2023 Events, Anniversaries & Film/TV Releases
Major events & festivals
In 2023, Britain will celebrate a year-round calendar of events, landmark anniversaries and shine on the silver screen in new film and TV releases. From Eurovision arriving on Liverpool’s shore in May, to annual hallmark events like Glastonbury, Edinburgh Festivals and Wimbledon, there’s a host of reasons why Britain should be at the top of your 2023 travel list.
Celtic Connections (January to February):
Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, celebrating Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023, Celtic Connections is the largest annual winter music festival of its kind and Britain’s premier celebration of Celtic music, and usually featuring concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, and workshops. Next year's festival will take place from 19 January to 5 February and the line-up has just been announced for the special 30th edition of the annual festival.
Eurovision in Liverpool (May):
The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will take to the stage in Liverpool next year, with the UK hosting on behalf of Ukraine in May 2023. Alongside its hosting duties, Liverpool will look to reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities as well as celebrate the diverse offerings of British music and creativity. Whilst the UNESCO City of Music will be pulling out all the stops for the world-famous song contest, there's endless room for discovery in this legendary city that's home to one-of-a-kind restaurants, secret tours, vibrant street art, outdoorsy adventure and so much more. Discover VisitBritain's guide on how to spend 48-hours in Liverpool as well as a roundup of 10 things not to miss in Liverpool.
HM King Charles III Coronation (May):
On 6 May 2023, Britain will celebrate the official coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, inspiring travellers across the world to discover Britain’s royal heritage for themselves. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of royalty with a tour of Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace or the Tower of London. Indulge with a luxury stay at one of several new five-star properties coming to London next year followed by an afternoon of shopping among the Royal Warrant holders in the Burlington Arcade and nearby Savile Row.
Pride (May to August):
Britain’s LGBTQ+ calendar is jam packed with fabulous events, from the two-day extravaganza that is Pride Brighton (one of the biggest Pride Festivals in the UK) to L Fest – an award-winning lesbian music and arts festival. Whether looking to celebrate or meet like-minded people, from Pride festivals and events to hundreds of queer pubs and gay-friendly hotels, explore the highlights with VisitBritain’s guides and key events below:
- Birmingham Pride (27 – 28 May 2023)
- Pride Cymru (17- 18 June 2023)
- Pride Glasgow (June 2023; exact dates TBC)
- Pride in London (June – July 2023; exact dates TBC)
- Brighton & Hove Pride (4 – 6 August 2023; exact dates TBC)
- Manchester Pride Festival (26 – 29 August 2023; exact dates TBC)
Trooping the Colour (June):
Trooping the Colour is the annual celebration of the sovereign’s official birthday. It’s a colourful display of military pageantry featuring impressive officers and men on parade in ceremonial uniform, as well as horses and musicians. The Royal Family always attend the ceremony, which takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall, London on 2 June 2023.
Royal Ascot (June):
The highlight of the British horse racing calendar, Royal Ascot is known for hosting five days filled with excitement and traditions, which can be enjoyed both at the racecourse and from home. Taking place from 20 – 24 June 2023, rub shoulders with Britain’s best-dressed elite while you enjoy the action of one of the highlights of the summer social calendar.
Hidden away in the green fields of Somerset, Glastonbury Festival is the largest and best known of Britain’s major music festivals. Overlooked by Glastonbury Tor, a site steeped in legends of King Arthur, this is the place to see both the biggest pop and rock acts and a great selection of up-and-coming performers. The atmosphere is second to none. Glastonbury 2023 will take place from 21 – 25 June. Tickets go on sale in November 2022.
The Ashes (June to July):
England is the birthplace of cricket and The Ashes series takes Aussie fans to hallowed grounds who’ve born witness to many a cricketing. The competition might be fierce on the pitch but the welcome for Aussie travellers is always warm. The 2023 dates for The Ashes will see the men’s series take place from 16 June – 31 July, whilst the women’s series will commence on 22 June until the 18 July.
Wimbledon (June to July):
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis championship in the world and The Championships are a thoroughly British affair that extends far beyond Centre Court. Whilst thousands of fans flock to the south-west London neighbourhood every year to see some of the sport’s top stars in action, all across the capital you’ll find strawberries and champagne in the park, sunny open-air match screenings and picnics galore with Pimms cocktails and friends. The Championships 2023 will take place from 3 to 16 July. The club operates a public ballot (lottery) for advanced sales of Centre, No. 1 and No. 2 court tickets.
Wales Airshow, Swansea (July):
The Wales Airshow is visible along the entire five-mile stretch of Swansea Bay with spectacular views of the air displays that feature some of the world’s best military and civilian aviation display teams. In previous years, ground attractions have included an interactive military village, trade stands, children’s entertainment, funfair and lots more. Next year’s event will take place on the 1st and 2nd of July 2023.
