Web Guide to Holidays, Festivals, Parades, Expos & Annual Events
  in London and the United Kingdom 
Event information is subject to change. Please check with local contacts before attending an event.

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Festivals And Special Eventsby roughguides/travelnow
JANUARY

New Year’s Day - 1st Observed Friday or Monday if it falls on a weekend. 
Hilary festival. January 13
Charles 1 Commemoration - Trafalgar Square.
London Contemporary Art Fair. 
January 1,
LonPar-logo.gif (4316 bytes)LondonParade.co.uk   
Parliament Square Historic Westminster Since 1987 and billed as Europe's greatest street spectacle featuring almost 10,000 participants from around the world. with giant balloons & marching bands. The Lord Mayor of
Westminster’s New Year’s Day Parade  draws a street audience of close to 1 million people.
  Charles J. Commemoration.
Last Sunday in January. To commemorate the anniversary of King Charles execution, cavaliers march through Central London dressed in 17th century attire. Prayers are said at the Banqueting House in Whitehall

London International  Mime Festival
 
International Mime Festival
by whatsgoingon.com
venues throughout London for the last part of the month
Mimes from all over the world all over the world gather to show their stuff to their peers and you too. Since 1978
(phone 0171 637 5661 for brochure, Tel: +44-171-637-2994

London International  Boat Show
boatshows.com/ 

Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, SW5 
For 10 days in early January, the latest in boats, equipment and holidays make up Biggest Boat show in Europe  
tube:
Earl's Court (info 0990 100556) 44-1784-473377

Masters Snooker Tournament 
Wembley Conference Centre, Wembley, Middlesex 
tube/rail: Wembley Park tube/ Wembley Central box office 0181 902 0902)
The world's top potters cue up for a shot at this much-desired trophy.

The Guizer Jarl - Colin SummersUp-Helly-Aa.org.uk/ || Shetland Times Reports Vikings return on the last Tuesday of January for one of Britain's biggest fire festival and torchlight procession in Lerwick a small town on Scotland's remote Shetland Islands, Scotland, U.K
FEBRUARY

Valentine’s Day - 14th. 
Motor Show, Earl’s Court


Chinese New Year Festival 

end Jan - early Feb. 
Chinatown, around Gerrard Street, Dragons snaking their way through the streets foraging for money and food amongst the  stalls selling crafts and delicacies, 
tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus W1 (0171 439 3822)
Clowns Service 
Sunday 7 Feb 1999

Holy Trinity Church, Beechwood Road, E8 (from 4pm). 
Commemorating the great clown and pantomimist Joey Grimaldi, `joeys' from all over the country attend this annual church service The event culminates in a clown performance. 
rail:
Dalston Kingsland (0171 254 5062)

MARCH
Mothering Sunday [Mother's Day]. Fourth Sunday in Lent.
Ideal Home Exhibition
- Earls Court. 
London Book Fair, at Olympia. 
Head of the River race
Chelsea Antiques Fair - Chelsea Old Town Hall. 
Butterworth Charity - St Bartholomew the Great. 
Mothering Sunday - 22nd. 
Harness Horse Parade - Regent’s Park.
London Fashion Week.
Oxford & Cambridge University Boat Race
- 28th. 
British Summertime begins 29th March.

Great Spitalfields Pancake Race on Fat Tuesday Day March 7, 2000
Spitalfields Market, entrance on Commercial Street or Brushfield Street, E1 
On the day before Lent and its 40 days of fasting comes Pancake Day. Tossers should check in a few days in advance.
tube/rail:
Liverpool Street (0171 375 0441)
The Kennel Club UK!- for those interested </font><b><a href=The Crufts Dog Show ||Coolest Pic
Thursday March 9 to Sunday 12 Mar 2000
Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
Birmingham, England, U.K.
Crufts® is the world's greatest dog show with over 21,000 top pedigree dogs competing to achieve the title of "Best In Show", the most prestigious award in the world of dogs ||

National Hunt Races & Festival Cool Pick
Cheltenham Race Track
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

Over 150,000 participate in what some call the "the Olympics of steeplechasing" Since 1819, the National Hunt Races have been one of the most elegant and fashionable events in horse racing with a great deal of socializing fun mixed in between some serious gambling 
St Patrick's Day March 17th
various venues over London
London has the third largest Irish population of any city in the world, after New York and Dublin. There are no big parades, but head up to Kilburn (NW6) for a taste of boisterous Irish jubilation.


