or simply want to revel in the Christmas spirit with a mince pie or two, this is the place to be.

Feeling inspired to uncover the Peak District this year? Take a look at our collection of luxury cottages.

Motorcycle aerial acrobatics at Chatsworth Country Fair

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