July is bursting with things to look forward to in Gloucestershire, covering everything from classical music concerts and medieval battle re-enactments to foodie festivals and insanely Instagrammable flower fields.
SoGlos has scoured the county’s events calendar for 10 of the most unmissable things to do this month — whether you’re looking for family fun, or a night out with friends.
Wander through the famous Confetti Flower Field
One of the Cotswolds’ most picturesque highlights, the colourful Confetti Flower Field on the Wyke Manor Estate near Pershore is welcoming snap-happy visitors back from Friday 30 June to Sunday 9 July 2023.
The pastel pink and vibrant purple flowers make an Insta-worthy backdrop for family photos, while those planning a wedding can even pick up some harvested petal confetti to throw on their big day.
Visit the brand-new Cowley Manor
Another Cotswold hotspot is welcoming visitors back this month, as luxury hotel and dining destination Cowley Manor reopens after an extensive, six-month refurbishment project under its new owners, Experimental Group.
With a brand-new look and facilities to discover from Tuesday 4 July 2023, guests can check in to its swanky suites for a countryside staycation; tuck into elevated local fare in the restaurant, followed by masterfully mixed drinks in the new Experimental Cocktail Club; and relax at the revamped C-Side spa. with a whole new treatment menu to choose from.
For a taste of what to expect, see First look inside: the refurbished Cowley Manor.
Go to a concert at the world's longest-running music festival
The Three Choirs Festival is returning to Gloucester for its 295th year, bringing a packed programme of innovative and traditional classical music concerts to venues around the city — many of which take place within the atmospheric Gloucester Cathedral — from Saturday 22 to Sunday 29 July 2023.
Catch performances from internationally-celebrated artists, including three of the UK's most renowned orchestras; hear world premieres of new music as well as the classics; and celebrate the life and works of Gloucestershire composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, with a special focus on his music throughout the festival. Plus, there's plenty of interactive events for children to take part in, too.
Feast at the Three Counties Food and Drink Festival
Featuring a star-studded line-up of TV chefs, more than 150 traders and hands-on foodie experiences like cocktail making and coffee tasting, the Three Counties Food and Drink Festival is pitching up near Malvern on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July 2023.
Gloucestershire gastronomes can sample the very best street food, pick up artisan produce and hear from the likes of legendary chef Rosemary Shrager and Bake Off winner John Whaite in the Cookery Theatre; while little visitors can get messy making pasta and ice cream in the children's cookery school, enjoy free arts and crafts and learn tricks at circus school.
Prepare for battle at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival
A must for history buffs and avid Game of Thrones fans, Tewkesbury Medieval Festival is giving people the chance to step into the War of the Roses on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July 2023.
Choose to back Lancaster or York, as re-enactors charge onto the battlefield, recreating the decisive Battle of Tewkesbury; and get a taste for medieval life, browsing market stalls, trying your hand at archery or hitting the beer tent for a tankard or two.
See world-class flying displays at the Royal International Air Tattoo
Aviation enthusiasts can look forward to the return of the Royal International Air Tattoo, soaring back to RAF Fairford on Friday 14 to Sunday 16 July 2023.
Dubbed ‘the greatest show on earth — and in the air’, visitors can expect to see hours of impressive aerial acrobatics each day, with opportunities to get close to all kinds of aircraft, meet RAF personnel and explore interactive exhibits, with entertainment for the whole family.
Step into a new world at Sudeley Castle
Families can set off on a globetrotting animal adventure without leaving Gloucestershire, coming face-to-face with lions, leopards and lynx at Sudeley Castle's roar-some new Animal Ark attraction – featuring more than 50 handmade sculptures and AR-generated prehistoric beasts!
Plus, see the castle grounds transformed into an enchanted world of sci-fi, superheroes and mythical creatures when Fantasy Forest Festival returns to the Winchcombe landmark on Friday 14 to Sunday 16 July 2023.
See incredible street art during Cheltenham Paint Festival
Briefly cancelled before being saved by an epic public fundraising campaign, the very worthy winner of the 2023 SGGLA Event of the Year award, Cheltenham Paint Festival, is bringing more street artists than ever before to the town on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July 2023.
With big walls and buildings being painted across Cheltenham, look out for its tallest mural yet – set to be a seven-storey masterpiece — and see a whole multi-storey car park transformed into a work of art. There's also a digital map and audio guide, new for this year, to help visitors find all the amazing artwork.
Grab a pint at The Black Bear
After a massive six-year restoration and renovation project, Gloucestershire's oldest pub, The Black Bear in Tewkesbury, is finally open again!
Drinkers can expect a haunted cocktail room, hidden snugs and heaps of olde-worlde charm inside the ancient pub, which has been sympathetically restored to make a feature of its rich history — dating all the way back to 1308. Look forward to sunny pints in the riverside beer garden and visit during Tewkesbury LIVE to catch free live music at the venue, too.
For a peek inside, see First look inside: The Black Bear in Tewkesbury.
Channel your artistic side at New Brewery Arts's Craftival
Launching on Thursday 6 July 2023, there's everything from speed dating-style networking for local creative professionals; collage-making and upcycling sessions; a book fair featuring pre-loved and handmade volumes; and many more pop-ups and demonstrations to spark creativity.