Festivals Items

Alternative Christmas markets

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?

Bonfire Night celebrations in England

England's best firework displays for Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the 5th of November gunpowder, treason and plot ....... If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate Bonfire Night tomorrow complete with cracking displays, sparklers and toffee apples, then VisitEngland have put together a list of the best places to go.

London to hold first ever digital food festival

London to hold first ever digital food festival

London is to hold the UK’s first ever online digital food festival in Crouch End this October. The month long festival will promote the area’s tasty bites via new apps, websites and social media.

Oktoberfest, Munich

Flights to Oktoberfest are 29 percent cheaper during the second week of the festival

Cost savvy Brits looking to book a last minute trip to Munich for Oktoberfest needn't to worry about the impact of airfares on their wallet as a price analysis, carried out by travel comparison website KAYAK.co.uk, shows that flight costs can decrease by as much as 29 percent during the second week of the festival.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Experience the Reykjavik Literary Festival

Reykjavik boasts one of Europe's best literary festivals, which has been going since 1985 and attracting some of the top author’s from around the world. This year the festival will be held from September 11 to September 15.

At the Henley Royal Regatta

Editor's Blog: A day at Henley Royal Regatta

Our editor, Esme Fox, spent the day at the Henley Royal Regatta yesterday for the first day of the five day event which lasts until Sunday July 7, 2013.

London's South Bank

Four months of free entertainment on London’s South Bank

This summer London’s South Bank transforms into a space for free entertainment with the likes of Udderbelly, the London Wonderground, the Festival of Neighbourhood and The Scoop outdoor theatre.

Spanish Tapas

Hay Festival to host pop-up tapas bar by José Pizarro

At this summer’s Hay Festival from May 23 to June 2, visitors will be able to not only discover new books and meet authors, but also try some tasty tapas created by celebrity Spanish chef, José Pizarro.

The Wild Lochaber Festival, Scotland

Outdoor Capital of the UK to host Wild Lochaber Festival

As Scotland celebrates the Year of Natural Scotland this year, the Lochaber region, known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK, gets ready to celebrate the second Wild Lochaber Festival. The week-long festival is a celebration of the diverse nature and stunning landscape of the Scottish region.

Gromit Unleashed trail in Bristol

Wallace and Gromit to be unleashed on Bristol

This summer, one of the country’s most iconic characters will be unleashed on the streets of Bristol. Gromit the famous plasticine dog created by Nick Park of Bristol-based Aardman animations and silent sidekick of cheese-loving Wallace, is set to decorate the streets of the city for ten weeks in a major new public art trail named Gromit Unleashed.

Queen's Day in Amsterdam

Celebrate a special Queen’s Day in Amsterdam

April 30 marks a special day for the Dutch – Queen’s Day – a celebration of their monarchy and an official public holiday. People all over Holland celebrate Queen’s Day, although the best festivities can be found in Amsterdam.

A guide to Sevilla’s Feria de Abril

A guide to Sevilla’s Feria de Abril

Spain’s best and most iconic festival, the Feria de Abril begins on Tuesday April 24, next week. The Feria encapsulates everything that you’d usually associate with Spain, Flamenco dancers, Spanish guitar, castanets, horse showmanship, bull fighting and great food. It’s a festival full of fiery passion and age old traditions.

Top spring and summer events in Croatia

Top spring and summer events in Croatia

Spring and early summer are some of the best times in which to visit Croatia, the weather is warm and sunny and visitors can make the most of its spectacular Mediterranean coastline. This is also a great time to visit some of the country’s best festivals, from Easter fairs, to gourmet food and wine festivals, to jazz and opera festivals, here are some of the top events to look out for.

The Floral Guernsey Spring Festival

A spring floral festival in Guernsey

If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate the start of spring (when it finally arrives), then why not head to the Guernsey floral festival, from Saturday 20 April to Sunday 28 April 2013?

Easter procession in Spain

Top places for an Easter city break

Easter is a big deal in southern Europe and one of the most important times for family get-togethers, here is less about Easter bunnies (although you’ll still find plenty of chocolate and Easter cakes) and more about the religious origins of the festival. Make sure you book travel and accommodation well in advance as Easter is a very busy time across most of Europe. Here are our top places to celebrate.

The Caerphilly Food Festival will not disappoint

Upcoming events in Wales not to miss

The next few months look full in Wales with plenty of festivals and events planned.

Budapest Spring Festival

Head to Budapest for the Budapest Spring Festival

Budapest’s premier cultural event – the Budapest Spring Festival, takes place this year from March 22 to April 7 and will feature highlights from the world famous Collegium Vocale Gent Chior; French soprano, Patricia Petibon; and American violin virtuoso, Joshua Bell.

Viareggio Carnival, Italy

Best Italian carnivals to visit next month

February, like in many parts of South America, is carnival time in Italy, where brightly coloured floats, bizarre masks and age old traditions are commonplace. Here we’ve picked out some of the best carnivals throughout the country.

Head to EAT! in July for foodie fun

Newcastle events to look forward to in 2013

Newcastle is one of the best British locations for an exciting city break - a holiday that can be made even more thrilling if you time your trip to coincide with one of its excellent festivals. Read our guide to find out what's on in the destination in 2013.

St Lucia Festival, Sweden

Celebrating Saint Lucia Day in Sweden

St Lucia is one of the most important days in the Swedish calendar, held every year on December 13 and is also celebrated in Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Hungary, among others.

Whirling Dervish Festival

Whirling Dervish Festival celebrations held in Turkey

Every year in December thousands of people descend on the small Turkish town of Konya for the festival of the whirling dervishes – one of the country’s most iconic symbols. The celebration, otherwise known as the Mevlâna Festival which begins today on December 10 and runs all week until December 17, is one of the most important in the Turkish calendar.

Frankfurt Christmas market

Best Christmas market food

A big part of the Christmas market experience is not only buying presents for all your friends and family, but trying all the tasty Christmas treats. From traditional mulled wine and gingerbread, to stolen and bratwurst here is some of the best Christmas market food try to on your short winter break.

Jazz Festival

Celebrate New Year at Umbria Jazz Festival

Stuck for ideas for your New Year break? If you’re looking to dance away 2012 to a slightly different tune, the Umbria Jazz Festival will bring together some of the genre’s greatest performers for one off concerts and performances.

Christmas lights, London

London’s Christmas light switch-ons

The Christmas season is now officially upon us, so we might as well all embrace the Yuletide glow by attending one of London’s many Christmas light switching on ceremonies. From famous celebrity switch-ons, to carol singers, reindeer, Santa’s grottos and time-honoured traditions here are some of London’s best Christmas light events.

Bonfire Night and fireworks

Britain’s best Bonfire Night celebrations

Remember, remember the fifth of November, gun powder, treason and plot... It’s that time of year again when Britons all over the country wrap up warm and go out to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, by burning bonfires, watching firework displays, waving sparklers and feasting on toffee apples, mulled wine, hot chocolate and steaming soup.

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Coffee with a local in Amsterdam


This week IdealShortBreaks.co.uk is in Amsterdam drinking strong black coffee with local Machteld Ligtvoet, who gives us tips on some of his favourite local haunts – including where you can go to find one of the best views of the city.

Top five alternative Christmas markets

Alternative Christmas markets

Forget the likes of Germany and Eastern European favourites, Budapest, Krakow and Prague this year and why not head to some alternative Christmas market destinations for something a little different this festive season?