Matlock Bath Illuminations 2023

9th September – 29th October 2023

Autumn in the Derbyshire Dales, sees one of the most popular attractions in the Peak District when Matlock Bath lights up with it’s annual Matlock Bath Illuminations Festival.

100,000 visitors visit each year to watch to watch the main attraction, which is a fascinating display of illuminated rowing boats on the Derwent River at night, at Derwent Gardens in Matlock Bath. Fireworks are set off at the end of the night on each Satruday night. There’s an extra display on the Sunday 27th October.


The boats first took to the water to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and was inspired by an earlier visit by Princess Victoria to Matlock Bath.

A candle-lit boat using over 90 tea lights still leads the parade, although many of the boats now use electric lights, with one being designed by the local school.

The event begins at at 7:45pm and 9:15pm in September and at the slightly earlier time of 7pm in October and you are advised to get there early as the streets of Matlock Bath get very busy.

Tickets for the event can be bought onine in advance at £6.50 (£5.50 for concessions), and they are a pound cheaper on Sundays.

Tickets can be bought on the night but, can’t be guaranteed and will be more expensive at £8.00 (£7.00 for concessions).

The rest of Matlock Bath is also illuminated.  There’s plenty to do.  There’s the family adventure park, Gulliver’s Kingdom and futher down the road, the Heights of Abraham, where there is a cafe, playground and caves. If you don’t fancy the cable car ride up the hill then there is always the footpath that will take you up the hill.

If you looking for entertainment for grown ups then Matlock Bath has plenty of pubs including the Fishpond and The Midland.  There are trendy bars, slot arcades, ice cream joints, an aquarium, lots fish and chip shops, and you’ll even find a chinese and an indian.

The best way to travel to the Illuminations is on the Park and Ride, which travels from Derbyshire County Council Offices on Bank Road in Matlock or from Cromford Meadows opposite Arkwright’s Mill. The town is very popular with tourists even when the Illuminations aren’t on, there are public car parks, but unless you get there early they will most likely be full.

When you visit Matlock Bath you could opt to stay in one of our holiday cottages in Derbyshire where you would be reasonably close to Matlock Station (2 miles), which is a good way to get to Matlock Bath, the next stop down the line on the way to Derby..

If you are looking to have a weekend break in the Derbyshire Peak District we have a 5 bedroom luxury self catering holiday cottage with hot tub in the Derbyshire Peak District.

We also have three other properties at our sister site  Here’s a list of what’s available:

The Haven – luxury holiday cottage near Matlock with hot tub and games room

Two Owls Lodge – luxury holiday cottage near Matlock sleeps 3

Brookside Retreat – a luxury holiday cottage near Matlock, sleeps 2