Unmissable September Days (And Nights) Out!

Discover food and literary festivals, venture into a magical forest, and go canoeing with your dog… There’s so much fun to be had this month in all corners of the UK.

England – Murder & Mystery

From Sept 10-17, the International Agatha Christie Festival will be taking place across England’s Riviera. Fans of the world’s best-selling novelist (fun fact: she has been outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare!) are invited to follow in her footsteps and explore the locations made famous by her books and, of course, her birth.

Follow the Literary Trail based on the 20 places that inspired her life and works to discover the woman behind the books. You’ll learn about Agatha’s most beloved fictional detectives – Poirot and Miss Marple – through guided walks, tours and talks (from around £10 a ticket).

Mortician Carla Valentine

Get up close and personal with the costumes worn by Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench in the Agatha Christie film adaptations of her most popular tales, including Death On The Nile and Murder On The Orient Express.

Hear discussions about the author’s travels, her influence in India, and learn The ABC Of Murder with qualified mortician Carla Valentine.

Or play detective yourself and put your sleuthing skills to the test at a thrilling murder mystery performance or themed escape room! Tickets and prices vary for each activity – find out more at www.iacf-uk.org.

Scotland – Roaming And Reading

The Enchanted Forest

Scotland’s favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, is back and bigger than ever! This hugely popular event runs from Sept 29-Oct 30 and this year’s theme is inspired by the feeling of togetherness that so many of us are embracing after spending so long apart.

As always, it’s hosted in Faskally Wood, just outside the bustling tourist town of Pitlochry. The trees create the perfect magical backdrop and ambience for a light and sound experience that’s guaranteed to knock your socks off!

Popular with children and adults alike, you’ll want to get this one booked fast so visit enchantedforest.org.uk to get yours. Tickets start at £13.50 for children aged 3-15 and £24 for adults.

Wigtown Book Festival

Literary lovers may want to bookmark Sept 20-Oct 2 in their diaries because the Wigtown Book Festival returns with a packed 10-day programme of bookish delights.

Wigtown is Scotland’s officially designated National Book Town and rightly so for it boasts a wealth of beautiful bookstores. Discover the programme and plan your visit at wigtownbookfestival.com.

Northern Ireland – Coastline & Culture

Discover the delights of Ards and North Down! Pick and choose from a wide selection of interactive experiences and activities, including a photography workshop under the guidance of professional photographer Paul Moane, Aurora PA.

Woman in canoe on lake with small white dog

Pic: Shutterstock

Why not bring your four-legged friend along for the doggy paddle canoe experience at Ballywalter Beach?

There’s also a two-week programme of events celebrating local food and drink starting on September 10 – Taste Autumn in Ards and North Down, which incorporates the Tide and Turf Food Festival Portavogie. Here as well as demonstration kitchens and delicious seafood, you’ll find live music, street entertainment, a funfair and a touch tank for children.

Portaferry. Pic: Ards and North Down Borough Council

Or join a historical guided walk and get to know Portaferry, a delightful small fishing town with a fascinating maritime history. Dates and prices for each of these Ards and North Down immersive events vary – get more information and book tickets at visitardsandnorthdown.com/whats-on.

Wales – Foodie Delights

©Abergavenny Food Festival – photographer Tim Woodier

Abergavenny Food Festival, one of the UK’s most-loved food festivals, will run from Sept 17-18. Foodies can taste their way through over 150 exhibitors and producers across six venues. These include the Victorian Market Hall and ancient castle grounds situated in the very heart of this charming town.

There are the usual chef demonstrations and culinary talent performances you’d expect to find at a food festival. Plus there’s the opportunity to meet authors or even party the night away in the castle ruins (tickets for these events are priced separately).

Pic: Shutterstock

Entry to the festival costs from £12 for a day stroller wristband, and under 16s go free. Head to abergavennyfoodfestival.com to purchase your tickets in advance (no walk-ins on the day).

Sept 10 issue cover

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