What’s On In… September

Here’s our pick of the best events coming next month across the destinations and attractions we work with. Most events require booking in advance. As ever, please check individual websites for the latest updates.



Heritage Open Days
10-19 Sept

England’s largest festival of history and culture!  Every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.



Freedom Festival
City wide
Until 5 Sep 2021

Hull’s flagship cultural event, the Freedom Festival, is back on the city’s streets with an extended 16-day programme. After going virtual in 2020, Hull will come alive with events and shows for the whole family, weaving together theatre, music, and dance – plus a chance to see a giant Earth surrounded by trees, all under the roof of Hull Minster. Back for its 14th year, this year’s Freedom Festival will take place in galleries, museums, theatres, empty shops, and public spaces across the city. And among highlights is the return of international artist, Luke Jerram, who is back with another of his acclaimed installations, GAIA, a stunning replica of the planet, created using 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface. Showcasing at Hull Minster, GAIA will be surrounded by trees (thanks to The Woodland Trust) and have a bespoke soundscape.

Outdoor Cinema
Craven Park Stadium
8th-19th September 2021

Home of Hull Kingston Rovers RFC, Hull College Craven Park has hosted major theatrical productions and musical performances as well as sporting fixtures, and September sees the return of outdoor cinema events, with screenings of Grease Sing-A-Long and Mamma Mia! taking place on the training pitches.



Bridlington Kite Festival
11 – 12 September
Free entry

East Yorkshire’s dramatic coastal cliffs play host to some of the world’s largest inflatable kites as the annual Bridlington Kite Festival returns for 2021. Rescheduled for one year only from its usual May date, the weekend Kite Festival is back in its usual format. Kites of all descriptions, sizes and colours will take to the air for two days of aerial displays over Sewerby Fields, above the popular seaside resort of Bridlington.

Celebrate the ‘Great Outdoors’ at the Walking East Yorkshire Festival
11 – 19 September

Whether a walker, cyclist, horse rider, nature lover or history enthusiast, the annual Walking East Yorkshire Festival showcases a plethora of activities which appeal to families, casual walkers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The festival shines a spotlight not only on the rolling landscape, curvy roads and stick trees which inspired one of Britain’s most iconic artists David Hockney to paint his colourful tribute to the Yorkshire Wolds, but also its rich heritage coastline with chalk cliffs and an abundance of wildlife. For accommodation and tourism information, see www.visiteastyorkshire.co.uk

Beverley Gin Festival
Beverley Minster
3 – 4 Sep 2021
Tickets: £15.00

Set within the heart of Beverley in the impressive surroundings of the Minster, choose from 100 specialist Gins, a Prosecco Bar, Cocktails and Craft Beer – plus live entertainment and street food.



4 September
Derby QUAD
Check website for ticket prices

Whooverville is the East Midlands’ biggest annual get-together for fans of the BBC TV series ‘Doctor Who’. Organised by Derby’s local Doctor Who group, the Whoovers, one of the most popular fan groups in the UK. Whooverville is a chance to have your photo taken with the TARDIS, catch up on gossip from the latest series, purchase new and classic merchandise, take part in a Doctor Who pod-cast, add to the autograph album and meet some of the people from in front of and behind the camera 

Flock to Derby for a Ramunion Weekend
Derby Museum & Art Gallery
3-5 September

The colourful and eye-catching Derby Ram Trail has graced the pavements and public spaces of Derby from the end of May until 22 August. But The Ramunion Weekend will give visitors a chance to see all the rams herded together one final time before being sold at auction. Whether you need to unlock those last few rams on the app to complete the trail, see the stunning sight of the whole flock together, or you just want to say goodbye, here is your only chance to see all 30 Derby Ram Trail rams and all 80 of the school minis in one place, for the last time, before they ram-pede to be auctioned off to raise money for Derby Museums’ Endowment.

Derbyshire Woodland Festival 2021
Elvaston Castle Country Park
18 – 19 September 2021
£10 per car, £5 per motorcycle all day. £15 weekend ticket. Payment is cash only

This popular festival returns for 2021 and is a celebration of traditional and contemporary woodland crafts. The annual festival is set within the beautiful grounds of Elvaston Castle Country Park, and visitors also can explore the woodland, formal gardens, lake, and parkland that surround the castle. Professional demonstrators and performers will share their skills, from wood carving, turning, bushcraft, and willow weaving to safe opportunities for you to have a go. Visitor attractions include outdoor theatre, historical re-enactment, Green Man storytelling, working horses and traditional fairground rides. A huge array of stalls will be selling bespoke gifts, crafts, textiles, furniture, and timber products, plus there will be a wide variety of food and drink.

