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Annual Events in Britain 2021

Tuesday 12 January 2021
The Mall heading towards Buckingham Palace, London. Lined with trees and Union Jack flags.

Please note that events are subject to change, and visitors are strongly advised to check individual websites for the latest information.



Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland

15 January - 2 February

With a fully online programme set for 2021, Celtic Connection is Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, celebrating Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe. It’s 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.


Burns’ Night, Scotland-wide

25 January

Every January Scotland celebrates the birthday of Robert Burns - the national poet of Scotland – traditionally marked with food, drams, dancing and verse. Don’t forget to address the haggis!


Dydd Santes Dwynwen, Wales-wide

25 January

This day is in honour of Wales’ patron saint of lovers, the Welsh version of St Valentine’s Day. The day exists due to St Dwynwen’s own experiences with lost love and her later commitment to becoming a nun. 



RBS Six Nations Rugby, Cardiff, London, Edinburgh

6 February – 20 March 

The Six Nations Championship for England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will see matches take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Twickenham Stadium in London, and Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Please note, this year’s event will take place behind closed doors but will be televised.


Dark Skies Festival, Yorkshire, north England

12 -28 February

February welcomes a range of virtual Dark Skies Festivals, with Cumbria kicking things off on 5 February. The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks, which remain some of the darkest places in England, will once again run a joint Dark Skies Festival, taking place from 12-21 February. 2021’s theme is nocturnal wildlife, with events aiming to reveal the lives of the animal world after dark, and how a light pollution-free environment is crucial to many species. The South Downs is also hosting a stellar Dark Skies Festival, celebrating the area’s dazzling night skies from 12-28 February.


Artes Mundi, Cardiff, south Wales

13 February – 6 June

Best known for its biennial international exhibition and prize, which takes place in Cardiff, this is one of Wales’ biggest contemporary visual art shows. The UK’s largest art prize of £40,000 is awarded to one of the shortlisted artists, with 11 February 2021 seeing the prize announcement.


London Fashion Week, London, England

19 – 23 February

This year will see a digital version of the ultimate fashion industry event, where the world’s top designers showcase their latest collections via catwalk shows, plus curated talks, designer shopping and trend presentations.


Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland

24 February – 7 March 

The fastest-growing and third-largest film festival in Britain, with more than 350 events, including new local and international film from all genres, from mainstream to art-house, classics to cult. 2021 will see GFF screen across Britain for the first time, in 22 partner cinemas.



St. David’s Day, Wales-wide

1 March

St David is the patron saint of Wales and this day is a celebration of all things Welsh. Expect plenty of red dragons adorning Welsh flags, as well as parades of daffodils, leeks and flags of St David himself. Traditionally, the capital of Cardiff holds a National St David's Day Parade, but this year the event will be celebrated with a 72-hour digital festival from 26 February-1 March, featuring events ranging from yoga and music to cookalongs and celebrity appearances.


Belfast Children’s Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland

5 – 14 March

Expect a packed digital programme of theatre, visual art, music, dance, literature, workshops and talks at Belfast’s annual international festival for children aged 0 - 17 years.


Cheltenham Festival, Gloucestershire, south-west England

16 – 19 March

Held close to the lovely Regency town of Cheltenham, this National Hunt race meeting attracts prize money second only to the Grand National. Famous for the roar arising from the stands as the tape is raised for the start of the first race, the excitement continues to build until its climax with Friday’s signature Gold Cup – one of the greatest of all jump-racing events. This year’s event will be held as a televised event due to Covid-19 restrictions.


St Patrick’s Day, Northern Ireland and parts of Britain

17 March

The national saint of Ireland is celebrated in traditional fashion with festivals, parades, carnivals and concerts taking place across Northern Ireland and around Britain, usually including a parade in London. 2021’s programme differs from tradition and will see a variety of live-streamed digital events celebrating the perspectives and culture of the Irish generations in Britain.


Liverpool Biennial of contemporary art, Liverpool, England

20 March – 6 June

With cutting-edge modern art from more than 50 international artists, 2021’s Liverpool Biennial installation will showcase incredible works in galleries, museums and public spaces across the city. Now in its eleventh edition, and rescheduled from 2020, Ecuadorian curator Manuela Moscoso will use her expertise to shape the 2021 festival into something truly special.


Bath Comedy Festival, Bath, south-west England

Dates yet to be confirmed

Featuring famous household names and the stars of tomorrow, Bath Comedy Festival brings a mix of stand-up, sketch comedy, cabaret, music and magic.


FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, Oxford, south-east England

Dates yet to be confirmed

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021, the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sees writers flock to this famous university city to discuss literary, political, historical, environmental and culinary affairs. During this eight-day festival, usually hosted in Christ Church College’s Tudor hall and cloisters, some of 2020’s anticipated literary events have been rearranged for spring 2021.




The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, London, England                                                                     

4 April

First raced in 1829, the Boat Race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world. Watched along the banks of The Tideway, located between Putney and Mortlake in south London, this unique sporting event sees two strong squads of athletes competing against each other. This year’s event will be closed to the public but will be televised.


Grand National meeting, Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, north-west England

8 – 10 April 

One of the most famous horse races in the world sees competitors make two circuits of the Grand National course, tackling 30 fences as they cover four and a half miles. The event’s colourful, fashionista celebration, Ladies’ Day, will take place on 9 April.


London Coffee Festival, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London 

16 April and 23 – 26 September

With a virtual event scheduled for 16 April and a three-day in-person event promised in September, Arabica aficionados can celebrate London coffee culture at this dedicated festival, which brings together a range of coffee-related activities under one roof, as well as art and food spin-off events. 


Highland Games, across Scotland

17 April – 11 September

Around 100 Highland games and gatherings take place in Scotland each year. Each one has a mix of piping, athletic events and Highland dancing.


St George’s Day, across England

23 April 

St George’s Day celebrates the patron saint of England with activities ranging from festivals to ‘dragon’ hunts and medieval banquets usually happening across England.


Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, Speyside, Scotland

28 April – 3 May and 3-8 November

Spirited, inspiring, Scottish – this festival puts on hundreds of whisky-inspired events over six days. Discover the passion behind the world’s finest whiskies at this virtual event in spring, with the chance to enjoy some of the Scottish spirit in real life, at a later festival scheduled in November.


Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool, north-west England

30 April – 2 May

Liverpool Sound City is an annual international music festival and industry conference taking place over the weekend. The event welcomes global stars, local artists and key industry figures. The festival has provided a platform for many future stars early on in their careers, including the likes of Ed Sheeran, Alt J and Calvin Harris.


Edinburgh International Science Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

Dates not yet confirmed

Edinburgh International Science Festival delivers one of Europe's largest Science Festivals, giving audiences amazing experiences through a programme of innovative and inspiring discussions, workshops, performances, screenings, special events and exhibitions.


Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations, Stratford-upon-Avon, central England

Dates yet to be confirmed

Every year a unique event takes place in Stratford-upon-Avon to mark the birth of the world’s greatest playwright. The birthday celebrations are a tradition going back nearly 200 years and are held on the weekend closest to William Shakespeare’s birthday on 23 April.



Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Gloucestershire, south-west England

1-2 May

Every year, Cheltenham Jazz Festival represents the start of the summer in Cheltenham and is a great way to spend the long weekend over May Bank Holiday. This year’s event will be held as a non-stop live stream of jazz on Cheltenham Jazz Festivals’ YouTube channel.


Whisky Month, across Scotland

Throughout May

May is Whisky Month, usually taking in a diverse range of events ranging from whisky tasting sessions to behind-the-scenes experiences and distillery tours.


Brighton Festival, Brighton, south-east England

1 – 23 May 

Brighton is known as a place that welcomes diversity, creativity and innovative thinking, and its annual festival celebrates this pioneering spirit and experimental approach. Established in 1967 and now one of Europe’s leading arts festivals, this celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate and family events takes place in a variety of venues across Brighton and Hove.


Mersey River Festival, Liverpool, north-west England

8 – 10 May 

Explore Liverpool’s maritime heritage during the annual Mersey River Festival.


Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, Stratford upon Avon, west England

8 - 16 May

This Stratford-upon-Avon festival is one of the most significant literary festivals in the UK, attracting thousands of people who share a love of books, writing and reading. Alongside the debates, celebrity author events and workshops that make up the adult programme, there will be a series of educational events designed to entertain and inspire children aged 2 to 18. 


RHS Garden Bridgewater, Manchester, England

11 May

Salford in Greater Manchester is gearing up for the opening of the largest gardening project in Europe - RHS Bridgewater! Projected to open on 11 May 2021, RHS Garden Bridgewater aims to restore Worsley New Hall to its former glory and beyond, adding a vast walled garden and an impressive modern welcome building, as well as returning the remaining historic buildings to their beautiful best.


Norfolk & Norwich Festival, east England

14 - 30 May

The internationally renowned Norfolk & Norwich Festival is a highlight of the region’s cultural calendar. Past years have been held over 17 packed days in various locations across the county, the festival presents more than 100 performances in a superb line-up of companies and ensembles from all over the world. There’s music, theatre, dance, circus and visual arts as well as a host of spectacular free outdoor events and plenty of opportunities to get involved in the range of festival workshops.


The Emirates FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London, England

15 May

The FA Cup, the oldest domestic Cup competition in the football world, is established as one of the country's great sporting institutions. The history and tradition of the competition, and the pageantry of the Cup Final, is familiar to millions.


Women’s FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium

22 May

The SSE Women's FA Cup Final returns to Wembley for a seventh consecutive year in 2021.


Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

25 May - 6 June

The Edinburgh International Children's Festival presents the world’s best theatre and dance for young and young-at-heart audiences with performances that are engaging, innovative and inspiring, and an emphasis on striking visual productions.


Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, Brecon Beacons, south Wales

26 May – 6 June

The renowned Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, held annually in a tented village on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, aims to bring together some of the greatest contemporary authors and the most exciting new voices in literature and the arts. Past speakers and performers have included Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Chelsea Clinton, Michael Woolf, Jake Bugg, Laura Mvula, David Walliams, Simon Schama, David Olusoga, Rose McGowan, Dara O'Briain and many more. 


Bath Fringe Festival, Bath, south-west England

28 May - 13 June

Expect the unexpected in this festival featuring dance, music, visual arts, comedy, a children’s festival, street theatre, and plenty more.


Brighton Fringe, Brighton, south-east England

28 May - 27 June

The Brighton Fringe celebration of all things creative has a reputation to bring together events and performances across a hugely eclectic range of art forms. As an open-access festival, anyone can put on an event and be included in the brochure and website listings on payment of a fee, enabling the development of both new and established work to attract fresh audiences, press and promoters. 


Birmingham Pride, Birmingham, central England

29 – 30 May

The second largest city in England hosts its annual gay pride, a technicolour spectacular celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender culture.


The Bath Festival, Bath, south-west England

29 - 30 May

Bath’s flagship festival consists of 17 days of music and literature in the city’s most beautiful venues. With many events having been rescheduled from May 2020 to dates throughout 2020 and early 2021, the highly anticipated Finale Weekend will include performances from McFly, Billy Ocean and Scouting for Girls, among others.


Isle of Wight Walking Festival, Isle of Wight, south England

Dates yet to be confirmed

The Isle of Wight’s popular walking festival has a full schedule of walks for all ages and abilities. Locals and visiting walkers can explore trails across the island, taking in chalky cliffs and rolling hills, sand dunes and pebbly beaches, bustling towns and sleepy villages of thatched cottages.


WalkFest, North York Moors, north England

Dates yet to be confirmed

Walks for all ages and abilities, expert guides, children’s treasure hunts, moorland hikes, afternoon tea strolls and steam train rides characterise this walking festival in the beautiful North York Moors National Park.


