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Events Calendar


Whatever the time of year, the Cotswolds offers a lively and fun calendar of festivals and special events, so there’s always plenty to see and do!

The following are some of the many events held in and around the Cotswolds, but it is well worth checking when you plan your visit to see what else is going on. For detailed festival and events information contact the local Tourist Information Centres or visit the www.cotswolds.com websites.

Please note that you need to book in advanced to attend some of these festivals and events.


Festivals and Events in the Cotswolds
March
Gloucester CAMRA Spring Beer and Cider Festival:
An opportunity to sample 35 different beers, ciders and perries at the Historic Blackfriars Priory.
Gloucester Quays Home and Garden Party:
With celebrity gardeners, demonstrations, live music and a bustling market this event promises to be a hit.
April
Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations:
A weekend festival of events including strolling players & musicians, Shakespeare Morris dancing, English folk dancing, Shakespeare birthday concert & RSC birthday performance & charity ball.
Cheltenham Design Festival:
Four days of seminars, workshops and audiences with industry leaders from the creative sector.
Discover Tewkesbury Vintage Fair:
An event celebrating all things vintage and retro. Fashion, fabric, homeware and crafts will all be on display with the opportunity to take part in a vintage and antiques trail along Barton and Church Streets.
Prescott Hill Climb, British and Midland Championships Weekend:
Witness the opening round of the 2013 British Speed Hill Climb Championship and a round of the fiercely competitive Midland Hillclimb Championship.
Stroud International Textiles- Spring Select:
The Festival is now in its fifth year, and is the UK's only Festival that celebrates and profiles contemporary textile art linked through to traditional textile culture.
Chipping Campden Literature Festival:
The fourth year of the festival, a series of seminars, workshops, performances and lectures on modern and historic literature.
May
Cheltenham Jazz Festival:
Presenting the best in contemporary jazz from around the world.
Badminton Horse Trials:
International 3 day horse riding event including cross country, dressage and show jumping.
Jousting Tournament- Blenheim Palace:
A mighty jousting tournament with “The Knights of Royal England”.
Fairford Food and Drink Festival:
Local food and drink festival with opportunities to sample the finest local fare.
Winchcombe Walking Festival:
The historic town of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire is making a name for itself as the walking capital of the Cotswolds. Every day there will be at least five walks to choose from, varying in length and difficulty from strenuous full day walks on the Cotswold Way to half-day walks. There will also be evening social events e.g. dinner with a quiz, and a barn dance for those who still have the energy!
Nailsworth Festival:
Celebrate music, film, comedy and everything in between.
Lechlade Music Festival:
A vibrant, family focused, affordable, local music festival.
Winchcombe Festival of Music and Arts:
Three jam-packed full days of music and arts culminating in a popular street fair.
Gloucester Tall Ships Festival:
A mix of on and off the water events including street entertainment, food and craft stalls and boat trips.
Downy Duckling Days- WWT Slimbridge:
A behind the scenes look at how hundreds of young birds are reared each year as well as the chance to see the new ducklings, goslings and cygnets.
Tetbury Woolsack Races:
Every year teams compete in pairs to relay a 60lb woolsack up and down Gumstool Hill between The Crown and the Royal Oak pubs in the fastest time. The races form the central attraction of a charity fund-raising day which includes an all day street market, charity auction, village fete, street entertainers and marching bands.
Robert Dover’s Olimpick Games/Scuttlebrook Wake:
Inaugurated by Robert Dover in 1612, the 'Cotswold Olympicks' consist of old sports such as obstacle races, tug-of-war, backsword fighting and shin-kicking. Resurrected in 1951 as part of the nationwide festival of Britain and held annually from early 1960s. After the competitions a torch lit procession wends its way to the town square for more entertainment. The games are followed the next day by the Scuttlebrook Wake.
Wychwood Music Festival:
The Wychwood Music Festival was launched in 2005 by a group of festival enthusiasts wanting to create an intimate and thrilling weekend festival experience.
