VisitBritain | Top UK events and things to do for 2014

Top UK events for 2014

Get ready for 2014 UK events


The English start point in Yorkshire for the 2014 Tour De France.

If you’re planning a trip to Britain in 2014, you’re in for a real treat. With a jam-packed calendar of anniversaries, celebrations and once-in-a-lifetime events, we guarantee yours will be a trip to remember. Here are a few of our 2014 highlights:

1. Shakespeare 450

In 2014 we’ll be marking the 450th birthday of England’s greatest poet and playwright. The celebrations kick off in January at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, with candlelit plays, operas and concerts at the brand new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

On 23 April - Shakespeare’s actual birthday - The Globe will stage its first performance of Hamlet in a two-year world tour. And from 17-23 March, the entire nation will be celebrating the Bard during ‘Shakespeare Week’.

But if there’s one place you must visit this year, it’s Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon . On 26 and 27 April, the town will be celebrating the legacy of its favourite son with a weekend of spectacular events, including special performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

2. Tour de France starts in Yorkshire

Cycling fans, pack your bags: in 2014, the most famous cycle race in the world comes to Britain. The Tour de France traditionally kicks off outside France, and this year, the Grand Départ comes to Yorkshire. This is a fantastic opportunity to visit the UK’s biggest county, home to some of Europe’s most stunning countryside.

On 5 July, Stage 1 of the Tour gets underway in the stylish city of Leeds, continuing to the famous rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales before finishing with a sprint into the elegant spa town of Harrogate.

The peloton start Stage 2 on 6 July in the medieval walled city of York . 200 hilly kilometers later, the Tour finishes its visit to the north of England in the vibrant city of Sheffield.

The riders head south for Stage 3, departing from the historic university city of Cambridge on 7 July. They’ll speed through the Essex countryside before hitting London, where they’ll pass Tower Bridge , the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, leading to a spectacular finish at The Mall.

3. Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games

Scotland finds itself in the sporting spotlight this year, with two internationally renowned events to look forward to. For 11 days from 23 July, all eyes will be on the sassy city of Glasgow as it hosts the 2014 Commonwealth Games . With 17 sports to catch and tickets starting from £15, it’s a truly unmissable experience for any sports fan.

In September, it’s all about golf, with the Ryder Cup set to take place at the legendary Gleneagles for the first time ever. If inspiration strikes while the pros play, you won’t be short of courses to work on your swing - you can even play a few holes on the spectacular Gleneagles’ PGA Centenary Course.

4. Glyndebourne and the Henley Regatta

For the traditionalists, 2014 brings two must-see quintessentially British summer events.

From 17 May to 2 August, we’ll be celebrating the 80th birthday of the Glyndebourne opera festival . There are big plans for the programme in the festival’s landmark year, with new and returning shows that opera buffs and newbies alike will adore.

This year also marks the 175th anniversary of the Henley Royal Regatta – a rowing event steeped in tradition. For five days from 1 July, teams from across the world compete in over 200 exhilarating races on this picture-perfect stretch of the River Thames.

Henley’s just as famous for its people-watching opportunities as it is for the racing, so bring a picnic blanket and join us on the riverbank for a rip-roaring time.

5. Dylan Thomas 100, Wales

2014 marks the centenary of Wales’s greatest poet and writer, Dylan Thomas . He enriched the English language through works such as Under Milk Wood, and will be celebrated through diverse events including exhibitions and festivals throughout Wales.

Events will showcase Wales as a land of artistic excellence and further raise Thomas’s status on the global stage. The actual centenary of Thomas’s birth is 27 October, but events will take place all year.