Indulge in the Best of British: Exciting Weekend Food Festivals!

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16 Oct 202315 min read

As autumn paints the UK in warm hues and crisp air, food enthusiasts have the perfect opportunity to embark on a gastronomic journey. Across the country, delectable food festivals await, offering a taste of seasonal delights and culinary adventures. The best part? You can reach these foodie havens by train, enjoying scenic views and hassle-free travel. Here are our top five food festival weekends to savor this autumn.

trains to food festivals
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Dartmouth Food Festival 

Address: TQ6, 9PS, The Quay, Dartmouth

How to get there:

By Train:

  1. From London: If you're traveling from London, catch a train from London Paddington to Exeter St David's station. From there, you can take another train to Totnes or Paignton.
  2. From Other UK Cities: If you're coming from other UK cities, you can reach Exeter St David's by train, and then transfer to a local train heading to Totnes or Paignton.

By Bus:

From Totnes or Paignton: You can easily catch a bus to Dartmouth. The journey takes around 30-40 minutes and offers scenic views of the South Devon countryside. 

For real time bus info, download the Sojo app. 

By Dartmouth Steam Railway:

From Totnes: For a truly enchanting journey, consider taking the Dartmouth Steam Railway from Totnes to Kingswear. The railway line meanders through picturesque countryside and offers breathtaking views of the River Dart. Upon arriving in Kingswear, you can take a short ferry ride across the river to Dartmouth, where the food festival is held.

From Paignton: To reach the Dartmouth Food Festival from Paignton, take a train to Kingswear and then enjoy a scenic ride on the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Dartmouth, where the festival is located. This charming journey adds a touch of nostalgia to your visit while providing convenient access to the culinary delights of the festival.

About the festival:

The Dartmouth Food Festival, taking place from October 20th to October 22nd, 2023, is a culinary celebration that stands out for its diverse range of events, parties, and tastings spanning three days and nights. What sets this festival apart is its commitment to catering to a broad audience, making it an exceptional experience for both seasoned food enthusiasts and those looking to explore the culinary world.

Each year, the festival introduces a fresh lineup of offerings, ensuring that attendees can enjoy a wide variety of experiences. What's even better is that some of these events are free of charge, making it accessible to everyone who wishes to participate.

At its core, the Dartmouth Food Festival serves as a vibrant showcase of the very best the South West of England has to offer in terms of food and drink. From the refreshing taste of Ashridge Cider to the rich flavors of Cornish Seasalt, and from the delectable creations of the Devon Scone Company to the fiery delights of the South Devon Chilli Farm, the festival presents a delicious journey through the region's culinary landscape.

Moreover, the festival takes immense pride in highlighting the award-winning restaurants that grace its surroundings. Names like The Seahorse, The Elephant in Torquay, and the Millbrook Inn in South Pool shine as culinary beacons, boasting renowned chefs who consistently deliver exceptional dining experiences. In fact, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to claim that Dartmouth may well have the highest concentration of award-winning chefs per square foot in the entire country.

Amidst the backdrop of this picturesque coastal town, where the land meets the sea, there's a wealth of locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients that find their way into the hands of these talented chefs. With a growing reputation for world-class cuisine, Dartmouth provides the perfect canvas for what can only be described as a 'feast for the senses.'

The Dartmouth Food Festival is not just about indulging in delicious food and drink; it's also an opportunity to appreciate the rich culinary heritage of the South West and discover the artistry of chefs who have made this region a gastronomic haven. Whether you're a dedicated food connoisseur, a visitor from afar, or someone looking to refine their cooking skills, this festival promises an unforgettable gastronomic adventure against the stunning backdrop of Dartmouth.

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Burnham Food Festival 

Address: Burnham-on-Sea, TA8 1AL

The Burnham Food Festival, a biannual culinary extravaganza in the picturesque seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea, is a delightful treat for food enthusiasts. The festival takes place on Sunday, October 22nd, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, offering a fantastic opportunity to indulge in the region's finest gastronomic delights.

For those considering eco-friendly and hassle-free transportation options, getting to the Burnham Food Festival by public transport is a great choice. The town of Burnham-on-Sea is well-connected by train and bus services, making it accessible for visitors from various locations. 

How to get there:

By Train:

  1. Train Station: The nearest train station to Burnham-on-Sea is "Highbridge Station," which is located approximately 2 miles from Burnham on Sea.

By Bus:

  1. Bus Services: Burnham-on-Sea is well-served by local and regional bus services. You can check the bus schedules and routes to find the most convenient option for your journey.
  2. Bus from Highbridge Station: Upon arriving at Highbridge Railway Station, you can choose to take a bus to the Burnham Food Festival. Check with the station or local information for bus options that will take you directly to the festival site. 
    Local Buses: First Bus     

Walking Option:

  • Walking Distance: The festival site is approximately 2 miles from Highbridge Railway Station, which is a walk of about 40 minutes.
  • Terrain: The terrain is flat, and there are dropped kerbs throughout the route, making it accessible for pedestrians. The overview site map here shows the general location within the town.