June
Blenheim Flower Show:
A must for all keen gardeners (as well as those who prefer to regard it as a spectator sport), this show, inaugurated in 2001, goes from strength to strength.
The Times Cheltenham Science Festival:
The 2013 Science Festival programme promises to be as diverse as ever, exploring everything from DNA and frontier medicine to comets and the humble cup of tea.
Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival:
An opportunity to sample local culinary delights and meet food producers, brewers, winemakers and chefs dedicated to fostering, preserving and displaying the very best in food and drink.
Ukelele Festival of Great Britain:
A three days festival celebrating the ukulele, events include open mic sessions, workshops and concerts.
Wotton-Under-Edge Arts Festival:
Beginning on St Georges Day and celebrating local arts.
July
Longborough Festival Opera, Nr Moreton in Marsh:
High quality opera in the Cotswolds. The Opera house seats 480, complete with an orchestra pit accommodating up to 65 players.
Cheltenham Music Festival:
A whole variety of musical tastes are catered for at this event from symphonic grandeur to new musical ventures.
The Cotswold Show:
A bustling, busy, true English country fayre!
Tewkesbury Medieval Festival:
A two day festival which centres on a re-enactment of the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471.
Art Couture Painswick Festival:
Centring around a ‘Wearable Art’ concept this day celebrates creativity, imagination and fashion.
Gloucester Quays Food Festival:
Demonstrations and lessons from Celebrity Chefs Gino D’Acampo and James Martin alongside a selection of food and drink stalls and live music.
The Royal International Air Tattoo:
The worlds biggest military air show with dramatic air displays.
Rhythm and Blues Festival:
Bringing blues and blues rock to pubs, clubs and other venues in and around the city.
Three Choirs Festival:
Held annually since the early eighteenth century and rotating between the Cathedral Cities of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford offering its attendants classical choral music.
Musica Deo Sacra:
A festival of sacred music performed within the liturgy at Tewkesbury Abbey
August
Art in the Garden:
An art exhibition presented in the beautiful Painswick Rococo Gardens
Gatcombe Horse Trials:
Cross country, show jumping, dressage, shopping, hospitality and so much more.
Winchcombe Country Show:
A range of attractions and stalls, a quintessential English country show!
The Water Games- Bourton on the Water:
This game is played on the day of the local fete. It began with the coronation of Edward VII and is a five-a-side football match with a difference. It's played in the stream of the river Windrush.
September
Jane Austen Festival, Bathk:
A programme packed with a huge diversity of events in tribute to Bath's most famous resident, set against the backdrop of this elegant World Heritage City.
Moreton Show:
A traditional one day agricultural and horse show set in the small market town of Moreton-in-Marsh.
October
The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival:
One of Britain’s foremost literary events with 10 days of readings, performances and other live happenings.
November
Gloucester Quays Victorian Christmas Market:
A Dickensian Christmas feast. Over 100 stalls selling hand made gifts and fine food and drink and much more.
Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum:
A magical illuminated trail through the trees in the beautiful setting of the national arboretum
November –
December
Bath Christmas Market:
Bath Abbey serves as a wonderful backdrop for this traditional Christmas market with stalls, carol singers and mulled wine.
Christmas at Blenheim, Woodstock:
A truly magical time at the Palace when Christmas trees sparkle in the great court and sumptuous decorations adorn the state rooms
December
Berkeley Castle by Candlelight:
Berkeley Castle will once again be the setting for the special Castle by Candlelight festive event this Christmas, giving visitors a magical insight into times gone by.
The Abbey Christmas Fayre:
Tewkesbury Abbey offers the perfect opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit with festive music and stalls.
Victorian Christmas Evening- Bourton on the Water:
Traditional Victorian dress, carol singing, shopping and the switching on of the Christmas tree.
Regular events held throughout the year in the Cotswolds also include:
Guided walks in towns and the countryside

Farmers markets

Craft markets

Concerts and recitals

Special exhibitions


Photo / Nick Turner