What's On 2017

Fri, 02/06/2017 - 14:19

Continuing from 2016

Identity and Dress, Nottinghamshire
5 November 2016 – 8 January
Sophie Ploeg’s exhibition is a series of detailed portraiture, inspired by the early history of the Welbeck Estate and the luxurious fabrics and embellishments seen in many paintings in The Portland Collection. These fabrics, which could only be afforded by Elizabethan and Jacobean aristocracy in the 16th and 17th centuries, were so magnificent that they were often the focus within portraits. Ploeg’s portraits show distinctly modern sitters dressed in costumes with historical echoes made or collected by the artist. Sophie Ploeg was the winner of the 2013 BP Portrait Travel Award.

Heavenly Lights: The Untold Story of Stained-glass Artist Margaret Agnes Rope, Shropshire  
Until 15 January
Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery’s ‘Heavenly Lights’ exhibition tells the untold story of one of the great female artists of the early twentieth century. Rope’s distinctly personal work is characterised by dazzling colours, startling modernism, and a spiritual vibrancy. Born in 1882 and bought up in Shrewsbury, Rope produced stained glass that’s found in churches and cathedrals on three continents, and which is now also collected by American museums.

Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis, Norfolk
Until 22 January
The first-ever comprehensive exhibition to celebrate exclusively the life and work of pioneering British photographer Olive Edis (1876-1955) ends in January. Although relatively unknown, Olive Edis was an important photographer of the first half of the 20th century and the first-ever accredited female war photographer. The breadth of her subjects, from British royalty and aristocracy to the craggy faces of the fisherman of north Norfolk, together with her highly atmospheric photographs of the battlefields of France and Flanders taken during her time as an official First World War war photographer give her incredible status. This exhibition, in Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, is part of the on-going Olive Edis project, which aims to share with the world Edis’ inspirational life and work.

Camden Town Group: Art for the Edwardian Era, Woking
Until 22 January
‘Camden Town Group: Art for the Edwardian Era’ showcases historically significant work by the Camden Town Group artists, known for their depiction of social and cultural life in Britain in the years leading up to the First World War. The exhibition draws from works generously lent from the permanent collection at Leeds Art Gallery. Leeds Art Gallery own the largest public collection of Camden Town Group works outside Tate in London and this is the first time highlights of this collection will be on display in a regional art gallery. 

Picasso Portraits, London
Until 5 February
Picasso’s portraits epitomise the variety and innovation of his art. This major exhibition, in the National Portrait Gallery, of over eighty works focuses on the artist’s portrayal of family, friends and lovers and reveals his creative processes as he moved freely between drawing from life, humorous caricature and expressive painting from memory. On display are portraits from all periods of Picasso’s career and in all media, from the realist paintings of his boyhood to his later ultra-spontaneous canvases.

You say you want a revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-70, London
Until 26 February
A major exhibition from the V&A, ‘You say you want a revolution?’ explores the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s upon life today. Covering everything from global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing and communality to neoliberalist politics, it investigates the upheaval, explosive sense of freedom and legal changes that took place during five revolutionary years – and how the world we live in today has been vitally influenced by them.

JRR Tolkien in Staffordshire
Until 27 February
This year-long touring exhibition focuses on JRR Tolkien’s Staffordshire connections, particularly the time The Lord of the Rings author spent in Staffordshire during the First World War. Copies of original artwork, such as domestic scenes and landscapes drawn in Staffordshire by Tolkien in 1918, are included along with photographs specially loaned by the Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library. The exhibition will be in Lichfield Library (19 November 2016 – 8 January 2017), then Stafford Library (10 January – 27 February). Admission is free.

Portrait of the Artist, Buckingham Palace, London
4 November 2016 – 23 April 2017
The first ever exhibition to focus on images of artists in the Royal Collection includes self-portraits by world-renowned painters such as Lucian Freud and David Hockney, as well as representations of artists by their friends, relatives and pupils. Spanning the 15th to the 21st centuries, it examines the role of monarchs in commissioning, collecting and displaying portraits of artists.

Tracey Emin’s My Bed, Liverpool
Until 3 September
Tracey Emin’s renowned My Bed is on display in Tate Liverpool – the first time it’s been on show in the north of England. The iconic artwork is being shown alongside other drawings by the artist and drawings by the Romantic visionary poet and artist William Blake, drawing parallels between the two artists’ concerns with birth, death and spirituality.

Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation, Brighton
Until 4 June
This display at the Spotlight Gallery in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery tells the story of experimental film-making in Brighton and Hove since 1896, exploring its success and significance nationally and internationally. Highlights include rare objects such as ground-breaking cameras made in the city; a film by key avant-garde director Jeff Keen (1923-2012), who was based in Brighton and began to make an impact with Dada-influenced work in the 1950s; and work by Ben Rivers, a leading contemporary artist-filmmaker who co-founded the Brighton Cinematheque in 1996.

A History of Fashion in 100 Objects, Bath
Until 1 January 2018
The Fashion Museum’s exhibition follows fashion through the ages in just 100 of their star objects from their world-class collection, dating from the 1500s to present day. It features garments and fashion accessories that epitomised the look of history across the eras, or ensembles that made an impression and hit the headlines. The collection showcases the finest pieces of aesthetic culture from fashion designers such as Christian Dior and McQueen, as well as period dress from Jane Austen's Regency England, and the dress worn by Joseph Chamberlain's wife, Mary.



New Year’s Day Parade, London
1 January
With more than 500,000 spectators and 8,000 spectators, the annual New Year’s Day Parade in central London is the biggest event of its kind in the world. In 2017, the theme will be Lights, Camera, Action. The parade leaves Green Park tube station at midday and travels to Parliament via Piccadilly, Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.

Made in Hull
The first of four seasons that make up Hull’s year as the UK City of Culture 2017, Made in Hull will showcase the local talent and vibrant cultural life, ideas and creativity of the city and across the north. Hull’s turn in the cultural spotlight will kick off with a spectacular seven-day opening event, also called Made in Hull. Large-scale projections and illuminations will bring the historic city centre’s buildings and skyline to life and, alongside moving images and live performances, will tell Hull’s story of the last 70 years. The first night will end with a fireworks display set to a bespoke audio-visual soundtrack over the Humber river. The other seasons will be Roots & Routes (April-June), Freedom (July-September) and Tell the World (October-December).

London Boat Show
6-15 January
The best the marine world has to offer will be on show at the ExCel centre for the 10-day London Boat Show. There will be live music, fashion shows and the chance to try out the latest boating and watersports trends on water and on dry land in the Watersports Park. Eye-catching yachts will be moored in the Dream Lodge Marina & Boating Lake, alongside places to eat and drink.

Slapstick Festival, Bristol 
18-22 January 
The UK’s biggest festival of silent and classic screen comedy is an annual celebration of visual silent and classic on-screen comedy. The festival dives into the film archives of the silent era, pairing their findings with live music performed by world-class orchestras and introductions by some of the world’s best comedians and film experts. More recent comedy is thrown in for good measure too. The 13th edition will open with the Silent Comedy Gala, hosted by Rory Bremner.

Magic Lantern Festival, London
19 January – 26 February
Traditionally, the Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year (28 January in 2017), and London’s Magical Lantern Festival blends old and new eastern traditions around this important occasion. Set in the restored 18th-century Chiswick House Gardens, the second annual Magical Lantern Festival adds virtual reality gaming to a programme that includes a dazzling display of more than 50 illuminated installations, an ice rink, a fairground, food, drink and Chinese bamboo lantern riddles. 2017’s festival theme is Explore The Silk Road, allowing scope for the Houses of Parliament, India, Persia, Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt’s pyramids to be reimagined in lights for a 75-minute-long cultural journey along the Lantern Trail. A huge fire rooster will crow in the end of winter and the new Chinese Year of the Rooster.

Obsession Festival at Northcote in Lancashire
20 January – 5 February
Established since 2001 as one of Europe's premier gastronomic events, Obsession is Northcote’s annual homage to the finest food and wine which hosts guest chefs from all over the world. Each chef takes over the Northcote kitchen for the night and challenges themselves to produce a unique Obsession Menu for the evening's guests in a food festival that is a showcase for great chefs, a celebration of great food and wine, and a meeting of friends.

New solo exhibition: Lubaina Himid’s Navigation Charts, Spike Island, Bristol
20 January – 26 March 2017
Spike Island, Bristol’s international centre for the development of contemporary art and design presents this major new solo exhibition – a collaboration with Modern Art Oxford and Nottingham Contemporary – which focuses on migration, labour and creativity. Born in Zanzibar and based in Preston, Himid is a painter and writer, as well as a staunch supporter of black artists and the contribution they have made to British art over the last three decades. Anchored by Naming the Money (2004), a spectacular installation of 100 life-size, painted figures that has been shown only once before in its entirety, the presentation brings into dialogue major works from the past 20 years, honing in on Himid’s theatrical use of cut-outs, colour and pattern. Entrance to the Spike Island show is free.

The Titanic and White Star Line exhibition at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel, Plymouth
21 – 23 January
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Titanic enthusiast Nigel Voisey, a less well-known aspect of the tragic sinking of the Titanic is being brought to light. Records from the time show that some of the survivors among the Titanic’s crew took refuge in the city of Plymouth directly following the disaster, and it is this connection that has inspired a new exhibition about the cruise liner. The exhibition will showcase a fascinating selection of artefacts and memorabilia relating to RMS Titanic and White Star Line, the shipping company that created her. The items on display – which will include White Star dishes and cutlery, original drawings and documents – have come largely from organiser Mr Voisey’s personal collection. He has spent over 20 years assembling memorabilia after developing a fascination with the Titanic when he saw news of the discovery of the ship’s wreckage in 1985 as a young boy. As well as being an opportunity for the public to view a fascinating range of Titanic-related artefacts, the exhibition also aims to acquaint visitors with the story of Plymouth’s role in the aftermath of the disaster when 167 of the 215 surviving crew arrived back at Millbay Docks on Plymouth’s shores. In addition to this, 20 Titanic stewardesses spent their first night at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel taking respite after the terrible ordeal they had endured. This poignant factor makes the hotel a fitting stage for a Titanic exhibition in the city.
plymouthandtitanic.weebly.com; www.visitplymouth.co.uk

Brick Wonders - Ancient, Natural and Modern Marvels in Lego, The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire
22 January – 2 April
A new LEGO model exhibition opens following the phenomenal success of last year's Brick City. Created by Warren Elsmore, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through history and around the globe featuring both old and new wonders of the world. The seven wonders of the ancient world, including the Lighthouse at Alexandria and The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, are recreated in full to great effect. In all, the show will present more than 70 fantastically detailed models. As well as ancient wonders, visitors can marvel at the recreation in miniature of some of the world's most spectacular natural landmarks from The Great Barrier Reef and The Great Wall of China to the Matterhorn. Seven modern inventions are also represented through the LEGO creations - from a Model T car and a light bulb to the international space station.

Anthony Minghella: A Retrospective, Hull
24-26 January
Part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s extensive programme, Anthony Minghella: A Retrospective will chart the Oscar-winning director, playwright and film and television producer’s life and academic career as a lecturer through to his first work in television and theatre. Minghella is one of the most famous alumni of the University of Hull, and this retrospective has been put together by his former colleagues there. There will be discussions, Q&As and script readings alongside screenings of Minghella’s award-winning films including The Talented Mr Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain.

The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors will arrive in Manchester for Chinese New Year 2017
26 – 29 January
The streets of Manchester will light up in January with four days of the brightest celebrations to welcome in the Year of the Rooster and this spectacular, internationally acclaimed exhibition. Manchester’s Exchange Square will play host to 40 illuminated Chinese Warrior lanterns that stand at over 2 metres tall each; the lanterns have previously been showcased at international landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, this will be first time the exhibition has ever come to the North West. In the two week lead-up to the event 4,000 red lanterns will dress the city streets and during the celebrations a giant 50ft Golden Dragon spectacle will attract visitors, alongside a premium Asian street food village, an enormous light show and traditional performances.

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre, London
From 28 January
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, The Girls, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, will open in London’s West End at the Phoenix Theatre, with performances from 28 January 2017. The Girls is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised over £4million for Bloodwise.  This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.

Science of the Time Lords, National Space Centre, Leicester
28 – 29 January
Time to discover the science behind one of the world’s most popular TV franchises, if you can come out from behind the sofa for long enough of course! This year, they will be looking at Time Travel and the ultimate Time Lord vehicle, the TARDIS. An event for families, children and fans to enjoy, there is a jam-packed schedule of workshops, competitions, challenges, talks, exhibitions and lots of your favourite terrifying Who foes to encounter.

40th anniversary of Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Throughout 2017
Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) will celebrate its 40th anniversary with major indoor and outdoor exhibitions, special events and more. Highlights include the biggest ever UK exhibition of work by leading British sculptor Tony Cragg (4 March – 3 September); a year-long residency by poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage; a commemorative book with a foreword by Michael Palin; and the construction of a new multi-million-pound visitor centre due for completion in late 2017/early 2018. The £3.8 million environmentally friendly development will house a world-class gallery, improved restaurant and expanded shop and will help build capacity at the award-winning attraction.

Freedom City, Newcastle
Throughout 2017
Honouring the 50th anniversary of Dr King’s death, Freedom City 2017 is a city-wide celebration commemorating the themes of his passionate honorary degree acceptance speech in Newcastle – Dr King’s final public address outside America before his assassination 50 years ago. It will feature work by international artists, musicians, filmmakers, academics and community groups celebrating everything Dr King stood for:  freedom, togetherness, empowerment and respect. Freedom City 2017 will culminate in November in a series of major cultural events including Freedom City on the Tyne, a mass public march across the iconic Tyne Bridge in celebration of inclusivity, internationalism and integration. Other events include an exhibition at Great North Museum: Hancock, celebrating Dr King’s visit to Newcastle; and Songs of Freedom, a musical celebration at Sage Gateshead of Dr King and the Civil Rights movement.

