Folklore Destinations

Folklore destinations throughout the UK, where traditional and cultural events and ceremonies take place

We have compiled an alphabetical listing of the more ‘interesting’ destinations that you may wish to visit within the UK.

The more sinister sites are denoted with a reddish shade, whilst those involving the church have a hue of blue and those associated with folk & legend have a tint of green.

Readers should always check with local Tourist Information Centres (TIC’s) that events or festivals are actually taking place before setting out to attend.

Destination Folklore, Custom or Legend
Abbots Ann, Hampshire The custom of hanging the ‘Maidens Garlands’ in the local church in memory of deceased virgins dates back to the early eighteenth century.
Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire The ancient Horn Dance takes place here each September.
Abbotsbury, Dorset Garland Day is still celebrated here each May
Abingdon, Oxfordshire The traditional election of the Mayor of Ock Street is held in mid-July.
Adderbury Oxfordshire Local folklore connects the Devil with the church spire.
Alfriston, Susex The shape of the Church of St Andrews is said to have been inspired by four oxen.
Allendale, Northumberland Tubs of blazing tar are carried through the streets during the New Year’s Eve Fire Festival.
Alnwick, Northumberland Traditional Shrove Tuesday Football is played annually.
Ambleside, Cumbria A rush-bearing ceremony takes place on the last Sunday in July.
Appleby-in-Westmorland Britain’s largest horse-fair takes place in June.
Ashbourne, Derbyshire Shrovetide Football is played with goal a mere 3 miles apart. The village is also know for well-dressing.
Ashford, Derbyshire The tradition of well-dressing takes place in May.
Aston on Clun, Shropshire Arbor Day celebrations take place in May.
Athelney, Somerset King Alfred hid from his enemies and burned those famous cakes when sheltering in a cottage here.
Atherstone, Warwickshire A venue for the annual Shrovetide Football event.
Bacup, Lancashire Famous for the mildly eccentric ‘Nutters Dance’!
Badbury Rings, Dorset An Iron Age hillfort associated with Mount Badon, where King Arthur defeated the Saxons.
Bakewell, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place in June.
Bamburgh Castle, Nothumbria Associated with the legends of Sir Lancelot, also the haunt of the Laidley Worm.
Bampton, Oxfordshire The Bampton Morris Men annually celebrate Whit Monday in style.
Bardney, Lincolnshire A shaft of holy light appeared before the monks of Bardney when they refused to accept the bones of St Oswald.
Barlow, Derbyshire The well-dressing tradition is practised every August.
Barnsdale, Yorkshire Believed by many to be the true home of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Barrowden, Leicestershire A traditional rush-bearing ceremony takes place here each June.
Barwick-in-Elmet Famous for its Maypole dancing event.
Baslow, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place here each July.
Bath, Somerset Associated with legend of the leper Prince Bladud, who discovered the healing power of the spa.
Berden, Hertfordshire The annual ceremony of the enthroning of the Boy Bishops takes place here each December.
Berkeley, Gloucestershire The Witch of Berkeley was carried away to hell by the Devil on a horse covered with spikes.
Berry Pomeroy, Devon Preferring death to dishonour, two brothers rode their horses off the castle ramparts after a failed rebellion attempt.
Berwick-upon-Tweed The annual ceremony of Blessing the Salmon Nets takes place here each February.
Biddenden, Kent In memory of a pair of Siamese twins, the Biddenden Dole gifts are distributed each Easter Sunday.
Bideford, Devon Each New Year’s Day, at the custom known as Andew’s Dole, loaves of bread are given out.
Biggar, Strathclyde Each New Year’s Eve a traditional celebration known as ‘Burning the Old Year Out’ takes place.
Blidworth, Nottinghamshire A cradle-rocking ceremony takes place each February in the local church.
Bloxham, Oxfordshire A local legend connects the Devil with the church spire.
Blythburgh, Suffolk Back in 1577, evil spirits came a calling at Blythburgh’s Church of the Holy Trinity.
Bonsall, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place here each July.
Bourne, Lincolnshire The annual running auction is held each Easter Monday.
Braemar, Grampian The Royal Highland Gathering meets each September.
Bradwell, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place here each July.
Brandeston, Suffolk The Witchfinder-General Mathew Hopkins, sentenced the Rev’d John Lowes to be hanged for witchcraft in 1645.
Braunton, Devon Braunton’s first church was founded by St Brannoc, who had sailed from Wales in a stone coffin.
Bristol, Somerset Each Whit Sunday a rush-bearing procession takes place at St Mary Redcliffe’s Church.
Brockworth, Gloucestershire Each Spring Bank Holiday cheeses are rolled down Cooper’s Hill.
Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Associated with a legend that involves the slaying of a magical boar by Sir Rylas. The head appears on the towns’ coat of arms.
Buckland, Surrey The village was once terrorised by a fearsome creature known as the Buckland Shag.
