Home News Zest Fest is coming to the castle!

Zest Fest is coming to the castle!

25 March 2023


Zest Fest, an exhilarating new festival, is coming to Westenhanger Castle near Hythe in Kent this summer! Tickets are now on sale!

Zest Fest is all about creativity, wellbeing and celebrating the human body by showcasing all the wonderful things it can do. Taking place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 2023, it will be packed with captivating performances, fun workshops and exciting activities for all the family that will leave festival goers feeling happy, healthy and inspired!

Visitors will be able to enjoy a wide range of performances, workshops, music, physical activities, arts and crafts and food across the weekend. There will be everything from daring circus skills and performing arts to exploring how to nourish the mind, body and soul through yoga, breathwork, meditation, music, dance, mindful walks and much more.

Westenhanger Castle lawn will be transformed into a circus and performance space by local artists from Simia Circus, with a trapeze rig and aerial acrobatics not just to watch but to actually try through circus skills workshops including flying trapeze, aerial yoga, fire spinning, aerial hoop, juggling, spinning, balancing and more!

Creative maestros Strange Cargo will be leading the way with a whole host of creative activities for all the family to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in with in the Castle marquee.

Tipi’s and yurts in the castle grounds will provide a base for lots of fun interactive workshops with hula hoop jams, yoga, ecstatic dance, meditation, sound baths, storytelling and a family rave!

Over on the stage, the highly acclaimed British jazz vocalist Randolph Matthews will lead a voice workshop – not to be missed! More music will be provided during the day by the talented Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Rock Choir.

Evening party and camping
Zest Fest’s evening party will be kicked off under the full moon by local singer and songwriter Sophia Stutchbury and her band Sophia Syndicate with their repertoire of jazz, soul, pop, drum and bass and hip hop!

With stilt walkers, ambient fire dance and an amazing array of local food providers, it will be an evening not to be missed in the beautiful setting of Westenhanger Castle.

Day and full weekend tickets are available, with tickets priced from £35 for adults / £25 for children for the whole weekend or £70 for a family weekend ticket (excluding camping).

Festival goers will also have the choice to extend their ticket and camp at the castle, with camping available for the Saturday night. A family weekend ticket including camping is £100.


Run the racecourse
Also over the weekend, the first Otterpool Park Gallop will take place. A new running event that will provide a fantastic and rare opportunity to run the former Folkestone Racecourse site while taking in views of Westenhanger Castle.

There are options for a family fun run, a 5k and a 10k gallop. The race route will show runners what may feature there in the future – for example, spot where the new town centre will be, just south of the lake, the new Castle Park next to Westenhanger Castle and the location of the first primary school as you run along. Race partner Nice Work is managing the event and tickets can be booked here.

Otterpool Park Green Space Running Park

Getting to Zest Fest
Westenhanger Castle is easy to get to, with Westenhanger station being just a five minute walk to the venue for those who want to travel by train – just 10 minutes from both Folkestone Central and Ashford International, and an hour from London St Pancras. There is also car parking available on site.

"This is the latest event in our busy programme of activities to bring people together and make the castle more accessible, providing opportunities for people to be active and creative, while also beginning to create an identity for Otterpool Park.”
- Tamasin Jarrett, Community Services and Events Manager

Supported by Otterpool Park Garden Town
The festival is being organised and supported by Otterpool Park, a proposed new garden town that, if plans are approved, will be created in the land around Westenhanger Castle over the next 30 years.

Set in the Kent countryside and close to the coastal towns of Folkestone and Hythe, an area renowned for its creativity and culture, it will be a place to lead a healthy, active, sustainable lifestyle in a creative, inclusive and vibrant new community. Half of the development will be green spaces, with up to 10,000 homes, up to 10 schools and many other community facilities across the new garden town. The plans include creating five interlinking country parks, the first of which ‘Castle Park’ will be created in Henry VIII’s former deer park, for everyone to access and enjoy as part of Phase 1.


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