England’s 2022 Autumn News – Free Events, Food Festivals and New Openings
August 2022: As England’s spectacularly sunny summer draws to a close, autumn brings along a host of new attractions, free events and anniversary celebrations. Here are some of our autumn highlights, from brand new launches, such as foraging retreats in Herefordshire, a science and discovery centre in Merseyside and a Peaky Blinders stage show in London, to regional food festivals focussing on specific produce, such as Lincolnshire sausages, Whitstable oysters and Yorkshire puddings.
Accessible short breaks launched in North York Moors
5 September 2022
The North York Moors Accessibility Project inspires people with accessibility requirements to take short breaks in the North York Moors region, known for its spectacular scenery and centuries of history and heritage. Eight attractions and four accommodation providers have worked with VisitEngland to develop their access and provide disability awareness training for key staff. North York Moors highlights include visiting ruined abbeys, taking a historic train journey and enjoying magnificent gardens. Visitors can explore the area by car, on foot, adapted bike or a tramper, which will be available to hire from four locations in the North York Moors. Accessible accommodation options include the Inn on the Moor Hotel and a range of self-catering cottages which have all been audited by a professional access advisor.
Derby Computer Museum, Derbyshire
Opening autumn / winter 2022
Derby Computer Museum will be opening its doors to the public this autumn. It will showcase mainly pre-1999 computer, gaming and portable technology, and will be based in Irongate, close to Derby Cathedral. Offering a hands-on approach, most exhibits will be accessible, usable and fun, with visitors able to see, touch and use them just as they could do 30 or 40 years ago.
Eureka! Science + Discovery, Merseyside
Opening autumn 2022
This brand-new interactive science and discovery centre on the River Mersey is specially designed with and for inquisitive children aged seven to 14. Building on the immense success of Eureka! in Yorkshire, the Merseyside centre will reimagine a ferry terminal and focus even more on innovation and connecting the everyday with the extraordinary.
The UK’s first CO2 neutral venue and a state-of-the-art vessel, Oceandiva on the River Thames will span across three decks and be powered completely by renewable energy for up to 1,500 guests. Launching in Autumn 2022, the venue will become the largest floating events space on the river. Aside from the glamour, sustainability will remain as the Vessel’s core focus, with fast charging shore based green electricity and smart technology to support carbon emission tracking.
Footprint is a £19.4m initiative telling the story of Bath Abbey’s fascinating history through a brand-new Learning Space, Discovery Centre and a newly refurbished Abbey Shop. The project is creating an inspiring new education space for every keen learner, from schoolchildren right up to mature students. Making the Abbey more sustainable plays as important part too. The brand-new Song School building is already complete and serves as home for the Abbey’s choirs and as a place for visiting musicians to rehearse and be made welcome.
New art exhibitions and stage shows
Lindisfarne Gospels at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle
17 September – 3 December 2022
The Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the world’s greatest treasures, will go on display in Newcastle – the first time the ancient book has been shown in the city since 2000. This ancient book, a landmark loan from the British Library, is the most spectacular manuscript to survive from Anglo-Saxon England. The 518-page Gospels is renowned for its intricate and beautiful decorations, as well as the careful insertion of an Old English translation between the original lines of text in the 10th century. It will be part of an exhibition exploring the book’s relationship with themes of personal, regional and national identity. There will also be a high-profile artist commission to reimagine the Gospels for a 21st-century audience.
Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, London
12 October – 6 November 2022
Inspired by the smash hit show, acclaimed dance company Rambert is bringing Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, to London’s Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre for a limited run this autumn. As featured in the Commonwealth Games 2022 closing ceremony, the production is a captivating dramatisation of the Shelby family. The 20 permanent Rambert dance company will perform physical and athletic dance and a live band playing specially commissioned music. Written by the creator of the international smash hit television series, this new dance/theatre event digs deeper into the story of Thomas Shelby and the Peaky Blinders crew.
