Best British annual events in Summer 2021

JUNE


1. Investec Derby


Date: 4th- 5th June 2021

Location: Epson Downs Racecourse, South East


The world’s most famous flat race will see riders and owners in pursuit of one of the richest prizes in British racing on 5 June, with the famous Ladies’ Day held the day before on 4 June.


2. Upfest


Date: 5th -6th June 2021

Location: Bristol, South West


Visitors can put their finger on the pulse of Bristol’s incredible street art scene during Upfest. Europe’s biggest street art and graffiti festival is set to feature even more inspirational pieces around the city. Past years have seen over 300 artists give a brand-new look to 40 venues - plenty to inspire when exploring Bristol’s charming streets.

3. Man v Horse Marathon


Date: 12th June 2021

Location: Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales


The Man versus Horse Marathon is an annual 22-mile race, where runners compete against riders on horseback, in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells. The event started in 1980 after a pub landlord overheard two drinkers discussing the merits of men and horses running over mountainous terrain. The course was changed in 1982 to provide a more even match between the man and the horse, but it took until 2004 before a man finally beat a horse.

4. Queen’s Birthday / Trooping the Colour


Date: June – exact Saturday TBC

Location: London, South East


Trooping the Colour is the annual celebration of the Queen's official birthday. Otherwise known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, it’s a colourful display of military pageantry featuring impressive officers and men on parade in ceremonial uniform, as well as horses and musicians. The Queen always attends the ceremony, which takes place on Horse Guards Parade behind Whitehall, London.

5. Royal Ascot


Date: 15th – 19th June 2021

Location: Berkshire, South East


Royal Ascot has established itself as a national institution and a major focus of the British social calendar, as well as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. Tradition, pageantry, fashion and style all mix together, as well as around 30 races over five days.

6. Isle of Wight Festival


Date: 17th – 20th June 2021

Location: Isle of Wight, South East


This popular music festival on the famous island situated off the south coast of England has an impressive musical heritage stretching back to Bob Dylan (who performed here in 1969) and Jimi Hendrix (who took to the stage in 1970). Recent headliners have included Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra and Biffy Clyro.

7. The Royal Highland Show


Date: 17th - 20th June 2021

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


One of Scotland’s most iconic events, the Royal Highland Show is a major highlight of the Scottish country calendar and firmly established as one of Europe’s most impressive celebrations of farming, food and rural life.

8. Jane Austen Regency Week


Date: 19th – 27th June 2021

Location: Hampshire, South East


This nine-day festival is packed with all things Austen. It takes place in and around the market town of Alton and nearby Chawton, the home of Jane Austen’s House & Museum. Expect Regency-style music, dining, drama, singing, talks and guided walks and tours, as well as the famous Regency Ball.

9. Stonehenge Summer Solstice


Date: 21st June 2021

Location: Wiltshire, South West


Every year visitors from around the world gather at Stonehenge overnight to celebrate the Summer Solstice and watch the sun rise over the stones. It’s the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to visit. The celebration brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans and Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travellers and party people.

10. Wimbledon Tennis Championships


Date: 28th June – 11th July 2021

Location: Wimbledon, South East


Arguably the most famous tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championships have been played since 1877 and tickets are always in fierce demand. The championships start at the end of June, and last approximately two weeks, or until all events are complete. The club operates a public ballot (lottery) for advanced sales of Centre, No. 1 and No. 2 court tickets.

11. Bristol Pride


Date: TBC

Location: Bristol, South West


Bristol Pride is a week-long series of events dedicated to the city’s LGBTQ+ community ­to spread the message of love and equality for all. The week’s finale is a Pride Parade through the city as part of a colourful outdoor music and arts celebration. Entertainment includes a funfair, market stalls, bars and a Community Area.

12. Taste of London Festival


Date: TBC

Location: London, South East


Every year Regent's Park transforms into a foodie wonderland for four days of summer eating, drinking and entertainment. Past years saw around 40 of the city's best restaurants dish up their finest dishes for the ultimate alfresco feast, while 200 producers provide a bounty of the best food and beverages from Britain and around the world.

13. Eroica Britannia


Date: TBC

Location: Peak District, North West


This unique three-day vintage cycling festival sees around 3,500 cyclists from all over the world don retro gear and hop on pre-1987 bikes for this special race, passing through some of the finest Peak District landscapes and villages en route. The festival hub will host live music, acres of vintage shopping, and specialist food stalls.

14. Pride in London


Date: TBC

Location: London, South East


London hosts a huge party in the summer with Pride in London celebrating all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. The festival usually comes to a close with a sizzling carnival of colour of music, floats and dancing.

15. Edinburgh International Film Festival


Date: TBC

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


Established in 1947, the Film Festival is renowned for discovering and promoting the very best in international cinema, and for heralding and debating changes in global filmmaking. The festival seeks to spotlight the most exciting and innovative new film talent and brings a mix of red-carpet glamour, innovative and exciting cinematic discoveries and massive audience appeal.

