Find things to do on this August bank holiday
With a swathe of bank holidays behind us, you might be looking forward to the next long weekend (we definitely are!) and all the fun things that come with it. Love tucking into tacos, tartiflette and tiramisu in one sitting or can’t wait to sport your most sparkly gear and wellies as you two-step along to live bands at a music festival by the sea? Whatever you fancy doing with your August bank holiday, we’ve got an event for you.
Malton, North Yorkshire
Missed out on the Jubilee weekend event? Don’t despair, Malton Food Lovers Festival is back in full swing over the August bank holiday weekend. Set on the streets of Yorkshire’s foodie capital, this three-day culinary celebration is all about Yorkshire’s finest produce. Over 150 artisan stalls and street food vendors take over the village while celebrity chefs show off their skills in demo tents and live music – from buskers to brass bands – provides the soundtrack to all that eating. There are funfair rides too, but maybe go on those before you eat!Find more foodie breaks
Returning to Southsea Common this August is one of the most beautifully located festivals in the UK, Victorious Festival. Friday night will see Primal Scream and Self Esteem joined by headliners Stereophonics, while the likes of Paolo Nutini, Sam Fender and the original Sugababes trio take to the outdoor stages overlooking the sea on the Saturday and Sunday. It’s not all about the music though – you’ll be able to belly laugh along to your favourite comedic acts, have a tinker on the keys of the Piano Tree or test out tricks at Southsea Skate Park. There’s plenty to do for kids too, from dance troupes and mini discos to circus workshops and meet and greets with their favourite TV characters.
Day tickets are available as well as weekend camping tickets, with offsite pitching at Farlington Fields.Find more things to do in Portsmouth
Hereford River Carnival is bringing the seaside to this year’s event with its theme Make Waves. Taking place on 26 and 27 August, the county’s biggest (and free) community event will see masses of mucking about on the river, old-fashioned games and plenty of music, myth and legend. You can expect to see costumed locals floating down the Wye on a decorated float, torchlit processions, live music, theatre, dance and storytelling. With tons of vendors dotted about, you’ll also be able to try out the region’s finest food and drink too.Find more things to do in Herefordshire
If you’re in Liverpool over the August bank holiday weekend, be sure to check out the exhibitions, talks and live music by cover bands from over 20 countries at International Beatleweek. This annual festival celebrates the music of the most famous pop group in the world, in the city where it all began. Head to The Cavern Club, the Marina Yacht Club and the Philharmonic Hall to sing along to Jude, All You Need Is Love and Yellow Submarine, and lots, lots more.Find more things to do in Liverpool
Manchester, Greater Manchester
Rocking rainbow-flag capes and glittery face art (biodegradable, please!), join a loud and proud celebration of LGBTQ+ people, culture and expression at Manchester Pride. Taking place over the summer bank holiday weekend, there’ll be a variety of events – some free, some ticketed – dedicated to queer people and their allies. Choose from the lively outdoor Gay Village Party, family-friendly festivities centred around fun, wellness and learning (no one’s ever too young to celebrate here) and a candlelit vigil to honour those who have been lost to HIV and AIDs. The highlight of the weekend though is The Parade, a colourful procession of thousands of people marching together for equality.Find more things to do in Manchester
Notting Hill, London
The streets of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove will come alive again for the first time since 2019 when Notting Hill Carnival returns over the August bank holiday weekend. This world-famous Caribbean party is Europe’s biggest street festival and sees elaborate floats alongside thousands of colourfully costumed performers and energetic steel bands dance, shimmy and sing their way around this pocket of west London. Jam along to Mas, Soca and Calypso music and try traditional Caribbean dishes like Jamaican jerk chicken, Trinidadian roti or Guyanese Pepper Pot from one of the tempting food stalls along the route. There’ll be live music and DJs too, and plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy.Find more things to do in London
Bishop Auckland, County Durham
Reserve your spot at one of the last of this year’s performances of Kynren, an epic tale of England brought to life in a dazzling outdoor spectacular. Taking place on 27 August, you’ll get to immerse yourself in two thousand years of history, from Boudicca to the Vikings at Flatts Farm in Bishop Auckland. The spellbinding family-friendly show is full of thrilling choreography, stunts, jaw-dropping equestrianism, special effects and pyrotechnics and is sure to have you laughing, gasping and with plenty of goosebumps.
