Handmade Festivals: a great day out even if you are not creatively ‘crafty’

August 10, 2019

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

Handmade Festivals sound a bit Bohemian don’t they. And for someone like me who is not the least bit creative and got expelled from the local knitting group then they do not appeal.

However, a couple of years ago, Other Half and I were kicking around on the August bank holiday and read that there was a Craft Show being held locally – the Henley Country Craft Show.  It celebrates the best in handmade crafts for your home and garden or so it said in the ad. So off we went.

Handmade Festivals - Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames August Bank Holiday

It was a great day out and the diversity of the stands were amazing. We bought so many things including some presents (I won’t mention the dreaded ‘C’ word in August) for future use!

Anyway it is coming again this year on 23 – 26 August at Stonor Park (just outside Henley). There are 165+ stalls including a Colour-In Caravan for all ages (OH will love that!), Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting and a Pop-up Petting Zoo, hopefully not next to each other. Lots to eat with the Street Food Market with much of the food locally sourced.  Finally have a drink at the Gin & Prosecco Bar –  a good place to leave the OH whilst you go back and make some more purchases.

Naturally there are lots of demonstrations including Jewellery, Needle-felting and candle making. I think I may leave those skills to others and just observe.

To purchase tickets for this event click HERE

Now if you are not near Henley-on-Thames over the Bank holiday there is another Handmade Festival that we have recently heard about.

The Handmade Festival at Hampton Court Palace
Handmade Festivals - Hampton Court Palace 13-15 Sept

This Festival in the beautiful setting of Hampton Court Palace, now in its sixth year, will take place from 13th – 15th September celebrating all things handmade. Visitors will have the chance to get hands-on and learn a new creative pursuit, as well as rub shoulders with experts from the worlds of craft, wellbeing, food and gardening.

Handmade Festivals - sewing tent

This year, a star-studded line-up of experts including Great British Bake Off 2018 winner, Rahul Mandal, and Tilly Walnes, founder of Tilly and The Buttons and contestant on The Great British Sewing Bee, will be teaching guests some tricks of the trade.

Handmade Festivals - cookery demo

Sessions will cover everything from cupcake decorating, modern calligraphy and pottery throwing, to watercolour painting, needle felting and bookbinding, to name a few.

Artisan food stall at Handmade Festival

Guests will also have the chance to browse more than 300 handpicked makers and suppliers from across the UK for a shopping trip like no other, while indulging in delicious samples of artisan food.  

TV personality, Kirstie Allsopp, will host the Festival on Friday and Saturday, followed by Liz Earle MBE, wellbeing specialist on the Sunday.

“The Handmade Festival is a celebration of all things creative. Our line-up of workshops and expert Q&As offer the perfect day out for lovers of all things handmade.”

Kirstie Allsopp

In a time when we are thinking about sustainability, climate change and saving our planet then we should all be thinking more along the lines of creating and making or eating locally sourced foods. However I think I will leave the creativity to the experts and just go armed with my credit card to both festivals.

To view the full line-up and to purchase tickets to The Handmade Festival, please click HERE 

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