Celebrate harvest. Sample Britain's bumper crop of food festivals

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The Independent Travel

Autumn is now officially with us but before you consider hibernating, there's the harvest to celebrate, courtesy of a profusion of food and drink festivals that are taking place across the country.

Autumn is now officially with us but before you consider hibernating, there's the harvest to celebrate, courtesy of a profusion of food and drink festivals that are taking place across the country.

Yesterday saw the launch of British Cheese Week ( www.thecheeseweb.com) at the Great British Cheese Festival at Blenheim Palace. The campaign, featuring events across the country, runs until 3 October.

Also in progress, British Food Fortnight ( www.britishfoodfortnight.co.uk) runs until 3 October, aiming to promote healthy eating among young people.

Other national events to look out for include Seafood Week ( www.seafish.org/seafoodweek) from 1-8 October, and Chocolate Week ( www.chocolateweek.co.uk) from 4 to 10 October.

The south of England has no shortage of foodie celebrations this autumn. The Devon Celebration of Food (01392 383144; www.devoncelebrationoffood.co.uk) runs from 1 to 31 October, while in the same county the Exmoor Food Festival (01643 863150; www.exmoorfoodfestival.co.uk) takes place from 8 to 17 October. The Falmouth Oyster Festival (01326 377321; www.carrick.gov.uk) in Cornwall, runs from 7 to 10 October, and the Mendip Food and Drink Festival (01225 341462; www.mendipfoodfestival.co.uk) in Somerset, will be held from 17 to 24 October.

Moving up the country, Gourmet Herefordshire (01432 260621; www.gourmetherefordshire.co.uk), from 2 to 23 October, hosts a variety of celebrations including the Festival of Fine Food and Drink at Eastnor Castle, 2 to 3 October, the Big Apple celebrations from 9 to 10 October, and the Herefordshire OktoberFEST from 15 to 25 October.

The Cambridge Food and Drink Festival (01223 461991; www.camfoodfest.com) runs from 17-24 October, celebrating all aspects of gastronomy from Fair Trade to foreign fare.

Further north, the Food Lovers' Festival (01695 732734; www.foodloversfestival.co.uk) opens at Tatton Park in Cheshire on 30 to 31 October, and Staffordshire will celebrate the Staffordshire Moorlands Autumn Appetiser (01538 483741; www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk) from 2-17 October. Liverpool Food and Drink Festival (0151 237 3925; www.liverpoolfoodanddrink.com) runs from 25 October-1 November and the Great Peak District Fair (0845 129 7777; www.visitbuxton.co.uk), takes place at Pavilion Gardens in Buxton from 9-10 October. The Deliciously Yorkshire Festival of Food and Drink (01302 734909; www.foodyorkshire.com), takes place at the Doncaster Racecourse from 13-14 November.

In Wales, the Swansea Market Food Festival (01792 636000; www.swansea.gov.uk/food) runs from 30 September to 2 October, while in Scotland, the Highland Feast (01463 710707; www.highlandfeast.co.uk) from 30 September to 3 October, will be featuring around 40 events across the region.

Fighting world poverty and hunger is the theme of World Food Day ( www.fao.org/wfd), organised by the United Nations, which takes place on 16 October with events and fundraising across the country.

This year's theme is Biodiversity for Food Security, looking at the need for sustainable access to high-quality food to support healthy living worldwide.

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