Stratford River Festival 2017

Stratford River Festival 2017

Purely by accident, a few years ago, we discovered the Stratford River Festival in Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire, England. An annual festival, it is held on the banks of the River Avon. The festival offers a great family day out with much for the kids and adults alike. There is plenty of space away from the river for the children to play, and plenty to do in the festival itself. Here’s a little summary of our day at the festival.

Little Red Cart Coffee
Stratford River Festival 2016

As always, first stop was the Jabberwocky’s green van, a new one this year, for one of their superb toasties. Always a great start to the day at the festival. That was washed down by coffee from Red Coffee’s Little Red coffee cart.


[singlepic id=1264 w= h= float=none]Next stop, of course, is the shopping. Along with a range of food stalls, the festival always has a selection of toys, clothes and the like on sale. The ladies always spend a bit of time there looking for bargains. The guys, in mean time, discovered some interesting chilli sauces. Good thing we still had some coffee to wash that down.

Going for a Walk (using the Chain Ferry)

[singlepic id=1255 w= h= float=none]We took a walk around the festival area to get to the ferry across the Avon River. It’s a pleasant walk through the open green area of the Recreation Area, dominated by the view of the Holy Trinity church on the other side of the river and road.

[singlepic id=1256 w= h= float=none]The chain ferry will take you across the river for 50p. It’s a popular way to cross the river – we had to queue while a couple of groups crossed the river. Somehow the swans seem to manage to avoid it, along with other boats on the river.

Chain Ferry on the River Avon
The chain ferry will take you across the river for 50p.It’s a popular way to cross the river – we had to queue while a couple of groups crossed the river.Somehow the swans seem to manage to avoid it, along with other boats on the river.

Walking up from the chain ferry takes you around the back and side of the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre. Back at the river, take a cruise boat or have a wander around Stratford upon Avon.

Take a Cruise

A Cruise Boat on the Avon
One of the cruise boats on the River Avon,Seen at the Stratford River Festival 2017.

These cruise boats run all day, taking in the view down the river to the weir below the Holy Trinity Church. Then they turn and head up river. Set back from the river in green and shady areas you will see some beatiful houses.

The cruises are a great way to just chill out. The entire cruise is about 40 minutes.

On the cruise it’s also a lot of fun watching the various couples and families in different types of small boats, trying to make their way up and down river. And mind for the swans and Canada geese. How they miss being run over is a mystery.


[singlepic id=1260 w= h= float=none]

There’s always a good selection of food at the River Festival, and it’s always popular. Here’s our favourite – slow roasted lamb in a bun with lettuce and salsa verde.Take your pick at the one of the food stands from burgers, barbecued meat, Caribbean food, a selection of Thai food, pies and more.

And, of course, don’t forget the drinks. A number of bars and stands around the grounds sell soft and alcoholic drinks. Our preference was the gin mixes supplied by a local publican.

[singlepic id=1261 w= h= float=none]

Relax and Listen to the Music

[singlepic id=1263 w= h= float=none]

At every River Festival we have been to the music has been pretty good. Definitely worth sitting back, and enjoying, perhaps with gin in hand, into the late hours.

[singlepic id=1262 w= h= float=none]

Heading Home

[singlepic id=1259 w= h= float=none]

The big wheel is a new addition to the area. It does dominate the main recreational / festival area. We chose not to do this one, though it seemed to be busy.

This is a parting view when we decided to leave, with the music going strong, enjoyed by a good crowd staying to the end.

We skipped the 10:00 p.m. fireworks and headed home. Not without sampling one of the excellent burgers from One Elm’s pop-up burger stand, offering “28 day dry cured beef burgers”. They were as good as that sounds. As we arrived home I noticed that it was just 12 hours since we arrived at the festival. A great day out. Now what date is the 2018 river festival?

Update: Next year’s river festival is 30th June to 1st July 2018. See you there!

Photo Notes

Hope you liked my photos. For the photographers out there, all of these, except the zoom shot of the band were shot with the Panasonic Lumix TZ100.


Have a look at the full photo gallery, and the whole Stratford River Festival Photo Album.

Posted in Events and tagged , , , , , .


Call us silver surfers or empty nesters if you will. Our kids call us hippies. Our friends just accept us as we are.
Juggling jobs and travels, eating good food, and taking photos. We are living our lives our way. Life is a journey!

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Camera Ready to Shoot - Travels of the Hairy One

We love to get some feedback - Please comment:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.