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Christmas in Derbyshire – 6 Fabulously Festive Things to Do in Derbyshire

Get in the Christmas spirit with my guide to the most festive events to make your Christmas in Derbyshire sparkle in 2021!

Christmas at Chatsworth

Chatsworth is stunning at any time of year but comes into its own in the festive season when the house is beautifully dressed for Christmas. The theme this year is celebrating 20 magical years of Christmas at Chatsworth. Expect nostalgic references to Christmases of years past. Some limited after dusk tickets are available too for a lovely festive illuminated walk. Adult tickets are £26 including car parking. 6th November – 23rd December. Booking essential.

Christmas shopping on Derbyshire’s best high street

Belper is an historic mill town, situated roughly halfway between Derby and Matlock. It regularly wins the national ‘best high street’ award for its wealth of lovely independent shops. There’s also ample free parking at either The Coppice so long as there isn’t a market on (DE56 1FZ).

Particular shops to look out for include the beautifully festive Primsisters Country Decor, I Believe, Sundial and the independent book shop, Bearded Badger. There are lots of great independent cafés and restaurants in Belper. Nourish at No 44 is a great option for a walk-in daytime café or pre-booked evening restaurant.

I also particularly like Bakewell, Castleton and Ashbourne at Christmas time. But Christmas is also a wonderful time to support your local high street. Find out when Christmas lights are being switched on in your local area here.

Christmas wreath making workshops

Christmas wreaths are an essential part of Christmas decorations. Make a lovely festive event by booking into a festive workshop. These usually include festive drinks and at least a mince pie. Keep your eyes on your favourite florist’s social pages.

[AD] Derbyshire florist, Forest Mcclymont at Ink and Earth is running two festive workshops in Sheffield’s Kelham Island on the first weekend in December, 4pm – 6pm. For £55 per person you’ll be taught how to make a beautiful festive wreath with using both fresh and dried flowers and foliage. All materials included plus grazing board and festive drinks. Email for more details.

Cosy pubs and fabulous festive menus

If you haven’t already, read my full guide to 16 Cosy Pubs in Derbyshire.

Of particular note during the festive season is the Royal Oak in Hurdlow near Buxton. This charming country pub with its open fires and cosy corners firmly embraces the festive period. There is a dedicated Christmas specials board throughout December. In addition to the traditional roast there will be a Christmas pie and a Christmas burger as well as festive starters and desserts. In previous years there’s also been a winter warmers drinks menu featuring gingerbread lattes, hot chocolate martini and chocolate orange mocha etc. Booking recommended. Find out more here.

The Hunloke Arms is a really popular pub in Wingerworth just outside Chesterfield. There’s a really cosy atmosphere and much loved Christmas specials on the menu. You can get a Christmas dinner every day in December, there’s a Christmas pizza featuring freshly carved turkey, pigs in blankets, gravy, brussel sprouts, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce and stuffing! Plus some festive desserts. All of the pubs in this small local chain are running breakfast with Santa the week running up to Christmas Eve – booking essential.

Another option near Chesterfield that’s really lovely over the festive season is the Fox and Goose (pictured below).

For a drive out into the Peak District, head to the pretty village of Eyam and head to the courtyard of The Coolstone for beautifully curated indie shopping, fabulous food and expertly mixed cocktails. The Coolstone offers a tantalising Christmas menu, competitively priced at three courses for £20. There are four choices for each course. Personally I’d be having grilled goats cheese and beetroot rosti or duck parfait to start, pan fried salmon and then pornstar trifle.

Cosy pub, decorated for Christmas 

Christmas in Derbyshire
Photo credit: Fox and Goose

[AD] Similarly, I recently reviewed the festive menu at The Scotsman’s Pack in Hathersage. This lovely country inn is currently offering two courses from just £22 – and you can get 10% midweek daytimes – and this price includes a delicious glass of warm mulled wine on arrival, crackers and mince pie and coffee! Read more here.

Van Dyk at Christmas

If you’ve never been to Van Dyk you need to. They always have a beautifully dressed entrance – perfect for that seasonal Instagram photo! In all honesty, I’ve had some variable experiences here in terms of the quality of food and service so I’m not saying it’s perfect. But, for the overall experience I do think it’s worth a visit. There’s also nowhere else in the area (to my knowledge) that puts on such great events. This festive season look out for their ice rink, breakfasts with Santa and ice princess afternoon teas.

There’s also the atmospheric Yule Lodge. Enjoy outdoor drinking and dining in their expansive tipi festooned in twinkling fairy lights.

Yule Lodge tipi 

Christmas in Derbyshire
Van Dyk’s Yule Lodge

Christmas Markets

Mulled wine, twinkling fairy lights, shopping! For many of us, a Christmas market is synonymous with the festive season, and makes gift buying a real experience. One of the most popular in the Derbyshire area is the Chatsworth Christmas Market which I am going to for the first time this year. I also have a real fondness for Haddon Hall’s Mercatum events. They’re lovely all year round but the Christmas market is especially lovely. I’ve written a full blog post detailing ten wonderfully festive Christmas markets in Derbyshire – please do have a read.

Christmas in Derbyshire
Celebrate Christmas in Derbyshire by visiting one of the festive markets

Have I included your favourite festive activity? Let me know in the comments below.

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