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The best things to do locally in August

Ahh lovely August. The summer hols are in full swing, and there are loads of events, fairs, music and more to get you out of the house this month. Suncream at the ready!


Bustler Market’s Six Weeks of Summer, every Thurs-Sun throughout August
A total Muddy favourite, Bustler Market at Derby’s Chocolate Factory is here to kick your holiday and festival blues into touch. There’s hipster street food, incredible cocktails, the best DJs, silent discos, live bands and karaoke… and the best part? It’s on every weekend throughout August

Photo credit: Buster Market


Fancy a bit of theatre this month? Take your pick! First up, Buxton has just about recovered from the epic International and Fringe Festival. Head to the Opera House on 1 August for The Gondoliers, a classic swoon-fest of love and mistaken identity, and again on 3 August for the National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company production of Iolanthe.

National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company
Photo credit: National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company

For an edge-of-your-seat watch, the Theatre Royal in Notts is hosting Colin McIntyre’s Classic Thriller Season. Murder-drama Spider’s Web is on from 2-6 August and classic suspense thriller Night Must Fall begins on 9 August. Also at the Royal from mid-month until September, the legendary Book of Mormon show rolls into town. There’s limited availability on lots of dates so be quick.

One for the whole family now. Nip to Nottingham Playhouse from 2 August and catch Identical – the musical adaption of iconic novel and film, The Parent Trap. This is a world premiere by legendary director Sir Trevor Nunn. Fab.


On 2 August, the Angear Visitor Centre at Lakeside Arts opens a show by the artist Veronica West. Helm is an exploration of the natural world, using Helm Crag (in the Lake District) as a subject.

Some interactive art for your creative clan. The Derby Museum of Making is hosting The Derby Wall – a huge community art project designed to capture a snapshot of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artist Maggie Roper-Attenborrow is running a series of sessions for the public to get involved on 16 and 17 August.

On 19 August, The Old Lockup Gallery in Cromford opens the annual Secret Postcard Show. There are over 550 postcards created by 159 artist in the exhibition and you’ll be able to buy your favourites. This is always brilliant so drag your gang along.

Photo credit: Luminarium

Back to Lakeside Arts now, and from 6-14 August something extra special rolls into town. The renowned international touring company Architects of Air is premiering its new installation, Luminarium: Dodecalis. With labyrinthine shapes and three neon domes to explore, this one is bound to be magical. 


If you’re Nottinghamshire based, kids aged 8-14 can sign up to Nottingham Playhouse’s summer school from 1-6 August. The production this year is The Addams Family Musical. *click click*. And for teens, there’s a brilliant TV & Film Acting and Directing Summer School from 8 August. This year, it’s run by award-winning director Tim Bryn Smith – be quick, last year was a sell out!

Little ones are going to love you for this. Paw Patrol Live is on at Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on 17 August. And also on the 17th, Newark Palace Theatre has a super-fun performance of the Jungle Book.

Fancy a bit of old-fashioned family fun? Head to Barlow, Derbyshire on 20 August for the Barlow Carnival. Expect wheelbarrow racing, floats, bands and fancy dress.

If your kids are dinosaur fanatics, the interactive Dinosaur World Live is at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall from 22 August. (Why is it that you can’t get them to eat their dinner but they’ll happily pet a Tyrannosaurus Rex?).

Photo credit: Dinosaur World Live

Teens obsessed with 80s? (Cheers Stranger Things.) Nip to Derby Museum for the popular Retro Arcade event from 19-21 August.

And finally. If big dudes chucking heavy things floats your boat, head to Matlock Farm Park on 28 August for The Peak District Highland Games 2022.


The glorious grounds of Wollaton Hall certainly makes a magnificent backdrop so bring a picnic. On 3 August, bring the whole family along for Cinderella, and pencil in an alternative date night for Romeo & Julie on 23 August.

The Chatsworth Estate has an incredible cinema under the stars experience from 18 August. Go for the day, then extend your trip with food stalls, a lush bar and seating upgrades. Choose from Moulin Rouge!, No Time To Die, West Side Story or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 

Photo credit: Chatsworth House Estate

Finish off the summer at Newstead Abbey on 26 August with a spectacular performance of Jane Eyre with an incredible carnival twist. Get ready for acrobats, jugglers and fire escapees.


Our summer of festivals continues in superb fashion. On 6 August, book in a girl’s trip to the Gin & Rum Festival at Nottingham Conference Centre – tequila is new on the menu for 2022 so maybe book a taxi in advance.

Head to Markeaton Park for the gorgeous-sounding Festival of Music and Flowers on 7 August (it’s free entry too), or head to Bakewell Showground from 19 August for the last of Derbyshire’s bigger festivals. The Thornbridge Peakender is a staple in the calendar for many Dales residents so getting a ticket in advance is a must.

Photo credit: Peakender

Two more Nottinghamshire festivals for your diary. Nottinghamshire Day Festival takes over Sherwood Forest and the Visitor’s Centre on 27 August (expect live music and Robin Hood fun for little ones), and the Foolhardy Folk Festival begins on 28 August at Nottingham Arboretum.


Fancy a bit of opera? St John’s Church in Buxton is hosting an afternoon of classics on 1 August with Juliet Montgomery and Aidan Edwards of the National G&S Opera Company.

And for something completely different, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Perfume Genius brings his visionary pop to Rescue Rooms on 24 August.

To round off the summer in style, grab some fizz and a picnic, and head to Darley Park for the annual Darley Park Weekender over August bank holiday. On Friday, it’s Classic Ibiza 2022, a magical four-hour tour of the best house music, headlined by an orchestra who’s worked alongside Groove Armada, Robert Miles and Nightmares On Wax. Saturday has a night of 80s nostalgia featuring T’Pau’s Carol Decker, Nik Kershaw and DJ Pat Sharp. And finally, the big one, it’s the beloved Darley Park Concert on Sunday with classical favourites from Sinfonia Viva and a huge fireworks display.

Photo credit: Derby LIVE


Book on to a glorious South Bath experience in Sherwood Forest. Instructor Becky Lovatt will help you relax and drift away surrounded by nature – perfect for beginners right up to more experienced sound bathers. There are loads of dates available throughout August but make sure you book in advance.  

There’s something romantic about a night swim. Pair it with live music and a heated outdoor pool in the hills of Derbyshire, and the thought is positively dreamy… So don’t miss your evening date with Hathersage Lido on 19 August.

Photo credit: Hathersage Lido

And finally, to get you ready for ‘get back to school’ (gulp), Thornbridge Hall is hosting a lush Mindfulness Retreat on 26 August. Return to nature and give your senses a boost with a two-course meal to finish. Sign us up.

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