The Peak Venues Blog

Christmas in the Peak District

There's a unique magic that takes hold of the Peak District over the festive season. Whether it's the hill's blanketed with snow, finding hidden shops with one-of-a-kind trinkets, or a roaring fire warming your cold toes after a long walk. 

Peak Venues have gathered together all our local knowledge to bring you a guide packed full of Christmas events and ideas to get you into the festive spirit. So get comfy with a glass of something mulled, a mince pie and start planning your visit with our guide!

Peak District Christmas Markets

Your Christmas shopping doesn’t need to be a hard slog. Enjoy looking around amazing independent retailers in the Peak District and Derbyshire. Many of them can be found in our pretty market towns of Bakewell, Ashbourne, Buxton, and Wirksworth. They can also be found at the Christmas Markets, dotted around the Peak District on the run up to Christmas.

Be in the heart of the Bakewell Christmas Market from Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th November 2023 and enjoy a weekend of seasonal entertainment. The traditional English Christmas Market features traders from the popular Bakewell Monday market.  Come and see the selection of speciality festive foods and wines from the local producers in the Peak District.  

Stay in Row - Win and The Barns

One for the whole family is a visit to The Chatsworth Christmas Market from 4 November 2023–26 November 2023.  See the magical Christmas decorations on display throughout the grand house and catch a glimpse of the twinkling lights on the festive light trail amongst the 105 - acre gardens. Browse a wide range of locally produced gifts and decorations from the 100-plus stalls. A must for a joyous Winter Wonderland family day out.

Stay at Roslyn House, South View and The Beeches

Mark it in your diary Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December 2023, and go see the beautiful Pavillion Gardens at Christmas in Buxton with the whole family where there's Christmas Fairs at the Octagon Hall offering a variety of gifts and produce. 

Stay in our nearby Buxton properties Oak Tree Farm, The Crewe & Harpur, Buxton Lodge and Hurdlow Grange

The Mercatum Christmas Artisan Market at Haddon Hall is a must-see for all you artisan lovers. Held over two long weekends, it offers a truly festive atmosphere with music, winter scents, and twinkling lights. Browse the array of street food traders from the area, and also Haddon's own restaurant. The market takes place over four long weekends, with both morning and afternoon sessions.  The morning sessions start at 9.30 am and the afternoon sessions are from 1.30 pm.

The markets are on the following dates: Nov 16th-19th, Nov 23rd-26th, Nov 30th- Dec 3rd, Dec 7th-10th

Stay at Holly Bank House,  Sydnope Hill Farm which are all within easy reach of Haddon hall.  

Take a day trip and visit Matlock Christmas Markets from 1st December 2023 - 3rd December 2023 9:00am - 6:00pm .  The largest Christmas market in Matlock with an array of 200 plus stalls offering hand-crafted and local produce, artisan goods and delicious seasonal foods. A great festive time out, particularly for the children, as they can also visit Santa in his Grotto, fun fair rides, live music and a fantastic ‘grand finale’ Fireworks display! 

Make a weekend of it and stay with the whole family at Holly Bush Farm.  

Christmas Lights Switch On

What better way to get in the festive spirit than to watch a Christmas Light Switch On! There are several events held across Peak District towns :

Ashbourne Christmas Light Switch On
Explore the nearby market town of ‘Ashbourne’ which during Christmas hosts many festive events including the main event of the ‘Christmas Light Switch on’ held on 18th November 2023 in the ‘Market Place’.  Enjoy the sparkling lights, festive music, entertainment and of course the traditional Carol Singing. There are also many Christmas art and craft workshops in the market town where you can have a go at making your own Christmas gifts, tree decorations, Christmas cards and even sew your own festive wreath.  See our properties near Ashbourne, Redhurst Barn and The Green Man

Buxton Sparkles Winter Lantern Parade and Christmas Lights Switch On
This year this wonderful event is being held on Saturday 18 November.  It will finish at Turner’s Memorial at 7pm in time for the winter lights switch-on meet outside Argos on Spring Gardens at 6pm to join in the parade.  You don't need a lantern to enjoy this event but  for those in town before the event, there are free lantern-making workshops in the run-up to the event one on Saturday 11 November, 10am-3pm at the United Reform Church, Hardwick Square West and Wednesday 15 November, 5.30pm-7.30pm at the Pump Room.

Castleton Christmas Light Switch On

From 4.30pm on 18th November 2023 you can witness the wonderful light switch on in Castleton and witness the beautiful little village all lit up for Christmas. Santa will also be there to join in the fun and festivities.

Our top Country Pubs

Country Pubs with roaring fires and hearty food. Why not spread Christmas cheer, with cheers over a beverage or glass of mulled wine in a genuine country pub (or several!) next to a roaring log fire.  Great pubs and cafes with even better food are at the heart of the Peak District. 

