What's On in the Countryside in May 2024 - Your Essential Guide

What's On in the Countryside in May 2024 - Your Essential Guide

Your Guide to UK Countryside Events in May 2024

Following the fantastic response to our April edition, we couldn't resist keeping the ball rolling into May!

So, here we are again, ready to unveil the brightest and biggest events happening in our beautiful countryside this month.

What's on the agenda? Well, we've got exciting food festivals, celebrations of all things Spring, and the spectacular views of the ever-popular Highland Games. Lots is going on this May, so let's take a closer look and begin your essential guide to this month's countryside fun. 

Please note that every effort has been made to provide the correct information here below, but we advise referring to the official websites or social media platforms for each event to stay up-to-date.


The Great British Food Festival

  • Location: Trentham Gardens, Staffordshire
  • Date: 4th to 6th May 2024
  • Time: Saturday: 10am to 7:30pm, Sunday: 10am to 7:30pm, Monday: 10am to 5pm

Enjoy a food lover's paradise right in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside with this incredible outdoor event.

What's Happening:

  • Local Flavours: Treat yourself to a diverse range of homemade goodies from local and national producers (including artisanal chocolates and tasty savoury chutneys)
  • Live Entertainment: Join in the laughter with entertaining challenges like the Men (or Women) v Food competitions, plus discover new cooking techniques and recipes from top chefs.
  • Family Fun: The playground offers an ideal space for the little ones, and the artisan bars promise a refreshing tipple for the adults. Kids can also get hands-on with cooking workshops, while parents enjoy guided walks around the festival site.


Sandringham Food, Craft & Wood Fair

  • Location: Sandringham Estate, Nr Kings Lynn
  • Date: 4th - 6th May 2024
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

This is a fantastically quintessentially British countryside event.


  • Celebrity Chefs: Watch top chefs like Rosemary Shrager, Phil Vickery, and Jean-Christophe Novelli showcase their culinary skills with live cooking demonstrations.
  • Entertainment for the Family: Enjoy falconry displays, puppet shows by Pinxton Puppets, and the thrill of the English Open Chainsaw Carving Competition.
  • Real Ale Marquee: Don’t miss the real ale marquee, where you can sample a selection of ales and ciders from local breweries.


RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2024

  • Location: Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire
  • Date: 9th - 12th May 2024
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Last admission at 4:00 PM)

It's a true celebration of spring at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival 2024, where floral wonders and gardening delights await!


  • Floral Marquee Extravaganza: Step into the ginormous 190m long Floral Marquee, showcasing over 60 carefully selected exhibitors vying for prestigious RHS Medals. 
  • Expert Nurseries: Explore a fantastic selection of expert nurseries offering choice plants and rare gems for your garden and home. Chat with nursery owners and gather expert advice.
  • Festival of Houseplants: Enjoy the vibrant Festival of Houseplants, a new addition in collaboration with Green Rooms Market. Discover botanical wonders from some of the country's finest businesses, promising an immersive horticultural experience like no other!

Plus, don't miss the chance to catch Alan Titchmarsh MBE, who will be at the Festival Theatre on Friday, sharing his wisdom and passion for gardening.


Ludlow Spring Festival

  • Location: Ludlow Castle
  • Date: 10th - 12th May 2024
  • Time:
    • Friday, May 10th: 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Saturday, May 11th: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    • Sunday, May 12th: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Get ready to celebrate spring in style in the beautiful grounds of Ludlow Castle! This lively festival offers a delightful mix of live music, delectable food and drink, and family-friendly activities.

What's Happening:

  • Exclusive Beer Tasting: Be among the first to taste the award-winning brews from the SIBA Wales & West Independent Beer Awards 2024. After the judging session, doors open to the public for an exclusive tasting experience.
  • Transport Festival: Marvel at an impressive display of classic and vintage vehicles at the Marches Transport Festival. From early-century models to iconic classics, there's something for every car enthusiast to enjoy.
  • Family Fun: Keep the little ones entertained with a range of activities offered by the Woodland Trust. From colouring to leaf identification, there's plenty to spark their imagination and curiosity.