Stratford Festival of Motoring, Stratford-upon-Avon, west England

Dates yet to be confirmed

An impressive array of classic, modern and quirky cars zoom through the countryside around Stratford-upon-Avon before parking up in the town centre, as part of the popular Stratford Festival of Motoring. Expect plenty of family friendly activities as well as all sorts of classic and special-interest cars to gawp at.


Machynlleth Comedy Festival, Machynlleth, Wales

Dates yet to be confirmed

The Machynlleth Comedy Festival has quickly gained a reputation as a hidden gem, featuring as-seen-on-TV comedy acts. The town is known for its quirky venues, which helps to make it popular with both the acts and audience alike.



Investec Derby, Epsom Downs Race Course, Surrey, south-east England

4 – 5 June

The world’s most famous flat race will see riders and owners in pursuit of one of the richest prizes in British racing on 5 June, with the famous Ladies’ Day held the day before on 4 June.

Upfest, Bristol, England

5-6 June

Visitors can put their finger on the pulse of Bristol’s incredible street art scene during Upfest. Europe’s biggest street art and graffiti festival is set to feature even more inspirational pieces around the city. Past years have seen over 300 artists give a brand new look to 40 venues - plenty to inspire when exploring Bristol’s charming streets.


Festival of Nature, Bristol and Bath, south-west England

5-12 June

One of the UK’s greatest free celebrations of the natural world, the Festival of Nature features hundreds of free events, usually including lectures, tours and film screenings on the subjects of science, natural history and the environment.


Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival, Scotland 

11-21 June

This midsummer walking festival stages events across Moray including walking challenges, gentle ambles and other outdoor events. From the foothills of the Cairngorms to Moray’s award-winning coastline, participants can enjoy long summer days exploring coastal, hill, forest, river and town walks. 


London Fashion Week, London, England 

12 – 14 June

The best of British menswear design comes to the capital for the second time in the year, with catwalk shows, events, and presentations.


Man v Horse Marathon, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

12 June

The Man versus Horse Marathon is an annual 22-mile race, where runners compete against riders on horseback, in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells. The event started in 1980 after a pub landlord overheard two drinkers discussing the merits of men and horses running over mountainous terrain. The course was changed in 1982 to provide a more even match between the man and the horse, but it took until 2004 before a man finally beat a horse.


Queen’s Birthday / Trooping the Colour, London, England

June – exact Saturday TBC

Trooping the Colour is the annual celebration of the Queen's official birthday. Otherwise known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, 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 Queen always attends the ceremony, which takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall, London.


Royal Ascot, Berkshire, south-east England

15 – 19 June 

Royal Ascot has established itself as a national institution and a major focus of the British social calendar, as well as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. Tradition, pageantry, fashion and style all mix together, as well as around 30 races over five days.


Isle of Wight Festival, Isle of Wight, south England

17 – 20 June 

This popular music festival on the famous island situated off the south coast of England has an impressive musical heritage stretching back to Bob Dylan (who performed here in 1969) and Jimi Hendrix (who took to the stage in 1970). Recent headliners have included Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra and Biffy Clyro.


The Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, Scotland

17-20 June

One of Scotland’s most iconic events, the Royal Highland Show is a major highlight of the Scottish country calendar and firmly established as one of Europe’s most impressive celebrations of farming, food and rural life. 


Jane Austen Regency Week, Hampshire, south England

19 – 27 June

This nine-day festival is packed with all things Austen. It takes place in and around the market town of Alton and nearby Chawton, the home of Jane Austen’s House & Museum. Expect Regency-style music, dining, drama, singing, talks and guided walks and tours, as well as the famous Regency Ball.


Stonehenge Summer Solstice, Wiltshire, south-west England

21 June 

Every year visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to celebrate the Summer Solstice and watch the sun rise over the stones. It’s the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to visit. The celebration brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans and Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travellers and party people.


Wimbledon Tennis Championships, London, England

28 June – 11 July

Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877 and tickets are always in fierce demand. The championships start at the end of June and last approximately two weeks, or until all events are complete. The club operates a public ballot (lottery) for advanced sales of Centre, No. 1 and No. 2 court tickets.


Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames, central England

29 June – 4 July

The picturesque market town of Henley-on-Thames is transformed into a cosmopolitan hub of rowing when the Henley Royal Regatta comes to town. This five-day festival, which attracts international rowing crews, is one of the highlights of the British summer social calendar and offers up to 90 world-class races. The races are head-to-head knock-out competitions, raced over a course of one mile 550 yards (2,112m) from Temple Island upstream towards Henley Bridge.


Swaton Vintage Day & World Egg Throwing Championships, Swaton, Lincolnshire, central England *Quirky*

June, but dates not yet confirmed

A unique festival and country fayre, contestants have to construct a gravity-powered egg-hurling device to launch an egg to a waiting team member. Distances to be achieved start at 30 metres but can be extended up to 150 in the knock-out competition. Another activity that takes place on the day is the Russian Egg Roulette where two participants select from five hard boiled eggs and one raw egg; they have to smash them onto their own foreheads.


Taste of London Festival, London, England

June, but dates yet to be confirmed

Every year Regent's Park transforms into a foodie wonderland for four days of summer eating, drinking and entertainment. Past years saw around 40 of the city's best restaurants dish up their finest dishes for the ultimate alfresco feast, while 200 producers provide a bounty of the best food and beverages from Britain and around the world. 

West End LIVE at Trafalgar Square, London

Dates yet to be confirmed

West End LIVE returns to Trafalgar Square in summer 2021, offering the chance to see the best of the London stage performed over one weekend, all for free.


Eroica Britannia, Peak District, central England

Dates yet to be confirmed

This unique three-day vintage cycling festival sees around 3,500 cyclists from all over the world don retro gear and hop on pre-1987 bikes for this special race, passing through some of the finest Peak District landscapes and villages en route. The festival hub will host live music, acres of vintage shopping, and specialist food stalls.