Abbey900, Cirencester
Throughout 2017
This year-long festival celebrates the 900th anniversary of the founding of Cirencester’s Augustinian Abbey of St Mary, by King Henry 1 in 1117. The opening ceremony will be performed by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Reverend Rachel Treweek, on 28 February in the parish church after a commemorative tree-planting in the abbey grounds. The celebrations will include concerts, photography and flower competitions, guided walks of the abbey, athletics events, performing arts and two re-enactments. 



Orchids Festival, London
4 February – 5 March
Orchids and tropical flowers that capture the colour and culture of India will be on display for Kew Gardens’ 2017 Orchids Festival. Step inside Kew’s steamy Princess of Wales Conservatory and go on a sensory journey through this vibrant country, far away from the cold of a British winter.

Directing Dobby, Warner Bros Studio Tour, London
4 February – 31 March
Unveiling a special feature dedicated to everybody’s favourite elf, visitors are invited to discover the behind-the-scenes secrets about the creation of ‘Dobby’. Filmmakers went through multiple processes and techniques to create the character from a tennis ball on a stick to a full sized, intricately detailed, physical model, both of which will be on display for the special feature. Visitors will also be able to make Dobby copy their movements in a new interactive experience that demonstrates the motion capture technology used to bring CGI characters to life on screen.

Sheer Pleasure: Frank Brangwyn and the Art of Japan at William Morris Gallery, London
4 February – 14 May
Examines Frank Brangwyn RA's love of Japanese art and his collaborations with Japanese artists and patrons, in particular the printmaker Yoshijiro Urushibara. Brangwyn donated his collection of Japanese prints and paintings to the Gallery and they have rarely been displayed. Highlights include woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai and a carefully restored decorative screen.

Directing Dobby, Warner Bros Studio Tour
4 February – 31 March
Unveiling a special feature dedicated to everybody’s favourite elf, visitors are invited to discover the behind-the-scenes secrets about the creation of ‘Dobby’. Filmmakers went through multiple processes and techniques to create the character from a tennis ball on a stick to a full sized, intricately detailed, physical model, both of which will be on display for the special feature. Visitors will also be able to make Dobby copy their movements in a new interactive experience that demonstrates the motion capture technology used to bring CGI characters to life on screen.

IBT17 Bristol International Festival
8-12 February
New works and extraordinary artists take place in unusual and leading venues across Bristol for this biennial festival. It’s run by In Between Time (IBT), an international production company creating extraordinary art works: “We encourage artists and audiences to think, to dream, to do things they have not yet imagined… We work with the bravest artists and adventurous audiences to respond to the contemporary world in all its beauty and turmoil across our home in Bristol.” 

Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival
8-26 February
The 24th instalment of Europe’s longest running comedy festival is set to be the biggest yet. The leading names and sharpest wits in comedy perform at the Leicester Comedy Festival in hundreds of events sprinkled across dozens of venues; Sarah Millican, Johnny Vegas and Alexei Sayle are just some of the big names who have taken part. Special events this year include the UK Pun Championships, Silver Stand Up and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year, as well as Q&As with cutting-edge comedians.

Vanessa Bell, London
8 February – 4 June
Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first major monographic exhibition devoted to work by Vanessa Bell, the British modernist painter. Widely acclaimed as a central figure of the Bloomsbury Group, Bell (1879-1961) was a pivotal player in 20th-century British art, inventing a new language of visual expression. This exhibition will focus on her contribution to art rather than the family life and romantic entanglements that so often overshadow her reputation as an artist.

Robots, Science Museum of London
8 February – 3 September 2017
Featuring a unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to robots from science fiction and modern-day research labs, this exhibition will enable visitors to discover the cultural, historical and technological context of humanoid robots. Visitors will be able to interact with some of the 12 working robots on display. Among many other highlights will be an articulated iron manikin from the 1500s, Cygan, a 2.4m tall 1950s robot with a glamorous past, and one of the first walking bipedal robots.

Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
8 February – 4 June
Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first photography display bringing together work by the British modern artist, Vanessa Bell and the American musician, writer and artist, Patti Smith. This exhibition will will include 17 photographs by Smith and a selection of Bell’s photo albums, displayed publicly for the first time. It couples two artists both known for their pioneering creative drive and defiance of social mores, showcasing two different but compatible artistic visions.

David Hockney, Tate Britain, London
9 February – 29 May 2017
David Hockney, one of the most popular and influential British artists of the twentieth century, returns to Tate Britain in 2017 for his most comprehensive exhibition yet. The show gathers together an extensive selection of his most famous works celebrating achievements in painting, drawing, print, photography and video across six decades.

Light Night 2017, Nottingham
10 February
Nottingham's annual Light Night celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017 and to mark the occasion, the biggest ever transformation of the city will be taking place.  New art work will line the streets and specially created satellite zones with their own local feel will branch out into new parts of the city. See Nottingham brought to life after dark through a series of illuminations, spectacles, music, street theatre and much more. Make a night of it with music and performances in many of the city's cafes and restaurants, and outdoor street food stalls adding to the festive after dark atmosphere.

Weekend break for Showzam!, Blackpool
11 – 14 February
This four day festival by the sea celebrates magic, variety and live performance, providing entertainment for young and old, families and couples. Be wowed by some amazing street theatre and sideshows including the UK’s most flexible contortionist Pixie Le Knot, the girl in the goldfish bowl and the headless lady. Visitors can also expect hoola hooping and comedy, magical wonder and effortless charm in what promises to be a thrilling festival for all the family. Many Showzam! events are free so why not make a short break of it and book your accommodation package - the St. Ives promenade hotel in St. Annes combines panoramic sea views and family friendly facilities. Make the most of the half term this February and enjoy reduced children’s rates, from £67 Bed and Breakfast.
www.visitblackpool.com/showzam; www.thestiveshotel.co.uk

Storyfest at the Eden Project
11-19 February
The wonderful world of children's books will be celebrated at the Eden Project with StoryFest this February half-term. Roald Dahl themed interactive workshops, crafts and games will be combined with immersive theatrical experiences and creative writing sessions, together with special guest appearances from the world of children’s books including John Dougherty, author of children's book series Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face, and Martin Brown, illustrator of the first Horrible Histories books. Activities will be included in the admission fee.

The Snail and the Whale trail, National SEA LIFE Centre, Birmingham
11-26 February
Join the National SEA LIFE Centre for Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s The Snail and The Whale, complete with snail hats, journey maps and storytellers. Experience this beloved children’s book like never before as you follow the story around the centre through an amazing underwater world. Decorate your very own ‘Snail Rock’ with a ‘Save The Whale’ message to display in our centre and support marine wildlife conservation.

Spy School at Audley End House and Gardens, Essex
13 – 17 February           
Calling all super sleuths, secret agents and intrepid investigators! Sharpen your detective skills with hands-on training in cracking codes and solving clues this half term. Adult £18.30/child £11/family £47.60/concession £16.50/ members free.

New South Downs Dark Skies Festival 
13-24 February
The South Downs National Park became one of just 11 places in the world to be awarded the status of Dark Sky Reserve in 2016, in recognition of its isolation from light pollution. It is the second national park in the UK to receive the accolade, after Exmoor National Park and will be celebrating with a Dark Skies Festival; the main event will be on 18 February.

Ice Cream Expo, Yorkshire
14-16 February
The UK’s only annual Ice Cream Expo will take place at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate. It attracts companies from all over the world to launch new products and showcase their products and services for a scoop of the £1bn UK market.

A Great Escape, London Dungeon
From 11th February
Watch London's original escapologist as he plots his next escape from the London Dungeon. Before Houdini there was Jack Shepherd, a petty thief who infamously escaped not one, not two, but four prisons by breaking through ceilings to picking locks! Guests will journey back to 1724 to come face-to-face with Jack at Newgate prison – where he has been caught by the thief catcher for the fifth time – and hear from the audacious convict as he tells the tales of escaping from four prisons. Alongside escape artist Jack Shepherd, guests will witness 1,000 years of London's dark past bought to life, including other famous villains who escaped the clutches of the law such as Jack the Ripper, to those who were less conspicuous in their escapades such as Guy Fawkes. Prices on the door £30 (adult), £24 (children).

Chinese New Year, V&A Museum of Childhood, London
11 February
Celebrate Chinese New Year at the museum, and enjoy traditional and modern music and dance performances. All ages are welcome to drop-in and take part in a Chinese Opera mask making workshop, as well as test their creative side in costume and calligraphy workshops.

Puddle Jumping Championships, WWT London Wetland Centre, London
11 – 19 February
This February half term, children of all ages should grab their wellies and get outside to participate in this fun contest. Once you finishing the puddle jumping course, your skills will be acknowledged with a ‘splashtastic’ sticker, and the best leapers’ will receive a Dusty Duck prize. Dusty, the WWT’s new children’s character, created to celebrate the 70th anniversary, will be there to cheer on the kids.

Derby Winter Beer Festival
15-18 February
Dubbed the ‘Real Ale Capital’ of Britain, Derby will once again host this four-day festival in one of its iconic railway buildings, the world’s oldest Roundhouse. The circular Grade II-listed property was built in 1839 and underwent a £48m restoration before reopening in 2009. 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 the city’s respected microbreweries.
www.visitderby.co.uk or www.derbycamra.org.uk

Wakefield Rhubarb Festival, Yorkshire
17-19 February
The annual Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb celebrates the area’s traditional links with rhubarb growing by showcasing the most talented local, regional and celebrity chefs. Expect rhubarb-themed street performances, rhubarb afternoon teas, one-off menus from the city’s restaurants and street stalls selling speciality foods and drinks.

Keswick Film Festival, Cumbria
16-19 February
Keswick Film Festival’s annual celebration of cinema set within stunning mountain scenery will be back for another year of exciting, unusual, little-known and top-quality films. This is your chance to experience around 30 of the best UK independent and international films over four days. Travel to places such as New Zealand, Tibet and the Arctic Circle from the spectacular surrounds of Keswick. There’s talk of a world premiere at the 2017 festival too…

Coastival Music Festival, Scarborough
18-19 February 
There’s an exciting new look for Coastival in 2017 and it’s set to turn your usual expectations of an arts festival upside down. The festival’s already eclectic mix of fine art, performance and music will be stirred up even more by a curious selection of venues and styles. The theme for 2017 is a key factor too: The Unexpected. Four new commissions will each bring something new and unusual to the proceedings.

Snowdrop planting, Wallington, Northumberland
18 – 26 February
This half-term the gardening team at Wallington aims to plant 100,000 snowdrop bulbs, and they need your help. Get hands-on with nature and plant as many bulbs as you can to make the snowdrop walk even more spectacular. This is the third year of mass planting, so you can also admire the work so far. Why not make a day of it and head out for a wildlife adventure after? You may even spot a red squirrel. Price: Free event, normal admission charges apply.

Dark Skies Festival, Yorkshire
18-26 February
Following the success of the inaugural Dark Skies Festival last year, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors national parks will hold the second festival over the February half term. Eyes across the park, from the moors to the shores, will turn skywards as darkness falls, for stargazing, games and family friendly activities and workshops.
www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/darkskies or www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/stargazing

Bears! exhibition at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle
18 February 2017 – February 2018
Get set to embark on a bear-illiant teddy bear adventure with a brand new exhibition inspired by the clawsome world of Bears! in children’s literature. Visitors are invited to bring in their teddy bears from home and take them on a journey through the exhibition, which includes a bear trail to discover more about bears in books. With Otto, the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson as the guide, you will be able to introduce your bears to children’s book bears old and new. See illustrations and preparatory artwork from the creators of many of your favourite bear books, including Jon Klassen, Anthony Browne, Lucy Letherland, Jackie Morris, Petr Horacek, Dave Shelton, Jim Field, David Litchfield, Helen Cooper, David Melling, Rebecca Cobb, Sav Akyuz and Jane Hissey.

The Derby CAMRA Winter Beer Festival, Derby Roundhouse
15-18 February
Showcasing top real ales from around the UK, including several that are brewed in Derby's very own micro-breweries, this festival offers a delicious selection of drinks against a backdrop of live bands, and a city that boasts a "perfect Pub Crawl" around some 120-plus real ale pubs. Based within the world's oldest railway roundhouse - now one of most historically significant buildings in The Midlands following a £48 million renovation - the Winter Beer Festival is regarded as a flagship event, where visitors can "raise a glass" in honour of a the city which has been dubbed a Beer Capital of Britain. Admission prices to the festival range from £3 to £6.

JORVIK Viking Festival, York
20-26 February
Over 1,000 years ago, when York was under Viking rule, great celebrations took place during February called ‘Jolablot.’ The festival heralded the coming of spring and the end of winter hardships. To this day York celebrates the end of the winter with the largest Viking Festival in Europe, organised by The Jorvik Group. The festival’s programme of family-friendly events, lectures, guided walks and battle re-enactments attracts over 40,000 visitors each year from across the globe, with many returning year after year to take part and enjoy the atmosphere.

