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Courses, workshops and education

Check out these courses and workshops

There are loads of courses and workshops in Derbyshire, and we’ve trawled around for the best courses for you to improve your skills or gain new ones — or just simply to feed your soul. Read on!

Craft and practical skills courses and workshops

Have you always promised yourself some 'me time' to get to grips with a new skill? We've got all angles covered with our selection of groups, classes and workshops to get involved with. So, get wiggling your belly, tapping those feet, carving wood or stone or take to treading the boards. 

There are also plenty of regular workshops, groups and club meets: 

Deeper interest courses, lectures and workshops

There's something for everyone here, whether you want to actively get involved in a workshop, or want to listen to a lecture by a seasoned guide. There are also lots of regular groups to join:


Reading, libraries and literature

Derbyshire Poem a Month 

To find out more and sign up to the Poem a Month blog visit:

Read more about the Derbyshire County Council library service in the PDF attached at the bottom of the page. The library service is more than just a building with books!! You can access a whole range of other services online 24 hours a day, so read on to find out more.

If you are looking to join a Book Group then try the Reading Groups for Everyone website which is the Reading Agency’s dedicated website for readers and readers’ groups nationally. There is lots of information about current book awards and initiatives, writers, free books and competitions for book groups. You can register your reading group on the site and connect with other groups

If you’d like to receive the Derbyshire County Book Chat e-newsletter, send an email to to request being added to the mailing list.  It’s open to anyone who is interested in books, reading, and literary events in Derbyshire libraries so let your friends and family know too. 

Check out the WEA brochures for Derby, Derbyshire and Chesterfield (see below) for a variety of arts and creative courses.  

For learning disabled adults

At the Level Centre in Rowsley, there are weekly sessions along a range of arts themes.

In the north of the county, Life You Choose is an arts and multimedia group in Glossop for people with learning difficulties. 

For children

There's plenty going on to keep your children entertained with classes and regular group meetings to suit just about every artistic taste. 

Things to do with the kids this summer holiday

  • Calling all budding young photographers, get your cameras out and explore the Chesterfield Canal. The competition is open to Young people 16 and under. Your pictures can be taken on and around the canal at any time of the year, but must be submitted to the Visitor Centre during August. 
  • 2 – 5 year olds are invited to Mud-Luscious -  a "very hands on" fun session in Tissington on 1 August
  • Join Helen from The Sunflower Plot for this fun children's workshop and make your own wooden spoon scarecrow puppet to take home. Cromford Mills, 6 and 7 August.
  • Get involved in some puppet making at Tapton Lock on 18 August
  • The Harley Gallery is offering Hands on Holidays every Wednesday throughout the summer holidays
  • On 21 August, have a Lark in the Park at Derby Arboretum Park, where there is lots of family entertainments planned including drumming workshops
  • Join this pirate adventure weekend at Cromford 27 and 28 August
  • There is plenty to do at Haddon Hall during their Children's Weekend, 26-29 August
  • Sail into Pirates Cove for fun and adventure! Join Helen from The Sunflower Plot for this 'drop in' workshop at Cromford Mills, 27 and 28 August
  • The Almost Complete History of the Theatre at the Rose Theatre in Chesterfield offers opportunities to tread the boards for all ages. From 30 August to 2 September
    • Classic Workshops Tue 10am-12.30pm ages 8-13 
    • Tue 1pm-3.30pm 14-18 
    • Comedy Workshops Wed 10am-12.30pm ages 8-13; Wed 1pm-3.30pm ages 14-18 
    • Realism Workshops Thu 10am-12.30pm ages 8-13 Thu 1pm-3.30pm ages 14-18 
    • Final Performance Fri 10am-3pm All groups & ages
Or how about?

There are also these regular groups running throughout the year too, so maybe now is the time to give them a try?

Professional development

Keep your professional practice skills up to date. Also check out our Artists' and Arts Organisations' Training News page for many more opportunities.


Adult Community Education

Get on course with Derbyshire Adult Community Education. New courses start running each term, and so it's never too late. For full course details, download a brochure for your area from the Derbyshire County Council website. The areas covered by each brochure are as follows:
  • Western : Covering Ashbourne, Bakewell, Hope Valley, Matlock, Wirksworth, Buxton and Fairfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Gamesley, Glossop and New Mills.
  • Eastern : Covering Bolsover, Chesterfield, Clay Cross, Dronfield, Eckington, Killamarsh, Shirebrook and South Normanton.
  • Southern : Covering Alfreton, Belper, Codnor, Long Eaton, Ilkeston, Hatton, Melbourne, Newhall and Swadlincote.
  • At the bottom of this page you will also be able to find the latest Spring brochure for the Eco Centre in Middleton-by-Wirksworth, a venue that is stuffed full of heritage crafts, arts and carfty workshops and courses.

Related documents

The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)

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Festivals 2016

We've gathered together all the amazing festivals that Derbyshire has to offer right through the year  - come along, join in the fun and see the world-class entertainment that's right on your doorstep.

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