A magnificent May half term
If you’re spending May half term in our neck of the woods, it’s likely you’ll be on the lookout for the best ways to keep you and your brood entertained for the week and over the bonus Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend. Luckily, we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeve… from fairy walks and puffin festivals to paddle boarding down the river Tweed.
And, if you’re after something a little more sophisticated to do for over the four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend – it is a right royal holiday after all! – we’ve got that covered too: from Yorkshire’s finest food festival and champagne tours around privately-owned castles to picnics fit for a king or queen there's something for everyone no matter how you wish to celebrate.
Half Term Events
Midstock festival at Dalkeith Country Park | East Lothian
Start your May celebrations as you mean to go on at Midstock Festival at Dalkeith Country Park. Taking place on the 27th and 28th May, this family-friendly festival combines daytime fun with big name DJs and great bands. A variety of food and drink stalls will be dotted around the grounds, plus there is an enormous adventure playground at Dalkeith Country Park in case the children need further entertainment!
The Big Fat Alnwick Garden Party | Northumberland
Scratching your head for ways to keep the whole gang entertained this half term? If you find it tricky to balance the wishes of your teenagers with the whims of your tots, then a trip to The Alnwick Garden's Big Fat Garden Party might be just the ticket. Hosting a week-long garden party (28th May – 1st June) filled with celebrations including live music, meet and greet your favourite superhero, face-painting and more, there’s something to keep everyone happy!
Swaledale Festival | Yorkshire
If a healthy dose of fresh air and culture is what you're looking for, then look no further than the Swaledale Festival. Marking the 50th year of the festival, this year's line up consists of 50 music, arts, literary and walking events. Opening with a performance of Handel's Messiah at Ripon Cathedral, the festivities run over two weeks and include an exciting mix of folk, jazz, blues and brass alongside guided walks in the Dales, talks by local historians, a family fun day (4th June), poetry readings and much more!
River adventures at Paxton House | Scottish Borders
Get the children outside enjoying the sunshine – and the water! – on the river this half term with Adventure Northumberland at Paxton House. Guided by expert instructors you can try paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking along the river Tweed. If you’d prefer to enjoy the beauty of the river Tweed in a less strenuous way, Paxton House also runs boat trips, where you can take in the sights while learning more about the wildlife and local history from the friendly skipper.
A Feast Fit For A Queen at Bamburgh Castle | Northumberland
Head to historic Bamburgh Castle this half term to help prepare for the arrival of East-Anglian princess Ӕthelthryth for her wedding. Bringing Anglo-Saxon England to life with a live re-enactment of the preparations you can witness traders show off their skills, try out your moves with the on-site warriors, marvel at the crafts, beautiful embroideries and enjoy the delicious smells of the feast, which will be cooking in front of your eyes. This event takes place in the grounds of Bamburgh Castle on the 28th and 29th May.
Festival of Fairies at Constable Burton | Yorkshire
If you’re after some half term magic, it doesn’t get more enchanting that the spectacular fairy trail at Constable Burton Hall (30th May - 4th June). Wander through the extensive gardens and wooded parkland and discover beautiful fairy scenes along the way: spot fairies perched on flowerpots, hiding in the trees and dancing merrily in sunny clearings… you never know where they might be hiding!
Stay at a nearby in a quintessential Yorkshire Dales holiday cottage.
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Weekend Events
Jubilee celebrations at Alnwick Castle | Northumberland
You are cordially invited by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland to Alnwick Castle Grounds to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from the 2nd – 5th June for a series of special events and a live broadcasting of the Platinum Jubilee Events including Trooping the Colour, The Pageant, Lighting of the Beacons and The Platinum Party at the Palace concert, which will be shown on a giant outdoor screen. Bringing your own picnic is encouraged although there will be a hog roast, Greek gyros and a Pimm’s tent.
A Right Royal Rendezvous at The Alnwick Gardens
Do your children dream of being a Prince or Princess for the day? If the answer is yes, then attending the 'Right Royal Rendezvous' at The Alnwick Gardens on the 2nd June is a must. Pack a picnic fit for a king, your own blanket and chairs, don your finest outfits – fancy dress is encouraged! – and spend the day rubbing shoulders with the finest dignitaries in the land. What could be more regal!?
EWS Tweed valley
Hit the dirt track for a thrilling weekend of cycling and adventure at EWS Tweed Valley (2nd - 5th June) – an international mountain bike festival featuring the world's best riders competing in the Enduro World Series. Alongside, the main festival there is a family-friendly cycling event of bike demos, entertainment and the non-competitive kid’s race, which takes place on the 4th May.
Malton Food Lover’s Festival | Yorkshire
Set across the streets of Yorkshire’s Food Capital, Malton Food Lovers Festival (3rd – 5th June) is a three-day foodie extravaganza celebrating Yorkshire's finest produce and cooking. Expect artisan stalls, delicious street food, talks, tastings, celebrity chefs, demos, a festival bar, live music and more! Perfect for hungry families and gourmands alike this delicious festival is not to be missed.
Amble Puffin Festival | Northumberland
The Amble Puffin Festival (4th - 5th June) celebrates everything about Britain’s most-loved bird… the Puffin and their newly hatched offspring: pufflings! Coinciding with hatching season, prepare for a cuteness overload and plenty of chances to spot the characterful birds at this two day event. Held at Amble, the closest port to Coquet Island where you can see the birds, the festival is a must for budding ornithologists and is jam-packed with activities including bird watching, guided nature walks, arts and crafts, water sports and live music.
Marine Fest at the Scottish Seabird Centre | East Lothian
Celebrate the wildlife and beaches of the Scottish coast this Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend at Marine Fest at the Scottish Seabird Centre. Designed to help visitors and locals alike to get involved in protecting Scotland’s marine environment and address the impacts of climate change, this festival features a range of engaging outdoors activities including rock pool rambles, wellbeing walks, coastal speed sketching, boat trips and interactive science shows. There’s also ethical dining and wine tasting to keep the adults happy too!
Dachshund Day at Thirlestane Castle | Scottish Borders
If you, like us, can think of nothing better than spending the day with an abundance of Dachshunds then you’ll want to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Thirlestane Castle on the 5th June. Organised by the Scottish Dachshund Club, the day will involve a dog walk around the park, Weiner racing and agility, a parade of rescue Dachshunds as well as a dog show and family dog classes. Rosettes will be awarded to the best royal wag, the best biscuit catcher and the best royal outfit among others! Or, if you’d prefer to nosey around the house, rather than the gardens, you can join the owner of Thirlestane Castle, Edward Maitland-Carew on a special champagne tour of the historic building at 6pm on the 2nd May learning the history and what it was like to grow up there along the way.
Discover our nearby Scottish Borders cottages.
Not yet decided where to celebrate this May? From historic towers and castle apartments complete with four poster beds to grand country houses and magnificent coastal cottages we've still got some fantastic properties available over May half term and The Queen's Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
If you’d like to know more, give us a buzz on 01573 226711 or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bamburgh Castle's Feast Fit For A Queen ©Stuart Boulton.