Walled City Music Festival, Derry, Northern Ireland

Dates yet to be confirmed

The Walled City Music Festival hosts talented classical musicians of wide-ranging genres and styles.


Pride in London, London, England

Dates yet to be confirmed

London hosts a huge party in the summer with Pride in London celebrating all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. The festival usually comes to a close with a sizzling carnival of colour of music, floats and dancing.


Conwy Pirate Weekend, Conwy, north Wales

Dates yet to be confirmed

Ahoy there! Grab your shipmates and head down to Conwy Quayside for a weekend of pirate fun. This annual celebration consists of three days of swashbuckling entertainment, including boat races, live music, a market, pirate costume competitions and more. 


Open Garden Squares Weekend, London

Dates yet to be confirmed

This special weekend event sees green spaces and urban gardens across London, many of which are usually closed to the public, open up for the public to explore. 


Glasgow Mela, Glasgow, Scotland

Dates yet to be confirmed

Scotland’s biggest multi-cultural festival lights up Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park every summer in a kaleidoscope of colours, with music, dance, performance and tastes from around the globe. 



Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight, south England

3 July

An annual one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, usually attracting more than 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world. Competitors come from all over the world and follow the 50 nautical mile course, which starts and finishes in Cowes.


Wales Airshow, Swansea, Wales

3 – 4 July

The show 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. Ground attractions include an interactive military village, trade stands, children’s entertainment, funfair and lots more.


Alice’s Day, Oxford, England

4 July

Each year on the first Saturday of July, Mad hatters can join the annual festivities celebrating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Oxford. 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.


RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Surrey, south-east England

6 – 11 July

The world’s largest annual flower show returns in 2021. A plant lover’s paradise, it’s packed with stunning show gardens, floral displays, and plenty of garden inspiration. 


Goodwood Festival of Speed, Sussex, south England 

8 - 11 July

Along the Sussex coast lies the Goodwood Motor Circuit near Chichester. Each summer the circuit is the venue for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the largest car culture event in the world. Automobile fans attend four days' worth of races to celebrate the history of motor racing, including a hill climb featuring classic Formula One cars, and a forest rally stage.


Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open, Renaissance Club, east Scotland

8 – 11 July and 12 - 15 August

Watch some of the world’s top male and female golfers at their best during this major golf tournament on the European Tour.


Barclaycard presents British Summertime, Hyde Park, London

9 - 11 July

Returning to London’s Hyde Park, Barclaycard presents British Summertime will once again see some of the world’s greatest bands and musicians take to the stage for a weekend of amazing performances.


Bristol Pride, Bristol, south-west England

10 July (full dates not yet confirmed)

Bristol Pride is a week-long series of events dedicated to the city’s LGBTQ+ community ­to spread the message of love and equality for all. The week’s finale is a Pride Parade through the city as part of a colourful outdoor music and arts celebration. Entertainment includes a funfair, market stalls, bars and a Community Area.


The Open Championship, Royal St George’s, England

11 – 18 July 

Marking its 149th year in 2021, the major golf championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, will be held at Royal St George’s, Kent.


Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, central England

16 - 18 July 

The jewel in the crown of British Motorsports, Silverstone is a fast circuit with a series of complex high-speed turns, and a short straight to add to the excitement. Average cornering speeds are higher than at any other championship racetrack.


Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

16 – 25 July

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival plays host to some of the finest jazz and blues talent from all corners of the globe. From bop to boogie-woogie to blues-rock, and from samba to swing to soul, the festival takes place over ten groove-packed summer days.


The Welsh Proms, Cardiff, Wales

17 – 24 July

The Welsh Proms feature the world's top orchestras, soloists and conductors. There’s a strong classical programme, alongside jazz, soul, rock dance and world music.


The Royal Welsh Show, Llanelwedd, Powys, mid-Wales 

19 – 22 July

A major event in the British agricultural calendar, the Royal Welsh Show consists of four days of livestock competitions and a wide range of activities including forestry, horticulture, crafts, entertainment, attractions, displays, countryside sports, and shopping.


Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, south-west England

29 July – 1 August

Bestival consists of four family-friendly days of live music and premier DJs and is one of Britain's most colourful festivals, with dressing up encouraged and even a Roller Disco. Previous years have seen headliners such as The Cure, Rudimental and Hot Chip take the stage. 


RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire, north-west England

21 – 25 July 

This plant lover’s paradise is hosted at Cheshire’s historic neo-classical country mansion, Tatton Park, featuring stunning show gardens, floral displays, and plenty of green-fingered inspiration. 


Northern Pride, Newcastle, north-east England

23 – 25 July

This annual celebration of LGBTQ+ life on Tyneside is one of the biggest and most diverse free events in the North East. Taking place virtually in 2021, expect a day of music, education, fun and celebration.


Qatar ‘Glorious Goodwood’ Festival, West Sussex, south England 

27 -31 July  

Enjoy picnics, evening jazz and famous faces alongside flat racing at this small and sophisticated horseracing event held every year at the course owned by the Earl of March on his country estate near Chichester. 


Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland 

29 July – 29 August

Britain’s largest annual celebration of visual art, Edinburgh Art Festival attracts a diverse and vibrant programme of exhibitions and events at the city’s galleries and museums. 


Cowes Week, Isle of Wight, south England

31 July – 7 August

As one of the sailing calendar’s biggest events, Cowes Week brings together the world’s biggest sailing stars, with more than 1,000 yachts and 8,000 competitors taking part. 


Llangollen Fringe Festival, north-east Wales

Dates yet to be confirmed

The Festival includes an eclectic mix of performance-based events including punk, reggae, rock, folk, flamenco, poetry, drama, art and film. Past main events have taken place in Llangollen's town hall, as well as on a narrow boat, steam train, at the ancient ruins of Castell Dinas Bran and in the atmospheric setting of Vale Crucis Abbey.


