Arts Derbyshire Header Image

Discover Derbyshire this summer

School’s out but there’s plenty happening in Derbyshire this summer to beat the holiday boredom.

Whether you’re young, older, from Derbyshire or further afield there’s loads of interesting places to visit and things to see and do.

Why not re-live the history of Derwent Valley Mills – birthplace of mass-production and innovations which shaped the modern world?

Or check-out the network of caves at Creswell Crags – the limestone gorge dating back to the last Ice Age up to 50,000 years ago.

Both attractions, which are supported by us, have events happening during the summer including a superhero picnic at Derwent Valley Mills and a super slime making event at Creswell Crags. Visit the Creswell Crags and Derwent Valley Mills website for details.

Our countryside sites are great places to visit any time of year but there’s extra activities going on throughout summer including an insect show at Shipley Country Park, teddy bear’s picnic at Elvaston Castle Country Park and scarecrow trail and forest school days at Cromford Mills and Wharf. View our countryside events programme for details.

And there’s loads happening at our libraries too. Events in July include chair yoga at Borrowash, make your own board game at Ashbourne and a workshop at Chesterfield on how to succeed as a travel writer.

Children are also being encouraged to become 'mischief makers' by signing up to this year’s Summer Reading Challenge in Derbyshire libraries. Events include drawing cartoons, treasure hunts, storytime, learning magic tricks, practical jokes and secret writing.

Keep budding adventurers happy with activities at our outdoor education centres including:

Adventure days

Lea Green Centre, near Matlock are offering active outdoor fun for 5 to 12-year-olds. Taking place daily between Wednesday 29 and Friday 31 August 2018, children can take on activities like the low ropes course and buggies.

Activ-ability days Providing accessible activities for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs. They take place at Lea Green Centre daily, on the same dates as Adventure Days.

Outdoor activities club

Taking place at White Hall Centre near Buxton daily between Tuesday 28 and Friday 31 August 2018. The four day club is ideal for children over 7-years-old to try canoeing or climbing and siblings receive a 15% discount.

Spectrum autism friendly festival

The Lea Green Centre is celebrating 50 years of Autism East Midlands on Sunday 23 September 2018. Join in the fun with outdoor activities, a silent disco, soft play and a barbecue.

All activities and events need to be booked in advance. Visit the Lea Green and White Hall Centre websites for full information including pricing and how to book.

The centres also offer a large range of activities and courses for schools, youth and community groups, families and private businesses – from group accommodation to team-building activities.

But the fun doesn’t end after six weeks! There’s more events to look forward to in the autumn including:

Party in the dark at Elvaston Castle

Come and meet some of the night-time residents of Elvaston Castle Country Park on Saturday 1 and Thursday 6 September, between 7pm and 9pm. Learn about hedgehogs, birds and bats! And be amazed by our awesome owls. Adults £6, Children £4. Booking required.

Tapton Lock Festival

Enjoy music, crafts, canoeing, boat trips and more at Tapton Lock, Chesterfield on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September, between 11am and 4pm. This is a free event, although there are charges for some activities.

The Derbyshire Woodland Festival

Now in its 18th year, the woodland festival takes place on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September 2018. This popular event celebrates traditional and contemporary woodland crafts within the historic grounds of Elvaston Castle. Admission is free but there is a charge for parking (£10 per car and £5 per motorcycle or a £15 weekend ticket). Dogs are welcome on leads. Find out more about the woodland festival.

Derbyshire Skills Festival

Young people aged 13 to 19 considering their options after school can visit the Derbyshire Skills Festival to get careers information and help from a wide range of experts.

The free events are being held in Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium on Wednesday 26 September and in Derby at the Pride Park Stadium on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 September 2018. Find out more about the skills festival.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, Councillor Barry Lewis, said:

“There’s plenty to see and do in Derbyshire this summer so why not get involved?

“Take a look online to see what’s happening near you.”

Featured artists

Angela Thompson

Angela Thompson

Paula Sharples

Paula Sharples

Richard Bett

Richard Bett

Featured articles

Derbyshire Festivals

Take a look at all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right through the year and right on your doorstep - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment.

Courses, workshops and education

Check out these courses and workshops across Derbyshire through the year.

artsderbyshire on Facebook and Twitter

Come and join in the conversation.