Diana: Her Fashion Story, Kensington Palace, London
Opens 24 February 2017
From her first public appearances in 1981, Diana, Princess of Wales, captivated the world’s attention as a princess, as a trendsetter and as a patron and advocate of charities.  Twenty years on from her death, a new exhibition and temporary garden celebrating her life will be opened at Kensington Palace, her home for over 15 years. ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’ will trace the evolution of the Princess’s style, from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances, to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life.  From her earliest royal engagements, everything Diana wore was closely scrutinised, and the exhibition will explore how she navigated her unique position in the public eye: learning to use her image to engage and inspire people, and to champion the causes she cared about. In 2017, the gardeners at Kensington will dedicate the new planting in the garden to Diana, creating a temporary White Garden. Complementing the palace’s exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’, the garden will be planted with flowers and foliage inspired by memories of the Princess’s life, image and style.

The Hypocrite, Hull
24 February – 18 March
One of the highlights of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 will be the world premiere of The Hypocrite at Hull Truck Theatre. This riotous comedy from award-winning Hull playwright Richard Bean (of One Man, Two Guvnors fame) was inspired by the life of Sir John Hotham, a historic Hull figure who in 1642 played an important role as Hull became pivotal to the start of the English Civil War.

Oxford International Art Fair, Oxfordshire
24-26 February
Oxford's fourth international art fair will fill three halls of Oxford’s beautiful Town Hall with artworks from international exhibitors selected from 26 countries. The artists will be there themselves, giving visitors the chance to buy original art, jewellery, sculptures, paintings, illustrations and all kinds of bespoke handicrafts directly from the creators. There will be live painting, awards, and a private view with live music on the opening evening. Everything is priced affordably, and it’s free to enter too.

Never Going Underground: The fight for LGBT rights, Manchester
25 February — 3 September
2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act). The events that took place before and after this will form this major exhibition, which will be curated by members of the local LGBT+ community, detailing the development of an LGBT+ movement, showing the internal and external struggles. Never Going Underground was the name of the campaign against Section 28, an infamous piece of legislation that forbade the ‘promotion of homosexuality’. The protest against this saw the UK’s largest ever gathering for LGBT rights in Manchester in 1988. In 2018 the museum will be the main location marking the centenary of partial votes for women and the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Draw New Mischief exhibition, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
25 February – 15 September
This new exhibition celebrates more than two centuries of political cartoons inspired by Shakespeare,
including historic and recent political cartoons and new commissions by five cartoonists. Shakespeare’s plays have been a touchstone for cartoonists who have drawn upon them to comment upon the political events and personalities of their time. Shakespeare’s incredible capacity to reflect human behaviour continues to provide cartoonists with a ready stock of rich imagery that resonates with the reading public. The exhibition is free.


Women’s History Month, venues across East London
1 – 31 March
With a theme of ‘Women in Public Life’ this year, artists, activists, writers and performers, community groups and organisations are celebrating Women’s History Month with a powerful range of events and exhibitions demonstrating female diversity. Performances include a programme at the Rich Mix with ‘Arab Women Artists Now’  Events include Women Making Waves at the Cutty Sark (4-5 March) where celebrations are centred around the many heroic women whom have adorned ships’ bows as figureheads across the world. Trailblazing women figureheads include Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Fry, so enjoy special craft workshops to celebrate their important deeds.
www.alternativearts.co.uk; www.londonandpartners.com

Celebrating Mick Ronson, Hull
Throughout 2017
Rock legend Mick Ronson was one of Hull’s most important musical exports. As part of The Spiders from Mars, Ronson joined forces with David Bowie; he also released three critically-acclaimed solo albums and worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Lou Reed and Morissey. Hull City of Culture 2017 is gearing up to honour him through a number of events. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars (25-26 March) is already sold out, but fans can get their Ronson fix elsewhere. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: A Film Retrospective (17 March) will explore Ronson’s influence and impact through live performance, films and talks. Turn and Face the Strange (12-13 August) will show how Ronson, a working class boy from the Greatfield Estate, went on to champion a new music and social culture, breaking free of social norms. Ronson will also feature in a number of events inspired by his contemporaries; don’t miss Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story (17-19 February), a festival based on the founding father of ambient sound who worked with the young Mick Ronson.

Celebrating 20 years of World Book Day, across England
2 March  
World Book Day, the annual celebration of books and reading for children and young people, has planned an all-star line-up of authors and illustrators to help it celebrate its 20th anniversary. David Walliams, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson are among the 'national treasures' who have written new stories to mark the occasion. These authors will each contribute an official World Book Day £1 book, which children can get for free in exchange for the £1 book token available to all schoolchildren in the UK.

Wonder Women, Manchester
2 – 12 March
Marking International Women’s Day as part of the programme, the festival offers an experience that draws inspiration from the feminist roots of this most radical of cities. Led by its cultural institutions, independent artists, women’s groups and networks, this year’s programme of cultural events will include boundary pushing, experimental and diverse forms of performance, film, debate, talks, workshops and exhibitions to celebrate those that won the fight for votes for women and the activism that continues to underpin feminist issues of our time.

Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls’ House, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
4 March – 25 June
Take a peek behind closed doors and discover the Small Stories of the tiny inhabitants of twelve of the V&A Museum of Childhood’s most treasured dolls’ houses.  Journey through 300 years of the history of the home - listen to tales of marriages and parties, politics and crime. Visit a country mansion, a Victorian town house, a suburban semi and a high-rise apartment. This V&A touring exhibition is complemented by special displays and events at Norwich Castle’s sister museum, Strangers’ Hall, a stunning medieval merchant’s house in the heart of Norwich.

Wray Castle Children’s Book Festival, Lake District
4 – 5 March
Calling all book-lovers for a fun-filled family weekend – meet the cast of bestselling children’s authors, characters and illustrators including the Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler, Philip Ardagh, Gill Lewis, Ed Vere’s Max and Steve Coles’ young James Bond. Have your wands at the ready for the magical Harry Potter event, with prizes for the best fancy dress and little ones will love the chance to meet some very special guests! As well as sessions and workshops with the authors and illustrators, there is a full programme of book themed activities taking place over the weekend at the castle, run by the National Trust festival volunteers and rangers. Wray Castle is a particularly apt spot for a children’s book festival as it was the first place Miss Potter stayed at Lake District, arguably igniting her passion and love for the countryside; a must-see location for any Beatrix Potter fans as well as little bookworms.

Women Making Waves at Cutty Sark, London
4 – 5 March
Motivate the family with an exploration of Cutty Sark’s figureheads of trailblazing women with this event for Women's History Month (1-31 March). Join a craft workshop celebrating the marvellous deeds of wonderful women and historical legends – social reformer and founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale; prison and social reformer, Elizabeth Fry; and leader of a British uprising against the Roman Empire, Boudicca. Admission is included in the venue ticket.

International Women’s Day event series, Museum of Liverpool
4 – 11 March
National Museums of Liverpool are holding free talks celebrating the roles and achievements of magnificent women this March. Events to inspire the nation include ‘Women at Sea,’ where author Jo Stanley discusses pioneering female sailors; the creative workshop ‘Sewn Heroines,’ which guides you through making your own sewn felt portrait of an inspirational woman; talks from the innovative women at Gal-Dem, about how they started their own magazine to champion the writing of women of colour. Events are free.

Yorkshire Geek Fest
4 March
The Fest will return to Elsecar Heritage Centre for a second year, with celebrity signings and Q&As, attractions and around 100 traders.

WOW – Women of the World, Southbank Centre, London
7 March – 12 March
Now in its seventh year, Southbank Centre’s WOW Festival champions the incredible achievements of women and girls and explores the most potent topics for women today. Featuring influential and challenging voices from around the world, this festival shines the spotlight on a broad spectrum of topical women’s subjects through a mix of talks and debates, keynotes, concerts, performances, film, comedy, workshops, how-tos, speed mentoring and networking opportunities. www.londonandpartners.com; www.southbankcentre.co.uk

In the Steps of Kathleen Brown: International Women's Day Walk, Newcastle
8 March
Join the Newcastle City Guides for this free tour exploring the life of Kathleen Brown, a Newcastle Suffragette. The walk will uncover where she celebrated, demonstrated and was imprisoned, giving an insight into how Newcastle suffragette women met, marched and behaved, in order to win the vote. Commemorate the boundary-breaking activist’s actions in the pursuit of voting rights for women and then see the unveiling of a Blue Plaque in the memory of this.

British Pie Awards, Leicestershire
8 March
To coincide with British Pie Week (the first full week in March), the ninth British Pie awards will take place in Melton Mowbray, renowned for its pork pies. Presided over by some of the industry’s leading figures, the awards celebrate one of Britain’s favourite foods and are attended by hundreds of pie-makers from across the country.

The American Dream: pop to the present, The British Musuem, London
9 March – 18 June
Tracing the creative momentum in American art over the past five decades, this major new exhibition will highlight the moment when Pop art first burst onto the scene in the early 1960s, to the rise of minimalism, conceptual art, and photorealism of today. Using innovative techniques and with mass appeal, printmaking has been the ideal medium to express the USA’s power and influence, as well as dealing with explosive issues such as race, politics, feminism and the financial crash. The exhibition will feature many of America’s most significant artists, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg.
www.londonandpartners.com; www.britishmuseumshoponline.org

10-12 March
Part of Made in Hull, the first season of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, WOW (Women of the World) HULL will mark International Women’s Day with a festival of talks, debates, music, film, comedy, theatre and activism fuelled by ideas and issues raised at a city-wide series of Thinkins held in autumn 2016. The weekend includes a special concert celebrating the work of Hull-born pianist, composer and conductor pioneer Ethel Leginska who will be recognised in the 2017 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

The Great Create Extravaganza, Yorkshire
10-11 March
This event brings together the country’s finest papercraft retailers for inspiring and educational workshops and demonstrations, crafting celebrities and exhibitors to get your creative juices flowing.

One Love: The Bob Marley Musical, Birmingham
10 March – 15 April
This compelling musical is a spiritual and political journey which celebrates one of the world's most influential artists of all time by bringing Marley's inspirational music catalogue to the stage for the first time. Set across a dramatic period in the music legend's life, One Love: The Bob Marley Musical tells the story of a man propelled from rising reggae star to global icon and features Marley's greatest songs performed live on stage, including – No Woman No CryExodusJamming and many more.

Titanic Live, Royal Albert Hall, London
11 MarchThis event will see the 1997 classic film screened in high-definition, in the venue’s iconic auditorium, as James Horner’s timeless score is played live on stage by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Upon release, ‘Titanic’ became the highest-grossing film of all-time, being lauded by critics and winning 11 Oscars, including best song and best score. Horner’s music also won three Grammys.
www.royalalberthall.com; www.londonandpartners.com

Visions of the Royal Pavilion Estate, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
14 March – 3 September 2017
This display will showcase rarely-seen views of the Royal Pavilion Estate dating back to the 1760s, as well as cutting-edge digital reconstructions of how it might have looked. Illustrations from the earliest printed books about the estate will sit beside unrealised designs, early municipal maps and 20th century plans and images, sourced almost exclusively from the city’s archives and collections. Free with Museum admission.

Michelangelo – Sebastiano; A Meeting of Minds, The National Gallery, London
15 March – 27 June
This major exhibition will focus on the extraordinary artistic relationship between Sebastiano del Piombo (about 1485– 1547) and Michelangelo (1475–1564) from the 1510s through to the 1540s. In addition to covering their great collaborative projects, the exhibition will include works preceding their meeting, in part to better demonstrate the originality of their joint creations. It will also follow the lower-key, long-distance creative relationship between the two artists in the years they spent apart, and it will examine their allegedly acrimonious falling-out and creative parting of ways after Michelangelo’s return to Rome.

Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival, Bristol 
16-19 March
The Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival takes place at Colston Hall, which has been host to many legendary names, including the founder father of Jazz Louis Armstrong. With last year’s line-up seeing workshops led by James Brown’s former bandmates, and performances from the likes of Melody Gardot, Maceo Parker and Martin Taylor, the 2017 line-up for the world’s most thrilling and ground-breaking jazz and blues festival promises to be even hotter.

London St Patrick’s Festival, Venues across London
17 – 19 March
Enjoy the craic and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2017, with special events across the capital. Expect history trails through central London, music and poetry on the Underground, Irish film screenings, the St Patrick’s parade and festival in Trafalgar Square and much more, so you can celebrate Irish culture and tradition to the fullest.

World’s Original Marmalade Festival, Cumbria
18 March
The Dalemain Marmalade Awards and Festival will once again take place in the Lake District, where marmalade makers from across the globe compete in a variety of categories. As well as the awards, there are artisan food and craft stands, workshops, and cookery demonstrations, in Dalemain Mansion, a Georgian stately home.

Shakespeare Week, Stratford-upon-Avon
20 – 26 March
Over 2 million children from 12,000 primary schools across the country expected to celebrate all things Shakespeare for the annual national celebration of Shakespeare in primary schools. This year’s Shakespeare Week will have a music theme, with a host of fun activities and resources to learn about Shakespeare across all subjects including numeracy, geography and even computing. Shakespeare Week is of course the perfect time to visit the five historic Shakespeare houses in Stratford-upon-Avon. With a jam-packed programme of family activities throughout the week, from quill writing and making musical instruments from junk materials, to Tudor music workshops and performances by local drama and musical theatre groups, there’s plenty of fun to be had.

Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends, National Portrait Gallery, London
23 March–18 June
This is the first exhibition of portraits by Howard Hodgkin, one of Britain’s leading artists. Hodgkin’s paintings are characterised by rich colour, complex illusionistic space and mesmerising brushwork. By emphasising these elements, his work frequently appears entirely abstract. The exhibition explores Hodgkin’s development of a personal visual language of portraiture, which challenges traditional forms of representation.

