Nottingham’s Famous Goose Fair

If you are visiting Europe during the next few weeks, perhaps to take advantage of fewer crowds and lower airfare now that summer is over, there are some interesting festivals and events taking place all over Europe. Almost everyone has heard of Germany’s famous Oktoberfest festival (This year’s Oktoberfest runs from September 20th to October 5th) which is almost as famous for being expensive and overcrowded!

One of Europe’s oldest festivals takes place in the UK city of Nottingham, best known for its association with Robin Hood. From its name, it doesn’t sound very exciting, but the Nottingham Goose Fair is a huge old-fashioned funfair and carnival, with rides, food and sideshows. This year’s fair runs from October 1st to October 4th.

The fair has been held for over 700 years and is so named for the geese that were sold there — goose was considered a traditional dish at that time of the year in England and at one time an estimated 20,000 geese were sold and eaten during fair time. The fair was held at first in Nottingham’s historic Market Square, but moved to its present location — a large area of open ground north of the city — in 1929.

If you are in London, it’s fairly easy to go to Nottingham for the day — the city is about an hour and forty minute train journey from London. Or you can drive in a couple of hours.

This site has a list of other festivals and fairs that take place in Europe mostly during October — some of them do sound quite intriguing, such as the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia, Italy and the Laughter Fair in Leipzig, Germany. Although, I think I might just skip the herring festival in Helsinki, Finland.

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