Steam engines » Showjumping trials » Vintage car rally » Clay pigeon shooting » Seaside illuminations » Caravanning » Harvest festival » Painting

Tuesday 30 August-3 September

Ryde Carnival Week, Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight's number one community event. Established in 1888, and proud to be the oldest carnival in the UK, the event features floats and characters from neighbouring towns too and raises large amounts of money for charity.

Ryde, Isle of Wight (01983 813800).

31 August-4 September

Great Dorset Steam Fair

Leading event of its type in the world, with 2,000 exhibits, 800 trade stalls and more than 220 full-size steam engines, plus vintage vehicles, heavy shire horses and rural crafts.

South Down Farm, Tarrant Hinton, Blandford Forum, Dorset (01258 860361).

1 September

Buckinghamshire County Show

Cattle, sheep and horse classes, craft marquee, 180 stands, ring and military displays. Food marquee with local produce. Display by Household Cavalry. Weedon Park, Weedon, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (01296 680400).

1-4 September

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, Stamford

Three-day event including dressage, cross country and showjumping, 600 stalls, including food, gifts, antiques, horticultural and equestrian goods and outdoor wear.

Burghley Park, Stamford, Lincolnshire (01780 752131).

Son et Lumière, Rochester

Rochester Cathedral and neighbouring castle brought to life, with the focus on the cathedral's exceptional Norman architecture.

Rochester Cathedral, Rochester, Kent (01634 843666).

2-4 September

National Amateur Gardening Show, Shepton Mallet

Hundreds of trade stands, lectures and demonstrations, feature gardens and displays.

Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset (01749 822200).

2 September-6 November

Blackpool Illuminations

World's greatest free light show along a six-mile stretch of promenade.

Promenade, Blackpool

(01253 478222).

3 September

Braemar Gathering, Aberdeenshire

Dating back 900 years, the show includes heavy and track events, piping and Highland dancing. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, Braemar, Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (01339 755377).

Vintage Car Show, Newcastle upon Tyne

Models from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Newcastle upon Tyne (01661 881636).

3-4 September

Caravan Extravaganza, Cottingham

Static, touring and mobile homes and their accessories, plus band and funfair.

The Lawns, University of Hull, Harland Way, Cottingham, Humberside (01276 686654).

Chatsworth Country Fair, Derbyshire

Bands, clay-pigeon shooting, hot air balloons, parachuting, gundogs and the Household Cavalry musical ride.

Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire (01246 565300).

Prize Leek Show and Harvest Festival, Beamish

Traditional countryside event at a recreated colliery village.

North of England Open Air Museum, Beamish, Co Durham (0191-370 4000).

Sheepdog trials, Surrey

Shepherds from far and wide congregate at this National Trust mansion house. Two trials will take place, culminating in the championship.

Polesden Lacey, Surrey (01372 452048).

Matlock Bath Illuminations and Venetian Nights, Derbyshire

Parade of decorated and illuminated boats, cliff-top fireworks display. Illumination of village, funfair, music, and children's entertainment.

Derwent Gardens, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire (01629 55082).

4 September

Paint the Garden, Somerset

Come to this painting workshop and hone your artistic skills. All materials are provided and the formal gardens created by Gertrude Jekyll at this National Trust moated mansion will inspire the whole family.

Barrington Court, Somerset (01460 243121).