UK food festivals are a great way to introduce your kids to new cuisines. We love to schedule a few food festivals throughout the year— can you blame us? Because not only do we skip cooking that day, but we also get to sip on the odd adult beverage whilst the kids are distracted by the activities the festival has put on.
On top of delicious, freshly cooked food. Food festivals—for the most part— also provide you with fresh air, live music, and unique entertainment that toddlers to seniors can appreciate.
Although many of the best UK food festivals happen throughout the summer, there are festivals for foodies all over the UK that occur from spring through autumn.
Through our personal experiences of festivals and research into UK food festivals of 2024, we’ve curated a list of some of the best UK food festivals, which we’d love to share with you.
Best UK Food Festivals in 2024
St Ives Food and Drink Festival, Porthminster Beach – tbc May 2024
What’s better than a food and drink festival? A FREE food and drink festival. Porthminster Beach in St Ives hosts an exciting food and drink festival right on the sand. With musical lineups, food and drink vendors, and food demos. You can stroll around in the beautiful spring weather to see what local chefs are cooking up with a variety of produce. And even the little ones are catered for, as the festival has a kid’s area with a bouncy slide, sports games, and face painting.
Festival website: stivesfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk
Alresford Watercress Festival, Hampshire – 19th May 2024
The Alresford Watercress Festival in Alresford, Hampshire, opens up to celebrate all things watercress every year on the third Sunday of May (May 19th, 2024) — and it’s totally free! The unique festival, with its food and drink stands, street markets, and cooking presentations from world-class cooks, is an exceptional day out for the entire family.
On top of the watercress-inspired dishes, people of all ages can enjoy falcon displays and circus skills, Morris dancers, and a Punch and Judy show. Plus, even a watercress-eating championship that’s somehow made its way into the Guinness Book of Records.
Festival website: watercressfestival.org
Blenheim Palace Food Festival – 25th to 27th May 2024
May 2024 at Blenheim Palace offers a gastronomic celebration with an exceptional 3-day line-up of celebrity cooks, Michelin-starred chefs, artisan food and drink producers, wine tasting and much loved culinary institutions, showcasing their skills and sharing their passion for food with a mix of live demos, workshops and Q&As. Discover new ingredients, learn tasty recipes, get fired up with our cooking tips and be inspired by our panel of experts
One of the best family days out, kids can enjoy learning circus skills while adults relax to live music among the carefully selected stalls, friends and families can shop among the myriad of kitchen and homeware gifts. In addition, come and sip wines with our fantastic sommelier team. Your epicurean adventure starts here!
Tickets on sale priced at £22.50, available online from the 1st November at blenheimpalace.com
The Big Retreat Festival, Pembrokeshire – 24th to 27th May 2024
The Big Retreat Festival is more than just a food festival. Guests can enjoy cooking demonstrations, food stalls, and nutritional talks about eco-conscious eating. The festival also focuses on music, fitness, and arts and crafts to nourish your body inside and out.
And don’t worry, the little ones are likely to be even more entertained than mums and dads. The Big Retreat Festival has activities like bug hunts, water slides, wild swimming, puppet shows, and zorbing, which will be music to your kid’s ears.
Festival website: thebigretreatfestival.com
The Great British Food Festival, Edinburgh – 15th-16th June 2024
The Great British Food Festival in Dalkeith Country Park on the 15th and 16th of June 2024. It’s a fun day out for the entire family. You can even bring along your dog! With a huge range of food and drink stalls, cooking shows. Plus entertainment to keep you occupied, the day will get away from you. Before you know it, it will be time to head home, but as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun, right?
Serious adult foodies visiting the festival can compete in the Man Vs Food challenges throughout the day. Little ones, on the other hand, can learn how to cook. Or they can attend free party workshops, play on the festival’s fairground rides, and see adorable (and not-so-adorable) animals in the mini zoo.
And for those who don’t live in the Edinburgh area, here are other Great British Food Festival locations and dates:
- Trentham Gardens, 4th-6th May 2024
- Harewood House 25th-27th May 2024
- Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire: 31st May – 2nd June 2024
- Dalkeith Country Park: 15th-16th June 2024
- Knebworth House, Herts: 20th – 21st of June 2024
- Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire: 17th-18th of August 2024.
- Margam Park, South Wales: 7th-8th of September 2024.
- Arley Hall, Cheshire: 21st-22nd of September 2024.
For more on The Great British Food Festival, head over to our article, The Great British Food Festival.
Festival website: greatbritishfoodfestival.com
Taste of London Food Festival, Regent’s Park – 2024 tbc
In Regent’s Park this June, self-proclaimed food connoisseurs can enjoy cuisine from 36 of London’s best restaurants all in one place. From Spanish and Caribbean dishes to dessert and vegan options, your taste buds are likely to be the happiest they’ve ever been.
