Bagpipes, Oysters, A Japanese Festival And An Antiques Fair | Travel Research Online


Bagpipes, Oysters, A Japanese Festival And An Antiques Fair

In the last few months, in anticipation of transatlantic flights offering scheduled services in the summer, I’ve been highlighting some of the festivals and events which all your anglophile clients will warmly welcome. In August they include The International Beatles Week, Liverpool; Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton and Harrogate; Edinburgh Tattoo and Fringe; Edinburgh Book Festival; various Highland Games in Scotland; plus your client’s favourite malt whiskey distilleries!

September’s menu includes The Jane Austen Festival, Bath; Burghley Horse Trials near Stamford; RHS Wisley Flower Show; Flower Festivals in Leeds Castle and Winchester Cathedral; RHS Chelsea Flower Show (moved from May to September this year); The International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay; British Ceramics Biennial in the World Capital of Ceramics aka Stoke on Trent; and the Festival of Speed at Goodwood.

To this impressive list. I’ve added an update on the Edinburgh Festival which occupies most of August and in September, the Food Festival in Ludlow’s medieval castle and the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival. There’s also a fantastic Antiques Fair in October and I’ve included details on the world-famous Pudding Club.

Read on and use these major events to capture some of the pent-up demand for travel to Britain.

Green Light For The 2021 Edinburgh Festival

The world’s leading performing arts festival has announced a reimagined festival for 2021 which marks the return of live performance to the fair city of Edinburgh. Taking place between 7th to 29th August, this year’s Festival will use bespoke outdoor venues to safely reunite artists and audiences to rediscover the magic of live performance. A selection of iconic spaces across the city will include temporary, outdoor pavilions in Edinburgh Park and the University of Edinburgh’s Old College Quad. While there are still uncertainties ahead, they are confident that this programme will enable them to deliver a season of memorable live performances. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place between the 6th-21st August.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Credit Danny Griffiths

Food Lovers Festival In Medieval Ludlow Castle

Established here in 1995, the Ludlow Food Festival continues to attract top names from the culinary world as they celebrate high quality local food and drink producers from the England/Wales borderlands, an area that’s full of hills, valleys, castles and characterful villages and town. Taking place between the 10th-12th September, it attracts around 16,000 people to the grounds of Ludlow’s medieval castle. A huge range of produce is available throughout the weekend offering everything from locally produced meats and cheese to unusual wines and beers, honeys, and herbs. This year, there’s a brand-new Fire and Feast event that will celebrate outdoor cooking in the Castle and a spectacular Antiques Fair in the Cotswolds.

Guinness and Oysters in Galway, Ireland

West coast of Ireland tours invariably include a visit to Galway, before or after some time in Dublin, and including it recently in a customised tour reminded me of their annual four-day event that takes place between 24th- 26th September 2021. It’s the world’s longest running Oyster Festival. You can expect to experience a wide variety of tantalizing events from oyster opening (shucking) championships including the Oyster ‘Olympics’ or World Oyster Opening Championship, foodie talks, food provenance tours, and a Mardi Gras Party with Champagne and a Guinness and Oyster reception. Their Seafood Trail includes a selection of Galway’s best restaurants serving locally sourced ingredients & seafood.


Japanese Gateway

Celebrating Japan’s Iconic Plants At Kew Gardens

Between the 2nd-31st October, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew will celebrate its first ever Japanese Festival in the Temperate House, home to some of the world’s rarest and most threatened temperate plants. It will highlight Japanese culture and horticulture, and will include a special trail though the gardens visiting other permanent Japanese exhibits like the Minka House, a traditional Japanese farmhouse, surrounded by 130 different species of bamboo—including the sacred Nandina domestica ‘firepower’ planted around the entrance and believed to dispel bad dreams. Striking art installations, highlighted Japanese trees boasting vivid autumn colours, and an impressive Bonsai collection will make this a festival worth exploring.

Antique Hunting In The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds has one of the highest concentrations of art, antique shops and emporia in England, outside London. Scattered liberally across the Cotswolds, many of the towns have, over the years, developed reputations as centres for particular types of arts or antiques. 50 of the very best come together as the Cotswolds Art & Antique Dealers’ Association (CADA), the UK’s first and preeminent art and antique regional association. Their annual Fair takes place between 14th-17th October. This year’s venue is the award-winning Compton Verney Art Gallery, home to six stunning permanent collections, based in a Grade I-listed Georgian mansion amidst 120 acres of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland.

The Pudding Club, A Uniquely English Experience

An evening at the Pudding Club starts with a glass of Bucks Fizz, and it’s followed by a light main course. Then begins the Parade of Seven Traditional Puddings, with all its noise and ceremony, and the opportunity to taste them all before voting for your favourite of the night over coffee. During the summer months, they provide a combination of 3 hot puddings and 4 cold puddings such as Gooseberry Fool, Summer Pudding, and Eton Mess. The hot puddings include favourites like Jam Roly-Poly Syrup Sponge and Sticky Toffee Pudding, all served with lashings of Bird’s custard. It’s a great way to finish a Cotswolds tour.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at or email him at

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