Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
The world’s biggest flower show promises to bring bundles of colour, inspiration and good times to your summer, with a schedule of flower displays, live music and drinks – and all in the magnificent setting of Hampton Court Palace.
4-9 Jul, from £28.85, rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-hampton-court-palace-garden-festival
The National Geographic Traveller Food Festival
The best of the world’s food scene is brought together at London’s Business Design Centre, with immersive experiences, chef demonstrations (below), exclusive menus and talks from José Pizarro, Grace Dent and Fuchsia Dunlop.
16-17 Jul, from £10, foodfestival.natgeotraveller.co.uk
London Craft Beer Festival
Craft beers galore will be taking over Tobacco Dock this year, with a line-up of top-class breweries – including Brick Brewery, Tiny Rebel and Gipsy Hill Brewing Company – and food provided by guest chefs cooking over live-fire pits.
12-13 Aug, from £57.50 (includes the opportunity to try any beer), londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk
Back to Live, Sussex
In a unique collaboration, four independent Sussex venues – Komedia, Ropetackle, Brighton Open Air Theatre and The Old Market – are hosting a special season of events for children to celebrate the joys of live performance. From puppets to bubbles, classic tales, internationally acclaimed and local artists, as well as the return of Stomp.
9-24 April, ticket prices vary, komediaproductions.org.uk
Held on the grounds of Englefield House near Reading, this festival suits every shade of runner, from beginners to experts, with a mix of fun runs, competitive raves, fitness activities, street food, talks, music and relaxation. Paula Radcliffe, Colin Jackson and Steve Cram CBE will also be on hand as festival “team captains”.
20-22 May, ticket prices vary, runfestrun.co.uk
This two-day festival in Broadlands Park, Romsey, features agility courses, stand-up comedy from Russell Hicks and Adam Bloom, talks on pet care, and the best treats for humans and canines (including a dog-friendly afternoon tea).
4-5 June, adults £15, children £9, dogstival.co.uk
The Awakening, Isle of Wight
Take a break from the daily grind at this wellbeing festival at Northwood House, with workshops, self-care sessions, inspirational talks, sound healing, meditation and crafting sessions during the day, and glitter parties and yoga in the evenings.
24-25 Sep, from £75, awakeningfestival.co.uk
Arts by the Sea Festival, Bournemouth
Now in its 12th year – expect to see Bournemouth’s beaches and outdoor spaces transformed with unique music, art and dance installations.
30 Sep-2 Oct, free, artsbythesea.co.uk
Broadstairs Food Festival, Kent
With more than 100 hand-picked exhibitors, fill up on delicious local produce cooked fresh to order while soaking up the sea views. A live music area on the nearby bandstand will add to the atmosphere.
16-18 Apr, free, broadstairsfoodfestival.org.uk
Sussex Gin Fest
Celebrate the craftsmanship of local and worldwide gin distillers while also enjoying artisan food, demonstrations and live entertainment, all in the idyllic gardens of the Borde Hill estate in Haywards Heath.
9 Jul, £16.20, sussexginfest.com
LoveFit Festival, Kent
A three-day fiesta on the St Clere Estate – don’t forget your trainers to enjoy the forest gym, yoga hut, paddleboarding and an outdoor spa, before finishing the day off with live bands and DJ sets.
15-17 Jul, from £149, lovefitfestival.com
Crabfest is back with a bang this year. With hands-on cookery demonstrations by award-winning chefs, crab-picking masterclasses, live music, kid’s activities, exhibitor stands and great food, it’s a great day out in picturesque Salcombe.
1 May, free, salcombecrabfest.co.uk
Gone Wild, Devon
Boredom does not exist at this eclectic festival hosted by Bear Grylls in Powderham Castle. With kayaking, archery, camouflage lessons, tree climbing, raft-building, open-water swimming and science workshops, plus food and drink stalls and live music, there is an action-packed schedule.
25-28 Aug, adults from £174.90, children from £64.80, gonewildfestival.com
Held on the Weymouth peninsula, this festival celebrates the excellent variety of seafood available along the South West coast and brings together talented chefs, fishermen and producers for a weekend of good food, quality wines and family entertainment.
