Forget Sunday lunch. Scoff platefuls of kräftskiva at the LondonSwedes Crayfish Festival. Expects mountains of the sexy red shellfish, potato salad, snaps and plenty of Nordic feels at this traditional end-of-summer shindig. 25 Sheldon Square. Sat. Free to £35.
Don’t sit in watching Netflix like normal people this weekend, head to this freaky VHS festival instead. Childhood pals Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher have delved through charity shop bargain bins and car boots for the weirdest, silliest and most outrageous VHS tapes can get their hands on. Now, they’re showing them to the world and bringing an all-new ‘After Dark’ selection of the trashiest, dirtiest and most depraved videos in their collection. Soho Theatre. Sat. £14.50-£17.
While normal people watch re-runs of ‘Jonathan Creek’ to get their crime fix, why not indulge in a bit of real-life sleuthing instead. Fancy yourself as the next Sherlock? Casefile is a live mystery game letting you play detective in the city. Read through a ‘police file’ bursting with information about a mysterious crime and follow the trail of clues to try and catch the killer. Clues and red herrings will send you across Ealing, where you’ll be tasked with questioning real witnesses and collecting evidence. Various locations across Ealing. Sat. £12.
You can stick your boring club nights. Head to this shindig dedicated to maverick film director Kenneth Anger. Enter his world of occult, magik, dark, surreal, avant-garde and experimental film-making through an evening of music and screenings. Prepare to have one hell of a confusing night. Moth Club. Sun. Free.
The blackberries are ripening, the leaves are changing and the smell of bonfires is in the air; it can only mean one thing… autumn is coming! What better way to celebrate the start of the season of mellow fruitfulness than with a September event. The UK is overflowing with fantastic autumn events just ripe for the picking, and we’ve got 10 that are sure to keep you feeling cosy as the weather cools.
Where To Travel In September For Top UK Events
Whether you’re looking for a city centre apartment for the Edinburgh Mela or a family-sized farmhouse in Moray, you’re in the right place. Holiday Lettings has hundreds of rentals to choose from so you can really make the most of your stay near these September events. All you need to do is choose where you want to go!
The Edinburgh Mela | Edinburgh
When: 1 – 2 September
The Edinburgh Mela is one of Scotland’s largest, and most diverse, community festivals. Held over a fun packed weekend, the festival boasts a packed programme of music and dance. Incorporating local and international acts, this inclusive festival represents a wealth of countries and continents, from India to Africa, to China and the Arab nations. The festival strives to improve the level of artistic contributions from black and minority ethnic artists, creating an inclusive environment based on the rich cultural heritage within reach. And as Edinburgh is brimming with fantastic things to see and do, the Mela is definitely worth booking a holiday for.
The Penfro Book Festival is held in the beautiful setting of Rhosygilwen in Wales, in 60 acres of stunning countryside. Owen Sheers, Rowan Williams, Carol Ann Duffy and Deborah Moggach (Marigold Hotel) are among authors who have featured at the festival in recent years. There are also writing workshops, talks and live performances. This year’s guests include broadcaster, Roy Noble, and storyteller, Peter Chand. So, if you’re a budding writer or just have a love of books, why not book a rental nearby and make the most of this brilliantly bookish event?
The little sister of the Barnes Fair, this long standing community event now in its 44th year. The fair takes place in and around a large marquee on the picturesque Barnes Green in London. Exhibitors in the main marquee sell a wide selection of delicious, unusual, organic and innovative products to taste and take home, and this year, stalls include award-winning cheese specialists Paxton & Whitfield, and the delectable Rococo Chocolates. Outside the marquee, you’ll find street food from Colombia, India, Thailand and the USA. Drinks include beer from local Barnes brewery, Jeffersons, and a Cocktail Tent from Orange Pekoe, Barnes’ specialist tea shop. Enjoy your refreshments whilst listening to music from local bands.
Marking the start of the native oyster harvesting season, this family-friendly festival in the pretty town of Stranraer, southwest Scotland, brings together top chefs, inspiring speakers, amazing entertainers and some of the world’s leading oyster experts. The seafood celebration on the shores of Loch Ryan is also home to the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship. Plus, there’ll be demonstrations by Nick Nairn, a seafood street food marquee, children’s entertainment, a champagne and oyster bar, local gin, local oysters and much, much more! Book a stay nearby to enjoy this unique festival to the full.
Head to the historic city of York this September to see in the autumn in style at Yorkshire’s biggest beer festival. It’s one of the highlights of the annual UK beer festival calendar! Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival takes place on York Knavesmire: 150 acres of tree-lined parkland which has hosted events since Roman times. It features Europe’s longest bar serving over 500 beers from UK breweries and 100 ciders, as well as a foreign beer bar, world wines, a food village, live music stage and massive outside beer garden.