Derby Festé
24 – 25 September 2021

One of the UK’s top street-fest events, Derby Festé, which has earned a reputation for bringing something new to the city each year, is back for 2021. While there will be no large-scale event to ensure everyone can enjoy the festival in a Covid-safe and responsible way, the highlight of the city’s calendar returns with a packed line-up. Featuring a host of world-acclaimed and up and coming UK and international artists, Festé will see the city centre streets come to life with contemporary and unique music, dance, and street theatre performances. A carefully curated programme will see Derby’s streets come alive with everything from hip hop dance theatre to a monumental installation of giant kinetic sculptures, with spinning sound machines and colourful lights. Add to the mix street theatre choreography involving nine men running through the city, and a sci-fi dance show performed in a 40-foot haulage truck, and Derby looks set for a showstopping weekend.


Paracinema 2021
24 – 27 September 2021
Derby QUAD & Cinema

“Anything goes!” cries the motto of Paracinema, the festival dedicated to highlighting films and genres outside the mainstream. There’s horror, sci-fi, fantasy, martial arts, time travelling heist movies, acid westerns and more from the wonderful margins of cinema.



Wings & Wheels
International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC)
Free to enter
5 September

Teams from the IBCC, Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Motors Club bring together the motorised heritage of the county showcasing some of the finest civil and military vehicles and aircraft in the UK. This free, family-friendly event celebrates the heritage that is to be found across “Bomber County” and offers a chance to meet staff and volunteers who share a passion for aviation, heritage, and Lincolnshire. Alongside the aviation, the event welcomes Classic Cars and Bikes from Clubs across the region and beyond. Featuring 1940s music, a children’s Craft Tent and a BBQ.

Dog Friendly Weekend
Lincoln Castle
25-26 September
Admission: check website for details

Unlock 1,000 years of history with your furry companion over the weekend for a paw-some day out. From the banks of the Norman Motte to the Prison Cells, your dog can follow you on a journey back through history exploring the Medieval Wall Walk, Victorian Prison and the Magna Carta. Built by William the Conqueror in 1068 on a site occupied since Roman times, Lincoln Castle has dominated the city skyline for almost 1,000 years. Normally dogs are not allowed on the site, but each year the Castle runs special dog friendly weekends. Dogs must be kept on leads at all times. Dogs are allowed to enter the cinema space and the David PJ Ross Magna Carta building but not allowed in the Vault

The Big Draw Festival
Gainsborough Old Hall
25 September
Free activity

A day of artist-led workshops for The Big Draw Festival at Gainsborough Old Hall – inspired by gardens, plant life and insects.  The Gainsborough Townscape Heritage Initiative has joined with English Heritage to create a one-day festival.  Join in, bringing your artistic skills and sketchbooks, and take a tour of the historic herb gardens, drawing anything that inspires you. There will also be the opportunity to get creative and take part in an illustrated clay tile workshop with a local professional ceramic artist.

Outdoor Cinema
Lincoln Castle
From 30 September
Tickets: £16 adults, £11 children

The Luna Cinema is returning to Lincoln Castle from Thursday 30th September to Sunday 3rd October with a line-up of classic and feel-good films to make your summer. After months of staying indoors watching movies on the small screen, it’s time to head outside for an unforgettable big-screen experience, launching with Top Gun (12A) on 30th September.

Get impish in Lincoln
Lincoln Imp Trail
Until 9 September
Free trail

Hidden in the upper reaches of Lincoln Cathedral you’ll find a symbol of the city surrounded by myth and legend: the Lincoln Imp. But this summer, you’ll have no trouble discovering the impish little fellow, thanks to a new trail of colourful sculptures throughout the city, designed by local and national artists. The free, family-friendly trail celebrating Lincoln, its art, culture, and heritage, will encourage visitors to enjoy not only the famous sights, but some of the city’s hidden gems too. Thirty individually designed and hand painted Imps will be on display in Lincoln, with one taking up residence at the seaside in Skegness, while five ‘Roaming Imps’ will move among shops and businesses, peeping out from window displays.



Take a step back in time
Library Tours
Lichfield Cathedral
11, 14, 15, 29 Sept
Tickets £18

The Library, tucked away at the top of a spiral staircase, is one of the Cathedral’s best-loved treasures. This Autumn there are a limited number of public tours available, offering visitors a chance to climb the 35 spiral steps, see the library and explore some of its fascinating book collection.

