Red-hot Benington Chilli Festival returns over August Bank Holiday weekend

PUBLISHED: 14:05 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:09 23 August 2019

Benington Chilli Festival's famous chilli eating competition. Picture: Sharon Struckman

Benington Chilli Festival's famous chilli eating competition. Picture: Sharon Struckman


A red-hot event for foodies returns this August Bank Holiday weekend with the annual Benington Chilli Festival back to tickle your taste buds.

Red-hot chilli peppers at Benington Chilli Festival. Picture: Sharon StruckmanRed-hot chilli peppers at Benington Chilli Festival. Picture: Sharon Struckman

Started in 2006, worship the pepper at Benington Lordship over the weekend Saturday, August 24 to August Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.

The Benington Chilli Festival is a hugely popular family event attracting thousands of visitors over three days.

It's off the Scoville scale - that's the official measurement of the spiciness or 'heat' of chili peppers - and offers families the chance to buy chilli plants, products and sample foods from around the world.

Stalls will be set up throughout the Benington Lordship Gardens near Stevenage and a wide range of refreshments will be available to help you cool down, including cold beers and ice creams.

Benington Chilli Festival's chilli eating competition. Picture: Sharon StruckmanBenington Chilli Festival's chilli eating competition. Picture: Sharon Struckman

And, of course, the festival will feature Benington's famous chilli eating competition for the hardcore pepper enthusiast.

If you're brave enough, sign up on the day for the ultimate red-hot challenge.

Held each day at 4pm, the chilli eating contest is limited to 12 participants, on a first come, first served basis.

Elsewhere, there will be more than 60 pitches of the country's best known independent chilli traders selling everything and anything you can make with chillies - from chutneys, sauces and pickles, to seeds, cheese and chocolate.

If you fancy something to eat you will be able to choose from Mexican burritos and tacos, Thai, Cajun, Greek and Lebanese delicacies, wood oven pizza, spicy sausages, ice cream and much more.

Vegan and vegetarian dishes will be on offer too, and to wash it all down there will be sample beers, local cider, spicy ginger beer and soft drinks.

If you want to grow your own chilli plants, there will be hundreds available as well as friendly advice from knowledgeable growers.

The 2019 Benington Chilli Festival is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, August 24, Sunday, August 25 and Monday, August 26.

Admission costs £8.50 for adults, £2.50 for children under-16, and it is free for under-12s.

There's ample free parking in the fields behind the gardens - just follow the signs from the village of Benington, which is about four miles east of Stevenage.

The festival's main entrance is over the causeway between the two ponds, just below the car park.

Disabled visitors - Blue Badge holders only - and pedestrians should use the garden main entrance off the village green next to St Peter's Church.

For more on Benington Lordship Gardens, visit

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