Do you want to get out of Manchester for a break from the norm? These quirky festivals, coming soon, are all around an hour’s drive away and we reckon their delightful originality might just inspire you. Our round up includes the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in Huddersfield, Well Dressing in Buxton and May Day in Knutsford.

1. Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in Huddersfield
If you fancy a trip Yorkshire-way, treat your ears to the best ukulele festival in the UK as voted for by readers of Uke Magazine. More than 50 acts feature over two full days of musical entertainment in Huddersfield, including The Hedge Inspectors, Opera-lele, F*CK and Eat.My.Uke. Unsurprisingly the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain called this festival “truly amazing”. Weekend tickets are on sale now, with workshop places sold separately. Children under 12 get in free.
Fri 5 – Sun 7 May, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Queen’s Square, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP, Tel: 01484 430528, check programme for schedule, weekend tickets £46 / £32,

2. Royal May Day in Knutsford
You’d expect to see a horse and carriage, a brass band and a May Queen, but Knutsford boasts an inventive twist on their May Day celebrations. The sanding of the streets sees brightly coloured mottoes and arabesques dotting pavements around the town centre. Catch them quickly because the wind and rain soon puts paid to this unique artwork. Parking is only a few quid and you can join the main celebration when the grand parade sets off from Marshall’s Yard mid-afternoon.
Sat 6 May, Various locations including Knutsford Heath, Knutsford WA16 0ND, Tel: 07842 523215, attractions all day, FREE,

3. Well Dressing Festival in Buxton
This spa town’s annual offering to the water gods is something you should check out at least once. Hundreds of hours are spent covering Buxton’s three wells in eye-catching mosaics (pictured): one of the three is specially curated by local children. However, what most catches the eye is carnival day. A male majorette troupe marches through the streets, complete with orange pom-poms, before the day climaxes with a duck race on the River Wye.
Sun 2 – Mon 10 July (carnival on Sat 8 July), Pavilion Gardens and other locations, Buxton SK17 6BE, Tel: 01298 70156, various times (carnival from 2pm), FREE,

Fri 5 May - Mon 10 Jul
Fat Roland
Published on:
Mon 3 Jul 2017