The 20th annual Wigtown Book Festival takes place in one of Scotland’s most beautiful scenic areas with the Central Belt and Ayrshire to the north, Cumbria and the Lake District to the south, and the Scottish Borders and Northumberland to the east. The rugged coastline, wild woodlands and majestic mountains are sure to inspire writers. There will be a host of special guests including crime writer Ann Cleeves, comedians Susan Calman and Robin Ince, and TV personality Clare Balding. The festival also features theatre, film and a whole programme of activities for children and young people. Described as a jewel in the crown of literary festivals, it’s among the friendliest events of its kind.
Narberth Food Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2018, welcoming foodies, families and fun-lovers alike. Over 50 stalls will feature Pembrokeshire and Welsh producers selling their tasty treats and delicious local fare. Plus, there’ll be chef demos, masterclasses on preserving fish, fermentation, foraging, and gin and whisky tasting. Add live music, street entertainment and children’s activities into the mix and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a fabulous food festival.
The Stratford Town Centre Food Festival | Stratford-Upon-Avon
When: 22 – 23 September
The Stratford Town Centre Food Festival showcases the thriving food and drink scene in Shakespeare’s hometown. Each year, thousands of people descend for a weekend of food and fun organised by Stratforward BID, and backed by town centre businesses including festival sponsor Loxleys. The weekend includes a packed programme of free demonstrations and hands-on workshops, while a bustling producers market sprawling through the streets brings over 100 regional food and drink stalls. Visitors can also take part in the popular Food and Ale Trails that lead them through the town and include samples at a range of restaurants, cafes and pubs.
The 3rd Findhorn Bay Festival is a spectacular six-day celebration of arts and culture taking place in the heart of Moray. Showcasing artists of national and international renown, performances and events take place in unexpected spaces and scenic locations. The Festival has something for everyone with a vibrant mix of theatre and performance, exhibitions and live music, fine-art and photography, talks and tours. Book a beautiful private rental nearby to make the most of your stay in Moray this autumn.
The Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival at Snape Maltings is the place to be for foodies this September. With more than 100 fine food and drink companies and a select group of newcomers, all offering the best of local produce, there’s plenty to tempt the taste buds. An impressive line-up of guest chefs and culinary pros will be ready to share their knowledge and skills. Then there’s live music, the family meadow, foraging trails, hands-on cooking for kids and an amazing range of specialities in the food courtyard.
When you think of Italy, pizza probably comes to mind (along with pasta, amazing coffee, and fresh pastries). The city of Florence in particular is known for many things, from world-famous artworks to stunning architecture, but the food is definitely a highlight – at least for us! Mix up your usual pizza order the next time you’re in Firenze with one of these unique pies.
This unique pizzeria has quite the following (check out all of the positive TripAdvisor reviews), thanks to uncommon toppings like squash blossoms and smoked salmon. The pies at Gustarium have a thick crust, similar to focaccia, and the slices are sold by weight. Sample a little bit of everything, or get one big slice – you really can’t go wrong here!
24/r Firenze, Via dei Cimatori, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
This organic pizzeria is known for unique flavour combinations and natural ingredients – but the most surprising pie on their menu is topped with pea hummus, shrimp, organic walnuts, and plenty of cheese. Their “Pizza e Mortazza” also has a unique twist with pistachios and a little orange cream.
Via de’ Ginori, 58/red, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Have you ever had pizza with sourdough crust before? Try it at Berbere, an eatery that uses high quality, organic ingredients. Their menu changes every season, so you can enjoy a unique pie no matter what time of year you’re travelling to Florence. Keep an eye out for locally sourced, seasonal ingredients!
Piazza dei Nerli, 1, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
Enjoy innovative pizzas, including one topped with lampredotto, a typical Florentine dish made from cow stomach. Santarpia also uses toppings like pumpkin if you’re feeling imaginative, and their staff has a reputation for being friendly and helpful.
Largo Pietro Annigoni, 9, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Ristorante Ciro & Sons
Get the best of both worlds at this ristorante – classic pizza topped with beef bresaola (dried, salted beef). It’s the perfect marriage of two essential Italian dishes, and proof that some things are better together! This pie also has Italian chicory, blue cheese, and mozzarella. Bonus: Ristorante Ciro & Sons offers gluten-free pizzas, so everyone can enjoy.
