What’s On in England 2020 and beyond

Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:29

Continuing from 2019


Dippy on Tour, nationwide
Until late 2020
Dippy the Diplodocus – the dinosaur skeleton cast that graced the iconic Hintze Hall entrance to the Natural History Museum from 1979 to 4 January 2017 – is on tour. Following a thorough cleaning, Dippy will be on public display outside the capital for the first time in the following places in 2020: Number One Riverside, Rochdale (10 February – 28 June 2020) and Norwich Cathedral (11 July – 31 October 2020).


Turner Prize 2019, Kent

28 September 2019 – 12 January 2020

The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate will host the famous Turner Prize in 2019. Both venue and event are named after the innovative landscape artist JMW Turner, who was a regular visitor to Margate and inspired by the east Kent coast. The gallery is built on the site of a boarding house where Turner stayed when he visited the seaside town. Margate was also the childhood home of Tracey Emin, whose controversial My Bed artwork was shortlisted for the prize in 1999. The winner will be announced at a major awards ceremony in December 2019.




January 2020


New Year’s Day Parade, London

1 January

With more than 500,000 spectators and 10,000 performers, the annual New Year’s Day Parade in central London is one of the world’s great street spectaculars. Highlights usually include London icons in the form of huge balloons, the Pearly Kings and Queens and marching bands. The parade starts on Piccadilly at midday and travels towards Parliament Square via Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.



London Fashion Week Men’s, London
4 – 6 January
The best of British menswear design comes to the capital, with catwalk shows, events and presentations.

Wassailing in Somerset

Various dates in January

Wassailing is an ancient Saxon custom that involves drinking cider, singing to the trees in the hope of a good harvest and scaring away evil spirits in the dark days of January. In Somerset, cider-makers wassail their apple trees at locations including Sheppy’s Cider Farm and Avalon Orchard on Glastonbury Tor, which usually offers family tours featuring Glastonbury’s druids and town crier and storytellers. New for 2020 is wassailing at Tyntesfield’s newly completed orchard.

www.visitsomerset.co.uk ; www.sheppyscider.com ; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/glastonbury-tor ; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield



February 2020


Imagine Children’s Festival, London
February (date TBC)
Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre offers a packed programme of free and ticketed events for all ages, from opera for babies to talks for adults, plus the chance for children to meet some of their favourite authors who will bring much-loved characters to life. It’s run by children, for children, and usually takes place over the February half term.


Derby Winter Beer Festival
February (date TBC)
Dubbed the ‘Real Ale Capital’ of Britain, Derby hosts this four-day festival in one of its iconic railway buildings, the world’s oldest Roundhouse. The annual celebration of real ales, lagers and ciders has live bands and tutored beer tastings, with visitors exploring the city as they sample the produce of Derby’s respected microbreweries. Dates for the 2020 festival TBA.


Bristol Light Festival

February (date TBC)

This illuminating new annual event will celebrate the creative talents of local, national and international designers and collaborators in a playful outdoor gallery of light installations that will bring vivid colour to Bristol city centre's public spaces at a traditionally quiet and dark time of the year. Following Bristol leadership around green energy and new technologies, there will be an emphasis on exploring sustainable light art and interactive environments.



Hockey FIH Pro League, London

February – June

The ground-breaking global hockey competition returns for its second year in 2020. London will play host to 16 games over four weekends in May and June 2020 (2 – 3 May, 16 – 17 May, 24 – 25 May and 13 – 14 June). Twickenham Stoop and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre are likely venues.

www.fihproleague.com ; www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk 


York Ice Trail

1 – 2 February

“The largest outdoor ice trail in the UK” will run for two days in February 2020 – an increase on 2019’s one day of icy spectacles. York city centre will be filled with more than 50 ice sculptures – in 2019 they included Squirt, the little turtle from Disney’s Finding Nemo, crowd favourite the York Dungeon Pillories, and a huge 2-metre-long full detail exterior of The Grand Hotel & Spa. Expect free children’s activities and an opportunity to have a go at carving ice sculptures. Some fab prizes are usually up for grabs too.



Great British Beer Festival Winter, Birmingham
4 – 8 February

Birmingham’s New Bingley Hall hosts the Great British Beer Festival Winter 2020. Beer of all kinds, from popular light ales to ruby and dark ales, foreign beers and ciders, is under the spotlight. There are local food vendors, tutored tastings and talks and music acts too.



Yorkshire Games Festival              

5 – 9 February     

Bradford’s National Science + Media Museum hosts this five-day extravaganza celebrating games culture, design and production, with special guests, workshops, master classes, and a fun-packed weekend for gamers of all ages.             


Leicester Comedy Festival
5 – 23 February
Europe’s longest running comedy festival features the sharpest wits in comedy performing in more than 800 events across dozens of venues. Sarah Millican, Jo Bor and Alexei Sayle are just some of the big names who have taken part. Regular highlights include the Gala Preview Show and the UK Pun Championships. www.comedy-festival.co.uk

Dark Skies Festivals, Yorkshire, South Downs and Northumberland

7 February – 1 March

The National Parks celebrate their status as some of the darkest places in England with Dark Skies Festivals to encourage discovering, learning and enjoyment of the dark and the stars you can see as a result. Turn out the lights and turn your eyes skywards for celestially-inspired events, night-time walks, rides and workshops. 2020 is the fifth Dark Skies Festival for the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales (14 February – 1 March). Diverse stargazing activities are also offered in the South Downs (Dark Skies Festival 7 – 23 February) and Northumberland national parks.



Love Light Norwich, Norfolk

13 – 15 February

A mesmerising new light festival will illuminate Norwich city centre for the Valentine’s weekend in 2020. An illuminating trail of light and fire artworks, installations, performances and interventions will celebrate the city’s art and innovation, all set to a love and belonging theme.

www.visitnorwich.co.uk ; www.facebook.com (website coming soon)


Steve McQueen at Tate Modern, London

13 February – 11 May

Tate Modern’s show spans 20 years of poignant and provocative work by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen. It’s the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK for 20 years.


London Fashion Week
14 – 18 February
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.


JORVIK Viking Festival, York
15 – 23 February
This annual city-wide celebration of York’s Viking heritage is recognised as the largest Viking Festival in Europe. It commemorates the traditional ‘Jolablot’ celebrations that the Vikings held each February to herald the coming of spring and the survival of winter hardships. The festival programme includes family-friendly events, lectures, guided walks and battle re-enactments.

Parties, Portraits and Politics: Blenheim in the Roaring 20’s, Oxfordshire

15 February – early April

A new temporary exhibition will give visitors a glimpse of what it was like to be entertained in Blenheim Palace during the 1920s, from the menus and wine to the fashion, music, politics and art. The 9th Duke of Marlborough and his second wife ‘Gladys Deacon’, entertained lavishly throughout the roaring twenties; amongst the guests at the glamourous house parties were Winston Churchill, Cecil Beaton and members of the Bloomsbury set.



Bath Bachfest

20 – 22 February

Set in Bath’s stunning historic venues, this three-day, multi-concert festival celebrating the glorious music of JS Bach and his contemporaries attracts musicians from across the UK and beyond.


Coastival, Scarborough

21 – 23 February

This (mostly free) festival of Yorkshire’s most innovative and inspiring artwork is a weekend of open studios, music, movies, performances, parades, workshops and family-based activities, all with a cheerful seaside vibe.



