To make the most of the month of May, we’ve searched far and wide for the best family fun times up and down the country. It doesn’t matter what floats your boat, because we’ve got a bit of something for everyone – from swimming to cheese rolling and everything in between. But the thing that links them all is that they’re either super low cost or completely FREE!
There are over a hundred lidos dotted around the country, and the number of pools opening year round is growing, slowly but steadily. So use the warmer weather as an excuse to put on your favourite swimming costume and head to your local outdoor pool.
Saturday 4th May
Celebrating its eighteenth anniversary and 260 years since Scottish poet Robert Burns’ birth in South Ayrshire, the festival celebrates the man who continues to be an inspiration to millions worldwide. Celebrate the man, the music and his legacy.
Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th May
One for all the cheese lovers out there, last year saw 70 Artisan Cheese Makers descend on the festival from across Britain and Ireland to showcase over 300 cheeses. This year they’re hoping to attract up to 80 cheese makers, some of whom produce the UK’s rarest cheeses that are usually only available direct from the cheese maker.
Sunday 5th May
You don’t have to be a dog owner to get your paws into this one. With a dog-themed Bark Off Bake Sale, a dog show, and prizes awarded in categories like ‘cutest pup’, 'golden oldies' and ‘best rescue’, The Great Hampstead Bark Off promises to be a mecca for fans of our four-legged friends.
Saturday 4th – Sunday 26th May
Established in 1967, Brighton Festival is an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events. It takes place in venues both familiar and unusual across Brighton & Hove and is now one of Europe’s leading arts festivals.
Saturday 18th May
The oldest football cup competition in the world, the FA Cup was first held in 1871-72. Some say it’s lost its shine over the years for various reasons, but whether you’re a City fan, a Watford supporter or just an excited neutral, find yourself the perfect spot to watch this English football institution.
Friday 24th May – Sunday 9th June
Immerse yourself in music, art, dance, and theatre of the highest caliber at the annual Salisbury International Arts Festival. This year's event has something of a space theme, due to its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landings, so you’ll see unique artworks and performances influenced by space and our planet.
Sunday 26th May
Luton International Carnival is the largest one-day carnival in the UK, second only to Notting Hill Carnival. Activities will start from 12 noon in Wardown Park, were you can sample an array of food stalls in addition to the colourful parade, fairground rides, kids activities and live music.
Monday 27th May
Who’ll be crowned the new king of Cooper's Hill at the Cheese Rolling and Wake this year? Famous all over the world and with previous winners hailing from as far as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal, St John’s Ambulance will be on-hand as always to treat any injuries, of which there are several every year.
Monday 27th May
Another annual event held in Gloucestershire,the Tetbury Woolsack Races is a display of strength and fitness that attracts crowds of up to 5,000 people and raises money for local charities and good causes. Participants must race whilst carrying sacks of wool while the locals and visitors look on while enjoying a street fair and party atmosphere.