9 Christmas Events in Derbyshire & the Peak District


Christmas is a MONTH away… but are you in the festive mood yet?

If you’re not quite there, do not fret, for we have a list of great Christmas events bound to give you that fuzzy feeling in the lead-up to the big day!

CHRISTMAS AT RENISHAW, near Chesterfield


If you’d love nothing more than to wander round a stately home at Christmas time, soaking up all the festive cheer, you won’t want to miss this…

This December, Renishaw Hall will be dressed for a traditional family Christmas, and tours of the house will be given at 1pm and 2.30pm. These must be booked in advance- click the link above for more details.

Tour dates:

Thu 1 – Sun 4 Dec 2016 13:00 14:30
Thu 8 – Sun 11 Dec 2016 13:00 14:30


Steam Trains are pretty fun by themselves, but add Santa and his Elves along for the ride and you’ve got a Christmas memory to treasure forever.

This festive steam train will be traveling from Rowsley South Station to Matlock  for one return journey, lasting approximately 1 hour.


As you chuff along the track, Santa, assisted by his many elves, will pass through the train bearing gifts, sweets and drinks for the kids.

Meanwhile, grown-ups can sit back and relax with a glass of hot mulled wine and a mince pie.

The train will be filled with festive music, professional clowns and magicians to entertain you whilst you travel, so everyone’s bound to have a great time!

Santa Special train rides are happening on Saturday 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th, Sunday 4th, 11th & 18th, Monday 19th Tuesday 20th, Wednesday 21st, Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd December.

CHRISTMAS AT HADDON HALL– An English Renaissance Christmas
1st December to 18th December 2016


There’re loads of fantastic and whimsical events happening at Haddon this Christmas period- there’ll be performances and demonstrations on traditional instruments,  choral renditions in the chapel and a concert in the Long Gallery by the Royal Northern College of Music.

There’s loads more going on, so click the above link for full details on all festive events.

This Christmas, Haddon Hall is opening its doors in the evening, so you can enjoy a peaceful candlelit tour- full of sparkle and warm fireplaces!

The candle-lit tours are happening on 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th & 13th December.



Have yourself and your little ones a traditional Christmas grotto experience, and meet Santa in the wonderful setting of Calke Abbey!

With dates throughout the December weekends, tickets are selling out fast so make sure you book your visit to meet Santa at Calke Abbey soon.

Find Calke Abbey at Ticknall, Derby, Derbyshire, DE73 7LE



This year at Conkers, you can enjoy a Christmassy walk through the Enchanted Forest with Santa’s team of elves who will lead you to the Valley of Christmas lights, and finally, to Santa’s Woodland Grotto!

Adults get to sample some mulled wine and mince pies- so there will be smiles all round.

You can also take a trip on the Santa Special train and go on to watch their festive Christmas show.

Sat 3 – Sun 4 Dec 2016
Sat 10 – Sun 11 Dec 2016
Sat 17 – Sat 24 Dec 2016


cromford water small

This Christmas at Cromford Mill will be chock-a-block with exciting Christmassy activities- you can follow the Christmas tree trail, have a donkey ride, get your face painted, enjoy some carol singing and you can even try crafting a traditional Christmas wreath.

Not forgetting the most important part… you can also meet Father Christmas!

Saturday December 10- Sunday December 11

For details on all of these events and when they are, click the link above. Ring to book!



This is not your ordinary grotto… it’s aboard a BOAT. Santa’s BOAT, nonetheless- a FLOATING grotto.

That’s right, Santa has a boat, where you can meet him and get a present aboard this floating grotto.

Enjoy a Christmas cruise on the ‘Mercia Swan’ trip boat and take a short, but festive, trip around the marina.

Dates Times
Sat 17 – Sun 18 Dec 2016 11:00 to 16:00

Find Mercia Marina at Findern Lane, Willington, Derby, DE65 6DW



Meet Santa in his Grotto, take a magical sleigh ride through the wintery woods, see the Farm Barn Nativity Scene and visit the Elf Workshop for Christmas Crafts- all at the Tropical Butterfly House this Christmas.

There’s also a special Christmas afternoon tea available!

See all of this on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th – 24th December 2016

Find the Tropical Butterfly House at Woodsetts Road, North Anston, Sheffield,
South Yorkshire, S25 4EQ



This Christmas, in the beautiful setting of Elvastone castle there’s going to be a very exciting Elves’ workshop, where you can write a letter to Father Christmas and make a decoration for your tree!

