Chocolate Festival

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival 19/20th March 2016

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival is back again on the 19th and 20th of March 2016 for it's eighth year! A weekend full of chocolate! This is a well known fun filled family event including Chocolate themed street market featuring artisan chocolatiers and bakers, street entertainment, children's area with face painting from Dollypops and Hair styling from Tinkerbean, family fun area with crazy golf and paint ball, the fun truck at Market Place, alfresco dining, and local craft and food stalls.  

You can download our brochure to the festival here: Chocolate Festival 2016 brochure and guide

Take wander through our market and you can browse the many varied stalls sampling artisan chocolates and a variety of carefully crafted products, we have Bury Fairtrade attending the event offering tasters of fairtrade chocolates. Throughout Town we have a wide range of independent shops and cafes or you can jump on a steam train with the East Lancashire Railway. The event runs all day Saturday from 10-5pm and Sunday 10-4pm.
The event is spread around the Town centre, we have a chocolate street market at Bridge Street, street food and market stalls at Market Place, food and craft market inside the Civic Hall, crafts and stalls at Church Gardens and a family fun area at Silver Street (off Bridge Street). There is street food spread around the event and alfresco dining areas.
New this year is our fun truck, crazy golf and paint ball, along with other family friendly activities at Church Gardens such as Tinkerbean with her hair braiding, dolly pops face painting and bouncy castle.
fun truck
crazy golf
There is also a competition running throughout the weekend, the Business Group who have arranged the event have set a challenge for the best egg creation... They are inviting anyone a little bit crafty to get involved and make something using a real egg... think back to your school days where you would make a ski scene with Eggie the Eagle... and you are on the right track... let your imagination run wild, as long as you use an egg within the scene you can be as whacky as you like, there will be a prize for the winning entry. There will also be an egg hunt for the little visitors over the weekend.
duck egg comp choc fest
The popular duck race also returns this year with the Ramsbottom Rotary Club running the race on Sunday the 20th. You can buy your duck race tickets at Ramsbottom Library prior to the event.
duck race
There is free parking in Town but the Business Group have also arranged parking at Woodhey High School, for just £2 you can leave your car there all day and use one of our FREE shuttle buses which all day long and drive you into and out of Town.
Ramsbottom has so much to offer, well known for it's eateries, bars and even it's own brewery, the Brewery have their beer festival during the Chocolate Festival weekend.
beer festival
There is so much to see, do and eat in Town, come along for a fun family food filled event!
We have amazing traders booked, if you are a trader and would like to be added to our reserves list then please complete the form below and return it to us as soon as possible, should anyone have to cancel their pitch then we will be contacting our reserve traders :) by completing the form you will also be added to our mailing list for future events.

Application to trade at Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival 2016


 Our Organisers and Volunteers


Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival has been organised this year by the Ramsbottom Business Group. There are many people who have offered their services to make this event possible for 2016, from organising the event, putting together the brochure, updating the website,setting up on the day, and much much more , and we would like to offer our sincere thanks to all involved::



A little bit of history about our Chocolate Festival...

Ramsbottom Market Place 2010

Back in 2008, Paul Morris, owner of The Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom, had an idea of creating a chocolate market. ‘A few stalls around the Urn’ he said. Collaborating with the Council’s Town Centres business support officer, Ruth Shedwick, together they created a Festival that exceeded expectations.

We already had the quirky name, the great location and excellent independent businesses, but it was the town’s growing number of quality chocolate retailers that led to the quirky idea to hold a chocolate festival.


The first festival in 2009 focused on a chocolate market with just 12 chocolate stalls situated on Market Place around the towns iconic Urn sculpture. Thousands attended the first Festival and we quickly came to realise ‘we needed a bigger boat!’ With support from Ramsbottom Business Group the Festival has grown year on year and has certainly put Ramsbottom on the map. From these small humble beginnings the Festival has grown into a two day event, still very much focused on high end quality chocolate, but with a great family appeal. With the addition of new and innovative ideas each year, the winning combination of chocolate, entertainment and fun is what makes our Festival the number one choice.

Chocolate Festival wins Award 

Festival organisers Ruth Shedwick and Paul Morris (far right) accepting award

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival won the coveted Manchester Tourism Award 2012 – Best Small Event. Yes, our quirky little festival that had grown beyond expectations from humble beginnings was proud to have won this prestigious award. Battling competition with big town centres, our market town came out on top. Ruth Shedwick (former organiser) and Paul Morris (far right) collected the award at the Lowry presentation evening.

Ramsbottom remains the home of the original and the best UK chocolate festival offering a truly unique chocolate experience for all the family.

Ramsbottom Hits Top Ten

We are proud to announce that Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival is in the Top Ten best Chocolate Festivals in Europe. Not only is our quirky event top billing for our innovative Festival design, but Ramsbottom as a town itself has also made the Top Ten for best places to live in the UK (The Sunday Times).

The 2016 Festival

The Chocolate Festival is due to take place on the 19th and 20th March and we are planning it to be bigger and better this year with more stalls than ever before!

Contact Us

For further information about the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, please contact


Getting Here

We advise our Festival goers to take public transport where available or utilise our popular park and ride service. Disabled parking facilities are available in town for blue badge holders behind Murray's Family Clothing.

By Steam Train
Catch The East Lancashire Railway and travel in style. For more information about return trains, other services throughout the day and prices call 0161 764 7790 or go to

By public transport
There are frequent bus services from Bury linking with direct tram services from Manchester. Go to or tel: 0871 200 2233.

By Car
Ramsbottom is 14 miles from Manchester and easily accessible from the M66 and M60 motorways via the A56 and has free parking in town. Please note diversions are in place due to Bridge Street road closure (BL0 9AG). Diversions are Railway Street via Kay Brow and lower Bridge Street via Crow Lane/Factory Street. Parking is available in town, however, there are time restrictions on supermarket car parks, we suggest you use our Park and Ride service (see below) and take the stress out of finding a spot.

Park & Ride
Park and Ride facilities are available at Woodhey High School, Bolton Road West, Ramsbottom (BL0 9QZ).  Note a small charge of £2 per car is applicable. The gates will be open from 9.30am until 5.30pm. All vehicles must be removed before 5.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday, Our volunteers at both Woodhey and the Festival drop-off point will inform you of shuttle bus times to avoid any waiting. Note on both days – first bus leaving Woodhey 10am / last bus from Festival 4.30pm.

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