World Snail Racing Championship, Norfolk, east England *Quirky*

Dates yet to be confirmed

Ready, steady, slow! For more than 25 years, the World Snail Racing Championships have been held at Congham in Norfolk, where more than 300 snails slug it out for the title of ‘Fastest Snail in the World’. Anyone with a snail can enter and a number of heats are held before the final. The winner receives a silver tankard stuffed with lettuce. 


The Big Cheese Festival, Caerphilly, south Wales

Dates yet to be confirmed

The town of Caerphilly comes to life as people of all ages come to The Big Cheese, a free extravaganza including street entertainers, living history encampments, music, dance, traditional funfair, folk dancing, falconry, fire eating, minstrels, troubadours and much more.


Stratford River Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon, west England

July (dates to be confirmed)

Stratford’s largest free family friendly event hosts market stalls, entertainment and events both on and off the river. There will be live music and dance, local ales and Pimms, an artisan craft market, as well as a spectacular illuminated parade of boats and a grand firework display.


Buckingham Palace Summer Opening, London, England

10 July – 19 September (open Saturdays and Sundays only)

Explore the palace’s lavishly furnished State Rooms – where the Queen and members of the Royal Family receive and entertain guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions – and admire some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection.


SummerTyne Americana Festival, Sage Gateshead, Newcastle, north-east England

(Dates to be confirmed)

SummerTyne Americana Festival is a popular weekend event that attracts visitors from across the world for a sizzling celebration of Americana music in and around the spectacular setting of Sage Gateshead, on the south bank of the River Tyne. 


Liverpool International Music Festival, Sefton Park, Liverpool, north-west England 

July (dates to be confirmed)

This two-day celebration in Liverpool hosts big names in hip-hop, house and pop, while also promoting new talent, musical heritage and cultural diversity.


Discover National Parks Fortnight, nationwide

Dates yet to be confirmed

Britain’s 15 national parks do their bit for Discover National Parks Fortnight with plenty of events to celebrate everything that’s great about the nation’s “breathing spaces”. Extended in 2019 from a week to a fortnight, the event has a different theme every year, and all sorts of activities take place, from cycling and walking to stargazing – and many of them are free. 


Torchlit Summer Evenings at the Roman Baths, Bath, south-west England

July – August (dates to be confirmed)

Every summer, the Roman Baths opens its doors until 10pm every evening, giving visitors the chance to explore the awe-inspiring attraction by torchlight.


International Eisteddfod, Llangollen, Wales

July Dates to be confirmed

The annual festival will be held at the Royal International Pavilion in Llangollen. Six days of music and folk dance from all over the world in one place.


The BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London, England

Summer, dates to be confirmed (11 September, Last Night of the Proms)

The Proms is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall. Founded in 1895, each season traditionally consists of more than 70 concerts, with a wide range of classical music to choose from, at affordable prices, in an informal atmosphere. The famous Last Night performances include BBC Proms in the Park.



Leeds Pride, Yorkshire, north England

1 August

A ‘must-not-miss’ event on Yorkshire’s LGBTQ+ calendar, Leeds Pride is the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire. Past years have been the city burst to life with a diverse line up of acts at Millennium Square, a march through the centre of Leeds and the biggest parties until the early hours.


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland

6 – 28 August

The Tattoo is an iconic Edinburgh institution, with music, dance and precision displays with the Massed Pipes and Drums, the Massed Military Bands, cultural troupes, singers and the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Each year's Tattoo is very much a 'global gathering' - showcasing the talents of musicians and performers from every corner of the globe. Each Tattoo is different from the last and always embraces different themes; nature, creativity and Scotland's homecoming are just some of the concepts explored in recent times.


Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

6 – 29 August

Every August, the Edinburgh International Festival presents three exhilarating weeks of the finest creators and performers from the worlds of the arts. Edinburgh's six major theatres and concert halls, a few smaller venues and often some unconventional ones too, come alive with the best music, theatre, opera and dance from around the globe.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland

6 – 30 August

The world's largest arts festival transforms Scotland's capital every August, as thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows of all kinds and for every taste. The work on show ranges from huge names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers. Audiences can enjoy theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, children's shows, physical theatre, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.


Kynren, Auckland Castle, County Durham, north-east England

7 August – 11 September (every Saturday)

During the summer, Auckland Castle will host Kynren - the movie-like open-air night spectacular that brings to life 2,000 years of Britain's history, from the Roman period to post-World War II. The show take its audience on a 90-minute journey of epic storytelling, using pyrotechnics, lighting, and water effects across a seven-and-a-half acre stage, and starring professionally trained volunteers.


Piping Live! Glasgow, Scotland

7 – 15 August

Piping Live! brings more hundreds of pipe bands and soloists to Glasgow, showcasing the best piping from around the world.    


Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol, south-west England

12 – 15 August

The city’s largest outdoor event, held annually at the city’s Ashton Court Estate, is the largest fiesta of its kind in Europe. The mass ascents at dawn and teatime are a sight to behold, with more than 100 balloons taking off, and after-dark firework shows to follow. The fiesta offers a packed four days of fun for the whole family.


Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

14 – 30 August

The Edinburgh International Book Festival programme offers more than 800 events featuring everyone from the rising stars of fiction to Nobel Prize-winners, plus events for children and young adults showcasing the finest writers and illustrators for young people. From author events and interactive workshops to lively debates and book signings, the Book Festival allows visitors to meet favourite authors.


Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

18 - 25 August

Established in 1947, the Film Festival is renowned for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema, and for heralding and debating changes in global filmmaking. The festival seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent and brings a mix of red-carpet glamour, innovative and exciting cinematic discoveries and massive audience appeal.


Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, south Wales

19 – 22 August

This wonderful family-friendly festival takes place on the Glanusk Estate in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park and features far more than just great music. Visitors can also enjoy live comedy acts as well as watch films, theatre and live poetry.


