The Best Annual UK Events You Shouldn’t Miss

September 18, 2018 | Stefanie DiMartino

The UK is full to the brim with an exciting range of events and festivals throughout the year. Whether you are looking for the perfect place to bring in the New Year, want to watch some of the finest events in British sport, or simply are looking for an action-packed break, here are the best annual UK events you will not want to miss.


Forget watching the ball drop at New York’s Times Square and make your way to Edinburgh this New Year, which is bigger than Christmas in Scotland. In fact, the locals love it so much they have dedicated a whole season to it: Hogmanay. The Scottish capital will make your jaw-drop with its cascading fireworks over Edinburgh Castle, and there is a massive street party you can join on Princes Street.

You can also attend a candlelit concert inside St Giles Cathedral, which is located along the city’s famous Royal Mile. You are unlikely to forget the atmosphere when singing Auld Lang Syne at the top of your lungs with both locals and tourists at midnight, who will hug and kiss you once the clock strikes twelve to send good luck for the year ahead.


Horse racing lovers cannot help but fall in love with York Racecourse, which comes alive in the summer months once its many flower beds and boxes, feature displays, and hanging baskets come into full bloom. Every flower is reared directly from the racecourse’s floriculture unit, so the venue is bursting with bold coloUrs and beautiful scents throughout the sunny season.

The historic racecourse is also home to one of the finest events in the sporting calendar: York Ebor Festival. It is a four-day long horse racing event, which is held every August and dates back to 1843. You can attend one or more of the following races: Juddmonte International Day, Ladies’ Day, Nunthorpe Day, and Ebor Day.


Liverpool proudly celebrates its musical history every August by hosting International Beatleweek Festival, as The Beatles were born and raised in the city. In fact, many of Liverpool’s streets and landmarks inspired the Fab Four’s most famous songs, such as Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, and Eleanor Rigby, which you can still visit. Fans of the biggest band in history will not want to miss this exciting week of events, which features tribute bands, tours, and exhibitions at different venues across the city. You can even visit the childhood homes of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

Diwali in Leicester
Diwali in Leicester


If you want to join in with the largest celebration of Diwali outside of India, make your way to the UK’s most diverse city, Leicester. Tens of thousands of people will celebrate the event every Autumn, with followers of the Jain and Sikh religions heading to Belgrave Road, which is home to Leicester’s Indian community.

Expect music, dancing, and speeches from local dignitaries during the festival of lights, and the count down to the switch on will start from 7.30pm before 6,500 multicolored lights light up the streets, which will be complemented by multicolored confetti. The night will then end with a stunning firework display on the Golden Mile.


The Glasgow Film Festival seemingly grows bigger with each passing year, and now welcomes more than 40,000 guests who attend to watch the best local and international cinema. The next event will run from 21st February to 4th March 2019, and will offer 13 international premieres, 77 UK premieres and 52 Scottish premieres. Hollywood stars are also set to be in attendance, such as Dr Who’s Karen Gillan and David Tennant and Independence Day’s Bill Pullman. It’s one event you will not want to miss if you’re an avid movie fan.

There are many events taking place across the UK in 2018 and beyond. Simply browse your chosen city’s calendar to ensure you don’t miss one important festival or event.

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