Burghead, Grampian An ancient fire festival known as the ‘Burning the Clavie’ is celebrated each January.
Buxton, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place here each June.
Cadbury Castle, Somerset The Iron Age hillfort believed by many to be the most likely site of King Arthur’s Camelot.
Calder Valley, Yorkshire The traditional Pace-Egg Play is performed each Good Friday.
Callington, Cornwall The ancient Christian Depth Well is signposted from the village centre
Canewdon, Essex A local legend connects the tower of St Nicholas’s Church with seven witches.
Carhampton, Somerset The tradition of Wassailing the cider apple trees is held on the Old Twelfth Night.
Carlisle, Cumbria Several Arthurian legends are connected to the city.
Carmarthen, Dyfed Celebrated as where Merlin’s Oak grew, also for Job’s Healing Well.
Castleton, Derbyshire Garland King Day celebrates Charles II’s escape from the Roundheads each May.
Chanctonbury Ring, Sussex A hillfort linked with legends of buried treasure, druids and the Devil himself.
Charing, Kent The Hooden Horse celebrations are thought to have been brought to Kent by the invading Jutes.
Charlton-on-Otmoor, Oxfordshire Traditional May Day celebrations include Garland Dressing and Maypole dancing.
Chelmorton, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each June.
Chelmsford, Essex One of the most infamous sites associated with the witchcraft trials.
Chester, Cheshire The Miracle Plays take place in July every fifth year. The next is scheduled for 2018.
Chester-le-Street, Durham The Shrove Tuesday football match is an annual event.
Chichester, Sussex Blessing the Plough Ceremony takes place on the first Sunday following Twelfth Night.
Christchurch, Hampshire Local legend recalls how divine intervention helped to construct the town’s priory church.
Cilgerran, Cardiganshire Venue for the annual coracle races that take place each August.
Cleator Moor, Cumbria Pilgrims arrive to pray at the replica shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Combe Martin, Devon Over the Spring Bank Holiday the village practices the seventeenth century custom of ‘The Hunting of the Earl of Rone’.
Comrie, Tayside ‘Burning the Old Year Out’ is celebrated each 31st December.
Constable Sands, Cheshire These sand bars on the River Dee commemorate a miracle by St Werburga.
Corfe Castle, Dorset King Edward the Martyr was murdered here by order of his stepmother.
Cottingley, West Yorkshire Setting for those controversial ‘Cottingley Fairies’ photographs.
Coventry, West Midlands Site of Lady Godiva’s naked ride.
Deerhurst, Gloucestershire For years the townsfolk lived in fear of a dragon until it was slain.
Derwentwater, Cumbria St Herbert’s Isle in Derwentwater is named after the holy hermit who once lived there.
Devil’s Bridge, Cumbria Legend tells that the Devil built the bridge across the River Lune in order to trap an old woman.
Devil’s Dyke, Sussex An old woman saved the local folk by outwitting the Devil
Dewsbury, Yorkshire A bell known as Black Tom tolls every Christmas Eve to keep the Devil from the streets of Dewsbury.
Dilston, Northumberland Linked with supernatural occurrences after the Jacobite leader James Radcliffe was beheaded in London.
Dore, Yorkshire Well-dressing takes place here each July.
Duloe, Cornwall Site of St Cuby’s holy well.
Dunmow, Essex Each leap year the Dunmow Flitch Trial is held in order to establish the couple who share marital bliss.
Dunster, Somerset Hobby Horse celebrations take place each May Day.
East Dereham, Norfolk Site of a convent founded by St Withburga in the seventh century. Her holy well and shrine are close to St Nicholas’s church.
Ebernoe, Sussex Site of the Horn Fair held each July.
Edenbridge, Kent Bonfire celebrations take place on 5th November.
Edinburgh, Lothian The Beltane Fire Festival takes place annually.
Edmondthorpe, Leicestershire The effigy of local witch, Lady Ann Smith, can be seen in St Michael’s Church. It is said that she could turn herself into a cat.
Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire The enthronement of Boy Bishops takes place each December.
Egremont, Cumbria The world Gurning (face-pulling) Championships are held each September.
Endon, Staffordshire Site of well-dressing and the ‘Tossing the Sheaf’ event.
Etwall, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each May.
Eyam, Derbyshire Famous as a ‘Plague Village’, which is commemorated annually at an outdoor service every August.
Eynesbury, Huntingdonshire A local legend recalls a duel between two spear-throwing giants.
Farne Islands, Northumberland Evil pagan spirits were soon evicted to the outlying islands when St Cuthbert arrived there.
Featherstone Castle, Northumberland The setting for the legend of the phantom wedding party.
Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire The tradition of ‘Firing the Fenny Poppers’ takes place each St Martin’s Day.
Folkestone, Kent At various times and events during the year the Hooden Horse makes an appearance.
Foolow, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each August.
Frensham, Surrey The Legend of Mother Ludlam, a friendly old white witch who lived in a local cave close to village of Frensham.
Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire Site of the ‘Fyvie of the Weeping Stones’, the result of an ancient curse.
