As a nation, we love to embrace an occasion and this year has shown just that, with the Diamond Jubilee and summer games celebrations that have taken place.
Festivals and events are popular in the UK with villages, towns and counties proud to celebrate their local traditions, many of which are centuries old.
If you are holidaying in the UK, why not find out what events are taking place in the surrounding area and go along and take part in the fun. It’s a wonderful way of experiencing British culture and life and the choice is vast throughout the year with music festivals, carnivals, arts festivals, village fetes, county shows, flower festivals, river races and festivals of food and drink, to name just a few!
With too many to mention, here are just a few to whet your appetite:
- January – There is no better place to celebrate the New Year than in Scotland. Hogmanay is a huge event with festivals and celebrations lasting some four to five days. Edinburgh is the largest and most legendary event but there are plenty of other great parties and festivals with something for the whole family.
- February - The City of York stages its famous long standing Viking Festival to celebrate its Nordic heritage. This International event attracts over 10,000 visitors to this beautiful part of Yorkshire with Vikings from all parts of the world descending to take part in bloody battles!
- March - With spring on its way and the weather starting to warm, sporting events become more frequent. The Cheltenham National Hunt Festival is an incredibly popular date in the racing diary providing four action packed days of excitement and anticipation. People come from afar to enjoy the festival, with many coming from Ireland for early St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Cotswolds villages and towns are always bustling of an evening during this time of the year with race goers returning to celebrate their winnings in the fantastic pubs and restaurants.
- April - Beer festivals are always popular and the East Anglian Beer Festival is no exception. Taking place towards the end of April in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, it attracts thousands of people visiting to sample the regions top brews!
- May - Another popular festival with drinkers is the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival which takes place during early May. This diverse event allows you to not only discover the passion behind this wonderful tipple but also experience culture, heritage, food and music. An incredibly fun and family friendly festival with many events that encourage you to explore and experience this beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands which is malt whisky country at its very best!
- June - The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts is the largest music festival in the UK which takes place in Somerset. Thousands and thousands of attendees flock to this famous event to not only enjoy music but also other performing arts including comedy and dance.
- July - Historically a warm and dry month, there are numerous festivals and events to choose from. The Big Cheese in South Wales attracts over 80,000 visitors over a weekend period. Held in the town of Caerphilly, with one of Europe’s largest castles as a beautiful backdrop, the event attracts all ages with its traditional folk dancing, fire eating, music, street entertainers, and minstrels to name just a few.
- August – Broadstairs Folk week is a great buzzy event that takes place in this traditional pretty seaside town on the Kent coastline.
- September - the UK’s longest standing food festival takes place in Shropshire inside the walls of Ludlow’s beautiful medieval castle. A magical historic town with a fine culinary reputation where you will find over 160 producers exhibiting and enthusiastic chefs providing talks and cookery demonstrations. A must for foodies!
- October - With the waters getting colder, The Falmouth Oyster Festival kicks off the arrival of the much loved oyster season. A must for all seafood lovers, the festival promotes the reputable quality of Cornish seafood and allows you to sample and purchase local food and drink produce. With a great atmosphere, visitors can enjoy cookery demonstrations and fun events such as the oyster shucking competition, the town parade or watch the working boat race. Plenty of fun for the whole family.
- November - A wetter month it may be, but a warming one nonetheless with bonfire parties taking place all over the country. With the winter months upon us and more time being spent watching television, a film festival is a good choice. The Bath Film Festival is incredibly popular and celebrates the success of cinema with many events and screenings across the city.
- December - With everyone getting in the festive season, why not visit one of the many Christmas markets that take place throughout the country. Lincoln is host to the UK’s oldest Christmas market where its cobbled streets and medieval square provide a temporary home for four days to some 350 stall holders. With the Norman castle and dramatic Gothic cathedral as a stunning backdrop, it provides a magical start to Christmas.