It’s official, summer is here with lots of summer events happening around the U.K. Enjoy activities from bog snorkelling to jazz festivals. You name it, it’s going on in somewhere in England, Scotland or Wales this summer, and to top it off, Britain’s on sale!


VisitBritain and Virgin Atlantic Airways have launched an exclusive partnership to offer trans-Atlantic travelers irresistible value packages for their summer vacation in Britain. Explore fabulous deals and more at their joint website, and take advantage of the strong dollar which makes Britain more affordable than a year ago. The ‘Get More Britain For Your Buck’ campaign extends now through Fall 2009.

Highlights of festivals and events happening around the UK, include:


Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 3-5) - A world famous car event for racing aficionados, celebrating everything about car performance in Chichester, West Sussex.

Glyndebourne Opera Festival, East Sussex (until August 30) - The country’s most exclusive opera festival.

The Festival of History (July 25 – 26) - A two-day event taking place on the grounds of 18th-century Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, celebrates 2,000 years of English history with more than 1,000 costumed interpreters re-enacting historical events. There will be over 50 shows a day during the festival.

Glastonberry Music Festival (June 24-28) - Also known as Glasto, is the largest Greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world, famous for its contemporary music, but also dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and many other arts. Now part of the Cultural Olympiad preceding London 2012, the four-day event takes place in South West England at Worthy Farm, located six miles east of the town of Glastonbury.

14th Leeds Shakespeare Festival (July – August 2009) - Two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays will be performed in the idyllic setting of Leeds, the only English city outside London with its own repertory theatre, opera house and ballet companies.

Manchester Pride (August 21-31)
- One of UK’s premier gay event, features a flamboyant celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life through a series of more than 40 events covering art, film, debate and entertainment, as well as other fantastic parties.

The Cotswold Show & Country Fair (July 4-5)
- Features a full two-day program of action-packed, family fun at Cirencester Park.

Henry VIII 500 years celebrations (around Britain, 2009) - Highlights of the calendar include the opening of the Tudor Garden at Hampton Court Palace this month and a jousting tournament at Eltham Palace. Henry’s many women also get a look in August when their portraits will be displayed at a fascinating exhibition hosted at Hampton Court.


The British Music Experience at the O2 in London – An exciting, new permanent interactive exhibition dedicated to the history of popular music in Britain.

BBC Proms, London (July 17 – Sept 12) - Represents a massive showcase of live music and performances at the Royal Albert Hall, including a string of 76 concerts with world class orchestral music and solo performances in the heart of London.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (April 23 – Oct 10) - London’s iconic venue that boasts some of the finest history known to theatre, features performances throughout the summer.

Regents Park Open Air Theatre (May 25 – Sept 12) - Allows you to enjoy exciting new shows while making the most of the weather.

The National Theatre Goes Outdoors - The area outside the theatre, beside the Thames on London’s South Bank, will be used as a stage for theatre, circus, dance, music and spectacle.


Homecoming Scotland (throughout 2009) - A year-long celebration filled with events focusing on whisky, golf, and ancestry poet Robert Burns. August highlights include the piping music festival in Glasgow, Piping Live and the iconic Military Tattoo music and military theatre event in Edinburgh.

16th Annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (July 2-5)
- In Portsoy Harbour in Aberdeenshire, celebrates all aspects of Scottish maritime heritage.

The Highland Games (around Scotland, Summer 2009) - A unique mix of sporting, cultural and social events, including field and track events, piping, Highland dancing competitions, and ‘heavy events’ like the tug-o-war, the hammer throw and tossing the caber. One of the largest Highland games in history, The Gathering (July 25-26) will be hosted at famed Edinburgh locations like Holyrood Park, Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.

Whole in One Golf Exhibition (Rozelle Estate, Ayrshire, June 8-August 31)
- Charts the history of open golf, incorporating a wealth of unusual and rarely seen exhibits. Scotland is widely acknowledged as the ‘Home of Golf’ and boasts some of the best, most challenging and most beautiful courses in the world.

Return to the Ridings (June 1 – August 8) - The annual Border Common Ridings are a stunning mounting spectacle packed with heart stirring music. Each participating town has its own distinctive history and ceremony providing a unique Return to the Ridings experience.

T in the Park (July 9 - 12) - Scotland’s biggest outdoor music festival held in Balado, Kinross will feature over 170 artists playing across 11 stages and will welcome 80,000 music fans this year.


Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival (July 10 – 12)
- Highlights food from around Wales, France, Germany and Italy, along professionals demonstrating seasonal recipes. Enjoy the walkabout street and bandstand entertainment as you relax with a drink and world-class cuisine.

National Eisteddfod (August 1-8) - The largest and oldest celebration of Welsh culture dating from 1176, invites visitors to meet bards dressed in druidical robes and green-clad elves dancing to trumpeters.

Brecon Jazz Festival (August 7-9) - A world-famous jazz event, features more than 90 concerts in the picturesque market town of Brecon.

Bryn Terfel Faenol Festival (Faenol Estate, August 28 - 31) - Will host three star-studded concerts with the mountains of Snowdonia as their backdrop.

The World Bog Snorkelling Championship (August 31)
- The unusual event held annually in UK’s smallest town - Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales, involves contestants battling through a peat bog using a mask and snorkel.


Source: Visit Britain

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".