Rye Bay Scallop Week, East Sussex

22 February – 1 March

Rye Bay Scallop Week is the perfect opportunity to indulge in seafood delights. Rye’s restaurants showcase an array of different scallop dishes, and there are scallop-themed events including tasting events, cookery schools and demonstrations, live music and more.



Chinese New Year, London and nationwide
25 February
London hosts the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia each year, with hundreds of thousands of people taking part in the festivities. They are free to attend and usually take place on or close to the date of the Chinese New Year, in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and across the West End. 2020 welcomes in the Year of the Rat. Celebration parade date TBC.

Chinese New Year, Newcastle 
25 February

Join the celebrations in Newcastle and usher in the Year of the Rat with Chinese-inspired events, performances and activities for all the family. Enjoy traditional crafts, dance, martial arts, food and drink, games and more with a vibrant and colourful party and watch the spectacular dragon, lion and unicorn dances under the ornate Ceremonial Arch. Celebration date TBC.


Olney Pancake Race, Buckinghamshire
25 February
This unique race literally stops traffic as energetic local ladies in aprons run through the streets of Olney. The tradition supposedly began in the 15th century when a local housewife heard the ringing of the bell summoning the congregation to church while she was making her Shrove Tuesday pancakes – in a rush, she raced to church carrying her frying pan. The course is 415 yards long and the pancakes must be tossed at the start and finish.


Keswick Film Festival, Cumbria

27 February – 1 March

Keswick Film Festival’s annual celebration of cinema set within stunning mountain scenery is a chance to experience some of the best UK independent and international films, cherry picked from the world’s greatest film festivals and shown alongside thought-provoking documentaries, retrospectives and appearances from special guests.



David Hockney: Drawing from Life, London, and new interactive Hockney map, Yorkshire
27 February – 28 June
The National Portrait Gallery, London, is displaying the first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years. David Hockney: Drawing from Life explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to the present by focusing on depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him. An interactive map launched by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, meanwhile, offers visitors to Hockney Country a chance to follow in the footsteps of the iconic British artist.

www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com ; www.npg.org.uk



March 2020


Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival, Bristol 

March (dates TBC)

The Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival has been host to many legendary names, including the founder father of Jazz Louis Armstrong. Previous line-ups have seen workshops led by James Brown’s former bandmates, and performances from the likes of Melody Gardot, Maceo Parker and Martin Taylor.



WOW – Women of the World Festival, London
6 – 8 March          
Southbank Centre’s WOW Festival marks its 10th year in 2020 with its biggest, bravest festival yet. WOW champions the incredible achievements of women and girls by exploring the most pertinent topics for women today through a mix of talks and debates, concerts, performances, film, comedy, workshops, mentoring and networking opportunities. A special 10th anniversary celebration will take place on Sunday 8 March – International Women’s Day.


POW!, Kent

6 – 15 March

POW! returns to Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs for its fifth year in 2020. The multidisciplinary arts festival marks International Women’s Day by celebrating feminism and female empowerment, creativity and issues in the modern world. Artists, venues and organisations will explore 2020’s theme ‘reimagining the future’ through a variety of events, workshops, performances, talks and exhibitions. In 2019, events were as diverse as a drum and bass rave and a profanity-inspired embroidery workshop!



Cheltenham Festival, Gloucestershire

10 –13 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, the signature Gold Cup – one of the greatest of all jump-racing events.



Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival
13 – 22 March
After the success of its opening year in 2019, poetry festival Lyra returns even bigger in March 2020, bringing outstanding UK and international poets to locations across Bristol.



World’s Original Marmalade Awards, Cumbria

14 – 15 March

These quirky awards can be entered by anyone, with the initial idea of preserving, growing, and promoting one of the most British of customs – making marmalade.



Shakespeare Week 

16 – 22 March

With a host of free activities and resources, this annual national celebration of Shakespeare is a chance for primary school-aged children and their families to enjoy a fun introduction to Shakespeare's characters, stories and language. The theme for 2020 is Art & Design.


Gateshead Jazz, NewcastleGateshead
20 – 22 March
Gateshead International Jazz festival returns in 2020 with a new name after a break in 2019. Jamie Cullum will headline this diverse jazz festival offering a mix of local acts and headliners at Sage Gateshead. 

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, Oxford
27 March – 5 April
Hundreds of writers flock to the famous university city to discuss literary, political, historical, environmental and culinary affairs for this 10-day festival, hosted within Christ Church College’s Tudor hall and cloisters. Visitors can also book to join guided literary walks, lunches and dinner parties with prominent authors, as well as join creative writing courses and workshops.



The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, London
29 March
First raced in 1829, the Boat Race is one of the oldest sporting events in the world. Watched by thousands along the banks of The Tideway, between Putney and Mortlake in south London, this unique sporting event sees squads of athletes from Oxford and Cambridge university boat clubs competing to be the first to row the 4 miles 374 yards (6.8km) from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge.


April 2020


Leeds Young Film Festival

April (date TBC)

At the UK’s largest family film event, the whole family can watch, learn and play. Thousands of children and their families explore the world of film, animation and virtual reality through screenings, live shows, workshops and drop-ins across Leeds. Taking place over Easter 2020. Exact dates TBC.



Porthleven Food & Music Festival, Cornwall

17 – 19 April

Set in the picturesque harbour of Porthleven in West Cornwall, Porthleven Food and Music Festival attracts around 40,000 visitors. With all-day cooking demonstrations, food and craft stalls, live music and entertainment, and dancing into the night, the festival is a must-see in any foodie’s calendar.



Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations, Stratford-upon-Avon
23 April
Every year, Stratford-upon-Avon marks 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. Exact date of celebrations TBC.

St George’s Day, nationwide
23 April
St George’s Day celebrates the patron saint of England with activities ranging from festivals, ‘dragon’ hunts and medieval banquets happening across England. There’s plenty going on, with English Heritage running a particularly rich programme of St George’s Day events.

Harrogate Flower Show, Yorkshire
23 – 26 April
One of the most prestigious gardening shows in the country, people flock to Harrogate’s Spring Flower Show from far and wide to draw inspiration from the imaginative show gardens. There’s also the ever-popular giant vegetable competition and hospitality packages. It’s followed by the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in September.


Festival of Nature, Bristol and Bath
24 April – 7 June

One of the UK’s greatest free celebrations of the natural world, Festival of Nature features hundreds of free events, including lectures, tours and film screenings on the subjects of science, natural history and the environment. In 2019, the theme was A Trail of Two Cities.



London Marathon
26 April
The Virgin Money London Marathon is a phenomenal event to be a part of – both as a participant and a spectator. As well as being a monumental physical challenge, the London Marathon is the world's largest fundraising event, and one of the six top marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors. The 2020 event marks the marathon’s 40th anniversary.


Tour de Yorkshire
30 April – 4 May
Arising as a legacy of the 2014 Grand Départ, the Tour de Yorkshire is now the second biggest pro stage race in the UK behind the Tour of Britain. Amateurs get to ride the same challenging routes as the world’s leading pros, on courses that range across all of Yorkshire. In 2019, the race was upgraded to HC status by the UCI, meaning the Tour now falls under the highest category possible for a multi-day race outside of the UCI World Tour. Every year, the race looks set to attract its strongest-ever field yet as the sport’s star riders look to visit the county.



