Top family friendly events for September

Get the kids out and about with one of these fantastic family-friend events, say Beth Rowland and Sneha Pradhan. Bat spotting, sheep herding or gurning, anyone? 

Liverymen and Freemen of the City of London re-enact their right to drive sheep across London Bridge in London, on September 29, 2013. The tradition dates back to the 11th century and saved farmers from paying a bridge crossing tax.  AFP PHOTO/WILL OLIVER        (Photo credit should read WILL OLIVER/AFP/Getty Images)


Fun family events in September

Wales Valleys Walking Festival

5 – 20 September, Across the Welsh Valleys

This is the eleventh year for this popular walking festival, which is set to attract more walkers this year than ever. It provides walking opportunities for everyone, ranging from challenging all-day treks to easier strolls and special interest walks. Specify your grade, distance and duration and find the perfect walk for you. Booking is essential so visit the website to plan your walks.

London Bridge Sheep Drive

27 September, London Bridge, City of London

In an unusual site for central London, on Sunday 27 September, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen will run the annual sheep drive across London Bridge for all the Freemen of the City of London. A great day out for all the family, anyone can drive their sheep across the bridge and raise money for charity with their donation. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed participant. Information and a booking form can be found on the website.

Braemar Gathering

5 September, The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, Brawmar, Aberdeenshire

Since 1848, the reigning Monarch and members of the Royal Family have regularly attended this Scottish Highland show, and it is fully expected that the Queen will be in attendance again this year. Scottish pipers and Highland dancers will entertain visitors, with traditional Tug-of-War and hammer throwing competitions. The running races at the Gathering are the world’s oldest, having been organised on a regular basis by the same body since 1832.

Seals Weekend

26 – 27 September, Anstruther Meeting Point, Anstruther, Fife

The Isle of May has the largest east coast breeding colony of grey seals in Scotland. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the first pups of the season and learn more about grey seals. Departure points and times are dependent on boat operators.

Chatsworth Country Fair

4 – 6 September, Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire

One of the UK’s biggest country fairs, the Red Arrows, Ukrainian Cossack Stunt Team, Essex Dog Display Team and Jump4Heroes Parachute Display Team will all be in attendance at Chatsworth this September. Try your hand at clay pigeon shooting, crossbows, laser shooting and archery. Set on one of the most striking country estates, this is a country show not to be missed.

Dorset County Show

5 – 6 September, Dorchester Showground

Another county show steeped in history, this event begins its 175th year, started in 1840 by a group of local farmers. Show jumping, retired racehorse parades, vintage tractors and more will fill three show rings with plenty to see over the weekend. Attracting over 55,000 visitors each year, the show is supported by over 400 trade stands and there is definitely something for everyone.

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

7 September, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire

This crowd-pleasing custom was first performed at the Barthelmy Fair in August 1226. The horn dancers comprise of six deer-men, a fool, a hobby-horse, a bowman and Maid Marion. Over a walk of about 10 miles, they dance back and forward, as if advancing to each other to fight. Visitors can follow the dancers, or relax in the village, visiting craft stalls, exhibitions or the local pub.

The Egremont Crab Fair

18 – 19 September, Egremont, Lake District

This traditional fair dates back to 1267 and includes the World Gurning Championships, possibly one of Britain’s weirdest customs. To gurn translates as to distort the face, and the winner is the individual who can make the most awful face. Also on show at this fair are traditional Cumberland wrestling, hound racing and horn blowing competitions.

Goose Fair

30 September – 4 October, Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham

A goose fair was originally a market for selling and buying geese on Michaelmas Day – the last day of the harvest. One goose fair that remains is located in Nottingham, but it has changed significantly since medieval times. Now a travelling fair with traditional attractions as well as white-knuckle rides, this is a great family day out steeped in tradition.

International Agatha Christie Festival

11 – 20 September, Torquay, Devon

This popular festival celebrates the life, literature and legacy of Agatha Christie on the 125th anniversary of her birth. Talks from best-selling crime writers, theatre performances, cookery demonstrations and a birthday garden party culminate in a glamorous ball on 19 September with a 10-piece band at the National Trust house that Christie called her holiday home for 38 years.

Isle of Wight Cycling Festival 2015

5 – 27 September, Launched in Newport, Isle of Wight

A perfect opportunity to discover this island’s beautiful countryside, cyclists of all abilities will descend on the Isle of Wight for the month of September. Rides vary from pleasant meanders through pretty villages to Cycle the Wight, a 70-mile road route around the island’s spectacular coastline. Head to the website to find the perfect route for you.

Batty Night Out

3 September, Warham Nature Reserve, Horsham, West Sussex

Meet Jenny Clark and her fascinating rescued bats, and take a guided stroll around the reserve looking for the wild bats of Warnham. Booking is essential for this evening event and visitors are reminded to wear warm clothes and pack insect repellent. Ticket price includes a hot drink and biscuits on arrival.

Grape and Grain Festival

18 – 20 September, Waterfront Square, Bristol

Bristol has historical links with the import of wine and sherry and this festival will celebrate the best wine and beer from across the region, country and world. Beers from America, wines from China, cider from Somerset and much more can be enjoyed over this long weekend. Entertainment includes open mic and music stages, as well as face painting and a kids cookery school to ensure fun for all the family.

Image credit: Will Oliver/ Stringer

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