Via del Giglio, 28, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
The dough at Obica is made with stone-ground flour and rises for 48 hours – they offer a whole wheat version, too. Enjoy all kinds of pizza topped with Florentian ingredients like artichokes and black truffles. Obica has several locations, so keep an eye out during all of your travels through Italy.
Via de’ Tornabuoni, 16, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Want to get a more personal look at some of the best pizza in Firenze? Check out our Florence Artisan Food Tour for an inside look at everything that goes into making some of the city’s most famous foods, or enjoy our Sunset Food Tour, complete with plenty of local wine.
If you’ve got a love of the great outdoors and a sense of adventure that’s itching to be unleashed, then a hiking holiday is for you. It’s not only amazing exercise – the breathtaking views you’ll discover en route are well worth the hard work. Challenge yourself to scale a mountain or take things slow with a stroll in the forest. Whatever your age and ability, a hiking holiday is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.
Top hiking holidays in the UK
After a long day of walking, put your feet up at your own private holiday rental. Whether you love the peace and quiet of a cottage tucked away in a sleepy village, or want to spread out in a spacious townhouse with pubs and restaurants nearby, Holiday Lettings has got it covered.
*Methodology: We analysed all UK holiday rental reviews on TripAdvisor. (Holiday Lettings is a TripAdvisor company). Selected hiking destinations needed to be among some of the highest-rated in the country (minimum 100 lifetime total reviews), and have a sufficient amount of properties available to book on Holiday Lettings.
#1 Drymen, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park | Avg. Rating 4.918
The beautiful village of Drymen in Stirling is the ideal base from which to enjoy one of Scotland’s most stunning National Parks. Whether you’re new to walking holidays or you’re an experienced hiker, there are routes to suit all abilities. For a strenuous (but exhilarating) hike, ascend the Sron a’ Chlachain peak for glorious views of Killin and Loch Tay. Or if you want to take things easy, stroll through planted forest and native woodland at Acharn Forest. There are so many options when it comes to walking in this area. And, with cosy boltholes or even modern cottages nearby, you’ll be spoilt for choice for rentals, too.
Welcome to the charming Carlisle – Cumbria’s charming cathedral city. The surrounding Lake District has been inspiring poets, artists and writers for hundreds of years. It’s easy to fall under its spell when you look out over the mountains in this breathtaking part of the world. Experienced hikers will probably be keen to scale the world-famous Scafell Pike with its wild and rocky terrain, while those looking to follow in William Wordsworth’s footsteps should wander over to Ullswater to laze on a riverbank and watch the daffodils. And after a day spent exploring the beautiful waterfalls and woodlands nearby, why not put your feet up in your own private holiday rental? From lakeland stone townhouses with exposed beams to quirky cottages on the outskirts, there are lots of options in Carlisle.
The beautiful seaside town of Bangor is perfect for mountain holidays as there are so many places to explore nearby. The imposing granite tors and lofty peaks of the dramatic Mourne Mountains will take your breath away, and the Glen River walk is a great way to see this range in all its glory. Wildlife enthusiasts and those walking with children should check out the Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Downpatrick. Your pedometer will be stacking up the steps without you even realising it as you’ll be busy spotting colourful wild roses, rare species of birds and wildfowl. And if the sea is your ideal backdrop for a hike, the North Down Coastal Path is the place for you.
From a gentle amble along the Fife Coastal Path to a hefty hike on the Great Glen way, the Scottish Highlands has some of the best walking routes in the world. A rental in Ullapool is a great choice as you can enjoy walks along the traditional harbour or tuck into some hearty pub grub to refuel after scaling the slopes of nearby Stac Pollaidh. If you love discovering historical sites, choose a route past Melrose Abbey or follow the Cateran Trail to discover ancient tracks used by cattle rustlers (Caterans) who plundered glens from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. When you’re ready to rest, a cosy cottage rental or a secluded cabin in the woods awaits!
#5 Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway | Avg. Rating 4.874
Expect a warm and friendly welcome when you stay in Dumfries. This pretty town was once home to the poet, Robert Burns. Nearby, you’ll find atmospheric forests, rugged hills and picturesque villages, so you’re sure to find the perfect hiking route for you. Take a stroll along the Solway Coast to the Merrick, or maybe try the popular hill ascent above Loch Trool. If you need some refreshment, you’ll find plenty of traditional pubs and quaint cafes on the way. This area is beautiful all year round, so why not book a romantic trekking holiday this autumn?
With over 300 miles of coastal path and 2,400 miles of inland trails, Cornwall is a hiker’s paradise. One of the best places to stay if you’re looking to make the most of these trails is St Agnes, due to its proximity to some of the best walking routes. The Pendennis Point, Falmouth to Maenporth route on the south coast is great for all ages and abilities and includes impressive views south towards the Lizard and east towards Plymouth. For (even) more stunning scenery, head to Widemouth Bay and walk to Pentire Point. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the north coast will leave you feeling refreshed and revived. You’ll find these routes and many more when you book a hiking holiday in Cornwall.
