Category Archives: Festivals

Burning of the Clocks Festival – Brighton


Burning of the Clocks Parade

One of many festivals held in Brighton, the Burning of the Clocks event took place on the 21st December, a tradition which began in 1994.  On this, the shortest day, the people of Brighton and Hove construct lanterns from paper and willow and gather together as a parade takes place through the city streets, before marking the end of the year with a lantern bonfire on the beach.

With over 2,000 parade performers taking part in the family event, elaborate costumes with clock face detailing are worn to represent the passing of time and the Winter Solstice.  Along with the lantern bonfire, each year a large sculpture is created to reflect a given theme, which is set alight as part of the show of fire, with the event culminating in a stunning firework display and live music providing for a lively atmosphere to these festivities.

This year however, the fire show and firework display had to be cancelled due to the high winds and the safety problems these posed, but thousands still braved the extreme conditions to witness and participate in the lantern parade, which began in the New Road area and ended in Madeira Drive, with this year’s theme focus being The Deep.

This unique event is organised by Same Sky, which is a community art charity based locally in Brighton, and brings together the culturally diverse communities of Brighton and Hove for this vibrant and dynamic celebration.

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Top UK Festivals for 2014

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If you are planning your motorhome holiday for 2014 why not take a look at some of the top festivals being held in the UK during 2014. From culture to sport and music there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Scotland’s Momentous Year

In 2014 Scotland has many special events including a referendum on independence. For visitors the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are a major draw between 23 July and 4th August. Even if you don’t have a ticket there will be a tremendous atmosphere in the city itself. The Queen’s Baton Relay will be travelling around Scotland in the 40 days leading up to the Commonwealth Games and is also fun to watch.

Scotland’s other major events include the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn when Robert the Bruce defeated the English. This celebration from 24 -30 June is well worth the journey. Edinburgh International Festival is held each August in the city and is full of cultural activities. The famous Fringe Festival and Literary festival are held at the same time and are really popular. For golfing enthusiasts the Ryder Cup is being held at Gleneagles in September 2014.

Food, Music, and Remembrance

There are lots of other festivals in the UK during 2014. In September the Abergavenny Food Festival is one of the best in the UK and perfect for tasting regional specialties. For literary fans the Hay Literature Festival is renowned and has a wide ranging programme of events in May. The centenary of Dylan Thomas is being commemorated in Swansea with a number of events. Music has both classical and popular festivities during 2014. There is Glastonbury Festival in June which is renowned, and also the famous Proms in London during the summer. 2014 is also a very special year when the centenary of World War One is commemorated in many ways. Throughout the UK there will be exhibits and other events which can be seen via the Imperial War Museum website.
Wherever you travel in the UK during 2014 there are many events and festivals to plan into your motorhome holiday.

Lincoln Christmas Market

Lincoln Cathedral overlooking Castle Square

Lincoln Cathedral overlooking Castle Square

Commencing on the 5th December, the 31st Lincoln Christmas Market took place in the centre of Lincoln, with the cathedral and castle providing a stunning backdrop to this event.  The start of the eagerly awaited Christmas spectacular experienced a slight delay, the result of the strong winds which hit the area as the stallholders and organisers prepared to open the 4 day annual Christmas Market.

With the original Christmas market consisting of just 11 stalls, this famous festive attraction now offers nearly 300 and welcomes over 250,000 visitors, to enjoy its traditional, contemporary and cultural delights.  One of the largest Christmas Markets in Europe, visitors to Lincoln soaked up the atmosphere whilst buying those special and unique gifts for loved ones, sure to make their day this Christmas.  With an array of local arts and crafts, including John Bangay’s stall who sells souvenirs and prints of Lincoln, and is one of the original 11 line-up from when the market began, to delicious treats such as traditional sweets and cheeses, pastries and liqueurs, the market had something for everyone.  With live entertainment taking place across the 4 days, as well as fun rides, Christmas crafts and stalls for the children, the Market, as always, made for a real family treat.

With Lincoln proving such a picturesque city, there is also plenty to explore in this historic location, details of which can be found in our City Spotlight blog coming soon.

Next year’s event dates are yet to be released but the market is usually held three weeks before Christmas.

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Weekly City Spotlight: Chichester


Chichester Cathedral

Set in West Sussex on the River Lavant, Chichester is an historic city, which due to its location offers visitors an opportunity to explore the city, the coast as well as the countryside, ensuring something for everyone.  Chichester’s wealth of attractions include museums, galleries and stately homes to visit, in addition to its beautiful cathedral and harbour.  A cultural city, Chichester also welcomes many visitors to its annual festivals including the Festival of Chichester, a four week celebration of the music and the arts, as well as Goodwood’s famous Festival of Speed and Glorious Goodwood.

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The Big Cheese Festival, Caerphilly

Here at Azure, we love a festival. Especially when that festival is jammed full of food tasting, musical performances and dancing! The Big Cheese Festival definitely provides all these plus much more and the fact that it’s free to get in makes it one of our favourite festivals of the summer.
The town of Caerphilly is famous for its Caerphilly cheese, which is rumoured to have been created in the town way back in 1831. It is believed to have been developed to provide coal miners of the town with an effective way of replenishing the salt lost through their gruelling ten hour shifts underground.


Caerphilly cheese

Held every year in the historic town since 1997, the festival is situated on the Owain Glyndwr Playing Fields, just a twenty minute drive from the Welsh capital, Cardiff.
This year’s festival starts on Friday 26th of July and continues over the weekend, ending on Sunday 28th. On the first day, many festival goers, both adults and children, will be competing in the annual Great Cheese Race! The race itself is staged around the grounds of Britain’s second largest castle, the magnificent Caerphilly castle, built in the 13th century. Every year there is a theme with participants having to wear fancy dress. This year’s theme is the Olympics, with prizes going to the best dressed and not to forget, the winner of the race itself! Sadly it is now too late to apply to take part in the race, but we’re sure that watching this fun filled event will be just as enjoyable.Aside from the Great Cheese Race, a packed entertainment programme will ensure visitors have lots of fun over the three days.

Festival goers can expect the following;
• Funfair & traditional funfair
• Firework display (Friday 26th – around 10pm)
• Re-enactment displays
• Musical entertainment
• Educational activities
• Food hall
• Craft stalls
• Activity marquee
• Tommy Cooper tent

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle viewed from David Williams Park

There is so much to do at the festival, but if you just want to relax with your friends and family there are designated picnic areas on the site, allowing you to take in all the atmosphere the charming town has to offer. This year around 80,000 people are expected to experience the Big Cheese Festival, we highly recommend that you visit, it’s definitely one of Azure’s favourite summer festivals. Remember, it starts on Friday 26th July and ends on Sunday 28th, all ages are welcome and it’s free!

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