There are numerous festivals taking place in the UK throughout the year and ranging from family-friendly festivals to cultural events. Literary and science to music and comedy.
As new festivals are popping up year after year, this isn’t a complete guide; it’s a round-up of the 32 most notable UK festivals.
I’ve broken them down month by month to make it easier to select the right festival for you.
Quick View of What You'll Find on This Page
UK Festivals in May
26th April-1st May — various venues across Cheltenham, England.
The first Cheltenham Jazz Festival was in 1996 and established itself as one of the UK’s most popular annual jazz festivals.
The place to celebrate all genres of jazz, the festival offers a carefully curated mixture of international jazz icons, up-and-coming new artists and unique Festival performances.
Cheltenham has become one of the country’s best-loved jazz festivals, home to over 20,000 music fans.
May 10th-13th — various venues across Brighton and Hove, England.
Showcasing over 500 up-and-coming artists from all over the world across 35 walkable venues every May in Brighton.
May 11th-13th — Williamson Park, Quernmore Rd, Lancaster LA1 1UX
This massive open-air music event is set in one of the most picturesque locations of any northern festival and will lure in around 35,000 music lovers. Expect an eclectic mix — everything from classical to gospel, pop to house.
19th-21st May — Braziers Park School, Ipsden, Wallingford OX10 6AN
WOOD is an award-winning festival, celebrating music and nature, held in the beautiful Chiltern Hills at Braziers Park near Wallingford in Oxfordshire. It’s an intimate event that offers families a small, safe environment for their first experience of festivals with children.
You’ll hear folk and roots music — possibly no names that you know — but lovely nevertheless. Plus workshops, stalls and a legendary campfire.
May 25th-28th — Catton Hall, Catton Park, Walton-on-Trent DE12 8LN
A multi-award winning and family-friendly festival, spanning 4 days. Bearded Theory is a multi-award-winning creative and performing arts festival set in the beautiful grounds of Catton Hall in the heart of the National Forest.
Get your festival craft on, watch a little comedy, take advantage of the free hot showers and enjoy the stunning site art. There’s a lot to see and do at Bearded Theory.
May 26th- 28th — Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8FS
Creamfields South offers a mix of big-hitting superstars and global underground legends and is one of the world’s biggest dance music festivals.
May 27th-28th — Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN
This two-day festival in Bristol is the perfect way to liven up the May bank holiday weekend. Known for their stellar line-ups, this is a great way to mark the start of the festival season.
31 May-4 June — various venues across Hastings, England.
A 5-day + festival bursting with curiosities, performances, artwork, installations, cabaret, comedy, storytelling, poetry, music, aerialists, workshops, dancing and more.
UK Festivals in June
1st-4th June — Lawrenny Castle Estate, Lawrenny, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire SA68 0PP
Four days to discover energy, inspiration, bands, books, new tastes and inner calm at The Big Retreat. Your ticket gives you access to over 300 carefully curated experiences: fitness, yoga, talks, workshops, foraging, feasting, arts, bushcraft, live music and more.
2nd-4th June — Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire NG32 1PE
The brainchild of my buddy Joe Quinn, Forbidden started as a night-only event and is now a full long- weekend of camping and raving. Some of the most respected and influential DJs and producers come together to create a truly immersive, forest experience. Leave the kids at home for this one — it’s strictly for the over-18s.
2nd-3rd June – Merrist Wood College, Holly Lane, Worplesdon Guildford, Surrey GU3 3PE
ShyneFest is a fun, family-friendly festival with plenty going on to keep every member of the family amused. From silent disco to live music, face painting to art & craft stalls.
2nd-4th June — The Great Estate, Scorrier House, Scorrier, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 5AW
The Great Estate is a family-friendly award-winning festival offering activities for the whole family to enjoy together and create long-lasting memories. Kids can enjoy a Victorian Sports Day, be thrilled by the Vikings or channel their inner Tony Hawk, with The Greatest Skate brought to you by Mount Hawke Skate Park and DJ workshops.
All of this, together with live music, DJ sets and talks, is one rambunctious garden fête you won’t want to miss!
2nd-4th June — Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Rd, Cheltenham GL50 4SH
The Wychwood Music Festival was launched in 2005 by a group of festival enthusiasts wanting to create an intimate and thrilling weekend festival experience. It delivers the best acts of the day, up-and-coming music, and some other specialities you might not ordinarily come across!
It’s an excellent hybrid of the Big Chill, WOMAD and The Cambridge Folk Festival — according to Time Out magazine.
June 8th-11th — Donington Park, Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2RP
Download Festival is a mammoth five-day rock event based at Donington Park in Leicestershire
June 15th-18th — Seaclose Park, Fairlee Rd, Newport PO30 2EL
A must-go event on any music lover’s calendar, the Isle of Wight festival is one of the UK’s oldest music festivals. It first started in 1968 with a footfall of just 10,000. These days it’s a much bigger affair at around 50,000.
Expect a variety of top-class music acts, on multiple stages.
Jun 21st-26th — Worthy Farm, Worthy Lane, Pilton BA4 4BY
The granddaddy of them all. This is, truly, the best festival on earth (if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket!).
Here are a few highlights from 2022.