10-11 Sep, adults £10, under-12s free, dorsetseafood.co.uk
Europe’s largest street art festival will see hundreds of artists painting live across Bedminster in south Bristol. Watch the murals unfold, then grab a bite to eat or browse the clothing stalls in the main venue at Greville Smyth Park.
28-29 May, free, upfest.co.uk
Gloucester Tall Ships, Gloucestershire
Over the Jubilee weekend, this family-friendly event will find Gloucester Docks filled with huge ships, food stalls and live entertainment. Discover more about maritime history, enjoy jet-pack water displays and dance to local bands while soaking up the atmosphere.
3-5 Jun, free, gloucestertallships.co.uk
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol
Returning to its usual home at Ashton Court Estate, this annual festival will feature hundreds of hot-air balloons taking to the skies at dawn and dusk, as well as the much-loved nightglows, as balloons light up to music after dark.
11-14 Aug, free, bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk
Broaden your horizons with more than 350 talks, walking tours, film premieres and panel discussions covering all aspects of world-leading research at Cambridge University. Topics will revolve around the festival’s four themes: society, health, discovery and environment.
31 Mar-10 Apr, ticket prices vary, cam.ac.uk/public-engagement
Essex Book Festival
Essex will play host to dozens of literary stars with more than 100 events in a range of venues, including Harlow Museum, Wivenhoe Bookshop and Basildon Library. On top of author talks, there will also be writing workshops and readings.
1-30 Jun, ticket prices vary, essexbookfestival.org.uk
Festival of Sport, Norfolk
Founded by the former England rugby internationals Will Greenwood and Austin Healey, this festival set in Holkham Estate provides entertainment for the whole family. With camping, competitions and coaching from world-class sporting legends, taster sessions in trampolining, boxing, dodgeball, cricket and archery (to name a few), as well as live music and an open-air cinema
12-15 Aug, weekend ticket for one adult and one child £370, under-fives free, holkham.co.uk/events/details/festival-of-sport
Lace up your trainers and head to Knebworth Park for a weekend of morning raves, aerobic dance classes, trapeze, yoga discos and roller skating during the day, followed by live DJs to keep you dancing through the night.
20-22 May, ticket prices vary, youphoria-festival.co.uk
Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Oxfordshire
Returning to Blenheim Palace for an eighth year, this food festival is bursting with delicious produce from a variety of local and national stallholders. Alongside artisanal treats and home-made delights, there will also be craft beers, cocktails and mocktails.
2-5 Jun, from £19.50. blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/food-festival
Sausage & Cider Festival, Derbyshire
Eat your fill of sausages before enjoying a pint of the 20 different ciders on offer at this food and drink festival set in Catton Park on the banks of the River Trent. Some of the world’s top tribute acts will also be getting the party started, including The Bootleg Beatles, Take That Rule the World and Kings of Lyon, and there is on-site camping.
23-26 Jun, from £20, sausageandciderfestival.com
Timber Festival, Leicestershire
Hidden among the trees of the National Forest at Feanedock, you will find this celebration of sustainability and activism. Expect roaming art installations, folk bands, wellbeing workshops, late-night storytelling and talks from environmentalists and poets (including Poet Laureate Simon Armitage).
1-3 Jul, from £42.80, timberfestival.org.uk
Huddersfield Literature Festival, West Yorkshire
The award-winning festival returns this spring with the theme of “One World”, focusing on our shared responsibility for the wellbeing of the planet and its people. With author talks, workshops, discussion topics, performance poetry, multi-arts performances and wellbeing project, you’ll be kept busy.
24 Mar-3 Apr, ticket prices vary. huddlitfest.org.uk
Malton Food Lover’s Festival, North Yorkshire
With Malton often considered the food capital of the North, this family-friendly festival is a huge hit with locals as well as tourists, who flock from all over the country to taste local produce, listen to music and enjoy talks.
3-5 Jun, free, visitmalton.com
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, North Yorkshire
The world’s largest and most prestigious celebration of crime fiction and thrillers will this year be chaired by bestselling author Denise Mina, with special guests Lucy Foley, CL Taylor and Paula Hawkins. With author talks, creative writing workshops and readings, this Harrogate-based festival is a must for any bibliophiles.
