Bookings open for 2015 Matlock Bath Illuminations

Decorated boats on the Derwent 300pxBookings have opened for this year's Matlock Bath Illuminations, ending weeks of uncertainty.

Tickets are available online at for a 2015 season that will feature a record number of fireworks nights - seven in total.

The recent closure of the Lovers' Walks footpaths in Matlock Bath – an emergency evacuation route for the Illuminations – cast a shadow over one of the region's premier autumn festivals.

But work began last week to secure an unstable rock face above the footpaths before the end of this month, in good time for the Illuminations season, which runs from 12 September to 31 October.

Regular visitors will see a number of changes this year following a review by Derbyshire Dales District Council, which runs the 118-year-old tradition, including incentives to buy tickets in advance.

Accompanied under 16s will continue to attend the Illuminations free throughout the 2015 season, which is one week shorter than usual.

Visitors who buy tickets in advance online will pay £5 for Saturday and £4 for Sunday - £1 less than people paying on the night. Advance price concessions will pay £4 and £3, but £5 and £4 on the night.

It means a family of two adults and two or more under 16s will continue to enjoy a Saturday night out at Matlock Bath Illuminations for just £10 - including a fireworks finale - if they buy in advance.

The only non-fireworks Saturday will be the opening night, which will be a media and preview event at which the famous parade of decorated boats will be judged.

Chairman of the District Council's Community & Environment Committee, Councillor Jo Wild said:

"Since taking over the running of the Illuminations over 30 years ago, the District Council's main aim has been to operate this fantastic attraction at no cost to our local Council Tax payers while bringing a boost of around £3-million to the local economy."

Councillor Wild said advance sales would give the District Council improved monitoring of likely crowds and an option to designate certain nights "all ticket" if necessary.

She added:

"The review team signalled that more effort should be made by local business to support an event from which they benefit through a significant increase in visitors to the mini resort – and it's not too late for them to get on board.

"In return, the District Council will give recognition for businesses and organisations that do make a contribution, for example through the sponsorship of event improvements such as new lights, equipment and signage."

More information about sponsorship of Matlock Bath Illuminations nights is available by email at or call 01629 761 390.

The first Illuminations in Matlock Bath celebrated Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1897.

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