Best British annual events in Autumn 2021

SEPTEMBER


1. The Braemar Gathering


Date: 4th September 2021

Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland


Enjoy the skills of the pipers and Highland dancers and the stamina of the hill runners as well as the international athletes taking part in the heavy events. Sample contemporary Scotland with live music, top-quality arts and crafts and local food and drink at one of The Queen’s favourite annual events.

2. British Science Festival


Date: 7th – 11th September 2021

Location: Chelmsford, South East


Organised each year by the British Science Association, The British Science Festival shines the limelight on Britain’s top scientists. The Festival lasts over six days and past events have ranged from lectures and debates for adults, to hands-on activity for schools and families, to comedy, theatre and expeditions.

3. Jane Austen Festival


Date: 10th- 19th September 2021

Location: Bath, South West


Visit Bath during the annual Jane Austen Festival for an immersive Regency experience. Walk alongside other Jane Austen fans in the spectacular, opening Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. Past events have included elegant guided walks and day trips, intriguing talks, music recitals and concerts, as well as workshops and dance classes.


4. Last Night of the Proms & BBC Proms in the Park


Date: 11th September 2021

Location: London, South East


For a very British cultural experience, don’t miss the final night crescendo of the biggest classical music festival on earth, the BBC Proms. The legendary Last Night of the Proms is the culmination of an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral and classical music concerts taking place across London. Last Night of the Proms tickets are very popular, so plan ahead. The celebrations include BBC Proms in the Park, which take place in London’s Hyde Park.


5. Ironman Wales


Date: 12th September 2021

Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales


A spectacular course, often called one of the most challenging races in the world, that takes in stunning beaches and medieval fortresses.


6. Great North Run


Date: 12th September 2021

Location: Newcastle, North East


A series of professional and junior athletics activities for the Great North Run weekend has been developed over the last few years, using Newcastle, Gateshead Quaysides as a 'virtual arena'. The run starts in the city centre, winds past several iconic sights, and ends at the sea.

7. Roald Dahl Day


Date: 13th September 2021

Location: Buckinghamshire, South East


The official Roald Dahl Day takes place every year on the storyteller’s birthday, 13 September. A number of activities and events take place at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in his home village of Great Missenden.

8. TweedLove Bike Festival


Date: 17th- 19th September 2021

Location: Tweed Valley, Scotland


Britain’s fastest-growing cycling festival is held every year in the beautiful Tweed Valley. Past years have boasted three main races: Vallelujah, TweedLove International Enduro and Expo, and King and Queen of the Hill: Scottish Open Champs. Or, there’s the option for riders to enter all three – a challenge known as the Triple Crown.


9. London Fashion Week


Date: 17th – 21st September 2021

Location: London, South East


The ultimate fashion industry event, where the world’s top designers showcase their latest collections via catwalk shows, plus curated talks, designer shopping and trend presentations.

10. York Food and Drink Festival


Date: 17th- 26th September 2021

Location: York, North East


One of the biggest foodie festivals in Britain, York Food and Drink Festival celebrates the best local and regional food and drink. Past years have hosted a great variety of day and evening events, from wine and food tastings to cookery demonstrations and hands-on workshops in some of the city’s iconic historic buildings.

11. London Design Festival


Date: 18th- 26th September 2021

Location: London, South East


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

12. Heritage Open Days


Date: TBC

Location: UK-wide


Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. Every year on four days in September buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

13. Blackpool Illuminations


Date: TBC

Location: Blackpool, North West


This annual light show has been a major part of Blackpool’s appeal since 1879. The Festival of Light complements the traditional Illuminations with a contemporary take on entertainment made from light and art. The Illuminations are usually bookended by a fantastic celebrity-packed Switch-on Festival Weekend with bespoke Illumination performances, and Lightpool Festival, a spectacular walking route linking Blackpool’s most iconic buildings and history through light installation artworks.


14. Bristol Open Doors, Bristol, south-west England


Date: September 2021 TBC

Location: Bristol, South West


This annual weekend event offers the chance to get inside more than 100 landmark buildings and curious spaces, many of which are usually closed to the public. Organised by The Architecture Centre, a registered charity, the weekend offers a mix of drop-in and must-book events including tours, talks, walks and visitor experiences that get under the skin of the city.