The Garlic Festival, Isle of Wight, south England *Quirky*

21 – 22 August

Garlic ice cream, jelly beans, fudge and beer are just some of the unusual garlic-based produce that can be sampled at this unique festival. It features live music and children’s entertainers alongside all the garlic! 


Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Oxfordshire, central England

20 – 22 August

Oxfordshire’s largest food festival brings food stalls, strolling jazz musicians, children’s storytellers and some of the biggest names in the foodie world to Blenheim Palace’s magnificent grounds. Raymond Blanc and MasterChef winners have attended in the past.


Race the Train, Tywyn, mid-Wales *Quirky*

21 August

This contest between man and machine takes place alongside, as far as practicable, the route taken by the Talyllyn Railway on its journey to Abergynolwyn and back. To do this, all courses use a mixture of public roads, lanes, tracks, agricultural land and rough grazing pastures. 


Creamfields, Liverpool, north-west England

26 – 29 August

Regarded as an iconic dance music festival, every year this legendary event near Warrington showcases superstar DJs and artists from the music genres of EDM, house, trance, drum and bass and grime.


Reading Festival & Leeds Festival, England

27 – 29 August 

Britain's premier rock music festival features global acts uniquely performing at both locations over three days, usually allowing for 100,000 revellers at Reading and more than 80,000 at Leeds to experience global rock superstars. Previous headliners include the Kings of Leon and Kendrick Lamar.


World Bog Snorkelling Championships, Llanwrtyd Wells, mid Wales

29 August

This unusual sport consists of contestants swimming two consecutive lengths of a water-filled trench in the shortest time possible. Held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales, the championships attract visitors from all over the world. There are food and drink stalls, crafts, live music and a real ale and cider bar on the site, so it's a great day out even if you don't fancy taking the plunge.


World Gravy Wresting Championships, Lancashire, north-west England *Quirky*

Dates yet to be confirmed

Teams competing for this quirky title slip and slide about in lukewarm gravy, and win points for pinning the opposition down in the gloop. The event was started in 2007 and brings out the crowds in force to laugh at the proceedings, while TV cameras and the press often record it for audiences all over the world from Australia to the USA. 


Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, London, England

August, dates to be confirmed

Every summer the beautiful Fountain Court at Somerset House hosts London's most impressive open-air cinema: Film4 Summer Screen. The series features a range of films, all showing on a state-of-the-art screen with full surround sound. 



Loves Saves The Day, Bristol, south-west England

Early September

This two-day love-in in Eastville Park is an eclectic blend of the original UK pioneers of the UK dance scene with some of the most exciting emerging artists. It’s from the people behind the Wow! Stage at Glastonbury, so expect a fantastic line-up of acts playing dance, hip hop, dub and reggae.


HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, multiple locations

September, London

The festival where the world's leading thinkers come together to debate the most cutting-edge ideas. HowTheLightGetsIn is the world's largest philosophy and music festival - previous speakers have included political theorist Noam Chomsky, physicist Lawrence Krauss, Diane Abbott and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. All of this alongside a programme of music, comedy, culture and performance. 2021 is set to offer two virtual events, in February and May, with the main festival due to be hosted in Kenwood House, in September.


British Science Festival, Chelmsford, south England

7 – 11 September

Organised each year by the British Science Association, The British Science Festival shines the limelight on Britain’s top scientists. The Festival lasts over six days and past events have ranged from lectures and debates for adults, to hands-on activity for schools and families, to comedy, theatre and expeditions.


Jane Austen Festival, Bath, south-west 

10 – 19 September

Visit Bath during the annual Jane Austen Festival for an immersive Regency experience. Walk alongside other Jane Austen fans in the spectacular, opening Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. Past events have included elegant guided walks and day trips, intriguing talks, music recitals and concerts, as well as workshops and dance classes.


Bristol Open Doors, Bristol, south-west England

10 - 12 September

This annual weekend event offers the chance to get inside more than 100 landmark buildings and curious spaces, many of which are usually closed to the public. Organised by The Architecture Centre, a registered charity, the weekend offers a mix of drop-in and must-book events including tours, talks, walks and visitor experiences that get under the skin of the city.


Last Night of the Proms & BBC Proms in the Park, Royal Albert Hall & Hyde Park, London

11 September

For a very British cultural experience, don’t miss the final night crescendo of the biggest classical music festival on earth, the BBC Proms. The legendary Last Night of the Proms is the culmination of an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral and classical music concerts taking place across London. Last Night of the Proms tickets are very popular, so plan ahead. The celebrations include BBC Proms in the Park, which take place in London’s Hyde Park.


Ironman Wales, Pembrokeshire, west Wales

12 September

A spectacular course, often called one of the most challenging races in the world, that takes in stunning beaches and medieval fortresses.


Great North Run, NewcastleGateshead, north-east England

12 September

A series of professional and junior athletics activities for the Great North Run weekend has been developed over the last few years, using NewcastleGateshead Quaysides as a 'virtual arena'. The run starts in the city centre, winds past several iconic sights, and ends at the sea.


Roald Dahl Day, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, south-east England

13 September

The official Roald Dahl Day takes place every year on the storyteller’s birthday, 13 September.  A number of activities and events take place at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in his home village of Great Missenden.


TweedLove Bike Festival, Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders, Scotland

17 – 19 September

Britain’s fastest-growing cycling festival is held every year in the beautiful Tweed Valley. Past years have boasted three main races: Vallelujah, TweedLove International Enduro and Expo, and King and Queen of the Hill: Scottish Open Champs. Or, there’s the option for riders to enter all three – a challenge known as the Triple Crown.


Goodwood Revival, Chichester, West Sussex, south-east England

17 - 19 September

Each year the famous historic Goodwood Motor Circuit recreates the golden era of its glorious heyday, bringing together the most historically significant, priceless machines, along with legendary drivers from past and present. Vintage fashion is at the heart of the event, with many visitors going to great lengths to dress in period style. Live music – from big bands to jazz, and boogie-woogie to rock ‘n’ roll – all plays a part in adding to the unique nostalgic atmosphere.


London Fashion Week, London, England

17 – 21 September

The ultimate fashion industry event, where the world’s top designers showcase their latest collections via catwalk shows, plus curated talks, designer shopping and trend presentations.


York Food and Drink Festival, York, north England

17 – 26 September

One of the biggest foodie festivals in Britain, York Food and Drink Festival celebrates the best local and regional food and drink. Past years have hosted a great variety of day and evening events, from wine and food tastings to cookery demonstrations and hands-on workshops in some of the city’s iconic historic buildings.


Egremont Crab Fair & World Gurning Championships, Cumbria, north-west England *Quirky* 

17 - 18 September

Gurning consists of contestants putting their heads through a horse collar and contorting their faces into the scariest, most grotesque, silliest expression possible! The person who gets the most applause for their ugly face wins. The event dates back to 1267, celebrating the time when the local Lord of the Manor wheeled a cart of crab apples through the village of Egremont as a goodwill gesture to the poor. Crab apples have a sharp taste and it is said the gurning competition originates from the faces the locals made when they bit into them.


Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival, Bristol, south-west England

18 - 25 September

This is the longest-running competitive short film and animation festival in the UK. Based at Watershed in Bristol’s historic floating harbour, the week-long programme pulls together some of the best short films from around the world alongside a series of special big screen events, a comprehensive industry programme and free public screenings. This is a chance to see films from 90 seconds to 20 minutes, across all film-making genres and made by film-makers and animators from across the world.


London Design Festival, London, England

18 – 26 September

This colourful annual festival has celebrated and promoted London as the design capital of the world since 2003. The festival showcases the work of contemporary designers, architects and artists, with striking large-scale installations and events popping up around the city.


Chelsea Flower Show, London

21 - 26 September

One of the best know Royal Horticultural Shows, the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show returns with even more unforgettable floral and horticultural displays.


Elvis Festival, Porthcawl, south Wales

24 – 26 September

Elvis lives, thanks to the thousands of fans and the tribute artists who attend this annual gathering of blue suede shoes, Vegas jumpsuits, and whopping sideburns in Porthcawl.


World Stone Skimming Championships, Argyll, Scotland *Quirky*

26 September

Each competitor is allowed three skims using specially-selected slate skimming stones. For a skim to qualify, the stone must bounce at least three times; it is then judged on the distance achieved before it sinks. The championships were launched in 1983 and now attract many participants and spectators, hailing from around the world.


Bath Children’s Literature Festival, Bath, south-west England

September to October (dates to be confirmed)

Featuring the best children’s and teen authors, incredible illustrators, favourite characters, professional storytellers and the biggest names in children’s literature from across the world.


HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, multiple locations

September, dates yet to be confirmed 

The festival where the world's leading thinkers come together to debate the most cutting-edge ideas. HowTheLightGetsIn is the world's largest philosophy and music festival - previous speakers have included political theorist Noam Chomsky, physicist Lawrence Krauss, Diane Abbott and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. All of this alongside a programme of music, comedy, culture and performance. 2021 is set to offer two virtual events, in February and May, with the main festival due to be hosted in Kenwood House, in September.


Heritage Open Days, across England 

Dates yet to be confirmed

Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.


Abergavenny Food Festival, Abergavenny, south Wales

September (dates to be confirmed)

One of the biggest events on the UK foodie calendar.  A packed menu of celebrity chefs, master-classes, mouth-watering street stalls and entertainment.


Hull Freedom Festival, Yorkshire, north England 

Dates yet to be confirmed

Hull's annual flagship arts and culture event, the Freedom Festival, brings five days of entertainment to Yorkshire's waterfront city.  


Dundee Food and Flower Show, Dundee, Scotland

To be confirmed

The Dundee Flower and Food Festival is the premier show of its kind in Scotland and has developed over the years into a three-day extravaganza with a host of attractions. It is also one of Dundee’s major annual events.



London Marathon, London, England

3 October

The Virgin Money London Marathon is a phenomenal event to be a part of, as a participant and a spectator. It’s not just a monumental physical challenge, but also the world's largest fundraising event - and one of the six top marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors.


Cardiff Half Marathon, Cardiff, south Wales

3 October

Competitors race right through Cardiff city centre past iconic locations, with beautiful scenery and historic buildings, starting at Cardiff Castle, and passing the Principality Stadium, Penarth Marina, before crossing the Cardiff Barrage and racing through Cardiff Bay before finishing close to Cardiff City Hall.


Iris Prize Festival, Cardiff, south Wales

5 - 10 October

A six-day celebration of LGBT film, including screenings of a series of short films competing for the Best of British Iris Prize.


Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, west England

8 - 17 October

This literary festival will celebrate its 72st anniversary in 2021 and will see the launch of major books, as well as talks, workshops and performances touching upon subjects as diverse as history, politics, sport, food and fashion.


Golden Spurtle, Inverness, Scotland *Quirky*

9 October

The Golden Spurtle is the annual World Porridge-MakingChampionship, which tasks each competitor to produce at least one pint (200ml) of porridge, divided into three portions for the judges to taste. The championship title is awarded to the competitor producing the best traditional porridge, made from oatmeal. The event includes a pipe band, cookery demonstrations and product tastings. 


World Conker Championships, Northamptonshire, central England *Quirky*

10 October

The game of conkers has been a popular pastime of British schoolchildren for decades. The rules are simple. Each player is given a conker attached to a piece of string and takes turns in trying to break their opponent’s nut using a swinging motion. The World Conker Championships are held on the village green in Ashton, Peterborough, with many attempting to become the King or Queen of conkers. 


Belfast International Arts Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland

13 - 31 October

This Belfast-based festival covers theatre, dance, classical and roots music, visual, film and digital arts and literature in the capital of Northern Ireland.


Melton Mowbray Food Festival, Leicestershire, central England

Dates to be confirmed

If you’ve never tried the traditional British delicacy that is a pork pie, the Melton Mowbray Food Festival is the place to go for your initiation; it’s known as one of the top regional food events in the country. Mouth-watering stands showcase some of the region’s finest food and drink, alongside a street food area serving hot food from around the world. 


BFI London Film Festival, Southbank, London, England

October, dates to be confirmed

In 2021 London will host its 65th annual film festival organised with the British Film Institute. Past events have screened more than 300 films, documentaries and shorts in the capital from around 50 countries. Highlights included the world's best new films, and director and actor retrospectives. Previous A-lister guests have included Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and director Tom Ford.



Bonfire Night, Britain-wide

5 November

Britain’s night skies light up with blazing bonfires and sparkling fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. This unique British tradition, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night, celebrates the foiling of the infamous Gunpowder Plot - a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November, 1605. It’s celebrated across Britain and most towns and cities host their own bonfire night celebrations.


Longleat Festival of Light, Longleat, Wiltshire, west England

5 November – 8 January

This festive outdoor light festival boasts hundreds of illuminated characters and scenes that transform the estate into a winter wonderland; with each year boasting a new theme.


Bath Mozartfest, Bath, south-west England

12 – 20 November

Celebrate Mozart’s music, and that of his contemporaries or those influenced by him, in a glorious feast of classical music performed in some of Bath’s most beautiful and inspiring buildings.


Kendal Mountain Festival, Cumbria, north-west England

18 - 21 November

The world’s biggest Mountain Festival is a celebration of film, outdoor sports, literature, art and legends that hopes to inspire people to explore and enjoy mountains and the wilderness. The Mountain Film Competition is a main feature of the event, with entries competing to be the grand prize winner.


Lumiere Festival, Durham

18 - 21 November

Lumiere, the UK’s biggest light festival, will return in 2021. The biennial illuminating event will allow visitors to see the city transformed by an array of eye-catching light displays, with art installations giving a whole new look to architecture and public spaces.


St Andrew’s Day, across Scotland

30 November

Events celebrating the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew, take place throughout the country. In the past, they have included some of Scotland’s historic attractions offering free entry for the day.


Enchanted Woodland, Syon Park, West London

November, dates yet to be confirmed

Follow one mile of magical illuminations for a big helping of festive cheers at Syon Park’s Enchanted Woodland, one of West London’s highlight winter events. 


London Jazz Festival, London, England

November, dates yet to be confirmed

London Jazz Festival hosts world-class artists and emerging stars, packed into back-to-back concerts, workshops, talks, masterclasses and free events across London. A number of key events will take place at Southbank Centre. 


Skate at Somerset House, London, England

November, dates to be confirmed

Skate at Somerset House offers a complete festive experience in the capital. During the day, visitors can skate in the beautiful splendour of Somerset House’s neoclassical courtyard. After dark, the rink hosts some of the best international clubs and festivals at exclusive Club Nights. For those looking to relax after taking to the ice, the Skate Lounge also offers delicious rink-side refreshments. 


World’s Biggest Liar, Lake District, Cumbria, north-west England *Quirky*

November, dates to be confirmed

This annual contest is held at The Bridge Inn pub in Santon Bridge, a hamlet of the Lake District. The competition is held in honour of 19th-century Bridge Inn landlord Will Ritson, who was famous for his incredible stories. Competitors are given five minutes to impress the judges with an outrageous but convincing lie.


Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, London, England

November – January, dates to be confirmed

A true family favourite, Winter Wonderland returns to London's Hyde Park with big top shows, the observation wheel and a huge Christmas market. As well as the ice rink, Winter Wonderland includes gentle rides for younger children.  


FilmBath Festival, Bath, south-west England

November, dates to be confirmed

Soak up the special atmosphere of packed auditoriums as you enjoy screenings of previews, documentary features, F-Rated films and talks with directors, producers and stars.


Leeds International Film Festival, Yorkshire, north England

November, dates yet to be confirmed

One of the largest film events in the UK, Leeds International Film Festival presents an incredible selection of the best new and classic films from around the world. Each year, audiences are invited to step in from the cold autumn weather and enjoy the power of cinema at some of the city’s favourite venues, including Leeds Town Hall, The Hyde Park Picture House and Everyman Leeds.



Turner Prize, Coventry, central England

1 December

The famous Turner Prize, named after the innovative landscape artist JMW Turner, will return to Britain in 2021 to showcase the best in British art. Four shortlisted entries will be judged through exhibition, with only one artist progressing to win the world-renowned accolade.


Christmas at Kew, London, England

December, dates to be confirmed

Learn to ice-skate against the picturesque background of Kew Gardens, which delivers a sparkling after-dark experience and a truly festive atmosphere every year. 


The Great Christmas Pudding Race, London & Brighton, England *Quirky*

11 December

One of the wackiest races you’ll ever see, teams race around a 150-metre course balancing a Christmas pudding on a flimsy paper plate. They have to navigate two slippery inflatables, balloons filled with flour, jets of foam and limbo poles. To complicate things even further, they do it all in fancy dress.


NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival and New Year’s Eve Carnival, NewcastleGateshead, north-east England

Dates to be confirmed

The annual New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival sees the Newcastle Ice Queen and her entourage of local community participants parading through the streets of Newcastle, culminating in an early-evening fireworks display. 


Hogmanay, across Scotland

31 December

Hogmanay is what the Scots call New Year's Eve and the arrival of the New Year is always celebrated in style across the country. Fireworks, open-air concerts and street parties make Hogmanay Scotland’s biggest party of the year.


Stonehaven Fireball Festival, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Dates to be confirmed

This fireball ceremony is the traditional way to greet the New Year in the Aberdeenshire town of Stonehaven.


Please note that events are subject to change, and visitors are strongly advised to check individual websites for the latest information.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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