FORMAT International Festival of Photography, Derby
24 March – 23 April
This biennale international contemporary festival will display work by over 200 international artists and photographers across 30 exhibitions, alongside a photobook market, portfolio reviews and a series of innovative events and performances. The wide range of projects on display at FORMAT17 are connected by the theme 'HABITAT' - exploring landscape, environment, mobility, migration, digital worlds, ideas of home and displacement, conflict and regeneration through the work of international photographers and artists.

New Chilterns Festival of Food & Drink, South East
25 March – 2 April
Once known as ‘the larder of London’, the Chilterns is launching a new foodie festival to showcase the area’s produce. As well as samples of the best food and drink from the Chilterns, there will be beer and gin tastings, vineyard tours, guided countryside walks with a foodie touch, an Iron Age-style meal in a Chilterns hillfort, and demos in the 1,000-year old Redbournbury watermill.

English Tourism Week, locations around England
25 March - 2 April
English Tourism Week celebrates the vibrancy and quality of England’s visitor experiences and our world-renowned tourist attractions. During the Week there will be a wide variety of local and national events, discounts and special offers being made available by tourism businesses around the country including museum events, exhibitions, sports experiences such as Spectacular Classics Concert in Manchester; Injured Jockeys Race Day at Plumpton Racecourse; Terry Pratchett Owl Parliament at Birdworld; and the Tourism Society Annual Dinner and Awards in the House of Lords.

‘Five centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth’, Derbyshire
25 March – 22 October 2017
Chatsworth will present its most ambitious exhibition to date, curated by Hamish Bowles, International Editor-at-Large at American Vogue and exploring the history of fashion and adornment to bring to life the captivating individuals from the Cavendish family, including Bess of Hardwick, one of the most powerful women of the 16th century; the 18th century “Empress of Fashion” Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire; and Adele Astaire, the sister and dance partner of Fred Astaire. Deborah Devonshire and Nancy Mitford, two of the Mitford sisters; model Stella Tennant and John F Kennedy’s sister ‘Kick’ Kennedy will also be central to the show. To coincide with the exhibition, Rizzoli will publish House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth, a 200-page survey of fashion at Chatsworth featuring photographs by Mario Testino, Cecil Beaton, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Tim Walker, Ellen von Unwerth, and many previously unseen pictures from the Devonshire personal photograph albums.

Victoria – a costume exhibition, Leeds
24 March – 29 October
Leeds’ Harewood House was a key filming location for ITV’s recent, immensely popular Victoria TV series; fans of the show might recognise much of the State Floor, Below Stairs, parts of the Estate and the front of the house. Pleasingly, Queen Victoria had a number of real-life connections with Harewood, including staying in the State Bedroom and dining in the Gallery in 1835, and Harewood’s collection includes several items owned by Queen Victoria. To celebrate the show’s success, ‘Victoria – a costume exhibition’ will bring to life the opulent rooms on Harewood House’s State Floor with costumes from the programme, and there will be a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what happens at Harewood when it’s used as a film set.

Saatchi Gallery and Huawei present From Selfie to Self-Expression, London
31 March – 30 May
The show will be the world’s first exhibition exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and will celebrate the truly creative potential of a form of expression often derided for its inanity. The show will also highlight the emerging role of the smartphone as an artistic medium for self-expression through the commissioning of ten exciting Young British Photographers to create new works using Huawei’s newest dual lens smartphones co-engineered with Leica, as part of their artistic practice. From Selfie to Self-Expression will showcase key artworks, many of which feature interactive, digital and user-generated content, by artists as diverse as Kutluğ Ataman, Christopher Baker, Juno Calypso, Tracey Emin, Van Gogh, Mohau Modisakeng, Rembrandt, Cindy Sherman, Gavin Turk and Velazquez. Showing alongside examples of many influential artists’ work will be selfies that have quickly become icons of the digital era – from the beautiful and sublime to the mad, bad and downright dangerous.

100th anniversary of Edward Thomas’s death, Hampshire
March – September
A programme of events will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the wartime poet Edward Thomas, who died 9 April 1917. Thomas lived in Steep, Hampshire in the pre-WWI years (there’s even an Edward Thomas Circular Walk in the area). Anniversary highlights will include: a special memorial concert as part of the Petersfield Musical Festival (17 March); exhibitions of Thomas-inspired works at Petersfield Museum and the Petersfield Physic Garden, part of a multi-site exhibition of works inspired by writers entitled 'Inspired by the Word' (4 April – 30 September); an Edward Thomas literary-historical display at Petersfield Museum (April – June); and an exhibition of photographs by and of Edward Thomas at Petersfield Museum (May – June). Watch this space for news of more events yet to be confirmed.  
www.petersfieldmusicalfestival.org.uk ; www.petersfieldmuseum.co.uk ; www.petersfieldphysicgarden.org.uk


Essex Big Weekend, Essex
1 – 2 April
A new exciting opportunity for Essex residents to discover and re-discover the county’s wide ranging local attractions is set to launch in April 2017. Visit Essex is getting county-wide tourism businesses to donate free tickets as part of this year’s English Tourism Week celebrations during March and April. Residents will be encouraged to discover and visit the attractions on their doorstep, and spread the word about all the county has to offer.

Big Weekend, Kent
1 – 2 April
Celebrating Kent's National Tourism Industry and coinciding with national English Tourism Week, Kent‘s Big Weekend sees over 100 tourist attractions across the county open their doors and offer special gifts to ticket holders. Experiences on offer in the past have included activities and impressive displays for animal lovers, museum tours, brewery and vineyard tours and tastings, jet skiing, scuba diving and much more. The Big Weekend aims to promote Kent's attractions and sights to residents so they can discover how much there is to do in their home county.

Join a Glow in the dark Easter egg hunt inside the caves, Cheddar Gorge & Caves in Somerset
1 – 23 April
Featuring several clusters of glow-in-the-dark coloured eggs throughout the world famous Gough's Cave, this is an Easter egg hunt with a difference. The glowing eggs and other illuminations for the Easter period will help to add to the magical atmosphere of the caves, which have been welcoming visitors underground for decades. Participants should keep an eye out for Richard Gough's special Golden Egg; anyone able to take a 'selfie' with this hard-to-find egg could be in with a chance of winning a host of special prizes. Admission is included within the cost of the Explorer Ticket which includes access to Cheddar Gorge and Caves and is priced at: Adults £19.95 (online £16.95); Children (5-15) £13.95 (online £11.85); Under 5s Free. Other Easter activities for visitors to Cheddar Gorge & Caves will include a craft activity at the exit to Dreamhunters, and Stone Age Survival activities at the Museum.


Humber Bridge musical installation, Hull
1 – 30 April
The iconic Humber Bridge will be transformed into a living piece of music for Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Acclaimed Norwegian composer Arve Henrikson and Hull-based sound recordist Jez Riley French have created a unique piece of music based on the deep sounds of the bridge. Opera North orchestra and chorus have captured these sounds, which will be used to create a unique soundscape determined by the route walked across the bridge and the ever-changing climate around each individual pedestrian.

British Craft Trade Fair, Yorkshire
2-4 April
Crafty folk gather at Harrogate’s Yorkshire Event Centre to showcase their wares. Browse galleries, jewellery, home and giftware shops, fashion boutiques and a vast range of products and services from architects, interior designers and department stores.

Rat Race: The Crossing , north England
2-4 April
Two hundred miles of gnarly tracks and some of the UK’s finest mountain biking unfurl through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors on this three-day coast-to-coast ride. Tricky technical sections and wild downhill give a different perspective on this part of north England.

Baby lambs at Tapnell Farm, Isle of Wight
8 – 23 April
Meet Tapnell Farm Park’s cute baby lambs who will only be a few weeks old at Easter, but you can come and help the animal keepers feed them in the brand-new animal theatre area. In addition to giving the adorable, fleecy new arrivals a big hug, you can take part in many other animal experiences throughout the day – including wallaby feeding, goat brushing and more. Family friendly Easter festivities will be running everyday throughout the school holidays, from the April 8th to April 23rd. Get creative with some Easter themed colouring in Tiny Tapnell, or whip up a tasty treat with afternoon biscuit decorating in the Farm Park Café. On selected days, you can even bag yourself an Easter makeover, from a talented face painter! Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, (Friday to Monday), youngsters can take part in the amazing Egg Adventure Trail. Simply pick up a trail map, solve the clues dotted around the Farm Park, and then claim your special prize at the end.

Paul Nash, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
8 April – 20 August
Spanning a lifetime’s work from Paul Nash’s earliest drawings to his iconic war time paintings, this exhibition will explore Nash’s central role in the development of modern British art. Showing works by Nash alongside his fellow Unit One members, the exhibition will reveal the debates about abstraction and surrealism in which Nash participated during this time. The exhibition is organised by Tate Britain and will be traveling to Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne after its run at the Sainsbury Centre.

Hadrian’s Cavalry, Hadrian’s Wall
8 April – 10 September
Taking place at ten museums spanning the full length of Hadrian’s Wall, ‘Hadrian’s Cavalry’ will be a brand new, wall-wide exhibition celebrating the cavalry regiments that guarded Hadrian’s Wall and projected the power of Imperial Rome 2,000 years ago. The six-month exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to explore the role and daily life of the cavalry forces of the Roman army. It will feature a range of remarkable and finely decorated Roman cavalry objects – including cavalry helmets and ornate armour – as well as a series of re-enactment events at attractions across the 150-mile-long World Heritage Site, from Maryport in the west to South Shields in the east. The objects include loans from national and international museums and private collections alongside finds from sites across Hadrian’s Wall. On 1 and 2 July, the largest Roman cavalry re-enactment ever seen will take place at Bitts Park in Carlisle as part of Hadrian’s Cavalry. A troop (turma) of 30 Roman cavalrymen will come together to perform training exercises described 2,000 years ago by Hadrian himself.

National Gardening Week, Nationwide
10-16 April
The country’s biggest celebration of gardening sees horticultural events take place all over the country. Charities, amateur gardeners, shops, galleries and museums everywhere get involved in National Gardening Week, as well as the RHS Gardens, where there’s usually free entry for non-members on National Open Gardens Day too.

Sail Training International Rendezvous Tall Ships Regatta, Greenwich
13-16 April
Marking the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, Greenwich will see some of the world’s largest Tall Ships leave Greenwich to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Quebec. Anchored at two sites in the borough, visitors can see the Tall Ships at the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage site in Greenwich and the Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich. The festival will see a huge Parade of Sail taking place at around 5pm on the last day with a convoy of 40 Tall Ships and a number of smaller Class C and D ships sailing down the Thames.

Medieval Easter Weekend, Dover Castle, Kent
14 –17 April
Travel on a journey back in time where medieval knights and princesses roam. Get hands on with knights’ training and be amazed at the mounted skill-at-arms on horseback. Try on armour, enjoy storytelling and learn circus skills at this medieval fun-packed day for kids of all ages. Marvel at Peterkin’s fire-eating show on stilts and sing along with the merry musicians. Re-live the story of George and the Dragon and cheer on our hero as he valiantly battles the fiery dragon.

Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Vaults Theatre, London
15 April – 23 September
Fall deep into the Vaults, hidden beneath Waterloo station and lose yourself in a land far removed from our own with immersive theatre experience that combines music and circus acts. Tumble down the rabbit hole falling fast into Wonderland, make a series of choices; take tea at the biggest un-birthday party with the maddest of Hatters; let the Cheshire Cat take you hither or thither or join the underground movement to rise against the fearsome Queen of Hearts.

Taste Chocolate Festival, Bristol
16-18 April
Taste Chocolate Festival returns with a new location housed inside the Bristol Harbour Hotel in the Old City. A feast of hand-crafted chocolates, indulgent cakes and patisserie, it’s the perfect way to spend Easter weekend.

Star Trek: The Exhibition, Blackpool
17 April – 5 November 
Experience STAR TREK as never before in this exhibition featuring over 100 original props, costumes and set pieces many of which have never been seen in the UK before. Take control of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the Captain’s chair in a replica of the Bridge and see yourself magically beamed up from the Transporter room with the free exhibition augmented reality app.

Harrogate Flower Show, Yorkshire
20-23 April
One of the most prestigious gardening shows in the country, people flock to Harrogate’s Spring (and autumn) Flower Show from far and wide. With inspiration from imaginative show gardens, the ever-popular giant vegetable competition and hospitality packages.

Constable and Brighton, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
8 April – 8 October 2017
John Constable and his family stayed in Brighton 1824-1828, when Constable repeatedly walked along the coast and up into the Downs. Constable and Brighton will follow Constable’s walking and painting sequences, illustrating the sketches and paintings he produced as he explored the Brighton landscape.  The exhibition will explore the impact and influence of the work he made here, and bring the sketches, drawings and paintings he created in the town back to Brighton for the first time. Admission payable, members free.

Porthleven Food & Music Festival, Cornwall
21-23 April
Taking place in the picturesque harbour of Porthleven in West Cornwall, Porthleven Food and Music Festival attracts a staggering 18,000 visitors. With all-day cooking demonstrations, over 90 food and craft stalls, live music and entertainment, and dancing into the night, the festival is a must-do in any foodie’s calendar.

