One of Derbyshire’s most visited annual events is returning early next month. Thousands of people will descend on the banks of the River Derwent in Matlock Bath to see the Matlock Bath Illuminations as they return for a seven-week season.
The Illuminations are one of the region’s top autumn events and will run every weekend from Saturday, September 9. Once again the Derwent Gardens and Lovers’ Walks will be decorated with colourful lights illuminating the village.
Of course, the famous parade of decorated and illuminated boats will take to the river throughout the season, the main attraction of the event. The boats are created painstakingly with thousands of LED lights by members of the Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders’ Association.
A wonderful fireworks finale will take place every Saturday in October and also on the final night, Sunday, October 29. Every Illuminations night will once again be themed for younger visitors.
Entry charges will recognise the different levels of entertainment provided on each night. Look below for any questions you may have about the popular event.
When are the Matlock Bath Illuminations being held?
The Illuminations are held every Saturday and Sunday from September 9 to October 29. Gates open at 6pm each night, with the slightly earlier time of 5.30pm on the final Sunday.
The Illumination boats are paraded on the River Derwent each Saturday (from around 7.45pm in September and from around 7pm in October) and Sundays from around 7pm.
Where is the Matlock Bath Illuminations held?
The event is held in the Derwent Gardens, as well as the boats paraded on the River Derwent.
Do I need a ticket to see the Matlock Bath Illuminations?
Yes, you need to purchase a ticket as the boats can only be viewed on admission into the Derwent Gardens.
How much does it cost to buy a Matlock Bath Illuminations ticket?
Accompanied under 16s go free and adult prices are £7.50 on firework Saturdays, with concession tickets costing £6.50. Adult tickets on non-firework Saturdays and Sundays are £6.50 Saturdays and Sundays with concession tickets costing £5.50.
These prices are only if tickets are bought online in advance. The prices apply every night apart from the final Sunday, October 29, when Saturday prices apply. The tickets can be bought here and will be emailed directly to your email address account.
Can I buy Matlock Bath Illumination tickets on the night?
On the night prices (card payments only) are £1.50 more expensive than buying online. On-the-night tickets are not guaranteed and will not be available if the event sells out in advance.
Where can I park to see the Matlock Bath Illuminations?
There are car parks at Matlock Bath Stations and on Temple Road but these can be full by 5pm on event nights. Additional parking in Matlock Bath itself can often be found at the Gulliver’s attraction on Temple Road.
There is a car park on the A6 between Matlock Bath and Matlock at Artists’ Corner. In Matlock itself (which is two miles from Matlock Bath), the 192-space Station Car Park is next to the town’s main bus station.
How much does it cost to park in Matlock Bath?
In Derbyshire Dales District Council car parks, where charges generally apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, charges are:
- £1.50 for up to 1 hour
- £2.50 up to 2 hours
- £3.80 2-3 hours
- £5.00 3-4 hours
Derbyshire Dales residents with a valid Resident’s Parking Permit can park free after 4pm. DDDC has no control over the price at the Gulliver’s attraction, which is usually around £4 for the evening to 10pm.
What if I can’t drive to the Matlock Bath Illuminations?
There is a train service on Saturdays and Sundays on the Derwent Valley line between Nottingham and Matlock (including Matlock Bath). If you travel to Matlock Bath by train, show your train ticket at the Derwent Gardens entrance and SAVE £1.50 on admission to the Illuminations on the night.
The train service is operated by East Midlands Railways, and tickets cost £1.10 from Matlock, £5.50 from Belper, £7.10 from Derby.
How much is the funfair at the Matlock Bath Illuminations?
Funfair prices haven’t increased since 2015. Ride tokens in 2022 were:
- 1 token = £2
- 3 tokens = £5
- 7 tokens = £10
- All rides are one token per person to ride.
Also, the Hook-A-Duck stall price has been frozen at £3.50 a go. For that you win any prize on the stall – there are no catches – it is a prize every time.
Can I buy food at Matlock Bath Illuminations?
Yes, food is available in Derwent Gardens. Items including burgers, hot dogs, coffee/tea/cold drinks, cake and sweets will be on offer. DDDC suggests bringing cash to pay for food.
Are there toilets at Matlock Bath Illuminations?
Yes, there are several temporary toilets located on-site. Some are located at the entrance to Derwent Gardens by the side of the Grand Pavilion.
Baby changing facilities are available in the disabled toilet near the entrance to Derwent Gardens. Temporary toilets are situated in Derwent Gardens and on Lovers’ Walks on firework nights.
Are there any cash points near Matlock Bath Illuminations?
There is a free cash machine in the Pavilion car park near the Derwent Gardens entrance. The event will only be taking card payments at the ticket office. It is cash sales for the food and drink stalls and funfair.
Can I bring my dog to Matlock Bath Illuminations?
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome at the Illuminations, but owners should be aware that the fireworks at 9pm on Saturday are loud and can cause distress to some animals. Here’s some advice from the RSPCA on pets and fireworks.
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