Summer festivals in the Cotswolds
A springtime of festivals in the CotswoldS
Cheltenham Food Festival, Three Counties Show and the Cotswold Show.
If you love artisan food and drink and enjoy country living, the Cotswolds is the place to visit this spring, writes Jayne Howarth
Late spring/early summer is the perfect time to organise a festival.
There is a feeling of optimism as we enjoy the longer, warmer days of the year and look forward to enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends.
Who doesn’t love a good festival? From literature to food, dance to music, there is nothing more satisfying than discovering new delights at the myriad stalls and stages.
Luckily for us, the Cotswolds is gearing up for a series of great events in June and July and will invite visitors from across the region and further afield to enjoy all that the region has to offer.
For a five-star menu of activities, you must head to The Cheltenham Food Festival, which takes place in Montpellier Gardens between June 15 and 17.
Chefs from local restaurants, including Russells in Broadway and Hotel du Vin Cheltenham, will be cooking up some treats, as will former Gloucester Wasps and England rugby union prop and Masterchef Celebrity 2011 winner Phil Vickery.
Visitors will be able to take advantage of free talks with ale experts Tim Hampson and Melissa Cole, while cheese lovers can learn the secrets to making the perfect cheddar, goats’ cheese and ricotta. As well as wine tastings, visitors will also discover why sherry - and not that sweet, sickly stuff your great aunt drank at Christmas - is the next big thing. Completing the weekend of events will be singers, entertainers and street theatre.
Over in Malvern, the annual Three Counties Show will be taking place at the Three Counties Showground on June 15-17.
The largest agricultural show in the Midlands will see some of the finest livestock of the region being exhibited; the food and drink hall will be stocked with local fare, including ciders, perries and cheeses, and cookery demonstrations with special guest Sophie Grigson will tempt foodies to try something a little different in the kitchen.
Go and watch the qualifying event for the English sheep shearing team, while over in the entertainments section you can see the falconry and gun dogs displays, go back in time to medieval days and look around the forestry area.
The Cotswold Show and Country Fair is another great event for the region and promises to be a family extravaganza this year, with demonstrations by Monster Trucks, which are back by popular demand, and Blazing Saddles, a group of highly trained stunt riders who will perform stunts on horseback.
Taking place over the weekend of June 30 and July 1 at Cirencester Park, the event will also for the first time hosting a Festival of Music in partnership with BBC Introducing.
Show director Claudia Wilson said: “All weekend we’ll be playing host to some fantastic local bands and musicians for everyone to enjoy. We’re all really excited about the Cotswold Show this year as we have so much for the whole family to enjoy.”
Other activities include archery, clay shooting, family dog show and agility, ferret racing as well as craft demonstrations, more than 200 stalls and a cookery theatre. The ECG Cricket Factory will also be there, helping budding Kevin Pietersens to brush up on their skills.
Dogs are also welcome at the show.