Stratford Literary Festival, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
23 – 30 April
Stratford Literary Festival, one of the UK's most ground breaking festivals, will celebrate its 10th birthday with a packed programme of debates, ideas, celebrity authors, book signings and workshops for people who share one passion: a love of books, writing and reading. Alongside this will run a programme of education events in Stratford and local schools, involving favourite authors, poets and illustrators, entertaining and inspiring children from two to eighteen. This year’s festival will see its largest and most diverse programme yet with events ranging from the Romantic poets to the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, wartime spies to The Great British Bake Off. Headline speakers include the queen of cookery Mary Berry, journalist and writer Andrew Marr, historians and former politicians Paddy Ashdown and Roy Hattersley, former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, former head of the British Army Richard Dannatt, Beirut hostage Terry Waite and Waterstones Book of The Year author Sarah Perry.

International Male Choral Festival, Cornwall
27 April – 1 May
Two thousand singers will descend on Cornwall with more than 50 concerts and celebrations in 40 venues across the county including theatres, churches, tourist attractions and castles from Bude to Land's End and Porthleven to Saltash. As choirs from across the globe prepare to converge on Cornwall for the long weekend of singing, concerts and competitions, the work of choirs, film-makers, photographers and tourism leaders Visit Cornwall are all brought together to celebrate the Festival's past, present and future glories.

John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: Sounds from Smoky Bay, Hull
28 April – 1 May
Part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Sounds from Smoky Bay is a four-day festival celebrating contemporary Nordic arts and culture. Created by John Grant, an acclaimed musician and long-time resident of Reykjavik, it will reflect Hull’s links to northern Europe and take place in various venues across the city.

Jack in the Green Festival, Hastings
28 April – 1 May
To witness first hand that Morris dancing is alive and jingling, the annual Jack in the Green Festival offers non-stop festivities in a colourful procession of dance, music, and occasional fire-eating through the picturesque Old Town of Hastings. The Jack is released from the Fishermens’ Museum and, accompanied by his Bogies and the Giants, he processes up to the West Hill where the Jack is slain and the spirit of summer is released.

Hever Castle’s first Tulips Celebrations, Kent
24-28 April, 2-7 May
Hever Castle and Gardens’ first Tulips Celebrations will be a visual feast of over 7,000 tulip bulbs. The colourful display, which will include the almost-black Queen of the Night and lilac Blue Amiable varieties, will take over the already remarkable gardens. Head gardener Neil Miller will run guided tours.

Artisan Cheese Fair, Leicestershire
29-30 April
The Artisan Cheese Fair is the UK’s largest cheese fair; more than 10,000 cheese lovers attended in 2016. This year’s instalment will draw in 62 cheesemakers from Britain and Ireland along with the 300+ cheeses they produce, which include some of the UK’s rarest. Visitors can learn all about cheese in a daily programme of talks, demonstrations and tastings given by industry experts, as well as indulge in other goodies including pies, wine, cakes, cider, champagne and Melton Mowbray’s pork pies.

Magnificent Motors, Eastbourne
29 – 30 April
One of the south coast’s biggest free motoring spectaculars ‘Magnificent Motors’ is returning to Eastbourne with flashy motors and fast cars that are so impressive they have the James Bond seal of approval! Eastbourne’s green lawns can expect to see everything from a DAX Cobra to a Mercury Montclair as the free family event draws in the crowds. Petrolheads will be in their element as the iconic Aston Martin DB5 which appeared in the 2012 Bond movie Skyfall is set to appear amongst over 600 vintage and classic cars, motorbikes and buses on the Western Lawns and Wish Tower slopes.

Wild West Adventure at Groombridge Place
29 April – 1 May
Grab your hat and yell “yee-haa” and as you embark on a Cowboy and Indian adventure at Groombridge Place. Enjoy a fun-filled day of wild adventure activities such as Cowboy crafts, fire side songs, crafts and story-telling. Explore Crusoe’s World in the Enchanted Forest and play on its authentic large wooden ship complete with rope bridges. Swing through the trees on the giant tree swings before running and having fun on the raised board walk with its zip wire, suspension bridge, and rope swings. The event will take place between 10am and 5.30pm.

Hands-on activities bring the inventions of our past heroes to life at Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge
Celebrate Ironbridge Gorge Museums’ 50th anniversary as you delve into the world of Victorian engineering heroes and inspirational inventors with a range of hands-on activities. Step back in time as you learn about Morse Code in the Town’s Post Office, transform your smartphone into a “Box Brownie” camera and have a go at packing tea in the Grocers. Discover more about the heroes who lived during the Victorian era with special talks and a self-led trail, as well as lessons in the Victorian School House, lunchtime and afternoon sing-a-longs in the New Inn and rides in the horse-drawn bus between 1.30 and 3pm.

Stratford Festival of Motoring, Stratford-upon-Avon
30 April – 1 May
Over 300 cars will zoom through the countryside around Stratford before parking up in the town centre, as part of the popular Stratford Festival of Motoring. The Featured Marque for 2017 is Jaguar, a local car manufacturer, with Wood Street dedicated to displaying a variety of models of the high-performance sports car. There will be plenty of new family friendly activities as well as all sorts of other classic and special-interest cars to gawp at.

Easter Egg Hunts with the National Trust and Cadbury, nationwide
Various dates in April
Indulge your sweet tooth on one (or three) of the National Trust and Cadbury's Easter Egg Hunts in 2017. Families are invited to take on a variety of adventurous quests through spring woodlands and craggy coastlines, or through historic houses and enchanting castles to find Bunny’s hidden chocolate. Everyone will be rewarded with a Cadbury’s chocolate treat at the end of each completed hunt, and each Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt will support a number of locations looked after by the National Trust.

Skeletons, Bristol and Leeds
April 2017 – January 2018
This touring exhibition from the Wellcome Collection and Museum of London examines the bones of some of those who lived, died and were buried across the UK, from the pauper’s graves of urban London to the solitary burial of a high-status individual on a Scottish island beach. It reflects our rich past and varied social geography as each skeleton reveals its own story, allowing us fascinating insights into the times in which they lived and the health hazards of the day, from syphilis to rickets, broken bones to tooth decay. Contextualised by contemporary photographs of the locations in which they were discovered, these few individuals remind us that the dead are all around us. Catch it in Bristol’s M Shed (April-August) and Leeds City Museum (September – January 2018)

Tour de Yorkshire
28 – 30 April
Taking in Yorkshire’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Fountains Abbey and Saltaire, the Tour de Yorkshire route will this year will start in Bridlington and end in Fox Valley, encompassing all four corners of the county. As well as grueling ascents and mountain climbs, participants will be able to take in views of Whitby, ride on the newly-reopened Tadcaster Bridge and pass into the Yorkshire Dales. Other highlights include the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride which gives amateur riders the chance to ride the same roads as the pros, with routes varying in length from 40km to 119km.

Hever Castle’s first Tulips Celebrations, Kent
24-28 April, 2-7 May
Hever Castle and Gardens’ first Tulips Celebrations will be a visual feast of over 7,000 tulip bulbs. The colourful display, which will include the almost-black Queen of the Night and lilac Blue Amiable varieties, will take over the already remarkable gardens. Head gardener Neil Miller will run guided tours.

The Isle of Wight Walking Festival returns
29 April – 14 May
The Isle of Wight’s popular walking festival has been revived for 2017, with a full schedule of walks for all ages and abilities. IsleWalk17 will see local and visiting walkers explore trails across the island, taking in chalky cliffs and rolling hills, sand dunes and pebbly beaches, bustling towns and sleepy villages of thatched cottages. It’s no wonder the isle is often described as ‘England in miniature’!

Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival, Kent
30 April – 2 May
Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, Chiddingstone Castle in Kent will once again welcome an impressive selection of authors covering a wide-range of topics. Highlights include Terry Waite, 25 years after his release from solitary imprisonment as a hostage in Beirut, talking about his life then and now; biographers Artemis Cooper and Adam Sisman discussing the life and writings of acclaimed travel-writer Patrick Leigh Fermor; and Radio 4 presenter of Saturday Live, Rev. Richard Coles, giving an account of life as a parish priest and broadcaster. For children, there are appearances from prize-winning authors Piers Torday and Lauren St John, poet A F Harrold and local author Christopher Lloyd. There will be a performance of The Ugly Duckling by award-winning theatre company Pericles, along with storytelling shows from Mr Dilly’s World of Wonder and Really Big Pants Theatre Company.

Gateshead International Jazz Festival, GatesheadNewcastle
Dates TBC
Gateshead International Jazz Festival promises visitors a programme packed with an exciting array of jazz music for all listeners; with its trademark mix of International, European and UK artists performing jazz, soul and blues, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The headliner for GIJF 2016 was California’s charismatic Gregory Porter.


‘Diana, Princess of Wales’ – Mario Testino’s collection, Althorp, Northamptonshire
1 May – 8 October
Fifteen iconic images taken in 1997 by Mario Testino of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, will be on display at Althorp – the family home of the Spencers since 1508, and the final resting place of the princess. The photographs Testino initially shot for Vanity Fair turned out to be the last official portraits taken of the Princess before her untimely death the same year. This will be the first time in twelve years that the entire collection will be on display. Entrance to this ‘Diana, Princess of Wales’ exhibition will be included in the regular Althorp admission ticket.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert, various locations
11 – 19 May
A series of screenings accompanied by live orchestras will help mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2017. The film adaptation will be screened in high definition on giant screens as full symphony orchestras sweep away audiences with John Williams’ unforgettable score. The series will kick off in London’s Royal Albert Hall (11-13 May) then tour through cities including Birmingham (15 May), Manchester (16 May), Liverpool (18 May) and Leeds (19 May).

Viking – Rediscover the Legend, Yorkshire Museum
19 May – 5 November
Two of the most significant and internationally recognised collections of Viking Age treasure in Britain will be brought together for the first time in a major new exhibition that features exciting Anglo-Saxon and Viking discoveries. Star objects from the British Museum will feature alongside the Yorkshire Museum's world class collections and will be interpreted in new ways to give a fresh perspective on how Vikings shaped every aspect of life in Britain. It will also feature ground-breaking research by archaeologists and new discoveries by metal-detectorists which aims to challenge our perceptions of what it means to be Viking.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival
12 – 28 May
The internationally renowned Norfolk and Norwich Festival has become a highlight of the region’s cultural calendar. Held over 17 packed days in various locations across the county, the festival presents more than 100 performances in a superb line-up of companies and ensembles from all over the world. The programme takes in 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 a range of Festival workshops.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival, East Anglia
12 – 28 May
Presenting more than 100 performances in a superb line-up of companies and ensembles from all over the world, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival is the flagship arts festival for the East of England and one of the oldest surviving arts festivals in the UK – it dates back to 1772 when a fund-raising concert was held in Norwich Cathedral, and became an annual event in 1988. Each May, Norfolk and Norwich are celebrated through an internationally acclaimed programme of music, theatre, literature, visual arts, circus, dance and outdoor arts, enjoyed by over 75,000 people.

Sea Life: Glimpses, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
13 May – 17 September
This new exhibition will feature a mesmerising aquarium alongside illustrations from contemporary artists such as Gosse – the original Victoria rock pooler. It will lift the lid on fascinating wildlife in and around Devon shores, teaching families how to get out and experience it for themselves. Free admission.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, V&A, London
13 May – 1 October
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will stage the first major international retrospective of Pink Floyd, one of the world’s most pioneering and influential bands. To mark 50 years since the band released their first single Arnold Layne, and over 200 million record sales later, The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains will be an immersive, multi-sensory and theatrical journey through Pink Floyd’s extraordinary world. A story of sound, design and performance, the exhibition will chronicle the music, iconic visuals and staging of the band, from the underground psychedelic scene in 1960s London to the present day, illustrating their groundbreaking use of special effects, sonic experimentation, powerful imagery and social commentary.

York International Shakespeare Festival
15 – 21 May
The York International Shakespeare Festival is a major cultural venture for York and for the North of England. It emerges from a new partnership between the York Theatre Royal, the University of York and Parrabbola. The festival includes productions by major established companies delivering Shakespeare in recognisable and affecting ways alongside experimental new work challenging received ideas about specific plays and, in some cases, about the business of theatre itself. With banners throughout the city, performances on the streets, in the theatres, in churches and simply popping up where you least expect them, and with an influx of Shakespeareans from around the world, for the ten days of the Festival – York will be the city of Shakespeare.

New Chilterns Walking Festival
15 – 29 May
This new walking festival showcases the landscapes, locations and legends of The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, through six events over three years in spring and autumn. The programme for this May features over 70 walks and events for all ages, abilities and interests. Highlights include: an Ancient Feast walk, involving a recreated Iron-Age menu; guided walking tours of Midsomer Murders film locations in Henley; an electric bike tour, combined with afternoon tea in a Chilterns vineyard setting; woodland walks around Chalfont, with bushcraft, foraging and bread-making; Nordic walking events; and a walk along the Ridgeway National Trail taking in the landscapes and places painted by John Nash.

Crimefest, Bristol
18 – 21 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 forty panels with more than a hundred participating authors; a gala awards dinner; and one or two surprises.

Shepley Spring Festival, Yorkshire
19-21 May
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, West Yorkshire’s premier weekend of traditional music, song and dance is a family friendly festival in the village of Shepley on the edge of the beautiful South Pennines. More than 50 concerts, workshops and street entertainment spill out into pubs and venues across the village and features artists from Britain and beyond.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London
23-27 May
The prestigious celebration of gardens and gardening, the Chelsea Flower Show, returns in May. The world’s horticultural spotlight will be shining on Chelsea’s world-class show gardens, fascinating artisan gardens, bold and challenging fresh gardens, and the pavilion packed to bursting with the very best the industry has to offer. Tickets are already on sale.

Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, Wiltshire
26 May – 10 June
Offering an exciting and varied programme of circus, music, film, comedy, theatre, dance, literature and visual arts, Salisbury comes alive with artistic encounters of all kinds during this vibrant and creative festival. The 2017 Festival will look westwards, taking inspiration from the sunset and celebrating the arts and culture of the French-Canadian province of Québec.

Loves Saves The Day, Bristol
27-28 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 music.

WalkFest 2017, North York Moors
27-29 May
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.

Dorchester Marathon
28 May
The new Dorchester Marathon will take in the spectacular views and rich heritage of the Dorset market town and surrounding countryside.

800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln Fair, Lincoln
May – September
Most people know the importance of the 1066 Battle of Hastings or the Battle of Britain in 1940…but how about the 1217 Battle of Lincoln Fair? No? Well, despite its lack of public recognition, historians regard this medieval fight with the French for the English throne as one of the most important turning points in English history. Events marking the anniversary include a new Knight’s Trail of 35 knight-on-horseback sculptures through the city (20 May – 3 September), and a new exhibition, ‘Battle and Dynasties’, featuring prestigious national exhibits will trace British history from the Battle of Lincoln to the present day (28 May – 4 September).
www.visitlincoln.com; www.lincolncastle.com

Birmingham Pride Big Weekender
 27 – 28 May
Storming into the city over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, Birmingham Pride marks its 21st year in 2017 with a Love & Pride theme. The weekend-long festival will launch with the annual carnival parade at noon on 27 May, starting from Victoria Square in the city centre and ending at the Birmingham Gay Village around Hurst Street. This year the main stage will host a headline DJ set by Basement Jaxx on 7 May - alongside a dance area, cabaret marquee, women's arena, funfair and street party. As well as the celebrations, Birmingham Pride aims to educate, celebrate and raise money for local LGBT+ charities.

The inaugural Royal William Yard Festival, Plymouth
27 – 28 May
Showcasing the tremendous strength and depth of local talent across the West Country, Devon and Cornwall bands will get fresh opportunity to perform alongside major national acts to new audiences. Featuring the best in the region’s folk, acoustic, blues, jazz and soul music, including soul superstar Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, the first Royal William Yard Festival promises to celebrate “peninsular living” and everything the beautiful West Country has to offer. Plymouth will also be showing strong support for funk and house music with local DJs and acts.

Napoleonic Re-enactment Weekend - Bringing History to Life at Hole Park, Kent
28 – 29 May
One of the biggest and best Napoleonic re-enactment events in Kent will again be held in the impressive grounds of the Hole Park Estate in Rolvenden. The Napoleonic Re-enactment Weekend, organised by The Napoleonic Association of Great Britain, aims to transport visitors back in history to a time when Europe was in the grip of French dictator Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte … whose plans included invading the United Kingdom via Kent!  The event will include thrilling and skilfully re-enacted battles, a period tented camp, horses, guides and even recruitment and training sessions for children. Stalls and activities, including a Hog Roast and Real Ale tent, in keeping with the historic period (1793-1815), will add to the two-day event’s authentic atmosphere. New this year will be the opportunity to get even closer to the action by booking onto one of two daily tours where you can even prepare canons for fire and have a tour of both the French and English encampments! Admission to Napoleonic Re-enactment Weekend including entry into the gardens is £7 for adults and £1 for children.

Bristol Walking Festival, Bristol
Dates TBC
This month-long Bristol Walking Festival gets people exploring the vibrant city. The festival hosts over 150 walks from 60 organisations with easy-to-follow grading and descriptions, so there are walks for everyone to enjoy, from beginner to expert.


Old Gaffers Festival, Isle of Wight
2 – 4 June
This three-day programme of sailing and entertainment celebrates colourful gaff-rigged and traditional sailing boats and is a treat for all the family, and boat-lovers all around. On shore activities include an eclectic mix of street entertainment, music, food and crafts with a great community spirit at its heart.  Old Gaffers is widely recognised as one of the Island’s most fun-filled festivals

Let’s Rock Bristol
2-4 June
Set in the beautiful grounds of Ashton Court Estate, this gloriously retro music festival features a star-studded line-up of pop stars, all of whom topped the charts in the 80s and 90s. It’s a family friendly affair with plenty to keep little ones entertained, such as circus workshops, face painting, crafts, a funfair and the Disco Shack. In 2017, expect to see legends such Gloria Gaynor, Happy Mondays and Kim Wilde.

Elgar Festival celebrating the 160th Anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar
2 – 11 June
2017 will see the 160th Anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar and to celebrate, Worcester City will be holding an Elgar Festival starting on the composer’s birthday. During the festival, Worcester will recognises arguably its most famous citizen and Britain’s most famous composer with a series of events taking place including concerts, walks, talks, exhibitions and much more.

Flavour Fest, Plymouth
2-4 June
Plymouth city centre’s Piazza will be taken over by demonstrations by local and celebrity chefs, a real ale and wine bar, all sorts of entertainment, and an enthusiastic gaggle of over 120 traders showcasing the best of the South West’s produce, in the region’s largest food and drink festival.

Yorkshire Cosplay Con 2017, Sheffield
3-4 June
After a hugely successful debut show in 2016, fans of anime, comic books, sci-fi and video games can enjoy another fun-packed weekend in the Sheffield Arena. Stars of TV shows and films mingle with fans in fantastic costumes as a wide range of activities takes place all around, from roleplay games and face painting to workshops and gaming events.

Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction, London
3 June – 1 September
The Barbican’s new exhibition will be a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms: science fiction. More than 200 books, a selection of clips from the genre’s best-loved films and a series of newly commissioned artworks will be accompanied by a series of talks and events such as open-air screenings.

The City of Derby and the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Derbyshire
7-11 June
Hot on the heels of the ‘Year of the English Garden’ celebrations and the 300th anniversary of Capability Brown, comes a brand new must-see horticultural event: the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. It’s set to be a show unlike any other, with a focus on cutting edge design, inspired by gardeners and garden designers from the past, especially Joseph Paxton who was once the estate’s gardener, but also the talent, ideas and conceptual thinking of today’s generation of designers. The show will be set in the stunning grounds of Chatsworth House, offering the opportunity to experience ‘Capability’ Brown’s unforgettable landscapes, relax on the banks of the River Derwent and indulge in views of one of the UK’s most spectacular stately homes. Getting into the spirit, the nearby city of Derby is also planning several floral-themed events.
www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chatsworth-flower-show/A-very-different-kind-of-show ; www.chatsworth.org ; www.visitderby.co.uk/whats-on/rhs-chatsworth-flower-show

Virgin Kitesurfing Armada, Hampshire
9-11 June
This major free-to-attend festival on Hayling Island brings the kitesurfing community together for kiting, music and fundraising. There are all-sorts of water-based activities for the kitesurfers (from beginners to pros) and plenty for everyone to enjoy – including the brands’ marquee with all the latest kit, talks tent, afternoon schools talk, family zone, bands and parties, a chill out area and much more. With 5 Guinness world records already under its belt, it’s bound to be an awesome weekend.

Pliosaurus! Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
17 June 2018 – 7 January 2018
150 million years ago, where Bristol is now, there was a Jurassic ocean teaming with life. The biggest creature of all was the awesome predator, the Pliosaurus. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery’s near-complete Pliosaurus carpenteri specimen will be displayed for the first time and will be the star attraction of a family-focused exhibition, telling the story of this incredible prehistoric marine reptile.

Farm Sunday, nationwide
11 June
Discover what it means to be a farmer and learn about the fabulous work they do producing our food and managing the countryside as farmers across the UK open their gates and welcome people onto their farms. Each event is unique with its own activities based around the farm’s own individual story. They could include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor and trailer rides, pond dipping, activities for children, a mini farmers market or picnics. Take time to listen to the birds, soak up the scenery, experience the smells of the farmyard and really get in touch with the land.

Eroica Britannia, Peak District National Park
16 – 18 June
Set in the dramatic scenery of the Peak District National Park, this iconic three-day summertime life, style and cycling festival has a cracking line up of live music, entertainment, family friendly fun, acres of vintage sales, amazing shops and experiences. Enter the ‘World's Most Handsome Bike Ride’ on the 18th for a gruelling but satisfying challenge where you’ll be cheered on by magnificent crowds, all in it together collectively riding over 250,000 miles. Other events include a Glow Ride on the trails after dark, an all-new Family Ride and a Festival area dedicated to the bike and inspiration cycling feats called The Inner Tube will feature over the 3 days. 2017 will also see the introduction of a Headline music act which will take to the main stage on Saturday 17th June.

Open Garden Squares Weekend, London
17-18 June
Satisfy your curiosity with a legitimate peek through the fence in this magical two-day event. Over 200 gardens ranging from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental will be opened to the public.

Jane Austen Regency Week, Hampshire
17-25 June  
Regency Week is set to be an extra-special affair in 2017 as it marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. The nine-day festival will be packed with all things Austen, in and around the market town of Alton and nearby Chawton, the home of Jane Austen’s House & Museum. There will be Regency-style music, dining, drama, talks and guided walks and tours as well as Victorian cricket and a Regency Ball.

Ball Mania – adult only ball pit
16 – 18 June
Prepare to be transported back to your childhood as the Lantern at Bristol’s Colston Hall is transformed into a huge ball pit, containing 200,000 balls. Childs play but strictly for grown ups.

Torchlit Summer Evenings at the Roman Baths, Bath
17 June – 31 August
Every summer, the Roman Baths opens its doors until 10pm every evening, giving visitors the chance to explore the awe-inspiring attraction by torchlight. Thanks to record visitor numbers in 2016, the event has been extended well into June for 2017.

Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Oxfordshire
23-25 June
The 2017 Blenheim Palace Flower Show’s Grand Floral Pavilion is set to be the biggest yet, bursting with specialist plants and impressive floral displays. There will also be celebrity and expert-led gardening talks, a Floral Art Marquee with entries from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies’ Floral Art Competition, show gardens, food, drink and more than 300 exhibitors selling everything from plants and crafts to hot tubs and Arctic cabins.

Heritage Skills Festival, Lincoln
23-24 June
This new festival celebrating the life of The City of London Livery Companies will feature some of the country’s finest traditional craftspeople. The Heritage Skills Festival is a two-day event held in the stunning Cathedral Nave, Transepts and on the East Green of Lincoln Cathedral. Crafters, blacksmiths, embroiderers, glazers, carpenters and stonemasons will work in the same conditions as their medieval ancestors. There will also be 'have-a-go' stations and the chance to take away your very own handcrafted items. 

Pride in London Festival, London
24 June - 9 July
Join in with 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 this huge parade as it passes by major central London landmarks. There's also a street party with performance stages throughout Soho, plus 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. Programme details and the parade route will be announced in the coming months.

Woburn Abbey Garden Show, Bedfordshire
24-25 June
Set in Woburn Abbey Gardens, this garden show makes the most of its stunning location to inspire keen horticulturalists and those simply looking for ideas for a family garden. This eighth instalment will have demonstrations, talks, stalls and Q&A sessions with gardening experts.

London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, London’s Regatta Centre
25 June
Renowned as one of the UK’s most exciting cross-cultural sporting occasions, the free, family-friendly day out provides an excellent opportunity to experience Chinese culture in the British capital. This year spectacular action on the water will be provided by up to 40 competing club, corporate and amateur teams who will battle it out for six cups throughout the day. On land, the event’s food festival will represent the culinary tastes of South East Asia, with entertainment including live music on the East West Festival stage (showcasing new artists from the East and West), martial arts displays, and traditional Chinese lion dancing.

Manchester International Festival 2017
29 June – 16 July
This year’s biennial Manchester International Festival featues eighteen days of world premieres, collaborations and special events by internationally-acclaimed artists. Described by The New Yorker as “probably the most radical and important arts festival today”, artist-led MIF has begun revealing 2017’s line up with a full announcement due on 9 March 2017. One of the first commissions announced is What Is the City but the People? created by Jeremy Deller and the People of Manchester, which will capture Manchester through its outfits, attitudes and individuality. Created by the People of Manchester from an idea by Jeremy Deller, in association with Islington Mill.

Sitting With Jane, Basingstoke
‘Sitting With Jane’ is a public art trail of 25 ‘book benches’ in and around Basingstoke, and part of the global celebrations on the 200th anniversary of the novelist’s death. Each bench has been uniquely designed and painted by a professional artist according to their personal interpretation of a Jane Austen theme. The trail will be accompanied by a dedicated web site, a free app and a trail guide. Austen was born in nearby Steventon, and lived there for nearly half her life – this is where she drafted Pride & Prejudice – visiting Basingstoke regularly to shop and dance.

Dinosaurs from China, Nottingham
A unique dinosaur exhibition is coming to Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, featuring fossils and specimens never before seen outside of Asia. The exhibition includes the best-preserved dinosaur fossils from anywhere in the world – not just the bones, but also soft parts including skin and feathers. Many of the species are new to science, only discovered and named in the last 20 years, and some as recently as 2015. Highlights will include rare specimens such as the Gigantoraptor (the largest feathered dinosaur ever found) and the flying Microraptor (a close relative of the Velociraptor). A Nottinghamshire Festival of Dinosaurs will support the exhibition, with complementary dinosaur-themed events and exhibitions. www.wollatonhall.org.uk/dinosaursofchina

Bristol Pride, Bristol
30 June – 9 July
The highlight of this 10-day celebration is Bristol Pride Day itself on Saturday 8 July, 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. Pride Night sees Bristol carry on the celebrations in Old Market and Frogmore Street. The official after party at the Bristol O2 Academy - three rooms of international and local DJs, performance, live acts and dancers - is a special fundraising night to help keep Bristol Pride Day free. Dressing up is encouraged, with this year's themes including Revolutionaries & Rebels, The Resistance and Pride War Paint. Check the website for a more details of the 2017 celebrations and headline acts.

