By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
UK festivals aren’t always about standing out in a field with mud flowing over your wellies, hoping the British weather stays in check. There are a range of laid-back, cultural festivals on offer across the country and here some of our top picks.
For music and comedy lovers: Henley Festival
The UK’s only black tie and most extravagant music festival returns this year from September 15th to 18th with headliners including Sophie Ellis-Bextor, James Blunt, Sister Sledge, Madness and Yolanda Brown, comedy from Al Murray, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi and many more, jazz music, world music, classical music as well as food from Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett MBE and Jimmy Garcia.
This is an event like no other – think Glastonbury meets the Great Gatsby! Henley Festival is situated alongside the river Thames in Oxfordshire, with attendees arriving by boat, fireworks every night and a family friendly day on Sunday. This is the perfect way to get dressed up to celebrate the end of the summer, plus it’s only one hour from London!
Headliners include Sophie Ellis-Bextor, James Blunt, Sister Sledge, Madness and Yolanda Brown with comedy from Al Murray, Milton Jones, Shappi Khorsandi and many more
For book lovers: DESIblitz Literature Festival
Leading the way for diversity in publishing, the DESIblitz Literature Festival takes place in Birmingham from September 18th to October 1st and showcases the literary talents of British South Asian writers. Not only that, but the festival has several workshops and schemes to help encourage more young British South Asian writers to get into publishing. With some of the UK’s biggest names in writing including Nikesh Shukla, Sarfraz Manzoor, Sathnam Sanghera and Imtiaz Dharker.
This is the perfect book fest for readers who really care about equality in the arts, levelling up, and want to discover new and exciting writers across genres including children’s fiction, romance, crime, sci-fi, memoir, history, politics and so much more.
DESIblitz Literature Festival has several workshops and schemes to help encourage more young British South Asian writers to get into publishing
For art lovers: The Arts Society’s UK wide celebration of History of Art
This September more than 100,000 people from across the country will attend over 400 history of art lectures hosted by The Arts Society celebrating art, culture, education and an end to lockdown. Events will be taking place across the country from Cornwall to Cheshire and from London to Lancashire. Artists and topics covered by some of the planned lectures include Banksy, Grayson Perry, The Bayeux Tapestry, Caravaggio, Manet, Holbein as well as Histories of Canals, Wallpaper and Diamonds, to name just a few.
Particularly popular with the over 50s, The Arts Society is inviting non-members to attend all of its events for free this Autumn and is also encouraging membership of the country’s leading arts education charity, that helps its members to expand their minds, celebrate the arts and make new friends. The Arts Society is a vital opportunity for those who are isolated or who live alone to connect with likeminded people and make new friends through a shared passion for the arts.
Events will be taking place across the country from Cornwall to Cheshire and from London to Lancashire
For wilderness and wellbeing lovers: Wilderlands Festival x Wild Weekends
Wilderlands is hosting a series of family-friendly Wild Weekends, where people of all ages can come together and spend time in nature, creating a deeper connection to our landscape, flora and fauna, and supporting both our mental and physical wellbeing. The events will take place every weekend from May 21st to September 19th at a stunning campsite in the beautiful woodlands of Chiddinglye, West Sussex, where the forests and wild meadows are brimming with wildlife.
In addition to live music, a woodland spa, stunning country walks, an ethical clothing boutique, wild nature and a craft brewery on site, world-leading teachers, speakers, musicians and foragers will also be invited to take part in these magical weekends.
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