Year-Round Festivals and Events in England

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Published/Revised on February 4, 2013·

 

Many people plan their vacations around wonderful events such as the Hampton Court Flower Show, or Trooping the Color. So if you are traveling to England, be sure note which festival or event is occurring while you are there and try to take advantage of the opportunity!

January and February

Chinese New Year
Late Jan or early Feb
Chinese New Year is the biggest festival of the year in Chinese communities. Lion dances, firecrackers, and processions mark London’s Chinese celebration.
Chinatown, London

March

Crufts Dog Show
2nd week of Mar
Held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, this is one of the biggest shows featuring over 21,000 dogs competing from all over Europe.
Birmingham, West Midlands

April

London International Book Fair (LIBF)
Mid-Apr
One of the largest growing book fairs in the world, it attracts exhibitors and visitors from all over Europe.
National and Grand Halls
Olympia, London

May

Furry Dancing FestivalEarly May
Spring festival celebrating flowers with dancing and rides.
Helston, Cornwall

Chelsea Flower Show
Mid-May
One of the world’s most popular flower shows, offering the best in gardening and horticulture for one week in May.
Royal Hospital, London

Brighton Festival
Last 3 weeks in May
This large festival offers more than 800 performances by both international artists of the highest level as well as local artists. Spectators will enjoy jazz, rock, world music, rap, dancing and more.
Brighton, East Sussex

Glyndebourne Festival Opera Season

Mid-May through Aug 
Opera productions.
Near Lewes, East Sussex

June

Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions
Jul through Aug
Large art show of new works by many artists.
London

Trooping the Colour
Saturday closest to Jun 10th
Dating back to Charles II in the 17th century, this custom was originally held as a daily military rally, so that each man could recognize other members of his regiment. Today 1400 officers and soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians and drum corps members and the Queen herself, mark the Queen’s birthday with this official parade of colorful pageantry.
Whitehall, London 

Glastonbury Festival
Late Jun
This large festival originated in the 1970′s to coincide with the Summer Solstice, and embraces the medieval traditions of art, music, poetry, and dance, while presenting popular recording artists as well.
Glastonbury, Somerset

July

Leeds Castle Open Air Classical Concerts
Early Jul
Open-air concerts
Leeds, Yorkshire

Royal Show
1st week of Jul
National agricultural show.
Near Kenliworth, Warwickshire

Hampton Court Flower Show
Early July
Visitors can browse the huge, extravagant gardens at Hampton Court, which was home to Henry VIII.
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey

Cambridge Folk Festival
Last weekend of July
This is a festival with top international music artists, and is known for its eclectic line-up of music acts. It also includes exotic foods, crafts, instrument stalls and a children’s concert.
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

August

Henry Wood Promenade Concerts
Mid-Jul through Mid-Sep
This famous concert series (also known as the Proms) began in 1895 by Henry Wood, a famous organist and conductor. The idea of the concert is to provide the general public access to the arts on a more open, affordable level and allowing the audience to walk or ‘promenade’ around the arena. Today, Wood’s idea still continues in this annual BBC event that focuses on contemporary classical and modern music.
Royal Albert Hall, London

Notting Hill Carnival
Last weekend in Aug
This is a West Indian Street carnival with floats, bands, and stalls. It began in 1964 with the focus of deterring racism toward Caribbean and other Black immigrants and bringing together the people of the Notting Hill area.
Notting Hill, London

Arundel Festival
Late Aug
Arundel Castle hosts this festival, which features jazz, art, dancing and more.
High Street
Arundel, Sussex

September

Blackpool Illuminations
Sep through Oct
A 5-mile spectacle of lighting along Blackpool’s seafront.
Blackpool, Lancashire

Great Autumn Flower Show

3rd weekend of Sep
Displays by nurseries and flower organizations
Harrogate, N. Yorkshire

Horse of the Year

Horse of the Year Show
Last weekend in Sep
Wembley, London

October

Canterbury Festival
2nd and 3rd weeks of Oct
This festival celebrates the rich history of Canterbury with street entertainment, theatre and music performances and medieval sites and sounds.
Canterbury, Kent

November

Opening of Parliament
Oct or Nov
The Queen partakes of the parade from Buckingham Palace to Westminster in an elegant stagecoach, to open the new Parliament session.
London

Lord Mayor’s Procession and Show
2nd Sat in Nov
This is the Lord Mayor’s 800-year-old custom, where he parades through the streets to the Queen’s Bench to pledge allegiance to the crown.
London

Remembrance Day
2nd Sunday in Nov
Services and parades at the Cenotaph.
Whitehall, London

London to Brighton

London to Brighton

RAC London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally
First Sunday in Nov
A 7am start from Hyde Park, London where antique cars put-put all the way to Brighton.
London to Brighton

Regent Street Christmas Lights
Mid-Nov
London

December

Christmas Tree Lighting
1st Thursday in Nov
A Christmas tree is donated to England by the people of Norway and is lit by the Mayor of Oslo. The festivities are continued with the singing of Christmas carols.
Trafalgar Square, London

Compiled by Terri Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com

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