You can also join Father Christmas in Elvaston’s Gothic Hall to hear traditional Christmas tales from around the world.

All this is happening on Sunday 4 Dec 2016 10:00 to 15:00 

Find Elvaston Castle at Borrowash Road, Elvaston, Derby, DE72 3EP

Click here for a full list of all of the Christmas events happening in Derbyshire & the Peak District


5 Star luxury in the Peak District…


After a long day exploring the vast landscapes and quaint villages of the Peak District & Derbyshire, imagine winding down for the rest of the evening in a luxurious B&B or self-catering apartment… sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

So, here’s a handful of our most gorgeous 5 star properties in the area:

Underleigh House




Underleigh house was built in 1873 as a typical Derbyshire longhouse with living accommodation at one end, a cart shed at the other with winter housing for stock in the middle and a hayloft above.  Great walks (such as the Great Ridge between Loose Hill and Mam Tor, Win Hill , Crookstone Moor, and Ladybower) can be undertaken directly from the door- suggested routes/maps are provided. Also nearby are: Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall, Lyme Park and Hardwick Hall to consider, not forgetting the charms of Castleton (and its caves), Hathersage, Eyam (the ‘Plague Village’), Tideswell, Bakewell, and Buxton-

Bretton Cottage, Eyam


Bretton cottage is a charming 17th Century former Farmhouse situated within the tranquil hamlet of Bretton, surrounded by spectacular panoramic views of the Derbyshire Countryside. Lovely scenic walks across wild flower meadows, woodland areas and moorland are right on your doorstep!

Silver Ridge, near Matlock



Silver Ridge is set over eleven acres of mature gardens, surrounded by fields and woodlands. This is a real high quality place to stay, and offers a little haven of peace and quiet! Its location means you can easily explore the surrounding Peak District and make the most of your trip.


The Smithy



Originally the 17th century ‘Drovers Inn’ and after that a traditional Blacksmiths! Full of character, this centrally located accommodation is situated in the beautiful, rolling landscape of the Peak District National Park. The Smithy, a lovingly restored Grade II listed building provides distinctive, private accommodation in an unforgettable setting.


Bridge Hill House



Bridge Hill House offers modern yet cosy accommodation which is actually on the hillside overlooking the Derwent Valley! There’s also panoramic views of Belper mill town too boot!


The Old Lock-Up



This unusual and quirky historical  guest accommodation is perfect for a romantic break for those wanting to stay somewhere a little bit different. Rooms dripping with character are situated in the Derbyshire Dales, the edge of the Peak District National Park. This idylic location means great walking, Chatsworth, Carsington, the High Peak and Tissington Trails are all very easy to get to!



And here’s some 5 star self-catering


Church Farm Cottage & Barn



Church Farm’s Dovedale Cottages offer two gold award winning self-catering cottages nestling in the grounds of an organic farm in the tranquil and peaceful setting of Dovedale. A great deal of conservation has been taken out on this Grade I listed building, having been tastefully refurbished to retain much of their original charm!

This really is the ultimate countryside cottage; with beamed ceilings, richly coloured rugs and a cosy open fire to warm your toes. There’s also a gorgeous cottage garden with wonderful rambles from door to the dales.


Slade House Farm



Slade House Farm, no longer a working farm, provides 3 luxury and very individual self catering holiday properties in glorious farmland surrounded by outstanding views of the Derbyshire/Staffordshire countryside.

The village of Ilam and the picturesque valleys of Dovedale and the Manifold are spectacular walks right from the doorstep- countryside living at its finest!




Things to do this May Bank Holiday

Set in the grounds of the magnificent Hardwick Hall, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire provides a stunning venue for a Food & Drink Festival. The event to be held for three days between the 30th April and the 2nd May, opens its gates at 10am each day.


Friday 29th April – Sunday 1st May 2016– Set in Buxton’s spectacular Opera House, the Pavilion Arts Centre and beautiful Pavilion Gardens this festival will host gigs by Oysterband with June Tabor and Sam Carter, Seth Lakeman supported by Lucy Ward, Edward II, Will Pound and Eddy Jay, and the Emily Portman Trio. There’ll also be a huge beer hall hosting a festival of more than 100 real ales and providing the setting for the Big Session Ceilidh with the Oysterband and guests, and music sessions throughout the weekend led by Big Session concert artists. Fill


Saturday 30th April – Monday 2nd May 2016- This is set to be an event unlike any other; a massive selection of unique acts,  A series of spectaculars on the lake, to be revealed in the months leading up to the event will include a recreation of Carlos Trower, “The African Blondin’s” daring tightrope walk by Chris Bull, high-wire walker otherwise known as ‘Bullzini’ of the Bullzini Family.