Isle of Wight Walking Festival

  • Location: Isle of Wight
  • Date: Spring Festival: 11th - 19th May 2024 (Autumn Event: October 5th - 13th, 2024)
  • Time: Various times

Join the Isle of Wight Walking Festival, a celebration of the stunning landscapes and rich heritage of this part of the UK.

Choose from a diverse range of walks across the scheduled event, including themed excursions like the Dickens 175th Anniversary Walk.

Key Highlights:

  • Varied Walks: Explore over 500 miles of footpaths, winding through picturesque countryside and along dramatic coastlines. There are walks which are ideal for both seasoned hikers and leisurely strollers!
  • Community-Led: Led by volunteers and local businesses passionate about sharing the island's natural beauty and wildlife, most walks are free or involve a donation to charity. 


Scottish Highland Games

  • Gourock Highland Games: Sun, May 12th, 2024
  • Gordon Castle Highland Games: Sun, May 19th, 2024
  • Blackford Highland Games: Sat, May 25th, 2024
  • Carmunnock Highland Games: Sun, May 26th, 2024
  • The Atholl Gathering: Sun, May 26th, 2024

The Highland Games season in Scotland is a celebration of tradition and history, dating back centuries to when clans would compete in sporting events. These games were not merely competitions but a reflection of strength and bravery, with early Celts considering them as war games.

What to Expect:

  • Traditional Competitions: Experience a full range of activities within and around the arena, from heavy events like hammer throwing and caber tossing to lighter events such as running, cycling, and highland dancing. The atmosphere is filled with the sounds of bagpipes and the energy of competitors giving their all.
  • Unique Mix of Events: Every Highland Games brings its own unique mix to the table, making each popular event stand out. Whether you're into the team spirit of tug of war or the elegance of solo piping, there's a bit of fun for everyone.


Fife Show

  • Location: Cupar, Fife
  • Date: 18th May 2024
  • Time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Get ready for a fantastic day out at this annual festival. It's one of the most popular one-day agricultural shows in the country, drawing thousands of visitors.

What's Happening:

  • Livestock and Machinery Displays: Get up close to both vintage and modern livestock and machinery, providing a glimpse into the agricultural world.
  • Main Ring Entertainment: Enjoy thrilling main ring entertainment, showcasing the Champion of Champions parade, vintage and classic vehicle displays, and the Young Farmers Tug O’ War.
  • Game Fair Area: Explore a variety of activities, including falconry demonstrations, ferret racing, gun dogs, angling, and more. Also, don't miss the Dog Show!


Alcester Food Festival

  • Location: Alcester, Warwickshire
  • Date: 18th May 2024
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Spanning the High Street, Church Street, and Henley Street, this festival brings together the best of local and regional culinary delights.

What's Happening:

  • Community Spirit: Founded by locals in 2010, the Alcester Food Festival is a Community Benefit Society, with profits reinvested back into the local community. Organised by dedicated volunteers and supported by local businesses, this event truly embodies community spirit.
  • Delicious Offerings: Explore a wide range of stalls offering delicious food and drink from local producers - from artisanal cheeses to freshly baked bread.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: With thousands of visitors flocking to the festival, the streets of Alcester come alive with activity. Local shops, cafes, and pubs join in the festivities, ensuring a lively and vibrant atmosphere from start to finish.


Blenheim Palace Food Festival

  • Location: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
  • Date: 25th - 27th May 2024
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary extravaganza at this annual event, returning for its 10th year!

What's On:

  • Culinary Delights: Explore a tempting array of local and national produce, from artisan treats to homemade delights. Plus, treat yourself to delicious craft beers, cocktails, and mocktails.
  • Celebrity Chef Demos: Head to the festival kitchen for fun live demos and chatty Q&As with celebrity chefs and culinary experts. 
  • Family Fun: Enjoy a weekend packed with fun for everyone! There are plenty of activities, a beautiful picnic spot, and great entertainment to make sure your whole family has a wonderful time.


