The best summer food festivals in Derbyshire

It’s that time of year again – after a long and rainy winter, spring is beginning to show. Right now, the thought of sunny days spent at summer food festivals, eating your way through Derbyshire’s best local produce… it sounds absolutely dreamy.

Being renowned for its exceptional food and drink, Derbyshire has a number of great food festivals, filling local parks, historic properties, and even Chatsworth itself!

So, to get you in the summer spirit (and help you start filling up your diary!), I’ve shared my list of the best summer food festivals in Derbyshire. These range to include everything from completely free events, to ticketed festivals complete with tribute acts – in short, something for everyone!

The Best Summer Food Festivals in Derbyshire

Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair

Date: 11th-12th May 2024

On 11th and 12th of May, Derby’s Elvaston Castle will throw open its doors once again, for the annual Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair. This marks the start of Derbyshire’s food festival season, and it sets things off with a proper all-round crowd-pleaser event.

The fair features a wide range of talented local and county-wide producers and artisans, with cheese, cakes, gins, ciders, spirits and a wide range of other products being sold on their stalls. Then, with live music and plenty of street food stalls also on offer, you’ve got everything you need for a fun, greedy day with the family.

The Great British Food Festival – Hardwick Hall

Date: 31st May – 2nd June 2024

As its name suggests, this festival is all about top-tier British food. At The Great British Food Festival, visitors can dive head-first into a long list of foodie activities and tastings. The festival offers numerous artisan stalls and street food, bars, plus a wide range of lagers, ales, wines, cocktails, gins and non-alcoholic options. These include talented local and national producers selling chocolate, cheese, chilli sauces, and everything in between.

Then, you can also get involved with chef demos, the (Wo)men Vs Food competition, and the Cake Off event – whether that’s taking part yourself, or just enjoying watching!

Matlock Food & Drink Festival

Date: 8th-9th June 2024

Of course we’re slightly biased, but we reckon there are few towns out there that do food and drink as well as Matlock. And, for two days, the Matlock Food & Drink Festival is here to prove it!

To kickstart June, Matlock will be alive with street food, artisan stalls and craft stalls. Plus, there will be bars selling locally sourced drinks and cocktails, including locally brewed ales and ciders. Be sure to pop by, even if you’re just strolling through the area – after all, not only is the event completely dog friendly, but it’s also free entry!

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Looking for places to eat and drink when the festival isn’t on? I’ve got you covered:

If you’re spending some time in Matlock here are the best things to do in Matlock or in Matlock Bath.

Derbyshire County Show

Date: 23rd June 2024

Taking place at Elvaston’s showground, the Derbyshire County Show is a widely anticipated annual event, attracting visitors of all ages. The show has a long list of fantastic activities. These include the likes of everything from Shetland Pony Racing to a Floral Art exhibition, and a Children’s Entertainment Area, to a dedicated Bee Section, hosted by The Derbyshire Beekeepers Association.

Then, of course, there’s an expansive Outdoor Food Showcase, exhibiting a huge range of food and drink varieties (many of which having been produced in Derbyshire).

Bakewell Country Festival

Date: 14th July 2024

A firm favourite amongst locals, the Bakewell Country Festival is a proper countryside show, and a great day out for all ages (come rain or shine!). Alongside its mixture of traditional agricultural activities (including heavy horse competitions and trials, scurry driving competitions, dog shows and a vintage tractor and engine exhibition), the festival also offers a huge range of food and drink.

At the festival, you can sample your way through the food courts, bars and local producers’ market. Then, once you’ve chosen your treat, take a seat at the hay bales and enjoy! Or, if you’re a serious foodie, be sure to attend the show’s ‘Culinary Theatre’. Here, the marquee will host demonstrations from a range of renowned local chefs, in an impressive line- up that has been curated by the local food writer Lesley Draper.

There are also lots of interesting stalls to visit. Last year the Peak District Foundation had a stand I helped out with.

The best summer food festivals in Derbyshire
The best summer food festivals in Derbyshire

Eat in the Park – Buxton

Date: 17th-18th August 2024

This festival combines two of my absolute favourite things – food and tribute acts. Although it sounds an unlikely mix, Eat in the Park has been one of the most popular food festivals in the region. And, when you take a look at what’s on offer, it’s easy to see why.

The festival hosts a long list of award-winning tribute acts, which include everything from Kings of Lyon to The Bootleg Beatles, and Sam of Fender to Wannabe – no question, there’s music to cater to all tastes! Then in parallel, the festival’s fleet of food vendors will be serving international cuisine, and pouring drinks from local breweries and distilleries. Their list of food and drink vendors is growing every day, so be sure to keep an eye on the line-up.

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While you’re in Buxton, make sure you check out the best sushi restaurant!

Chatsworth Country Fair

Date: 30th August – 1st September 2024

Chatsworth Country Fair is one of the biggest countryside events in England, and every year, it puts the Peak District firmly on the map. It’s an absolutely jam-packed weekend, as the fair is filled with stalls, endless food options, entertainment, and many, many dogs!

The activities are one of the key things that make Chatsworth Country Fair so iconic. There’s an unbelievable range of things to see and do, including watching hot air balloons take flight, clay pigeon shooting, and a helter-skelter ride. Or, the fair’s main grand ring is full of entertainment to watch throughout the day. These include horse driving, highland dancing, dog agility, and that’s just to name a handful.

But, back to the food…The endless food tents offer extraordinary food from British makers (including food stalls from Chatsworth themselves). The sellers are also extremely generous with their free tasters, and there’s a wonderful variety of food and drink to explore.

Keen to learn more? Check out my guide on Everything you Need to Know about Chatsworth Country Fair.

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Jen and Cookie by the canon at Chatsworth

We hope you enjoyed our selection of the best summer food festivals in Derbyshire – your summer is definitely looking a lot busier now!

If you’ve got any other foodie events that you think we missed, let us know! Share your recommendations on the She Gets Around Instagram page.

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