Events Calendar 2017 (This page is regularly updated as we learn about what's on)
Every Sunday through the year
Cheddar Car Boot
One of the largest car boot markets in the South West. Opens at 6am for the keen ones and lasts all morning. And plenty of market food and other goods, a cafe, covered and uncovered
First Saturday of every month
Axbridge Farmers Market
09.00 - 13.00
Taking place in the beautiful historic market square in Axbridge - just a short walk or cycle.
Wells Farmers Market
09.00 - 14.30
Bigger than Axbridge and also in a beautiful setting in historic Wells Market Square next to the cathedral and Bishop's Palace.
There is another market every Saturday but not a Farmers Market as such.
Weekday breakfasts and lunches
Yeo Valley HQ Dining
We're proud that the UK's biggest organic dairy brand Yeo Valley, is based near us just the other side of the Mendips. The Mead family have been farming in Somerset since the 1400's and show that organic farming can be successful and good for the land.
They run various events, demos and courses but their breakfasts and lunches run Monday to Friday if you want check them out. You need to book though, it is popular, but you can use Yeokens collected from their products to get a free lunch. (booking well ahead is advisable as they're very popular)
Thursday & Fridays (April- September)
Yeo Valley Organic Garden
11.00 - 5.00
One of the Yeo Valley family initiatives is the lovely Holts Farm garden at Blagdon in the beautiful Chew Valley which is open for a wander. Over 6 acres of interesting and beautiful organic garden, complete with lovely tea rooms. £5 entrance fee.
This was the setting for the Hive Alive BBC 2014 series on bees and their amazing behaviours.
Ballooning is a big thing in our area. Not only does Bristol host the world-famous Balloon Fiesta (see August), and Bristol is also the home to Cameron Balloons perhaps the world's leading manufacturer of hot-air balloons, but many Balloon Companies take of in Somerset and you can draft over the Mendips and if lucky Cheddar Gorge. Check this group out.
Wednesday 20th - Monday 25th
A unique festival in Bristol celebrating Silent Comedy with screenings and talks from the likes of Aardman Animation, Robin Ince, Tim Vine, Stephen Merchant, Matt Lucas, the Goodies and Rick Wakeman(!).
Nothing specific yet in February
Thursday 23rd - Saturday 25th
Bristol Beer Festival
Held in the Passenger Shed by Temple Meads Station, 140 different ales and beers, along with a big range of ciders, perrys and food. Beware - it gets sold out really quickly.
Friday 16th - Sunday 19th
Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival
The city of Bristol plays host to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative jazz musicians for one explosive weekend.
Thursday 29th April- Sunday 30th April
Lyme Regis Fossil Festival
For those wanting to explore the SW a wonderful outing is to Dorset and the Jurassic Coast. Lyme Regis is only 100 minutes drive away (or a tad longer if you take meandering route - ask us for suggestions). Lyme, famous for its Cob and the Harbour, and craft shops, is also famous for fossils. And this festival means the small town is buzzing with activity.
Visit a Bluebell Wood
Many woods around the Mendips are carpeted with bluebells during April and May. One of the best is Maskell's wood, and ancient woodland which is a relatively easy walk from the cottage (with options to carry on up on to the gorge top)
A great local secret: fantastic organic asparagus direct from the farm. Honesty-box self-service, only in season, is the only way you'll get it. Great value, great taste. Edcombe Farm, Stoke Lane in Rodney Stoke (second village along towards Wells).
Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st May
The 14th annual veggie/vegan event in the heart of Bristol runs through the weekend. The world's biggest veggie event opens its doors to the public at 11am on Saturday, with admission of £5 or £8, day/weekend respectively.
Draycott Strawberry Fair
In our neighbouring village below the Mendips, an annual small fair celebrating the local strawberry.
Local food, local music, crafts and activities, and (of course) strawberries.
Thursday 8th June - Saturday 10th June
Bristol Food Connections
The city of Bristol comes together to celebrate its diverse food culture and community with a unique, citywide food festival. Last year there was a stunning array of events, dinners, demos and media events. Watch out for the 2016 programme.
Green Scythe Fair
A lovely one day environmental fair in a beautiful setting on the Somerset Levels run entirely on wind, sun and muscle power. Excellent live music, over 70 stalls displaying traditional skills, crafts and produce, lively environmental debates, delicious organic local food, and a variety of the best ales and ciders. Oh - and a traditional Scything competition.
Festival of Nature Thursday 8th-25th June
Building on Bristol's reputation of being the capital of Natural History, this is the UK's largest FREE celebration of the natural world. Lots of events and activities packed in.
Bristol Big Green Week
Especially significant with Bristol as European Green Capital this year. A world-class week of events, talks, and happenings every day. Starting with the Festival of Nature and ending with the big Bristol Bike Ride.
Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride
Rounding off green week special routes from 9 miles to 38 miles long, and including a chance to cycle along the Avon traffic-free under Brunel's iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.
Friday 10th - Sunday 12th
Priddy Folk Festival
A brilliant but small and friendly music festival held on the ancient green of the Mendip village of Priddy. Now in its 24th year.
Saturday 21st - Sunday 23rd
Bristol Harbour Festival
A programme of circus, dance, music and theatre takes over the city's harbour area. Plenty of food, drink and stalls too. And lots of interesting boats haul in to the harbour.
Friday 14th - Sunday 16th
Healing Weekend at Secret World (famous wildife rescue centre)
This annual holistic event promotes and showcases the work of healers, spiritual workers, therapists, artists and stall holders. Food and refreshments are also available. People can come and experience a wide range of healing and complementary therapies
Thursday 10th - Sunday 13th
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
A big free to attend event held at Ashton Court just over the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Mass ascents most days at 6am and 6pm (weather permitting) and spectacular "night-glows". ANd some spectacular air displays.
Bristol Puppetry Festival
A whole range of magical and creative puppet shows in various venues around Bristol.
Somerset Arts Weeks Festival
A wonderful couple of weeks to visit artists mostly in their own studios and see them working and see their art. The programme usually is published in March
Throughout the month the main Somerset towns and villages compete to put on the world's largest illuminated carnivals. All in aid of charity. See link for exact dates
Shapwick Heath Natural England National Nature Reserve, Somerset Wildlife Trust's Westhay Moor Nature Reserve & Ham Wall RSPB Nature Reserve
The Somerset Levels plays host to several million starlings each autumn/winter. They start to arrive in the late summer but the flocks are at their most numerous during the winter months.
Cheddar Festive Night
Roads closed, stalls out, shops all open late, all lit up. Why not wander around, check out the traders and their special offers, and maybe grab a cup of mulled wine to help it all along. The pub usually has a hog roast.