Top days out for the May Day weekend

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Guest Writer
Morris dancers

Just a few weeks after the Easter break, May Day (1 May 2017) is a great opportunity to top up your holidays with an extra-long (hopefully sunny) weekend, well away from all the usual chores. So why not get out of the house and make the most of your May Day weekend?  If the sun doesn’t shine, there’s plenty in the way of exhibitions, shows and eating out to do too.

With so much choice over the 2017 May Bank Holiday weekend, you’re sure to be able to find something that takes your fancy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Sweeps Festival, Kent, Saturday 29 April – Monday 1 May

Think of May Day and you may well think of Morris Dancing. This traditional folklore dance is performed throughout the month of May by troupes of men and women at many a village festival. Rochester’s colourful annual Sweeps Festival brings back Morris Dancing for an extravaganza of this unique British tradition. In past times, May Day was the one time of the year when the chimney sweeps could lay down their tools and have some fun. Stay these three days in Rochester and you’ll be guaranteed a time of colour, music, Morris dancing and other great all-round entertainment.

Donington Historic Festival, Friday 28 – Sunday 30 April

Racing car enthusiasts flock to one of the largest historic motor racing festivals in the world in Donington. Watch from the stands as glorious racers dating back to the 1930s rush by. The roar of motor racers and the whiff of burning rubber is guaranteed to get your pulse racing.

Tour of Lanhydrock, Cornwall, Saturday 29 April

A bluebell tour will have you really feeling like spring has sprung. Take a guided stroll through the beautiful bluebell woods of Cornwall’s Lanhydrock Estate with its ancient woodlands and quiet riverside trails. There’s plenty for cyclists on or off-road too with special routes for families and novices. Tours are from 10am to 1pm and include lunch with the Head Ranger at noon.

Downton Cuckoo Fair, Wiltshire, Saturday 29 April

The Downton Cuckoo Fair is a great free family day out in Wiltshire. Now in its 38th year, this fair takes place just outside Salisbury and offers traditional Morris Dancing, along with all the fun of rural craft demonstrations, hundreds of craft stalls, Punch and Judy and kids’ roundabouts. A marquee covers the area, just in case of bad weather!

The Tour de Yorkshire, Friday 28 – Sunday 30 April

The Tour de Yorkshire kicks off each year over the May Day weekend. Look out for the world’s top cyclists as they head off from Bridlington to Scarborough. The Tour de Yorkshire is a great way to get involved in an international event as a participant or spectator as well as to discover some of Yorkshire’s most stunning scenery.

Bristol Folk Festival, Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 April

As a non-profit social scheme, the Bristol Folk Festival has grown into one of the city’s most popular events and is a fun way to spend part of the May Day weekend celebrations. Bristol has a superb reputation for all types of music, from dance to jazz and indie rock and the Festival shows off a side of a brilliant local music scene.

The Big Antiques Weekend, Nottinghamshire, Saturday 29 April

A visit to Southwell Racecourse isn’t just about racing. Browse through around 150 stalls at the Big Antiques Weekend, an event which takes place several times each year. Expect a huge range of stalls inside and outside, selling vintage, shabby chic and antique collectibles. There’s also plenty of delicious food to enjoy as well as entertainment for all the family.