Purely by accident, a few years ago, we discovered the Stratford River Festival in Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire, England. An annual festival, it is held on the banks of the River Avon. The festival offers a great family day out with much for the kids and adults alike. There is plenty of space away from the river for the children to play, and plenty to do in the festival itself. Here’s a little summary of our day at the festival.
As always, first stop was the Jabberwocky’s green van, a new one this year, for one of their superb toasties. Always a great start to the day at the festival. That was washed down by coffee from Red Coffee’s Little Red coffee cart.
Next stop, of course, is the shopping. Along with a range of food stalls, the festival always has a selection of toys, clothes and the like on sale. The ladies always spend a bit of time there looking for bargains. The guys, in mean time, discovered some interesting chilli sauces. Good thing we still had some coffee to wash that down.
Going for a Walk (using the Chain Ferry)
We took a walk around the festival area to get to the ferry across the Avon River. It’s a pleasant walk through the open green area of the Recreation Area, dominated by the view of the Holy Trinity church on the other side of the river and road.
The chain ferry will take you across the river for 50p. It’s a popular way to cross the river – we had to queue while a couple of groups crossed the river. Somehow the swans seem to manage to avoid it, along with other boats on the river.
Walking up from the chain ferry takes you around the back and side of the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre. Back at the river, take a cruise boat or have a wander around Stratford upon Avon.
Take a Cruise
These cruise boats run all day, taking in the view down the river to the weir below the Holy Trinity Church. Then they turn and head up river. Set back from the river in green and shady areas you will see some beatiful houses.
The cruises are a great way to just chill out. The entire cruise is about 40 minutes.
On the cruise it’s also a lot of fun watching the various couples and families in different types of small boats, trying to make their way up and down river. And mind for the swans and Canada geese. How they miss being run over is a mystery.
There’s always a good selection of food at the River Festival, and it’s always popular. Here’s our favourite – slow roasted lamb in a bun with lettuce and salsa verde.Take your pick at the one of the food stands from burgers, barbecued meat, Caribbean food, a selection of Thai food, pies and more.
And, of course, don’t forget the drinks as there are many of bars and stands around the grounds sell soft and alcoholic drinks. Our preference was the gin mixes supplied by a local publican.
Relax and Listen to the Music
At every River Festival we have been to the music has been pretty good. Definitely worth sitting back, and enjoying, perhaps with gin in hand, into the late hours.
The big wheel, a new addition, dominates the background of the festival. Not our choice of fun though!
The big wheel, all lit up, provided a parting photo.
We skipped the 10:00 p.m. fireworks and headed home. Not without sampling one of the excellent burgers from One Elm’s pop-up burger stand, offering "28 day dry cured beef burgers". They were as good as that sounds. A great day out. Now what date is the 2018 river festival?
Update: Next year’s river festival is 30th June to 1st July 2018. See you there!
Hope you liked my photos. My trusty Panasonic Lumix TZ100 delivered all except the band zoom shot..