The Burnham Food Festival's central location within the town means that it's easily accessible on foot from both the train station and various bus stops. Enjoy the festival without the worry of parking or traffic, and savor the culinary delights from local and regional producers while taking in the charming seaside atmosphere of Burnham-on-Sea. It's a food lover's paradise right at your fingertips, made even more enjoyable with stress-free public transport options.

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12th Real Ale & Cider Festival

Address: Tunbridge Wells West Station, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 5QY

How to get there:

Tunbridge Wells Mainline Station

  • Direct Trains From: Charing Cross, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, and Hastings.
  • Distance to West Station: Approximately half a mile, which is a 10-15 minute walk.
  • Walking Route: You can enjoy a pleasant walk from Tunbridge Wells Mainline Station to West Station. The route takes you through the charming Pantiles area, offering a picturesque journey.
  • Bus Option: Alternatively, for those who prefer a quicker transfer, local bus services are available for a short hop between the two stations. Download the Sojo app for real time bus info.

This convenient transportation network ensures that attendees can easily reach the festival location using various modes of public transport, making it accessible to a wide range of visitors.

The 12th Real Ale & Cider Festival, taking place from October 19 to 22, 2023, promises an exciting blend of flavours and entertainment at the South East's original Railway Ale and Cider Festival. With over 150 real ales and 50 ciders on offer, this event is a treat for connoisseurs of fine brews. But that's not all – it's a four-day celebration featuring much more than just beverages.

What to Expect:

  • Ales and Ciders: Explore a diverse selection of real ales and ciders, ensuring there's something to suit every palate.
  • Food Stalls: Satisfy your cravings with an array of delectable food options available at various stalls.
  • Live Entertainment: Enjoy live music and entertainment that will keep the atmosphere lively throughout the event.
  • Steam and Heritage Diesel Trains: Take a journey on magnificent steam and heritage diesel trains, offering a unique and nostalgic experience.

The 12th Real Ale & Cider Festival is proudly presented in association with West Kent CAMRA and has received support from Royal Tunbridge Wells Together.

Train Rides: Steam and heritage diesel trains will be in operation throughout the weekend, shuttling passengers between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge. Witness more steam power than ever before with the inclusion of Caledonian Railway No. 828 and Hunslet Austerity No. 2890 Douglas, alongside the heritage diesel Class 25 D7535.

Entertainment and Food: Live music and an array of food stalls will keep you entertained and well-fed from afternoon until the close of the event on Sunday.

Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday, October 19, 2023 - Sunday, October 22, 2023
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 10:30 PM

Ticket Prices:

  • Adult (Thursday) - £5.00
  • Child - £10.00
  • Adult - £20.00
  • Family - £45.00

The Trainsplit app makes it easy to find cheaper alternative journeys through split ticketing.

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The Bramley Apple Festival of Food & Drink

Address: Southwell Minster, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0EH

Southwell's cherished culinary extravaganza, The Bramley Apple Festival of Food & Drink, is poised to make its annual autumn return to the historic Southwell Minster. This delightful event showcases the region's culinary treasures, with a diverse array of stallholders offering an enticing selection of food and drink. From delectable pies and indulgent chocolates to homemade jams, chutneys, pickles, and savoury sausages, there's something to tickle every taste bud.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, 28th October, as this promises to be the highlight of the season. The festival kicks off at 10 am and continues until 4 pm, ensuring a full day of gastronomic exploration and enjoyment.

Don't miss the chance to join in at the region's favourite food and drink fair, where you can savour a feast of flavours and discover new culinary delights. The festival is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a family-friendly affair, with engaging children's activities taking place in the Chapter House.

To make this event accessible to all, a kind donation of £3 is suggested for entry, while children under 16 can enter for free. It's worth noting that this festival is more than just a delightful gathering; it also serves as a crucial fundraiser for the Southwell Minster, supporting the preservation and maintenance of this historic gem.

How to get there:

For those arriving by public transport, Newark Northgate, on the main East Coast line from London King's Cross, is the nearest railway station. From there, the Minster is just a ten-minute taxi ride away, ensuring a hassle-free journey to the festival.

trains to food festivals
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Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival

Address: Town Centre, Stratford-upon-avon, CV37 6AB

The Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival is a culinary celebration that stands out as a highlight in Stratford-upon-Avon's event calendar, making it a must-visit for food enthusiasts in the region. This delightful festival is a vibrant showcase of local and regional food and beverages, featuring an impressive array of over 100 stalls for visitors to explore and savor.

