The Buxton Flowerpot Trail is going to the opera!

We are happy to announce that the fun-filled, family-friendly flowerpot trail will return in 2023.

To celebrate the return to Buxton of the entire International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival, the theme this year is Gilbert & Sullivan, so get thinking pirates, fairies and modern major generals!

As ever, all in Buxton are welcome and encouraged to get involved – households, businesses, schools and community groups – to make a flowerpot creation for the trail.

It will run during July and August alongside all four of the town’s summer festivals and will be part of the Festival Fringe once again.

It simply aims to bring a smile and to get people spending a bit of time being creative and making something out of old resources.

Flowerpot creations can be displayed in gardens, on gateposts, door steps or in windows, anywhere so long as they are visible from the pavement / public footpaths.

An exciting addition this year, to support the trail, the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival will be including a ‘Best Flowerpot Creation’ category in their annual awards ceremony on Friday 11 August! Those who choose to make a G&S-themed creation, will be automatically entered into the competition. Details of the judging and prizes will be announced in due course.

You don’t have to align to the theme, but if you would like to, we have put together an overview of Gilbert & Sullivan’s 14 operas and their main characters and selected props to help you come up with some ideas. You can download it below or pick up a copy at one of our making workshops.


If you’re thinking about getting involved for the first time, have no fear! Simple flowerpot people are easy to make – they’re just knots in string – and there’s no real right or wrong way to do it. If you need some pointers, making instructions and videos are available here. We ask that you don’t buy new pots – it’s all about finding creative uses for old resources.

If you need some pots, you can pick some up for free at our stalls at the following:


Making instructions and decorations will also be available.

We had 59 dots on the maps last year with one out-of-towner. Could you help us get more this year? It’s free to get involved so please tell all your friends about it.

To register a location for the trail, please email with the address. The deadline to be included is Sunday 25th June.

Please also send us a photograph of your creation in place,so we can share it with the wider world following the trail and, if you have made a G&S-themed creation, which opera it’s inspired by.

Once again, trail maps will be available at The Pump Room, Poole’s Cavern Visitors Centre and The Green Man Gallery and also Scrivener’s Bookshop this year. They will be on sale from 1st July to 31st August (cost £1). An electronic version will also be available on this news blog for those who wish to download it to their phone or tablet.

This year’s trail is supported by contributions from the Derbyshire County Council Members’ Community Leadership Fund by DCC for Buxton, Cllr Linda Grooby and from the High Peak Borough Council’s Councillor Initiative Fund by Buxton councillors: Cllr Rachael Quinn (Barms) and Cllr Jean Todd (Central). We thank them for their continued support for the trail. Thanks also to Philip Barton for his contribution to our overview of the operas.

If you have any questions or would like to help us – we’re always happy to welcome new volunteers, please get in touch by emailing

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