Head of the River Race 
Late March
on the Thames, from Mortlake, SW14, to Putney, SW15 (01932 220401)
Turn up at about 11.30am for the 12.30pm start from Mortlake. . The best views of the race are to be had from Hammersmith Bridge; alternatively, watch from the finish line at Putney.
Less well-known than the Oxford and Cambridge Race but just as impressive, this one goes in the opposite direction, with over 400 boat crews competing for the best time

Ideal Home Exhibition 18 Mar-11 Apr Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, SW5 (box office 0171 373 8141/info 0171 244 0371)
Earl's Court tube.

The biggest consumer show in the UK draws in huge crowds from all over the country to drool over every conceivable household gadget and innovation. It's all a bit tacky, though.

APRIL

Easter weekend from Good Friday - including Bank Holiday Monday.  Easter Parade & Show  - Battersea Park. 
Coca Cola Cup - Wembley. 
Shakespeare’s birthday - Southwark Cathedral. 
St George’s Day.  
April 23
International Model Railway Exhibition
- RHS Halls. 
The Queen’s Birthday - Royal Gun salutes in Hyde Park (Noon) and Tower of London (1.00 pm).
Blackheath Kite Festival.
Chaucer Festival.

Oxford & Cambridge Sunday 3 Apr Boat Race on the Thames, from Putney, SW15, to Mortlake, SW14 (0171 379 3234)
Oxford and Cambridge Universities' fitter members race the four miles and 374 yards (6,819m) from Putney to Mortlake. The riverside pubs in Hammersmith and Mortlake are popular vantage points
London Harness  Horse Parade
When:  April 5, 1999
When:
Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, SW11 
Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Working horses, traditional brewers' drays, carts and carriages tour Battersea Park, competing for rosettes.
rail/97, 137 bus.(01733 234451)

London Marathon  
London-marathon.co.uk  
Greenwich Park, Blackheath, to Westminster Bridge via the Isle of Dogs, Victoria Embankment & St James's Park 

The world's biggest road race, with around 35,000 starters, including celebrities and record-breakers, running the 26.3 miles (16km). To run it yourself apply by the October before the race: and you'll be entered in a lottery. Some clubs like YMCA use their guaranteed spots to fundraise (0171 620 4117)

MAY

May Day Bank Holiday observed first Monday in May. [not Scotland]. 
Whitsuntide
(Whit Sunday and Whit Monday). Seventh Sunday after Easter.
May Spring Bank Holiday (last Monday in May, early May in Scotland) 
Commonwealth Day
(formally called Empire Day).

Dulwich Festival
BOC Covent Garden Festival 
May Festival. 
116th FA Cup Final - Wembley -16th.  
Rugby League Cup Final - Wembley.  
Royal Windsor Horse Show - Windsor Park. 
Ascension Day. 
Beating the Bounds - Tower of London 1999, 2002.
Punch and Judy Festival - Covent Garden.
Open-air Theatre - Regent’s Park until August Bank Holiday. 
Pilkington Rugby Union Cup Final at Twickenham. 
One-day International Cricket at Lords.
Spring Bank Holiday - 25th.
Elsewhere in the UK & on the web
The Brighton Festival Arts festival in May '99

Celebration of Cannabis March & Festival
 
   
"May Day is Jay Day" say they
Where: Clapham Common, London SW4
Global event held for the first time in 1999 in nearly 50 cities. Check for 2000 update

May Fayre & Puppet Festival 
When: May 9, 1999
Where:
St Paul's Church Garden, Covent Garden, WC2 
A free festival of Punch and Judy and other puppetry.
tube:
Covent Garden  (0171 375 0441)

  
Chelsea Flower Show 
RHS.org.uk || Chelsea Flower Show by whatsgoingon
When: Last weekend in May (27 &28) in 1999  
Where: grounds of Royal Hospital, Royal Hospital Road, SW3 
tube: Sloane Square (0171 834 4333)
World-renowned gardening extravaganza by the river. In the meantime you can search their database of 70K plants

FA Cup Final
End of May
Wembley Stadium, Wembley, Middx (0181 902 0902/ bookings 0181 900 1234)
Wembley Park tube/Wembley Central tube/rail.
The most important day of the year for football fans. 

Festival of Mind, Body, Spirit
22-31 May
1999
Royal Horticultural Halls, Greycoat Street, SW1 
tube: St James's Par  (0171 938 3788)
A New Age festival featuring a mind-blowing array of approaches to health, spiritualism and the environment.
 

Victoria Embankment  Gardens Summer Events
30 May-25 July 1999 
Victoria Embankment Gardens, Villiers Street, WC2 (0171 375 0441)
Embankment tube.

Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll ||
Cooper's Hill, near Gloucester Gouchestershire, England,
(near Cheltenham)
May 31, 1999
The Vicar says "One to be ready, two to be steady, three to be prepared, and four away," and their off chasing the cheese roll down the steep hill till everyone is rolling and tumbling at high speeds. Numerous races for all who dare. Started as a way to preserve the commoner's rights.

JUNE

June 21 (¼) Midsummer's Day or Summer Solstice - Stonehenge
Spitalfields Festival

Stoke Newington Festival

International Festival of Theatre
Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music  
Hampstead & Highgate Festival 

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
Epsom Derby Stakes
Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition - Piccadilly Circus
Greenwich Festival (2 weeks). 
Stella Artois Tennis Tournament - Queens Club
Swan Upping -Upper Thames
Biggin Hill Air Fair.
Fine Art and Antique Fair - Olympia. 
Father’s Day - 21st.
Antiquarian Book Fair. 
Garter Ceremony - St George’s Chapel at Windsor. 
London to Brighton annual Bicycle Race.
Spitalfields Festival of Classical Music.
2nd Cricket Test match  at Lords.  
Hampton Court Palace Music Festival. 
Coin Street Festival - Oxo Tower.  

Beating Retreat Parade
When: 2-3 June 1999
Whitehall, SW1 
The `Retreat' is beaten on drums by the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry and the Massed Bands of the Guards Division in this colorful musical ceremony.
tube/rail
Westminster tube/Charing Cross (0171 930 4466)

The Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair, London

14 - 20 June 2000 
For eight days in June the Great Room at Grosvenor House is transformed as nearly 100 select dealers display over 300 million in antiques.
Prestigious and select
Tube
Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Green Park

Kenwood Lakeside Concerts.  
Mid-June to Early-September

Location: North side of Hampstead Heath.
For over 50 years the Northern London suburg has held outdoor concerts Now with fireworks and laser shows. 

Middlesex Show
When: Late June 

Where: Showground, Park Road, Uxbridge, Middx 

A great family day out with morris dancing, falconry, shire-horses, veteran cars and dog agility trials.
tube:
Uxbridge (0181 866 1367)
 

Royal Ascot Races Ascot Racecourse

When: 20th-23rd of June 2000
Where:
Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire 
rail: Ascot (01344 622211) 
Official website: Sporting-life.com/racing/ascot/about/ 
Ascot, founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, is the World's most famous Racecourse. A high society event with all the pompous trimmings. The 24 races over four days offer some of the best people watching anywhere. suggests "  Put on your formalwear, even if you're not going to be sitting in the Royal Enclosure; you'll fit in better, have a lot more fun, and maybe even make it into the papers."

Henley Royal Regatta Cool Event || Meridith's Tour
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
June 30 - July 4, 1999
The oldest annual river regatta in the world. The first race was held in 1839, and requires numerous trail heats before the two person finals. Over 100 races at 5-kinute intermavas are runover the 5 days.  Big crowds picnic along the Thames and sometimes even watch the action on the river 
Henley Tourist Information Centre (+44-491-578-034)

Trooping the Colour: Queens's Birthday & Horse Guards Parade 
When: 12 June
1999, Where: Whitehall, SW1 
tube/rail: Westminster tube/Charing Cross (0171 414 2479)
The Queen will leave Buckingham Palace at 10.40am and travels down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, arriving at 11am. 
Arrive early for a good view, best spots may be on the Green Park side of The Mall. 
Even though the Queen's birthday is in April, she has an official birthday party in June.

Islington-festival.co.uk
Where: Highbury Fields

Islington International Festival is a dynamic two-week multi-disciplinary Arts Festival, combining international and Islington-based artists, culminating in an explosion of colour and sound on the mile-long stretch of Upper Street on the final Saturday.

By tube/train: Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line/North London) By bus: 4, 19, 30, 43, 271, 277

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships Wimbledon Championships, Wimbledon
All England Lawn Tennis Club, PO Box 98, Church Road, SW19 
Get tickets well in advance
tube/rail:
Southfields tube/Wimbledon (0181 944 1066/recorded info 0181 946 2244)
404? city-of-London-festival.org.uk 
When: A Three week program till mid-July of international  soloists, string quartets, orchestras and choirs. Also poetry and theatre in City churches. World-class arts events in the City's finest buildings including
Bridewell Theatre || Barbican Centre || The Brewery || Tower of London || St. Paul's Cathedral || The Spitz || Guildhall School of Music & Drama ||

 

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