The 2018 Matlock Bath Illuminations closed on 28 October. We'll be back in September 2019!
Matlock Bath Illuminations is a fun-packed family event featuring a spectacular parade of illuminated and decorated boats along the River Derwent.
During the 8-week season Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders' Association decorate themed models with an array of coloured lights. The models are mounted on rowing boats and paraded on the River Derwent each Saturday (7.45pm and 9.15pm in September and from around 7pm in October) and Sundays from 7pm in Derwent Gardens, giving a unique and illuminous display. The boats can only be viewed on admission into the gardens.
There are fantastic firework displays on Saturday evenings, sponsored by the fabulous Heights of Abraham attraction in Matlock Bath. The fireworks light up the skies around Matlock Bath in multi-colours. The firework displays begin at 9pm with the best viewing positions being in the Bandstand area of Derwent Gardens.
- Please note that on Saturdays in particular Matlock Bath can get extremely busy. For travel, timings and ticketing tips, see our FAQs
Prices, events & capacity
Tickets in 2018 were £6.00 on Saturdays (£5 concessions) and £5.00 on Sundays (£4 concessions) if bought online in advance - apart from the final Sunday (28 October) when Saturday prices applied. Accompanied under 16s continued to be free, with concessions available for OAPs. Online tickets can be booked until 6pm on the night of the event.
On the night it was £7.50 on Saturdays (£6.50 concessions) and £6.50 on Sundays (£5.50 concessions) - £1.50 more expensive than the online prices. On-the-night tickets are not guaranteed and will not be available if the event sells out in advance.
Every Saturday in 2018 included a fireworks finale (as did the final night on Sunday 28 October), with numbers in Derwent Gardens restricted to a maximum of 6,000 - down from 8,000, the maximum in 2016 and previous years - to improve crowd movement and enjoyment for visitors.
To enhance the reputation of Sundays as a "family night", entertainment starts and finishes earlier, running from 6-8.15pm to take account of the fact that younger visitors have school the following morning.
Other improvements for the 2018 Illuminations - the 121st - include better signage to the park and ride service, more stewards and more enforcement officers to police pedlars on the streets of Matlock Bath.
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome at the Illuminations, but owners should be aware that the fireworks are loud and can cause distress to some animals. Here's some advice from the RSPCA on pets and fireworks.