Saturday 30th April – Monday 2nd May 2016- Music and bands of all genres but especially, brass, jazz and folk across the site plus a small beer and food festival into the early evening to celebrate spring and the May bank holiday.


Saturday 30th April – Monday 2nd May 2016-In conjunction with the Steeple Grange Light Railway, based in the nearby quarries, we celebrate the importance to Wirksworth of the stone industry. Special joint tickets will be available and there will be talks about quarrying too,


Sunday 1st May 2016-Cruising the five miles of waterway from Chesterfield to Staveley, guests are able to see at first hand the high quality of the restoration that has been carried out on this stretch of the canal and experience the local flora and fauna.


Sunday 1st – Monday 2nd May 2016-Hurtle yourself into the awesome spectacle of Bolsover Castle under attack. Take cover! Witness the opposing forces of the Roundheads and Cavaliers prepare for Civil War battle, pick your side and check your armour before the muskets and pikes are put into action. Hear gruesome tales from the front lines and experience the fear and anticipation of battle with the rallying cry of generals as they prepare their soldiers for the impending bloodshed.


Monday 2nd May 2016-This canal trip will take you down the beautiful Chesterfield Canal – so you can cruise and enjoy the lovely scenery. You may even spot some wildlife as you cruise along!


 Have a lovely long weekend, everyone!

GBFF mentioned here as part of an advertorial.

6 Romantic Ideas For Valentine’s Day

It’s always nice just to do something special on Valentine’s Day, so here are a few sure-fire ways to knock someone off their feet with the Peak District’s beauty (and most likely a glass of prosecco).


Afternoon Tea at Chatsworth

Celebrate the most romantic day of the year in the charming setting of the 18th century stables courtyard at Chatsworth House. There will be prosecco, delicate finger sandwiches, cakes, pastries and of course, lots and lots of tea.


Chatsworth - credit Chatsworth House Trust (1)

                        Photo by Chatsworth House Trust



Masquerade Ball at the Three Horseshoes Inn

The wonderful Three Horseshoes Inn is throwing a masquerade ball; and it’s sure to a great night and a really fun way of spending the Valentine’s weekend. For £37 per person, enjoy a Brut rose reception, three course meal and a disco. The dress code will be black tie, and don’t forget your mask!


Valentine’s Lunch for two at Cromford Mills

You can enjoy a sparkling lunch for two in Arkwright’s Café including a selection of sandwiches, romantic themed cakes, home-made scones, and a glass of sparkling prosecco each- then to the canal for a romantic stroll afterwards.

Valentine’s Treat at Marriott Breadsall

Whisk your Valentine date off to enjoy a romantic weekend at the oldest Marroiott hotel in the WORLD, Breadsall Priory. Have yourselves an indulgent 5 course dinner and a glass of prosecco, for £149.00 for a double room, dinner and breakfast!


 Marriot Breadsall Priory  Hotel Derby Enhanced Main image


Spa Break at Shrigley Hall

Enjoy a Spa or golfing break in the dreamy and idyllic rural country hotel of Shrigley Hall. The grand rooms, luxurious spa treatments, elegant restaurant and stunning countryside views will ensure romance is ever-present.


A Day in Bakewell

Bakwell is a lovely town to visit for the day; there’s the rover Wye to have a realxing walk along, shops to nose around in and of course Bakewell puddings to eat.

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8 Classic Countryside Pubs in the Peak District & Derbyshire


Would you like to explore some of the Peak District & Derbyshire’s cosy country pubs…? If so, here’s a few of our favourites:

Here are 8 brilliantly cosy and traditional pubs for food, drinks and general merriment:

Fox & Goose, Wigley, Chesterfield

The Fox  Goose (16)-(ZF-6087-69119-1-016)

The Fox and Goose is in a gorgeous rural location, close to Linacre Reservoirs, the Peak District National Park and the Market town of Chesterfield.  The pub itself is full of charm and is a great place for a peaceful pint or Sunday Roast!