Gawthorpe, Yorkshire The May Day celebrations include Maypole dancing, and the May Queen procession.
Glastonbury, Somerset The oldest Christian site in Britain, legendary burial place of King Arthur and an even more ancient Leycentre.
Grasmere, Cumbria Every July a rush-bearing procession and church ceremony takes place.
Great Corby, Cumbria The castle is associated with the Radiant Boy, one of England’s best known ghosts.
Great Melton, Norfolk Associated with sightings of ghostly horse-drawn coach with headless coachman and passengers.
Great Wishford, Wiltshire Each May villagers gather to celebrate Oak Apple Day.
Griffydam, Leicestershire The griffin that terrorised the village was eventually put to the sword by a knight.
Griston, Norfolk Wayland Wood is the supposed setting for the Babes in the Wood folk-tale.
Guiseley, Yorkshire St Oswald’s is the setting for the custom of Clipping the Church each August.
Hallaton, Leicestershire Venue for the Easter Monday Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble.
Handale, Yorkshire Home of the Serpent of Handale, a local dragon that developed an unhealthy appetite for the village womenfolk.
Hartington, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each September.
Harland Point, Devon Mass is celebrated by St Nectan’s holy well in June.
Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset Once the home of the animal loving St Wulfric.
Hastings, Sussex The traditional Blessing the Sea ceremony is still performed just prior to Ascension Day. It is also the venue for the annual Jack-in-the-Green festival.
Hatherleigh, Devon Blazing tar barrels are rolled through the streets each November.
Hathersage, Derbyshire The local churchyard is said to be the final resting place of Robin Hood’s right-hand-man Little John.
Haxley, Lincolnshire Famous for the Haxley Hood Game, played each year on the Feast of Epiphany in January.
Heath, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each July.
Hell Gill Beck, Yorkshire Site of some stones that local legend says the Devil dropped whilst building a nearby bridge.
Helston, Cornwall Venue for the famous Furry Dance, which takes place each May.
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire The town mayors are traditionally weighed in order to check their diligence.
Hinton St George, Somerset The venue for Punky Night celebrations each October.
Holmwood, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place every July.
Holywell, Cambridgeshire The well that gave its name to the village was reputed to cure eye ailments.
Holywell, Flintshire Some have referred to it as ‘The Lourdes of England’. St Winefride’s Well is to be found on the edge of town.
Holmesfield, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place every July.
Hope, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place in June.
Hungerford, Berkshire A medieval custom known as The Hungerford Hocktide Festival or Tutti Day is still celebrated.
Ickerwell Green, Bedfordshire May Day celebrations include Maypole dancing.
Innerleithen, Peebles Venue for the annual Cleikum Ceremonies and burning the De’il’.
Jarrow, Durham Within the church of St Paul’s is a chair believed to have been used by the Venerable Bede. It was once the custom for brides to sit in the saint’s chair to enhance their fertility.
Jedburgh, Roxborough The famous ball game is held here each February.
Kentchurch, Herefordshire The home of the legendary Jack o’ Kent, who is said to have got the better of the Devil.
Keynsham, Somerset Legend has it that the ammonites found here are the petrified remains of snakes that St Keyne turned to stone.They still decorate some of the cottage walls in Keynsham
Kilve, Somerset Once frequented by the fearsome Blue Ben, a dragon, said to have been the mount of the Devil himself.
King’s Lynn, Norfolk The town is famous for its Valentine Fair.
Kirklees Park, Yorkshire One legend claims that Robin Hood died at the local nunnery, he was buried where his arrow landed.
Knaresborough, Yorkshire Britain’s most famous prophetess Mother Shipton was born in a cave on the edge of town in 1488.
Knutsford, Cheshire Home of the annual Royal May Day Festival.
Lambton Castle, Durham Legend recalls that the famous Lambton Worm, a local dragon, met its bitter end here sometime in the fifteenth century.
Lanark, Strathclyde Associated with the unique Whuppity Scoorie custom.
Land’s End, Cornwall Where the fabled land of Lyonesse once joined Britain.
Lane End, Hampshire The twelfth century Tichborne Dole ceremony is still practised on Lady Day each March.
Little Cornard, Suffolk Where two dragons fought in the fifteenth century.
Little Salkeld, Cumbria Site of the stone circle know as Long Meg and her daughters, said to be a petrified sabbat of witches’.
Little Chester, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place every May.
Litton, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each June.
Llanarth, Cardigan The Devil was forced to jump from the church tower.
Llanenddwyn, Gwynedd The water from the well of St Enddwyn was said to be able to cure various eye and skin diseases, including King’s Evil.
Llanfor, Merioneth A village once terrorised by a satanic pig.
Llangollen, Powys Home to the International Music Eisteddfod.