21-24 Jul, ticket prices vary, harrogateinternationalfestivals.com
Chester Food and Drink Festival, Cheshire
Set in the grounds of Chester Racecourse, this festival boasts some of the best street food in the UK, as well as cookery classes for adults and children from a range of top chefs.
16-18 Apr, from £10, under-12s free, chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk
Keswick Mountain Festival, Cumbria
This unique event offers a fantastic mix of outdoor activities and live music right in the heart of the Lake District. Choose from a variety of sports activities (trail runs, triathlon, swimming, cycling and hiking) as well as world-class speakers, camping and live music (including a DJ set by former Fun Lovin’ Criminal Huey Morgan).
20-22 May, from £19. keswickmountainfestival.co.uk
The Greater Manchester Fringe Festival
Held in venues across the city for a whole month, this celebration of new and emerging creative talent showcases a variety of sketch shows, stand-ups and theatre performances.
1-31 Jul, ticket prices vary, greatermanchesterfringe.co.uk
The Big Retreat, Pembrokeshire
Take three days out to relax, reflect and rebuild at this wholesome festival. There will be fitness and yoga classes, sumptuous feasts under the stars, environmental talks and meditations, all played against the backdrop of the unspoiled Welsh countryside.
3-6 Jun, adults from £185.90, children from £92.95, thebigretreatfestival.com
Love Trails Festival, Gower
After a two-year hiatus, Love Trails Festival is returning to Weobley Castle on the Gower Peninsula. With a fantastic itinerary of trail-running adventures, trips to the beach, wellness activities, talks, food stalls and laid-back music sessions, it is a runner’s paradise.
30 Jun-3 Jul, from £179, lovetrailsfestival.co.uk
Abergavenny Food Festival, Monmouthshire
Known as “The Glastonbury of Food Festivals”, this weekend-long event features chefs, producers, growers and exhibitors with a variety of demonstrations, tastings, talks and debates on offer.
17-18 Sep, tickets on sale from 1 Apr, abergavennyfoodfestival.com
Forest Feastival, Bridgend
Head to the woodlands of Merthyr Mawr to eat dinner right next to Wales’s biggest sand dune, before enjoying live music, circus sideshows and a Sunday jamboree for kids.
Fri, Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays from 15 Apr and 8 May, adults £5, children free, forestfeastival.com
Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Aberdeenshire
The harbour town of Portsoy will come alive with music, sailing, rowing and traditional arts and crafts at this unique festival. Watch the competitive sailing, sample some of the freshly cooked local fish, enjoy a beer or learn a new skill at the many dance and craft workshops.
18-19 Jun, from £4.80, stbfportsoy.org
Out East Festival, Midlothian
This family-friendly creative festival at Dalkeith Country Park will host everything from live music to cabaret, spoken word and comedy events, plus street food and drink, children’s activities and interactive play.
6-7 Aug, ticket details tbc, outeastfest.co.uk
Fringe by the Sea, East Lothian
This year’s programme promises to be jam-packed, with more than 150 comedy events, wellbeing sessions, foodie masterclasses, family shows, talks and wildlife walks set across 10 days in North Berwick.
5-14 Aug, ticket prices vary, fringebythesea.com
Scottish Wild Food Festival, Glasgow
Set in the spectacular surroundingsof Tir na nOg, this festival encourages people of all ages to step outdoors and learn about local wild food. With lavish meals, foraging walks, wild drinks, forest school, live music and a marketplace, you won’t be lost for things to do.
17-18 Sep, adults from £12.50, children from £2, scottishwildfoodfestival.co.uk
St Patrick’s Festival, Co Armagh
Celebrating the life of Ireland’s patron saint, this week-long festival promises a lively and varied showcase of the best culture, music, song and dance Armagh has to offer.
To 19 Mar, free, visitarmagh.com/festivals/st-patricks
Northern Ireland Food and Craft Festival, Co Antrim
A weekend of foodie fun awaits at Antrim Castle Gardens, with musical performances, artisan food and drink markets, a pop-up urban farm and a picnic area.
1-3 Jul, ticket details tbc, nifoodandcraftfestival.com