May 2020


The Late Shows, NewcastleGateshead

May (date TBC)

The Late Shows is a weekend-long inspiring, late-night culture crawl of events and exhibitions through cultural venues in NewcastleGateshead that are usually closed in the evening. Museums, galleries and visitor attractions stay up late to put on a programme of events and exhibitions to encourage people to do something cultural with their evening – in celebration of the international event ‘Museums at Night’.



Artisan Cheese Fair, Leicestershire

May (date TBC)

The Artisan Cheese Fair is the UK’s largest cheese fair; more than 10,000 cheese lovers attend the annual event in Melton Mowbray. Hundreds of cheeses are on display, including some of the UK’s rarest. Visitors immerse themselves in all things cheese through the daily programme of talks, demonstrations and tastings given by industry experts. There are plenty of other goodies to indulge in too, including pies, wine, cakes, cider, champagne and Melton Mowbray’s pork pies.


Stratford Festival of Motoring, Stratford-upon-Avon
May (date TBC)
Over 300 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.


Leeds Indie Food Fest

May (date TBC)

Each May the city celebrates its fantastic food scene with Leeds Indie Food Festival, the country’s biggest festival of independent food and drink culture. The festival sees businesses all over the city collaborate to run innovative events, with everyone from fine dining restaurants to coffee shops, and independent cinemas to art galleries, getting in on the action. 2020 will be the food festival’s 10th birthday.


WalkFest 2019, North York Moors
May (date TBC)
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. The event usually takes place over the spring bank holiday weekend.


Birmingham Pride
May (date TBC)
England’s second largest city hosts its annual gay pride, a technicolour spectacular celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture.


Blenheim Palace Food Festival, Oxfordshire

May (date TBC)

Oxfordshire’s largest food festival brings 150 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, Great British Bake Off and MasterChef winners have attended in the past.



Liverpool Sound City

1 – 3 May

Liverpool Sound City is an annual international music festival and industry conference that 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, The xx, Alt J and Calvin Harris, Loyle Carner and The Magic Gang.



Brighton Fringe

1 – 31 May

The fringe to Brighton Festival celebrates all things creative and consists of hundreds of 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, meaning both new and established artists can attract fresh audiences, press and promoters.



Live at Leeds

2 May

Live at Leeds is an annual music festival held across a variety of unique venues in the city centre. Winner of Best Metropolitan Music Festival at the UK Festival Awards, the festival celebrates the best in upcoming local bands, alongside some more established names, featuring a host of gigs and other music-inspired events.



Surrey Day

2 May

A celebration of all that is great about the county, Surrey Day returns for a second year to bring the county’s towns, villages and attractions together for one big party.



Brighton Tattoo Convention, Brighton

2 – 3 May

Brighton Tattoo Convention will host over 300 world-class tattoo artists, alongside related traders and exhibitions, at its ever-popular extravaganza at Brighton Centre on the city’s iconic seafront. The convention has gone from strength to strength over the last decade to become a major event in the world tattooing calendar, attracting thousands of aficionados – and those who are simply curious – from near and far.



Magnificent Motors, Eastbourne
2 – 3 May
One of the south coast’s biggest free motoring spectaculars, Magnificent Motors showcases more than 600 vintage, classic and flashy cars, motorbikes and buses. One of the highlights is the parade of vintage motors along Eastbourne’s Victorian seafront. There’s live music and entertainment, too.


Isle of Wight Walking Festival
2 –17 May

Join the Isle of Wight Walking Festival and take part in one of the UK’s longest running walking festivals. Discover unique routes with experienced volunteer walk leaders and enjoy an extensive walks programme that includes walks across, over and around the Island, taking in chalky cliffs and rolling hills, sand dunes and pebbly beaches, bustling towns and sleepy villages of thatched cottages. The popular Isle of Wight Challenge and fundraiser Walk the Wight with Mountbatten also form part of the festival.



Maldon Mud Race, Essex

3 May

The world-famous mud race is broadcast on TV around the world. Hundreds of wacky participants race across 400m of muddy river.



Crimefest, Bristol
4 – 7 May
Whether you’re a die-hard crime fanatic or you simply like to read an occasional crime novel, this annual convention is an opportunity to celebrate the genre in a friendly, informal and inclusive atmosphere. Drawing crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world, the programme consists of: interviews with its featured and highlighted guest authors; over 40 panels with more than a hundred participating authors; a gala awards dinner; and one or two surprise plot twists.



Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Gloucestershire

5 – 10 May

Cheltenham Jazz Festival kicks off summer in Cheltenham. Absorbing the amazing variety of jazz on show is a great way to spend the long May Bank Holiday.



Brighton Foodies Festival

8 – 10 May
Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest food festival, returns to Brighton Hove Lawns. See top chefs and MasterChef winners cooking live, try sweet treats from Bake Off winners and top bakers, sample new wines, champagnes and cocktails, eat delicious street food from around the world, meet artisan producers and enter chilli-eating competitions, food challenges and much more. This is foodie heaven for the whole family.


Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival, Kent
8 – 11 May

For four days every May, beautiful Chiddingstone Castle fills with a selection of authors covering a wide range of topics, from medicine and crime to poetry, self-help and science; there’s plenty for younger readers too, such as children’s theatre performances and appearances from prize-winning children’s authors including Piers Torday and Lauren St John. Highlights from previous years include Terry Waite talking about his life 25 years after his release from solitary imprisonment as a hostage in Beirut, and appearances from best-selling historical fiction writer Alison Weir and Gogglebox’s Mary Killen.



Norfolk & Norwich Festival
8 – 24 May
The internationally renowned Norfolk and Norwich Festival is a highlight of the region’s cultural calendar. Held over 19 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.


Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival 
9 – 17 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 is a series of education events designed to entertain and inspire children aged 2 to 18.


The Great Escape, Brighton
13 – 16 May
The Great Escape is the festival for new music, showcasing 500 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across the city, plus a festival site on Brighton Beach. It’s the first place to discover your new favourite artist and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages. The Alternative Escape, Spotlight Shows, secret gigs, club nights and spontaneous collaborations all add to the festivities and make this weekend in Brighton one not to miss.


Winchcombe Cotswolds Walking Festival

15 – 17 May

Not far from Regency Cheltenham, Winchcombe is the unofficial walking capital of the Cotswolds; it’s even got ‘Walkers are Welcome’ status. The three-day walking festival caters for all abilities with walks ranging from 3 to 22 miles and local guides on hand to add interest for those who are flagging! 



Haworth’s 1940s Weekend, Yorkshire

16 – 17 May

Haworth Village’s annual1940s-themed two-day event celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020. Soak up the brilliant atmosphere and enter into the spirit of the era by dressing up and joining in with the evening dances. There are stalls selling vintage clothes, battle re-enactments, 1940s-style singers and displays of vintage military vehicles.



Pre-Raphaelites at the City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol

16 May – 27 September 2020
A fresh look at the Pre-Raphaelite movement, with a focus on paintings of knights and medieval heroines. Along with highlights from Bristol’s collection, the exhibition will feature loans from art collections around the UK including Tate and feature works by Edward Burne-Jones, Frank Dicksee, William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.



RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London
19 – 23 May
The world’s horticultural spotlight shines on Chelsea for this prestigious celebration of gardens and gardening. Expect world-class show gardens, fascinating artisan gardens, bold and challenging contemporary gardens, and a pavilion packed to bursting with the very best the industry has to offer.