London Sites

Buckingham Palace Site of the Changing of the Guard Ceremony
Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace Venue for the distribution of the Royal Epiphany Gifts.
Church of St Andrew Undershaft The John Stow Commemoration honours the famous London historian.
City of London The Lord Mayor’s Show takes place each November.
St Ethelreda’s Church, Ely Place Venue for the healing ceremony known as ‘Blessing the Throats’.
Guildhall, City of London Signor Pasquale Favale’s Bequest is celebrated each July.

The election of the Lord Mayor of the City of London takes place in September.

Horse Guards Parade The annual Trooping the Colour event takes place in June.
London Bridge The world’s oldest rowing event, Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race, starts from the Old Swan Pier on a day nearest to 1st August, dictated by the state of the tide.
Mansion House The Knolly’s Rose Ceremony is still observed each Midsummer’s Day.
Marble Arch The annual Tyburn Walk ends here on the last Sunday in April.
Royal Hospital, Chelsea Founder’s Day is celebrated each May in memory of Charles II.
St Clement Danes To hear the peal (or should that be peel?) of ‘Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clemens’.
Smithfield Each Good Friday at the Church of St Bartholomew the Great, the annual distribution of hot cross buns takes place.
Tower of London Each night the Ceremony of the Keys takes place, and every three years Beating the Bounds is still practised.
Trafalgar Square The execution of Charles I is commemorated by a ceremony of remembrance in January.
© Corporation of London

Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London

Photograph © Corporation of London

Long Compton, Warwickshire It was once said that ‘There are enough witches in Long Compton to draw a load of hay up Long Compton Hill.’
Long Stanton, Cambridgeshire Back in 1657 local Quakers were accused of using witchcraft to turn Margaret Pryor into a horse.
Longor, Staffordshire Well-dressing takes place every September.
Lyminster, Sussex Once the home of a dragon with an unhealthy taste for maidens.
Marden, Hertfordshire Site of St Ethelbert’s miraculous well.
Marhamchurch, Cornwall The annual Marhamchurch Revel commemorates St Marwenne, who brought Christianity to the village.
Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire The tower of the local church is not connected to the main building, because as legend recalls, the Devil tried to steal it.
Meon Hill, Warwickshire It is said that the prayers offered up by St Egwin at this site, thwarted the Devil’s attempt to destroy Evesham Abbey.
Middleton, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place in May.
Minehead, Somerset Hobby Horse celebrations take place each May Day.
Minsterley, Shropshire It is from Minsterley that Eadric the Wild will ride from when Britain next needs his sword.
Moneyash, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each May.
Mousehole, Cornwall A prophecy made by Merlin was fulfilled, when in 1595 Spanish warships destroyed the village.
Munlochy, Highland One of Scotland’s famous ‘cloutie’ wells in located nearby.
Newark, Nottinghamshire Penny Loaf Day is celebrated each March.
Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire The surrounding area was home to those notorious Lancashire Witches.
Norton, Northamptonshire St Patrick is said to have worked here as a farmer, until he became convinced that God wanted him to go to Ireland.
Nunnington, Yorkshire Peter Loschy, the slayer of a magical dragon is said to be buried in Nunnington Church.
Odell, Bedfordshire When the Devil shook the building in a rage he left his marks on the church porch.
Olney, Buckinghamshire From the market square to the church, the course for the famous Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race.
Orford, Suffolk A thirteenth-century legend recalls that a merman known as ‘The Wild Man of Orford’ was caught in the net of a local fisherman.
Ottery St Mary, Devon Each 5th November flaming tar barrels are rolled through the main street.
Oxford, Oxfordshire On May Day choristers from Magdalen College climb to the top of the college tower to sing a Latin hymn.
Padstow, Cornwall Site of the famous ‘Obby ‘Oss’ celebrations each May Day.
Paganhill, Gloucestershire An aptly named venue for May Day Maypole dancing.
Par, Cornwall Boy Bishops are enthroned here each December.
Peebles, Border Venue for the Beltane Festival, one of Scotland’s oldest Celtic celebrations.
Pelham, Hertfordshire Within the local churchyard is buried the dragon-slayer Piers Shonks.
Penhale, Cornwall Beneath the shifting Penhale Sands lie the lost town and people of Langarroc. The holy well in the village is connected with a fifth century virgin called St Keyne who performed miracles.
Penrith, Cumbria The giant Ewan Caesarius is buried in rather a large grave in St Andrew’s churchyard.
Piddinghoe, Kent Local children enjoy games and a tea party known as Little Edith’s Treat each July.
Pluckley, Kent Reputed to be the most haunted village in England.
Ponteland, Northumberland Venue for a wheelbarrow race held each New Year’s Day.
Port Isaac, Cornwall Near to the village lie the remains of Castle Damelioc; it was here that Gorlois, Earl of Cornwall, was slain by Uther Pendragon.
Preston, Lancashire Each Easter Monday the ancient custom of Pace Egging is enjoyed in Avenham Park.
