15 unmissable August bank holiday 2023 events
Find things to do on this August bank holiday 2023
With a swathe of bank holidays behind us, you're probably looking forward to the next long weekend (we definitely are!). 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.
Check out the Government's Help for Household's interactive map, which shows you even more fun and affordable things to do this summer, up to early September.
August bank holiday 2023 events: Malton Food Lovers Festival
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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Victorious Festival
Returning to Southsea Common this August (25 - 27) is one of the most beautifully located festivals in the UK, Victorious Festival. Friday night will see headliner Jamiroquai joined by Pete Tong and Friendly Fires, while the likes of Kasabian, Belle and Sebastian and Kaiser Chiefs 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Hereford River Carnival
Hereford River Carnival is bringing the seaside to this year’s event with its theme Make Waves. Taking place over the bank holiday weekend, 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: International Beatleweek
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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Manchester Pride
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 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill, London
The streets of Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove will come alive one more 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Kynren
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 26 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Foodies Festival
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 cooks and you’ll get a chance to meet Master Chef stars too. 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 Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Scouting for Girls.Find more things to do in Oxford
August bank holiday 2023 events: Ramsgate Festival of Sound
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 at the end of August (exact dates tbc), 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: Gone Wild Festival
Fancy starting your day with stand-up paddleboarding and ending it singing along to noughties bands? Then you’ll love Exeter’s Gone Wild Festival from 24 to 27 August 2023. 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 Sugar Babes and Feeder. 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
August bank holiday 2023 events: All About Dogs
All About Dogs, landing at Norfolk Showground on 27 and 28 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
Kids Week at London Theatres
Take the kids to see a huge variety of London musicals, plays, comedies and children’s shows during Kid’s Week, running from 17 to 31 August – for free! A child aged 17 or under can go to any show for free (where tickets are available) as long as they’re accompanied by a full paying adult. You can also buy up to two extra children’s tickets at half price and what’s more, there are no booking fees. With shows including the award-winning Jersey Boys, Wicked, Grease, Mrs Doubtfire: The Musical and The Wizard of Oz, all your family have to do is choose which one – or even three – they want to see.Book now
Kirklees Year of Music - Bands in the Park
Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Throughout August, you can enjoy the magic of live music for free across Kirklees’ many beautiful parks. As part of the Kirklees Year of Music celebration, the programme runs until 28 August, with over 30 concerts taking place across Kirklees. Whether you live for brass bands or jazz and blues, pack a picnic and your folding chairs to join a friendly local community for these free concerts.See what’s happening in Kirklees
Return of the Gods at World Museum
With new TV show Percy Jackson and the Olympians coming to Disney+ next year, it’s never too late for you or too early for budding mythology fans to explore the lives, loves and legacy of the Ancient Greek and Roman gods, and how they shaped everyday life. The exhibition features a stunning collection of over 100 sculptures and objects never displayed together before, that will immerse you in the ancient world and the heroes of the time. And with adult tickets costing just £8 and kids under 17 getting in for free, why not make it a family occasion? Running until 25 February 2024.Buy tickets
The Smashies: England vs Australia, Royal Armouries Museum
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Forget rugby and cricket – England is taking on Australia in a medieval-style jousting tournament for honour and trophies (and international bragging rights, naturally) this August bank holiday weekend. Your free ticket also includes entry to national museum of arms and armour, but make sure to pre-book due to limited capacity. Running from 26 to 28 August.Book now
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
• Groove along to unique Cornish and Celtic folk music at Wadebridge’s Cornwall Folk Festival, from 24 to 28 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 24 and 28 August.
• Epsom Downs welcomes adults and kids alike for their bank holiday Family Fun Day on 28 August, with plenty of free entertainment for the little ones, alongside the horseracing.
• The monster 11-day All Points East Festival returns to Victoria Park in London from 18 Aug – 28 Aug 2023, with Stormzy and Haim headlining.
• Let the kids run free around the grassy grounds of Lincolnshire’s Tattershall Castle; a perfect location to enjoy fun outdoor activities in the sun (and rain!) with the Summer of Play.
• Join one of the Liverpool Biennial 2023 curatorial team to go behind the scenes of ‘uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things’ on
• Follow the Sculpture Trail at Shrewsbury Castle until 31 August as part of the Shrewsbury Arts Trail to see the surrealist works of Salvador Dali and local artist Jacob Chandle.
• Ex-Blur bassist-turned farmer Alex James throws open the gates to his farm in Worthing, Oxfordshire for the Big Feastival from 25 to 27 August, where spectacular dishes are served alongside fantastic tunes.
• Embrace your inner Mary Poppins at the Bognor Regis International Kite Festival from 26 -28 August.
• Celebrate Dover’s LGBTQ+ community on 26 August at Dover Pride. With a parade through the centre of Dover, there’ll be music, live entertainment and a market to enjoy.
• Bring your sunglasses and trainers for the Wide Eyes: Bank Holiday Bass Carnival at Bristol’s famed Lakota Nightclub and Gardens on 27 August.
• Shop for one of a kind pieces at the two-day Summer Bank Holiday Craft and Gift fair at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, running on 27 and 28 August.
• “Splosh” your way around Leeds with the little ones to spot 35 giant bear sculptures hidden in plain sight around the city, inspired by Michael Rosen’s best-loved children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Running until 9 September.
• Calling all Paddington fans; head to Blenheim Palace to meet your favourite characters from the stories and movies; there’s even a chance to hop onto a real locomotive! Running until 3 September.