The Turner Prize at Tate Liverpool
20 October 2022 – 19 March 2023
After leaving The Herbert Art & Gallery Museum as part of the 2021 Coventry City of Culture celebrations, the Turner Prize, one of the best-known prizes for visual arts in the world, will move to Liverpool. As a hub for contemporary art, Liverpool will proudly welcome the Turner Prize to the Tate Liverpool at the Royal Albert Dock in October 2022.
Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life at Tate St Ives, Cornwall
26 November 2022 – 1 May 2023
This autumn, Tate St Ives will present a landmark retrospective on the iconic British artist Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975). Encompassing almost 50 sculptures, as well as rarely seen drawings, paintings and archival materials, Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life will celebrate one of the most influential sculptors of the twentieth century and the special significance of St Ives on her work. Visitors will also be able to explore the nearby Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Bournemouth Air Festival, Dorset
1 – 4 September 2022
In this historic Platinum Jubilee year, Bournemouth Air Festival will be celebrating her Majesty’s reign by badging this year’s event the Platinum Jubilee Bournemouth Air Festival. As well as the spectacular day and dusk flying displays, there will be plenty going on both on land and at sea to please all tastes and ages. Returning for its second year, the STEM marquee will showcase some of the region’s high-profile companies and experts specialising in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sectors, ready to inspire the next generation.
PoliNations, Victoria Square, Birmingham
2 – 18 September 2022
An immersive forest filled with real and architectural trees will turn a patch in the heart of Birmingham into an oasis of plants, grasses and flowers. It’s a celebration of colour, beauty and natural diversity that tells stories of journeys, movement, dispersal and new roots. Up in the sky giant architectural trees will drink rainwater captured in the canopy, while down on the ground, there’ll be music, spoken word, tours, light shows, design workshops and multi-sensory experiences. Once PoliNations has closed, the remaining plants and saplings will be distributed into the community, contributing to the growth and development of Birmingham’s green spaces.
PoliNations is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and also presented as part of Birmingham 2022 Festival.
Heritage Open Days, various locations
9 – 18 September 2022
Heritage Open Days are a way for everyone to get involved in celebrating England’s rich history of invention, industry and innovation, with free entry to a variety of National heritage locations. This year the Heritage Open Days theme is Astounding Inventions Up-and-down the country, and each participating venue will be inviting guests to explore all that inspires, from the industrial revolution to cutting edge innovations.
National Racehorse Week, various locations
10 – 18 September 2022
National Racehorse Week 2022 will take place in September with venues including training yards, studs and aftercare centres once again opening their doors for free to showcase the fascinating lives that racehorses lead. National Racehorse Week offers hundreds of events taking place up and down the country and is open to all including families and those completely new to racing.
Seafront Soapbox Race, East Sussex
25 September 2022
The second Seafront Soapbox Race takes place on a 350-metre course along Eastbourne seafront. Participants are encouraged to build their own soapbox in order to race each other from Dukes Drive to Helen Gardens. Prizes are (soap)dished out for the fastest and wackiest creations. Spectators are able to watch these creations as they hilariously whizz around corners with the hope of staying in one piece by the time they reach the finish line.
SEE MONSTER, Weston-Super-Mare
SEE MONSTER is a retired rig from the North Sea, reimagined in Weston-Super-Mare to celebrate the great British weather from this iconic seaside town. The offshore platform will be transformed into a huge installation that harnesses energy from the natural elements and reborn at shore in the Tropicana, a former 1930s lido. As a pioneer towards a greener future, SEE MONSTER will explore the concept of inherited structures, be those physical, social, or environmental and will showcase a range of new renewable technologies.
SEE MONSTER is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. Free tickets will be available here.
