The UK's Biggest & Best 2016 Events

28 February 2016

The United Kingdom is an ever-changing place, welcoming international and local talent year-round to entertain, educate and inspire. From exhilarating sport on the world stage to cultural affairs, a fun event is never far off.

Here's a a guide to the best moments on the UK's calendar in 2016.


Winter


St David’s Day

1 March, Cardiff

Cardiff is the place to be for St David’s feast day – honouring the patron saint of Wales. This day of national pride and celebration is considered a spring highlight. Many heritage sites allow free entry for the day.

St Patrick’s Day

17 March, Ireland

It’s celebrated everywhere, but there’s nothing like the real thing. The nation’s patron saint is celebrated fiercely and proudly in Ireland. Activities include lots of live music, parades – and the odd toast.

St Patrick's Day Everyone wants to be Irish on St Patrick's Day

Oxford And Cambridge Boat Race

27 March, London

Tradition on water, this is one of city’s most popular sporting events. The rowing showdown between the universities brings a festive atmosphere to the banks of the Thames.

English National Ballet

13–16 April, London

A triple bill dedicated to female choreographers, She Said, debuts at Sadler’s Wells. World premieres from Aszure Barton, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Yabin Wang will be on the program.

Shakespeare’s Snniversary

23 April, Stratford-Upon‑Avon

It’s the 400th anniversary of William Shakepeare’s death, so his birthplace is putting on a bash for The Bard, celebrating his life with an outpouring of music, pageantry and drama.

Oxford And Cambridge Boat Race Witness exciting rowing at the Oxford And Cambridge Boat Race

Spring


The Queen’s 90th Birthday

12–15 May, Windsor

Windsor Castle will host four shows to mark the birthday of Britain’s longest‑reigning monarch. Expect to see dancers, actors, musicians, video projections and 500 horses.

FA Cup Final

21 May, London

Iconic Wembley Stadium hosts the final of the world’s oldest soccer competition. Fans chant and sing while millions tune in across the world and in Britain’s packed pubs and sports bars.

FA Cup Final The world's best football stars grace the field at the FA Cup Final

Chelsea Flower Show

24–28 May, Chelsea

Bloomin’ marvellous. This annual show transforms the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea into a floral masterpiece. Guests in 2016 include Irish celebrity garden designer Diarmuid Gavin with the British Eccentrics Garden.

Chestertons Polo In The Park

3–5 June, London

Horses thunder around Hurlingham Park, Fulham, for this summer tradition. The three-day tournament boasts international polo players, plus off-field entertainment, music, wining and dining. And there’s also a luxury shopping village.

Aladdin The Musical

9 June, London

Stage magic unfolds as the musical of the fairy tale debuts on the West End. With Trevor Dion Nicholas in the role of Genie, this Disney favourite will showcase hit songs such as A Whole New World and Arabian Nights.

Aladdin The Musical If you had three wishes, would one of them be to see Aladdin The Musical?

By Foot And Sail

11 June, Wales

As extreme events go, the Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race is hard to beat – especially in the Year of Adventure in Wales. This running and yachting race is one of the oldest and toughest long‑distance contests in the world.


More UK holiday inspiration

See More Of London For Less By Public Bus

Wild Glamping In Scotland



Summer


Trooping The Colour

11 June, London

Break out of the red tunics, the bearskins and the flags. This is the pinnacle of British pageantry as the Queen’s birthday is officially celebrated (she was actually born on April 21) with a march down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Royal Ascot

14–18 June, Ascot

Of course there are the horses, but this race meeting is one of the social highlights of the English summer. Think fancy hats, champers and a large smattering of royals.

Royal Ascot Spend a day at the races with celebrities and royalty

Wimbledon Tennis Championship

27 June – 10 July, Wimbledon 

Put your name down early for tickets to the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, which attracts almost 500,000 spectators each year. And don’t miss the strawberries and cream.

Formula 1 British Grand Prix

10 July, Silverstone

The British love the noise, energy and thrill of motorsport, so it’s no surprise the Grand Prix is the nation’s most highly attended sporting event. Plus they have the reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Formula 1 British Grand Prix High-octane racing at its finest

Farnborough International Airshow

16–17 July, Farnborough

Chocks away. One of the world’s great airshows, held every two years, provides a rare chance to get close to a vast range of aircraft, old and new, and watch them in action in the sky.

Notting Hill Carnival

August, London

Billed as Britain’s biggest street party, this carnival in West London is a celebration of all things Caribbean. Be ready for steel bands, calypso and good food – along with dazzling costumes and floats.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

5–27 August, Edinburgh

Take in the bands, bagpipes and precision marching at imposing Edinburgh Castle. The 2016 program will pay tribute to the Queen’s 90th birthday and celebrate Tunes of Glory.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Scottish culture is on display at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Autumn


Jane Austen Festival

9–18 September, Bath

Literature lovers gather for a week-long celebration of English author Jane Austen. Be transported to the late 1700s with traditional costumes and carriage rides. Join an Austen-inspired walking tour.

London Fashion Week

18–22 September, London

All the beautiful people will be in town for the spring/summer edition of fashion week. Though the shows are strictly invitation only, there are many associated events across the city.

London Fashion Week Beautiful people and beautiful clothing at London Fashion Week

Guy Fawkes Night

5 November, Nationwide

“Remember, remember the fifth of November…” Guy Fawkes night commemorates the failed gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. The night is marked by backyard bonfires and huge fireworks displays.

Saints Be Praised

30 November, Scotland

Where else would you be on St Andrew’s Day than in St Andrews, Scotland? The patron saint of Scotland is celebrated with lots of bagpipe music and traditional dancing –and the eating of traditional food.


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