Salisbury International Arts Festival, Wiltshire

22 May – 7 June

Art and culture spills out into the streets and public spaces of Salisbury in this biannual festival.



Bath Fringe Festival

22 May – 7 June

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



The Emirates FA Cup Final, London

23 May 

The FA Cup, the oldest domestic Cup competition in the football world, is well established as one of the country's great sporting institutions. Held in Wembley Stadium, the history and tradition of the competition and the pageantry of the Cup Final is familiar to millions. In the 2019/20 season, The Emirates FA Cup Final takes place on 23 May. The Women’s FA Cup Final kicks off 9 May.



Loves Saves The Day, Bristol
23 – 24 May
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 over 300 acts playing dance, hip hop, dub and reggae.


Crick Boat Show, Daventry

23 – 25 May

Britain’s biggest inland waterways event is organised by Waterways World in association with the Canal & River Trust and Crick Marina. As well as being the canal world’s biggest marketplace, showcasing the inland waterways industry with nearly 300 exhibitors, Crick Boat Show offers a fantastic day out for all the family with dozens of boats to look round, free boat trips, free advice seminars on boat ownership, live music, children’s activities, a real ale marquee, and a wide variety of food and drink stalls.


Cheese rolling at Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire
25 May
A passion for cheese and danger is a must for this annual event, where daredevils hurl themselves down the steep, grassy slopes of Coopers Hill, near Gloucester, in pursuit of Double Gloucester cheeses. There are downhill races throughout the afternoon including ones for men and for women. The race starts with the master of ceremonies rolling a 7-8 lb (4kg) Double Gloucester cheese down the hill. Dozens of competitors run, roll and somersault down the hill after it. 


Flavour Fest, Plymouth
29 – 31 May
The region’s largest food and drink festival showcases the best of the South West’s produce. Plymouth city centre’s Piazza is taken over by local and celebrity chefs, a real ale and wine bar, all sorts of entertainment and an enthusiastic gaggle of more than 120 traders.


Round the Island Race, Isle of Wight
30 May 
This annual one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight attracts more than 1,400 boats and around 15,000 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.



June 2020


Bristol Food Connections

June (date TBC)

The citywide Bristol Food Connections festival is a family-friendly affair. Highlights of previous event include a festival launch dinner centring on chocolate, a night market at St Nicks and behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at the 6 o’ clock gin distillery.


Taste of London Festival, London

June (date TBC)

Every year Regent's Park transforms into a foodie wonderland for four days of summer eating, drinking and entertainment. 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.


Eroica Britannia, Peak District

June (date TBC)

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 cycling event. Routes pass through some of the finest Peak District landscapes and villages. Bakewell Showground, in the heart of the Peak District, hosts the festival’s live music, acres of vintage shopping and specialist food stalls.


Bristol Craft Beer Festival
June (date TBC)
Many of Bristol’s best ales are among the 200 or so local, national and international beers taking part in this weekend beer fest at Motion Skate Park. The line-up of DJs playing the event is just as impressive. Past acts include DJ Yoda, Bombay Bicycle Club, Metronomy, Alfresco Disco and Fat Paul Presents.


Alban Weekend, St Albans

June (date TBC)

Every year, around 15,000 people celebrate the city of St Albans’ origins and the story of Britain’s first saint. The Alban Pilgrimage and re-enactment of the last few hours of Alban’s life are followed by a free outdoor street party. It takes place on the weekend closest to St Albans Day (22 June). 



Bloom!, York
June (date TBC)
Bloom! celebrates York’s rich and varied horticultural heritage as well as showcasing activity currently happening across the city. The jam-packed programme includes the involvement of more than 70 regional businesses and more than 100 fringe events connecting horticulture with art, music, literature, cinematography, gastronomy and science.


Pride in London Parade and Festival, London
June – July (date TBC)

Join thousands of revellers of all genders, sexualities, race and faith at the annual Pride in London parade and street party – the biggest day in London's LGBT+ calendar. Hundreds of community groups, student unions, charities and partygoers come together for the huge parade as it passes major central London landmarks. There's also a street party in Soho and free headline performances in Trafalgar Square. The parade is a culmination of the two-week Pride in London Festival which showcases LGBT+ culture with theatre, dance, art, cinema, parties and activities across the city. At night, the party heads to Soho's many pubs, bars and clubs.


Torchlit Summer Evenings at the Roman Baths, Bath
June – August (date TBC)
Every summer, the Roman Baths opens its doors until 10pm every evening, giving visitors the chance to explore the awe-inspiring attraction by torchlight.



Investec Derby, Surrey
6 June
The world’s famous flat race will see riders and owners in pursuit of one of the richest prizes in British racing, at Epsom Downs Race Course.


Open Garden Squares Weekend, London
6 – 7 June
Satisfy your curiosity with a legitimate peek through the fence in this magical two-day event when more than 200 gardens, from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental, open to the public.


Graffiti Artists Come to Bristol’s The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

6 June – 23 August

Bristol’s street art scene goes mainstream as one of the city’s top galleries take urban art off the streets and into official exhibition spaces.



Bristol Street Art: past, present and future, Bristol 

6 June – 1 November

This new exhibition at the M Shed celebrates Bristol as the birthplace of modern British street art, with a world-class exhibition produced by a collective of artists, musicians and creatives specialising in the second-generation graffiti movement. Expect work by Dicy, Will Barras, Paris, Xenz, China Mike, Vermin, Mr Jago and, of course, Bristol’s most famous artist, Banksy.



LEAF Open Farm Sunday, nationwide
7 June
Every year, farmers across the UK open their gates for Farm Sunday, so people can discover what it means to be a farmer and learn about the fabulous work they do. Each event is unique with activities based on the farm’s individual story. Join a farm walk, nature trail, tractor and trailer ride, go pond dipping, shop at a mini farmers’ market or simply set up a picnic.



Isle of Wight Festival

11 – 14 June

The award-winning Isle of Wight Festival is steeped in history and famed for mixing iconic legendary artists with the hottest up and coming acts. Year on year, 55,000 stylish, free-spirited festivalgoers come together in a beautiful location, for one of the most distinctive events of the season. With the best atmosphere around and a friendly vibe, it feels like the holiday has begun as soon as you set sail across the Solent.



RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Derbyshire
11 – 14 June
Hosted in the spectacular grounds of Chatsworth House, the show offers immersive horticultural experiences alongside show gardens, amazing floral displays, and plenty of garden inspiration and retail opportunities.


UEFA Festival for Euro 2020, London

12 June – 12 July

London is one of 12 cities hosting games for the EUFA European Championship – EURO 2020. The tournament runs from 12 June to 12 July, with the first of seven games (including the semi-finals and final) being held at Wembley Stadium on 14 June. New for UEFA EURO 2020 is the UEFA Festival; Londoners and visitors can take part in the celebrations through a series of planned cultural projects, community events, the Football Village, the UEFA Euro Trophy Tour and at a range of fan zones, where families, neighbours and fans can come together to cheer on the tournament. Fan zones are subject to consultation, but the Queen’s Field area of Greenwich Park is one likely candidate.

www.london.gov.uk ; www.uefa.com


Queen’s Birthday/Trooping the Colour, London
13 June
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 1,400 officers and men on parade in ceremonial uniform, 200 horses and 400 musicians. The Queen always attends the ceremony, which takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall.