Royal Bath & West Show

  • Location: Bath & West Showground, Somerset
  • Date: 30th May - 1st June 2024
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Last admission at 4:00 PM)

Experience the Royal Bath & West Show, where rural life comes alive with:

  • Celebrity Appearances: Spot roaming performers and catch special appearances, including the one-day-only visit from Farmer Will (Will Young) on the Saturday.
  • Family Fun: Enjoy the Vintage Fairground, Pawsability Dog Agility, and engaging Pony Club Games, offering classic entertainment for all ages. Plus, make sure you check out the Livestock Grand Parade on Friday and Saturday afternoons!
  • Culinary Delights: Indulge in live Celebrity Cooking Demonstrations and explore the Great British Kitchen for tantalising tastes and culinary inspiration. CAMRA will also be hosting a curated beer tasting experience, exploring a selection of five beers with diverse flavours and aromas.


Royal Welsh Sustainable Grass & Muck Event

  • Location: Aberystwyth University Farm, Trawsgoed
  • Date: 30th May 2024
  • Time: 10:00 AM

This fantastic event focuses on practices for sustainable agriculture, offering farm tours, seminars, silage and muck working demonstrations, and a comprehensive trade showcase.

Mingle with industry leaders and enjoy an evening of entertainment after a day dedicated to advancing farming methods that protect the environment.

Key Highlights:

  • Farm Tours: Explore various trial sites and points of interest showing off the latest farming techniques they're putting to the test right there on the farm.
  • Trade Stands: Take a wander through a wide variety of trade stands, where you'll meet organisations and businesses from both the arable and livestock worlds.
  • Seminars: Engage in seminars and Q&A sessions led by industry-leading farmers and members of Parliament.


List of Country Shows in May 2024

Looking for the perfect county or agricultural event? You're in luck!

Below is a handpicked list of some of the most awaited events coming up in May 2024. For more details, make sure to peek at our blog post.

Show Location Date
Neilston Show Holehouse, Neilston 4th May 2024
Kelmarsh Show Kelmarsh Hall 5th - 6th May 2024
Nonsuch Town & Country Show Nonsuch Park 5th - 6th May 2024
Duncombe Park Country Fair Duncombe Park 6th May 2024
North Somerset Agricultural Show North Somerset Showground 6th May 2024
Nottinghamshire County Show Newark Showground 11th May 2024
Kilmalcolm & Port Glasgow 189th Show Knapps, Bridge of Weir Road 11th May 2024
Cowpie Country Show Blue Anchor Farm 12th May 2024
Ayr County Show Ayr Racecourse 13th May 2024
Balmoral Show Eikon Exhibition Centre 15th - 18th May 2024
Devon County Show Westpoint Arena and Showground 16th - 18th May 2024
Oxfordshire County Show

Swifts Farm

18th May 2024
Woodhall Spa Country Show

The New Showfield, Green Lane

19th May 2024
Essex Young Farmers Show Boyton Hall 19th May 2024
Heathfield Show Heathfield Agricultural Showgrounds 25th May 2024
Shropshire County Agricultural Show West Mid Showground 25th May 2024
Hertfordshire County Show The Showground, Dunstable Road 25th - 26th May 2024
Northumberland County Show Bywell,
Near Stocksfield
25th May 2024
Staffordshire County Show Staffordshire County Showground 29th - 30th May 2024

And if you're all about horses, we've also got a special blog post just for equestrian events happening all over the UK this year, including some exciting ones in May.



No matter where you are in the UK, it seems there is plenty of fun, entertainment, and celebrations going on this month. We can't wait! 

Are you also feeling inspired to get out and explore this month? We'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts, favourite countryside memories, and favourite go-to places in the comments below. After all, it's the stories we share that truly make our countryside community special.

Stay tuned for more as we continue to bring you the best of rural life each month. If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop on upcoming events (and sometimes we even share exclusive offers or product recommendations!)

So, until next time, happy exploring. 


About the Author

Mark Holland has a keen eye for all things men's country clothing. Living amidst the fields and farms, he understands the practical aspects of rural living and the timeless style that accompanies it. His advice reflects a genuine appreciation for the comfort and connection that come with country wear. If you're looking for down-to-earth recommendations, then trust Mark to guide you through kitting out your wardrobe with firm favourites and classic designs.

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