Best British annual events in Winter 2021


1. The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Date: 11th December 2021

Location: London and Brighton, South East

One of the wackiest races you’ll ever see, teams race around a 150-metre course balancing a Christmas pudding on a flimsy paper plate. They have to navigate two slippery inflatables, balloons filled with flour, jets of foam and limbo poles. To complicate things even further, they do it all in fancy dress.

2. Christmas at Kew

Date: December TBC

Location: London, South East

Learn to ice-skate against the picturesque background of Kew Gardens, which delivers a sparkling after-dark experience and a truly festive atmosphere every year.

3. Newcastle Gateshead Winter Festival and New Year’s Eve Carnival,

Date: December TBC

Location: Newcastle, North East

The annual New Year’s Eve Winter Carnival sees the Newcastle Ice Queen and her entourage of local community participants parading through the streets of Newcastle, culminating in an early-evening fireworks display.

4. Hogmanay

Date: 31st December 2021

Location: Scotland

Hogmanay is what the Scots call New Year's Eve and the arrival of the New Year is always celebrated in style across the country. Fireworks, open-air concerts and street parties make Hogmanay Scotland’s biggest party of the year.

Please note that events are subject to change, and visitors are strongly advised to check individual websites for the latest information.


1. New Year’s Day Parade

Date: 1st January 2021

Location: London, South East

London’s New Year’s Day Parade has evolved into one of the capital’s great traditions. Usually starting at 12pm, the parade along the capital’s West End will fill the streets with marching bands, cheerleaders, acrobats, kites and more.

2. Celtic Connections

Date: 14th –31st January 2021

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, celebrating Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe. It’s the largest annual winter music festival of its kind and Britain’s premier celebration of Celtic music, and usually featuring concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, and workshops.

3. Burns’ Night

Date: 25th January 2021

Location: Scotland

Every January Scotland celebrates the birthday of Robert Burns - the national poet of Scotland – traditionally marked with food, drams, dancing and verse. Don’t forget to address the haggis!

4. Dydd Santes Dwynwen

Date: 25th January 2021

Location: Wales

This day is in honour of Wales’ patron saint of lovers, the Welsh version of St Valentine’s Day. The day exists due to St Dwynwen’s own experiences with lost love and her later commitment to becoming a nun.


1. Chinese New Year

Date: February TBC

Location: London, South East

London hosts a Chinese New Year celebration each year, marking the occasion with a range of joyous festivities. They are free to attend and usually take place in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and across the West End.

2. RBS Six Nations Rugby

Date: 6th February – 20th March 2021

Locations: Cardiff- Wales, London- South East and Edinburgh- Scotland

The Six Nations Championship for England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will see matches take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Twickenham Stadium in London, and Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.

3. Dark Skies Festival

Dates: 12th -28th February 2021

Location: Yorkshire, North East

The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks, which remain some of the darkest places in England, are once again running a joint Dark Skies Festival in February. 2020 saw the theme of ‘exploration’ run through the impressive programme of events, with this year set to be similarly out of this world. The South Downs are also hosting a celestial festival this February, with dates to be confirmed.

4. Artes Mundi

Date: 13th February – 6th June 2021

Location: Cardiff, Wales

Best known for its biennial international exhibition and prize, which takes place in Cardiff, this is one of Wales’ biggest contemporary visual art shows. The UK’s largest art prize of £40,000 is awarded to one of the shortlisted artists.

5. Glasgow Film Festival

Dates: 24th February – 7th March 2021

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

The fastest-growing and third-largest film festival in Britain, with more than 350 events, including new local and international film from all genres, from mainstream to art-house, classics to cult.

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