Carnival of Animals Buxton International Festival

A family day out at Buxton International Festival

Summer is in full swing on the last day of the 2019 Buxton International Festival so why not celebrate the season with a day full of song and story?

This year, the day to put in your diary is Sat 20 July. The programme has a mix of events for all ages from the family-friendly Carnival of the Animals to a thought-provoking literary talk by award-winning novelist John Lanchester.

We’ve picked out just a few of the highlights to give you an idea of how to enjoy the close of the festival to the full.


Boost your morning with a rousing performance of The Orphans of Koombu. Based on The Secret Song, written by award-winning author Michael Williams, this African chamber opera features singers from the Festival Company and 200 young people from seven different secondary schools in Derbyshire and the High Peak. Lasting for just over an hour, the show is ideal for both families and festival-goers who are looking for an exhilarating start to their weekend.


Buxton awaits you after you exit Buxton Opera House. We recommend booking a place at one of the cafes or restaurants in town for lunch and then making time to see the sights. One of the best ways to see the town is by taking a tour with Discover Buxton on The Wonder of the Peak, the phantasmagorical Victorian tram. Buxton Museum is another must-see and entry is free.

Keep the excitement going with Carnival of the Animals at 3.30pm. Aimed at music-lovers young and old, this unique concert produced in partnership with Buxton Festival Fringe and the Northern Chamber Orchestra is sure to delight all ages.

If you’re looking for an adult escape, you might prefer to listen to acclaimed Capital author John Lanchester talk about his most recent novel The Wall instead. A stark dystopian tale, the story is set a near-future Britain wracked by climate change and is bound to provoke much discussion.


For younger visitors, find out what’s on at the Festival Fringe or set off on an evening adventure up to Solomon’s Temple to see brilliant views of the town and the surrounding Peak District.

Parents and grandparents – book a babysitter and end on a high note with our headline opera, Georgiana – a story of scandal and obsession which has been produced specially for this Festival’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Travelling to Buxton

If you’re planning to organise a fun weekend break with kids to mark the start of the school holidays then our travel sponsor Virgin Train’s Family Offer could be ideal for you. For a fixed fare families can travel anywhere to or from London Euston on the Virgin Trains network.