Autumn food and drink festivals
Taste East Devon Food and Drink Festival, Devon
3 – 18 September 2022
Taking place across the whole of East Devon, the Taste East Devon Food and Drink Festival offers one-off events – some free, some ticketed – across 16 days. All the food and drink greats in the area, including Michael Caines MBE, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, THE PIG-at Combe and many more have come together to throw a festival like no other. Venues will open their doors to host special experiences, including an evening with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, woodfired feastings and vineyard picnics as well as meet the brewer and meet the flour miller events.
Whitstable Oyster Festival, Kent
16 – 18 September 2022
Whitstable has been synonymous with oysters for hundreds of years. The annual Whitstable Oyster Festival will return this year, providing visitors a gourmet seafood experience. To make the festival experience complete, visitors can build a ‘Grotter’, a small dome structure made out of oyster shells – but must remember to put them back, as the shells are crucial in protecting the baby oysters.
Whitby Fish and Ships, Yorkshire
24 – 25 September 2022
The Whitby Fish & Ships Festival is back for 2022 and will celebrate Whitby’s fishing heritage, including cookery demonstrations throughout the weekend in the seafood kitchens on Dock End and Endeavour Wharf. There will be stalls a plenty showcasing local produce, children’s activities and walkabout acts, as well as live music from sea balladeers and shantymen as well as local bands.
RHS Festival of Flavours, various locations
30 September – 23 October 2022
Few things connect people quite like growing plants and cooking, so this autumn the RHS is celebrating both at the new RHS Festival of Flavours, launching this autumn at five RHS gardens – RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford (30 September – 2 October), RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Chelmsford (30 September – 2 October), RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon (1 – 2 October), RHS Garden Wisley in Guildford (12 – 16 October) and RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate (22 – 23 October). The events will bring together growers and chefs, communities and schools, families, foodies and gardeners of all ages and backgrounds.
Pub in the Park, various locations
Looking for a quintessential British pub experience in an outdoor space? Created by the chef Tom Kerridge, Pub in the Park is one of the biggest food and music festivals in the UK. The event will be hosted in Chiswick (2 – 4 September), St. Albans (9 – 11 September) and Brighton (16 – 18 September). Created to celebrate British pubs, the festival brings pubs and restaurant pop-ups, where attendees can grab great drinks and pub food.
The Great British Food Festival, various locations
Created in 2010, The Great British Food Festival has been growing year on year and is now ready to take place in 11 destinations across the UK. The festival showcases bakers from the popular show, The Great British Bake Off, who will bake their recipes on stage and give the audiences tips. There will also be BBQ masterclasses and accessible taster walks to find wild foods. Attendees will enjoy special food experiences, live music, and a variety of food stalls. Hosted in historic buildings, the next editions of the Great British Food Festival in England will be held in Borde Hill, in West Sussex (17 – 18 September) and Arley Hall, in Cheshire (24 – 25 September).
1 – 2 October 2022
The Durham County Cricket Club is staging the Chester-le-EATS food festival bringing more than 40 food, drink and giftware stands, to celebrate the best of the region’s food. There will be live music and food vans outside, featuring cuisines from around the world for visitors to tuck into. Vegans and vegetarians will also be catered for – along with those with a sweet tooth.
East Midlands Food Festival, Leicestershire
1 – 2 October 2022
The East Midlands Food Festival in Melton Mowbray has been running for 19 years and is a showcase of food from across the area and beyond. Famed for its artisan cheese, pies, charcuterie and chocolate products, the event is one of England’s largest regional food festivals. It also hosts cider and beer producers along with spirits companies offering artisan gin and whisky. All of these stands are under cover and so this event can be enjoyed whatever the weather.
Yorkshire Pudding Festival
1 – 2 October 2022
The Yorkshire Pudding Festival is returning to Leeds Dock in October, bringing food stands, bars, craft and charity stalls, cooking demonstrations and bake offs. Live music on the Gravy Stage will keep adults entertained whilst the kids’ activity area ensures entertainment for the whole family. One of the bars will be run by the Yorkshire Pudding Beer Brewery who will be showcasing their Yorkshire Pudding Beer, Yorkshire Pudding Whisky, Yorkshire Pudding and Strawberry Jam Vodka, Yorkshire Pudding and Strawberry Jam Gin, and Yorkshire Pudding Pink Gin.
