top 20 FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
in and around the welsh borders 2022
There are escapist frolics for everyone here in Mid-Wales - from world-class book festivals and woodland discos, to deliciously good food festivals, agricultural shows and lots more in between. Here’s our ultimate guide to festivals and shows a stone's throw from Highbrook Cottage and our vineyard that’ll see you through the year in the borderlands.
Hay-on-Wye is home to one of the world’s biggest literature and arts festivals in the ‘book capital of the world’. Soak up insightful talks and debates across all topics from over 600 award-winning world-class writers, thought-makers and broadcasters, all in the setting of a scenic historic border town. There’s family-friendly events and the newly restored Hay Castle will host late night live music, poetry and comedy. If you're looking for Hay Festival 2022 accommodation, our cottage is just half an hour away.
Hay Festival, venues across Hay-on-Wye, Powys
Thursday 26 May - Sunday 5 June 2022
Hay Festival Winter Weekend
Wednesday 23 Nov – Sunday 27 Nov 2022
30 min drive
how the light gets in
Music and philosophy are the order of the day at HTLGI. Expect a meeting (or clashing) of minds in talks and discussions with philosophers, writers and academics with fresh comedic talent and Mercury-award winning live music. Set on the idyllic embankment of the river Wye, it’s the perfect location for kicking back post-debate with a drink in hand or a bare-food dance at the waterfront disco.
How the Light Gets In, Newport Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5BZ
South of the river, next to Hay-on-Wye Co-Op supermarket
Thursday 2nd - Sunday 5th June 2022
30 min drive
presteigne festival of music and the arts
Our serene local town on the Welsh side of the border is home to a historic and vibrant musical and artistic community whose courageous commissioning has led to a highly regarded 6-day annual classical music festival. Now in its 40th year, expect a fresh approach to contemporary classical music alongside twentieth-century classics, films and exhibitions in association with the Sidney Nolan Trust.
Venues across Presteigne, Powys
Thursday 25 - Tuesday 30 August 2022
15 min drive
Ludlow food Festival
Ludlow is a foodie haven thanks to its previous status of holding more Michelin stars than any other town outside of London in the '00s. Sample over 180 local food and drink producers - from real food, ale, cider, perry and wine from the Marches - with talks, demos, workshops and tastings with top-chefs and authors over a 3-day extravaganza in Ludlow Castle. (Ps. today the nearest Michelin-starred restaurant is Pensons, 30 mins south in Tenbury Wells.)
Ludlow Food Festival, venues across Ludlow, Shropshire
Friday 9th September - Sunday 11th September 2022
40 min drive
kington summer food Festival
Our local town comes alive in this true celebration of summer local food and drink from across the marches. A favourite among many local producers, stock up on artisan bread and cheeses, delicatessen meats and olives, beers, gin and cider and much more. Grab lunch from a street food stall (soft shell crab anyone?) along with a beer or cocktail and live music to bop along to.
Venues across Kington, Saturday 4th June 2022
15 min drive
Kington Festival Wheelbarrow Race
Town centre, Saturday 11th June 2022, 6.30 - 8.30pm
Kington winter food festival
Popping down the road in early December to tuck into over 90 stalls of local food & drink with a pop up bar is a great way to kick off festive proceedings. Enjoy everything from charcuterie and patisserie to fantastic local chocolate, jams, preserves and oils to fresh local meats in stalls sprawling five venues. Perfect for picking up a festive foodie gift to take home after your stay.
Venues across Kington
December 2022, dates TBC
15 min drive
Abergavenny food festival
Hands-down one of the best food festivals in the UK. Eat up over 100 stalls of Britain’s best food producers alongside top-chef demos, talks and debates from the hottest names in food and drink. Discover everything you need to know about food, farming and sustainability and wash the night down with a glass of Skyborry Cider at the party in the castle while the sun sets over the surrounding Black Mountains.
Abergavenny Food Festival, venues across Abergavenny
Saturday 17th - Sunday 18th September 2022
1hr 10mins drive
ralph's cider open weekend & vintage car rally
Our neighbour Ralph makes traditional cider and perry. Each October his farm hosts a stage of the Vintage Sports Car Club Welsh Trial. Witness the hilarious vision of over 100 vintage cars struggling in the Welsh mud to reach the summit of a tough hill climb. There’s hot food and an all-important cider bar at both the bottom and top of the hill, with tractor rides in-between the two. Don’t forget your wellies!
Ralph’s Cider, Old Badland, New Radnor, LD8 2TG
2022 dates TBC. Usually the second weekend in October
1 min drive next door
brecon beacons food Festival
You’ll probably eat one welsh cake too many and head home laden with local chutneys, honey and cider. This gem of a food festival champions the best local food producers from around the Brecon Beacons. It's usually found in the old Market Hall in Brecon, however this year the festival will be held at the Mid-Wales Autumn Fayre at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells.
Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, LD2 3SY
Sunday 2nd - Monday 3rd October 2022
25 min drive
This eclectic and much-loved local music festival in Presteigne celebrates folk, jazz, ska and electro to name a few and holds a special place in our cider-addled hearts. It started as a party over 25 years ago and has now expanded into a volunteer-led charity for local music and arts, hosting music programmes and community events throughout the year alongside the festival.
