Recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK's leading arts festivals, Buxton Festival is a summer celebration of the very best music and opera at the heart of the beautiful Peak District. We'll select three outstanding evening performances from the festival programme and our leader will be on hand to explain their background and context. Mornings are free to join the optional guided walks or explore the area independently.
- Tickets to three opera performances, with good quality seats
- Audio visual presentations and discussions about the selected operas
- Optional walks to appreciate the beauty of the area
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- Coach transport to and from the festival
- Good quality tickets for performances and festival sessions
- Illustrated talks from your HF Holidays’ leader
- Optional half-day walks led by an HF Holidays’ Walk Leader
The Peveril of the Peak occupies a wonderful position in the village of Thorpe, less than a mile from the famous stepping stones at the entrance to the Dove Dale gorge. Named after the novel by Sir Walter Scott, it offers excellent facilities and is surrounded by extensive grounds.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
We'll enjoy walks in the beautiful Derbyshire Dales in the morning before having a delicious main meal at lunchtime. Enjoy illustrated talks about the operas with your leader after lunch, before we head off to Buxton each afternoon to listen to the pre-opera talks at the theatre.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
Tuesday 9th July:
Lucio Papirio Dittatore
The story of family strife in pre-Imperial Rome, this forgotten gem by the Italian composer Antonio Caldara, featuring jubilant choral writing and dazzling virtuoso arias, is a perfect vehicle for the dynamic, Gramophone Award-winning baroque ensemble La Serenissima.
Lucio Papirio Dittatore was composed by Caldara in 1719, by which time he was serving as vice-kapellmeister to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Being composed for the imperial court, there are a number of characteristics rarely found elsewhere in opera seria, such as the use of the aria madrigale, a large amount of ballet music and a significant number of choral movements. This is a work composed on a grand scale, glorifying both the genre of opera seria and the name of the emperor.
The cast includes two ENO Harewood Artists, Eleanor Dennis and Rowan Pierce, as well as Elizabeth Karani, who sang in both Jephtha and Intermezzo in Buxton. Countertenors William Towers and Owen Willetts have both appeared recently at the Festival, and return as father and son Marco and Quinto Fabio. Baritone Gareth Brynmor John is a former winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award. Completing a first-class line up, the title role is sung by tenor Robert Murray, who starred in Brescianello’s Tisbe last year.
Wednesday 10th July:
Artistic Director Adrian Kelly makes his conducting debut at Buxton International Festival with this production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
Eugene Onegin is a classic tale of first love and painful rejection; of broken friendships, love and regret. When the young, romantic Tatyana is introduced to the dashing, unconventional Eugene Onegin, she believes that he is the hero of her dreams. However, he rejects her, flirting instead with her sister Olga, which angers Lensky, Olga’s fiancé and Onegin’s only friend. What follows will change all of their lives forever.
The young members of the cast of Eugene Onegin are all new to the Buxton Festival.
Lyric Soprano Shelley Jackson is forging an international career singing roles including Anna Bolena and Mimì. Angharad Lyddon represents Wales at the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. David Webb is a Harewood Artist at English National Opera, and has also been a recent visitor to the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals.
George Humphreys has performed throughout Europe at theatres such as the Royal Opera House, Komische Oper Berlin and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Director Jamie Manton achieved great critical success for his innovative production of Britten’s Paul Bunyan at English National Opera. This is his debut for the Buxton Festival.
Thursday 11th July:
Orpheus in the Underworld
‘A profanation of holy and glorious antiquity. A desecration of the gods!’ That’s how one outraged critic greeted the first performance of Orphée aux Enfers in 1858. But Offenbach and his librettists were not so much desecrating ancient Greece, as their own bourgeois society. Its waltzes and marches were played constantly from the Tuileries to the smallest taverns, and the Galop Infernal or can-can became one of the most famous dance tunes ever written. Jeff Clarke’s new translation casts a satirical eye on our own society, in much the same way that Offenbach’s original lampooned Second Empire Paris.
Opera della Luna specialises in the comic opera repertoire and has become one of the country’s most cherished touring companies. Described as ‘fast approaching national treasure status’, it made its BIF debut last year with The Daughter of the Regiment, which played to sold-out houses and received 5-star reviews.
‘I can’t think of any production of Orpheus in the Underworld that I’ve ever enjoyed as much as this rumbustious, unpretentious, and thoroughly jolly version, executed with tremendous verve.’ – Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph.
Friday 12th July:
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
To enjoy your walking comfortably and safely, it is essential that your footwear, clothing and equipment are suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities. Please bring a rucksack, a thermos flask for a hot drink, a water bottle (at least 1 litre) and first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
Discover the Peak District
The Peveril of the Peak occupies a wonderfully peaceful location in the village of Thorpe, and is surrounded by the rolling countryside of the Derbyshire Dales.
The nearest facilities are in the small town of Ashbourne, about 3 miles away. Here you’ll find a full range of shops plus supermarkets, banks, chemists, pubs and cafés.
