Things to do this weekend: A secret gin garden
and a liquorice festival

by Katie Rowe

Category: Weekend ideas
July 8 2015

From slurping oysters in Dorset to a bat walk amongst ancient oaks, here’s our pick of what to do this weekend. Find more ideas for this weekend on, a pioneering website where local travel experts around England are sharing hidden gems, top events and special offers as we speak.

Soak up sea views while slurping on oysters and champagne in Dorset

While the day away scoffing seafood at Weymouth Harbour © Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival

The Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival will roll out its lengthy spread of fine wine, fragrant seafood, family entertainment and food stalls along Weymouth’s pretty-as-a-picture harbour this Saturday and Sunday. Soak up the sea air and sample some Pommery champagne tasting, watch celebrity chefs cooking up a storm and place your bid at fresh fish auctions. Don’t forget to check out more than 80 food and drink stalls stacked with tempting local produce too.

Go in search of nocturnal critters in Sherwood Forest

Keep an eye out for Pipistrelle Bats in Sherwood Forest come sundown © Meneer Zjeroen

When the sun sets, the silvery moon lights up Sherwood Forest’s leafy canopy, making it the perfect time to join a bat walk. Join a ranger on an evening walk this Saturday to learn more about the bats that inhabit this ancient forest. If you’re having trouble spotting them, the ranger will be on hand to help you catch a glimpse of these nocturnal critters as they scan the night sky for insects, including Pipistrelle Bats who can devour over 3,000 midges a night! Places are limited so make sure you pre-book.

Sip your way through Birmingham’s buzzing cocktail scene

Discover a secret gin garden at Lost & Found this weekend © 2013 Paul Arthur

Build your own Brummy Mary, join free tastings, swot up on the wonders of whisky at a masterclass and discover a hidden gin garden behind a bookcase at Birmingham Cocktail Weekend from Friday to Sunday. Along with a host of events, you’ll be able to sample signature cocktails at the coolest bars across the city for a discount price. Simply buy a wristband for £6 and get in on the boozy action, responsibly of course.

Relive your childhood devouring allsorts and strawberry laces in West Yorkshire

Tuck into old favourites in West Yorkshire © JonoTakesPhotos

Those with a sweet tooth will be in confectionary heaven at the Pontefract Liquorice Festival. Chomp your way through Pontefract cakes, Catherine wheels and strawberry laces as well as some more unusual offerings like liquorice beer, pies and fudge from candy-striped market stalls sprawled across the town centre. There’ll also be ‘allsorts’ of street entertainment, family workshops, magic shows.

Experience a quirky countryside custom in the spa town of Buxton

Celebrate the weird and wonderful art of well dressing in Buxton © Donald Judge

Experience the weird and wonderful world of well dressing at Carnival Day on Saturday, the dazzling finale of the Buxton Well Dressing Festival. The custom of adorning wells with decorative petal designs began in 1840 and continues to add its eccentric mark to the resplendent spa town of Buxton to this very day. This year marks 175 years since it began so expect more outlandish designs than ever before and a huge parade jostling along the town’s streets, and don’t miss the ever-popular rubber duck race along the River Derwent.

Make the most of your weekend...













Katie Rowe

Customer survey …

VisitEngland would like to invite you to take part in a short survey about our website.

It should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Please click here to be taken to the survey

To add items to favourites …

… you need to be logged in.

If you already have an account, log in.

Or register a

Access your account

Enter your e-mail address or username.
Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.
Forgot your password? Recover your account
Don't have an account? Register an account