10 Festivals in England

There are hundreds of festivals – both weird and wonderful, and mainstream and fun – held across England each year. This post focuses on festivals outside London from both the weirder side and the more mainstream ones, to give you lots of different reasons to travel around England.

Black Pudding Throwing Championship near Manchester

If you’re looking for unusual food festivals, this sure is one. The World Black Pudding Throwing Championship takes place annually in Ramsbottom. Competitors each throw three black puddings at a stack of Yorkshire puddings and whoever knocks the most over is crowned the champion.

black pudding throwing championship england

Black Pudding Throwing Championships by mrrobertwade

Burning the Clocks Brighton

At the time of the winter solstice each year, the Burning the Clocks festival takes place in Brighton. The focus of the festival is a large solstice lantern parade, going from the centre of Brighton down to the beach, and concluding with a lantern bonfire and a fireworks display.

Burning the Clocks by Dominic’s pics

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling in the Cotswolds

Every year on the Spring Bank Holiday, crowds gather at Cooper’s Hill in the Cotswolds for the chance to chase a rolling Gloucester cheese down the hill. The cheese always wins but the first human to cross the finishing line wins the cheese (and plenty of honour!) . Unfortunately this festival’s become slightly controversial because as more people attend each year, the risk of injury to runners gets higher.

Cheese Rolling by brizzle born and bred

Cambridge Strawberry Fair

The Cambridge Strawberry Fair is, despite its name, not only about strawberries – it’s really a festival of music, and arts and crafts. It’s held every June in Cambridge and they have recently added the Strawberry Shorts short film festival.

Cambridge Strawberry Fair by DerekL

Glastonbury Festival

No list of festivals in England can be complete without mentioning the Glastonbury Festival (which I can personally say is famous enough that even the average Australian has heard of it!). It’s a major outdoor festival most well-known for the music although other arts such as theatre and dance are also represented. In recent years headliner acts such as U2, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce have played Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Festival by bobaliciouslondon

British Asparagus Festival Worcestershire

Lovers of asparagus can head to the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire for the annual British Asparagus Festival, which as you can imagine includes all kinds of foodie events related to the vegetable, and a few quirks like the annual predictions from an Asparamancer who uses asparagus to forecast events for the following year. Unfortunately flooding in early 2012 meant there were no asparagus ready for this year’s festival but no doubt it will be back in 2013.

Asparagus by pamramsey

Football in the River Gloucestershire

This festival definitely lands on the bizarre side of the line: it takes place every year in Bourton-on-the-Water and involves a six-a-side game of football played in the knee-deep water of the Windrush River.

York Food Festival

One of the most popular foodie festivals in England is the York Food Festival which usually takes place over ten days in September. There are classes to learn cooking or to match foods to wines, plenty of tastings and other various entertainment.

Read more tips from what to do in York.

York Food Festival by alalsacienne

Norwich Beer Festival

Under the banner “campaigning for real ale”, the Norwich Beer Festival hosts a number of beer-related events during a week in October each year, and it’s the largest provincial beer festival in England.

Norwich Beer Festival by harry harris

Bath Fringe Festival

Karen was lucky enough to check out the Bath Fringe Festival earlier this year. It’s been running since 1981 and because it was set up to counterbalance the more conservative Bath Music Festival it has a really interesting range of acts.

Read more tips on things to do in Bath.

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