MLB London Series 20

13 – 14 June

Major League Baseball (MLB) takes over the London Stadium when North America’s most historic pro sports league visits the capital for the second time. The St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs go head to head in the two-game series.



London Fashion Week Men’s, London
13 – 15 June
The best of British menswear design comes to the capital for the second time in the year, with catwalk shows, events, and presentations.

Royal Ascot, Berkshire

16 – 20 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; there’s more than £6.5m in prize money on offer. Tradition, pageantry, fashion and style are all on show as around 30 races take place over five days.



Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

18 – 21 June

The popular outdoor concert evenings at the Unesco World Heritage Site have seen performances from huge stars such as Kylie Minogue, Gladys Knight, Tears for Fears and Ms Lauren Hill.



Jane Austen Regency Week, Hampshire

20 – 28 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.



Vélo Birmingham & Midlands

21 June

The 100-mile route takes 18,000 riders of all abilities from the heart of Birmingham city centre via closed West Midlands countryside roads to Coventry, where riders cycle on the cobbled roads surrounding the city’s historic cathedral, and back again*. Vélo Birmingham & Midlands is the only mass participation cycling event in the world that boasts two city centres as part of its route. A shorter 44-mile route will also be part of the programme.

* Note: this is based on the 2019 route; the 2020 route is subject to change.


Stonehenge Summer Solstice, Wiltshire
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.


Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival, Wiltshire

22 – 28 June

The largest festival in the UK dedicated entirely to history takes place within 70 acres of an area of outstanding natural beauty in Broad Chalke, near Salisbury. It’s a unique blend of talks, discussions and debates alongside interactive living history, through-the-ages encampments and stunning air displays. 


Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Oxfordshire

26 – 28 June

Blenheim Palace Flower Show celebrates the best of gardening, home and lifestyle. Expect to see specialist plants and impressive floral displays, celebrity and expert-led gardening talks, a floral arrangement competition, show gardens, food, drink and more than 300 exhibitors selling everything from plants and crafts to hot tubs and Arctic cabins.



Bradford Literature Festival, Yorkshire

26 June – 5 July

With a host of world-renowned authors, poets, musicians and artists at its core, Bradford Literature Festival is hailed as one of the most inspirational festivals in the UK. With over 500 events packed into iconic city centre venues across 10 days, it’s a celebration of the written and spoken word in all its wonderful forms.



Bristol Pride Festival
26 June – 11 July
The highlight of this week-long LGBT festival is Bristol Pride Day (11 July in 2019), which starts with the Pride Parade, leading to a huge outdoor multi-stage music festival. Free to attend, the celebrations feature local and international talent on the main stage, plus a cabaret stage. The celebrations carry on after dark, with Pride Night.


Jane Austen Festival Regency Costumed Summer Ball, Bath

27 June

Prepare to promenade in your Regency finery at the annual Jane Austen Festival Costumed Summer Ball. Join fellow Jane Austen enthusiasts in one of Bath’s most stately Georgian buildings for elegant and refined Regency dancing and dining.



Shrewsbury Food Festival, Shropshire

27 – 28 June

Shrewsbury Food Festival has over 200 food, drink and artisan craft stalls, two live music stages, cookery demos, hands-on cookery classes, masterclasses, and tons for the kids to enjoy including kids’ cookery.



World Egg Throwing Championships, Lincolnshire

28 June

Held as part of Swaton Vintage Day, the World Egg Throwing Championships challenges contestant to toss eggs around in all manner of ways, including using homemade trebuchets. Distances to be achieved start at 30 metres but can be extended up to 150 metres in the knock-out competition. Equally hilarious is the Russian Egg Roulette where two participants select from five hard boiled eggs and one raw egg and smash them onto their own foreheads.



Wimbledon Tennis Championships, London

29 June – 12 July

Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, and certainly the longest-running, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877 and tickets are always in fierce demand. It’s steeped in tradition, strawberries and cream, and the world’s best tennis players. The championships 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.



Kynren, County Durham

Late June – mid September (date TBC)

Launched in 2016, Auckland Castle’s Kynren has become a summer staple. The movie-like open-air night spectacular brings to life 2,000 years of Britain's history, from the Roman period to post-World War II. It takes its 8,000-strong 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 more than 1,000 professionally trained volunteers.



July 2020


Bristol Comedy Garden
July (date TBC)

The Comedy Garden’s big top brings five nights (and one afternoon) of fun and big-name comedians to leafy Queen Square. Comedy highlights of previous editions include king of the one-liners Milton Jones, sitcom star and stand-up Josh Widdicombe, Aisling Bea, Rob Delaney, Ed Byrne, Nish Kumar, Sara Pascoe, and the award-wining Yuriko Kotani among others.


National Parks Week, nationwide

July (date TBC)

England’s 10 national parks do their bit for National Parks Week with tonnes of events to celebrate everything that’s great about the nation’s “breathing spaces”. There’s a different theme every year, and all sorts of activities take place, from cycling and walking to stargazing – and many of them are free.



Kew the Music, Surrey
July (date TBC)
Set within the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this glorious week-long festival of summer picnic concerts offers stunning summer’s evenings with an impressive line-up. Recent headliners include The Human League, Lewis Capaldi, 2CELLOS, Passenger, Mary J Blige and a walk down memory lane with Haçienda Classical. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink, or to enjoy the open-air bars and tasty street food stalls.
www.kewthemusic.org ; www.kew.org

SummerTyne Americana Festival, Newcastle

July (date TBC)

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

July (date TBC)

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



Scarborough Seafest Maritime Festival, Yorkshire
July (date TBC)

This celebration of the Yorkshire Coast's amazing maritime heritage takes place on West Pier, South Bay, Scarborough. More than 20,000 people attend for the free live music, beer tent and over 40 food and craft stalls. The mouth-watering street food stalls showcase food from around the region and the world, and there are live cookery demonstrations by celebrated Yorkshire chefs. There's also a chance to see artists at work in West Pier Studios.


Greenwich Music Time, London
July (date TBC)

Set within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College – Sir Christopher Wren's twin-domed riverside masterpiece overlooking the Thames – and lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf, Greenwich Music Time is an unforgettable way to see artists such as Emeli Sande, Sir Tom Jones and Steps.



Stratford River Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon

July (date TBC)

Stratford’s largest free family friendly event welcomes over 70,000 visitors, with market stalls, entertainment and events both on and off the river. There will be live music and dance, local ales and Pimm's, an artisan craft market, and a spectacular illuminated parade of boats and a grand firework display.



Upfest, Bristol

July 2020 (date TBC)

Lovers of modern art can put their finger on the pulse of Bristol’s incredible graffiti scene during Upfest. Back for 2020 after taking a fallow year in 2019, Europe’s biggest street art and graffiti festival is set to feature even more inspirational pieces around the city. With over 300 artists giving a brand new look to 40 venues, there will be plenty to inspire when exploring Bristol’s charming streets.



Summer of Outdoor Cinema, Plymouth
July – September (date TBC)
Plymouth Arts Centre usually compiles a show-stopping line-up of fabulous films for this annual outdoor cinema programme that makes the most of Plymouth’s exceptional coastal location. New and classic films are shown at a range of waterfront locations, such as the city’s Grade II-listed art deco Tinside Lido, historic Royal William Yard and the woodland setting of Mount Edgcumbe.