350th Anniversary of the Battle of Medway
Dates TBC
Plans are afoot to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the Battle of Medway (also known as the Dutch Raid) with a series of exhibitions and special events, culminating in Medway in Flames, a spectacular river event in Chatham. The Dutch Raid is well known in The Netherlands where it’s viewed as one of the country’s biggest naval successes. Conversely, it’s one of England’s greatest naval disasters.


Bristol Festival of Nature
Dates TBC
One of the UK’s greatest celebrations of the natural world, Bristol Festival of Nature features hundreds of events, including lectures, tours and film screening on the subject of science, natural history and the environment. The two-day free event is run by the Bristol Natural History Consortium.

Bristol Summer Series
Dates TBC
Bristol’s impressively varied live music scene draws crowds of thousands to the city’s Harbourside amphitheatre for the annual Summer Series. With a stage flanked by two tall ships, their masts lit for the occasion, the Series has already attracted some of the biggest stars in the business, including George Ezra, Kaiser Chiefs, Paolo Nutini and Sigur Ross. 

Leeds Waterfront Festival
Dates TBC
2017 sees the 10th instalment of this exciting annual event which stretches along 5 miles of Leeds Waterfront, highlighting the city’s heritage, culture and some of its best venues such as Brewery Wharf and Calls Landing. The Waterfront Festival boasts the best range of food, drink, art, music and entertainment, and aims to bring communities, businesses and visitors together for a great day out. 


Festival LGBT 50, Hull
Marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, LGBT 50 will celebrate Hull’s vibrant LGBT community. One of the highlights of Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s Freedom season, it will incorporate Hull Pride (22 July), and include a live event at City Hall and a choreographic commission.
www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/lgbt-50 ; prideinhull.co.uk

Stratford River Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon
1-2 July
Stratford’s largest family friendly, free 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, if past events are anything to go by, a spectacular illuminated parade of boats and a grand firework display.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships 2017, London
3 - 16 July 2017
Enjoy one of the tennis sporting events of the year at Wimbledon, one of four annual Grand Slam tennis tournaments held around the world. The world of tennis descends on Wimbledon in South West London every summer for the longest-running tennis tournament in the world, and one of four annual Grand Slam tennis events held around the globe. Games are still played on the original playing surface, grass, and there's a strict white-only dress code for players. The tournament attracts around 500,000 spectators and millions of television viewers worldwide.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, London
4-9 July
With around 130,000 visitors, this annual flower show is one of the biggest in the world, and its setting in the historic gardens of Hampton Court Palace is utterly unique. There’s a rose marquee, seriously impressive show gardens, innovative conceptual gardens by up-and-coming garden designers, demos by celebrity gardeners and shops selling garden supplies.

York Early Music Festival, York
7-15 July
2017 is the 40th anniversary of York’s premier annual music event, which welcomes visitors and musicians from across the world. It’s a winning blend of music from the 12th to 18th centuries, in a host of beautifully suitable venues such as historic churches, guildhalls and medieval houses. Guest artists already lined up for the 40th anniversary celebrations include the award-winning Consone String Quartet and I Fagiolini and the University of York's 24 directed by Robert Hollingworth.

Proms, York Museum Gardens
9 July
York Museum Gardens will be the stunning backdrop to the inaugural York Proms, an open air picnic concert celebrating the most popular classical music ever written with a rousing proms finale, champagne, strawberries and much more. The new event will also raise money for the York Museums Trust, which operates York Museum Gardens along with York Castle Museum, the Yorkshire Museum, York Art Gallery and York St Mary's in York.

Kew the Music summer concerts, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
11 – 16 July
Set within the grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, this glorious week-long festival of summer picnic concerts offers stunning summers evening and an impressive lineup. Whether you fancy being whisked back to the heyday of the notorious Haçienda, or would love the chance to hear the recent hits from Passenger performed live, there’s something for everyone. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drink, or to enjoy the open-air bars and tasty street food stalls.

Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate
11-13 July
Over the three days, 300,000 visitors are expected to attend the Great Yorkshire show. The 2017 event – the 159th show – will see thousands of horses compete in the show jumping and equine classes, and a display of the UK’s finest cattle, sheep and pigs competing for the coveted championship rosettes. The action-packed programme includes music, food, and country pursuits; all in all, it’s a great day out in Harrogate.

IPC World ParaAthletics Championships 2017, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
14 – 23 July
See the world's best para-athletes compete in The Stadium at the 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships. The city will be hosting this prestigious competition a month before the IAAF World Athletics Championships. London will be the first city to host the two championships side-by-side, recreating the summer of sport that transformed the British capital in the summer of 2012.

Yorkshire AleAthlon 2017
15 July
Athletic prowess isn’t a requirement for this new 8-mile-long ‘race’ through the Holme Valley. Regular feed stations will stock optional samples of some of Yorkshire’s finest ales, as well as water, nibbles and snacks. There will be prizes for the first three males and females, but everyone can join in the after-party, with beer (of course), food and camping.

The Open Championship, Liverpool
16-23 July
This major golfing event will be held at the Royal Birkdale in Merseyside.

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire
19-23 July
Taking place in the height of summer, Tatton Park’s flower show is packed with new creations by the best young and up-and-coming garden designers. Regular favourites include the show gardens, breathtaking floral displays, talks and demonstrations, delicious artisan food and great shopping. Tickets on sale now.

Great Yorkshire Fringe, York
21 July – 12 August
This weird, wise and wonderful ten day comedy festival will host top notch comedians and fantastic family entertainment in York's city centre, aiming to bring the best in comedy, cabaret, theatre and music to Yorkshire. 

Selby Arts Festival, North Yorkshire
22-30 July
The inaugural Selby Arts Festival will be a seven-day extravaganza of music, dance and theatre.

National Parks Week, nationwide
24-30 July
England’s 10 national parks will do their bit for National Parks Week with tonnes of events to celebrate everything that’s great about the nation’s “breathing spaces”. The theme for 2017 is ‘bringing people together’, be they farming communities, families, young people or access groups. All sorts of activities will take place, from cycling and walking to stargazing, and many of them will be free too.

Cambridge Folk Festival
27-30 July
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.

The Game Fair, Hertfordshire
28-30 July
For the first time in its history, this year’s Game Fair will take place at Hatfield House. The Game Fair focuses on traditional rural roots, field sports, farming and countryside pursuits, from archery and clay shooting to falconry and ferreting. There will be the chance to have a go at some of the activities, as well as browse shops and sample artisan food and drink. Camping and glamping will be available too.

RideLondon, London-Surrey
28 – 30 July
Developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies in 2013, Prudential RideLondon is a world-class festival of cycling. Prudential RideLondon provides a fantastic platform to help fulfil The Mayor and TfL’s goal of encouraging 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 like it that combines the fun and accessible element of a free family ride in central London with the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclists race in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic and Prudential RideLondon Classique.

Upfest, Bristol 
29-31 July
Europe’s largest free street and graffiti art festival attracts over 250 graffiti artists from all over the world. Artists produce 30,000 square foot of artwork over the weekend to the soundtrack of live music at locations including the Tobacco Factory, Hen and Chicken, and the Climbing Centre. This annual family-friendly festival sees hundreds of families attend each year, with kids taking part in graffiti workshop and art-related activities. Every year, the festival raises money for The National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA).

Nelson and Norfolk, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich
29 July – September
This major exhibition will gather together some of the most extraordinary and potent objects connected to Admiral Lord Nelson, reflecting his naval victories, his relationships and above all his affection for his native county of Norfolk. Among the objects on display, will be the black velvet drape from his funeral car, a uniform worn by a Greenwich Volunteer who guarded Nelson’s coffin during his two day lying-in-state, a model of the funeral barge made by a French prisoner of war at Norman Cross and extensive Nelson funeral memorabilia.

IAAF World Championships and the IPC Athletics World Championships, London
2017 will be the first time ever that the IAAF World Championships (5-13 August) and the IPC World ParaAthletics Championships (15-23 July) have been held in the same city in the same year. Together, the events will be known as London 2017, and will see competitors from the field of athletics and para-athletics take part in the biggest sport event of the year in this field. It will take place in the iconic Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Park – the venue of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Kynren – an epic tale of England, County Durham
Exciting open-air night-time show, ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’, will return to Bishop Auckland in summer 2017. In 2016 it was listed by Rough Guides as one of the world’s ‘top 10 must-see tourist attractions to experience in 2016’. This exciting family show takes the audience on a spellbinding journey through British history. Taking place on a landscaped open-air stage (equivalent to five football pitches with a full-size lake at its centre) against the backdrop of Auckland Castle, visitors are immersed in 2,000 years of history, with a movie-like, fast-paced and action-packed journey from Roman times to the Second World War, through the Viking invasions, the splendour of the Tudors, the Industrial Revolution and the Roaring Twenties. More than 1,000 volunteers are involved as cast and crew, with an accompanying cast of animals comprising performance horses, sheep, goats, cattle and even ducks.

Grillstock, Bristol  Dates TBC
Thousands of BBQ-loving carnivores get the chance to feast on delicious meat whilst being serenaded by over 25 acts belting out Deep South and acoustic blues on Bristol’s Harbourside. The festival’s jewel in the crown is ‘King of the Grill’: a huge two-day US style low ‘n’ slow BBQ competition. There are also eating competitions for those with big appetites! Usually a two-day event, there’s talk of a third day being added to the bill in 2017…

MTV Crashes Plymouth, Plymouth
Dates TBC
MTV Crashes Plymouth is set to storm Plymouth for a fourth time this summer. Expect another impressive line-up performing on the historic Hoe with a backdrop of Smeaton’s Tower and the sea. In 2016, Rudimental, Jess Glynne and Example headed up the event.

Bristol Harbour Festival, Bristol
Dates TBC
To celebrate Bristol’s maritime heritage, and the importance of the city’s docks and harbour, Bristol’s Harbourside is transformed into a thriving festival packed with live performances. From Brunel’s ss Great Britain to M Shed, and from Queen Square to leafy Castle Park, there are artists, musicians, circus acts, children’s events, dancers, markets and street stalls. Hundreds of sailing boats on the water providing a vibrant backdrop.


Hyde Hall Flower Show, Essex
3-6 August
The 2016 Hyde Hall Flower Show was a four-day floral extravaganza set in the hall’s spectacular surroundings attended by about 27,000 visitors, and it’s expected to be even more popular in 2017. A firm favourite in the gardening calendar, there will be 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,.

Lytham Festival, Lancashire
3-6 August
Lancashire’s largest live music event attracts tens of thousands of spectators with its impressive line-ups, which blend contemporary and classical music with comedy and culture. In 2016, rock legend Bryan Adams, Bay City Rollers, Earth Wind and Fire and Toploader all made an appearance.

IAFF World Athletic Championships 2017, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London
4 – 13 August 2017
After fantastic performances at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, Team GB brings the baton home as preparations begin for the next championships, in London in 2017. Hear the roar of the home crowd once again, as more than 3,300 athletes from across the globe battle it out for world domination. Be part of the action and relive the thrills of the London 2012 Olympic Games, when star athletes Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Usain Bolt won their gold medals in the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Harrogate
4 – 20 August
Bringing together a wonderful mix of leading performing groups, this world festival celebrates the works of the acclaimed Gilbert and Sullivan. There will be special performances from the outstanding National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Charles Court Opera and the international EGOS THEATRE. In addition to the main programme there will be a daily programme of Fringe events – concerts, recitals, talks, plays.

Shrewsbury Flower Show
11-12 August
TV personalities, celebrity chefs, singers and spectacular 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.

British Firework Championships, Plymouth
9-10 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 Whitby Regatta, Yorkshire
19-21 August
The Whitby Regatta heralds 177 years of aquatic entertainment – it’s 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 will finish with a prize presentation and a spectacular firework display.

Leeds West Indian Carnival’s 50th anniversary, Leeds
20-28 August
The 2016 instalment of Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean Carnival was the biggest yet, and it’s set to be outdone in 2017 – the carnival’s 50th anniversary. Five stunning new carnival costume headpieces will be commissioned for the occasion, and go on tour so everyone can try them on. The headpieces will be themed to represent the key stages of the journey of the carnival from the Caribbean to Leeds. Regularly attracting crowds of over 100,000, Leeds West Indian Carnival is one of the North’s biggest annual events, combining soca music, phenomenal steel pans, arts, crafts and cuisines of the Caribbean in an explosion of colour, costumes and addictive rhythms. A variety of events lead up to the carnival on August bank holiday Monday. 

bOing! International Family Festival, Canterbury
26-27 August
Canterbury’s family arts festival bounces back to the Gulbenkian in 2017. The theatre and grounds of the University of Kent’s art centre will host a packed programme of the very best in theatre, dance, music and film for all ages. Expect magical performances and exciting experiences; 2016 saw the premiere of Pinocchio by Jasmin Vardimon Company, the enchanting Dybwikdans’ The Princess and the Pea, new commissions by leading arts and dance groups, and the UK premiere of Pop-Up Garden.

England’s Medieval Festival, East Sussex
26-28 August
Marking its 25th anniversary, England’s Medieval Festival 2017 promises to be the most magical event yet. 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. Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex is the fairy-tale setting for a totally different festival experience. 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.