British Grand Prix (July):
One of the most exciting events in the world of motorsports and the oldest race in Formula 1, the British Grand Prix is a must-see sight for any fan of motor racing. The weekend long festival will take place at the iconic and the UK’s only Formula 1 track, Silverstone from 7 – 9 July 2023. Enjoy nonstop track action, music, food, drink and activities for the whole family. Tickets are on sale now.
The Open Championship (July):
The major golf championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, will be held on the historic Royal Liverpool course, which has played host to The Open on 12 separate occasions. Next year’s event will take place from the 16 – 23 July 2023.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (August):
Soar skywards at the International Balloon Fiesta, Britain’s largest gathering of hot air balloons. As Bristol’s largest outdoor event, held annually at the city’s Ashton Court Estate, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is a sight to behold, with more than 100 balloons taking off, and after-dark firework shows to follow. Next year’s fiesta will take place from 10 – 13 August and offers a packed four days of fun for the whole family.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival (August):
An epic celebration of arts and culture, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will spill into every nook and cranny of historic Edinburgh over three packed weeks from 4 - 28 August 2023. And if that’s not enough, it runs alongside its sister festival, The Edinburgh International Festival from 4 – 27 August 2023. Visitors can expect to see anything from the sublime to the bizarre play out under the shadows of the city’s dormant volcano. Discover everything from cabaret to circus, magic and opera in Edinburgh’s plethora of performance spaces. Or catch buskers, face painters, hair braiders, palm readers and living statues who cram into the city’s Georgian streets.
Notting Hill Carnival (August):
Get down to West London in August to party at one of the biggest street carnivals in the world – the Notting Hill Carnival. “Carnival”, as it’s known by locals, sets the streets on fire with sweet sounds, outrageous floats and jaw-dropping costumes, all injected with spicy Caribbean flavours. And it’s free! Exact dates for 2023 are still to be announced.
Dark Sky festivals (year-round):
For visitors who love to explore Britain’s natural beauty by day, it doesn’t need to stop when the sun goes down. Last year, The North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales were announced International Dark Sky Reserves by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA), so don’t miss a visit to their Dark Skies Festivals (held February 10-26, 2023). Festivals are held in other areas including Exmoor in October, and if you can’t get to an event, there are multiple dark sky parks around Britain you can visit most times of the year. With big open skies and low light pollution levels, find the most amazing dark skies above the protected areas.
Discover the full list of 2023 events in Britain here: www.visitbritain.com/au/en/annual-events-britain-2023
100th anniversary of London’s original Wembley Stadium (April):
Wembley Stadium (originally known as the Empire Stadium) opened its doors in April 1923 when it held the FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United football clubs. Over the last hundred years, it has cemented itself firmly into the nation’s hearts and has played host to some truly incredible moments in both footballing and music history.
Experience: Walk in the footsteps of legends on a Wembley stadium tour. Explore behind-the-scenes of the UK's largest sports and music venue as you learn about the legend’s past, present and future who have and will perform on the pitch and on the stage of Wembley.
125 years since the death of Lewis Carrol, creator of classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (January):
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by, Lewis Carroll wrote the beloved children's classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass in the mid-to-late 19th century. The author was born in rural Cheshire and later in life spent much of his time in Oxford, where he was a tutor at Oxford University. During his time here, he wrote the Alice in Wonderland books. Many of Lewis' holiday breaks were spent in Wales, where he often visited a seaside resort in the north and it was here where he saw the real-life inspiration for Alice at play.
Experience: Discover the Victorian seaside town of Llandudno in Wales, taking in the sites inspired by the Lewis Carroll classic with the Alice Town Trails. Alternatively, enjoy Alice’s Day festivities in Oxford on the first Saturday of July. Dress up as favourite characters at The Story Museum, take a walk through the story’s history, and explore the highlights of the city that inspired Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s tale. Details for the event in 2023 are to be confirmed.
70th anniversary of the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (April):
Casino Royale, released 13 April 1953, was the first of Ian Fleming’s 12 James Bond novels which brought to the world the iconic, 007. This follows the celebrations in 2022 of the 60th Anniversary of James Bond on the silver screen.
Experience: The escapades of 007 have taken Bond to every corner of the world but you don’t have to travel far in Britain to experience Bond. After a day of adventure, raise a glass at The Dorchester’s new Vesper Bar which debuts in December 2022 and pays homage to the hotel’s many connections with James Bond throughout the years.
50 years since the death of J. R. R. Tolkien, writer of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit (September):
2023 marks 50 years since the death of J. R. R. Tolkien, the writer who is well known for writing The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. With no signs of dwindling fans, The Lord of the Rings franchise lives on through the new Amazon Prime series, The Rings of Power which is currently in production in the UK for season two.
