The UK's best 2022 food festivals - Family

Make a British food festival the centrepiece of a gastronomic weekend away. Diaries at the ready to plan your gourmet route, from Weymouth to Wales – Jasmina Matulewicz rounds up the best culinary celebrations around the nation

Seafeast, 10-11 September Weymouth, Dorset

In brief Indulge in lobster rolls, mussel pizzas and mackerel tacos as you immerse yourself in the fishing heritage of the Weymouth peninsula – Seafeast is set to be a weekend of sea-to-plate delights against the backdrop of Weymouth Bay, all the while raising funds for The Fishermen’s Mission.

Chefs to look out for When it comes to cooking with seafood, there’s no one quite like Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix. Last year’s highlights included demos from Rick Stein’s Ian Salmon and Nigel Bloxham of Weymouth’s Crab House Café – plus an array of local seafood experts and fishermen.

Don’t miss Sea shanties on the main stage, a glass of pink Miraval in hand. Kids can cook up old-time favourites at the School of Fish in the meantime.

Nearby Fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast, a balmy afternoon on Weymouth’s Blue Flag beach and seaside walks reaching as far as Durdle Door all deserve a spot on your itinerary.

Stay Spacious Georgian-style rooms, a coastal location and on-site escape rooms score extra points at Moonfleet Manor.

Adult entry From £7.


Travel Details

Ludlow Food Festival, 9-11 September Ludlow, Shropshire

In brief Sandwiched between the Welsh border and the Shropshire Hills, Ludlow’s medieval castle has been welcoming over 100 local producers since 1995. Some have been showcasing their produce every year – expect the likesof artisan sourdoughs from family-run Swifts Bakery and traditional bitters from Hobsons Brewery.

Chefs to look out for Thomasina Miers, John Whaite and Gareth Ward have shared their expertise on the demo stage in the past – expect a line-up of a similar calibre this year.

Don’t miss The Sausage Trail is a highlight of the festival, with Ludlow’s butchers competing for the best new sausage recipe each year with the winner chosen by festivalgoers. Make sure to try the region’s iconic bakes at the Pork Pie of the Marches competition or take part in wine tastings and food photography workshops.

Nearby Visit Unesco-listed Ironbridge Gorge, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, with no fewer than ten museums dotted along the banks of the River Severn.

Stay Conveniently positioned at the foot of Ludlow Castle, boutique Dinham Weir House is a quirky take on your classic country home, providing top-notch private dining on request, to continue your gourmet journey.

Adult entry From £13.50.

Halloumi Fries

Travel Details

Great British Food Festival, 14-15 May Hull, East Yorkshire

In brief Coming to the lawns of the Elizabethan Burton Constable Hall for the first time in 2022, the festival brings together the very best of the nation’s natural larder – from chutney and cheese to chocolate and chilli.

Chefs to look out for Great British Bake Off’s Howard Middleton and Phil Thorne will be heading up the Bake Stage while Ben Bartlett shares top tips for the perfect summer barbecue.

Don’t miss Channel your inner hunter-gatherer on a foraging walk, go plant-based at a barbecue masterclass, vote on your favourite British cheese and, if you think you can take the heat, join the festival’s famed chilli eating challenge.

Nearby Follow the Ale Trail to discover Hull’s traditional pubs – some dating back to the 14th century – or create a one-off bottle of gin at Hotham’s award-winning distillery in the Old Town.

Stay Boutique aparthotel Hideout is a stylish home away from home with intimate views of Hull Minster.

Adult entry From £10.80.

Blenheim Palace Food Festival, 2-5 June Blenheim, Oxfordshire

In brief What better place to spend the Jubilee weekend than the former home of Winston Churchill? Sample top British produce along the lines of award-winning pomegranate and hibiscus jelly straight from Hertfordshire, Devon flapjacks, Somerset cider chorizo and handmade lemonade as you wander the 810ha World Heritage parkland.

Chefs to look out for The Festival Kitchen presents 2020 MasterChef winner Thomas Frake, multi-Michelin-starred Jean-Christophe Novelli and the one and only Raymond Blanc.

Don’t miss Book an Italian pasta masterclass with Gennaro Contaldo, brush up on your mixology skills with food and drink writer Andy Clarke and get baking with GBBO’s Karen Wright.

Nearby The village of Murcott is home to the Nut Tree Inn, a traditional English pub with a Michelin star. For your culture fix, historic Oxford is a short drive away.

Stay Macdonald Hotels’ The Bear marries its 900-year heritage with classic country charm across 54 rooms and suites in the heart of the market town of Woodstock.

Adult entry From £19.50.

Abergavenny Food Festival, 17-18 September Abergavenny, Wales

In brief Now in its 23rd year, this food fixture offers opportunity aplenty to explore the melting-pot culinary heritage of this market town by the River Usk, with stalls and events taking place around its Victorian market hall and ancient castle grounds.

Chefs to look out for In 2021, Cyrus Todiwala and Tomos Parry shared their signature dishes in demos over the fire pit. Sourdough queen Vanessa Kimbell and Abergavenny’s own Shaun Hill made appearances too – top-class inspiration awaits.

Don’t miss An installation inspired by folk art and agroforestry at the market hall and, after sunset, there’ll be fireworks, cocktails and live music to enjoy at the castle, too.

Nearby Take a tour of the Sugar Loaf Vineyards, cycle along the tranquil Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal or visit the 900-year-old ruins of Llanthony Priory.

Stay Shaun Hill’s Walnut Tree Inn offers stays in two cottages – the Old Post Office and Ivy Cottage – exuding home-from-home comfort, a short walk from the restaurant.

Adult entry From £12.

