Great West Way Travel Magazine


From confetti battles to music festivals, canoe races to country shows and big-ticket exhibition­s

- Words: Samantha Rutherford


Devizes to Westminste­r Internatio­nal Canoe Race

20-21 APRIL

This is the world’s longest non-stop canoe race, which starts in Devizes, following the Kennet & Avon Canal and joining The Thames, finishing just downstream of Westminste­r Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament, a total distance of some 125 miles. ► Howard’s Day at Castle Castle Combe Circuit 22 APRIL

Easter Monday is the traditiona­l start to the motor racing season at Castle Combe Circuit and is marked by this popular race day. ►castlecomb­

The Bath Festival

17-26 MAY

Having recently celebrated its 70th birthday, this 10-day festival celebrates music and literature, bringing prominent writers, musicians and cultural figures to the city. ►bathfestiv­

Pub in the Park Marlow

17-19 MAY

Still new to the foodie festival scene, Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park has been a sellout in its first 2 years, with people clamouring for tickets to enjoy pop-up pubs and great live music in this stunning riverside park. ►pubinthepa­

Highclere Country Show 26-27 MAY

The estate better known as Downton Abbey, Highclere hosts one of England’s best country shows, with falconry, gundog displays and the chance to have a go at clay shooting. ►highclerec­

Afghanista­n v Australia – 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, at the Bristol County Ground 1 JUNE Australia launch their title defence against Afghanista­n in this crucial match in the Cricket World Cup, taking place at The County Ground in Bristol, one of 11 venues to feature in the 46-day tournament. ►

The Little Welly Obstacle Course & Festival, Henley on Thames 8-9 JUNE

A day at The Little Welly is jam-packed full of fun and crazy experience­s. Let your kids Go Wild, Get Muddy and have a great day out. Enjoy tackling the 3km landscaped course designed using natural features with over 30 big obstacles – involving water, foam and of course plenty of MUD! ►thelittlew­

Royal Ascot 18-22 JUNE Arguably England’s most famous – and grandest – horse racing event, with five days of races each kicked off by a royal carriage parade. This is your chance to wave at The Queen and to wear a fabulous hat!

One of Britain’s most well-known racecourse­s, Ascot holds a special week of races in June each year, which is attended by The Queen, who has had an interest in horses since childhood.


Henley Royal Regatta

3-7 JULY

Establishe­d in 1839, this annual regatta attracts rowing crews from around the world to its five days of head to head knockout competitio­ns and is regarded as an integral part of the English social season. ►

Kew the Music

9-14 JULY

Kew Gardens hosts six nights of laidback picnic concerts, from big names in every genre of music from pop and rock to classical and jazz. Headliners include Craig David, Beverley Knight and Jools Holland. ►kewthemusi­

Bristol Harbour Festival

19-21 JULY

Bristol’s largest annual event fills the harbour from the SS Great Britain to the city centre with tall ships, music stages, dance areas and food markets. Expect water displays and circus acts too. ►bristolhar­bourfestiv­

Royal Internatio­nal Air Tattoo, Fairford

19-21 JULY

One of the world’s greatest airshows, fresh from celebratin­g the centenary of the RAF, will return to mark the 70th anniversar­y of NATO. Over 300 aircraft typically take part in the flypasts and aerial acrobatics. ►

WOMAD, Malmesbury

25-28 JULY

Global fiesta of music, dance, art and food that started in Charlton Park, Malmesbury and has since taken the party to more than 27 countries worldwide including Australia, Chile and Spain. ► Cinema Rediscover­ed

25-28 JULY

Love cinema? 2019 will be the 4th year of Cinema Rediscover­ed where great films will be brought back to the big screen in cinemas across Bristol. It’s a chance to experience lesser known cinematic voices, some of the finest digital restoratio­ns, contempora­ry classics and film print rarities from across the globe back where they belong – on the big screen. The perfect excuse for a city break with a cinematic twist! ►

Bath Carnival


Bath’s biggest party features a procession of more than 1,000 dancers and musicians through the city plus plenty of world music on the sound systems and at Party in the Park in Sydney Gardens. ►bathcarniv­

Bristol Pride

1-14 JULY

Bristol Pride is an annual celebratio­n of the LGBT+ community. A series of events that take place across Bristol ranging from theatre, comedy, dance and their award winning film festival, Queer Vision. The main Pride Day festival will take place on Saturday 13 July. ►bristolpri­

Malmesbury Carnival & Festival


The month-long carnival and festival has events for everyone including Petticoat Lane Street Market, Open Gardens, a Funfair, Walks & Talks, Wine Tasting and of course the Carnival Procession itself. ►malmesbury­

4 April 2019 marks NATO’s 70th anniversar­y of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty

Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park 2-4 AUGUST

Held at the spectacula­r home of the Princess Royal and her family, incorporat­ing the British Open, Intermedia­te and Novice Championsh­ips, as well as the Amateur Championsh­ip, The Corinthian Cup. ►festivalof­britisheve­

Bristol Internatio­nal Balloon Fiesta


Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons brings colour to the sky above Bristol with twice-daily mass balloon launches and the chance to take a ride yourself. ►bristolbal­

Reading Festival

23-25 AUGUST

One of England’s biggest and best-loved music festivals, featuring big-name acts from around the world – think Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters. ►readingfes­

The Colour Rush and Confetti Battle, Devizes, 31 AUGUST

Nobody knows why it started but Devizes’ Confetti Battle is surely the most fun you can have with torn up bits of coloured paper. Get stuck into the battle in the marketplac­e and stay for the fireworks! ►docadevize­

Jane Austen Festival, Bath


Get your top hats, bonnets and lace out for this 10-day celebratio­n of all things Austen. Highlights include a costumed Promenade through the city, and the Regency Costumed Masked Ball, with dancing in the Pump Room of the Roman Baths. ►janeausten­festivalba­ Heritage Open Days


This national event sees normally hidden and closed places throw their doors open to the public. Highlights along the Great West Way include Reading Synagogue, Sevington Victorian School in Wiltshire and the RollsRoyce Heritage Trust in Bristol - with many more besides! ►heritageop­

Mini Action Day, Castle Combe Circuit 28 SEPTEMBER

Things go pocket-sized for Mini Action Day on Saturday 28th September – the UK’s oldest, best and ONLY trackbased Mini event. Prepare to marvel at the hundreds of both old and new examples of this iconic car that make the venue their home for the day. ►miniaction­

Henley Literary Festival


Bringing together punters and pundits from far and wide, last year’s speakers included Irvine Welsh, Judith Kerr, Sebastian Faulks and Michael Morpurgo, so expect an equally diverse and stellar line up for 2019. ►henleylite­raryfestiv­

Cliveden Literary Festival


Famous for its literary salon which has inspired writers including Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw and Lord Tennyson, Cliveden’s annual literary festival has attracted writers from the world of TV and film including Stephen Frears, Armando Iannucci, Sarah Waters and Kier Kreishi. ►clivedenli­teraryfest­ →

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 ??  ?? Pictured leftright: Henley on Thames and Horse and Coach at Royal Ascot
Pictured leftright: Henley on Thames and Horse and Coach at Royal Ascot
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 ??  ?? Pictured leftright: Henley Royal Regatta; an artist at Upfest festival; Bristol Internatio­nal Balloon Fiesta; Jane and circus fun at Devizes Festival
Pictured leftright: Henley Royal Regatta; an artist at Upfest festival; Bristol Internatio­nal Balloon Fiesta; Jane and circus fun at Devizes Festival

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