Events in spring
England’s springtime festivals and events come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional country fetes to world-class sporting events and quiet, intellectual affairs. What’s more, there’s something to suit all tastes and interests. Foodies can sink their teeth into Yorkshire’s best produce at the Malton Food Lovers Festival whilst vintage darlings clamber aboard the East Lancashire Railway’s 1940s festival. Sip a quintessentially English Pimm’s at a garden party in Cumbria, join in with the Morris dancers for an old-fashioned May Day knees-up or click your fingers and tap your toes to the sound of Bristol’s thumping jazz scene.
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May events: The Norfolk & Norwich Festival
Norwich becomes a hotbed of international art and performance every May.
Location: Norwich, Norfolk
Visit a unique Roman cavalry exhibition along Hadrian’s Wall
2,000 years of history comes to life in Hadrian’s Cavalry, an exhibition celebrating the Roman cavalry regiments.
Location: Hadrian's Wall
Release your inner Wordsworth with Words by the Water Festival
Don’t miss this exciting literature event, a festival of words and ideas, set by the lake surrounded by the Lake District fells.
Location: Keswick, Cumbria
Enjoy free, live music at Southsea Bandstand
Is there a better summer afternoon than a fantastic free programme of music and dance in a beautiful natural amphitheatre looking out to sea?
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
Add Stratford Literary Festival to your list of things to do in April
Be in the company of celebrity authors and best-selling writers at this lively literary event in the UK.
Location: Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Go to Liverpool Sound City, an innovative music, film and art festival
Get a ticket for one of the UK’s largest international music, digital and film festivals.
Location: Liverpool, Merseyside
Experience York's Literature Festival
Rub shoulders with best-selling authors as York gets all bookish.
Location: York, North Yorkshire
May events: Watch the Tetbury Woolsack Race
This is undoubtedly one of England's strangest things to do in May, but this unique race dates back to the 17th-century.
Location: Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Have a bloomin’ lovely time at the Harrogate Flower Show
Get your green fingers ready this prestigious gardening event in April, one of the biggest of its kind in the UK.
Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire
May events: Step back in time at East Lancashire Railway
Join the East Lancashire Railway to party like its 1949 in Rawtenstall, Lancashire where the blitz spirit is still going strong.
Location: Rawtenstall, Lancashire
May events: Tuck into a three day food festival in Exeter
Celebrate the best food and drink from the South West at this event in May.
Location: Exeter, Devon
Herald the coming of spring with a real old English knees-up
Marsden welcomes the cuckoo back to rural West Yorkshire with traditional English dancing, music and sunshine at the Marsden Cuckoo Festival in April.
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
May events: Put your best foot forward at WalkFest
Put a spring in your step over the spring bank holiday weekend at the North York Moors National Park’s annual walking festival.
Location: North York Moors, North Yorkshire
See musical legends at Cheltenham Jazz Festival
Swing into springtime in style at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, one of the leading Jazz events in England.
Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
May events: Don your tweeds for the Nottinghamshire County Show
May is usually your first chance to enjoy the spring sunshine, so spend it wisely with an action-packed day at the Nottinghamshire County Show.
Location: Newark, Nottinghamshire
May events: Get down to The Suffolk Show
Take your family on a weekend break to Suffolk’s biggest and barmiest event near Ipswich and see the Shetland Pony Grand National.
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
Spread the joy at the World’s Original Marmalade Festival
Unleash your inner Paddington Bear on a visit to the World’s Original Marmalade Festival, which will be held on the historic Dalemain estate in Penrith.
Location: Penrith, Cumbria
Celebrate historic England at Abbey 900 in Cirencester
At Cirencester's year-long festival you can marvel at the Abbey's manuscripts, dance at a May Day Fleece Fair and tuck in at a Medieval Banquet.
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
April events: Shake your tail feather at Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival
See some of the best performers from the world of burlesque and alternative cabaret at this event in May.
Location: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
May events: Learn from food experts at Salcombe Crab Festival
Love seafood? Salcombe’s delicious crab celebration should be right at the top of your things to do in Devon list.
Location: Salcombe, Devon
Pay homage to the written word in South Shields
Step inside The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, a state-of-the-art venue in South Shields.
Location: South Shields, South Tyneside