Smoke and Fire, 30-31 July Ascot, Berkshire

In brief America’s Deep South returns to the Royal Ascot Racecourse. Covering everything you’d expect, from fiery chilli con carne and Jamaican jerk to award-winning, chargrilled Texan favourites BBQ Alley, all to a Seventies disco soundtrack.

Chefs to look out for Learn the secrets of the grill from Marcus Bawdon of the UK BBQ School, Argentinian asado master Martin Anderson and Elliot Cunningham, head chef at Lagom, London.

Don’t miss Pick up your tongs: the British Open BBQ Championships return this year and entry isn’t limited to just the pros – keen back-garden cooks can get a look-in too.

Nearby Settled on the verdant edge of Windsor Great Park, Michelin-starred Coworth Park serves up elegant plates that pay utmost respect to local ingredients under an oak leaf chandelier.

Stay After dinner, simply head upstairs – Coworth Park has rooms in the central mansion, cottages and converted stables. Spa experiences are elevated with a ‘living roof’ of lavender and thyme.

Adult entry From £16.50.

Pub in the Park, 2-4 September Chiswick, West London

In brief The romantic Chiswick House and Gardens will be transformed into the UK’s biggest celebration of pub grub, hosted by Tom Kerridge and Matt Tebbutt.

Chefs to look out for Ben Tish, Andrew Pern, Atul Kochhar and Adam Purnell will be taking comfort food to another level – this year a record-breaking 150 dishes will be served up.

Don’t miss Classic seafood plates from Rick Stein, Afghan-inspired barbecue at Cue Point, and Tom Kerridge’s legendary pies. Get inspired with chef demonstrations, an artisan food market and shopping village – plus fantastic music.

Nearby Once you’ve paid a visit to Chiswick House – a grand 18th-century villa turned art gallery – pop over to Fuller’s Brewery for a tasting tour of London’s finest.

Stay Follow the river to Richmond’s Bingham Riverhouse, home to Steven Edwards’ restaurant.

Adult entry From £43.

PITP 2022 2

Travel Details

Big Feastival, 26-28 August Kingham, Cotswolds

In brief For the 11th year, music will meet culinary talent and award-winning street food at former Blur bassist turned cheesemaker Alex James’ 200-acre farm in Oxfordshire.

Chefs to look out for With Thomasina Miers, Ravneet Gill, Ching He Huang, plus Ixta Belfrage’s signature fusion of Brazilian, Italian and Mexican cooking, it’s set to be a stellar gourmet scene.

Don’t miss Circus displays, vintage carousels and hands-on cookery sessions for budding chefs at the Little Kitchen, and music from The Human League, Anne-Marie and Sugababes.

Nearby The adjacent village of Kingham is home to Michelin-starred inn The Wild Rabbit. After lunch, sample award-winning cheeses at Daylesford Farm (Food and Travel’s 2021 Specialist Retailer of the Year) or take a boozy tour of Cotswolds Distillery.

Stay Head to the boutique camping field and get comfy in your luxury tent without leaving the festival – with cinema, bar, proper shower and loos and massage tents included.

Adult entry From £92. .com

Big Feastival 21 Atmos Gaelle Beri 2638

Travel Details


Yorkshire Dales Food and drink Festival, 23-24 July Skipton, Yorkshire

In brief Hundreds of producers gather at Funkirk Farm, at the foot of Yorkshire Dales National Park, to showcase regional gems – from Yorkshire puddings to forced rhubarb.

Chefs to look out for The Hairy Bikers, James Martin and Stephanie Moon of Rudding Park Hotel fame. Visit the Yorkshire AA Rosette and Local Chef stages for live demos.

Don’t miss In celebration of its 100th birthday, York’s renowned Bettys Tea Room will be recreating its most popular dishes.

Nearby The national park is a hiker’s paradise. Fuel up at Michael Wignall’s Michelin-starred gastropub The Angel at Hetton.

Stay The Coniston Hotel’s cosy cottages come with outdoor hot tubs and views of rolling hills.

Adult entry From £20.

Shrewsbury Food Festival, 25-26 June Shrewsbury, Shropshire

In brief Field-to-folk delights await –150 local artisans will gather on the riverside of Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park for the ninth time.

Chefs to look out for The 2021 Festival Head Chef was the excellent Chris Burt of The Mytton & Mermaid, with Stuart Collins and Paul Crowe championing Shropshire’s produce. This year’s line-up, yet to be announced, is keenly anticipated.

Don’t miss Interactive cookalongs and gin tasting sessions.

Nearby Vines at Wroxeter Vineyard, adjacent to Roman ruins, date back some two millennia – tasting tours are encouraged.

Stay Four-poster beds and a candlelit restaurant await at Elizabethan manor house Soulton Hall.

Adult entry From £14.50.

Best of the rest

Hastings Midsummer Fish Fest, East Sussex
Restaurants, producers and the town’s fishing fleet come together in the Old Town. A Seafood and Wine Festival follows on 17-18 September. 25-26 June; adults from £2.

Flavour Fest, Plymouth
A summer highlight since 2003, hundreds of local businesses will gather in the city centre to pay homage to the food that defines the South West. 27-29 May; entry free.

Foodies Festival, Edinburgh
Taste signature dishes from the city’s top chefs in Inverleith Park. 5-7 August; adults from £18.

Dartmouth Food Festival, Devon
Sample Devon’s best produce, join cookery demos in The Old Market Square and stop by The Seahorse for grilled fish and fresh pastas. 21-23 October; entry free.

York Food & Drink Festival
City-wide food trails, wine tastings in Shambles Market and junior chef competitions to the backdrop of York Minster. 23 September - 2 October; entry free.

Festival of Food and Drink, Nottingham
Street-food stalls covering cuisine from all four corners of the world, celebrity chef demos and a gin school, at Clumber Park. 17-18 September; adults from £10.

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