Whitstable Oyster Festival Guide

Whitstable Oyster Company
Whitstable

Dates of the 2014 Whitstable Oyster Festival
The Whitstable Oyster Festival 2014 dates are 26 July to 1 August, 2014. The festival takes place in and around the harbour in Whitstable, Kent.

What is the Whitstable Oyster Festival?
The Whitstable Oyster Festival is an annual food festival that focuses on Whitstable’s most famous culinary product. The festival is a modern revival of an ancient religious festival dating all the way back to Norman times, when local fishermen and dredgers would hold annual ceremonies of thanksgiving for the harvest and their survival at sea.

Today the tradition continues. For one week every summer, Whitstable comes alive with parades, oyster eating contests, food markets, tug o’ war, family activities, live music, performances, and even a dog show. At the end of the week, the festival culminates in a fireworks display on the beach near the harbour.

There are over 80 events taking place throughout the week, so there’s something for everyone. The festival has a different schedule each day, so it’s worth looking at the website to find out what’s on during your visit.

How Much do Tickets for the Whitstable Oyster Festival Cost?
Most events during the festival are free of charge, but there are a few that require tickets or an entry fee. For example, it costs £3 per person to enter the oyster eating competition. You can check the website for more details of prices for specific events.

How to Get to Whitstable

Getting from London to Whitstable is easy by train. Services run from both St Pancras and Victoria stations at regular intervals throughout the day. You can learn more about travelling to Whitstable by train here.

You can also drive to Whitstable, although parking can be a challenge during the festival. However, there is a park and ride available at the Church Street Playing Fields for £7.50 in advance or £10.00 on the day. Regular shuttle buses take passengers from the fields to and from the harbour and high street throughout the day from 8am to 8pm on 26 and 27 July.

Camden Fringe Festival Guide

Camden Town, London
Camden

What is the Camden Fringe?
The Camden Fringe is an annual performing arts festival in London’s borough of Camden, much like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

The borough covers a large area in central and north-central London, and over 200 different productions are performed in 25 intimate venues such as theatres, cultural centres, pubs, galleries, and gardens. Genres of the performances include opera, musicals, stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, dance, cabaret, new writing, and poetry. The shows take place throughout the day, and each one generally lasts an hour.

A programme is released each year prior to the festival so that people can see what’s on and book tickets for relevant shows and events.

How Much do Tickets for the Camden Fringe Cost?
Tickets vary in price based on the production, but tend to be very reasonably priced and affordable for everyone. Most tickets cost between £5 and £12 per person. They can be booked online on the Camden Fringe website: http://www.camdenfringe.com/. A booking fee of £1.25 per ticket is applied, and a a printed receipt or a confirmation on your phone will allow you access.

Additionally, some Camden Fringe venues sell advance tickets through their box offices, so you can check with the venue to see if you can purchase tickets from them ahead of time.

If you want to wait until the day of an event, you can buy tickets at the door if there are any available.

Henley Royal Regatta Guide

Boats at the Henley Royal Regatta
Henley

One of the highlights of the English summer season, the Henley Royal Regatta (called ‘Henley’ for short) is an annual rowing regatta in Henley-on-Thames, England. The event takes place every year around the first week of July. To help you get the most out of a day at the races, here is a helpful guide.

What are the Dates of the Henley Royal Regatta?

The event takes place annually over five days, from a Wednesday in late June or early July until the following Sunday.

Eating and Drinking at Henley

There are plenty of concession stands selling food and drinks at Henley. Bars and restaurants line the river, and hospitality packages are available for those that want sit-down meals and afternoon tea. If you drive, consider bringing a picnic to eat in the car park or along the river.

As far as drinks go, Pimm’s and champagne are the most common drinks consumed at Henley, and can be purchased at any of the bars along the river.

How to Watch the Rowing at Henley

The rowing races take place on the Thames, and the course is around 2,112 metres long. From the starting point to the finish, the river is lined with enclosures, shops, hospitality tents, and concession stands. Some of these are open to the general public, while others require pre-paid badges in order to use their tables, chairs, and other facilities.

Additionally, there is a thin strip of land along the river where people sit and watch the races. Picnics can be brought and enjoyed here, and the atmosphere is generally lively. If you go to the Henley Royal Regatta on the Saturday, make sure to arrive early if you plan to sit along the river. The area gets very crowded, and it can be difficult to find a place to watch the races if you arrive too late.

The Enclosures at Henley

There are two main enclosures at Henley, the Stewards’ Enclosure and the Regatta Enclosure. The former is very exclusive, and entry is only open to members and their guests. It has a strict dress code, and women’s dresses must be below the knee.

The Regatta Enclosure is open to the public and has a slightly more laid-back atmosphere. There is no dress code, but people still generally wear suits and dresses.

You can find more information about tickets and badges for the enclosures at Henley here.

How to Watch the Rowing at Henley

The races take place from around 7:00am until just before 7:30pm, so it’s easy to watch the regatta all throughout the day. You can purchase a programme with the schedule in it when you arrive, or just listen to the announcements at the start of each race to find out which teams are competing.

How to Get from London to Henley for the Regatta

The easiest way to get from London to the Henley Royal Regatta is to take a train from Paddington station. The train station in Henley is located right by the Thames, and it is easy to walk from there to the races.

If you travel by train, be sure to arrive at Paddington with plenty of extra time before your train departs, especially if you go on the Saturday. Queues for the ticket machines and counters are long, and the platform for trains to Henley is one of the farthest away from them, so it’s easy to miss your train if you don’t arrive in good time. You can find out more about trains from London to Henley here.