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Whether you’re a cycling fanatic or novice, music or comedy lover, or just want a much-needed sense of normality about life again after COVID-19 has deprived us all of it for more than a year by now, a wonderfully unique cycling festival in Cheshire is bound to have something in store which takes your fancy.
The stunning new Velio festival is set to run in September in Cheshire – but what is it? What can you do there? How much does it cost? And do you need to be a cycling buff to really get something out of it?
We’ll answer all of these and more below…
What is Velio Festival?
A cycling and music festival taking place during the weekend of September 17 – 20, 2021.
And while it’s understandably billed as a ‘three-day celebration of life on two wheels,’ there’s plenty more going on than just bike-riding and music, including comedy shows, feasting, wellness programmes, talks and workshops.
Is Velio just for Hardcore Cyclists?
Absolutely not – not only because there’s more to do than just cycling, but because Velio state on their own website that they’re “on a mission to get more people into cycling and bring it’s wholehearted culture to the world.”
There are five cycle routes found across the site, including ones for beginners, disabled riders and children, as well as those for the more seasoned cyclists.
Where is Velio Festival Taking Place?
At the picturesque Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, which is just a 45-minute drive from Manchester and half an hour in the car from Chester.
Overlooking more than 50 acres of ornamental gardens and 670 acres of parkland, the castle was built in the early 1800s with turrets added to it in 1817.
There’s so much to discover around the gardens, too – including Temple and Folly Water Gardens, Rose Garden, the ornamental woodland on Tower Hill, and the more recent addition of Lavinia Walk, a 100m-long double herbaceous border dedicated to Lady Lavinia Cholmondeley.
What Will Be Happening at Velio Festival?
There’s so much to pack into your weekend that you’ll never be short of things to do.
The cycling perks also include the ‘Velutopia’ route, comprising 14km of closed roads with plenty of surprises along the way, while there’s a fantastic on-site indoor cycling centre for the bicycle aficionados who are desperate to to test out the latest models and accessories, as well as the chance to experience virtual racing.
Other cycling routes at the festival measure at 3km, 30km, 60km and 100km in length, while there are two days of cycling talks and workshops to immerse yourself in, too. Bike storage is safe and insured, while you can also rent models, and there’s also the possibility of bike fittings and maintenance.
Elsewhere, the Getahead-curated wellness programme offers you the chance to relax and be pampered, while thanks to The Great Village Feast, food also takes centre stage – the award-winning restaurant Volta will help produce the banquets at the festival where, you can enjoy long-table communal feasts.
Music comes from the likes of Sister Sledge, Everything Everything, The Bootleg Beatles, and live orchestra thanks to Disco Classical and many more, while Jason Manford and Marcus Brigstocke are just some of the names providing the comedy at the festival.
On top of all that, you’ve also got a late-night jazz café, brass bands, film screenings, cabaret, karaoke, meditation, yoga, boozy brunches, wine tasting and so much more. It’s a truly unique experience with something for everyone, no matter how keen a cyclist you are.
It’s also worth pointing out that, in these ‘unprecedented’ times, this is the first ‘flexi-distanced’ festival, meaning that measures are in places to run the event socially-distanced or not, depending on what the restrictions are (if any by then) in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic at the time of the event.
Can You Get 1-Day Velio Festival Tickets?
No – tickets are only available for the full weekend – three days and three nights.
This, of course, does include access to toilets and showers, while motorhomes, campervans and pre-erected tents are also allowed on site. There is also the optional extra of luxury camping at the boutique hotel, where you can choose between Bell, Lotus or Mahal tents which can accommodate between two and eight people.
All luxury campers will also enjoy premium bedding, bedside lights and tables, optional upgrades of electricity, toiletries, mirrors, and towels, as well as exclusive access to specialty food vendors and bars, and VIP toilets and showers.
Velio Festival Prices: How Much Do Tickets Cost?
The one thing we haven’t covered yet about Velio: price. Under-5s go free, 6-13-year-olds’ weekend tickets are available from £17.60, 14-15-year-olds from £70.40, and adults from £175.12.
You also have the option to pay for extras such as weekend-long secure and insured bike storage (£15.45) and car parking (£20.60), while accommodation is available via the Boutique Village (£661.13), pre-pitched tents (£97.38), or a live-in vehicle pass (£82.00). For more information on Velio tickets, click here.