Sheep Music, Went’s Meadow, Presteigne
Summer 2022, dates TBC
10 min drive
green man Festival
The biggest independent music and arts festival this side of Wales in Crickhowell, covering indie, rock, folk, dance and Americana. Drink in headline acts from Fleet Foxes and Four Tet to Michael Kiwanuka, Kae Tempest and our friends Islet. Explore a dynamic roster of talent from the worlds of literature, film, comedy, science and theatre, all set within the stunning Glanusk Estate in the Brecon Beacons.
Green Man Festival, Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell.
Thursday 18th August - Sunday 21st August 2022
1 hour drive
An inclusive, family-friendly four-day romp stuffed with music, entertainment, fairground rides and late-night parties. Watch the sun go down over the sublimely picturesque Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Hereford whilst catching headline acts UB40, Leftfield, Manic Street Preachers, and Supergrass. Don’t miss the BBC Music Introducing Hereford & Worcester stage to discover the best under-the-radar local musical talent before they hit the charts.
Lakefest, Eastnor, Herefordshire, HR8 1EN
Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th August 2022
1hr 15 min drive
talgarth walking Festival
Known as the ‘gateway to the Black Mountains’, Talgarth is a charming market town set in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Discover a range of walks that’ll guide you through local history, geology, literature and nature. Visit the Pwll-y-Wrach nature reserve and waterfall in ‘Strolls ‘n Stories’ where the last witch is said to have met their end, and meet Annie, a former resident at the nearby now abandoned Asylum. Stop at Gertie’s for sandwiches or hit Pobl Bakery for sourdough and patisserie next to Talgarth Mill - a restored water-only powered mill producing stoneground organic flours with wheat grown just 7 miles away.
Talgarth Walking Festival
Saturday April 30th - Monday May 2nd 2022
40 min drive
kington walking festival
Our local historic drovers border town gives some good walking. Take in spectacular views of the glorious Herefordshire and Welsh border hills in countryside walks of varying difficulty. Many focus on specialist subjects and vary from 2 to 15 miles with a few pubs along the way. Don’t miss ‘Radnorshire Hills - An Evening’s Exploration’ and ‘Round the Whimble’ - a trip around the distinctively round hill on our farm with delightful far-reaching views across the Radnor Valley.
Spring Festival Friday 22nd - Sunday 24 April 2022
Summer Festival Thursday September 15th - Sunday 18th 2022
hergest croft gardens and plant fairs
If you’re in any way horticulturally minded, this stunning set of established gardens spanning over 70 acres is a must-see. Described as "one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in the British Isles", Hergest Croft is the home of noted landscape architect Elizabeth Banks who was RHS President from 2010-2013 and was awarded a CBE in 2017. The gardens hold the UK National Collections of Maples, Birches and Zelkovas and their Spring and Autumn plant fairs are unparalleled for the wide range of specialist local nurseries with unusual plants on offer. Get there early to avoid missing out on the good stuff!
Hergest Croft Gardens, Ridgebourne Rd, Kington HR5 3EG
Spring Plant Fair, Monday 2nd May 2022, 10am-5pm
Autumn Plant Fair, Friday, 16th September 2022 10am-4.30pm
Gardens open 26 March - 30 October 2022
10 minute drive
RHS malvern spring festival
A weekend-long celebration of flowers, gardens, food, crafts and family activities set against the impressive backdrop of the rolling Malvern Hills. Be inspired by a stroll through the immersive Feature Gardens or let your senses be dazzled in the Floral Marquee which boasts spectacular displays from the finest specialist nurseries. Why not snap up a few new plant introductions or take in a talk or demo. You might just find yourself on Gardeners’ Question Time in the Festival Theatre.
Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcester, WR13 6NW
Thursday 5 May - Sunday 8th May 2022, 9am - 6pm
1h 10 minute drive
Royal welsh agricultural show
When it comes to agricultural shows, it doesn’t get any bigger. The Royal Welsh is the main event in the British agricultural calendar across four-days of competitions and entertainment. Check out the best-in-show sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, goats and chickens - the sheer variety of which you’ll be hard-pressed to not be entertained by - alongside shearing, pole-climbing and tree chopping competitions. Don’t miss the WI society’s baking comps to witness the best Welsh cakes in the land and take a tour of Welsh produce in the food hall. Swing by the craft hall to pick up one of OIwen’s (James’ mum’s) stall of knitted bobble hats. 2022 will be her 32nd year!
Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, Powys. LD2 3SY
Monday 18th – Thursday 21st July 2022
25 minute drive
One of the largest one-day agricultural shows in the country, it’s a great local day out for all the family. Experience the heart of our agricultural community with its unique blend of traditional farming competitions and entertainment including airborne motorcycle aerobatics, a 7.3m climbing wall and falconry. Take in horse and riding competitions, dog shows and vintage vehicles alongside 200 outdoor trade stands. Stock up on refreshments and something special to take home in the food and craft marquee, showcasing the best in local fare such as our friends Natalie at Hay Distillery Gin and Lydia & Tom Artistraw Cider.
Saturday 10th September 2022
A44 between Kington and Lyonshall, here’s a map
15 minute drive