Renwick, Cumbria “When pulling down the old church, the people were startled by a hideous monster which flew amongst the ruins …one more courageous than the rest John Tallantire – succeeded in destroying the monster.”
Rillaton, Cornwall The area surrounding the manor was once the ‘haunt’ of a phantom Druid.
Roche, Cornwall Site of a Holy Well said to contain waters for soothing the insane.
Rothbury, Northumberland Venue for annual Shrove Tuesday football match.
Roslin, Midlothian The nearby Rosslyn Chapel is renowned for its carvings, grail tourists can walk in the footsteps of the Knights Templar.
Rowsley, Derbyshire The site of well-dressing each June.
Rudston, Yorkshire Britain’s tallest monolith (standing stone), with a height of almost eight metres, is situated in the village churchyard. Legend recalls that the devil threw the stone at the nearby church but missed.
Runswick, Yorkshire A nearby cave called Hob Hole was once the home of a brownie that could cure whooping-cough.
St Albans, Hertfordshire St Alban, England’s first Christian martyr, was executed on a nearby hill.
St Andrews, Fife Students from the University take part in the Kate Kennedy Procession each April.
St Bees, Cumbria Named after St Bega, who was shipwrecked nearby.
St Briavels, Gloucestershire Each Whit Sunday, the Bread and Cheese Dole is distributed.
St Columb Major, Cornwall Hurling the Silver Ball is played each Shrove Tuesday.
St Ives, Cornwall The ancient game of Hurling the Silver Ball is played in honour of St Ia.
St Ives, Huntingdonshire A custom known as Dicing for Bibles takes place each Whit Monday.
St Keverne, Cornwall A custom known as Crying the Neck takes place at harvest time.
St Keyne, Cornwall Newly-weds race each other to the water from her well, as the first to taste it will be the dominant partner.
St Leonard’s Forest, Sussex Once the home of a dragon that was finally slain by St Leonard.
St Osyth, Essex After being found guilty of witchcraft, Ursula Kemp and Elizabeth Bennett were hanged here in 1582.
St Weonards, Hertfordshire The Saxon Saint Weonard is said to be buried in a golden coffin within a burial mound close to the church.
Sedgefield, County Durham The annual Shrovetide Football game takes place on the village green.
Servage Wood, Somerset Once the home of a dragon with an unhealthy appetite for ponies.
Sewingshields, Nothumberland One of several sites where King Arthur and his Knights are said to be lying in an enchanted sleep.
Shapwick, Somerset The site where a number of pilgrims were murdered by Saxons as they returned home from Rome. The crime was discovered when a miraculous beam shed light on their resting place.
Shawcross, Derbyshire A Shrove Tuesday football game takes place each year.
Shebbear, Devon The ancient custom of Turning the Devil’s Stone takes places each November.
Shepton Mallet, Somerset Legend claims that the Devil once came a calling with his horse and cart to take an old woman to Hell.
Sherborne, Dorset The Pack Monday Fair which dates back to the thirteenth century takes place each October.
Sible Heddingham, Essex Site of the last recorded instance of a suspected witch enduring the swimming test back in 1863.
Southampton, Hampshire Venue for the two hundred year old bowls tournament, the ‘Knighthood of Southampton Old Green Championship’.
South Dalton, Yorkshire Starting point for the ancient Kipling Cotes Derby.
South Queensferry, West Lothian The Burry Man makes his annual appearance at the Ferry Fair each August.
Stanton Drew, Somerset The site of group of megaliths, said to be petrified wedding guests are locally known as the Devil’s Wedding.
Stogursey, Somerset Legend recalls that pixies once lived in the nearby Bronze Age Mound known as Wick Barrow.
Stonehaven, Grampian A New Year’s Eve custom to ward off evil spirits includes Swinging the Fireballs.
Stonehenge, Wiltshire Modern Druids gather each year for midsummer celebrations.
Stony Middleton, Derbyshire Well-dressing site each July.