During your stay you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
One of the natural wonders of the Peak District, the spectacular limestone valley of Dove Dale is less than 1 mile from The Peveril of the Peak – just follow the footpath signs from the car park.
Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is one of Britain’s most visited stately homes, which sits at the heart of a huge estate. Throughout the house there are fine displays of furniture, silver, tapestries, porcelain and paintings. The formal gardens cover 105 acres and include fountains, sculptures and a maze. Chatsworth is around 50 minutes' drive from The Peveril of the Peak. www.chatsworth.org
Crich Tramways Village
Located near the village of Crich, about 45 minutes' drive away, the National Tramway Museum has an impressive collection of vintage trams which run on a recreated historic street. www.tramway.co.uk
The Regency spa town of Buxton is about 19 miles from the Peveril of the Peak. Two key attractions are the town’s opera house, and Poole’s Cavern show cave. www.poolescavern.co.uk or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk
The popular village of Castleton is an excellent starting point for walks in the ‘Dark Peak’; just under an hour's drive away. Nearby are four extensive show caves: Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. www.castleton.co.uk/caverns
Home to the famous ‘Bakewell Pudding’, this is one of the most attractive small towns in the national park. Bakewell is around 35 minutes' drive away.
The huge Alton Towers theme park is only 30 minutes' drive away and is a very popular option for families. www.altontowers.com
This historic mill, dating from 1771, is a World Heritage Site, about 35 minutes' drive away. www.cromfordmill.co.uk
A fortified medieval manor house, dating from the 12th century. Haddon Hall is located near Bakewell, about 45 minutes' drive away. www.haddonhall.co.uk
The Tissington Trail is just half a mile away from The Peveril of the Peak. This offers 13 miles of traffic-free cycling along a disused railway line and connects with the 17 mile High Peak Trail. Cycle hire is available nearby.
Travel to Dovedale
Our address is: The Peveril of the Peak, Thorpe, Dovedale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AW
The nearest railway stations are Buxton or Derby. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 19 mile journey from Buxton railway station takes approximately 35 minutes; the 17 mile journey from Derby takes approx 40 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost £32 per taxi from Derby or £42 from Buxton. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Peveril of the Peak Manager.
There is a bus service as far as Ashbourne, about 3 miles from our country house. From Buxton take the 442 service or from Derby catch the SW1 service. For bus times see www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk
From Ashbourne complete your journey by taxi, or use the Derbyshire Connect service. This service must be prebooked at least 48 hours in advance by calling 01335 342 951
From the south leave the M1 at junction 24 and head to Ashbourne via the A50 and A515. Continue north on the A515 heading towards Buxton. 1 mile north of Ashbourne turn left, signposted to Thorpe, Dovedale and Ilam. After a further 2 miles the road bends sharply left by the Old Dog pub. The Peveril of the Peak lies ahead at the bottom of the hill. Look out for the sign.
From Buxton take the A515 south towards Ashbourne. After 17 miles turn right at a crossroads, following signs to Thorpe. After 1 mile turn right by the Old Dog pub. The Peveril of the Peak lies ahead at the bottom of the hill. Look out for the sign.
From the west leave the M6 at junction 15 and head via the A50, Cheadle (A521) and Oakamoor (A5417) to the A52. At the junction of the A52 and the A523 take the minor road signposted to Ilam. After 1½ miles turn left and descend the hill. Cross the bridge at Ilam, turn right and follow the road up a steep hill and onwards through Dovedale and Thorpe village. The Peveril of the Peak is on the left hand side at the end of the village.
Travelling from overseas
Dovedale is located in the centre of the UK, with a number of airport options.
East Midlands Airport is about 30 miles away - this is served by short-haul European flights. If you're flying here we'd recommend pre-booking a taxi direct to the Peveril of the Peak.
London Luton Airport has lots of low-cost European flights. From here take the shuttle bus to Luton Airport Parkway station, then on by train to Derby with 1 change at Leicester. Allow 1 hour 50 minutes to Derby - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. Complete your journey by taxi (see above).
Manchester Airport has a much wider range of long-haul flights. There are trains every hour from the airport to Buxton with one change at Manchester Piccadilly. Allow 1 hour 40 minutes to Buxton - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. Complete your journey by taxi (see above).
Flying to London Heathrow Airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 3 hours to reach Derby. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London St Pancras. From here take a train to direct to Derby - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. Complete your journey by taxi (see above).
Judith Wallace has been leading Singing, Music Making and Opera & Festival holidays for HF Holidays since 1998. Prior to this she had a long career in primary and further education where she specialised in music and drama. She conducts two orchestras, an operatic society, a clarinet choir and a concert band - all of which she enjoys immensely. When not conducting Judith plays clarinet in orchestras, bands and chamber groups and she also enjoys going to concerts, plays and operas. She enjoys passing on her enjoyment to others and encouraging all guests to have a worthwhile musical experience.
Judith was a first rate leader with seemingly boundless energy and had the uncanny knack of relating well to all the guests. I felt both encouraged and supported by Judith and enjoyed her jocular anecdotes and asides.
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Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person