Glastonbury’s off this year, but we find the thronging, tented city a little intimidating anyway. Festivals have become a summertime way of life in the UK, and there are countless versions out there to suit every taste.

Here’s a handful of some of our favourite, littler festivals (away from other, bigger favs like Foodies, Wilderness, The Big Feastival and Valley Fest) to whet your appetite for balmy days spent in hazy fields.

Alde Valley Spring Festival

21st April- 20th May: Great Glemham, Suffolk

Billed as a ‘four week celebration of art, food, farming and landscape’, the Alde Valley Spring Festival incorporates farm suppers, a Big Spring Picnic, hedgerow food, art and seminars on topics from letter carving to portraiture. Wrap yourself in blankets and warm clothes and make the most of being outside on a Suffolk farm in the springtime.

Camp Quirky

20th-22nd April: Newark, Nottinghamshire

A handmade campervan festival providing inspiration for building your own campervan, as well as workshops and talks (including one from yours truly) on all things van related: how to fit solar panels, the best way to plan your trip and how to take Instagram-worthy photos.

View this post on Instagram

At last year's #CampQuirky I spent half the time wondering around in a daze. I was just bowled over by the beauty and originality of all these conversions. I knew them intimately from the photos but having them there in the flesh was something else… I don't know what I'm going to do with myself this year!!! Here are just a few of the vans you will have the chance to meet in a field in Nottinghamshire… Link to tickets in bio – we've sold more than 80% of them so don't hang around. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ #quirkycampers #vanlifeuk #campervanlife #vanlifemovement #vanlifegathering #vanlifeeurope #ukfestival #ukroadtrip #upcycled #craftsmanship #handmade #diycamper #selfbuild #selfbuilt #alternativeliving #tinyhouse #makersuk #craftsperson #carpenterslife #woodworking #tinyhome #homeonwheels #homeiswhereyouparkit #glampinglife #glampinguk

A post shared by Quirky Campers Campervan Hire (@quirkycampers) on

Ways with Words

6th-16th July: Dartington, Devon

A low-key literary festival near the thriving cultural hub of Totnes (as well as outposts in the Lakes and Suffolk) Ways With Words is a beautifully English book fair, promoting the written and spoken word. Find the Extra Mile there mingling with writers, journalists and other birds of a feather.

Jimmy’s Festival

21st-22nd July: Ipswich, Suffolk

There aren’t many festivals with a butchery workshop (carving never looked so cool), but Jimmy’s does. Celebrating farming, wildlife, music, good food and booze, this family friendly festival is an all-round celebration of modern country life.

River Cottage Festival

25th-26th August: Axminster, Devon

A two-day celebration of great food, masterclasses and children’s activities hosted at the River Cottage HQ. Try windrush willow weaving, foraging or acroyoga, learn how to ferment your own food, or simply prowl the brilliant food stalls and enjoy the music. Find us in the ‘talks’ line-up, where Alastair will be sharing how our celebration of local British food came to life.

View this post on Instagram

Bubbles akimbo #rcfestival #rivercottagefestival

A post shared by River Cottage (@rivercottagehq) on

Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards

25th July: Nantwich, Cheshire

A classic countryside show featuring the *largest cheese show in the world* – 5,500 versions of the stuff – as well as celebrity cookery demos, animal displays, vintage tractors and hundreds of trade stalls.



3rd September: Birmingham

A one day festival in Birmingham bringing together the latest experts in nutrition and wellbeing: intuitive eating, vegan diets, recipe workshops and fitness tasters – talks will inspire while the courtyard street food market satisfies your belly. Very hip.

Ludlow Festival

7th-9th September: Ludlow, Shropshire

180 producers, 40 hours of chef’s demonstrations plus food-related talks, Ludlow’s food festival is a real celebration of local food. We’ll be there in the glorious setting of Ludlow Castle amongst our fellow foodies to talk about The Extra Mile – check the programme when it’s released in July.

Llangollen Food Festival

13th-14th October: Llangollen, Denbighshire

North Wales’ well-established food festival celebrated its 20th birthday last year, one of the first festivals provide a shop window for local producers. Its pretty, quaint setting and devotion to good food (not to mention the pumpkin carving competition) has seen it feature in Top 10 food festival list in both the Independent and Daily Telegraph.

Tagged in
Leave a reply