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Looking ahead? There’s no shortage of upcoming historical, foodie and literary festivals in 2017, running throughout the autumn. We’ve put together a few of our favourites – note down the dates, pick up your tickets, book a local spot to stay and head on over! What better way to explore the UK? 

The Great Bath Feast  

Bath, Somerset

The clue, here, is very much in the name. Gather in beautiful Bath – whether for a day, an evening, or a wonderful whirlwind weekend (unless you live locally, in which case, we’re all jealous) of tasting, savouring, sipping and nibbling the very best culinary creations that the city has to offer. With events taking place in locations across the historic centre, there’s plenty to tantalise the tastebuds – from a Vegetarian Showcase Evening at Demuths (25 September) to a Historic Tasting Tour with Savouring Bath (28 September) and everything in between. Muck in and ‘Create your Own Great Bath Feast’ (Sundays during the Festival at ‘in the kitchen’), or enjoy a Talk & Tasting with Stephen Harris at Topping’s (4 October). There are wine tastings for those in search of the perfect tipple, colour and art talks for creative types with full tummies, foraging walks for nature lovers, and much, much more.  What more could a foodie ask for?

23 September – 8 October 2017 |

Small Wonder: The Short Story Festival 

Charleston, East Sussex

Once home to the Bloomsbury Group, Charleston is a mecca of artistic and literary creativity – and ‘Small Wonder’ is set to be far from disappointing. Join writers, thinkers and fellow literary enthusiasts for a long weekend of lively talks and thought-provoking workshops in the picturesque East Sussex countryside at this annual short story festival. Try your hand at Writing for Radio with Liz Allard and Alison MacLeod (Thursday 28 September), brave the stage with your own ‘Islands’-themed poem or short story at the Open Mic afternoon, or get a taste of Caribbean poetry and fiction with readings from acclaimed island creatives (Saturday 30 September). Short and sweet, this is one not to miss.

27 September – 1 October 2017 |

Henley Literary Festival 


Hop over to Henley for a week-long celebration of the written word. Hear science and nature writer Richard Fortey share his love of the English woodlands, celebrated chef Prue Leith reflect on her re-published autobiography, ‘Relish‘, and historian Nick Lloyd consider his recent work, ‘Passchendaele: A New History‘, one hundred years after the battle itself. With a stellar programme, a hugely variety of talks to choose from and tickets selling out fast, make your move swiftly to avoid missing out!

2 – 8 October 2017 |

Winchester History Weekend 

Winchester, Hampshire

History buffs are set to descend on medieval Winchester for a weekend steeped in tales from a time gone by. Join renown historians, from David Olusoga, due to discuss ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History‘, his revealing exploration of our collective past, to Keith Lowe, whose recently published ‘The Fear and the Freedom‘ explores the lasting legacy of the Second World War, for hour-long insights into their work. With more than twenty-five acclaimed historians due to speak, there should be something for everyone – whether you’re eager to lend an ear to Kathryn Hughes, author of the fascinating ‘Victorians Undone‘, to hear Anita Anand recount the gripping tale of ‘Koh-i-Noor: The World’s Most Famous Diamond‘, or to spend an hour with Simon Thurley, sharing snippets on Tudor architecture from ‘Houses of Power‘.

6 – 8 October 2017 |

Guildford Book Festival 

Guildford, Surrey

Surrey’s largest literary festival returns for its 28th year – bigger and better than ever. Sip a cup of the good stuff whilst chatting about Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth with writer Laura Burlington (10 October), get creative at Rachel Marsh’s week-long morning writing workshop, or explore the terrific tale of the precious manuscripts salvaged by The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu with Charlie English, former head of international news at the Guardian (12 October), amongst other brilliant events. There’s no shortage of literary highlights in this line-up, and surely no better reason to journey to Guildford this October. What are you waiting for?

8 – 15 October 2017 |


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