JULY


1. Round the Island Race


Date: 3rd July 2021

Location: Isle of Wight, South East


An annual one-day yacht race around the Isle of Wight, usually attracting more than 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it one of the largest yacht races in the world. Competitors come from all over the world and follow the 50 nautical mile course, which starts and finishes in Cowes.

2. Alice’s Day


Date: 3rd July 2021

Location: Oxford, South East


Each year on the first Saturday of July, Mad hatters can join the annual festivities celebrating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Oxford. Dress up as favourite characters at The Story Museum, take a walk through the story’s history, and explore the highlights of the city that inspired Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s tale.

3. Wales Airshow


Date: 3rd – 4th July 2021

Location: Swansea, Wales


The show is visible along the entire five-mile stretch of Swansea Bay with spectacular views of the air displays that feature some of the world’s best military and civilian aviation display teams. Ground attractions include an interactive military village, trade stands, children’s entertainment, funfair and lots more.


4. RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show


Date: 6th – 11th July 2021

Location: Surrey, South East


The world’s largest annual flower show returns in 2021. A plant lover’s paradise, it’s packed with stunning show gardens, floral displays, and plenty of garden inspiration.

5. Formula 1 British Grand Prix


Date: 9th – 11th July

Location: Silverstone, South East


The jewel in the crown of British Motorsports, Silverstone is a fast circuit with a series of complex high-speed turns, and a short straight to add to the excitement. Average cornering speeds are higher than at any other championship racetrack.

6. The Open Championship


Date: 11th – 18th July 2021

Location: Royal St George’s- Kent, South East


Marking its 149th year in 2021, the major golf championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, will be held at Royal St George’s, Kent.

7. Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival


Date: 16th – 25th July 2021

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival plays host to some of the finest jazz and blues talent from all corners of the globe. From bop to boogie-woogie to blues-rock, and from samba to swing to soul, the festival takes place over ten groove-packed summer days.

8. Bristol Harbour Festival


Date: 16th – 18th July 2021

Location: Bristol, South West


Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, Bristol Harbour Festival will once again host a free weekend of music, markets and maritime fun based around Bristol’s historic harbourside. Packed with live performance, artists, musicians, circus acts, children’s events, dancers, food markets and street stalls. On the water, hundreds of sailing vessels provide a vibrant backdrop to the activities.

9. The Royal Welsh Show


Date: 19th – 22nd July 2021

Location: Llanelwedd Powys, Wales


A major event in the British agricultural calendar, the Royal Welsh Show consists of four days of livestock competitions and a wide range of activities including forestry, horticulture, crafts, entertainment, attractions, displays, countryside sports, and shopping.

10. RHS Flower Show


Date: 21st – 25th July 2021

Location: Cheshire, North West


This plant lover’s paradise is hosted at Cheshire’s historic neo-classical country mansion, Tatton Park, featuring stunning show gardens, floral displays, and plenty of green-fingered inspiration.

11. Northern Pride


Date: 23rd – 25th July 2021

Location: Newcastle, North East


This annual celebration of LGBTQ+ life on Tyneside is one of the biggest and most diverse free events in the North East. It starts with a Pride march through Newcastle and ends with a day of music, education, fun and celebration.

12. Qatar ‘Glorious Goodwood’ Festival


Date: 27th – 31st July 2021

Location: West Sussex, South East


Enjoy picnics, evening jazz and famous faces alongside flat racing at this small and sophisticated horseracing event held every year at the course owned by the Earl of March on his country estate near Chichester.

13. Camp Bestival


Date: 29th – 1st August 2021

Location: Lulworth Castle- Dorset, South West


Bestival consists of four family-friendly days of live music and premier DJs and is one of Britain's most colourful festivals, with dressing up encouraged and even a Roller Disco. Previous years have seen headliners such as The Cure, Rudimental and Hot Chip take the stage.

14. Edinburgh Art Festival


Date: 29th July – 29th August 2021

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


Britain’s largest annual celebration of visual art, Edinburgh Art Festival attracts a diverse and vibrant programme of exhibitions and events at the city’s galleries and museums.

15. Cowes Week


Date: 31st July – 7th August 2021

Location: Isle of Wight, South East


As one of the sailing calendar’s biggest events, Cowes Week brings together the world’s biggest sailing stars, with more than 1,000 yachts and 8,000 competitors taking part.


16. Buckingham Palace Summer Opening


Date: July – September 2021 TBC

Location: London, South East


Explore the palace’s lavishly furnished State Rooms – where the Queen and members of the Royal Family receive and entertain guests on State, ceremonial and official occasions – and admire some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection.


17. The BBC Proms


Date: TBC

Location: London, South East


The Proms is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall. Founded in 1895, each season traditionally consists of more than 70 concerts, with a wide range of classical music to choose from, at affordable prices, in an informal atmosphere. The famous Last Night performances include BBC Proms in the Park.

