Fantasy Forest, the popular family-friendly festival, returns to Sudeley Castle on 16th and 17th July 2022 for a weekend full of lively entertainment, unique experiences, fantastic food and drink, and much more. Read on below for our top reasons why you should visit this magical festival this summer.

A bodypainted elk in a hedge maze, people in medieval clothing and a man in a steampunk inspired costume

Meet your favourite superheroes and sci-fi characters 


Step into a world of wonder and meet iconic sci-fi, fantasy and superhero characters from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones and Doctor Who. The Gloucestershire Troopers, Iconic Legends and 15th Cyber Legion will be dressed in their finest screen-accurate costumes whilst roaming the stunning castle grounds.


Shop at the UK’s biggest Fantasy Market


Browse the UK’s largest fantasy marketplace and discover lots of unique and handmade items. Featuring over 100 stalls of clothing, jewellery, leather goods, sculptures, games, ceramics, art, food, accessories and more!


Watch the spectacular Wicker Fire Ceremony


A highlight of Saturday evening will be the Wicker Fire Ceremony. This year’s theme is the wolf and visitors can watch in awe as a giant wicker wolf structure sets the evening alight. It’s an experience you won’t forget!


Hear live music from your favourite films


Listen to music from your favourite films, games and TV shows like you’ve never heard it before at a live, open-air concert by the 70 skilled musicians from The Film Orchestra on Sunday 17th July. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Sudeley Castle, this two-hour concert is guaranteed to be a highlight. Expect to hear music from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Games of Thrones, World of Warcraft and many more. 

A woman with a trident in a lake, a man and young child in medieval clothing, a body painted fairy

Watch the popular costume competition


Although dressing in costume is by no means a mandatory part of the Fantasy Forest Festival, some visitors enjoy the opportunity to participate in the Costume Competition, which features an impressive variety of costumes, from lovingly handmade to screen accurate. Entry into the competition is optional and free of charge, as is spectating. For those feeling inspired, there are costume-making workshops where you can hone your skills ready for next year’s competition.


Enjoy a fun day out for the whole family


Fantasy Forest is a family-friendly festival, and you can even bring your four-legged friends as long as they remain on a lead and owners clean up after them. Little ones will be in their element with face painting, lively Enchanted Theatre entertainers, and even the chance to learn how to battle with a lightsaber. 


Explore the Steam Nation


Visit the ‘Steam Nation’ celebrating the wonderful, increasingly popular genre of Steampunk. Enjoy live entertainment from artists including the award-winning hip hop maestro Professor Elemental, gaze at a spectacular four-metre-high steampunk airship and trike, or challenge your opponent to a tea duel. This fun game involves dunking a biscuit into a cup of hot tea, and then eating the biscuit before it dissolves, or your opponent eats theirs first!

A young child wearing fairy wings, a violinist playing in an orchestra, tents in a field


Marvel at the talent of expert body painters


Marvel at the astonishing skill displayed by expert bodypainting artists, including Raphaelle Fieldhouse, a twice world bodypainting champion (2004, 2006) from Wales, and Nick Wolfe, a twice world bodypainting champion (2009, 2018) from the USA. Nick, who started his career in the prosthetics department at Universal Studios, Florida, has an international reputation for his astounding skill.


Have a go at a wide range of fun activities


Visitors can try their hand at a diverse range of craft and skills workshops and activities, with something on offer for all ages, including wand-making, juggling, archery, dance and movement, axe throwing and Japanese sword fighting. You can even hone your skills to become a master Jedi!


Step back in time and explore the medieval village


Where better to travel back in time than in the stunning grounds of the historic Sudeley Castle? In Tudor times, Sudeley was one of the royals’ favourite castles and was chosen as the final resting place of Queen Katherine Parr. Today it provides the perfect backdrop to explore the Medieval Village and watch in awe as living history groups battle for the Official Fantasy Forest Cup in the Full Contact Medieval Combat competition.

Fantasy Forest Festival offers visitors a unique day or weekend out at one of Cotswold’s most popular family-friendly attractions. Day tickets start from just £18.95 for adults and £9.99 for children aged 8 – 15. Children aged 7 and under go free of charge. 


Tickets can be purchased in advance online at 

Fantasy Forest is just one of the many spectacular festivals taking place in Cheltenham this summer, check out our helpful guides Summer in Cheltenham and Cheltenham Festivals & Major Events for all of the best things to do happening near you.


Fantasy Forest Festival at Sudeley Castle
Major Event
Festival goers in fantasy dress

Set within the stunning grounds of Sudeley Castle, Fantasy Forest Festival offers a unique, inclusive experience against the backdrop of one of the Cotswolds most magnificent family friendly attractions.

Sudeley Castle & Gardens
Sudeley Castle

Award-winning gardens surrounding Castle and medieval ruins. Exhibitions, rare-breeds pheasantry, restaurant & cafe, adventure play area.



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