Fox refurb Booths3

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, Castleton


Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a family-run traditional  17th Century Coaching Inn located in the heart of the Peak District. If having a cosy pint in the countryside is what you’re after, then the Cheshire Cheese really is ideal.

Tickled Trout, Barlow


This is not your average countryside village pub- it comes with some delicious modern twists!  They serve Sourdough pizza, steak or a great juicy burger and chips, as well as being a lovely place for a drink. The Tickled Trout won’t disappoint a hungry belly or two.

The Old Hall & Peak Hotel, Hope Valley

Peak 2Pictured above The Peak Hotel. Doesn’t that log burner look inviting?

Both of these Hope Valley pubs serve fresh, home-made food and both are Casque Marque accredited, so you know you’re in good hands.

There’s bound to be a beverage that tickles your fancy at the Peak Hotel; as there are five real ale pumps, several draft products, 30 different gins and a large collection of craft beer!

The Old Hall has six real ale pumps, several draft bottles and (rather impressively), the largest collection of single malt whiskeys in the Peak District.

Ye Old Dolphin Inne, Derby

Ye Olde Dolphin

The Olde Dolphin Inne was built in 1530, and still has the original  beams, heavy stone flooring, wood panelling and etched leaded windows. The hundreds of years Ye Old Dolphin has been serving up pints really do fill it with character and history, and making it a lovely setting for a drink.

Bull I’ Th’ Thorn Inn, Buxton

bull i' th' thorn pic

This is a unique thousand year old Farmhouse with a 15th century coaching inn, bar and restaurant. It’s rural locational, near to Bakewell, and Buxton, makes it ideal for lovers of the outdoors.

Pack Horse Inn, New Mills

Pack Horse Inn 2

This is your quintessential country pub, overlooking the Sett Valley and Kinder Scout. With guest ales, being CAMRA listed for over a decade and traditional pub food, it’s sure to impress any pub-lover.

In the Winter, the bar has two welcoming log fires; perfect to warm your toes after a long walk around New Mills‘ natural rocky gorge.

Yorkshire Bridge Inn, Hope


The Yorkshire Bridge Inn in Bamford, at the heart of the Peak District, with excellent walking routes straight from the door. It’s a very warm and welcoming pub, filled with cosy knick-knacks and a warm fire to snuggle up to. This is the ideal retreat after a blast of fresh Winter air!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of Peak District & Derbyshire pubs… now the only thing left to do is try them out!

Let us know your favourite pub by tweeting us or posting to our Facebook page.

What’s on in the Peak District & Derbyshire this weekend

With a mixed forecast coming up this weekend make the most of the dry spells and find plenty of things to do in the Peak District & Derbyshire!

Bolsover Food & Drink Fair 

Food lovers are in for a treat this weekend as Bolsover Food & Drink Festival returns for a second year.

The popular FREE event, which attracted some 6,000 visitors its first year in 2014, will once again fill the streets with culinary delights on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July from 10am until 5pm. Stall holders will be serving up all kinds of sweet and savoury morsels. Fresh baked gourmet breads, smoking BBQs, and global influences from Thailand to France will be backed by live music from The Decent Chaps and Marina Mae. Cooking demonstrations will be staged on both Saturday and Sunday by accomplished chef and food writer Adam Palmer, who has appeared on BBC Masterchef, Ready Steady Cook, The Carlton Food Network and the Discovery Channel.

Wells Dressing

It’s a really busy weekend for this ancient tradition with events taking place in Heath Village, Rowthorne and Stoney Middleton to name a few! With so many going on there’s bound to be one happening near you!

Town and village communities come together to create living art installations from natural materials between May and September. Well Dressings celebrate everything from biblical scenes to special anniversaries. They’re a true Derbyshire experience not to be missed! Find a full list of Wells Dressing dates here.

RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park

Keeping with the floral theme, the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park is set in magnificent parkland and is a celebration of the best in gardening with a vibrant carnival atmosphere. A s

pectacular day out, not just for plant lovers, but for friends and family too. From Great British Allotments to Discover and Grow workshops, there’s something for everyone at this amazing show.

It’s never too late to book a last minute weekend break in the Peak District & Derbyshire, and with all these fantastic events taking place, not forgetting some of the finest countryside on offer in the UK, why wouldn’t you?!