5 UK festivals you may not have consideredWednesday 24 May 2017 by Florence Evans Whether you’re into books or food, computer gaming or Americana music, there is a festival in the UK to suit you and a serviced apartment to put you up for the night.
As the summer draws closer, festival season is beginning. As well as fields full of music fans, there are events across the UK that celebrate everything from food to literature and are well worth checking out. If camping in a muddy field and straining over the heads of the crowd to catch a glimpse of Ed Sheeran isn’t your cup of tea, book yourself into a serviced apartment and enjoy the action at one of these festivals.
Taste of London Festival – June 14th to 18th
Some 55,000 foodies will descend on Regent’s Park for London’s flagship culinary festival. It’s a great opportunity to experience what’s at the forefront of gastronomy in a stunning location. Sample dishes from 40 of the capital’s best restaurant and discover the menus that everyone is talking about. Head home inspired with new ideas of what to cook and understand the techniques required, after attending masterclasses from top chefs. With more than 200 food and drinks stalls, you certainly won’t go hungry and may well leave with a few packages under your arm.
Stay at: SACO Marylebone – Gloucester Place. Regent’s Park is just a five-minute walk away.
Insomnia Gaming Festival – August 25th to 28th
The biggest gaming festival in the UK, Insomnia returns to the NEC in Birmingham this summer. It’s an opportunity for those who love video games to explore popular franchises more thoroughly, meet other gamers and immerse themselves in their passion. As well as areas for playing old favourites and new releases, there will be talks and discussions hosted by those in the industry. Add to this the trade stalls and live music, making it an event not to be missed by any self-respecting gamer.
Stay at: SACO Birmingham – Brindleyplace. Walking to the NEC from here takes just four minutes.
Manchester International Festival – June 29th to July 16th
Only staged once every two years – so even more reason to make the effort – Manchester International Festival celebrates many different artforms. All kinds of venues – from theatres and concert halls to car parks and railway depots – are pressed into service for this unique festival. It’s a chance to see up-and-coming performers showcasing their work, collaborative projects and specially-commissioned pieces. Over the years, artists as diverse as Bjork, Marina Abramovic and Damon Albarn have all been involved.
Stay at: SACO Manchester – Piccadilly. Conveniently located in the heart of Manchester and close to transport links, you’ll be able to get to whichever venue you’re visiting quickly from here.
SummerTyne Americana Festival – July 21st to 23rd
There’s a distinctive metal and glass slug of a building on the Gateshead bank of the River Tyne that acts as a fantastic venue for music in the North East. For one weekend a year, it is home to the SummerTyne Americana Festival – a rip-roaring tribute to a style of music that cannot fail to make you smile. Much of the action takes place on a stage erected outside of The Sage, with audiences encouraged to make themselves comfortable on the terraced amphitheatre that was built for such occasions. The line-up features some legendary musicians, as well as rising stars and the classic American food on offer all adds to the atmosphere.
Stay at: Premier Suites Newcastle. The Sage is a 20-minute walk away or you can catch the Metro from Central Station to Gateshead. Alternatively, the yellow Quaylink buses also serve the route.
Edinburgh Book Festival – August 12th to 28th
It’s safe to say that Edinburgh is a land of festivals, with something seemingly going on at all points of the year. Come August and this is ramped up even more, but if reading is your thing then the only one you’ll be interested in is the Edinburgh Book Festival. Charlotte Square is converted into an oasis of literary pleasure during the event, with marquees erected to house talks with authors and book signings, as well as a full-size bookshop. In the middle are deckchairs where you can sit and read your purchases or muse on the insights you’ve just heard. With more than 800 authors taking part, you’re bound to find an event that tickles your literary fancy.
Stay at: Eden Locke. Due to open in June, nowhere could be handier for Charlotte Square, which is only a minute’s walk away.