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire The town celebrates its most famous son’s birthday, William Shakespeare, on 23rd April.
Sunbury, Surrey The ancient tradition of Swan Upping takes place each year on the River Thames.
Symondsbury, Dorset A Mummer’s Play is staged each year on New Year’s Day.
Talland, Cornwall A local legend tells of a phantom coach driven by a demon.
Thaxted, Essex Venue for an annual Morris Dancing Festival.
Thirwall Castle, Northumberland Associated with a legend concerning a dwarf and a golden table.
Thorpe, Yorkshire The nearby Devil’s Bridge acquired its name when a shoemaker persuaded the Devil to build a bridge over the River Dibb.
Tichborne, Hampshire Venue for the famous Tichborne Dole custom that dates back to the twelfth century.
Tideswell, Derbyshire The site of well-dressing each June.
Tinsley Green, Sussex Venue for the annual Marble Championships.
Tintagel, Cornwall Legendary birthplace of King Arthur.
Tissington, Derbyshire Venue for well-dressing each May.
Totnes, Devon The still unexplained phenomena known as the Devil’s Footprints started here back in 1855.
Tresco, Isles of Scilly A cave known as Piper’s Hole was once the meeting place of Mermaids.
Truro, Cornwall Venue for a Christmas wassailing custom.
Tunstall, Norfolk The bells of the local church were once stolen by the Devil.
Twyford, Hampshire Every October the ‘Lost in the Dark Peal’ commemorates a man being saved from death by the ringing of a church bell.
Ufton, Berkshire Each Lent the traditional Dole is distributed to the ‘poore of Ufton’.
Vale of the White Horse, Berkshire The site of England’s oldest hillside horse, the Uffington White Horse.
Wadsworth, Yorkshire Venue for Maypole dancing each May Day.
Walsingham, Norfolk The shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was a popular destination for pilgrims until it was destroyed in the Reformation. It was restored in 1931.
Warcop, Cumbria On St Peter’s Day in June, a rush bearing procession is held in the local church.
Wareham, Dorset Each November the Leet Court convenes to consider matters of local concern, the legacy of a once powerful feudal court system.
Watton, Norfolk A local legend recalls that following an unholy contract a ghostly coach arrived to collect the soul of George Mace.
Welford-on-Avon, Warwickshire Famous for its Maypole and May Day celebrations.
West Hallam, Derbyshire Traditional well-dressing takes place each July.
Weston, Hertfordshire Within the churchyard is the rather large grave of the giant Jack o’ Legs.
West Witton, Yorkshire Each August on St Bartholomew’s Day, the custom known as ‘Burning the Bartle’ is practised.
Whitby, Yorkshire In a custom dating back to 1159, local folk gather at the harbour to ‘Plant the Penny Hedge’.
Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire Straw Bear is celebrated here on the Saturday before Plough Monday.
Whitwell, Derbyshire Well-dressing takes place each July.
Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Devon A traditional folk song recalls that Old Uncle Tom Cobleigh once visited this Dartmoor village fair.
Winchester, Hampshire St Swithin the ninth century Bishop of Winchester is best remembered for his forty days of rain.
Windsor Castle, Berkshire The venue for an annual service dedicated to the memory of Charles I.
Wingrave, Buckinghamshire A hay-strewing tradition is held in the local church each July on the Sunday nearest to St Peter’s Day.
Winster, Derbyshire The venue for an annual pancake race since 1870.
Wirksworth, Derbyshire The tradition of Clipping the Church takes place each September.
Wishford, Wiltshire Villagers gather to preserve their Grovely Forest rights.

Next article

Glastonbury, Somerset

By Ben Johnson

Steeped in myth and legend, for centuries England’s most sacred place of pilgrimage.

Read story