Beer, wine and food festivals are popular around the world, with people traveling long distances in many instances for the opportunity to explore new flavors that excite the taste buds. The UK enjoys a calendar packed full of such great events and now, given the growing popularity of this wonderful drink, cider festivals have been added to the list of attractions. Whether you are new to drinking cider or always enjoyed it cider festivals provide a unique opportunity to discover some hidden gems that are likely to be added to your list of favorites or may even become your top choice of ciders.
Reading Beer and Cider Festival
Held at Christchurch Meadow in Reading, the Reading Beer and Cider Festival is easily accessible by rail, with just a short walk from the Reading Railway Station to the festival grounds. Visitors can travel by bus also, and cyclists are encouraged to cycle to the festival, with dedicated space to park their bicycles (bring your own bike lock). Please note that there is no dedicated parking for cars on site but there are 24 hour parking locations nearby.
In addition to sampling the many varieties of new and exciting ciders on offer, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of live music, Morris dancing and pub games with prizes. Children can enjoy a fun time on the Family Fun Day too. Visitors are given a drinking glass upon entry and anyone who would rather a fine ale or a particularly nice wine will find plenty to tantalize their taste buds also, under the huge marquee.
Beer on the Wye
Held on the banks of the River Wye in UK’s beautiful Herefordshire, the Beer on the Wye festival caters to a variety of people, not just die-hard cider drinkers. The Family Fun Day hosted on the Sunday of the weekend festival provides entertainment for people of all ages, from all walks of life. Drinkers of beer, cider and perry can enjoy over 100 different varieties, many of them locally produced, along with good food, great live music and other entertainment designed to give visitors an experience to remember.
Nottingham Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival
Held on the grounds of the magnificent historical landmark Nottingham Castle, the Nottingham Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival is the place to be to find the best ciders the region has to offer, with fierce competition from entrants all vying for the coveted award, which will take the winners to the championship competition in Reading where the National awards are held. Cider producers of the region believe in following proudly the traditional methods of making cider and steer clear from the more boutique-style flavored ciders.
Live music, Morris dancers and clog dancers provide ongoing entertainment for drinkers and non-drinkers alike throughout the majority of the festival. Visitors should make their way to the Victorian bandstand located within the Everards Entertainment Zone to catch some local talented musicians and singers providing a wide range of entertainment that includes punk rock and some classic pop while they enjoy their glass of cider.
Ross-on-Wye Cider Festival
As with the Beer on the Wye Festival, the Ross-on-Wye is held on the banks of the River Wye in Herefordshire. While this festival is not one of the largest it makes up for it in enthusiasm and atmosphere, providing plenty of entertainment, fun and of course cider drinking. Foodies can enjoy a wide variety of great dishes to tempt even the fussiest eaters but of course the incredible ciders and beers are the main attraction.
Designed to be an event the entire family can attend and enjoy, the Ross-on-Wye festival provides plenty to do for both young and old, ranging from tasting local craft ciders and beers, enjoying a satisfying meal whether it be sit down casual dining or a hot dog as you wander from cider booth to cider booth, or relaxing with a glass of cider while listening to some of the live music provided for visitor’s entertainment. The weekend festival promises to send visitors home with a wealth of great memories and perhaps a new appreciation for some of the local fare.
Royal Three Counties Show
Held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire the Royal Three Counties Show is easily accessible from both the M5 and the M50. This three day event is host to an average of 90,000 visitors therefore is one of the largest festivals in the UK. While the event provides opportunities for visitors to sample local fare it also has a wide range of booths and exhibits featuring items from around the entire country.
Cider enthusiasts will find plenty to do and see once they have had their fill of trying out the many varieties of ciders on offer. Visitors are encouraged to vote for the cider they think is the best in the People's Choice Cider competition and then relax in the cider garden to continue enjoying the best ciders the three counties cider producers have to offer.