If you want to make a day of it, be sure to book a pre-show at Arches Hall. You’ll enjoy a three-course set menu (including wine for the grown-ups) paired with views of Auckland Castle.Find more things to do in Durham
South Park, Oxfordshire
If you like your dumplings with a side of nostalgic 90s pop music, then Oxfordshire’s Foodies Festival is the one for you this August bank holiday weekend. Dig into delicious drinks and tasty street food from around the world, sample wines, champagnes and cocktails and catch a glimpse of MasterChef champions and Michelin-starred legends cooking up signature summer recipes. There’ll be appearances from celebrity chefs like Paul Welburn and you’ll even get a chance to meet the Great British Bake Off’s Jurgen Krauss. If you fancy learning how to make show-stopping sweet treats, head to The Cake & Bake Theatre, or simply find a spot to sit and enjoy performances from Toploader and Natalie Imbruglia.Find more things to do in Oxford
Celebrating the history, landscapes, architecture and people of Ramsgate, the Ramsgate Festival of Sound is a highlight of the seaside town’s summertime calendar. Taking place between 26 August and 4 September, the festival will feature an array of talks, workshops, discos, plays and musical theatre alongside its signature Sonic Trail, a route around town that will showcase a stellar line-up of art and sound installations in stunning Ramsgate locations.Find more things to do in Kent
Fancy starting your day with stand-up paddleboarding and ending it singing along to The Script? Then you’ll love Exeter’s Gone Wild Festival. Held at Powderham Castle, this family-oriented festival is brought to you by Bear Grylls, so expect heaps of adventure. Fight for your honour in the Nerf combat arena, race your mates through an obstacle course or learn a range of survival skills like fire lighting and shelter building – all of which are made even better when you know that they’re included in the ticket price. On top of all of that, there are silent discos (to hopefully tire the little ones out), yoga classes for the adults and live music from the likes of Ella Eyre and The Darkness. The question is, will you be able to channel your inner Bear Grylls by munching on mealworms and scorpions at the Gross Eat Station?Find more things to do in Devon
All About Dogs, landing at Norfolk Showground on 28 and 29 August, is full of fun for both cuddly canines and their humans. Catch exciting arena displays, get some expert doggy advice, do some shopping for your pooch and even enter your furry family member into one of almost 50 classes of fun dog shows for a chance to win a rosette. The real fun, though, is the myriad of activities designed purely for the pooches, including lure racing, flyball, hurdles and dock diving (just to warn you, they will get wet!).
The event also has dog-friendly camping facilities, so you don’t have to worry yourself over the thought of a long journey.Find more things to do in Norfolk
Tarrant Hinton, Dorset
Roll up, roll up – the Great Dorset Steam Fair is back once again between 25 and 29 August. Said to be the world’s largest heritage event showcasing Britain’s industrial, agricultural and leisure history, this time-travelling fair is truly one of a kind. Catch a glimpse of age-old steaming giants being put through their paces, watch authentic Victorian variety shows, admire the fabulous showman’s steam engine line-up and explore the largest travelling fairground of its type in the UK, where many of the rides are powered by show-stopping steam engines.Find more things to do in Dorset
Even more bank holiday events
Fancy doing something a little different this August bank holiday? Ditch the norm and check out these traditional and quirky events happening over the weekend instead:
• Try not to get wet as you watch local clubs splash up and down the river trying to score goals at Bourton-on-the-Water’s historic Football in the River event, held on the bank holiday Monday
• Travel back in time to experience medieval military life and see rival knights show off their strength and skills at the Dover Castle Knights’ Tournament, between 27 and 29 August
• Venture into Bikini Bottom or explore The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ underground lair at The Nickelodeon Experience, based at Hertfordshire’s Knebworth House from 14 to 27 August
• Groove along to unique Cornish and Celtic folk music at Wadebridge’s Cornwall Folk Festival, from 26 to 29 August
• Uncover Victorian villainy, listen to Conan Doyle by Candlelight and dress to impress for the Asylum Gala Ball at Lincoln’s legendary Asylum Steampunk Festival, taking place between 26 and 29 August
• Don your best tailored suit, hop on your scooter and head down to the spiritual home of the Mods for a bank holiday filled with jazz, ska and soul at the Brighton Mod Weekender between 25 and 29 August
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