7 Truly Unique and Quirky Festivals to Experience the UK Through a Different Lens

Category:  

Entertainment   Food and Festival  

 

When you hear the word festivals and think of the UK, it’s not wrong to assume that music is involved. But, sometimes we don’t want just a music festival. Sometimes we want something more. A festival is an experience. It provides a sense of community. It allows us to open ourselves up in a way we can’t always express in our everyday lives. And when you add travel to the mix, you’ve got yourself something different. Which is what most of us are seeking from our next adventures anyway. While you can be just an average tourist in the UK, why not look into some of these unique festivals to experience this country in a way you never would have expected?

 

1. The Jane Austen Festival, Bath, UK

 

The Jane Austen Festival, Bath, UK
Picture Credits: The Jane Austen Festival, Bath, UK

 

Where: Bath, Somerset
When: Summer (June/July)
Cost: £20

The English major in me swoons at this festival. For any book lover, Jane Austen fan, or historical junkie in general, the Jane Austen Festival is a dream. Not only do you get to visit the place where the famous author lived and based 2 of her novels (and you should totally visit this place just for those reasons alone), there’s also a variety of other activities. You can experience tours, workshops, talks, see a camp of red-coat soldiers, and even go to a ball! All while surrounded by other individuals dressed in costumes of the period. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a sucker for themed parties and festivals. You don’t have to be in costume the entire time, and they give recommendations of where you can rent a costume if you’re not very crafty (like me). But it’s definitely required for their Masked Ball. Talk about an unforgettable evening at this multi-day festival.

 

 

2. Supernormal

 

Supernormal
Picture Credits: Supernormal

 

Where: Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
When: Summer (August)
Cost: £40 (Sunday ticket), £120 (full weekend ticket)

Art and music blend in a kaleidoscopic celebration at the Supernormal festival. This festival works hard to stretch the boundaries and allows for play and whimsy to show in its aesthetic. In other words, the whole weekend will be perfectly grammable to make all your followers jealous of Insta. It’s unlike any other music festival considering there’s an insane amount of experimental art going on. This festival turns its nose up at capitalistic values and hopes to create a unique community amongst its guests. And that should be at the heart of any festival experience (in my opinion). It’s just cool to be a part of something bigger than yourself. And I hope you can be a part of it!

 

 

3. Coventry Godiva Festival

 

Coventry Godiva Festival
Picture Credits: Coventry Godiva Festival

 

Where: Coventry
When: Summer (July)
Cost: £2

The Coventry City Council and their partners sure know how to organize an event, to say the least. The Coventry Godiva Festival is a three-day festival that has everything you could want and more. Music, family activities, international cuisine, a craft village, and a children’s fair! Plus, it’s in the historic War Memorial Park. Be sure to bring your families to this one. Artists who perform here span across genres, from acoustic to hip-hop to pop to rock. They have it all. And (this is the best part), the ticket only costs £2. Yeah, you heard me right. What are you waiting for?

 

 

4. HowTheLightGetsIn London

 

HowTheLightGetsIn London
Picture Credits: HowTheLightGetsIn London

 

Where: Hampstead Heath, London
When: Fall (September)
Cost: £134.75

Music tends to be critical of the world around it. The same can be said for comedy. We find comedy so funny because it voices problems we all have in our lives, from basic interactions with people to big worldwide issues. The really cool thing about the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in London is that it gives the participant (hopefully, you!) the unique experience to not only see musical performers and comedians, but also interact with fellow attendees in philosophical debates and talks. Not to mention, this is the world’s largest philosophy and music festival–where topics include issues like climate change and religion. It’s truly unique, to say the least. By going to this, you not only get a mind-opening experience, but you also get the chance to sit down and eat with some world-leading thinkers like Slavoj Zizek, Shoshana Zuboff, Michael Morpurgo, and Monica Grady. So be sure to bring your appetite for lively discussions to the dinner table!

 

 

5. Cornbury Festival

 

Picture Credits: Cornbury Festival

 

Where: Great Tew, Oxfordshire
When: Summer (July)
Cost: £75 (single ticket), £180 (full event ticket)

This 3-day festival is a totally wild experience. When you think of England, you tend to think of your traditional English stereotypes. Tea, the royal family, those guards with the fuzzy black hats. Prim and proper. Well, the Cornbury Festival blends your picturesque, Downton Abbey view with the modern world of festival culture. Nicknamed Poshwood, this open-air event is family-friendly and just about the only place that brings together rockers, farmers, city-folk, and little old ladies who make a pie. It’s a true melting pot of music-lovers. Plus, the food is divine. And for those of you who want to camp without the hassle and dirt and figuring out how to put your tent together, glamping is an option. High-end, refined, and wholesome. Unusual adjectives for an awesome and unusual festival.

 

 

6. Camp Wildfire

 

Camp Wildfire
Picture Credits: Camp Wildfire

 

Where: Sevenoaks, Kent
When: Summer/Fall (End of August/Beginning of September)
Cost: £224

Camp Wildfire music festival is not your typical music festival. It’s also England’s first summer camp for adults. And boy, is it an adventure. Taking place in a secret forest, there are treehouses, tents, and tons of fun activities to harness your inner child. Play some dodgeball with fellow campers, do some climbing, build a rocket. There’s something for everyone activity-wise, even if you were the kid to call home during summer camp (time to redeem yourself!). And in the evenings, there’s a forest party with live music, talks, and DJs. While the tickets are a tad pricey, they include activities, 3 nights of camping, and entertainment. So they pretty much pay for themselves. You’ll be so sad to leave camp and go back to work after the weekend. But what a way to wrap-up your summer and welcome fall!

 

 

7. The Porthcawl Elvis Festival

 

The Porthcawl Elvis Festival
Picture Credits: The Porthcawl Elvis Festival

 

Where: Porthcawl, Wales
When: Fall (September)
Cost: £10 (single ticket), £100 (full, VIP Experience)

Speaking of festivals dedicated to important people, you should totally check out Porthcawl’s Elvis Festival. This festival provides you with an entire weekend dedicated to the King of Rock. There are performances by The Elvis (the top Elvis tribute artists) and over 100 other different shows during the festival at 20 different venues. It’s almost like there’s a festival at the festival. A lot of the shows actually have free entry, which is cool. But you should consider buying a ticket for some of the bigger shows because they’re not to be missed! Additionally, it’s the largest Elvis Festival in the world. This makes for a pretty interesting experience since it takes place in an adorable, little Welsh town.

 

 

 

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