#7 Brecon, Brecon Beacons National Park | Avg. Rating 4.863
Lush green glades, sparkling waterfalls and magical caves make hiking holidays in the Brecon Beacons feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy-tale. The town of Brecon is the perfect base for exploring the 600+ miles of bridle paths and tracks that criss-cross this area. Take some binoculars with you to get a good look at the Red Kites as you walk; these magnificent birds of prey are now common in the region. For a little light refreshment, enjoy a freshly made scone at one of the pretty farmhouse cafes in the area. After a day spent in the great outdoors, you’ll love returning to your tranquil cottage to relax before dinner.
Whether you relish the challenge of hiking up a hill or want to take it easy with a gentle stroll, the Cotswolds is rich in hiking and walking opportunities. The utterly charming village of Chipping Campden boasts some of the best holiday rentals in the area, so it’s a wonderful place to choose a classic cottage to rent for a relaxing getaway. There’s also a variety of circular walks which include level and stile-free routes ideal for wheelchairs and easy access.
If you’re feeling energetic, why not complete the Cotswold Way National Trail? This 102-mile route takes walkers through some of the Cotswolds’ best scenery with historic monuments and pretty villages en route. The rolling hills and lush woodland surrounding Chipping Campden is sure to make any hiker or keen walker want to return again and again.
For lovers of history and architecture, Winchester is an excellent base for a hiking holiday in Hampshire. Visit The Great Hall where you can see an interpretation of King Arthur’s round table, head to the bustling cultural quarter of the city where you can watch a play or listen to live music. But don’t forget the surrounding landscape: Hampshire has some of England’s most inspiring countryside where ancient woodlands, secluded valleys and open down lands sit side by side. Popular routes in the area include the Clarendon Way, the Wayfarer’s Walk and the South Downs Way National Trail.
This pretty market town in Wales is famous for its elegant Georgian buildings, Montgomery Canal and the 17th-century Powis Castle and Gardens. It’s a great place to stay when you’re hiking in the region. If you’ve never experienced the thrill of climbing to the summit of a mountain, Pen y fan is a good place to start. Or for a nice easy walk long the lake, hike along Llyn Safaddan in Llangorse where you can enjoy a picnic as a reward at the end. You’ll find a wide array of rentals in the area, from log cabins to converted barns, so picking a place to stay is easy.
This picture-perfect peninsula in Southern Cornwall is perfect for a hiking holiday. You have some fantastic inland trails and coastal paths right on your doorstep! For an easy but rewarding hike, start at the impressive Lizard Lighthouse, Tennyson’s “Southern Eyes of Britain”. You’ll also see the huge conical hole in the cliff top know as ‘Lions Den’ created when a sea cave collapsed in 1847. The Old Coastguard lookout on this route is still manned and, as you head into the more remote sections of the Cornwall Coast Path, you will be logged in as you pass. At the end of a day outdoors, there’s nothing like kicking back and relaxing in the cosy atmosphere of your private rental.
Known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, this beautiful town has plenty of independent shops and restaurants, so it’s a great place to base yourself for a walking holiday in the area. If you love expansive beaches, take a walk along the Ardnamurchan peninsula with its fabulous views of The Small Isles and Ardnamurchan Point. Shell collectors will love it here, too, as the white sandy beach is strewn with sparkling treasures. And, of course, Ben Nevis will be a major highlight for hiking enthusiasts during their stay.
When I first arrived in London, I assumed that the British love for tea was just a cultural stereotype. Little did I know that stereotypes hold some grains of truth. After living here for years, I have slowly begun to adapt to relaxing with a ‘cuppa’.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is a museum dedicated to tea. The Twinings Tea Shop and Museum boasts a large selection of tea with many flavours not found in regular supermarkets. There are teas for everyday drinking and flavoured loose teas if you’re planning a proper tea party (or just want to keep warm on a winter’s day).
However it is the back of the shop that is the real draw – a small room dedicated to the history of Twinings tea and the tea trade in general. As someone who didn’t grow up in the UK (or in a tea drinking environment), the exhibits gave me a broad overview on how integral tea is to the British way of life.
While browsing the old Twinings advertising or retro packaging, visitors are welcome to enjoy (surprise) a cup of tea. The staff is happy to advise newbies to tea and introduce them to brand new blends – the White Tea and Pomegranate is my favourite!