Fun, food and frights, autumn offers some of the UK’s most fascinating, fun, tasty and unusual celebrations. Here are 8 of the most amazing festivals to enjoy this autumn
If you’re an architecture aficionado, or a beer drinker…or both, then Manchester’s Indy Man Beer Convention is the festival for you. Held in the Grade II listed, tiled beauty of Victoria Baths on Hathersage Road, it’s probably your only chance to drink craft beer in an empty and exquisitely elegant Edwardian swimming pool.
This celebration of the golden drop has been described as intimate, exciting and forward-thinking and showcases beers from the best breweries in the UK, Europe and the USA.
The town of Greenock lies west of Glasgow, in the Scottish lowlands. For two days, every October its streets revive the traditional celebration of Galoshans. Galoshans is the Scots words for ‘guising’ in which people in the west of Scotland would visit each other’s houses at the end of October to perform a play and perhaps enjoy a ‘treat’ if well received.
It’s been credited with originating the American tradition of trick or treating. This year look forward to music, dance, visual arts and street theatre from all over Europe and a Halloween Parade with prizes for your wee ones!
Every November the romantic university city of Cambridge hosts 12 days of live jazz music. Though perhaps not best known for its jazz scene, the genre thrives in all its guises here. The UK jazz scene is thriving, and Cambridge Jazz festival organisers are keen to encourage a new audience and nurture young talent.
Musicians from around the corner, the country and the world have been invited to perform in the city. Expect more ‘out-there’ performances such as jazz poetry, hip hop and gypsy jazz plus big bands and solo artists.
It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, a festival that’s all about mountains. Enjoy films, exhibitions, sports events and top brand equipment. Plus there’s a load of beer and music thrown in, all against the beautiful backdrop of the southern Lakes.
The festival aims to ‘inspire more people to explore, enjoy and represent mountains, wilderness and their cultures.’ This year they’ll be showing 70 films, with an international film competition, high profile premieres and lectures from guest speakers. And, if the weather holds, why not strike further into the National Park to experience some mountain magic for yourself.
On the southern edge of the South Downs National Park the small National Trust village of Slindon hides a big autumnal secret. For more than 20 years its tiny festival, free to all, has charmed and surprised visitors. The Upton family make amazing art from a vast array of gourds and squashes in remarkable colours; rich reds and oranges, to yellows through to blue hues.
The highlight is the huge picture designed entirely from pumpkins and laid out on their barn roof. Previous depictions have celebrated Cinderella, spitfires, dinosaurs and more!
Transporting children into weird and wonderful realms, teaching kids to count or lulling them to sleep; children’s books play a huge role in young lives. Bath Children’s Literature Festival aims to entertain and get kids really excited about reading!
The festival has featured some of the most famous children’s authors and illustrators, including Jacqueline Wilson, Julia Donaldson and Neil Gaiman. Expect inspiring readings, crafts, games and, if your child’s favourite author is there, a queue for an autograph!
Beginning the festivities with a big bang at its Friday night firework display, the Gwledd Conwy Feast celebrates the best of Wales’ food, music and arts. Marquees resound all weekend with the best music North Wales has to offer. There are cookery demonstrations, entertainment and the most delicious super-fresh, super-local food, such as Conwy mussels, lobsters from the Great Orme headland and charcuterie and cheeses.
Add beers, wines and a new Welsh drinks bar and you’ve definitely got a feast on your hands! The setting is cracking too – a medieval castle and picturesque harbour beside the beautiful Conwy Estuary.
The nights are drawing in and word turns to tales of spooks and sprites and Halloween. So, what better time to prowl around some of the UK’s premier museums, galleries historic buildings and heritage sights…after lights out? The Museums at Night festival is being celebrated all over Britain, in many different ways.
Learn about the art of preserving anatomical specimens in Edinburgh, enjoy Halloween in Haworth at the Bronte Parsonage Museum