We can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day or weekend than at a festival. So we’ve rounded up four of the UK’s freshest and most vibrant summer events (and no, not Glastonbury…). Whether you’re keen to try a new craft, eager to sample artisan food, longing to embrace the great outdoors or desperate to unleash your wild side, there’ll be something for you on our list.
Held on 3-6 August at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, this festival is all about escaping from the realities of civilisation and city life. You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in nature, dance to euphoric music, enjoy performances by global artists, attend talks and debates, and learn new skills.
Sleeping under canvas in the beautiful Cornbury Park grounds is all part of the experience, and there’s a range of campsites to choose from. From wandering through the ancient oak trees to wild swimming in the lake, you’ll find the park is just as important to this summer event as is the music, arts and dancing.
Organised by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), GrandFest is returning to East London on Sunday 18 June. A day festival that celebrates the heritage skills of older people, this unique event will unfold at various restaurants, shops and pubs around Spitalfields.
You’ll get to choose from an array of master classes, from crochet to bread making to woodturning. The really special thing about these classes is that they’re hosted by talented makers, all aged over 70. And, as well as the chance to discover new skills, there’ll also be plenty of musical and dance performances to enjoy in Spitalfields’ Bishop’s Square.
This fun family festival is the UK’s largest celebration of local food and drink. With nine weekend-long events in cities all around the UK – from May to September – it’s a great summer event to bookmark. Each festival is rooted in the local foodie community, with Michelin star and top chefs cooking their favourite recipes for an audience that shares their passion for all things delicious.
Don’t miss the tasty delights in the Street Food Avenue or the showstopper cakes and artisan chocolate on show in the Cake and Bake Theatre. Plus, kids can enjoy cookery lessons in the Children’s Theatre, and a beautiful vintage tea tent will host afternoon tea. You’ll also get to enjoy live music by some of the UK’s best unsigned musicians.
Just catching the tail end of summer, The Good Life Experience will be held on 15-17 September at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop in North Wales. Offering a perfect blend of music, food, books and the great outdoors, this festival is a wonderful antidote to fast-paced modern life – and it’s a real celebration of those things that make life more fun, rich and rewarding.
The numerous activities include campfire cooking sessions, craft workshops, live music, stimulating talks, tree climbing and axe throwing. You’ll also get to enjoy a vintage fairground and plenty of local produce. You can choose to camp out under the stars in The Good Life’s custom-designed campsite, or book to stay at a nearby B&B.