Some people travel with their eyes, while others travel with their stomachs. This is enough of a reason for you to pack up your fork and knife, hit these amazing food festivals and get to see some of the United Kingdom in the process. Now, while the eyes are insatiable and they have no limit to how much beauty they can take in, your stomach will set an actual “all you can eat” limit, meaning that no matter how many delicious treats might tempt you at a festival, you will still have to choose wisely.
So in order to make your life at least a little bit easier, we have made a list with the best food festivals in the UK. Otherwise, what you choose to eat there is your responsibility alone.
8 Fantastic Food Festivals to Hit in the UK
1. The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival is a fundraising event started in 1983. The organizers have put together a festival around the booming garlic industry on the island and it has turned into an event that attracts around 40,000 visitors every year.
Not sure about how varied the products at a garlic festival can be? Why not check out the over 200 stalls and see if you can top the garlic beer or the garlic ice cream.
2. The Big Feastival in Oxfordshire
The Big Feastival is a food and music summer festival held on Alex James’ Farm in Kingham. It is a three days festival during which some of the top UK chefs will hold cooking sessions. People can come and camp, have picnics, see what the big chefs are cooking. The proceeds of the festival go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation, a charity that teaches people how to make healthier food choices.
3. Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival
The Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival is the largest event that brings together suppliers from all over Scotland and from all over the world, in a magnificent setting, overlooking the Loch Lomond and the Ben Lomond. Every year, in September, at Loch Lomond, you can taste ale, cider, wine, you can eat pork, paella, sushi, cheese and there is something good for the vegetarian participants as well.
4. Abergavenny Food Festival
Two farmers started the food festival in 1999. Ten years later, it drew a crowd on 35,000 people. The festival does more than just bring farmers together to present their products in 220 indoor stalls. Every year, a new farming and health issue is raised. There are talks, debates and guest speakers. It looks like a successful cross between an abundant food festival and a professional conference.
5. Taste of London
This is the London food industry flagship event. It is held in summer and it gathers more than 55,000 visitors every year to taste the dishes of 40 of the best, newest, most creative chefs in London. The events are organized in afternoon and evening editions on each day, with tickets sold separately for each session. It depends on what the visitors want to see, do and taste. It has a little brother, the Festive Edition, held in November. This event kicks off the Christmas season celebrations.
6. The Bristol Vegfest
VegfestUK was created in 2003 and it was first called Bristol Vegan Fayre. Yes, you guessed it. This is a festival promoting the vegan lifestyle. There is a marketplace for sampling, there are chefs promoting various dishes, there are cooking workshops and talks and movies. Around 20,000 people attend the three day festival every year.
7. Dorset Seafood Festival
Held in Weymouth’s historic Old Harbor, the Dorset Seafood Festival is a charitable event designed to raise funds for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. The organizers strive to promote local products, to promote the inclusion of fish in daily menus and to develop links throughout the industry, from fishermen to merchants and consumers.
8. Whistable Oyster Festival
DAKG2B Lobster at Dorset sea food festival 2013 in Weymouth Harbour
The 2016 edition of the Whitstable Oyster Festival was the 32th one. This festival is a massive celebration that brings in about 80,000 people every summer. It combines amazing food with good music and other entertaining events. There is a vivid street parade and everything is nicely wrapped up by a spectacular firework shows. Like the amazing local, and sometimes international food, is not enough to keep us entertained…
What do you get when you combine an avid traveler and a foodie? A happy person! So you are either in it for the road, for the scenery, for the taste or for the experience. Just do what you like the most and savor the trip. Food festivals have caught on for a few years and they are amazing. They can celebrate the unique regional tastes, introduce new dishes or simply give a regional flavor for international food.