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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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
£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.
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!
Adult: £34 | Child: £19 | Family (2 Adults & up to 3 Children): £84
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.
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
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
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.
Published on November 6, 2023 in Whats On