Our top Peak District pubs to visit this Christmas are:

1.  The Royal Oak in Hurdlow 

2.  The Bull I' Th' Thorn in Hurdlow

3.  The Flying Childers in Stanton in the Peak 

4.  The Manners in Bakewell

5.  The Packhorse in Little Longstone

6.  The Bulls Head in Foolow

7.  The Blind Bull in Little Hucklow

8.  The Church Inn in Chelmorton

9.   The White Lion in Great Longstone

10. The Yorkshire Bridge Inn in Bamford

11. The Devonshire Arms in Beeley

Winter Wanders

With over 3000 miles of Rights of Way across Derbyshire, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to getting outside and enjoying the countryside. Just don't forget to wrap up warm! Here are our top 3 festive walks:

Mother Hill

Mam Tor is a tourist favourite but head here early doors and be rewarded with incredible sunrise views and the peaceful solitude of Mother Hill all to yourself. You can ascend the summit from Mam Nick car park in 20 mins so great for the young and old. Make it a little more challenging and take on the famous Ridge Walk to Lose Hill and Castleton - one of the best in the country and a great group activity for New Year's Day.

Walk the Edges 

If you want a walk with fantastic views but without a strenuous hike up to a summit, check out our blog for this accessible circular walk on the three edges of White Edge, Froggatt Edge and Curbar Edge. There's also a pub halfway, perfect for a pitstop or to build up your strength for the rest of the walk.

Read the Blog

Take on the Dragon's Back

A.K.A Chrome and Parkhouse Hill. The famous Dragon's back requires a steep a head for heights and sturdy legs for the climb to the top, but it is worth the effort. You will be rewarded with some of the best (and most instagrammable) views in the Peak District. Don't worry if you don't fancy the steep ascent, there is path around the bottom of both hills so everyone can join in.

More walking inspiration in the Peak District

5. Stately Homes transformed into Christmas wonderlands

It's safe to say that the Peak District & Derbyshire has its fair share of stately homes, royal residences and medieval manor houses. If you have never been to one of our landmark houses then Christmas is definitely the time to take a tour. Here is our top 3

​1.  Haddon Hall - Festive tours, food and drink

£56.00 per person

21 Dec, 22 Dec, 28 December

Discover a 900-year-old stately home. Packed with an exciting calendar of events in the run-up to Christmas it's the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit. 

2. Believe Christmas Adventure 3rd - 23rd December

December 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd December

BELIEVE Christmas is an immersive magical world brought to life in a Christmas experience taking you on a journey through theatrical performances and interactive activities theatrical within our elf tipi village.

It is an outdoor experience creating memories with your loved ones to treasure for a lifetime! Joining your Elf Guide to lead you around the Elf Tipi Village, you will meet all the Elves who are there to entertain you and bring fairy-tales to life!

This adventure is based in the grounds of Hardwick Hall Hotel County Durham. A Magical Christmas Adventure for the whole family.

10:30am – Arrive and Park
10:45am – Ensemble at the Elf Meeting Point to find your group
11:00am – The Magic begins!
16:30pm – Elves say Goodbye!

​3. Christmas at Chatsworth 

4 November 2023–7 January 2024

Adult: £34  |  Child: £19  |  Family (2 Adults & up to 3 Children): £84

Discover the ‘Palace of Advent’ this Christmas.  The countdown to Christmas has begun as Chatsworth is transformed into The Palace of Advent.  
Discover 24 rooms filled with Christmas wonder and the sights, sounds and scents of the season. Travel under archways adorned with candy canes, handmade Christmas stockings and mistletoe. Explore a winter wonderland and glittering Christmas tree brooch forest.  Tickets include entry to the house, garden, and farmyard (visits 4 – 26 November also include entry to the Christmas market). Pre-booking is essential.

Starting on the 15th November | £15 per person

Commencing with mulled wine and mince pies in The House Bar, this super-Christmassy, fun, and interactive House Tour takes in the splendour of The Hall and its stunning decorations.

6. Festive Activities for the Kids

Cinderella at Buxton Opera House

Fri 8 Dec 2023 – Mon 1 Jan 2024​

You shall go to the ball, Cinderella!  Working all day long, completing chores and being taunted by her ugly stepsisters is all Cinderella has ever known, that is until her Fairy Godmother makes all her wishes come true…

BSL interpreted performance:
Thu 28 December

Santa's Enchanted Journey 2023

What to expect:

A festive welcome to our beautifully decorated Wirksworth Station platform from our jolly elves

Steam train ride from Wirksworth and return in a seasonally-decorated period carriage

Festive entertainment from Santa's team of elves during the journey

A visit from Santa to your seat who has a present for every child

Hot chocolate and cookies for every passenger on board

Matlock Farm Park at Christmas

November - December

Festive Village Santa Experience 2023!  We’ve had confirmation from the BIG man in red that he’s returning to Matlock Farm Park to see all of our wonderful visitors. Santa and his Elves will be bringing delights and surprises from the North Pole to thoroughly entertain you as you make your way around our Festive Village.

If you're still looking for somewhere to hunker down for Christmas, maybe we can tempt you with a stay in one of our fabulous properties.

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Published on November 6, 2023 in Whats On