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Best autumn festivals in the UK

21st September 2021

The arrival of the autumn season is celebrated through a number of events across the UK, and these range from food and music festivals to carnivals and comedy festivals.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some autumn events in the UK have been postponed until next year, but there are still plenty that are taking place. This guide looks at the best autumn events that are taking place not only this year but the ones which have been re-scheduled for next year as well. All of the events in this list are accessible for those with mobility problems and who would normally need to use stairlifts in their home or aids to get around.

The best autumn events in 2021

These are some of the best autumn events taking place across the UK in 2021:

•Scarborough Jazz Festival

•Birmingham Comedy Festival

•Dartmouth Food Festival

•London Restaurants Festival

Scarborough Jazz Festival

Date of event: 24-26 September 2021

The Scarborough Jazz Festival is returning once again, following a hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s festival will be the 18th anniversary of the event and to celebrate iconic musicians such as violinist John Pearce, pianist Fergus McCreadie and famous jazz musician Julian Joseph with his band will be performing.

The jazz festival is held in the grand Victorian surroundings of Scarborough Spa, but the venue is extremely accessible. There are ramps and lifts across the venue that give access to all areas of the building and there are wheelchair spaces in all the performance areas. Disabled toilets, accessible parking and an induction loop system is also available to festival-goers.

Birmingham Comedy Festival

Date of event: 1-10 October 2021

Image source: Birmingham Comedy Festival

The Birmingham Comedy Festival began back in 2001 with the aim of drawing attention to the city's vibrant comedy scene and since then it has been doing just that by attracting famous comedians and local acts too.

The Birmingham Comedy Festival spoke a bit about why you should visit this year’s festival as it marks a special anniversary.

“This year is our 20th anniversary, which is a remarkable feat. And after a year online, it's going to be great to be back in the room. As always, there's plenty of big names in the line-up - like Russell Brand and Chris Ramsey at Symphony Hall, and The Rocky Horror Show at The Alexandra Theatre - but also some excellent rising stars, such as Rachel Fairburn and Fin Taylor.

“We're also looking at some comedy heroes of the past with productions exploring the lives of silent movie star Buster Keaton and post-war stand-up Frankie Howerd.

“Although there are loads of great, well-known acts appearing - there's also Tailenders, Phoenix Nights' Clinton Baptiste, Mark Steel, Jenny Eclair, Jimeoin, Dane Baptiste - there's also some of the best acts from the region, including Darren Harriott (British As Folk), Mrs Barbara Nice (BGT, Phoenix Nights), Jo Enright (The Job Lot, Trollied) and Josh Pugh (B'ham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award winner). That regional focus has always been important to the festival, and was one of the reasons why we started, way back in 2001 - we wanted to highlight what was happening in and around the city. And that hasn't changed.”

Over the course of its history, the event has attracted some A-list heavy-hitters such as Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, the cast of cult TV sketch series The Fast Show, Ross Noble, John Bishop, Miranda Hart, Jimmy Carr, Alan Carr, Al Murray The Pub Landlord, Sarah Millican, Jack Whitehall, Stephen Merchant, Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe, Harry Hill, Greg Davies, Brum heroes Joe Lycett, Lenny Henry and Jasper Carrott, the legendary Ad' Fab' star Joanna Lumley and even the late Ken Dodd!

Dartmouth Food Festival

Date of event: 22-24 October 2021

From humble beginnings in 2002, the Dartmouth Food Festival has become a landmark event on the culinary calendar and the autumn festival turns this town in Devon into a frenzy of activity.

Featuring workshops, seminars, tastings, competitions, demonstrations and over 120 hand-picked exhibitors, it showcases the best that Devon and the South West has to offer. Visitors can meet celebrity chefs and the UK’s top food writers, which in the past have included Matt Tebbutt, who presents Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped and the BBC's Saturday Kitchen, and Angela Hartnett, who owns a Michelin starred restaurant in London.

The festival is free to attend and everyone is welcome. It is also a really accessible festival with the events sites all on a level and suitable ground for wheelchair and scooter users and those with mobility problems. Disabled toilets are also available to festival-goers.

READ MORE: Most accessible winter events in the UK

London Restaurants Festival

Date of event: 1-31 October 2021

The autumn edition of the London Restaurants Festival is returning for its 13th year and it is a city-wide celebration of the London restaurant scene. The festival was founded by Simon Davis with Fay Maschler to celebrate and reflect the vibrant London restaurant scene through exclusive experiences that inspire people to visit as many restaurants as possible throughout October.

This year there will be more than 40 exclusive experiences including the return of the much-loved Restaurant-Hopping Tours, Top Ten Cuisines and Tastings & Masterclasses. People who go on the Restaurant-Hopping Tours will visit four restaurants in one evening and will enjoy a tasting plate and a drink in each one.

In total over 200 of London’s leading restaurants will be offering a great value set menu every day throughout October. You can book your table at a participating restaurant here.

Whilst virtually all of the eateries that are participating in the festival will be accessible to diners who have mobility issues, you should check the restaurant you are intending on visiting to see if they suit your needs.

READ MORE: Accessible guide to royal attractions in London

The best autumn events in 2022

Some autumn events in the UK have postponed their events until 2022 and these are some you should mark down to visit next year:

•Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival

•Enchanted Forest

Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival

Date of event: 5 November 2022

The Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival is one of the most famous carnivals in the UK and it regularly attracts crowds of 150,000.

The floats that are part of the procession are spectacular and are built by dedicated carnival clubs around the West Country who raise money throughout the year to enter the event.

The floats are eye-catching with some in previous years being as large as 100ft in length, 16ft high, and 11ft wide, and boasting around 20-30,000 light bulbs.

The Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival is free, but visitors are asked to make a donation which goes to local charities. In terms of accessibility, the town is on the main level as is the carnival route with the only slight incline being the railway bridge near the start of the procession.

Enchanted Forest

Date of event: 29 September – 30 October 2022

The Enchanted Forest is regarded as Scotland’s premier sound and light event and set amidst the autumn woodland of Forestry Commission Scotland's Faskally Wood in Highland Perthshire, it is one autumn event not to be missed.

Although the 2021 event was cancelled, it will be returning in 2022 and having previously attracted over 70,000 visitors, it is expected to be just as popular on its return. The festival has previously won the UK’s Best Cultural Event and Scotland’s Best Large Event because of its dazzling visuals and great design set against orchestral and more original music.

The event has been created to cater for all ages and most of the forest is accessible for wheelchair users, while there are disabled toilets and car parking onsite too.

These are just some of the amazing autumn festivals that are taking place across the UK in 2021/22 and some of the great features you can look forward to if you are visiting them.

For more articles and blogs like this, take a look at the mobility news section of the website.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.