Does September really spell the beginning of autumn? Well if we must pack away our summer wardrobe and dig out our socks let it be in celebration of a wonderful British harvest and a host of food and drink related events. It’s no wonder September was also coined Organic September to raise awareness of the efforts of organic farming in Britain.
In amongst September’s cultural celebrations you’ll find plenty of produce to tickle your tastebuds, demos to dazzle your culinary idylls, events to inspire the next generation of chefs and recipes you’ll want to rush back to the cottage and try.
Pack that in with a good book, some tunes of your choice and the occasional cardiovascular workout and you’ll have a busy month.
When: 1-4 September
Where: Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset
It’s hard to imagine a massive festival kicking off in rural Dorset; they leave that for the Somerset lot across the border. Instead, amongst the woodland of North Dorset you’ll find a celebration of Britain’s Indie music scene in true laid back Indie style. Ditch any ideas of 90’s BritPop and discover the real roots of Indie music – you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you haven’t already got your tickets, tough, it’s sold out. But at least you know what you’re going to miss out on and why you need to get your tickets early next year.
When: 9-11 September
Where: Ludlow Castle and town centre
This feast of a festival is probably one of the UK’s largest and longstanding foodie events putting Shropshire firmly on the artisan foodie map. Drawing hundreds of producers, chefs and attractions plus hungry crowds there are kids activities, demos and drool-worthy displays. The UK’s oldest brewery, The Three Tuns, was established in this part of central England in 1642 and you can supp their beers while discovering more modern makings from Miranda’s Preserves and Wil’s Smokehouse, amongst many others. If you’re looking to take a slice of Shropshire home from your cottage holiday, make the Buy-From Shropshire stage your first stop.
When: 13 September
Where: Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden
Suitably curated around what was the birthday of ‘the world’s no.1 storyteller’ expect something a little extra special in the year that would have been his centenary. And as the day occurs so close to the sad passing of Gene Wilder, who so animatedly and hysterically brought one of Dahl’s craziest creations to life and to Hollywood, there could be more than a nod to that character’s interpretation too. Join in by registering to host your very own Roald Dahl Day Party!
When: 15 September
Where: Torre Abbey, Torquay
See the English Riviera from Agatha Christie’s perspective as the town comes together to celebrate one of its finest exports. The Queen of Crime was born on this day and today you can walk the Agatha Christie mile around the town to discover the Torquay of her time, or wander a little further along the Agatha Christie Literary Trail that takes in 20 of her most notable Devon locations from her books. As an extra special lure, her grandson will be reading from the latest Poirot novel, written by a very alive and well Christie fan.
When: 3, 4, 10, 17 September
Where: Braemar, Blairgowrie & Rattray, Pitlochry, Invercharron, respectively
There’ll be a lot of grunt, a reasonable amount of bagpiping flair and maybe even a Royal visitor at these four events in September. Consider the vast array of events that the Olympic Games incorporates and you won’t be surprised to find that the Highland Games include the varied programme of running, weights, piping and dancing, to name but a few. You don’t have to take part though. Just make it the perfect excuse to opt for a holiday in the Cairngorms.
When: 23 September – 2 October
Where: South Downs National Park, Sussex Weald, Eastbourne
If ever there was an event that was in need of a more inspiring title, this is it. Hidden behind this ramblers’ recce is a genuine gem of Sussex discovery. Over the nine day event walking is both celebrated and made accessible for all ages and abilities. Meanwhile, you’ll fall in love with a side of Sussex you never knew existed.
Take a trial Nordic healthwalk, learn about the Norman landings of 950 years ago, take in the Long Man or wend your way with wine on the aptly named Fizz on Foot Walk. You do need to book on your walk, but most activities are free of charge, so fill your boots!
When: 23-25 September
Where: Scarborough Spa
We find ourselves back again in this iconic British seaside town for a fabulous September event. From swing, to big band and modern jazz, Scarborough’s musical notes jump around the stave across the last weekend of September delighting jazz fans of all ages. Putting North Yorkshire on the musical map, The Guardian rated this as one of the top five jazz festivals in the UK. Discover jazz rising star Artephis, swing those hips to Benn Clatworthy, or feel the big band beat with Abstract Truth Band. Hate jazz? The Scarborough jazz programme and its fringe events are worthy of one last chance to convince you otherwise. One thing’s for sure, not all jazz is the same! Oh and bring the kids along on Sunday morning for a jazz-themed teddy bears picnic.
When: 23-25 September
Where: Snape Maltings
Book a masterclass, buy local produce, supp a local brew, devour Suffolk’s finest fayre and meet the makers, especially the Young Producers, of Suffolk’s food and drink delights. Watch a celebrity chef demo then try your own hand at skills like pasta making all in the Victorian halls of Suffolk’s Snape Maltings. Quite a venue, an event accruing quite a reputation with foodies, a fabulous display of the county’s dairy, meat, baking, brewing and milling, and one rather unique crowd puller: the World Pickled Egg Championships.
The Borders Railway was launched in September 2015 and although it has been running ever since, a first birthday is always special. Plus we just happen to have added more than a hundred cottages in the Scottish Borders, so the time is ripe. Albeit a functional reintroduction of train lines between Edinburgh, Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, there are plentiful visitor attractions along the route like the National Mining Museum and the grand Tweedbank. If nothing else, this is a spectacular opportunity to soak up Scotland’s countryside from the comfort and chug of a traditional steam railway. Toot, toot!
So whether you’re puffed from moshing at a gig, feasting on food, or wending a walk, we hope it’s a September full of great British experiences.