While you’re waiting for your food to go down so you can fit in even more food (because that’s what food festivals are for, right?) Taste of London has live entertainment, chef demonstrations, drink stalls and artisan markets filled with 150 food producers. Also see the London Restaurant Festival.
Festival website: london.tastefestivals.com
Festival date for 2024: to be confirmed
Foodies Festival, Brighton – 4th -6th May 2024
The Foodies Festival is held in eight different locations throughout the UK. With the first being in Brighton in early May. Michelin-starred chefs, MasterChef Champions, Great British Menu winners, and top local chefs cook up their signature dishes for festival go-ers to feast on while headliners like Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Scouting for Girls entertain the crowds on the live music stage.
Little foodies, with their unlimited source of energy, can get involved with creative play in the Kidzone, bounce to their heart’s content on bouncy castles, and unlock their inner thrill seeker on the festival’s fairground rides.
Other Foodies Festival locations and dates include:
- Cardiff: 10th-12th May 2024
- Syon Park, London: 25th May -27th May 2024
- St Albans: 31st May – 2 June 2024
- Chelmsford: 21st -23rd of June 2024.
- Tatton Park: 12th-14th of July 2024.
- Winchester: 19th-21st of July 2024.
- Edinburgh: 2nd-4th of August 2024.
- Glasgow: 9th-11th of August 2024.
- Oxford: 24th-26th of August 2024.
- Guildford: 30th August to 1 September 2024
- Norwich: 6th – 8th of September 2024.
Check out this article on the Tatton Park Foodies Festival for a personal review of the festival.
Festival website: foodiesfestival.com
Pub in the Park, Marlow – 16th to the 19th of May 2024
Yet another popular UK food festival that makes its way to various locations over the UK is Pub in the Park. If you didn’t already gather by its name, Pub in the Park focuses on British pub food cooked by highly-acclaimed Michelin-Starred chefs.
In true British pub fashion, Pub in the Park not only serves tasty and mouth-watering food. But guests—over the age of 18— can wash their grub down with alcoholic beverages before dancing the night away to award-winning music acts. There are also plenty of attractions to entertain the kids, making it a great all-around food festival for the entire family.
Other Pub in the Park locations and dates are as follows:
- Chiswick: 28-30th June 2024
- Reigate: 12-14th July 2024
- St Albans: 6-8th September 2024
Festival website: pubintheparkuk.com
Shrewsbury Food Festival, Shrewsbury – 29th-30th of June 2024
Towards the end of June, the Shrewsbury Food Festival sets up in the Shrewsbury Quarry Park to offer visitors food, entertainment, and live cooking demonstrations. Additionally, if you’re feeling up for the challenge, the festival offers a ticketed chef’s school where you’ll cook alongside the festival’s chefs to learn a thing or two about cooking.
With all that being said, in our opinion, what makes the Shrewsbury Food Festival excellent—aside from the delicious food, of course. Is the amount of kid’s entertainment during the festival. Your kids can get involved with cooking classes, participate in sports like football and tennis, and play in sand pits and obstacle courses for no additional fee.
For a more in-depth review of the food festival, you can check out our article solely on the Shrewsbury Food Festival.
Festival website: shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk
UK Food Festivals in July
Smoked & Uncut, Limewood, Lyndhurst – 2024 tbc
The New Forest hosts the Smoked & Uncut food festival on the 8th of July, and all southern foodies won’t want to miss it. Vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eating food lovers can essentially eat their way through the inclusive food festival, all thanks to the huge and diverse selection of producers.
Plus, if you’re anything like me, you can devour one of the festival’s many desserts before sipping away in the summer sun, listening to the scheduled music lineup.
Festival website: smokedanduncut.com
Festival date for 2024: tbc.
Lymington Seafood Food Festival, Lymington – 12th to the 14th of July 2024
The port town of Lymington in southern England puts on a boutique festival in the middle of July. To showcase incredible seafood dishes from artisan food and drink creators With roughly 80 booths selling fish-inspired dishes. Seafood lovers can have a field day tasting their way through the festival and boogying to the live soul, Motown, blues, rock, and pop bands that play throughout the weekend.
Festival website: lymingtonseafoodfestival.co.uk
Festival date for 2025: tbc.
National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, London – 20th- 21st of July 2024
Have you ever wanted to taste dishes from around the world without travelling? The National Geographic Traveller Food Festival brings together chefs who specialise in different cuisines to the Business Design Centre in London.
In addition to all the exquisite foreign food options. You can catch interviews with leaders in the culinary world and attend masterclasses that teach you how to make some of the delicious dishes being showcased. It is an immersive weekend for food enthusiasts.
Festival website: foodfestival.natgeotraveller.co.uk
Festival dates for 2025: tbc.
Rock Oyster Food Festival, Cornwall – 25th – 28th of July 2024
One quick and easy way to become a cool parent—take your kids to a weekend-long camping food festival. From talks and demos by Michelin-starred chefs in the day to DJ sets and rock bands at night, Rock Oyster is a unique summer adventure for all ages.