OCTOBER


1. London Marathon


Date: 3rd October 2021

Location: London, South East


The Virgin Money London Marathon is a phenomenal event to be a part of, as a participant and a spectator. It’s not just a monumental physical challenge, but also the world's largest fundraising event - and one of the six top marathons that make up the World Marathon Majors.

2. Cheltenham Literature Festival


Date: 8th -17th October 2021

Location: Cheltenham, South West


This literary festival will celebrate its 72nd anniversary in 2021 and will see the launch of major books, as well as talks, workshops and performances touching upon subjects as diverse as history, politics, sport, food and fashion.


3. Iris Prize Festival


Date: October 2021 TBC

Location: Cardiff, Wales


A six-day celebration of LGBT film, including screenings of a series of short films competing for the Best of British Iris Prize.


4. World Conker Championships


Date: October 2021 TBC

Location: Northamptonshire, South East


The game of conkers has been a popular pastime of British schoolchildren for decades. The rules are simple. Each player is given a conker attached to a piece of string and takes turns in trying to break their opponent’s nut using a swinging motion. The World Conker Championships are held on the village green in Ashton, Peterborough, with many attempting to become the King or Queen of conkers.

5. BFI London Film Festival


Date: October 2021 TBC

Location: London, South East


In 2021 London will host its 65th annual film festival organised with the British Film Institute. Past events have screened more than 300 films, documentaries and shorts in the capital from around 50 countries. Highlights included the world's best new films, and director and actor retrospectives. Previous A-lister guests have included Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Casey Affleck, Sigourney Weaver, Liam Neeson, and director Tom Ford.

NOVEMBER


1. Bonfire Night


Date: 5th November 2021

Location: UK-wide


Britain’s night skies light up with blazing bonfires and sparkling fireworks to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. This unique British tradition, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night, celebrates the foiling of the infamous Gunpowder Plot - a plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5 November, 1605. It’s celebrated across Britain and most towns and cities host their own bonfire night celebrations.

2. St Andrew’s Day


Date: 30th November 2021

Location: Scotland


Events celebrating the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew, take place throughout the country. In the past, they have included some of Scotland’s historic attractions offering free entry for the day.

3. Lumiere Festival


Date: November 2021 TBC

Location: Durham, North East


Lumiere, the UK’s biggest light festival, will return in 2021. The biennial illuminating event will allow visitors to see the city transformed by an array of eye-catching light displays, with art installations giving a whole new look to architecture and public spaces.

4. London Jazz Festival


Date: November 2021 TBC

Location: London, South East


London Jazz Festival hosts world-class artists and emerging stars, packed into back-to-back concerts, workshops, talks, masterclasses and free events across London. A number of key events will take place at Southbank Centre.

5. Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park


Date: November- January 2021 TBC

Location: London, South East


A true family favourite, Winter Wonderland returns to London's Hyde Park with big top shows, the observation wheel and a huge Christmas market. As well as the ice rink, Winter Wonderland includes gentle rides for younger children.

6. Longleat Festival of Light


Date: November 2021 TBC

Location: South West


This festive outdoor light festival boasts hundreds of illuminated characters and scenes that transform the estate into a winter wonderland; with each year boasting a new theme.

7. FilmBath Festival


Date: November 2021 TBC

Location: Bath, South West


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

8. Kendal Mountain Festival


Date: November 2021 TBC

Location: Cumbria, North West


The world’s biggest Mountain Festival is a celebration of film, outdoor sports, literature, art and legends that hopes to inspire people to explore and enjoy mountains and the wilderness. The Mountain Film Competition is a main feature of the event, with entries competing to be the grand prize winner.

9. Leeds International Film Festival


Date: November 2021 TBC

Location: Leeds, North East


One of the largest film events in the UK, Leeds International Film Festival presents an incredible selection of the best new and classic films from around the world. Each year, audiences are invited to step in from the cold autumn weather and enjoy the power of cinema at some of the city’s favourite venues, including Leeds Town Hall, The Hyde Park Picture House and Everyman Leeds.

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