Autumn Festival at the Arboretum
National Memorial Arboretum
18 – 19 Sept 2021
Free event, but pre-booking recommended

Join the National Memorial Arboretum in their seasonal woodland setting for a celebration of all things Autumn. From a Food & Craft Fair to woodland games and activities, our Autumn Festival will feature activities for the whole family. There will be plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy, including axe throwing, archery, crossbows, storytelling, woodland animals, and woodland crafts. The event will also see the ever-popular food and craft fair return with a seasonal twist.

Staffordshire takes off with its first ever Balloon Fiesta
Uttoxeter Racecourse
17-19 September
Tickets: £5 per adult, and £4 per child (Saturday or Sunday)

Staffordshire is set for a hot air balloon sunrise spectacle and an impressive evening ‘glow’ as part of the first ever Balloon Fiesta to be staged in the county. The high-flying event will see an array of hot air balloons take to the skies in a sunrise ascent on the Saturday. Back on the ground, live arena entrainment will keep visitors entertained before an evening descent – followed by a ‘mesmerising balloon glow’, when the burners are ignited making the tethered balloons glow like huge Chinese lanterns. As well as the balloon glow, the Saturday evening will also see a fireworks display. While the Fiesta will take place over the weekend, balloon flights will only be at the site on the Saturday, weather permitting.



Trentham Live 2021
Trentham Gardens
3-5 September 2021
Standard tickets – £35 per ticket

Chart topping music is set to return to Staffordshire’s Trentham Estate this September with three nights of world class entertainment in a spectacular setting. Taking to the stage for one night each in September 2021 will be McFly; The Vamps, and music legend Alfie Boe. They will top the bill for ‘Trentham Live’, a major live music event taking place against the backdrop of one of England’s most visited, and picturesque, garden attractions.

Artisan Food and Drink Market
Middleport Pottery
24 – 25 September
Free entry

Middleport Pottery Artisan Food and Drink Market offers two days of the finest local produce from the area’s leading producers of artisan food and drink, from craft ales, homemade fudge, and delicious doughnuts, through to the famous Staffordshire Oatcakes.



Pride & Prejudice & Pimm’s
Jane Austen’s House
4 September
Tickets: £30

Jane Austen’s House is inviting visitors to join “a very special evening in celebration of all things Pride & Prejudice”. The evening begins with a guided tour of the House and a chance to walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps, discovering the rooms where Pride & Prejudice was revised and edited, and where Jane Austen read the novel aloud to a neighbour on the very day she received her first copy. After seeing the First Edition of Pride & Prejudice up close, visitors can retire to the beautiful cottage garden to enjoy fresh strawberries and cream, and a fruity glass of Pimm’s, amongst the heady scent of the late-summer roses.

Kitesurfing Armada Festival
Hayling island
10-12 September 2021
Prices start from £25 for kitesurfers and £6 for general festival admission

The UK’s No. 1 Kitesurfing and Live Music Festival is back for 2021. A kitesurfing family friendly festival held on Hayling Island, bringing the kitesurfing community and general public together for one fantastic weekend of kiting, live music, fundraising and entertainment! Whether you want to compete in the British Kitesurfing Championships, try kitesurfing for the first time or kick back and watch the action unfold from the beach – there’s a chance for everyone to get involved at the festival. And this year it’s promising its best line-up of music, from chilled acoustic artists for beach sundowners, to lively DJ that’ll see you well into the evening. Plus, there is a food court and festival bars, an interactive Family Zone, and a variety of camping tickets available.

Southampton International Boat Show
Mayflower Park, Southampton
10- 19 Sept 2021
Tickets from £21

Britain’s biggest festival of boating is back. Packed full of boats and equipment, the 52nd edition of the show will see the return of Europe’s largest purpose-built marina, which will feature an unparalleled range of new sailing and power boats alongside over 450 marine brands on show. More than 600 boats from around the world will be exhibiting at the show. Action-packed fun for the whole family, from close to shore paddle boarding to cruising out in the Solent, there will be a wide range of exhilarating on-the-water experiences for everyone. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, there will be live demonstrations and talks, where special guest speakers will be sharing everything from the latest product innovations to their adventures at sea.

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    Hull Freedom Festival, GAIA and Trees in Cathedral - credit Luke Jerram

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    Bridlington Kite Festival, East Yorkshire

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    Walking East Yorkshire Festival

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    Derby Ram Trail

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    Lincoln castle Dog Friendly Weekend

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    Staffordshire Balloon Fiesta

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    Jane Austen’s House, Hampshire

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    Kitesurfing Armada Festival, Hampshire