Parades, live music and, yes, food galore! The warmer weather’s finally on its way and it’s just in time for a whole host of outdoor food festivals.
Not a foodie? Don’t worry, it’s not all about nibbles and cooking! These food festivals are jam-packed with activities to entertain everyone you’re visiting with. Funfairs, arts and crafts stalls and even learning bushcraft skills should help to occupy both restless little ones and parents!
Get those empty tummies at the ready and feast to your heart’s content at one of these fantastic UK food festivals.
Whitstable Oyster Festival
When: 22nd – 31st July 2016
Where: Whitstable, Kent
Highlight: Eating oysters by the sea
Watch the wonderful parade as everyone marches from the harbour to the charming High Street, wolf down as many oysters as you can in the oyster-eating competition, and enjoy live entertainment at this bustling seaside festival. Don’t forget to dip your toes in the sea!
Whilst you’re there…Try the Tasting Menu at Michelin-starred The Sportsman in Seasalter (Make sure you book in advance as it tends to get booked up in very quickly!)
When: 5th – 7th August 2016
Where: West Dean, Sussex
Highlight: There’s over 100 chilli-themed stalls to explore
Held on the South Downs National Park, this lively festival focuses on all things chilli! Taste different varieties, buy plants to grow your own chillis at home, and sample every chilli-infused dish you can think of, from chocolate to beer! Don’t miss the on-site glasshouses that grow chillies – there’s over 250 varieties there!
There’s also plenty to occupy anyone who’s not a fan of fiery flavours! Visit the vintage funfair, watch chefs create mouthwatering chilli recipes, or while away hours listening to live music.
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
When: 20th – 21st August 2016
Where: Sandown, Isle of Wight
Highlight: Garlic-flavoured ice cream
Did you know that the Isle of Wight is famed for its garlic farms? Pop along to this brilliant festival and learn about all things garlic! (And don’t worry, there’s more to eat than just cloves of garlic!)
Try a nibble of garlic fudge, watch TV chefs in action in the Food Theatre, visit the funfair, and don’t miss the festival arena – it’s jam-packed with events to make little ones and big kids grin from ear-to-ear!
Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival
When: 3rd – 4th September 2016
Where: Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch
Highlight: The McIntosh Haggis Eating Competition
Perched on the banks of the breathtaking Loch Lomond, this large food festival is a feast for the senses! There’s outdoor activities, food and drink stalls, and entertainment that both children and adults can take part it.
Try your hand at foraging for food and learn bushcraft skills, listen to live music, and let little ones take part in the children’s cookery classes.
Think you can eat 1lb of haggis? Make sure you register for the McIntosh Haggis Eating Competition!
Ludlow Food Festival
When: 9th – 11th September 2016
Where: Ludlow, Shropshire
Highlight: The Sausage Trail!
Nestled inside the spectacular Ludlow Castle are over 180 stalls with local foods and drinks waiting to be tasted! This family-friendly festival has plenty to keep everyone busy, with events including cookery activities for little ones, demonstrations from top chefs and tasting masterclasses.
And the sausage trail? Taste the sausage recipes created by local butchers especially for the festival, vote for your favourite, and you’ll be rewarded with your favourite sausage in a bap!
Manchester Food & Drink Festival
When: 29th September – 10th October 2016
Highlight: Taking in Manchester’s eclectic architecture as you wander the city
From street food stalls to a wine festival and live music, this urban food festival has an action-packed programme. It’s spread across the city centre, so it’s a perfect opportunity to explore Manchester and wander past some of its architectural gems.
Whilst you’re there… Head to Teacup Kitchen to try one of their mouthwatering cakes. Warm, welcoming and always filled with tea-lovers nibbling the excellent cakes, this café is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. Delight little ones with a giant slice of Rainbow Cake and don’t miss the moreish Pistachio Cake.
Where else should we visit this summer? Let us know in the comments below!