Experience some of the Peak District events and festivals that go on every year. There are festivals unique to the Peak District and events with an international reputation. Some dates for 2024 are awaiting confirmation
This guide doesn’t include Christmas which you can find out about on our Christmas in the Peak District page.
From mid May to end of September
Dressing wells is a tradition almost exclusive to Derbyshire and much about its origins remains a mystery. It’s thought that well dressing was originally a pagan custom to ensure the continued supply of fresh water. The Christian Church later adopted the custom as a way of giving thanks to God for the supply of water.
Between May and September each year, many villages will decorate their village wells with large panels that depict a theme. Elaborate pictures are designed and marked out on wet clay that has been pressed into a wooden frame. The pictures are then ‘coloured in’ using natural materials including flower petals, berries and seeds. The choice of material depends on what is in season. The pictures last about a week before they dry out and crack, to be dismantled and the boards stored away until the following year.
Bakewell Show and other agricultural shows
Throughout the summer
Being in the heart of the countryside, it is not surprising to find many agricultural shows throughout the summer. At the shows you’ll find traditional displays, retail opportunities and competitions. There’ll be poultry, cattle, sheep, dogs and horses alongside tractors and other motorised vehicles. To keep little ones happy you’ll usually find craft and play areas as well as food and beverage outlets.
Apart from Bakewell, shows are held in; Ashbourne (19th August 2023), Ashover (9th August 2023), Hartington (September 2023), Hayfield (September 2023), Hope Valley (28th August 2023), Manifold Valley (12th Aug 2023).
Tideswell – June 2024
Bakewell – July 2024
Buxton – July 2024
Chatsworth Horse Trials
17th – 19th May 2024
One of the world-class three day eventing horse trials to be held in the UK. In the beautiful surroundings of Chatsworth. See the horses and riders take part in dressage, show jumping and cross country.
Eat in the Park – Buxton
Music and Food Festival with lots of other acts and entertainment too
Buxton International Festival and Buxton Festival Fringe
5th – 21st July 2024
The Buxton Festival is recognised internationally as one of the UK’s leading arts festivals. It is a celebration of opera, dance, music and literature.
2nd – 4th August 2024
One of the smaller music festivals in the UK, it is now beginning to draw some bigger acts. The Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics appeared in 2023. Several stages and a wide variety of musical genres.
Chatsworth Country Fair
30th August – 1st September 2024
The Chatsworth Country Fair is a spectacular celebration of everything country and some! There is grand ring entertainment every day over the three days. There’ll be a vintage fairground including helter-skelter, a cookery theatre and food village. On top of all that there’ll also be dog displays, vintage and military vehicles to look at as well as lots of shopping opportunities. You’ll also be able to try your hand at country sports and country crafts.
Weather permitting, Chatsworth is also the place to see an amazing display of hot air balloons, both at the beginning and at the end of each day.