If you are a keen festival-goer then, for the next few of months, Wiltshire is the county for you.
With a wide array of arts festivals through to music festivals and even those of a nostalgic nature, the towns and countryside of this beautiful county are going to be buzzing with life this spring and summer.
Here is VisitWiltshire’s top festival picks for this season.
The Downton Cuckoo Fair on 30 April is an ideal, free to attend, family event held on the greens in this picturesque village six miles south of Salisbury. Quintessentially English and held the day before May Day, the fair will include maypole dancing, Punch and Judy shows, Morris dancing, music and rural craft demonstrations. More information at http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/downton-cuckoo-fair
Throughout the first fortnight of May, the Swindon Festival of Literature celebrates things well-thought, well-written and well-said! This year will include readings and performances by novelists, poets, politicians, travellers, scientists, storytellers, sportsmen, historians, comedians, artists and activists. It takes place from 2-14 May at various venues across the town. Visit http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/swindon-festival-of-literature
A national festival found in the heart of Wiltshire is the Chippenham Folk Festival, the town’s biggest annual event. Throughout the weekend, there are dedicated events for children and teenagers, workshops to try out different dance styles or improve instrumental playing, cabaret acts, storytelling, social dances, wild ceilidh dances and intimate concerts. All the action is from 27-30 May. Go to http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/chippenham-folk-festival
The Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, with its wonderful array of spectacular events and a New Zealand theme for the 2016 season, is set to once again transform Salisbury into a theatrical and art lovers dream. Events are held in various venues across the city and classical and world music will share the limelight with international theatre, dance, film, visual arts, children’s events and outdoor events. Running from 27 May-11 June, more details can be found at http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury/whats-on/ageas-salisbury-international-arts-festival.
CalneFest is a day of music, with numerous stages hosting live bands. There are also plenty of food and drink stands at the event, which is held at the Calne Recreation Ground on 4 June. Go to http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/calnefest
The Vintage Nostalgia Festival in Stockton, near Warminster, is a hidden gem of a festival in the heart of the Wylye Valley. It focuses on the past with live music, vintage trade stands and period exhibits from the turn of the century to the 1980s. 4-5 June (extra events on 3 June for those staying for the weekend). For more information, go to http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/vintage-nostalgia-festival.
Toby Buckland’s Garden Festival at Bowood House is a must-not-miss for garden lovers this 4-5 June. With 100s of exhibits, children’s entertainment, food and craft stalls and appearances by Charlie Dimmock, Roy Lancaster OBE and Jim Butress, the Bowood Estate will transforms into a garden party for the weekend. For more information, check http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/toby-bucklands-garden-festival-at-bowood-house-p1795523.
The internationally renowned Iford Arts Festival is a blend of opera, picnic proms and cloister concerts, which take place in the stunning Grade I Listed Peto Gardens of Iford Manor just outside Bradford on Avon. Events take place from 4 June until 6 August. For more information, check out http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/iford-arts-festival-p1364353.
From the 22-24 July, the White Horse Country Park (between Westbury and Trowbridge) is transformed into folk music heaven as the Village Pump Festival takes over. Headliners this year include the Proclaimers and The Neville Staple Band. Adult tickets start at £109 for access every day. Check http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/whats-on/the-village-pump-festival-p584013 for information.
And, as far as accommodation is concerned, there are plenty of places for you to choose from whether you prefer a countryside escape or a city break. From yurts to world renowned luxury, from self-catering to glamping, Wiltshire offers a warm welcome and accommodation to suit every pocket. See the VisitWiltshire website for details of special offers: http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/special-offers