For children, specifically, Rock Oyster has what they call the Jellyfish field. The Jellyfish field has everything from circus skills and storytelling to arts and crafts and theatre shows. Kids can even take part in den building, fire lighting, and water sports activities.
Festival website: rockoysterfestival.co.uk
Festival dates for 2025: tbc.
Vegan Campout Food Festival, Oxfordshire – 26th-29th July, 2024
The world’s largest vegan camping festival comes to Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire, on the last weekend of July. Expect four days and three nights of live music, yoga classes, workshops, and of course, the star of the show—the best vegan food in the whole of the UK.
Every year hundreds of families pack up their camping gear and head to the Vegan Campout Festival to devour tasty vegan food. Plus, get involved with a choice of games, activities, and arts and crafts with other vegan families.
Festival website: vegancampout.co.uk
Festival dates for 2025: tbc.
Smoke and Fire Food Festival, Ascot – 20th-21st July 2024
If you’re a BBQ lover, then look no further than the Smoke and Fire Festival—the name is a dead giveaway, on the20th – 21st July 2024 in Ascot and the 17th-18th August in Maldon, Essex. The Smoke and Fire Festival delivers juicy BBQ foods, live music, and ice-cold beverages that go perfectly with the UK summer weather.
Festival website: smokeandfirefestival.com
Festival date for 2025: to be confirmed.
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival, The Isle of Wight – 15th & 16th August 2024
An entire festival dedicated to Garlic comes to the Isle of Wight on the 19th and 20th of August. This great festival goes above and beyond to celebrate the pungent bulb. Free activities for kids run all weekend, including singalongs, dance parties, storytelling, yoga, and crafts. And even your dog can get involved as he takes part in the Garlic Festival dog show.
Festival website: garlicfestival.co.uk
Festival date for 2025: tbc
Big Feastival, The Cotswolds – 23rd -25th of August 2024
The Big Feastival is a weekend-long camping event—there are day passes if you prefer. It takes place on Alex James’ Farm in the Cotswolds on the last weekend of August. If you’ve never taken your kids to a festival, the Big Feastival is a fantastic gateway option. We’ve personally taken our kids to a few family-friendly festivals, and they’ve spent their time camping and running around with other children.
However, this weekend-long camping, family-friendly food festival takes it up a notch. As you know, throughout the weekend, you’ll be trying excellent food while also experiencing musical entertainment from famous names that festivals are known for.
2024 Headliners to be announced soon.
Festival website: thebigfeastival.com
Festival date for 2025: tbc.
Meatopia, Tobacco Dock – 2024 tbc
Unfortunately for meat lovers, Meatopia 2023 tickets sold out quickly. That’s a testament to how great this food festival is. Although confirmed dates aren’t out yet for 2024, if you get lucky enough to snag tickets, you can chow down on flavoursome meat, fish, and veg. Plus, quench your thirst with cocktails, spirits, and craft beers. Listen to brass bands, DJs and soulful singers, all in London’s Tobacco Dock warehouse.
Festival website: meatopia.co.uk
Festival date for 2024: tbc..
UK Food Festivals in September
North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, Norfolk – 31st August to 1 September 2024
The North Norfolk, Food and Drink Festival has been running for 15 years—since 2009—and has grown in popularity as the years have gone on. The festival, which takes place on the stunning grounds of Holkham Hall, features local food and drink producers, a cookery theatre, and activities for kids, meaning the whole family can enjoy everything the festival offers.
Festival website: northnorfolkfoodfestival.co.uk
Festival date for 2025: tbc.
SeaFeast Food Festival, Weymouth Peninsula – 2024 tbc
Dorset is the seafood capital of the UK. So it seems only fitting that they throw a seafood festival for locals and tourists to relish. Talented cooks take the spotlight to demonstrate their skills while live acoustic bands liven up the festival from the main stage.
While the parents enjoy a glass of wine—our favourite part of any food festival. The kids can learn how to cook simple dishes in the cookery workshops and participate in activities with children their age.
Festival website: dorsetseafood.co.uk
Festival date for 2024: to be confirmed.
Abergavenny Food Festival, Abergavenny – 21st-22nd September, 2024
The small Welsh town of Abergavenny sets up a food festival with 150 exhibitors and pop-up restaurants. Set on the grounds of the Abergavenny Castle. Adults and kids over 12 can even attend a party in the castle on Saturday night from 7:15 pm to 11 pm. For families with young children, or those who don’t want to stay up late, there are plenty of things to do at the festival during the daytime.
Cooking demonstrations, tastings, debates, family entertainment, and a children’s cookery school are all things you can get involved with at the Abergavenny Food Festival. Remember to pack a jacket or a raincoat, as we all know how unpredictable festival weather can be.
Festival website: abergavennyfoodfestival.com
Festival date for 2025: to be confirmed.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.