The BBC Proms, London

July – September (date TBC)

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 currently 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.



Henley Royal Regatta, Oxfordshire

1 – 5 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 holds over 200 world-class races. The races are head-to-head knock-out competitions, sweated out over a course of one mile 550 yards (2,112m) from Temple Island upstream towards Henley Bridge.



RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, Surrey

7 – 12 July

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



Goodwood Festival of Speed, Sussex

9 –12 July

The Goodwood Motor Circuit along the Sussex coast near Chichester is the venue for the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, the largest car culture event in the world. Around 150,000 visitors attend three 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. 



Bradford Festival, Yorkshire

10 – 12 July

A vibrant, colourful and multicultural programme that brings the very best international, British and local theatre, art, music and dance right into the heart of the Bradford



Liverpool Biennial 2020

11 July – 25 October

The UK’s largest contemporary art festival will again bring dozens of artists from around the world to create new work in Liverpool. They have a new leadership team with Director Fatoş Üstek and 2020 Curator Manuela Mascoso – both very good interviewees for any culture or arts opportunities.



Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate

14 – 16 July

The iconic Great Yorkshire Show is one of the biggest agricultural events in the English calendar. It’s a celebration of food, countryside and agriculture with something for everyone while keeping farming at its heart. Every year, more than 130,000 visitors and over 8,500 animals converge on the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate to compete, socialise and celebrate. The action-packed programme includes music, food and country pursuits.



UK Pride, NewcastleGateshead

17 – 19 July

Newcastle’s annual celebration of LGBT life on Tyneside is already one of the biggest and most diverse free events in the North East, but in 2020 it will also act as UK Pride. Expect an even bigger blast of music, fun, education and celebration than usual. The theme is 2020 vision, which will focus on looking to the future to see the positive changes that can be made to make the world a more welcoming place for LGBT+ people.



Bristol Harbour Festival
17 – 19 July

One of the biggest public festivals in the country, Bristol Harbour Festival is a family-friendly, must-do event for anyone seeking a free-of-charge summer festival. Comedy, aerial acts, circus performers, a dance village, live music, markets and general maritime fun awaits.


Fantasy Forest, Cotswolds

18 – 19 July

Following a successful launch in 2019, Fantasy Forest festival returns to the beautiful grounds of Sudeley Castle in 2020. Participants can dress up in their favourite costume from Socplay, Steampunk, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Medieval, Gothic, Pirates – whoever they want to be – and immerse themselves in another (highly Instagrammable) world, with fantasy-related shows, entertainment, stages, competitions, lectures, workshops, traders and more. Limited camping spots are available; the festival is the first time it will be possible for visitors to spend the night on Sudeley Castle grounds.


Formula 1 British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Northamptonshire

17 – 19 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.


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


RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire

22 – 26 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.



Glorious Goodwood, West Sussex
28 July – 1 August
Enjoy picnics, evening jazz and famous faces alongside flat racing at the Qatar Goodwood Festival – better known as Glorious Goodwood. This small and sophisticated horseracing event held every year at the course on the Earl of March’s country estate near Chichester is one of the highlights of the flat-racing season. 



Cambridge Folk Festival

30 July – 2 August

Cambridge Folk Festival takes place in the beautiful parkland at Cherry Hinton Hall. You can expect performances from renowned folk, country, blues and roots artists, as well as music workshops, street theatre, real ale, bars, kids’ ceilidh and storytelling.




August 2020


Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House, London

August (date TBC)

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.



World Gravy Wresting Championships, Lancashire
August (date TBC)

The World Gravy Wrestling Championships in Rossendale is one of the world’s quirkiest competitions. Teams competing for this oddball 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.



England’s Medieval Festival, East Sussex

August (date TBC)

Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex is the fairy-tale setting for a totally different festival experience. Expect realistic battles, jousting competitions, archery, music, grand parades, storytelling, authentic crafts, medieval banquets and hog roasts, drinking, shopping and general day-in-the-life ephemera of our medieval ancestors. Highlights include an evening torch-lit procession and the infamous Mud Theatre. Wizards, jesters, knights, dragons and princesses await the kids – and adults. Guests can come for the day or enjoy medieval glamping, camping, or even a real bed in the onsite B&B.



Brighton Pride

August (date TBC)

Britain's biggest Pride festival kick offs 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, with more than 200,000 people participating. The party carries on with The Pride Festival in Preston Park, featuring main stage entertainment, dance tents, cabaret, a funfair, a family area, and a market. The Pride Village Party brings the festivities to St James Street and the city's iconic seafront Marine Parade.



Classic Ibiza at Burghley House, Lincolnshire

1 August

Classic Balearic beats take a trip to Burghley House for a brand new live music event in 2020. Classic Ibiza takes people on a typical night out in Ibiza – set in the beautiful grounds of Burghley House. The evening starts with sundowners and ambient tunes from the likes of Massive Attack and William Orbit played by the Urban Soul Orchestra, then builds to a crescendo of laser lights and a Goldierocks set pumping out dance anthems from Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Underworld and others. The event replaces Burghley Film Festival.

www.classicibiza.co.uk ; www.burghley.co.uk


Leeds Pride

2 August

A must-not miss event on Yorkshire’s LGBT calendar, Leeds Pride is the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire. Thousands flock to the city for a diverse line up of acts at Millennium Square, a march through the centre of Leeds and the biggest parties until the early hours.



Hyde Hall Flower Show, Essex
5 – 9 August

Hyde Hall Flower Show is a floral extravaganza in spectacular surroundings attended by about 27,000 visitors. A firm favourite in the gardening calendar, there’s a shopping emporium, floral art marquee, food village, live music, and glorious and colourful displays of blooms by specialist nurseries and garden trade stands – including many fresh from medal-winning success at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows.


Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

6 – 9 August

Europe's largest hot-air balloon event sees more than 130 hot-air balloons take to the skies at dusk and dawn from Ashton Court Estate's beautiful grounds. The free event is an incredible spectacle and attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year. Visitors can also enjoy helicopter and balloon rides and family entertainment, including acoustic music and fairground rides. (Dates provisional and subject to change.)



25th Chilli Fiesta at West Dean, West Sussex

7 – 9 August

The UK’s biggest chilli festival is a hot mix of live DJs and Latin music, outdoor cinema, chilli-themed shopping stalls, cookery and gardening demos and of course, spicy foods! With onsite camping, a vintage fun fair and heaps of children’s activities, it’s a firm favourite in many families’ diaries.



Cowes Week, Isle of Wight

8 – 15 August

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.



British Firework Championships, Plymouth

12 – 13 August

Visitors from around the world come to see six of the country’s top pyrotechnic companies compete to be crowned champion. The Championships are spread over two nights and put on spectacular displays best viewed from Plymouth’s waterfront. The 2020 show promises to be bigger and better than ever, with plans to link up with the Mayflower 400 commemorations.



Waterperry Opera Festival, Oxfordshire

13 – 16 August

The team behind the Waterperry Opera Festival returns to historic Waterperry House near Oxford for a third season with a varied and innovative programme that offers accessible and socially relevant productions that aim to bridge the gap between performer and spectator. Immersive shows take place indoors and out, with headline shows taking place in the amphitheatre.



