Events and Festivals in the Cotswolds

Events and Festivals in the Cotswolds

A year-round haven promising untold adventure, the countryside scenes and ancient estates of the Cotswolds National Landscape play host to an array of events and festivals. From world-famous literary festivals and regal race days, to tantalising foodie feasts, the region’s line-up spans the seasons and entices for year-round escapism amongst some of the most beautiful settings imaginable.

If you are seeking an unforgettable staycation, then uncover some of our favourite festivals and events in the Cotswolds ready to craft the most magical memories.

Cheltenham Festival

12th - 15th March 2024

Cheltenham Festival is regarded as one of the most influential events in the UK’s jump-racing calendar. An already widely anticipated event each year, this March the festival is set to be even more spectacular than ever, celebrating the hundred-year anniversary of the event’s Gold Cup and coinciding with the ever-popular St Patrick’s Day. Arrive in your race day finery and immerse in the atmosphere, listening to the thunder of hooves and witnessing as racing greats become living legends over four days and 28 races. To keep you satiated are a large selection of award-winning restaurants and race course-view bars, while private boxes can be booked for a more exclusive experience. If you are already dreaming of a 2025 sojourn, the festival is set to span from 11th to 14th March 2025.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival

1st - 6th May 2024

One of the country’s most prestigious jazz festivals and one of the best things to do in the town, Cheltenham Jazz Festival has hosted some of the world’s leading musicians over the years from Randy Crawford to Van Morrison to Gregory Porter. Celebrating jazz, blues and world music, it unites local and international talent alike and sets a world-class platform for established and emerging artists. Venture over to the town’s Montpellier Gardens this year and look forward to soul-stirring performances from the greats, enjoying the fusion of rhythmic beats and freestyle melodies. Commanding the stage, 2024's line-up features Jack Savoretti, Namvula, Birmingham Conservatoire and Gabriella Liandu. 

Badminton Horse Trials

A horse show jumping

8th - 12th May 2024

At the beginning of May this year, the Badminton Horse Trials celebrates its 75th anniversary. One of the most exciting equestrian events in the sporting calendar, this international event in Badminton Park, Gloucestershire, draws in riders and spectators from across the world. Held across five days, it features several different, yet equally challenging, disciplines during which horses and their riders must compete, including dressage tests, cross-country and show jumping. Purchase tickets for a day or attend each stage of competitions, ready to grace your race day attire and admire the thrilling spectacles of strength, stamina, grace and agility.

Cotswold Festival of Steam 2024

25th - 27th May 2024

Step back through time for a nostalgia-fuelled journey with Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s Cotswold Festival of Steam. Showcasing the region’s industrial heritage and the verdant countryside of the Cotswolds, this family-friendly event proposes relaxed rail rides, heritage displays and an array of activities. Pull away from the platform and be lulled into tranquillity as a vintage steam train carries you through spellbinding scenery, relishing the beautiful landscapes that slip past your shoulder. Upon your return, peruse the intriguing exhibitions and marvel at the impressive feats of engineering, learning about the fascinating evolution of locomotives over the decades and the role of the railways in shaping the region.

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

25th - 27th May 2024

Savour three days of culinary exploration at the family and dog-friendly Blenheim Palace Food Festival this May. A much-anticipated food festival held in the grounds of Blenheim’s sprawling estate near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, the festival attracts gourmet seekers from near and far with a delectable menu of highlights. Bursting with flavour and bustling with activity, the event promises live cookery demonstrations, food forums with celebrity chefs and booking signings, as well as picnic areas, street food stalls, artisan treats, craft beer tents, cocktail stands and much more. Secure your tickets in advance and anticipate a glorious day full of charm this spring.

Wychwood Festival

31st May - 2nd June 2024

One of the best events and festivals in the Cotswolds this year is Wychwood Festival, held at Cheltenham Racecourse. A wonderful way to draw out the colours of spring and herald the start of summer, this family-friendly event features an unmissable line-up of music, comedy, literature and interactive workshops for all ages. Head over for a day or dip in and out of the whole weekend, listening to live music played by your favourite bands, relaxing in quiet corners with a cocktail in hand, and enjoying comedic moments from satirical masters. With a huge number of things to see and do, good times and great memories await to be made.

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

13th - 14th July 2024

One of the largest festivals of its kind in Europe, Tewkesbury Medieval Festival is an annual tradition that sees more than two thousand actors and history enthusiasts gather together in the market town of Tewkesbury. Beginning as a reenactment of the Battle of Tewkesbury, the festival has grown over the last four decades to present a veritable portal into Medieval England. Perfect for families, it features several different areas such as a battlefield, market, falconry centre and King and Queen’s camps. Watch as re-enactors fettle their amour, take part in Medieval games, and be entertained by minstrels, jugglers and even a dragon or two as you savour a glass of mead at this historical foray.