The heart of the festival can be found on Bridge Street and Henley Street, where market stalls offer a wonderful opportunity to peruse, sample, and purchase a wide range of top-quality produce. From artisanal cheeses and freshly baked goods to premium oils, delectable sweet treats, aromatic teas, fragrant coffees, and mouthwatering jams, there will be an abundance of tempting choices to delight your taste buds.

Additionally, numerous stalls will be serving hot street food and convenient snacks, making it perfect for those looking for a quick and delicious bite on the go. For those eager to enhance their culinary skills, free demonstrations will be available, providing an excellent opportunity to gain valuable tips and inspiration to take back to your own kitchen.

Make the most of your half-term break and explore everything that Stratford-upon-Avon has to offer at this delectable festival, taking place on Saturday, 28th, and Sunday, 29th October 2023.

Market Details: Date & Times:

  • Saturday, 28th October: 10 am - 6 pm
  • Sunday, 29th October: 10 am - 5 pm

Getting There: Stratford-upon-Avon is conveniently located and easily accessible by various means of transportation. If you're arriving by train, the Stratford-upon-Avon Railway Station is the most convenient choice. From there, it's just a short walk to the festival location on Bridge Street and Henley Street.

Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2023

Address: Market Place, Hitchin, Hertfordshire United Kingdom

The Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2023 is set to be a delectable and delightful event taking place on November 11th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Organized by the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tollhouse, this festival promises a splendid day for wine enthusiasts and food connoisseurs alike. The festival will be hosted in the picturesque Hitchin Market Square.

Building on the resounding success of last year's event held in Hitchin Town Hall, the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse is proud to present an exceptional selection of wines, perfect for the upcoming Christmas season and beyond. These wines have been carefully curated by local vintners, experts in selecting the finest wines and exquisite champagnes to cater to every palate and budget.

Your ticket grants you access to a unique opportunity to try before you buy. Sample all the wines on offer and engage in leisurely conversations with the highly knowledgeable vintners, who will be on hand to share their expertise and recommendations.

This year, the festival offers a new experience: "Sit & Sip." Guests can enjoy a full glass of wine and pair it with a selection of cheeses from a specially curated cheeseboard, designed to complement your chosen wine perfectly.

If you're planning to attend with friends, take advantage of our Group Discounts, which can be found in the Tickets Section. It's an ideal way to kickstart your Christmas socializing and shopping, surrounded by the finest wines and delicious cheeses.

Tickets for the Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2023 are priced from £5 to £20, ensuring there's an option to suit every preference and budget.

For those arriving via public transport, the nearest train and tube station to Hitchin is Hitchin Railway Station. From there, it's about a pleasant 20-minute walk to reach the bustling Hitchin Market Square, where the festival will take place.

Join us at the Hitchin Wine & Food Festival 2023 for a day of wine discovery, culinary delights, and festive cheer. It's the perfect way to celebrate and prepare for the holiday season.

cheap tickets to food festivals
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Eat & Drink Festival Christmas

Address: Olympia London Hammersmith Rd, London W14 8UX

The Ideal Home Show Christmas is back, and it's set to be a remarkable celebration of the culinary world like no other. From the 22nd to the 26th of November, London Olympia will be the stage for the UK's much-loved indoor food festival, where you can immerse yourself in the finest modern cuisine, mixology, global culinary delights, and independent produce, all conveniently gathered under one roof.

Opening Times:
Wednesday 22nd: 10am - 5pm
Thursday 23rd: 10am - 5pm
Friday 24th: 10am - 5pm
Saturday 25th: 10am - 5pm
Sunday 26th: 10am - 5pm

This event promises to be a true paradise for food and drink enthusiasts. Get ready to discover a wide array of delectable offerings that will tantalise your taste buds and leave you in awe of the world of food.

Step into a world of gastronomic wonder, where interactive features are designed to delight your senses. You can dine, sip, shop, and fully engage in the festive atmosphere throughout various unique areas, each with its distinct charm. Celebrity experts will be available to share their top tips and insights, inspiring visitors to create the perfect Christmas feast.

Furthermore, you'll find independent artisan food producers showcasing an eclectic selection of fresh and mouthwatering delights. The event also offers an opportunity to relish the creations of the best street food vendors and expert mixologists. This gathering is a celebration of the very best in seasonal food and drink for 2023, making it an essential destination for anyone with a passion for the culinary arts.

How to get there:

As for transportation, Olympia London features its dedicated rail station - Kensington (Olympia), which is well-connected to the London Overground and national rail networks. Additionally, a quick walk will take you to five Underground lines, ensuring that everyone can easily arrive at this extraordinary culinary event together.

Don't miss out on the Ideal Home Show Christmas at London Olympia from the 22nd to the 26th of November. It's an exceptional culinary experience that promises to leave you with cherished memories and a taste of the season's most exquisite offerings.

