With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, May is one of the best months to get out and about, exploring everything the UK has to offer. Events in May are exciting and diverse, from artisan cheese fairs to book festivals! If you needed a reason to book a break away, these May events are sure to get you packing your case…
Best things to do in May in the UK
Whether you’re booking a rental in Salcombe for the Crab Festival or in Snowdonia for the half marathon, Holiday Lettings has hundreds to choose from. Families can enjoy the space of a townhouse with a large garden, while couples might prefer a cosy bolthole with a romantic feel. Simply decide where you want to go and book your favourite place near one of these May events.
Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival | Hawick
When: 3 – 7 May
This international festival of experimental film and moving image returns once again to the Scottish Borders this May. The 2018 festival will screen 130 films over five days; with 36 world premieres, 18 European premieres, 24 UK premieres and 20 Scottish premieres. There’ll be installations, talks and inspiring visions that might make you want to pick up a camera and get filming yourself! Book a rental nearby and make the most of your stay in Hawick.
Burnsfest 2018 | Ayr
When: 5 May
Burnsfest is a free, family-friendly live music festival celebrating the Scottish bard, Robert Burns. Held in the picturesque Rozelle Park, birthplace of Burns, the event boasts live music from Hipsway, Chesney Hawkes, Carol Laula, Apache Darling, The Hur, Brownbear, Anna Sweeney and Katee Kross & The Amberjax. The event, sponsored by Burns Pet Nutrition and Owen Kerr Signs, also has a range of other attractions including A-Coo-Stick tent, Bairns Bunnet, The Mercat, Burns Food & Drink Village and more! For more information, please visit www.burnsfestival.com
The Artisan Cheese Fair | Melton Mowbray
When: 5 – 6 May
The Artisan Cheese Fair is the UK’s largest, with around 60 cheesemakers from as far as Ireland, north Scotland, Cornwall, Wales and eastern England. The 300 cheeses they make are some of the UK’s rarest and are mouth-wateringly tasty! Visitors can also buy Melton Mowbray’s famous pork pies, as well as beer, cakes and wine. There are talks and demonstrations in the Cheese Theatre and free tutored tastings including ‘Wines with Cheese’. Entertainment will be provided by Melstrum Ukulele Band, Morris Dancers and DMU Gospel Choir (runners up in Gareth’s Best Choir TV series and currently on Britain’s Got Talent).
Salcombe Crab Festival | South Devon
When: 6 May
Salcombe Crab Festival – or Crabfest – returns to the South Devon coast this May. There’s a cracking line-up of cookery demonstrations, quality food and drink stalls, live music and fun culinary competitions. Be inspired by celebrity chefs including Matt Tebbutt (BBC Saturday Kitchen) and Jane Devonshire (MasterChef Champion 2016), and take home world-class local produce, such as Favis of Salcombe crab and the limited edition Crabfest 2018 Gin produced by Salcombe Distilling Co. Funds raised by the family-friendly festival are donated to local charities and entry is free.
Ullapool Book Festival | Scottish Highlands
When: 11 – 13 May
Ullapool Book Festival is back for its 14th year this May and is as brilliantly bookish as ever. The festival promotes the best that contemporary literature has to offer, with an emphasis on Scottish and Scottish-based writers. There’ll be both established and first-time published poets in attendance, as well as writers of fiction and non-fiction. The inaugural Highland Book Prize will be announced at the festival, so this is a fantastic event in May that’s not to be missed! Maybe a stay in the stunning surroundings of the Scottish Highlands will inspire you to put pen to paper and write a book of your own?
Ayr County Show | Ayrshire
When: 12 May
The gates will be opening on Saturday 12 May for the 175th show in this event’s 181-year history! Celebrating the traditional and embracing the future, the show has earned its place as a must-do event on the calendars of both the farming community and families looking for a good value day out. There’ll be animal exhibitions and competitions, trade stands, crafts, a vintage tractor display, sticks and crooks, SWI competitions, Young Farmers competitions and much, much more! Food and drink is very much part of the event emphasising the very important link from ‘Field to Fork’. For more details, please visit our site www.ayrcountyshow.co.uk
Pint of Science Festival 2018 | Various locations
When: 14 – 16 May
The Pint of Science Festival 2018 is the world’s largest festival of public science talks, and brings more than 1000 scientists to the stage in pubs across 32 UK cities. Members of the public will have the chance to get up close and personal with the latest scientific innovations and pose their burning questions to talented researchers and science communicators. The festival brings a unique line-up of talks, demonstrations and live experiments to the nation’s favourite locals. So, get a round in and fill your brain with science this May!
Snowdonia Half Marathon | North Wales
When: 20 May
This scenic (but tough!) half marathon is set in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park starts and finishes in the village of Llanrwst, which played host to the World Trail Running Championships in 2013. The park is a region of haunting beauty and grandeur, of wild rocky mountains, hidden valleys, cascading rivers, still glacial lakes and deep forests. 2018 sees the 7th running of this very scenic race and memorable event. RunWales, the event’s organisers, works hard behind the scenes to make sure the runners and spectators have a fantastic day out. Combine the race with a holiday in a beautiful part of the UK.
The Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair | Moray
When: 20 May
From caber tossing to parkour athletes, highland dancing to Indian runner ducks, the Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair is a fun day out for all the family. Entering its eighth year, the annual event looks to welcome 10,000 national and international visitors in 2018 and it’s likely you’ll be back year after year! This unique event is definitely worth going on holiday for, so pack your kilt and get ready for some Highland highjinx!
Knockengorroch World Ceilidh | Kirkcudbrightshire
When: 24 – 27 May
Knockengorroch World Ceilidh festival 2018 is a four-day roots music festival in the hills of South West Scotland. The line-up includes world music legends Transglobal Underground (featuring Natacha Atlas), American virtuoso turntablist Cut Chemist, West African all female powerhouse Les Amazones d’Afrique, Mongolian throat singers Anda Union, Gaelic supergroup Inyal, and the all-female brass band explosion Balkan Paradise Orchestra. There’ll also be a children’s area, workshops, cinema, sauna, healing area, real ales, global shopping, good food, traditional music sessions, a Celtic Longhouse, swimming, fire shows, art installations, dance, circus, comedy, spoken word, theatre, storytelling, puppets and, believe it or not, lots more!
May Festival | Aberdeen
When: 25 – 27 May
The May Festival offers over 100 events for adults, families and schools, spanning themes including literature, music, science, sport and Gaelic. The ever-expanding ‘Discover’ theme also gives audiences an insight into the cutting edge research going on at the University. This year, a major theme is ‘Celebrate Youth’ with a special dedicated stand to support Scotland’s Year of Young People. And be sure not to miss the family fun Children’s Programme which offers a number of great drop-in events for all the family to enjoy.
Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival | Scotland
When: 25 May – 3 June
The 39th Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival, bringing 66 live shows to over 44 venues and reaching across 2,481 unspoilt square miles of one of the UK’s most beautiful regions. The full 2018 festival programme is now available and includes events from some of the nation’s most respected traditional musicians, five-star cutting-edge theatre, a host of hilarious comedians, engaging children’s shows, literary events, and more performances by Dumfries and Galloway artists than ever before. It’s sure to be a fantastic week of wit and wonder.
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