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Gloucestershire & the Cotswolds Summer Festival Guide

Rebecca Wilson on the subject of Best of British,The Great Outdoors. Posted on July 1st, 2014.

The English countryside is something we at Turtle Mat love to celebrate and where could be considered more quintessentially “English” than the Cotswolds? In fact, Turtle Towers is perfectly positioned in the centre of the Cotswolds, so it is a region not only close to our hearts, but right on our doorstep.

Summer in the Cotswolds is a season of exploration, celebration and appreciation. Following on from our Outdoor Events Guide for Summer, read on for our top pick of music festivals in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds over the coming months as well as some insider tips for each.


Longborough Opera House

Longborough Opera House

Longborough Festival Opera

Date: various between 24 June – 26July 2014

Where: Longborough, Moreton-in-Marsh


Longborough Festival Opera is set in beautiful country house surroundings with sweeping views of the Cotswolds. It is the perfect place for both seasoned opera-goers and for first-timers to experience their first opera; the highly acclaimed performances and elegant surroundings make for a great summer experience.  In 2014, expect performances of Tosca and Barber of Seville. Tosca is known for its high drama while Barber of Seville is a more light-hearted romp.

Insider tip: Arrive early to relax in the lovely surroundings prior to a performance.  There is a dining interval where you can bring your own picnic and sit in the grounds or the venue offers a range of catered options.   All catered options must be arranged in advance, so call ahead if you are interested.

While the opera itself is indoors, do look at the weather forecast as while they can guarantee a lovely performance, they can’t guarantee lovely weather! Stilettoes and high heeled shoes are best avoided due to the uneven ground of the gardens at Longborough.



Cheltenham Music Festival

Image credit: Becky Matthews

Cheltenham Music Festival

Date: 2 – 13 July 2014

Where: Across Cheltenham


The Cheltenham Music Festival serves up an array of classical music performances, from contemporary composers to performances of well-loved pieces. Over sixty events take place during the twelve day festival, with the programme also featuring workshops, film screenings and theatre.

Insider tip: This year marks the 70th year of the Cheltenham Music Festival. To celebrate the festival will feature Town Hall Festival Proms. The Proms will feature some of the world’s hottest classical music stars, including violinist Nicola Benedetti, so be sure to check out these shows if you are at the festival.


Cotswold Beer Festival 2014

Date: 18 to 20 July 2014

Cotswolds Beer Festival

Image credit: Gilbert TurnerDate: 18 – 20 July 2014

Where: near Winchcombe


Though not strictly a music festival, live music is almost as much a part of the event as the beer. Acoustic, brass and jazz music all feature over the course of the weekend festivities alongside Morris dancers, plenty of food, beer, and cider.

Insider tip: Come suitably clad (according to the weather) for outdoor drinking, as it gets crowded inside the Tithe Barn.

And, for someone new to drinking ale: Start at the low strength beers and work your way up to the stronger ones!


Guiting Power Village

Village of Guiting Power

Guiting Festival

Date: 25 July – 3 August

Where: Guiting Power


Guiting Festival is set in the delightful village of Guiting Power, in the village hall, or on the playing field for the outdoor concerts. Having just 140 seats in front and 40 behind the stage, the hall provides a thoroughly intimate atmosphere that is hard to imitate with many summer festivals.  Being in its 44th year, the Festival has built up a strong band of loyal supporters, some from as far away as the U.S.A.

The Festival is a registered charity and virtually all the effort required to run it comes from volunteers, with tremendous support for it coming from long-standing sponsors and donors, which allows ticket prices to be kept affordable. Primarily a festival of classical music although there is always one indoor and one outdoor jazz concert and this year an outdoor folk concert has also been added.

Insider tip: If the forecast is good some bring picnics, having a first course before the concert and the rest in the interval.  Or if you are quick on the draw there are also very small but reasonably priced post-concert suppers to round off the evening, primarily for musicians and sponsors, laid on at the nearby “Old Vicarage”. You may also want to bring a cushion to supplement those provided for the hard village chairs.


Are you attending any music festivals this summer? Let us know your top picks in the comments below or over on Twitter!