Rothbury Music Festival … something for everyone …

Outdoor music has become a real fixture of the British summertime and if you’re staying at South Meadows, enjoying some al fresco sounds should really be on your agenda this July.

pipe band

Pipe band

The Rothbury Music Festival, around 40 minutes away from Belford set in a stunning traditional market town in the Coquet Valley in the shadow of the Simonside Hills, runs from July 15 to 17.

Marking its 40th anniversary in 2016, the festival has featured on BBC Countryfile, and brings together a fantastic mix of music, poetry, education and entertainment with food and craft stalls.

It’s a truly great day out, where there is something for all ages. Children play a big part in the festival and local schools put music, singing, dancing and poetry on the curriculum throughout the year in preparation for the event.

If you want to discover more about Northumberland’s traditional music and spoken word heritage, this is the festival for you.

Traditional musical instruments

Traditional musical instruments

You’ll find poetry read in the local dialect and Northumbrian pipers – including workshop sessions if you want to delve deeper into this unique musical instrument.

Throughout the weekend, there are live performances of music, poetry and story-telling sessions, workshops and competitions. What really marks the event out though is the interactive element, where everyone is encouraged to get involved in singalongs, dancing and having a go at new things.

Rothbury is turned over to the festival with music and dancing filling the streets and venues around the town for the weekend. The fun kicks off with the Tony Corcoran Ceilidh Band and ends with the traditional Final Fling dance, which starts at 11am on Sunday.

You can view the full programme of events at

Meanwhile, if classical music is more your scene, be sure to check out the Proms on the Lawn at Kirkley Hall. Bring a picnic and a blanket for the full effect.

Open air brass band

Open air brass band

Set in the wonderful surroundings of this grand house, which is now part of Northumberland College and has its own gardens and zoo on site, the event takes place on Friday July 15.

The evening features live music from Ellington Colliery Band, which will be playing a classics and modern pieces, accompanies by the beautiful voice of Northumbrian soprano Rachel Dyson.

You can find out more about the event and how to book at