Summer Guide, Things to do

Carnivals, festivals, fetes and celebrations

Be joyful, be jubilant, have fun in the sunshine. From bunting-strewn street parties to free family festivals, there are plenty of places to make lasting memories this summer. Take a spin around our recommendations and book something wonderful to look forward to today!


Friden Grange nr Buxton
15th – 17th June
Stay: YHA Hartington Hall or YHA Ravenstor

The high summer solstice sees the Eroica Britannia camp return to The Peak District National Park for a fifth year. Set in 100 acres of wild vistas, big skies and romantic woodlands, friends, families and kids can roam wild and free over 3-days of live music, acres of shopping, luxe gin bars and gourmet pubs and dressing up contests. The highlight of the weekend is ‘The World’s Most Handsome Bike Ride’. Enter the 25, 55, or 100-mile route and tour forest, field and trail on a retro pre-1987 road bike with matching heritage threads. Whether seen from the saddle or spectating at the finish line, it’s a fantastic sight.

Advance Purchase Festival Tickets £20 day pass / £35 3-day pass / Camping from £80 for 3 nights (15-18th June).

The Ride (17th June 2018) is pre-registered places only. £60 includes 3-day festival pass, all food and drink on Ride day and a goodie bag stashed full of great things). Bike Hire available.

Eden Sessions
Eden Project
6th June – 7th July
Stay: YHA Eden Project

The stage is set for another incredible summer of live music at the Eden Project.

Gary Barlow 6th June
Massive Attack 15th and 16th June
Ben Howard 30th June
Queens of the Stone Age 3rd July
Jack Johnson 5th July
Bjork 7th July

See world class acts perform against the backdrop of the Biomes and then, at the end of an unforgettable evening, revel in the knowledge that your accommodation awaits nearby – no queuing to get offsite for you!

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival
Hebden Bridge
22nd June to 1st July

Stay: YHA Mankinholes

Bohemian and beautiful, Hebden Bridge has long attracted artist and artisan. The West Yorkshire town has rich literary connections, with former famous residents including Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath; during the 1970s and 80s writers flocked here and ever since the place has been awash with cutting edge creatives. The annual Arts Festival is a celebration of the town’s quirky arts scene and, as well as various ticketed events and performances, visitors can enjoy open studios and gardens and follow the decorated tree trail around the local waterways.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
22rd June to 7th July
Stay: YHA London Thameside

This is street theatre at its absolute best. Spellbinding and original, the festival’s mission is to raise the ambition, quality and diversity of outdoor performances and the result is an astonishing programme. The festival delivers two weeks of visual feasts. Many events are free, all events are memorable.

Carnival at the Castle
Hertford Castle
24th June
Stay: YHA London Lee Valley

Just 20 minutes by car or 35 minutes by rail from our Scandinavian lodges on the outskirts of the capital, this 15th-century castle lies in picturesque surroundings. Visit on Sunday 24th June to indulge in a quintessentially British carnival. It’s free to enter and you can look forward to live music, an array of acts performing in the castle grounds, stalls, refreshments and carnival-themed fancy dress.



Liverpool International Music Festival
Sefton Park
21st to 22nd July
Stay: YHA Liverpool

Truly a music festival for all, Liverpool’s International Music Festival is a free event in Liverpool’s magnificent grade I-listed Sefton Park. With music from household names as well as up-and-comers and everything from silent discos to orchestral performances, this genre and generation-spanning extravaganza is a real highlight of the Merseyside calendar.

Bristol Harbour Festival
20th to 22nd July
Stay: YHA Bristol

A varied arts programme of circus, dance, live music and nautical capers celebrates the city’s rich maritime heritage with performances from renowned local and international artists. And the free, family-friendly fun is all accompanied by fantastic food and drink. What’s not to love.

The Big Cheese
Caerphilly Castle
27th to 29th July

Stay: YHA Cardiff Central

One of Europe’s most impressive castles plays host to street performers, living history encampments, strolling minstrels, troubadours, folk dancers, fire eaters, food stalls and a funfair. Medieval meets modern at this entertainment extravaganza. It’s a feast for the senses and, as it is free, it’s superb for families.

Bedminster and Southville, Bristol
28th to 30th July
Stay: YHA Bristol

Paint the town red without splashing the cash at Europe’s largest, free, street art and graffiti festival. Over 300 artists return to paint 35 venues throughout Bedminster and Southville. Watch as 30,000 square feet of surfaces are spectacularly sprayed, accompanied by a soundtrack of live music. Plus, with art workshops and an affordable art store, Upfest is a great place to paint or pick up a piece to adorn your own walls.



Broadstairs Folk Week
10th to 17th August
Stay: YHA Canterbury

Choose from 70 events per day including concerts, ceilidhs, crafts, parades and workshops at this hugely popular festival by the sea. Buy tickets for the concert marquee to witness performances by big names from the folk world or simply soak up the sights around the town as Morris Men and musicians, break dancers and ukulele bands create an eclectic carnival atmosphere.

Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
11th to 19th August
Stay: YHA Kettlewell

Nestled in the Wharfe valley and surrounded by glorious countryside, this North Yorkshire village is as beautiful as it is charming. Book a stay at the village Post Office for mid-August and look forward to the delightful Scarecrow Festival. It’s brilliant fun for all the family. Follow the themed trail around these imaginatively realised straw creations to solve the riddles and reveal a mystery word. There are prizes to be won every day.

Robin Hood Festival
Sherwood Forest Country Park
27th August to 2nd September
Stay: YHA Sherwood Forest

The popular Robin Hood Festival returns to the home of the legendary outlaw for a week of free entertainment and a daily programme packed with education and fun for all ages. Hosted by Nottinghamshire County Council, the festival is a firm favourite with families in the summer holidays.


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