Herald the coming of spring with a real old English knees-up

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Marsden welcomes the cuckoo back to rural West Yorkshire with traditional English dancing, music and sunshine at the Marsden Cuckoo Festival in April.

The cuckoo is a herald of spring and is celebrated in an ancient festival at Marsden – a village set within the steep-sided Pennine Valley within the National Trust’s stunning Marsden Moor Estate. There’s plenty to see, including: a colourful procession; a craft fair; a maypole and morris dancing; a mixture of street entertainment; duck races; storytelling and lots more!

Of course, the highlight is the cuckoo parade, which historically takes place on the final Saturday of April (which falls on 27 April this year). Local residents parade down the high street with colourful ribbons and hand-crafted puppets, backed by musicians and dancers - it's quite a unique sight!

Elsewhere in Marsden, you’ll find delicious local produce, quirky independent shops, and a great atmosphere. And, once you’ve had your fill of the happy bustle in the village, take a walk on the Marsden Moor estate to find remains of a Roman road and packhorse trails, the Standedge Canal Tunnel and Visitor Centre, plus other reminders of the area’s industrial past.

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Cuckoo procession Marsden Cuckoo FestivalCuckoo procession Marsden Cuckoo Festival © David Preston
A child at Marsden Cuckoo FestivalA child at Marsden Cuckoo Festival © David Preston
A procession at the Marsden Cuckoo FestivalA procession at the Marsden Cuckoo Festival © David Preston

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