Best countryside events, festivals and concerts in September

Come early autumn, Britain's countryside brims with exciting outdoor events, festivals and concerts. From red squirrel walks and outdoor films festivals to nordic walking, here is our pick of some of the best events taking place across the UK in September 2019.

People watching Pretty Woman at an outdoor cinema

Here is our pick of some of the best events, festivals and concerts taking place across the UK in September 2019.

Red Squirrel walk and talk, Plas Newydd House and Garden, Anglesey

1st September – 30th September

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Throughout the whole of September, visitors to the Plas Newydd mansion and gardens can enjoy spectacular views of Snowdonia while being guided on a red squirrel walk. During the walk, you’ll venture into the woods while volunteer rangers explain more about these amazing creatures, their habitats and how they were reintroduced to Anglesey after being in serious decline during the 1990s. More information can be found via the National Trust website.

Red squirrel munching on a hazel nut sitting in his mossy tree
Red squirrels were reintroduced to the grounds at Plas Newydd 11 years ago (Photo by: Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 19:  Members of the public punt along the river Cam in front of the colleges of Cambridge University on April 19, 2011 in Cambridge, England. The UK is currently basking in fine weather with the Met Office predicting temperatures up to 25C this week. The fine weather comes as many people are taking advantage of the combination of a late Easter and additional Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding to take extended breaks and holidays.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Summer nights outdoor film festival, various locations

1st – 21st September

Don’t say goodbye to summer just yet – Britain’s outdoor film screenings continue to play long into September. With classics such as Dirty Dancing and Grease along with more contemporary choices like  Bohemian Rhapsody being shown, there’s something for everyone. From Attingham Park in Shropshire to Belton House in Lincolnshire, discover your nearest location by visiting the Summer Nights Outdoor Film Festival website.

people watching Pretty Woman at an outdoor cinema (Photo by: Getty Images)
Make the most of the last warm summer evenings at an outdoor cinema and watch a classic beneath the stars (Photo by: Getty Images)

River Dart 10K wild swim, Devon

14th September – 15th September

Now in its tenth year, the River Dart 10k is an open water event that started with 200 swimmers and now has 1600. It starts from the small market town of Totnes, Devon, and follows the River Dart along the estuary to finish at Dittisham. If you’re intrigued by the idea of bracing the chilly waters, have a look at the inspiring video of the swim in a previous year, or read writer Rosee Woodland’s first hand account of the challenge.

The swim is now full for 2019, but spectators can come and cheer on swimmers – find out more on the Outdoor Swimming Society website.

River Dart 10k swim
Head to Devon to watch swimmers take part in the River Dart 10k (Photo by: Anna Barclay)

Dart 10k Outdoor Swimming Society from Outdoor Swimming Society on Vimeo.

Yorkshire fossil festival, Scarborough

13th September – 15th September

This September, the Yorkshire Fossil Festival returns to Scarborough for a weekend of fossil-friendly activities and dinosaur discovery. This year’s free event will see activities throughout the entire weekend, including performances, scientific demonstrations, fossil handling, educational workshops and the popular dinosaur walks. All this, plus the opportunity to go rock pooling along the Dinosaur Coast. All events are based at the Rotunda Museum. See more: yorkshirefossilfestival.co.uk

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The Yorkshire Fossil Festival (Photo by: Yorkshire Fossil Festival)

Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival, Dorset

13th September – 15th September

Ever wondered what Nordic Walking is? Or perhaps you’re already a pro? One thing’s for sure, with visitors travelling from all over the UK and as far away as Japan, the Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival in Dorset is a weekend not to be missed. Enjoy the majestic Jurassic coast – its ancient castles and seaside villages – with over 100 walks, workshops and presentations including yoga walking, a Corfe Castle cream tea walk and pizza night.

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Lots of happy Nordic Walkers at Purbeck (Photo by: Gill Stewart)

Newquay Fish Festival, Newquay

13th September – 15th September

The region’s top chefs will be down in the harbour giving lively demonstrations and showcasing the regions finest seafood. If you don’t like fish, never fear – there will be a variety of entertainment including live music, craft stalls and street theatre. Child-friendly activities such as sandcastle building competitions are also happening down on the beach. Find out more on the Newquay Fish Fest website.

Newquay Fish Festival
Sun, sea and fish – Newquay Fish Festival has it all (Photo by: Getty Images)

Bristol Open Doors: Hidden City, Bristol

13th September – 15th September

This event offers participants the keys to the city for a weekend, opening over 100 landmark buildings and curious spaces, many of which are not normally open to the public. This year sees the opening of locations such as the 18th century Albion Dock at the SS Great Britain and the former Filton Airfield and Brabazon Hangars (the birthplace of Concorde). Plus, among a mix of drop-in book events, tours, talks, walks and experiences, you can also step aboard a 19th century lightship, visit Avery’s Wine Cellars and explore the recently converted General Hospital. Find out more details via Visit Bristol or the Bristol Open Doors website.

Bristol
Discover a number of intriguing and curious spaces usually closed to the public in the Open Doors event (Photo by: Andy Sage / EyeEm via Getty Images)

Battle of Dunbar re-enactment, Spott Road, Dunbar

14th September – 15th September

This living history event will see Dunbar come alive with the thundering of hooves and crack of muskets, as the Scottish Battlefields Trust re-enacts the Battle of Dunbar 1650. This educational event will include demonstrations of cavalry tactics while visitors can wander around immersive military camps. The event is family friendly, and will also include stalls and crafts. Find out more by visiting East Lothian Battle Weekends.

Battle of Dunbar re-enactment
The living history event is part of a tri-annual calendar of commemorative re-enactment weekends designed to entertain and educate people about this important period in Scotland’s history

Great British Beach Clean, various locations

20th September – 23rd September

Last year, 15,000 volunteers cleaned 8,550 kilos of litter from beaches around the UK during Britain’s biggest beach clean. This year, the Marine Conservation Society are looking for volunteers to take part again, in the 26th annual clean up. Events will be taking place all over the UK, from Cornwall and Devon to Northern Ireland and the Highlands. Volunteers help with conservation efforts by recording the litter found along the coastline, and while you’re there help the wildlife you love. Find out more about how you can help this September on the Marine Conservation Society website.

Beach clean
This year is the 26th annual beach clean hosted by the Marine Conservation Society (Photo by: SolStock via Getty Images)

Bolsover’s Greatest Show, Derbyshire

26th September – 29th September

For this long weekend in September, 17th century Bolsover Castle plays host to the Greatest Show: an illuminations event featuring acrobats, jesters, fire-breathers. And, those booking tickets online before the 25th will receive a 10% discount. Find out more on the Bolsover Castle website.

Fire breather
Bolsover Castle’s Greatest show features acrobats, fire-breathers and jesters (Photo by: AlexD75 via Getty Images)

South West Outdoors Festival, Penrose, near Helston, Cornwall

27th September – 29th September

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This year’s SWOF is an outdoor adventure event featuring all types of al fresco entertainment including trail races, mountain biking and water sports. The weekend also includes a number of free family events such as storytelling around the campfire, kite flying, scavenger hunting and yoga. Find out more about the South West Outdoors Festival on via the National Trust.

Mountain biking
This event takes place in close proximity to the Lizard Peninsula, the Uk’s most southerly point (Photo by: stockstudioX via Getty Images)