Blackpool Illuminations, Lancashire: 31 August – 4 November
Edwardian Blackpool lit up the night sky to celebrate the town’s first royal visit. Since then, seasonal visitors have been treated to a dazzling light show. Today, more than a million bulbs flash, sparkle and twinkle along Blackpool’s famous promenade from the end of August until November.
One of the best ways to experience the lights is to take one of the heritage trams along the seafront. Be sure to book early though as the tours are very popular.
Broadstairs Food Festival, Kent: 28 September – 30 September
Local, award-winning produce, live demonstrations and much much more on the Kent coast. Overlooking the sandy Viking’s Bay, this globetrotting gastronomic event allows you to sample an extensive choice of cuisines including Italian, Thai, Chinese and British with stunning sea views.
These and more can be found in and around the town. Live demonstrations by local restaurateurs, students and tutors from the local college are held in the Kitchen Theatre.
Scarborough Jazz Festival: 28 – 30 September
A very high standard of jazz performed in a seaside setting, there’s much to enjoy at Scarborough’s autumn Jazz Festival.
Taking place over the last weekend in September there’s a packed programme of performances with soloists, combos, stage fillers and much more.
Slindon Pumpkin Festival, West Sussex: October to November
Slindon, a National Trust village near Arundel in West Sussex, plays host to a celebration of gourds and squashes. Each year the Upton family create an enormous artwork entirely from pumpkins displayed proudly on their barn.
The village also offers fantastic walking opportunities having the South Downs on its doorstep as well as the enchanting Slindon woods.
Nottingham Goose Fair: 4 – 8 October
One of Nottingham’s oldest traditions, dating back to the 13th century. Legend has it that it that Goose Fair got its name from the hundreds of geese, which were once driven from Lincolnshire to Nottingham to be sold.
This family favourite offers over 500 attractions so There’s always something for everyone to enjoy, including the Fair’s ‘famous’ mushy peas!
Cheltenham Literature Festival, Gloucestershire: 5-14 October
Started in 1949, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the oldest of its kind in the world. Early in October, Cheltenham is transformed as more than 600 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians and poets take part in a festival designed to celebrate the written word.
Comprising nearly 500 workshops, debates and interviews there is also the Book It! Festival running alongside aimed at families and young readers
Lincoln Sausage Festival: 13 October
Taking place in and around Lincolnshire Castle, be prepared to be amazed at the wonderful flavours available especially the local Lincolnshire sausages that have a very precise list of ingredients
There are many recipe and cooking demonstrations taking place during the day so everyone from the novice to the sausage connoisseur is catered for. Of course if you’d rather savour the sausages cooked fresh on your cottage BBQ, there are many stalls selling all sorts.
Newcastle/Gateshead Juice Festival: 20-28 October
The Juice Festival, held in and around the Newcastle and Gateshead area, runs all half-term week and is organised by children, for children. There’s a wide range of performances, film screenings and workshops designed to entertain and inspire visitors of all ages.
Graffiti artists make their mark on the Juice Art Jam, one of the UK’s longest graffiti walls. There are comic and manga workshops, exhibits and loads more events using theatre and dance to demonstrate how global and domestic issues affect young people.
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Festival, Somerset: 4 Nov
Ever heard of squibbing? Back in the beginning of the 1600s the people of Somerset took effigies of Guy Fawkes to be burnt after the foiled Gunpowder plot, giving rise to this long-standing carnival.
Over 100 floats accompany music and dancing along the parade route through the streets of Bridgwater. The procession ends with squibbing where hundreds of fireworks on sticks are held aloft and lit en masse firing showers of sparks high into the air.
Hay-on-Wye Winter Food Festival, Brecknockshire, Wales: 24 Nov
Hay-on-Wye’s one-day Food Festival is limited to just 50 local producers to ensure the quality is the best. Entertainment from local brass bands, male voice choirs and folk musicians accompany the fine food on offer.
Approaching its 10th year, this fledgling food festival is growing in leaps and bounds
Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Powys: 26-27 Nov
The Royal Welsh Winter Fair has become one of the most popular on the British agricultural show circuit. Farmers and livestock producers from all over the UK compete over two days for the ultimate accolade.
Apart from the livestock, Welsh food producers showcase their produce and Christmas shoppers can explore the hundreds of trade stands, demonstrations and exhibitions and festive atmosphere. Complete with a free fireworks display on the Monday evening, The Royal Welsh Winter Fair is not to be missed!