Home » The Real Britain » From Glastonbury to Notting Hill: Must-See Festivals in the UK

From Glastonbury to Notting Hill: Must-See Festivals in the UK

From Glastonbury to Notting Hill: Must-See Festivals in the UK

When it comes to festivals, the UK is undeniably the king of the castle, the cream of the crop, the bee’s knees! With a dizzying array of options that cater to every conceivable taste, from music aficionados to literary enthusiasts, the UK festival scene is a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of culture, creativity, and, let’s face it, a good dose of British eccentricity. Join us on a journey from the rolling fields of Glastonbury to the colourful streets of Notting Hill as we explore the must-see festivals that make the UK an undeniable leader in the global festival circuit.

Glastonbury Festival: A Pilgrimage for Music Lovers

Glastonbury Festival, the venerable granddaddy of UK festivals, is more than just a music festival; it’s a five-day extravaganza where music, art, and peace converge in the mystical lands of Somerset. Drawing in crowds of around 200,000 people, Glastonbury is famous not only for its big-name headliners but also for its commitment to environmental sustainability and charitable causes. The festival’s history is steeped in the myths of Avalon, adding an element of mystique to the experience.

  • Variety of Genres: From rock and pop to world music and electronic, Glastonbury has something for everyone.
  • Arts and Theatre: It’s not all about music; the festival also features a vibrant selection of theatre, circus, and comedy performances.
  • Healing Fields: For those seeking tranquillity amid the chaos, the Healing Fields offer workshops in yoga, meditation, and holistic therapies.

Notting Hill Carnival: A Kaleidoscope of Culture

Held annually in London, the Notting Hill Carnival is a vivid expression of Caribbean culture and one of the world’s largest street festivals. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the streets of Notting Hill are transformed into a sea of colours, sounds, and flavours. Revel in the sound of calypso music, marvel at the spectacular costumes, and sample a mouth-watering array of Caribbean street food.

  • Costume Parades: The heart of the carnival, featuring dancers adorned in dazzling, feathered costumes.
  • Sound Systems: Dozens of sound systems are dotted around the area, blasting a variety of music from reggae to R&B.
  • Family Day: The first day of carnival is designated as Family Day, with a more relaxed atmosphere and child-friendly activities.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival: An Artistic Smorgasbord

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival, transforming Scotland’s capital into a bustling hub of creativity for three weeks every August. It’s a place where artists and performers from around the globe showcase their talents across a spectrum that includes theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, opera, music, and more. The Fringe is famous for its open-access policy, meaning anyone with a show to perform can partake. This democratic approach has been the launching pad for many successful careers.

  • Free Street Performances: Even if you’re on a tight budget, the Royal Mile is alive with free shows and street performances.
  • Venue Variety: Shows take place in every conceivable space, from traditional theatres to pubs and even moving vehicles!
  • New Talent: The Fringe is a hotspot for discovering new talent, with many artists debuting their work.

Hay Festival: A Feast for the Mind

In the idyllic town of Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, the Hay Festival is a literary gathering unlike any other. For ten days in May and June, writers, poets, philosophers, politicians, and musicians come together to discuss and celebrate books, ideas, and the power of imagination. It’s the perfect festival for those who prefer their entertainment to be a bit more intellectual.

  • Stellar Line-Up: Past speakers include Nobel Prize laureates, Booker Prize winners, and global thinkers.
  • Family-Friendly: The festival features a robust programme for children and families, making it an educational outing for all ages.
  • Beautiful Setting: The picturesque setting provides a peaceful backdrop for thought-provoking discussion and debate.


From the eclectic beats of Glastonbury to the literary delights of Hay Festival, the UK festival scene offers something for every taste. Whether you’re shaking your feathers at Notting Hill Carnival or laughing out loud at the Edinburgh Fringe, these festivals are not just events; they’re experiences. They’re a testament to the UK’s rich cultural tapestry and a reminder of the power of coming together to celebrate our shared humanity. So, grab your wellies, your glitter, and your sense of adventure, and dive into the extraordinary world of UK festivals. Who knows? You might just find yourself dancing in a field, captivated by a story, or inspired by a new idea. The UK festival circuit is calling. Will you answer?

Have you attended any of these festivals, or is there another UK festival that holds a special place in your heart? Share your stories and experiences in the comments below!

Share this
What are your thoughts?
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for anything!

Great Days Out and Things to do!




Check out other recent posts

Find something fun to do

RealBritainCompany is a Free resource to help you find your way to the best places when visiting the UK
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x