Royal International Air Tattoo 2024

A spitfire plane in flight

19th - 21st July 2024

The Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford is not only one of the most famous aerial events in the Cotswolds but the globe. The world’s largest military air show, it is held each year in July in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trusts and centres around a spectacular air show. Presenting an unparalleled opportunity for pilots to demonstrate their gravity-defying skills and for audiences to be awed by breath-taking aerial acrobats, it’s an event that inspires awe in all generations. Attend RIAT this year and look forward to flying and static displays, RAF experiences, and a vintage village with bandstands, retro shopping and classic theme park rides.

Wilderness Festival

A musician playing a guitar for a live audience at a festival

1st - 4th August 2024

Taking place within the verdant realms of the Cotswolds, the multi-award-winning Wilderness Festival is a celebration for the dreamers. Calling for a weekend of wonder within the beautiful Cornbury Park Estate, season thirteen’s programme includes a wide breadth of activities and attractions. With last year’s bill topped by The Chemical Brothers, Christine & The Queens and Fatboy Slim, 2024’s line-up is sure to inspire with everything from live music and the arts, to feasting and foraging, to soul-nourishing activities and wellbeing workshops. Flee the everyday and embrace wilderness escapism over a day or the whole weekend and weave magic into every moment.

Gatcombe Festival of British Eventing

The hooves of racing horses

2nd - 4th August 2024

The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing is held at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire, the home of HRH The Princess Royal. Running for nearly four decades, it is recognised internationally as one of the most important events of its kind in the equestrian calendar. Hosting five championships, it comprises the Magic Millions British Open, Intermediate and Novice Championships, Amateur Championship and The Corinthian Cup. To discover the regal estate and watch the action-packed sporting schedule, visit Gatcombe Park this summer and absorb the atmosphere of this unique Cotswolds event.

Cheltenham Literature Festival

4th - 13th October 2024

One of the town’s best festivals, Cheltenham’s famous Literature Festival is renowned for being the world’s first festival of its kind. Taking place each year in the botanical tangle of Montpellier Gardens, it celebrates the world of literature and brings together the industry’s leading names with up-and-coming and long-established authors, poets and speakers. Wind your way through the streets of Cheltenham during this multi-day festival and fill carefree agendas with literary inspiration through the spoken and written word. Whatever your genre, you are sure to find entertainment and enlightenment amongst the eclectic assortment of events and presentations.

Big Feastival

23rd - 25th August 2024

The Cotswolds is beloved for its offering of cosy country pubs and Michelin star restaurants. It’s also adored for its sublime food festivals, including the Big Feastival near Kingham. One of the most esteemed food and drink festivals in the UK, the Big Feastival is hailed as the foodie Glastonbury and offers the perfect recipe for lovers of “good music, good food and good times”. Located on the farm of Blur bassist, Alex James, near the picturesque Kingham in Oxfordshire, it spans the final weekend in August and serves up a whole host of things to see, do and, most importantly, eat. This year, the festival’s headline acts star Becky Hill, Snow Patrol and Cat Burns.

The Christmas Cotswold Fair

11th - 14th November 2024

Enticing with all your shopping under one glorious roof, The Christmas Cotswold Fair is one of the most enchanting Christmas festivals in the Cotswolds. Running for over thirty years, this year’s event is held at Evenlode Grounds near Daylesford, launching the festive season and igniting the Christmas spirit. Upon arrival, you can expect over two hundred handpicked stalls carefully presented within three impressive marquees, each lovingly curated and bedecked with artisan Christmas gifts of all shapes and sizes. Take your time to peruse each stall and pick up presents to pop under the tree, pausing for a cup of mulled wine and a plate of something delicious as you go.

Sudeley Spectacle of Light

TBC December 2024

For an evening of wonderment this Christmas, wrap up in cosy layers and visit Sudeley Castle ready to revel in this year’s bewitching Spectacle of Light. One of the best ways to spend Christmas in the Cotswolds, this annual festivity sees the grounds of the fifteenth century Sudeley Castle transformed into a dream world illuminated by lantern-lit trails and enthralling light displays. Enjoy the fairy-tale themes woven throughout the grounds and wander the night-time pathways, before stopping off at the castle’s miniature market for festive food and a cup of warming hot chocolate or glühwein for well-deserved indulgence.

Looking forward to celebrating in style? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds.


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