Gin and Jazz festival, Hertfordshire
7 October 2022
The hugely popular St Albans Gin and Jazz festival is a fantastic showcase for retailers and hospitality venues who open their doors for late night shopping and take to the street with independent stalls. With live Swing Jazz music, fabulous food, and of course- gin bars, this free event is a brilliant buzz for all.
Lincoln Sausage Festival, Lincolnshire
15 October 2022
Each October the Lincoln Sausage Festival celebrates the county's most iconic export – with visitors tucking into more than 30,000 individual sausages on the day. While the 2020 festival took place virtually, and the 2021 event was cancelled, organisers have promised they will be back with a ‘banger’ of an event in 2022. Centred around Lincoln Castle and Castle Hill with a picturesque serving of cobbled streets, it's no surprise that the festival is one of the region's top foodie events.
Hot new accommodation and retreats
Pinewood Park SeaKing Rescue Helicopter overnight stays, Yorkshire
Opened late summer 2022
Glamping game-changer, Pinewood Park, near Scarborough, has become the first place in the UK to offer overnight holidays in SeaKing Rescue Helicopters. There are currently two SeaKing Helicopters which have been converted to Glamping accommodation, one was used in the Falkland Islands and one was flown by Prince William. The choppers were retrieved from scrap and have undergone an extreme makeover to turn them into glamping pods with the cockpit hosting the bedroom area.
Farmstead Lodges, Suffolk
Opens 1 September 2022
A stunning collection of luxury lodges in the heart of the idyllic Suffolk countryside are now available for autumn bookings. Designed as a back-to-nature retreat, the eight luxury self-catering lodges are built from sustainable materials by local craftspeople, featuring handmade kitchens, stylish open plan living rooms with log burners, spacious en-suite bathrooms, and private verandas with outdoor copper bathtubs. The dog-friendly lodges are the perfect base to explore the surrounding countryside, with walks directly on the doorstep including ‘The Wildflower Path’ leading to the picturesque village of Easton, where the quintessential country inn, The White Horse, is the ideal stop for refreshments.
Float and Forage retreats at White House Glamping, Herefordshire
White House Glamping will be offering new Float and Forage stays throughout September for those looking for an early autumn adventure in the Wye Valley. Guests arriving in September can book onto a mellow river stand up paddleboarding adventure with an onsite instructor, before heading off to explore the meadows and woodland with expert forager Chloé to search out mushrooms, sorrel and other wild edibles which can be used for a foraged picnic feast. What’s more, there are apples and blackberry to pick on-site and firepits to warm hands and cook up a feast when the September sun goes down.
Full moon retreats at Ockenden Manor, West Sussex
September and October 2022
Ockenden Manor is a fine Elizabethan manor house with 28 lavishly decorated rooms, outstanding spa and an award-winning restaurant set in eight acres of beautiful grounds overlooking Cuckfield Park. The manor has recently launched a series of full moon retreats to 'rewild your senses' through nature, yoga and meditation. Aimed at connecting with nature and re-balancing, the two-night retreats draw on the therapeutic powers of nature to reduce stress and leave guests with a profound sense of peace. The next full moon retreats are taking place 9 – 11 September and 8 – 10 October, with further dates in summer 2023.
Bike and Boot, Hope Valley, Peak District
Opens 7 November 2022
Since launching their first branch in Yorkshire’s Scarborough, Bike and Boot have announced plans to open a second 60-bedroom hotel in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District’s Hope Valley. After the first location’s success of winning Best Hotel Interior Design of the Year at the Northern Design Awards 2020, the new hotel looks set to be thoughtfully created and designed. An outdoor lovers’ type of hotel company based across the North of England with future sites in the Midlands, Wales, and Scotland, Bike and Boot are relaxed, contemporary and inclusive; so, don’t leave behind your dog, bike or surfboard.
