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From the Blog

Rock Oyster Festival

Posted by Bethany Walton on
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North Cornwall’s foodie festival

Sitting on the banks of the Camel Estuary, Rock Oyster Festival celebrates great local food and world-renowned musicians. Affectionately deemed the "Glasto for foodies", the festival in Cornwall began in 2010 and encouraged visitors to ‘arrive hungry, sample the best, take part in the fun and leave happy and full.’ Now it attracts thousands of visitors every July and aims to bring everyone together over food, music and Rock oysters, of course.

With the 2024 event fast approaching, we thought we’d provide a complete guide to the festival and what to expect over the three days…

When and where is Rock Oyster Festival?

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© Ania Shrimpton and Caitlin Mogridge for Rock Oyster Festival

This year, Rock Oyster is taking place between the 25th and 28th July and is set within the grounds of Dinham House on the outskirts of Rock. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the site provides an idyllic backdrop for the event, overlooking glittering waters and surrounded by luscious countryside.

It can be easily reached via the B3314 (the main through-road for Rock, Daymer and Polzeath). Due to its rural location, we recommend driving to the event or taking a shuttle bus as walking from Rock is a little too far.


What’s going on food-wise?

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© Ania Shrimpton and Caitlin Mogridge for Rock Oyster Festival

Having been supported by Paul Ainsworth and Jack Stein since the beginning, it's no wonder the chef line-up is second to none. Hosting some of Cornwall’s finest alongside the country’s most-loved household names, this year you can expect to see Nathan Outlaw, Emily Scott, Jude Kereama and James Strawbridge, among others.

Not only are there chef demonstrations taking place all day, but there are also guided foraging walks, gin masterclasses and bread-making workshops. You have to book your tickets in advance for the workshops, but they’re well worth it to learn a new skill during your visit.

What’s more, lunch, supper and drinks are all taken care of thanks to the hundreds of stalls and bars dotted around the site. Stick to tradition and head to the oyster bar or order a selection of dishes to share between you. This year’s vendors are yet to be announced but previous highlights have included St Kew Inn, Prawn on the Lawn, Thyme & Tide and Stake Haus. Meanwhile, festival sponsors Sharps Brewery and Tarquin’s Cornish Gin take care of the bar.  

What about the music?

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© Ania Shrimpton and Caitlin Mogridge for Rock Oyster Festival

The overall vibe of the festival is laid back with a big emphasis on locality and being family-friendly, and the line-up reflects this perfectly. There are a few tents dotted around the site to accommodate everyone’s music tastes and you can dip into different sets throughout the day too.

The headliners arrive later on in the evening, and this year The Human League, Sugababes and Bombay Bicycle Club are set to take to the stage. We recommend dropping by to hear some of our local acts too, with William the Conqueror, Freshly Squeezed and Wille and the Bandits playing throughout the day.

Is it family-friendly?

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© Ania Shrimpton and Caitlin Mogridge for Rock Oyster Festival

Yes. Rock Oyster Festival is wonderfully family-friendly with children’s tents, magic shows, a funfair, circus tricks and craft events taking place over the three days. Little ones will love interactive experiences like Mischief the Mermaid and the Abracadabra parade, while a myriad of face painters and eco-friendly glitter stations promise to transform them into mini-festival goers in no time. There’s plenty of room for roaming and dancing too, so you can set up picnic blankets as children run free.   

Amenities-wise, there are plenty of toilets, quiet zones, spaces for breastfeeding and baby changing, and the site is pushchair friendly (though being in a Cornish field makes this weather-dependent!).

How do you book tickets?

Weekend tickets are typically released in tiers from around November each year, and day tickets for 2024 have just gone on sale. Book yours on the Rock Oyster Festival website.

Where to stay nearby?

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A bijou hideaway situated amongst rolling countryside; The Nook is the perfect retreat after days spent exploring the festival. Just a short drive away from the event, you’ll find a bubbling hot tub, Scandi-inspired interiors and a suntrap garden. With gold dust availability for the festival weekend, we recommend securing a weekend getaway and making the most of your North Cornwall setting for a few days.   

Visit The Nook's property page to secure your stay between the 26th - 29th July 2024. 

With many of our luxury holiday homes located in Rock, we know a thing or two about spending time in the area. Whether it's dining at one of Rock's best restaurants, heading out on a dog-friendly walk, enjoying a beach day or venturing over to nearby Polzeath, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

If festival-hopping is more your thing, read our complete guide to Cornwall’s festivals as well as what to expect from Boardmasters and the Eden Sessions.

Image credits: Ania Shrimpton and Caitlin Mogridge for Rock Oyster Festival | The Nook images are our own.


Posted by Bethany Walton

Beth can usually be found on a Cornish beach or enjoying a swim in the sea. She has great insight about where to visit across the county, plus plenty of recommendations for finding the best Cornish ice cream.

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