SO Festival

Festival Fever

Don’t worry, this is one fever you’ll love catching! We’re hot on festivals in Lincolnshire, laying on everything from the weird and wacky to wonderful walking and fabulous food festivals. Here are a few top choices to whet your appetite.

1. Get those walking boots on!

Set amidst rolling hills, the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival makes the most of this area of outstanding natural beauty over 16 days each May. From gentle strolls to long distance treks along with daytime and evening rambles, most walks are free. You’ll find loads of family-friendly activities, and even a cycle ride or two.

2. Celebrate the Great British Banger

Each October the Lincolnshire Sausage Festival celebrates the county’s most iconic export – with visitors tucking into 32,000 individual sausages on the day. With free entry and a picturesque setting of cobbled streets and dramatic castle, it’s no surprise that this festival is one of the region’s top foodie events.

3. Europe's finest open-air theatre?

On a stage set in an enchanting glade in the grounds of historic Tolethorpe Hall, near Stamford, this feast of plays from the Stamford Shakespeare Company each June, July and August is a true summer treat. Beneath a permanent all-weather canopy, it's the perfect setting to enjoy the works of the world's greatest playwright.

4. Lincolnshire is SO cool!

One of the most exciting, innovative and accessible outdoor arts festivals in the UK, the annual SO Festival transforms East Lincolnshire into a carnival of dance, street theatre and comedy. This nine-day summer festival stretches across seven market towns, culminating in a grand finale weekend in Skegness.

5. Ever heard of Steampunk?

We hadn’t either. But visit Lincoln in August and experience Europe’s biggest Steampunk Festival. It’s a sort of science fiction meets fantasy world fusing old and new with a Victorian twist – and really interesting! For one weekend cobbled streets transform with people wearing fantasy neo-Victorian costumes. Fantastic fun!

6. Church Splendour

Simon Jenkins, author of England's Thousand Best Churches, wrote "Lincolnshire churches cannot be bettered". We tend to agree. Every May, Lincolnshire hosts West Lindsey Churches Festival, one of the best of its kind in the UK, celebrating everything from architecture and heritage to stained glass and stone carvings.

7. Stately movie magic

Where better to watch Hollywood blockbusters and classic oldies than under the stars at England’s greatest Elizabethan house? Five days and nights of fabulous films transform the picturesque South Gardens of Burghley House into one of the country’s most beautiful outdoor cinema locations for the Burghley Film Festival.

8. Harvest Hoot

Home to Europe's largest pumpkin producer, October sees the riverside market town of Spalding launch Harvest celebrations with its Spalding Pumpkin Festival – complete with pumpkin coach! Stalls sell everything from pumpkin pies to pumpkin jam, while carved pumpkins light the way for the grand pumpkin parade.

9. Bathing Beauties anyone?

No not those, we’re talking beach huts! Music, art, street theatre and seaside eccentricity transform beach huts and promenades into Europe’s longest linear coastal art festival every September for the Festival of Bathing Beauties. It celebrates our ‘re-engineered’ beach huts - including a giant ‘Gin and Tonic’.

10. A festival for all sorts of folk...

It’s folk, but not as you know it! July welcomes the Funny As Folk Festival, which bills itself as ‘not so much a folk festival as a festival for all sorts of folk’. The three-day camping festival features music, comedy, arts, theatre, crafts, street performance, busking and food.

11. Pedal-powered tunes

One of the UK’s best small festivals, September’s Equinox Festival, a family friendly music and entertainment festival near Coningsby, prides itself on being non-corporate and non-commercial. Staged close to the Autumnal Equinox, bands and DJs perform on eight stages, one solar powered - and another pedal powered!

12. Georgian town set for a ball

It’s starred in many a period costume drama as one of the country’s finest Georgian stone towns, and September’s Stamford Georgian Festival celebrates that fine heritage. Over three days there are military reenactments, markets, talks and music along with horse drawn carriage rides… and, of course, a Georgian costume ball.