Experience: In Britain, you can celebrate this great literary mind by exploring some of his many UK links, including Oxford, West Midlands, the Malvern Hills, Gloucestershire, the Ribble Valley and Buckinghamshire. Tolkien fans can also delve a little deeper with a walking tour of Oxford, visiting the central locations where the writer lived, taught and worked. Or, unleash their imagination in the Moseley Bog woodlands in Birmingham, a beloved childhood play area of Tolkien and was the inspiration for the ancient forests in his books.
70 years since the launch of The Royal Yacht Britannia and 25 years as a tourist attraction:
The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched from the John Brown & Company shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland, on 16 April, 1953. For over 44 years Britannia served the Royal Family as their official a water-borne royal residence. Today, Britannia is permanently moored in Leith and is a five-star visitor attraction and exclusive evening events venue in Edinburgh.
Experience: Live like royalty during a stay at Fingal Edinburgh, Scotland’s only luxury floating hotel permanently berthed on Edinburgh’s waterfront, right next to The Royal Yacht Britannia. Originally commissioned by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) in 1963, Fingal now leads a new life as a luxury hotel under The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust.
Film & TV releases
The Crown (November 2022):
The fifth season of The Crown is slated to be released in November 2022. Fans of the Netflix drama series can experience a glimpse of the royal lifestyle with a Crown-inspired itinerary or visit some of the show’s famous filming locations across Britain.
Filming locations: Yorkshire, Sussex, Ardverikie House in Inverness-shire, Windsor Castle, London.
F1: Drive to Survive (early 2023):
The fifth season of Netflix’s popular F1 documentary series will feature Britain’s iconic Silverstone track. Off the screen, visitors can watch and also enjoy the experience of track days themselves.
Filming locations: Silverstone, England.
Indiana Jones 5 (June 2023):
The fifth and final installment of the Indiana Jones series starring Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Antonio Banderas. Looking for your own off-screen adventure? Get the adrenaline pumping with these outdoor adventures in Britain’s cities, play outdoors in Britain’s national parks or adventure beyond Britain’s beaches.
Filming Locations: Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Scotland (Leaderfoot Viaduct and Glencoe) and London.
Wonka (December 2023):
A musical fantasy film about young Willy Wonka, following his early days as a young chocolatier. Starring Timothee Chalamet, Rowan Atkinson and Olivia Colman. To live out your own Charlie Bucket experience, take a tour of Cadbury World in the historic Bournville village in Birmingham (the site of the original Cadbury factory).
Filming Locations: West Dorset, Bath, London, Oxford and Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden.
Sex Education (2023):
Netflix's popular British-comedy drama starring the likes of Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey is in the midst of filming for its fourth season across Wales. Several stunning Welsh locations have been used for filming and it's expected audiences will see more of the pristine Welsh countryside when the show returns to our screens later in 2023. Read the Visit Wales guide here to discover an inside guide to some of the show's iconic settings.
Filming locations: Wye Valley, South Wales, Forest of Dean, Kent.
The Netflix series has inspired audiences around the world to dream of life in Regency Britain. With the third season having commenced filming in the UK in mid-2022, fans are eagerly awaiting its release - slated for some time in 2023. In the meantime, enjoy a promenade around Britain with these Bridgerton-themed tours.
Filming locations: Bath, London and the West Country.
Outlander (TBC 2023):
The popular Scottish mystical drama based on the ongoing novel series, commenced filming for its seventh season in May 2022 and is slated to be released some time in 2023. Whilst much of the new season is set in North Carolina, filming and production took place across Scotland. Fans of the show can tour Scotland with their Outlander-themed self-drive itinerary.
Filming locations: Various across Scotland; Glasgow (Wardpark Studios), Glen Coe Highlands, Perthshire and more.
House of the Dragon (TBC 2023/2024):
Cornwall was one of the main filming locations for the first season of the new Games of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, which premiered this month and it’s no surprise to see why. Some of destination’s iconic landmarks make an appearance, including the tidal island of St. Michael’s Mount, pristine Holywell Bay Beach alongside one of Cornwall’s most photographed and painted locations, Kynance Cove. Following the success of the first season, season two is slated to commence filming in early 2023 and it will be no surprise if Cornwall’s sublime coastline makes another appearance on the silver screen. Go beyond the screen and discover all of the county’s charm and one-of-a-kind experiences in our Cornwall destination guide here.
Filming locations: Cornwall; St. Michael’s Mount, Holywell Bay Beach, Kynance Cove.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (TBC 2023/2024):
Production for season two of the new Amazon Prime series, The Rings of Power commenced in October 2022 in the UK. Whilst the release date has not yet been confirmed, in the meantime fans of the fantasy franchise can explore J. R. R. Tolkien's many UK links, including the West Midlands, the Malvern Hills, Gloucestershire, the Ribble Valley and Buckinghamshire. Tolkien fans can also delve a little deeper with a walking tour of Oxford visiting the central locations where the writer lived, taught and worked.
Filming locations: Slated to take place across the UK; Bray Studios in Berkshire and Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire.
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