Cheap Train tickets to food festivals
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BBC Good Food Show Winter

Address: NEC, Birmingham

Embrace the culinary delights and festive atmosphere at the BBC Good Food Show Winter, a much-anticipated event that promises to be a gastronomic celebration. This annual show is a vibrant gathering of food and drink enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of live entertainment, culinary inspiration, shopping, and delightful tastings. Each edition of the show boasts its own distinct charm, featuring a stellar lineup of the UK's top chefs and experts who showcase their culinary prowess live on stage. The event also offers a fantastic platform for renowned brands, exciting new flavours, the latest food trends, and carefully curated independent producers of the finest culinary delights.

The BBC Good Food Show Winter is back, and it's set to take place from the 23rd to the 26th of November 2023 at the NEC in Birmingham. This year's lineup promises to be nothing short of spectacular, featuring beloved show regulars such as The Hairy Bikers, Michel Roux, James Martin, and Gennaro Contaldo, with even more exciting announcements to come. Prepare to immerse yourself in a winter wonderland of epic proportions at the UK's favourite food festival.

Getting to the NEC Birmingham is a breeze, ensuring a hassle-free visit for all attendees. The Birmingham International station is conveniently connected to the NEC halls via a covered walkway, allowing for easy access. The journey to The NEC takes just 10-15 minutes and is facilitated by flat travelling escalators in some areas, along with lifts to effortlessly move between floors. Moreover, tactile signage is thoughtfully provided in key areas to assist those with specific needs. With up to 9 trains running per hour on weekdays and up to 6 per hour on Sundays between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International, you'll find the transportation options to be both convenient and reliable.

Don't miss out on this culinary celebration! Join us at the BBC Good Food Show Winter for an unforgettable foodie experience, where you can savor the tastes, sights, and sounds of the season. See you there!

Cheap tickets to Christmas festival
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Dorset Food and Drink Christmas Fair

Address:  Athelhampton House and Gardens, DORCHESTER, DORSET DT2 7LG

The eagerly awaited Dorset Food and Drink Christmas Fair is returning to Athelhampton House for the year 2023, and it promises to be a festive event like no other!

As preparations are underway, the organisers are making their lists and checking them twice to ensure that they have all the ingredients for an exceptional lineup of Dorset's finest food, drink, artists, and makers. This event is set to offer a delightful weekend of festive shopping and gift inspirations that will leave you feeling merry and bright.

This year's fair will proudly feature Dorset Food & Drink members and guest stallholders who will be offering a delectable array of local food, drink, and artisanal gifts. All of this will be set against the enchanting backdrop of Athelhampton House. And, to add to the festive cheer, there will be live music and tempting seasonal treats available for sampling and purchase.

Looking to find the perfect stocking fillers? Look no further! This event provides a wonderful opportunity to support your local producers and makers while indulging in the holiday spirit.

Join in the festivities on Saturday, 25th, and Sunday, 26th November, from 10 am to 3 pm at Athelhampton House. For those keen to secure their spot early, early bird tickets are available for purchase via the Athelhampton website. Tickets will also be available at the door throughout the weekend.

How to get there: 

By Train: Dorchester boasts two railway stations. If you're arriving by train, you can take a short walk from Dorchester South station, which offers taxi services. This convenient option will get you to Athelhampton House without any hassle.

By Bus: For those traveling by bus, the Dorchester - Blandford 187 route is your go-to. Athelhampton is a request stop along this route, with three stops in each direction on weekdays.

Cairngorms Christmas Market

Address: The Square, Grantown on Spey

Experience the festive magic at the Cairngorms Christmas Market! It's the perfect way to kick off the holiday season, with the last market of the season featuring an array of locally produced food, drink, crafts, and gifts. Whether you're on the hunt for Christmas gift ideas or looking to indulge in delicious treats, you'll find an abundance of festive delights here.

Mark your calendars for the 26th of November, 2023, when the market opens its doors at 10:00 am. This event promises to be a memorable celebration of the season, where you can soak in the joyful atmosphere and discover unique, handcrafted treasures.

Getting to the Cairngorms Christmas Market is easy. Simply take the train to Aviemore, a charming town nestled in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. From there, a local bus service will transport you to The Square, where the festive market awaits. It's a hassle-free journey that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.

Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to shop for local goods, enjoy the festive ambiance, and embrace the spirit of the season at the Cairngorms Christmas Market. Join us on the 26th of November for a day filled with joy, laughter, and holiday cheer!

Let your taste buds guide you on a train adventure to some of the UK's most enticing food festivals. From coastal seafood feasts to city-wide culinary celebrations, these festivals offer a delectable taste of local flavors. All you need to do is hop on a train and embark on a mouthwatering journey through the UK's vibrant food scene.

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