The South West is an amazing place to be. There’s always an event or festival going on, no matter the time of the year. So if you’re planning your next family trip and don’t know where to go to have loads of fun, the South West is the place to be. Here’s a list of interesting events you don’t want to miss.
- Clovelly Lobster and Crab Feast, Clovelly, Devon (September)
This is a special treat for sea food lovers, with beer tasting stalls, sea foods like lobsters and crab platters, quay kitchens, crafts stalls, live folk music and more, lining the streets of Clovelly, Devon.
- Abergavenny Food Festival, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire (September)
Have a great time at the Forage & Feast; with more food and activities than you can handle. The festival includes master classes, cookery lessons, kids’ activities, plenty of delicious British food, and more. The festival takes place at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.
- Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival, Weymouth (July)
Experience locally made mouth-watering dishes made with only the freshest produce in the area. Take a long walk along the 17th Century Harbourside to enter into a world of sea dishes made by celebrity chefs like Crab bisque and swordfish kebabs, including champagne and entertainment for the entire family. Weymouth also has a wide variety of great restaurants along the harbour.
- South West Food and Drink Festival, Devon (May)
Exeter Castle courtyard, Devon is the location for one of the South West’s top food and drink festivals. It hosts numerous vendors of street food as well as workshops taught by famous chefs. You can also test your skills as a cook during the cooking demos put up for the residents and tourists.
- The Great Bath Feast, Bath (October)
This festival runs from 1st to 31st October and is the perfect family fun event. Participate in this specially arranged programme which includes wine tastings, school events, cookery, pop-ups, and amazing food pictures from around the world.
- Badminton Horse Trials, Badminton, South Gloucestershire (May)
This three-day event, which showcases a test of the rider and his horse, is one of the most reputable and popular in the entire equestrian calendar. It takes place in May at the Badminton House, not too far from Bristol. So if you’re a lover of horses in Bristol during this time of year, be sure not to miss it. Watch along with the crowd as the horses and riders participate in dressage, cross country, show jumping and more. Take a walk around the large shopping village, you will definitely find one or two things to your liking.
- Beautiful Days, Escot Park, Devon
Everybody loves a music festival; especially one that’s set up in such a way that there’s an activity for every member of the family. Family camping, food, crafts, music, comedy, site art, and theatre, are some of the activities that are held during the festival.
- Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset (June)
Enjoy contemporary music and performing arts which include circus performances, cabaret, comedy shows, theatre, dance, and other arts at the largest Greenfield Festival in the world. Be a part of the festivities and don’t miss out on what could be the best experience of your life. The festival takes place every year on the last weekend in the month of June, in Worthy Farm, near Pilton, Somerset.
- Chagstock Music Festival, Dartmoor, Devon (July)
This family friendly festival hosts performances and shows made by musicians from around the world. From traditional to contemporary, there are no specifics to the kinds of music to be enjoyed at this music festival. In addition, the Chagstock Village Green has many activities for kids and families, such as showman wagons, the magic bus, swing boats & little trains, and many more.
- Sidmouth Folk Week, Sidmouth, Devon (August)
Sidmouth Folk week is a week-long festival dedicated to the celebration of song, dance and music in general. It boasts of being the finest as well as the oldest folk festival in the whole of the UK. It is a must for every festival-goer as it brings together hundreds of people who all want to express their love for music.
- Bath Bachfest, Bath (February)
This classical historic mini festival is a celebration of the works of Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. It is held in the Georgian city of Bath and is the most successful festival in the city. It hosts renowned musicians, composers and visitors from all around the UK, and is perfect for all lovers of classical music.
- Gloucestershire’s Festival Frenzy. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (April)
The Cheltenham Jazz Festival comprises a series of music shows and concerts at different locations in genres ranging from contemporary to traditional music. In between shows, there are restaurants like The Daffodil Restaurant that offer delicious mouth-watering dishes; and an array of boutiques lined up along the streets, just waiting to be visited.
13. The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (October)
Step into a world of literary goodness with more than 600 of the world’s best writers, actors, poets and more as they come together in the heart of Cheltenham to celebrate literature and the joys of it. Sit and discuss with Hollywood legends and award winning novelists and Nobel Prize winners. The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is the place to be if you’re a lover of literature. Visitors can also participate in workshops, interviews and many more.
- Bath Literature Festival, Bath, Somerset (February)
This 10-day long festival is a combination of an enticing series of events including intellectual discussions, debates, lectures that cut across many topics like history, technology, and science.
- Bournemouth Air Festival, Bournemouth, Dorset (August)
The Bournemouth Air Festival is a showcase of air displays that defy gravity and a plethora of on-the-ground entertainment for the family. At night, the skies are lit up with Night Air entertainment including night flying illuminated by pyrotechnics and the moon.
- Longleat Festival of Light, Longleat, Wiltshire (November)
Experience the beauty of lights at the Longleat Festival of Light, the largest Chinese lantern display in the whole of Europe. View a wide variety of beautiful lanterns and illuminated designs showcased in the stunning parkland of Longleat.
Tourists can also enjoy the Santa trains, ice skating and fairy tale Christmas in the Longleat House.
- The Islands’ Regatta, St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly (August)
Be a part of the four-day long celebration of the Island Regatta’s maritime heritage. This celebration is done with pop up stalls, live music, food and drinks, beach activities, entertainment, colourful sails, tall ships and a lot more for the entire family.
- Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol (August)
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Europe’s largest hot air balloon event is one of the most anticipated festivals in the UK. It is very popular with families and is a great holiday bonding event. Be a part of the fun with hundreds of thousands of people as hundreds of hot air balloons of different shapes and sizes illuminate the sky with colour, creating a beautiful scenery.
Art & Performance Festivals
- Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival (September)
This is the leading short film and animation festival in UK. It was created to celebrate innovation and talent and is also an avenue for professionals and emerging filmmakers to socialise. It showcases an array of more than 60 events, over 400 screenings and parties spread out across 6 days for lovers of the arts.
- Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts, Glastonbury, Somerset (June)
This 5-day programme is filled with contemporary performing arts and attracts not less than 185,000 people, including musicians, DJ’s, performers, and comedians from around the world. Held every year in Worthy Farms, Somerset, the Glastonbury Festival is one your family won’t forget in a long time.
- Slapstick Festival, Bristol (January)
This festival is for slapstick comedy and silent film lovers. It’s usually held at the Colston Hall in Bristol and is a celebration of the internationally-popular Slapstick festival vintage comedy film and TV of the city, Bristol.
- Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, Salisbury, Wiltshire (May)
This yearly themed family friendly festival is a combination of spectacular events in the areas of food, drink, music, dance, art, and many more. It is a celebration of the arts across all five islands.
Get ready for an amazing feast of film, classical music, comedy, workshops, literature, children’s events, outdoor events, visual arts, and a complete immersion in Scilly’s creative nature. Its location varies between historic locations in Salisbury like Old Wardour Castle, Salisbury Playhouse, and so on.
- Upfest Festival, Bristol (July)
Upfest Festival is the biggest graffiti and street art festival in Europe. More than 250 graffiti artists from all over the world come to this event and create stunning pieces of graffiti to live music playing at different locations throughout Bedminster and Southville.
Upfest is great especially for families with children as they can be part of the graffiti workshops and other activities for children.
The South West is the perfect place to be, from January to December. It has everything you need to have the best family holiday you ever had.