Notting Hill Carnival, London
27-28 August
Fresh talent, brilliant music and a beautifully decorated parade of floats – Notting Hill Carnival is a real explosion of creativity that fills the streets with intricate costumes, steel and marching bands, Calypso music and a variety of mouthwatering food. This annual event has taken place since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill and continues to captivate millions of people each year with its unique charm.

The Big Wild Sleepout on Havergate Island, Suffolk
27-28 August
Escape to Suffolk's only island for a relaxed end of the summer holidays and spend a day and night surrounded by amazing wildlife on this peaceful RSPB nature reserve in the River Ore. See flocks of birds, grasshoppers or crickets and with some luck spot the wild Havergate hares in their natural home. The Sleepout offers exclusive admission to the remote nature reserve and the opportunity to participate in a programme of exciting activities, including photography and birding.

World Gravy Wrestling Championships, Lancashire
28 August
Placed in the top ten of the weirdest ‘sports’ and pastimes in 2010, the World Gravy Wrestling Championships in Rossendale is one of the world’s quirkiest competitions. Fearless contestants line up to battle it out in a pool full of Lancashire gravy to become Gravy Wrestling Champion. If the aroma is irresistible, head to a nearby pub for some gravy served up the traditional way.

Newlyn Fish Festival, Cornwall
28 August
An annual festival since 1991, the Newlyn Fish Festival grows increasingly popular year by year and attracts thousands of visitors. Raising money for families and fishermen affected by illness and tragedies at sea, the festival has a great cause close to its heart. Visitors can enjoy cooking demos, film screenings, live music, trawler racing and craft and trade fairs.

City Festival, Leicester
Dates TBC
Leicester’s City Festival see streets and venues in the heart of the city packed with family friendly activities, entertainment, music, street art, culture and sports.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol
10-13 August
One of the UK’s Top Five Outdoor Events, Bristol International Balloon Fiesta sees over 150 hot-air balloons take to the skies at dusk and dawn from Ashton Court Estate’s beautiful grounds; it’s Europe’s largest hot-air balloon event. The free four-day 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.


Blackpool Illuminations & Lightpool, Lancashire
1 September – 5 November
This annual light show has been a major part of Blackpool’s attraction since 1879 when they were described as ‘Artificial Sunshine’. The Festival of Light compliments the traditional Illuminations with a contemporary look at the concept of light and art working together to create entertainment. Expect the Illuminations to be bookended by a fantastic celebrity-packed Switch-on Festival Weekend (1-3 September) with bespoke Illumination performances in September, and Lightpool Festival (TBC), a spectacular walking route linking Blackpool’s most iconic buildings and history through light installation artworks.

Arthur Rackham in Sussex: A 150th Birthday Celebration, Bateman’s, East Sussex
8 September – 29 October
To celebrate the 150th birthday of Arthur Rackham, the National Trust Bateman’s House, the former home of Rudyard Kipling, is hosting an exhibition of his works, particularly focusing on his illustrations of Kipling’s Puck of Pook’s Hill and other work in Sussex. These will be accompanied by modern art and music responses inspired by his legacy, as well as art workshops and competitions, and public talks. The wonderful illustrator of many children’s books, including Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Wind in the Willows, and Rudyard Kipling’s Puck of Pook’s Hill, Arthur Rackham is widely considered a leader of the Golden Age of Illustration.

Heritage Open Days, nationwide
7-10 September
Around 5,000 free events mark this once-a-year chance to explore the local landscape like never before. Many historic locations open their doors to the public for the first time, from local windmills and follies to underground adventures in lead and silver mines. Stay tuned for more details as more plans are put in place.

International Sheep Dog Trials, Cotswolds
8-10 September 2017
Sixty handlers, their dogs and up to 20,000 visitors will descend on Lodge Park, Eastington for the International Sheep Dog Trials, 2017. This is the first time the Cotswolds has been selected to host the trials.

The International Agatha Christie Festival, Torquay
13-17 September
Celebrate the birthday of the Queen of Crime in her birthplace, with book signings, readings and tours of the places that meant the most to her. It’s an annual event that brings together the best of crime writing from around the world.

Harrogate Flower Show, Yorkshire
15-17 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. From inspiration for visitors’ own gardens  through show gardens, street scene gardens, talks and demos to the ever-popular giant vegetable competition, the September show is the place to go for autumn – and year-round – garden ideas.

London Design Festival, London
16-24 September
Taking place in various locations across the city, the London Design Festival celebrates and promotes the capital as the world’s design capital. Over 400 events and exhibitions showcase London’s creativity through displays from educators, thinkers and creatives from around the world. Some of 2016’s highlights included: a crazy golf course in Trafalgar Square designed by top British creatives Paul Smith, Mark Wallinger, Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid; Baboushka Boxes referencing London’s housing crisis in Notting Hill; a 20-metre moving metallic ribbon in the V&A’s Tapestry Gallery; and a dynamic installation in the courtyard of the Black Cultural Archives.

York Food and Drink Festival, York
22 September – 1 October
One of the biggest foodie festivals in Britain, York Food and Drink Festival offers a great variety of day and evening events. From wine and food tastings to cookery demonstrations and hands-on workshops hosted in some of the city’s iconic historic buildings, the event celebrates the best local and regional food and drink.

Derby Festé 2017, Derby
23-24 September
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.

New Scientist Live, London
28 September – 1 October
Experience the latest, best and most provocative science covering all areas of our lives and universe with New Scientist Live at ExCel London. New Scientist Live is a four-day festival full of ideas and discovery from the team behind the world’s most popular science weekly magazine. The show features four immersive zones including Brain & Body, Technology, Earth and Cosmos, as well as talks from experts and more than 200 exhibitors.

Stratford Town Centre Food Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon
TBC (expected 22-24 September)
More than 100 food and drink stalls will fill three town centre areas for Stratford’s annual food festival in 2017. Expect chef demonstrations, workshops for kids and adults, local chefs showcasing local produce and culinary talent, and food and ale trails.

Southampton Boat Show 2016, Southampton
Dates TBC
2017 will be the Southampton Boat Show’s 49th show. It showcases the very best that the international marine industry has to offer with thousands of boats, brands and equipment on display, from the latest world launches and powerboats to sail. There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to get out on the water for free and to experience dinghy sailing, power boating or a RIB ride. The whole family will be able to get active and explore the world of boating and watersports.

Great Cornish Food Festival, Cornwall
Dates TBC
The Great Cornish Food Festival is the largest festival dedicated to celebrating the quality and wealth of Cornish food and drink. With over 100 top chefs and food experts from around the country gathering to showcase the secrets of cooking Cornwall’s delicious produce, the three-day event is a gastronomic delight for the whole family.  

Lincoln Book Festival, Lincoln
Dates 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 the course of seven days, with talks each evening from acclaimed authors who are specialists in their field. 



Christmas at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
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. In 2016, Blenheim transformed the gardens into an illuminated wonderland with a new, hour-long trail filled with scented fire gardens, singing Christmas trees and a lake aglow with brightly lit boats filled with snowflakes and presents. There was also late-night shopping in the East Courtyard gift shop, spiced cider and mulled wine, a Christmas Crafts Fair, visiting choirs from local schools, and Christmas-themed workshops. Expect more of the same in 2017.

Christmas at Chatsworth, Derbyshire
Come Christmastime, magnificent Chatsworth House is bedecked with beautiful, themed decorations. In 2016, the theme was The Nutcracker, and lavish costumes, wonderful stage sets, soldiers, ballerinas and dancing snowflakes depicted the story in a series of stunning tableau scenes throughout the house. Other past themes have included Alice’s Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia and Deck the Halls. Whatever theme Chatsworth chooses for 2017, 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.

Humber Mouth Literature Festival, Hull
The 25th year of Humber Mouth Literature Festival will coincide with Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Expect poets, authors and respected musos to head up discussions, book signings, riotous children’s events and gigs. The range of tastes catered for is enormous; in 2016, the programme covered Shakespeare, crime, Galician culture, Star Trek and the memoirs of a major pop journalist.
humbermouth.com ; www.hull2017.co.uk/discover/article/preview-humber-mouth-literature-festival-2016

Nottingham Comedy Festival
3 – 11 November
Have a rip-roaringly funny few days as the Nottingham Comedy Festival brings together both the brand new comedians to the well established, contributing towards Nottingham’s rapidly growing comedy scene. With many local acts, the festival brings together an array of different forms of comedy to have your shoulders shaking and your tummy aching. In 2016, the festival offered 101 shows in 21 venues across the city.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF), York
8 – 12 November
An established and dynamic player on the UK film festival circuit and BAFTA qualifying, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. Spanning all genres including drama, documentary, animation, comedy, music video, thriller, experimental and artists' works, the festival showcases its films across 15 distinct and historic locations in the city of York. Moving between medieval halls, ancient city walls, boutique cinemas, quirky stores, lively café bars, art spaces and museums, the festival invites visitors to create their own unique viewing experience. Alongside screenings, ASFF also presents a series of masterclasses and workshops with leading industry figures, working with such organisations as BAFTA, Channel 4, Warp Films, Raindance, Sheffield Doc/Fest and many more. There are also networking opportunities and social events across the weekend.

Lumiere 2017, Durham City
16 – 19 November 2017
This spectacular light festival transforms the streets of Durham City in to a nocturnal art trail, showing the possibilities of light and how it can transform urban environments. Back in Durham for the fifth time, artists from around the world will illuminate the city in delightful and unexpected ways, with a series of light installations to explore. In 2015, some 200,000 people turned out to see Durham City transformed by 29 artworks across four magical winter evenings. Visitors encountered incredible artistic feats including a colossal whale in the Wear, the history of the universe projected onto the iconic cathedral and the mysterious fog below the castle.
www.lumiere-festival.com, Winter Droving,

Dates TBC
Join the herd at the Winter Droving festival, a spectacular celebration of winter and Cumbria’s agricultural heritage – illuminating Penrith with fire, animation, music and merriment. As well as a fantastic array of street entertainment, there will be a mystical masked procession through the town as night falls. Rural games and challenges in the ‘Drovers Cup’ will include hay bale racing, pint carrying, sausage eating and a good old-fashioned tug-o-war as well as plenty of arts and crafts. 

Kendal Mountain Festival, Kendal
Dates TBC
Every November thousands of people gather in Kendal to attend the world’s biggest Mountain Festival. In a celebration of film, outdoor sports, literature, art and legends, the event aims 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.

St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival, Cornwall
Dates TBC
The annual St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival is the biggest party of the year for ale lovers across the country. Visitors can sample over 130 different stouts, ales and lagers, including some brewed especially for the occasion, whilst experiencing the ancient cellars of the Austell Brewery and listening to live bands.



Enchanted Park, NewcastleGateshead
Early December
Every year, a trail of art installations with lights, performances, sculptures and projections transforms Gatehead’s Saltwell Park into a winter wonderland. In 2016, the theme was A Midwinter Night’s Tale, which took visitors on an intriguing journey where a hidden manuscript found inside the Towers unleashed a strange kind of magic. Enchanted Parks is part of Light up the North, a series of seven light festivals in seven cities in north England. Don’t delay when buying tickets – they tend to sell out quickly.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring A Classic, London
16 December 2017 – 8 April 2018
The unique exhibition will explore the success of Winnie-the-Pooh and the relationships that created him, including Christopher Robin’s make-believe with his toys and the collaboration between Milne as author and Shepard as illustrator. Designed for both children and adults, the exhibition will draw on the V&A’s collection of pencil sketches, proofs, letters and photographs, and many key loans. In addition, the original manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh from the Wren Library at Trinity College will be on display for the first time at the V&A.


And beyond…

2018: Mayfest, Bristol
May, exact dates TBC
Produced by MAYK in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic and other key art venues across Bristol, Mayfest showcases contemporary and alternative theatre dedicated to displaying a diverse range of unusual, playful and ambitious work from leading theatre makers in Bristol, the UK and beyond.

2018: Bristol Food Connections, Bristol
June 2018 
In collaboration with the BBC, Bristol Food Connections aims to celebrate the area’s independent spirit and vibrant food culture. The three-week-long pop-up event features a tapas bar, live entertainment, and a luxury fine dining experience where household-name chefs turn up to cook for 100 guests each night. It’s a spectacular event that showcases high-quality sustainably sourced food in a Tipi Village in Queen Square. 

2018: Deep Water Solo Climbing Competition, Exeter
24-27 August 2018
An exciting sporting event for spectators, the competition taps into one of the fastest growing areas of climbing: deep water soloing. Climbers attempt to ascend routes on sea cliffs without using ropes, using the sea below as their drop-off point when they can no longer climb. Dozens of the UK and Europe’s top climbers together with over 160 ‘amateurs’ from across the country compete in the event. It’s free for spectators to view but you may wish to bring a soft cushion to sit on as no additional quayside seating is supplied.

The Great Exhibition of the North
Summer 2018 
Showcasing world-class art, culture, design and innovation from the North, this free exhibition will reveal how the North of England's great art and culture, design and innovation has shaped all our lives and is building the economy of tomorrow. Using the city as its stage, three walking routes across NewcastleGateshead will be complemented by an opening programme against the iconic Quayside backdrop, followed by events that will surprise, delight and excite audiences from across the UK and beyond. The dramatic story of the North, told in imaginative and powerful ways, will instil local pride and inspire people to pursue exciting lives and careers in the North.

2019: UCI Road World Championships, Yorkshire
Yet another major sporting event will arrive in Yorkshire in 2019. One of the world’s most prestigious professional cycling events, the UCI Road World Championships will see 1,000 riders from 75 different countries complete in 12 races over eight days. The routes will take in Yorkshire’s spectacular countryside and no doubt be packed by crowds waving on the athletes.



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