If there’s one thing our country doesn’t lack (apart from rain), it is tradition. Many free or low-cost community fairs and festivals have historical roots and the summer offers events from all around the country. So be inspired by the past for your future days out with the kids!
Traditional days out with the children: North
Visit the The Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, Co Antrim. Ireland’s oldest traditional market fair dates back centuries and evolved from the ‘loaf mass’ to celebrate the harvest. On 27- 28 August enjoy pony shows, stalls and entertainment (028 2076 2024).
There are around 40 traditional Scottish Highland Games planned in July and August, featuring centuries-old competitions such as wrestling, tug of war and caber tossing plus plenty of pipes and Scottish dancing, too. Many events offer free admission for young children and discounted family rates.
The Pontefract Liquorice Festival in West Yorkshire on 13 July celebrates the liquorice plant that was first brought to the town from the Crusades many centuries ago. The event also offers street entertainment, children’s activities and food and drink to sample (0845 601 8353).
Dating back to a 12th century festival, the Tweedmouth Feast in Berwick-upon-Tweed from 19-21 July celebrates salmon fishing, once a typical sight along the River Tweed. The Salmon Queen is crowned on 20 July, followed by a weekend carnival (01289 301780).
Traditional days out with the children: Central
At the Out of the Woods Festival in Cardiff’s Bute Park on 19 August there are plenty of traditional woodland activities to enjoy, plus the chance to paddle a coracle, a one-man boat of ancient design and opportunities to learn about wildlife and the environment, too (029 2044 5900).
The Robin Hood Festival in Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest on 13-19 August celebrates a famous legend. Plenty of displays and entertainment on offer and more than your average number of bows and arrows, too! Entry to the event is free, £5 to park your car for the day (01623 823202).
Take two local football teams and add the River Windrush for Bourton-on-the-Water’s annual Football in the River match in Gloucestershire, held for over 100 years. Take waterproofs if you’d rather not get wet! A fete opens the day on 27 August (01451 820 2110).
Traditional days out with the children: South
The origins of Chertsey’s Black Cherry Fair can be traced back over 570 years, when King Henry VI granted permission for an annual fair. On 14 July, visitors to the Surrey town can browse stalls and enjoy music and arena entertainment (01932 500705).
The Fowey Royal Regatta has been a fixture on the Cornish south coast since the late 1800s. From 19-25 August, enjoy events on, off and over the water; along with the sailing there are daily competitions, entertainment, music, fireworks and the Red Arrows too. (01726 832133)
Kent’s original Whitstable Oyster Festival dates back to Norman times and celebrates the local heritage. It includes the historic ‘Landing of the Oysters’ ceremony and parade. There is plenty of street entertainment, food and music from 21-27 July (01227 862 066).
Do check all details ahead of your visit.
Know of any traditional community events local to you? Share details by adding your comments below.