It’s time to dust off those Wellingtons, unpack the fascinators and plan your summer entirely on a jam-packed calendar of al fresco events. When it comes to summer festivals, the UK pulls out all the stops, and from sophisticated affairs to wild weekends, there’s a choice for every interest. Here we round-up our top picks, including a guide to the best unique homes in the area.

Henley Festival

The Henley Festival is one truly elegant meet! Revel amongst the finest fashionistas and outstanding music acts in an astonishing setting. With five days of events, attendees of Henley gather around the many bars with breathtaking riverside views, clinking glasses to celebrate the start of events. Four restaurants dot the grounds, from St James serving flavoursome dishes with a touch of simplicity, to The Riverside merging fine dining and spectacular views. Hand-picked acts pump life into the atmosphere with popular pop, ingenious comedy and art to inspire. Continue the lavish celebrations when the day’s events come to an end and regroup at Guinevere, a magnificent manor house in Surrey or Cotteswere, an intimate Cotswold hideaway in the most serene location.

When? July 10 – 14

Where? River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames 

Where to stay? Guinevere, Cotteswere

Goodwood Festival of Speed

This festival is the perfect pick for the motorsport and car enthusiasts among us and is filled with record beating races, star appearances and unrestricted access to the top machines and drivers. Goodwood Festival of Speed never disappoints with high-class hospitality and unbeatable ambience and as the events come to an end, Labyrinth, a historic country house or Ariabelle, a stunning mansion with a French flair awaits. 

When? July 4 - 7

Where? Goodwood, Chichester

Where to stay? Labyrinth, Ariabelle

Hay Festival

Literary enthusiasts and artisans join as Hay Festival begins. This ten day occasion naturally bursts with culture, taking place in Hay-on-Wye which is known for its abundance of bookshops well before the festival started. People of all groups, ages and interests are welcomed with the event calendar comprising of creative writing workshops, a food hall for all tastes and talks from renowned authors. Recoup and reminisce after a busy day with one of our peaceful Welsh escapes; gather the group in Alchemy Hill or Charity, or relish in a private getaway for two in Keepers or The Nightfly.

When? May 23 – June 2

Where? Dairy Meadows, Hay-on-Wye

Where to stay? Keepers, The Nightfly, Alchemy Hill, Charity, Apifera

Glastonbury Music Festival

The world’s largest greenfield music festival brings everything you could ever expect, plus the unexpected. Joined by the biggest music acts and entertainers this event is not to be missed! Attendees relish in the English summer, come rain or shine with brightly coloured Wellingtons and psychedelic waterproofs painting the muddy fields. Take a break from the bright lights and feel of the base in Viola, Goldhorn and Butterfly House for larger groups or Pilgrim for an intimate country-cottage.

When? June 26 – 30

Where? Worthy Farm, Somerset

Where to stay? Pilgrim, Butterfly House, Goldhorn, Viola