Best Northern Food Festivals

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A person with light skin wearing a green sweater is holding a white mushroom and cleaning it with their fingers. The background shows fallen leaves and more mushrooms, indicating a forest or woodland setting.
Photo Credit: Image via Scottish Wild Food Festival on Facebook

Where to sample the greatest selections of food and drink across the North this Summer

This week pubs, restaurants and cafes have flung open their doors again, ready to coax in their first indoor customers. However, if you’re not quite ready yet to have a sit-down meal in a crowded restaurant, there are a great selection of outdoor food festivals taking place in the coming months. From Manchester to Glasgow, we’ve rounded up the traders and tasters offering diverse food experiences this Summer.

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Ilkley Food and Drink Festival

12th-13th June 2021

From the same team behind the North Leeds Food Festival - taking place in August and September at Roundhay Park - Ilkley Food and Drink Festival will be held on East Holmes Field, celebrating independent and local talent across food, drink, music and arts. Take your pick from street food vendors giving a taste of global flavours, live chef demos and artisanal market stalls selling everything from cheese, bread and wholefoods, to sauces, snacks and liqueurs. Tickets are available online and start at just £3.95 for adults.

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Foodies Festival Cheshire

9th-11th July 2021

Taking over Tatton Park for one weekend in July, Foodies Festival is “the UK’s biggest food festival”. Find out top tips and culinary secrets from MasterChef champions and Michelin star chefs, as well as watch live bake-alongs with Great British Bake Off winners such as Peter Sawkins and Candice Brown. The festival also boasts street food traders and artisan producers, as well as a kids cookery school for the youngsters. Tickets start at £19.00 for an adult day ticket, with concessions available.

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The Great Northern Food and Drink Festival

28th-30th August 2021

Featuring over 200 food and drink producers, The Great Northern Food and Drink Festival will take over Scampston Hall in the heart of North Yorkshire over the August bank holiday. Traders are still being announced, but visitors can already look forward to Dutch desserts from Eat Dutch Lekker, Middle Eastern-inspired street food from The Middle Feast, gluten-free Peruvian from Taste Peru, as well as a variety of local breweries and distilleries. Spend the day sampling new flavours and strolling through Scampston Hall’s walled gardens - standard tickets are available now, starting at £12 for adults.

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Manchester Food and Drink Festival

16th-27th September 2021

Spread over 10 days in September, Manchester Food and Drink Festival is back, boasting a regional producers market, local beers at the Manchester Beer Bar and a G&T Bar in association with Didsbury Gin. The Festival Hub will be set up on the central Cathedral Gardens, for which organised festival-goers can reserve a table now. The full MFDF programme is now available to browse via the festival’s new app, for a safe and convenient event experience as we emerge from restrictions.

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Scottish Wild Food Festival

18th-19th September 2021

For something a little different - and further afield - the Scottish Wild Food Festival will return to Tir na nOg, on the outskirts of Glasgow, in September. Celebrating the natural environment, foraging and wild ingredients, this festival will reconnect you with the green spaces around you, and engage visitors in activities and workshops to learn more about sourcing local food from the outdoors. Their Wild Food Market will showcase independent producers from around Scotland that use foraged ingredients, with a “long table lunch” featuring an innovative wild menu. There are even crafts and explorative activities for the children - tickets will be available soon, so keep an eye out here.