Eastbourne Airshow, East Sussex

13 – 16 August

Two miles of flying displays along Eastbourne’s seafront mean huge crowds can enjoy four days of awe-inspiring aerial action at the free-to-attend airshow. There’s entertainment on the ground too.



Shrewsbury Flower Show, Shropshire

14 – 15 August

TV personalities, celebrity chefs, singers and arena acts entertain the crowds on each day of the annual Shrewsbury Flower Show, which culminates with a magnificent firework display. The show is one of the country’s premier flower show events, attracting top exhibitors from all over the country.



The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

15 – 16 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 attracts around 25,000 people and features live music, star chefs and children’s entertainers alongside all the garlic!



The Whitby Regatta, Yorkshire

15 – 17 August

The Whitby Regatta is probably the oldest sea regatta on the northeast coast. Over the course of the event visitors can watch exciting yacht and rowing races, as well as a variety of other entertainments. The event finishes with a prize presentation and a spectacular firework display.



RideLondon, London-Surrey
16 August
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 cyclists race.


Clacton Airshow, Essex

27 – 28 August

The seafronts are transformed into a fun-filled event site and viewing area for impressive aerobatic displays.  There’s evening flying too.



Reading Festival & Leeds Festival

28 – 30 August

Britain's premier rock music festival features global acts uniquely performing at two locations over three days allowing 100,000 revellers at Reading in Berkshire and more than 80,000 at Leeds in Yorkshire to experience global rock superstars.

www.readingfestival.com ; www.leedsfestival.com


Notting Hill Carnival, London

30 – 31 August

London’s famous free Caribbean festival and the largest street party in Europe is packed 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, and there are hundreds of Caribbean food stalls.



Leeds West Indian Carnival, Yorkshire

31 August

Expect jaw-dropping costumes, infectious tropical rhythms, mouth-watering food and entertainment for everyone at Europe’s longest-running authentic Caribbean carnival parade. Held annually on the last Monday in August, this stunning display of colour joyfully winds its way through the streets of Leeds.



Blackpool Illuminations, Lancashire
Late-August – November (date TBC)
This annual light show has been a major part of Blackpool’s attraction 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.



September 2020


Leeds International Beer Festival, Yorkshire

September (date TBC)

Now into its eighth year, the Leeds International Beer Festival is an annual event in the heart of the city centre that celebrates craft beers produced through the UK and overseas.



London Design Festival

September (date TBC)

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


Egremont Crab Fair & World Gurning Championships, Cumbria

September (date TBC)

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.



Last Night of the Proms & BBC Proms in the Park, London

September (date TBC)

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 in Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park, 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.


Derby Festé, Derby
September (date TBC)

Established as one of the largest urban outdoor festivals in the UK, this eye-catching street festival offers locals and visitors alike the chance to enjoy large-scale live events packed full of spectacular stage performances, street theatre, music, dance and film. Expect live performances from local, national and international acts and spectacles such as giant, fire-breathing robotic dragons roaming the city’s streets.

Lincoln Book Festival, Lincoln

September (date TBC)

Hosted by The Collection, an award-winning archaeology museum in the heart of Lincoln, the Lincoln Book Festival is the region’s premier literature festival. The event is held over a week or so, with talks each evening from acclaimed authors who are specialists in their field. 



Bath Children’s Literature Festival
September (date TBC)

The philosophy behind Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival is simple: entertain children and encourage them to read. It presents more than 80 public events, from book readings and craft activities to quizzes and games, and welcomes 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 to Bath. Past line-up favourites have included Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson, David Walliams, Michael Morpurgo, Judith Kerr and Shirley Hughes.


York Food and Drink Festival
September (date TBC)

One of the biggest foodie festivals in Britain, York Food and Drink Festival celebrates the best local and regional food and drink. There’s 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 Mural Festival

1 – 13 September

London will become a vast canvas for the inaugural London Mural Festival, when a minimum of 20 new large-scale murals will be painted by local, national and international talent across the capital. The two-week programme includes talks, workshops, film screenings, gallery shows and street art tours, culminating with 100+ artists painting alongside live music, DJs and a series of parties for a weekend of activity at Here East and Hackney Wick in East London (5 – 6 September).



Freedom Festival, Hull
2 – 6 September

Hull’s flagship cultural event, Freedom Festival, celebrates one of the city’s most famous sons, anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. A firm fixture in the national and international cultural calendar, the city thrums with events and shows for the whole family, weaving together street theatre, dance and acrobatics alongside community events, debates and exhibitions.


British Science Festival, Essex

8 –12 September

Europe’s longest-standing science festival is organised by the British Science Association. Each year it brings together hundreds of Britain’s top scientists and journalists with tens of thousands of members of the public. The Festival lasts over six days and events range from lectures and debates for adults, to hands-on activity for schools and families, to comedy, theatre and expeditions. It’s held in a different place each year, most recently Brighton in 2017, Hull in 2018 and Coventry in 2019; Chelmsford has been chosen as the 2020 location.



Goodwood Revival, West Sussex
11 – 13 September

Each September the famous 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 band to jazz, and boogie-woogie to rock ‘n’ roll – all play a part in adding to the unique nostalgic atmosphere.



Heritage Open Days, nationwide

11 – 20 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. 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.



Jane Austen Festival, Bath

11 – 20 September

Every year hundreds of Jane Austen fans descend on the city of Bath for one of the biggest Regency re-enactments and gatherings of Jane Austen fans in the world. Lasting for 10 days, the annual event includes theatre, music, food, a ball, workshops, readings, guided walks, dances and the famous Regency Promenade. 2020 is the 20th Jane Austen Festival in Bath.



Southampton International Boat Show,
11 – 20 September
Discover the latest, accessible, affordable and flexible ways to enjoy boating and watersports with a whole range of opportunities to get out on the water at the Show.



Great North Run Weekend, NewcastleGateshead

13 September

The iconic half marathon starts in the city centre, winds past several of the area’s landmarks, and ends at the sea. The Great North Run celebrates its 40th birthday in 2020.



Roald Dahl Day, Buckinghamshire

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.


Harrogate Flower Show, Yorkshire
18 – 20 September
People flock to both the spring and autumn Harrogate Flower Shows from far and wide; together, they’re one of the country’s most prestigious gardening shows. With show gardens, street scene gardens, talks and demos to the ever-popular giant vegetable competition, the September show at Newby Hall is the place to go for autumnal and year-round garden inspiration.


London Fashion Week

18 – 22 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.



October 2020


East Midlands Food Festival, Leicestershire

October (date TBC)

The East Midlands Food Festival is known as one of the top regional food events in the country. Around 200 stands showcase some of the region’s finest food and drink, alongside a Street Food area serving hot food from around the world. It’s based in Melton Mowbray, so there are plenty of pork pies, of course!



World Conker Championships, Northamptonshire

October (date TBC)

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, where more than 300 competitors attempt to become the King or Queen of conkers. 



Lombard Rally Bath

October (date TBC)

Relive the magic of the 1970s and 1980s rallies at the Lombard Rally Bath. See or drive classic Lombard Rally stags in a period rally or classic car and swap stories with star drivers at the Rally Forum and dinner.



BFI London Film Festival, London

October (date TBC)

Organised with the British Film Institute in Southbank, the event screens around 300 films, documentaries and shorts in the capital from around 70 countries. Highlights include 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.



