freebird times (5)


and musicals during the Summer

months. Bring your own cushion

and a warm blanket would also be a

useful accessory.

Newquay is host to multiple

Summer /Autumn festivals

(literature and film, not just

surfing!) and the spectacular Eden

Project is not just a daytime

pleasure but also a location for

performances in Spring and

Summer held in a broad grassy

arena much admired for its


Padstow in Cornwall is famed for its

harbour and gastronomic charm ? a

destination for many given the fame

of local restauranteur and TV chef,

Rick Stein. It is also at the heart of

regional cultural tradition. One of

its variety of events is the famed

Obby Oss Festival which is

celebrated annually on May Day. It

is thought to be the oldest dance

festival in Britain involving troupes

of local dancers, a maypole,

costumes and general fun and


The Hunting of the Earl of Rone

festival takes place in Combe

Martin, Devon, each year and

re-enacts a 400-year old manhunt

with full costumes and general

chasing around. A must for Agatha

Christie fans is the annual Festival

in mid-September (in Torquay) with

all manner of exhibitions, author

talks, murder mystery dinners and

jazz. Also of note is the literary

festival held each May held in

Fowey over three days with a

concentration on the works of

Daphne du Maurier.


The county of Somerset has always

evoked England?s pastoral heritage

but the tranquillity is breached

every year or so (if the fields

recover in time!) by the

Glastonbury Festival. It has been in

existence on Worthy Farm since the

1970s. With its roots in flower

power, alternative lifestyles and of

course music, the festival has

evolved into much more than a rock

music festival with all types of

music catered for from classical,

jazz and blues to folk, rock, dance

and soul ? a veritable feast for the

senses. There are also many

themed areas covering food,

meditation, politics, comedy,

literature and arts & crafts. Bring

your wellies in case it rains and

leave the mudsliding to the youth!

Also, look out for music and

literature festivals in Bristol and

Bath ? notably Bath?s annual

Travel 6

International Music Festival in

May/June featuring jazz, classical

and world music; Bristol?s Upfest,

Europe?s largest street art and

graffiti festival and Bristol?s

Slapstick Festival celebration of

silent film and comedy held every


The counties of Hampshire, Dorset

and Wiltshire overlap with the

ancient English kingdom of Wessex,

the location of Stonehenge and the

region where King Alfred saw off

the last of the Vikings.

The Isle of Wight, just off the coast,

is host to festivals throughout the

year ? especially literature and of

course sailing (Cowes Week in

August). Also in the locale, Longleat

House hosts not just the famous

safari park but also events/concerts

over the Spring/Summer months,

while near Winchester The

Watercress Line is one of the most

famous steam-powered railways in


The rather odd Tichborne Dole

Festival takes place in the

eponymous town each March and

locals line up to be ?doled out? an

allowance of a gallon of flour in

ceremonies dating from the 12th

century. Recognised as the most

traditional event in England, the


Hills of South England, Hastings, England

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