AUGUST


1. Leeds Pride


Date: 1st August 2021

Location: Leeds North West


A ‘must-not-miss’ event on Yorkshire’s LGBTQ+ calendar, Leeds Pride is the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire. Past years have been the city burst to life with a diverse line up of acts at Millennium Square, a march through the centre of Leeds and the biggest parties until the early hours.


2. Brighton Pride


Date: 6th- 8th August 2021

Location: Brighton, South East


Brighton’s Pride festival kick offs with the annual Pride Community Parade, a dazzling visual spectacle that sees Brighton and Hove's diverse community take to the streets in a show of unity and equality. The party carries on with The Pride Festival in Preston Park, featuring main stage entertainment, dance tents, cabaret, a funfair, a family area, and a market. The Pride Village Party brings the festivities to St James Street and the city's iconic seafront Marine Parade.

3. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


Date: 6th – 28th August 2021

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


The Tattoo is an iconic Edinburgh institution, with music, dance and precision displays with the Massed Pipes and Drums, the Massed Military Bands, cultural troupes, singers and the poignant refrain of the Lone Piper against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Each year's Tattoo is very much a 'global gathering' - showcasing the talents of musicians and performers from every corner of the globe. Each Tattoo is different from the last and always embraces different themes; nature, creativity and Scotland's homecoming are just some of the concepts explored in recent times.

4. Edinburgh Festival Fringe


Date: 6th – 30th August 2021

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


The world's largest arts festival transforms Scotland's capital every August, as thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows of all kinds and for every taste. The work on show ranges from huge names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers. Audiences can enjoy theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, children's shows, physical theatre, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.

5. Kynren


Date: 7th August – 11th September 2021 (every Saturday)

Location: Auckland Castle, North East


During the summer, Auckland Castle will host Kynren - the movie-like open-air night spectacular that brings to life 2,000 years of Britain's history, from the Roman period to post-World War II. The show takes its audience on a 90-minute journey of epic storytelling, using pyrotechnics, lighting, and water effects across a seven-and-a-half-acre stage, and starring professionally trained volunteers.


6. Bristol International Balloon Fiesta


Date: 12th – 15th August 2021

Location: Bristol, South West


The city’s largest outdoor event, held annually at the city’s Ashton Court Estate, is the largest fiesta of its kind in Europe. The mass ascents at dawn and teatime are a sight to behold, with more than 100 balloons taking off, and after-dark firework shows to follow. The fiesta offers a packed four days of fun for the whole family.

7. Edinburgh International Book Festival


Date: 14th – 30th August 2021

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland


The Edinburgh International Book Festival programme offers more than 800 events featuring everyone from the rising stars of fiction to Nobel Prize-winners, plus events for children and young adults showcasing the finest writers and illustrators for young people. From author events and interactive workshops to lively debates and book signings, the Book Festival allows visitors to meet favourite authors.


8. Creamfields


Date: 26th – 29th August 2021

Location: Liverpool, North West


Regarded as an iconic dance music festival, every year this legendary event near Warrington showcases superstar DJs and artists from the music genres of EDM, house, trance, drum and bass and grime.


9. Reading Festival & Leeds Festival, England


Date: 27th- 29th August 2021

Location: Reading, South East and Leeds, North West


Britain's premier rock music festival features global acts uniquely performing at both locations over three days, usually allowing for 100,000 revellers at Reading and more than 80,000 at Leeds to experience global rock superstars. Previous headliners include the Kings of Leon and Kendrick Lamar.

10. World Bog Snorkelling Championships


Date: 29th August 2021

Location: Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales


This unusual sport consists of contestants swimming two consecutive lengths of a water-filled trench in the shortest time possible. Held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales, the championships attract visitors from all over the world. There are food and drink stalls, crafts, live music and a real ale and cider bar on the site, so it's a great day out even if you don't fancy taking the plunge.

11. Notting Hill Carnival


Date: 29th- 30th August 2021

Location: London, South East


London’s famous free Caribbean festival is the largest street party in Europe, with great music, outrageous floats and fabulous costumes. Hear everything from traditional steel bands, Soca and Calypso to the latest dub, drum ‘n’ bass, R&B and reggae blasting out from pumping sound systems and moving floats. Live stages also feature local bands, top international artists and sounds from around the world, plus hundreds of Caribbean food stalls.

12. RideLondon


Date: TBC

Location: London, South East


Developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies in 2013, Prudential RideLondon is a world-class festival of cycling that wants to encourage 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 quite like it, combining a fun and accessible free family ride in central London with the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclist’s race.

13. Pride Cymru


Date: August 2021 TBC

Location: Cardiff, Wales


LGBTQ+ Mardi Gras, trading as Pride Cymru, returns to Cardiff for Wales' biggest celebration of equality and diversity. The variety of entertainment will continue along with a funfair, a cultural market with arts and crafts, plenty of food and drink, and a social hub, offering advice and support to LGBTQ+ communities and their friends and family.

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