Major events in England
Tour of Britain, various locations
4 – 11 September 2022
The Tour of Britain multi-stage cycling race will return in September for what promises to be a ground breaking 18th modern edition. The race takes place on British roads, and sees participants race across England and Scotland to complete the race in the fastest time. English destinations hosting the tour include County Durham, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Dorset. The tour will become the biggest-ever sporting event to take place on Isle of Wight soil when the race finishes there on Sunday 11 September. In addition, a new cycle path has opened in Nottinghamshire in time for the race which the council hopes will help connect people to the popular Holme Pierrepont Country Park. While spectators can watch all the action by the roadside for free, race day hospitality packages offer guaranteed prime views of stage starts and finishes, complete with fine dining experiences.
Rugby League World Cup, England
15 October and 19 November 2022
After postponement, Rugby League’s best athletes will be back for the RLWC2021 tournament, taking place in Newcastle’s St James Park as well as the final at Manchester’s Old Trafford in 2022. For the first time ever, men’s, women’s, and wheelchair tournaments will take place simultaneously, making this an important and all-inclusive event. Eight fixtures will also take place at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
World Gymnastics Championships 2022, Liverpool
29 October – 6 November 2022
A show like never before on Liverpool’s waterfront, more than 500 of the world’s best gymnasts from 75 countries will compete at the M&S Bank Arena for the 51st FIG artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Across a full range of artistic gymnastic disciplines, each gymnast will perform to be crowned world champion and qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Bonfire Night, nationwide
5 November 2022
Britain’s night skies light up with blazing bonfires and sparkling fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. This unique British tradition, also known as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night, celebrates the foiling of the infamous Gunpowder Plot – a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November 1605. It’s celebrated across Britain and most towns and cities host their own bonfire nights. Some of the most spectacular take place in Sheffield, Lewes and Battle in Sussex, Leeds Castle in Kent, Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, Segedunum Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall and Ottery St Mary in Devon.
40 years of the Yorkshire Wolds Way
2 October 2022
2022 marks 40 years since the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail officially opened, on 2 October 1982. The 79-mile walking route, through the picturesque chalk landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds, stretches from the Humber estuary to the dramatic headland of Filey Brigg. Plans to mark the milestone include a guide to ‘40 things to do for the 40th anniversary’ from Visit East Yorkshire. The anniversary arrives not long after the news that the Yorkshire Wolds could soon become one of Britain’s newest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
40th anniversary of the raising of The Mary Rose, Portsmouth
11 October 2022
2022 marks 40 years since millions watched BBC TV’s live broadcast of The Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s warship, being raised from the Solent, more than 400 years after she sank in 1545. Since then, her remains have been on display within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. A new immersive experience, Experience 1545 – When their world ended, opened in summer 2021.
100 years of the BBC
2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the BBC. No other broadcaster in the world has had such a diverse, exciting and long history. There are plenty of interactive ways to celebrate the anniversary across England and be a part of BBC iconic programming. Learn of the journey from 1920s BBC to today’s innovative network and how Manchester has played a part in it with 100 years of the BBC at The Science and Industry Museum (now – February 2023). In London, you can step foot into a famed programme with The Game is Now, Sherlock The Official Live Game, the hybrid immersive experience, escape room and detective themed bar or follow the rise and the fall of the family with Peaky Blinder’s: The Rise, an immersive theatre production.
100th anniversary of the discover of Tutankhamun’s tomb
In November 1922, Howard Carter and Highclere Castle 5th Earl of Carnarvon discovered the Tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh. Highclere Castle’s Egyptian Exhibition explores the journey to this incredible discovery.
Explore more England events with VisitEngland’s upcoming events listings.
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