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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This major golfing event will be held at the Royal Birkdale in Merseyside.
RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, Cheshire
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
The inaugural Selby Arts Festival will be a seven-day extravaganza of music, dance and theatre.
National Parks Week, nationwide
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.