UK Festivals in July
July 5th-8th — Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 4BL
2000trees is an alternative rock festival held at Upcote Farm near Cheltenham, which starts on a Thursday and ends on a Saturday.
July 5th-8th — Lulworth Castle, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset BH20 5QS
The original family-friendly festival, Camp Bestival has been entertaining families since 2008.
7st-9th July — Hanging Hill Farm, Rawdon Road, Moira, Swadlincote DE12 6DH
Timber Festival is an extraordinary 3-day camping festival of music, art, and ideas. It’s an immersive and revitalising weekend festival in the heart of the National Forest and celebrates our relationship with trees and forests.
July 14th-16th — Park Farm, Compton Verney, Warwick CV35 9HJ
ALSO is the festival that brings ideas to life, which combines a let-your-hair down mentality with inspiring content to truly challenge and inform.
July 20th-23rd — Henham Barns Nr, Southwold, Beccles NR34 8AQ
Set within the stunning surroundings of Henham Park, Barclaycard presents Latitude has been creating unforgettable memories for over 15 years.
Lose yourself in music, dance, comedy, poetry, theatre, literature, podcasts, family activities and wellness. Indulge in a spot of lake swimming, or soak up a show. come There is no shortage of things to keep the whole family entertained at Latitude.
20th-23rd July — Jodrell Bank, Bomish Ln, Macclesfield SK11 9DW
Bluedot really offers something a little different from the norm.
Not only is it set under the magnificent, watchful eye of the Lovell telescope, but Bluedot festival also has so much more to give than the general festival fodder we’re used to. If you’re a science — or space buff — this is the festival for you.
It’s a small site, but there are so many fantastic science stands and immersive workshops to get involved with. So much to see and do, it’s really worth the ticket cost.
27th–30th July — Lowther Deer Park, Lowther, Penrith CA10 2HX
Although you can take children, Kendal Calling is not our favourite family festival (there are other festivals out there that have a stronger family focus). And — be warned — if it rains, the terrain around the site is tough going, as the main stage is in an amphitheatre setting in the woods. The ground to the stage is sloped and it’s tricky to walk when the ground is slippy.
But Kendal Calling has a great music lineup, and it’s a really picturesque site (if you manage to bag some sunshine). If the weather report isn’t looking favourable, pick up some tips on surviving a festival in the rain before you head off!
28th-31st July — Baldersby Park, Thirsk, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire YO7 3BZ
A three-day wonderland of music, comedy, arts, science, theatre and sport for all ages, set in beautiful North Yorkshire parkland.
UK Festivals in August
3rd-6th August — Winter Gardens, 97 Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HL
Touted as the largest independent UK punk festival, Rebellion is an indoor festival held at the Winter Gardens in the seaside town of Blackpool. Lots of venues, cafes and bars under one roof; no need to worry about umbrellas or the great British weather affecting the festival.
3 rd-6th August — Cornbury Park Estate, Charlbury OX7 3HL
Wilderness is a four-day party offering feasting and dining experiences, spa sessions, wine tasting, cocktail masterclasses, yoga and movement classes, well-being talks and experiences. Not to mention music, yoga, wild swimming — and even cricket.
18th-21st August — Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard, Shifnal TF11 8LE
Camp Bestival Shropshire opened its doors for the very first time in 2022 and is every inch as fabulous as the original Camp Bestival in Dorset.
Set on the beautiful Weston Park estate, Camp Bestival Shropshire is a feast for all the senses. So much to see and do, it’s the perfect family-friendly festival.
18th-20th August 2022 — Rode Hall Estate, Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3QT
Just So festival is an annual, intimate, weekend-long extravaganza. It offers an imaginative outdoor family adventure like no other.
A great smaller festival, perfect for young families.
We went to the first Rewind Festival back in 2009 and, since then, this nostalgic 80s music festival has grown from strength to strength. It now boasts not one but three venues over three totally different weekends.
18th-21st August — Heritage Pine Forest, Knock Mill Lane, West Kingsdown, Sevenoaks TN15 6FP
A wild weekend in a gorgeous forest retreat.
By day: learn and discover incredible new skills — activities are included in the ticket price (and pre-booked to help you make the most of every minute).
By night: dance amongst the trees, relax in wood-fired hot tubs or listen to stories around the campfire.
25th-27th August — Kingham, Oxfordshire OX7 6UJ
The Big Feastival has been bringing a slice of festival heaven to the Cotswold countryside since 2011. Good music is served with a big dollop of good food on the side.
Expect great family entertainment, plus wild workshops and crafting. Not to mention A-list headliners on the music stage. A great way to spend an August bank holiday weekend.
24th-27th August — a (not so) secret location, somewhere in the Midlands…
I say ‘not so secret’ as everyone, who’s been, knows it’s in the same place every year!
Shambala holds a very special place in my heart as it was the first festival we took the boys to. They were just a year old and it was the most magical of times.
Shambala is for the true festival go-er. It’s leftfield (cross-dressing Friday, drag-queen bingo, Sunday-supplement cock drawing). A lot of festivals (Wilderness, I’m looking at you) try to emulate this kind of hedonistic autonomy. But few manage it.
Shambala is the epitome of UK festivals for me. Friendly, happy, shiny and unashamedly free.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.