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Magical displays to ‘shine a light’ on historic Cromford Mills this October half term

Published: 18 October 2022

The historic Cromford Mills near Matlock will host 2 nights of magical displays combining special effects and live music when ‘Shine A Light’ returns for the second year this October half term.


Cromford Mills Shine A Light
Shine A Light at Cromford Mills.

Providing an after-dark experience for the whole family to enjoy, the events will transform Arkwright’s mills with cutting-edge projections, awe-inspiring animations, and live music in the heart of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site on 27 and 28 October 2022.

Visitors will be able to experience an illuminated woodland walk to the historic Mill Yard at Cromford before enjoying an evening of entertainment under the stars with large-scale projections, late-night shopping and food and drink including barbecue and street food, locally-sourced cheese, hot chocolate and crêpes.

The displays at Cromford Mills will kickstart an exciting new programme of Shine A Light events running until February 2023 - with large-scale projections taking place at Elvaston Castle near Derby in November, Barrow Hill Roundhouse in Chesterfield in December, and the National Trust’s Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield in February.

The projections are unique to each venue and visitors who watch all 4 displays – and successfully spot the ‘hidden animal’ at each – will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win a hamper of local produce.

Delivered by internationally renowned Derbyshire-born video projection artists Illuminos, Shine A Light is designed to celebrate Derbyshire’s rich history and cultural heritage, boost the visitor economy and extend the tourism season during the traditionally quieter autumn and winter months.

We've commissioned the events following a successful pilot in 2021 when Shine A Light displays held at Chatsworth and Cromford Mills were enjoyed by more than 3,200 visitors.

Each event culminates in a large-scale projection every 20 minutes throughout each evening at:

  • Cromford Mills, home of Sir Richard Arkwright’s first mill complex, in the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, on Thursday 27 October and Friday 28 October 2022 from 6.30pm
  • Elvaston Castle, a Gothic Revival castle and surrounding parkland, run by Derbyshire County Council, on Saturday 19 November and Sunday 20 November 2022 from 5.30pm
  • Barrow Hill Roundhouse, the last surviving railway roundhouse in the United Kingdom with an operational turntable, on Thursday 8 December and Friday 9 December 2022 from 5pm
  • Hardwick Hall, an Elizabethan country house built by Bess of Hardwick in the 1500s, owned by the National Trust, on Friday 17 February and Saturday 18 February 2023 from 5.30pm

Tickets are £9 for adults and £6 per child (aged 4 to 16 inclusive, free for 3 and under). Find out more and book Shine A Light tickets.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, said:

“Following the success of last year’s Shine A Light displays, this year’s events promise to be even bigger and better, providing a magical after-dark experience for visitors and residents alike.

“Each venue has its own story to tell as part of this spectacular ‘anthology’ and not only do these events bring local history and their communities to life, they also offer a fantastic opportunity to enjoy an evening of family-friendly entertainment with live music, great food and drink, and late-night shopping.

“Events like this are so important as we continue to support the recovery of local visitor economy businesses and we urge people to book their tickets as soon as possible for an evening to remember.”

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis added:

“Shine A Light is a key part of our efforts to support the recovery of the visitor economy following the coronavirus pandemic and we’re proud of our role in bringing these unique experiences to Derbyshire, providing excellent entertainment for tourists and residents alike.

“I look forward to seeing the return of these fantastic events to our county for a second year running.”

Follow #ShineALightDerbyshire on social media.