Warwick Words History Festival, Warwickshire
October (date TBC)

Set in the historic town of Warwick, this festival of words written and spoken about history brings together authors, guest speakers and readers to celebrate the rich history and literature of Warwickshire, as well as showcase history-themed topics from further afield.


The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Gloucestershire
October (date TBC)

Every autumn, this vibrant spa town is transformed into a book lover’s dream as almost 1,000 of the world’s finest writers, actors, politicians, poets and leading opinion formers celebrate the joy of the written word. One of the UK’s oldest and most distinguished literary festivals, the event is widely seen by the UK’s publishing industry as the launchpad for its biggest books, with more than 500 talks, workshops and performances touching upon subjects as diverse as history, politics, sport, food and fashion.


Lightpool Festival, Blackpool
October (date TBC)

Blackpool’s award-winning Lightpool Festival is a spectacular mix of live performance, light-based art installations, the return of the illuminated tram parade and a special collaboration with BBC Philharmonic. It usually takes place over the October half term.

Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Cumbria
16 – 18 October

This is the only comic art event of its kind in the UK. Based in Kendal, the festival celebrates great international comic art through displays from independent publishers, retailors and creators from around the world, as well as a variety of fun and interesting events and workshops for people of all ages. Date subject to change.


November 2019 & 2020


Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, London

2 November 2019 – 3 May 2020

Visitors can celebrate 100 years since the ground-breaking discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb with a visit to the Saatchi Gallery, which will be exhibiting more than 150 pieces from the world-famous site in Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh. Featuring 60 artefacts that have never been seen outside of Egypt before, this is the last opportunity to admire these fascinating relics before they are returned to their rightful home, making it a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.



Illuminate, Plymouth

28 November – 1 December 2019

The official start of the Mayflower 400 commemorative year will be marked by the annual Thanksgiving and Illuminate events in Plymouth’s historic Barbican in November 2019, when lights, parades, music and entertainment will pay tribute to the UK’s links with the USA.  

illuminate-festival.co.uk ; www.mayflower400uk.org


Bonfire Night, nationwide 
5 November 2019, 2020
Britain’s night skies light up with blazing bonfires and sparkling fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. This unique British tradition, also known as 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 nights. Some of the most spectacular take place in Sheffield, Lewes and Battle in Sussex, Leeds Castle in Kent, Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, Segedunum Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall and Ottery St Mary in Devon.


London Jazz Festival, London

15 – 24 November 2019

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 take place at Southbank Centre.



Thought Bubble, Leeds

4 – 10 November 2019

The UK’s largest annual event celebrating graphic storytelling and sequential art in all its forms covers everything from superheroes to independent and small press comics.



Leeds International Film Festival

6 – 21 November 2019

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.



FilmBath Festival, Bath

7 – 17 November 2019

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



Bath Mozartfest

8 – 16 November 2019

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.



Christmas at Chatsworth, Derbyshire
9 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Come Christmastime, magnificent Chatsworth House is bedecked with beautiful, themed decorations. Past themes include The Nutcracker, Alice’s Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia and Deck the Halls; this year the theme follows explorers such as Phileas Fogg and Amelia Earhart on a festive adventure around the world. Whatever the theme, you can bet it will be lavish, sparkling and full of Christmas cheer. There’s usually a Christmas Market, Christmas decoration workshops, a masquerade ball, Christmas gourmet evenings, and family friendly crafts and nativity scenes in the farmyard too.


Festival of Light at Longleat, Wiltshire
9 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Longleat’s annual Festival of Light transforms the park into a winter wonderland. Each year there’s a different theme: in 2017 it was the magic of storytelling; 2018, a fantastic voyage; this time, it’s myths and legends from across the world. Selected dates from 9 November 2019 to 5 January 2020.


Skate at Somerset House, London

13 November 2019 – 12 January 2020

Skate at Somerset House is one of the capital’s ultimate festive experiences. During the day, visitors can skate in the beautiful splendour of Somerset House’s neoclassical courtyard and, after dark, the rink hosts some of the best international clubs and festivals at exclusive Club Nights. For après-skate, the Skate Lounge offers delicious rink-side refreshments. 2019 sees the first Skate all-nighter (7 December 2019).


Kendal Mountain Festival, Cumbria
14 – 17 November 2019

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 10th anniversary, Durham City

14 – 17 November 2019

The Lumiere light festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Durham with its most ambitious festival yet. A selection of favourites from the previous five festivals will be on show alongside some brand new artworks.



Christmas at Kew, London

20 November 2019 – 5 January 2020

Come Christmastime, Kew Gardens never fail to deliver a sparkling after-dark experience and a truly festive atmosphere. The winter trail is festooned with a million twinkling pea lights and the Laser Garden makes a wonder of refracting lines of light. There’s also a vintage fairground, Santa and his elves and plenty of aromatic, seasonal food and drink. The trail takes a magical new route through the Temperate House in 2019.



World’s Biggest Liar, Cumbria
21 November 2019
This annual yarn-spinning 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

21 November 2019 – 5 January 2020

A true family favourite, Winter Wonderland returns to London's Hyde Park every year with an ice rink, big top shows, the observation wheel and a huge Christmas market. There are gentle rides for younger children too.



Christmas at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
22 November 2019 – 5 January 2020
Blenheim Palace puts on a fantastic festive show at Christmas. The seasonal decorations are guaranteed to be magical and there’s always plenty going on. For 2019, expect a whimsical Alice in Wonderland-themed trail, late-night shopping in the East Courtyard gift shop, spiced cider and mulled wine, a Christmas Crafts Fair, visiting choirs from local schools, Christmas-themed workshops, singing trees and beautiful light displays. Provisional dates for Christmas at Blenheim for 2020 are 20 November 2020 – 1 January 2021.



Bath Christmas Market

28 November – 15 December 2019

Bath Christmas Market brings the city’s picturesque streets and squares to life with festive cheer. Immerse yourself in this magical festive shopping experience and be sure to find the perfect present for friends and family or perhaps even a little something to treat yourself.


Christmas at Jarrold, Norwich

November 2020

Witness a very special outdoor event celebrating 250 years of Jarrold at Christmas. Jarrold is the only independent department store in Norwich and has one of the largest toy departments in Norwich.



Last ATP Finals in London

November 2020

London’s 12-year-long tenure as the host of the ATP Finals ends in 2020. The annual men’s tennis tournament will move to Turin in 2021.



December 2019 & 2020


The Great Christmas Pudding Race, London & Brighton

7 December 2019

One of the wackiest races you’ll ever see, teams from schools or companies! Competitors aged from 14 to 70 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. 



40th anniversary show for Norwich Puppet Theatre

19 – 26 December 2019

Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of only three permanent puppet theatres in the country, kicks off their 40th anniversary celebrations with a very special show for all the family: Beastly Belle is a new twist on an old tale, inspired by 1920s and 1930s cinema. The show will go on tour through spring and autumn 2020.



NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival and New Year’s Eve Carnival
31 December 2019, 2020

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 firework display. There’s also a fireworks spectacular at midnight.



Enchanted Parks, NewcastleGateshead
Early December 2020 (date TBC)
Enchanted Parks is expected to return in 2020, after taking a break for 2019. A themed trail of art installations with lights, performances, sculptures and projections transforms Gateshead’s Saltwell Park into a winter wonderland. Enchanted Parks is part of Light up the North, a series of seven light festivals in seven cities in north England.

And beyond…