Five things to do this weekend in the Cotswolds (August 30-31)

The Stroud Fringe Festival

The Stroud Fringe Festival - Credit: Archant

If you’re wondering what to do this weekend in the Cotswolds, here are five recommendations from us to you...

The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival - Credit: Archant

The Big Feastival, Oxfordshire

August 29-31

This weekend, Jamie Oliver and Alex James return to host their Big Feastival event, a celebration of music, food and fun for all the family, set on Alex’s idyllic farm in the Cotswolds.

This year, the event features performances by DJ Fatboy Slim, Jamie Cullum, Kelis, Laura Mvula, De La Soul, Guilty Pleasures, Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul Soundsystem featuring Jazzie B, among others.

A first for the festival, the Udder Stage will showcase the best in new music each day. Then, as the sun sets, the party gets going; on Friday it’s the ultimate indie disco The Dodgy Club. On Saturday evening it’s the UK’s original live karaoke band Rockaoke, and bringing the Udder Stage to a close on Sunday will be The Big Feastival Barn Dance with the Monster Ceilidh Band.

Of course, as the name suggests, food is one of the major focuses of the Feastival. Famous chefs including Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo, Monica Galetti, Nathan Outlaw, Gizzie Erskine, Ashley Palmer-Watts will be providing their top tips in live demos on the AEG Big Kitchen. Many of these chefs will also be taking part in this year’s Table Sessions, a series of roundtable Q&A debates with audience participation.

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The Street Food Alley will make a return to the festival with a diverse line-up of British street food traders, and there will be a large selection of other foodie offerings and stalls such as Pieminister, Soul Food, The Duck Truck and the local producers markets.

Festivalgoers looking to satisfy their cheese cravings can head over to the Alex James Presents Cheese Hub. In addition to being able to sample or buy the entire range of award-winning artisan cheeses there is a full programme of cheese & beer and cheese & wine pairings, cocktail making classes at the bar and DJ sets from Alex and Sarah HB.

For tickets and full information of the music, food and family activities at the event, visit:

Cirencester Toy & Train Fair, Cirencester

August 31

All aboard The Cirencester Toy and Train Fair, which annually attracts a diverse cross section of dealers, combining conventional stalls with a unique “Bring & Sell” auction.

Situated in Cirencester’s historic Bingham Hall, with convenient free parking nearby and easy access, the Toy & Train Fair has room for around 100 tables with plenty of aisle space for visitors to browse.

The emphasis is on vintage die-cast toys, trains, games, figures, models and collectables from the 1950s through to the 1980s, although dealers offering playthings from the Victorian era, as well as militaria and medals, will also be present.

The auction is staged at 1:30 pm, and lots are invited from stallholders and visitors alike. Anyone can turn up on the day with their “loft finds” and collectables, and enter them into the auction. There is no Seller’s Premium and a Buyer’s Premium of 10%.

Refreshments are available on-site throughout the day, from a full English Breakfast

through to afternoon tea and a piece of cake.

Early-birds and trade from 8:00 am, main doors open at 10:00 am, with entrance at £2 per head, concessions for OAPs and free entry for children under 16.

For further information, please visit the website:

Rock The Farm, Hereford

August 30-31

Rock The Farm, a unique British food and drink festival, takes place at the Chase Distillery on Rosemaund Farm near Hereford and will be open to the public for the first time.

Some of the world’s best bar tenders, pioneers of the drinks industry and famous faces will including the Mystery Jets, Huw Stephens and The Cuban Brothers will be present.

The Chase Distillery is home to the award-winning Chase Vodka as well as the Williams Chase Gin, both home grown at the distillery.

There will be a food village, a mix of bars & drinking taster sessions, 3 stages including the main stage in the Great Chase Barn, hidden cinema and botanical room.

The Chase Cup is a highlight of the festival, during which 6 of the finest cocktail bartenders show off their skills and entertain the crowd while being judged by the industry masters, competing to win the competition.

Camping and Glamping is available at Rock The Farm, with shower and toilet facilities on site.

Tickets and full details are available at

Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Festival +

Beer, Cider & Perry Festival

August 30-31

This weekend will see the return of the H&G Canal Festival, coupled with the Saturday evening Beer, Cider & Perry Festival, and is expected to bigger and better than ever.

The 2013 event saw thousands of visitors make their way to The Wharf House, Over Basin and Vineyard Hill stretch of restored canal, with a host of family fun on offer to keep them entertained.

This year’s event will feature demonstrations by boat horse Gypsy Queen, heritage boat processions and rides, live music, model boats, stalls featuring crafts and food from local artisans and producers, a fire brigade display, classic cars and more.

Entrance to the cultural fest is free of charge and offers the chance to explore the important work of a local charity, as well as celebrate the great Gloucestershire outdoors.

For more information, visit:

Stroud Fringe Festival, Stroud

August 29-31

The Stroud Fringe is a weekend of entertainment in the centre of Stroud, with the Bank Gardens providing a free focal point for three days of music and family fun.

There will be performances and workshop-based activities from World Jungle, selected traders selling their wares, facepainting by Ayumi,

a unique electronic music event at the Subscription Rooms spanning the three-day festival, The Big Jam showcasing up-and-coming local talent at the Cornhill and Jive dances in Merrywalks Shopping Centre.

There will also be music from Mockers at the Lansdown Hall on Friday night, Disco Sucks at the SVA on the Saturday, and coffee houses, pubs and venues around Stroud will be hosting a broad variety of events across the weekend.

For more information, visit: