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Annual events in Britain in 2023

Wednesday 23 November 2022

From literary festivals to royal celebrations, discover what's on in Britain this year with our round-up of annual events for 2023.

 

JANUARY

 

New Year’s Day Parade, London, England

1 January

London’s New Year’s Day Parade has evolved into one of the capital’s great traditions. Usually starting at 12pm, the parade along the capital’s West End will fill the streets with marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats, kites and more.

 

Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland

19 January – 5 February

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.

 

Chinese New Year, London and around Britain

22 January

London hosts a Chinese New Year celebration each year, marking the occasion with a range of joyous festivities and a spectacular parade. The largest festival of its kind outside Asia, it is free to attend and usually takes place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and across the West End. 2023 celebrates the Year of the Rabbit. 

 

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. 

 

FEBRUARY

A game of rugby in progress. Players on the pitch. A scrum with opposing teams prepared to engage with each other to win territory.

 

RBS Six Nations Rugby, Cardiff, London, Edinburgh

4 February – 18 March

The Six Nations Championship for England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will see matches take place at venues including the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Twickenham Stadium in London, and Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. 

 

Dark Skies Festival, Yorkshire, north England

10 – 26 February

The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks, which remain some of the darkest places in England, are once again running a joint Dark Skies Festival in February. 2020 saw the theme of ‘exploration’ run through the impressive programme of events, with 2023 set to bring activities like kayaking, stargazing safaris and zip wires. Cumbria, Northumberland, and the South Downs are also hosting a celestial festival in February 2023, with dates and details to be confirmed.

 

MARCH  

 

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.

 

Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland

1 – 12 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.

  

Cheltenham Festival, Gloucestershire, south-west England

14 – 17 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.   

 

Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Glasgow, Scotland 

15 March – 2 April

Regularly the largest event of its kind in Europe, this comedy extravaganza normally features a line-up of both big league players and emerging talent from around Britain and beyond, performing in venues throughout the city. 2023 sees acts take to the stage, including Scottish comedian Gareth Waugh and Friday late shows.

 

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.

 

The Gemini Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, London, England

26 March

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.

 

APRIL

 

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

13 – 15 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 14 April.

 

Inveraray Argyll Highland Games at Inveraray Castle.

 

Highland Games, across Scotland

Dates to be confirmed

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

 

London Marathon, London, England

23 April

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.  

 

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.

 

Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Gloucestershire, south-west England

26 April – 1 May

Every year, Cheltenham Jazz Festival represents the start of the summer in Cheltenham, bringing together world-renowned performers and jazz enthusiasts from across the globe. 

 

Spirit of Speyside Distilled Food & Drink Festival, Speyside, Scotland

26 April - 1 May

Spirited, inspiring, Scottish – this festival puts on a series of four delicious events inspired by Scottish whisky, gin and local produce. Discover the passion behind the region’s finest food and drink.

 

Camp Good Life, Flintshire, north Wales

Dates to be confirmed

The Good Life is created by Cerys Matthews, Steve 'Abbo' Abbott and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone who have put together the very best of music, books, food and the great outdoors. The spring festival, Camp Goodlife, will be a voyage of fun and discovery for the whole family. There is also a Summer Camp (held within Hawarden Castle’s walled garden), Camp Good Life Autumn and Camp Glen Dye, all held in 2023.

 

Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool, north-west England

28 – 30 April

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.

 

MAY

 

Brighton Festival, Brighton, south-east England

6 – 28 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 aims to make art accessible to all and takes place in a variety of venues across Brighton and Hove.

 

Women’s FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium

14 May

The Vitality Women's FA Cup Final returns to Wembley, watch as two teams battle it out - there can only be one winner! 

 

Chelsea Flower Show, London

23 – 27 May

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

 

Hay Festival, Wales. An annual literary festival welcoming renowned authors and writers.

 

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

25 May – 4 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. 

 

Birmingham Pride, Birmingham, central England

27 - 28 May

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

 

Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Oxfordshire, central England

27 – 29 May

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.

 

RideLondon, London-Surrey, south-east 

28 May

Developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies in 2013, Prudential RideLondon is a world-class festival of cycling that wants to encourage more people to cycle more safely, more often. TfL anticipates tens of thousands of spectators and participants every year will take up regular cycling after each event. There is no other closed-road event quite like it, combining a fun and accessible free family ride in central London with the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclist’s race. 2023 celebrates the 10-year anniversary of this biking extravaganza.

 

Denbighshire Urdd Eisteddfod, Kilford Farm, Denbigh, north-east Wales

29 May – 3 June

The Urdd Eisteddfod is one of Europe’s largest youth touring festivals, with children and young people competing in various competitions such as singing, dancing and performing. Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, there will be plenty of attractions for the whole family at the Eisteddfod, from enjoying the competitions to visiting the various stalls and exhibitors on site.

 

JUNE

 

Cazoo Derby Festival, Epsom Downs Race Course, Surrey, south-east England

2 – 3 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 3 June, with the famous Ladies’ Day held the day before on 2 June.

  

Trooping the Colour, London, England

2 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.

 

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

3 June

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. 

 

Whole Earth Man v Horse Marathon, Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

Dates to be confirmed

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 customers debating the positives and negatives of men and horses competing over rough land, but it wasn’t until 2004 that a man beat a horse.

  

Taste of London Festival, London, England

Dates 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. 

 

Isle of Wight Festival, Isle of Wight, south England

15 – 18 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, Kasabian and Lewis Capaldi.

 

Jane Austen Regency Week, Hampshire, south England

17 – 25 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.

 

Pride Cymru, Cardiff, south Wales

17 – 18 June

LGBTQI+ Mardi Gras, trading as Pride Cymru, returns to Cardiff for Wales' biggest celebration of equality and diversity. The variety of entertainment will continue along with a funfair, a cultural market with arts and crafts, plenty of food and drink, and a social hub, offering advice and support to LGBTQI+ communities and their friends and family.

 

Stonehenge Summer Solstice, Wiltshire, south-west England

18 – 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. Taking place on 21 June in 2023, it’s the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to visit. There’s a four-day festival to mark the occasion, with the celebration bringing together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans and Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travellers and party people. 

 

Royal Ascot, Berkshire, south-east England

20 – 24 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.

 

The Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, Scotland

22 – 25 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. The 2023 show sees the return of the Golden Shears World Championship, who will reign supreme as the chief sheep shearer and wool handler?

 

Bristol Pride, Bristol, south-west England

24 June – 9 July

Bristol Pride is a week-long series of events dedicated to the city’s LGBTQI+ 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.

 

JULY

 

Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight, south England

1 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.  

 

Pride in London, London, England

1 July

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

 

Alice’s Day, Oxford, England

1 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. Details for the event in 2023 are to be confirmed.

 

Wales Airshow, Swansea, Wales

1 – 2 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. In previous years, ground attractions have included an interactive military village, trade stands, children’s entertainment, funfair and lots more.

 

Wimbledon Tennis Championships, London, England

3 – 16 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 lasts 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. 

 

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, England. Woman in John Warland's World Vision Garden.

 

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

4 – 9 July

As the world’s largest annual flower show it’s a plant lover’s paradise, and is packed with stunning show gardens, floral displays, and plenty of garden inspiration. 

 

Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, central England

7 – 9 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. 

 

The Open Championship, St Andrews, Scotland

16 – 23 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.

 

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland

14 – 23 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.

 

Birmingham Mela, England

15 - 16 July

The UK's biggest South Asian music festival celebrates its 10th birthday extravaganza. The event features 150 artists from Birmingham to Bangladesh, with live music and dance, deliciously diverse world cuisine and bustling shopping bazaars. 

 

Bristol Harbour Festival, Bristol, England

Dates to be confirmed

Bristol Harbour Festival will once again host a free weekend of music, markets and maritime fun based around Bristol’s historic harbourside. Previous festivals have been packed with live performance, artists, musicians, circus acts, children’s events, dancers, food markets and street stalls. On the water, hundreds of sailing vessels provide a vibrant backdrop to the activities.

 

The BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London, England

Dates to be confirmed

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. 

  

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

19 – 23 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

22 – 23 July

This annual celebration of LGBTQI+ life on Tyneside is one of the biggest and most diverse free events in the North East. It starts with a Pride march through Newcastle and ends with a day of music, education, fun and celebration.

 

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

24 – 27 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

27 – 30 July

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. Last year saw headliners Rag’n’Bone Man, Rudimental and Sister Sledge take the stage.

 

Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland 

27 July – 27 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

29 July – 4 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. 

 

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

29 July – 9 September

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 takes 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.

 

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening, London, England

July - October

Explore the palace’s lavishly furnished State Rooms – where the King 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. 

 

AUGUST  

 

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

1 – 5 August

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.

 

Brighton Pride, Brighton, south-east England  

4 – 6 August

Brighton’s Pride festival kicks off with the annual Pride Community Parade, a dazzling visual spectacle that sees Brighton and Hove's diverse community take to the streets in a show of unity and equality. The party carries on with Fabuloso in the Park, featuring main stage entertainment from major artists, with previous years hosting acts including Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Jess Glynne. Other entertainment has included dance tents, cabaret, a funfair, a family area and a market. The Pride Village Party brings the festivities to St James Street and there’s also the city's iconic seafront Marine Parade, not to mention a vibrant mix of comedy and performance at Pride at the Ironworks.

 

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo. A pipe major, a soldier in the full highland uniform, traditional jacket and belt, kilt and sporan on the road to Edinburgh castle.

 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland

4 – 26 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 Festival Fringe, Edinburgh, Scotland

4 – 28 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.

 

Eroica Britannia, Goodwood, central England

Dates to be confirmed

This unique two-day vintage cycling festival sees cyclists from all over the world don retro gear and hop on pre-1987 bikes for this special race. Competitors will glide past lush vineyards, golden shores and through chocolate-box villages on this new route, while the festival hub promises entertainment including track races and competitions.

 

Leeds Pride, Yorkshire, north England

Dates to be confirmed

A ‘must-not-miss’ event on Yorkshire’s LGBTQI+ calendar, Leeds Pride is the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire. Past years have seen 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.

 

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol, south-west England

10 – 13 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

12 – 28 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.

 

Creamfields, Liverpool, north-west England

24 – 27 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.

 

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, London, England

Dates to be confirmed

As one of the UK's leading festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts, GDIF showcases culture through creative performances, dazzling light shows and dramatic dances - find the rhymth and celebrate the arts and diversity in Greenwich. 

 

Reading Festival & Leeds Festival, England

25 – 27 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.

 

Group of people standing in front of a stage celebrating Mela in Birmingham

 

World Bog Snorkelling Championships, Llanwrtyd Wells, mid Wales

27 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.

 

Notting Hill Carnival, London, England

27 – 28 August

London’s famous free Caribbean festival is the largest street party in Europe, with great music, outrageous floats and fabulous costumes. Hear everything from traditional steel bands, Soca and Calypso to the latest dub, drum ‘n’ bass, R&B and reggae blasting out from pumping sound systems and moving floats. Live stages also feature local bands, top international artists and sounds from around the world, plus hundreds of Caribbean food stalls.

 

SEPTEMBER  

 

The Braemar Gathering, Aberdeenshire, north Scotland

2 September

Enjoy the skills of the pipers and Highland dancers and the stamina of the hill runners, as well as the international athletes taking part in the heavy events. Sample contemporary Scotland with live music, top-quality arts and crafts and local food and drink at one of the Royal Family’s favourite annual events. 

 

Ironman Wales, Pembrokeshire, west Wales

3 September

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

 

Open House Festival, London

Dates to be confirmed

Celebrate London's architecture, housing and neighbourhoods during a two week festival spanning the breadth of the city from Greenwich to Westminster. Gain access to beautiful buildings, unique spaces and landscapes as London opens its doors to visitors. 

 

Visitors and staff in period costume outside The Jane Austen Centre, a museum chronicling the life and times of the famous writer, Jane Austen, Bath, Somerset, England.

 

Jane Austen Festival, Bath, south-west 

8 – 17 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.

 

Heritage Open Days, across England 

8 – 17 September

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 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.

 

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

Dates to be confirmed

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. 

  

Great North Run, NewcastleGateshead, north-east England

10 September

A series of professional and junior athletics activities for the Great North Run has been developed over the last few years. 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. 

 

British Science Festival, Chelmsford, south England

Dates to be confirmed

Organised each year by the British Science Association, The British Science Festival shines a light on Britain’s top scientists. The Festival lasts five 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.

 

TweedLove Bike Festival, Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders, Scotland

Dates to be confirmed

Britain’s fastest-growing cycling festival is held every year in the beautiful Tweed Valley. Past years have boasted three main races, with 2022 focusing on eMTB and British Championship races.

 

London Fashion Week, London, England

15 - 19 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. 

 

Bristol Open Doors, Bristol, south-west England

15 -17 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. 
 

York Food and Drink Festival, York, north England

22 September - 1 October

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.

 

London Design Festival, London, England

17–25 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.

 

Blackpool Illuminations, Lancashire, north-west England

Dates to be confirmed

This annual light show has been a major part of Blackpool’s appeal since 1879. The Festival of Light complements the traditional Illuminations with a contemporary take on entertainment made from light and art. The Illuminations are usually bookended by a fantastic celebrity-packed Switch-on Festival Weekend with bespoke Illumination performances, and Lightpool Festival, a spectacular walking route linking Blackpool’s most iconic buildings and history through light installation artworks. 

 

OCTOBER 

 

Artes Mundi 10, at venues across Wales 

October 2023 - March 2024

Best known for its biennial international exhibition and prize, 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, which, for 2023, include Rushdi Anwar, Alia Farid and more. Enjoy exhibitions across Wales including at Llandudno’s MOSTYN, Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Cardiff’s Chapter and others. 

 

Cardiff Half Marathon, Cardiff, south Wales

1 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.

 

Cheltenham Literature Festival

 

Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, west England

6 - 15 October

This literary festival will celebrate its 74th anniversary in 2023 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. 

 

World Conker Championships, Northamptonshire, central England *Quirky*

8 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 Southwick near Oundle, Peterborough, with many attempting to become the King or Queen of conkers. 

 

Iris Prize Festival, Cardiff, south Wales

10 - 15 October

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

 

BFI London Film Festival, Southbank, London, England

Dates to be confirmed

In 2023 London will host its 67th 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, with highlights including the world's best new films, and director and actor retrospectives. Previous A-list guests have included Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and director Tom Ford.

 

NOVEMBER 

 

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.

 

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.

 

London Jazz Festival, London, England

Dates 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. 

 

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, London, England

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. 

 

Longleat Festival of Light, Longleat, Wiltshire, west England

Dates to be confirmed

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.

 

FilmBath Festival, Bath, south-west England

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.

 

Kendal Mountain Festival, Cumbria, north-west England

Dates to be confirmed

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.

 

Leeds International Film Festival, Yorkshire, north England

Dates 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.

 

DECEMBER 

Firework display behind Manchester Town Hall illuminated at Christmas, Greater Manchester, England.

 

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

Date to be confirmed

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. 

 

Christmas at Kew, London, England

Dates to be confirmed

Get into the spirit of Christmas against the picturesque background of Kew Gardens, which delivers a sparkling after-dark experience and a truly festive atmosphere every year. Previous highlights include a Fire Garden, towering fairy-lit trees and the spellbinding Palm House light display.

 

Hogmanay, across Scotland

30 December – 1 January

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.

 

You are encouraged to always check individual websites for the latest information, as details are subject to change.

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