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Highlights Forward

The purpose of this list is to provide information on the major events taking place throughout the UK, that give good photographic opportunities, on a month by month basis. Giving you a chance to plan ahead for the year ahead. Remember to also look at the Photographers Diary section which contains more details on events and photo opportunities taking place each month, both this month and next month.

Please check latest information before travelling, dates and times may be changed.





July 2017


Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

6th to 9th July 2017. Worlds largest annual garden and flower show at Hampton Court Palace near London.

Hampton Court Flower Show

07/07/2017 F1 British Grand Prix 7th to 9th July 2017.  Silverstone in Northants. The F1 British Grand Prix weekend. With the main race day on the final day. Silverstone


Bank Holiday

Orangeman's Day. Public holiday in Northern Ireland.



The Royal International Air Tattoo

14th to 16th July 2017. Fairford, Gloucestershire. World’s largest annual Military air show.

International Air Tattoo


Swan Upping on The River Thames

17th to 21st July 2017 Each day starts at 9am, and finishes around 5.30pm-6pm. An ancient ceremony which takes place in July each year on the River Thames. The Queen's Swan Marker carries out an annual census and health check on the population of Mute Swans, on behalf of the Queen who owns them. It takes place on a 70 mile stretch of the river, between Sunbury Lock and Abingdon Bridge over 5 days. A colourful spectacle worth photographing if you can.

Swan Upping

see also

Swan Upping


Cowes Week

29th July to 5th August 2017. Cowes, Isle of Wight. A sailing regatta with up to 40 races a day.

Cowes Week

August 2017


National Eisteddfod of Wales

4th to 12th August 2017. A week long Welsh Festival of singing, music and dance including a Welsh Choir competition. This year’s event is taking place on Anglesey.



The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

4th to 26th August 2017. Performances take place from (Mon-Fri) at 9pm and on Saturday's two performances at 7.30pm and 10.30pm.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo


Festival of British Eventing

5th to 7th August 2016. Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire. 3 day eventing includes dressage, show jumping and cross country. Car parks open from 8am to 6pm each day.

Gatcombe Eventing


Bank Holiday

Public holiday Scotland -on the first Monday of August.



Bristol Balloon Fiesta

10th to 13th August 2017. First day opens at midday. Balloon launches are usually at 6am and 6pm Fri-Sun and 6pm on first day, these are subject to weather conditions at the time.

Bristol Balloon Fiesta


The Great Dorset Steam Fair

24th to 28th August 2017. Southdown, Tarrant Hinton Blandford, Dorset. Postcode for satnav DT11 8JA. Gates open at 8am, Car park at 7am. The largest annual steam event in Europe. Includes Steam engines, Fairground Organs, vintage cars, bikes and commercial vehicles, tractor pulling, heavy horses, vintage collections and occupations, rural crafts, dancing shows, fairground, pipe bands, trade stands, nightlife and a music festival.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair


Notting Hill Carnival

27th and 28th August 2017. FREE colourful street festival with over 50,000 active participants, from performers, music from mass bands and steel bands to static sound systems in London from 12noon to 7pm both days. Main event is on Monday, Sunday is Children's day. Check the maps on website for route maps and location of toilets etc.

Notting Hill Carnival


Summer Bank Holiday

UK Bank Holiday at the end of summer (not Scotland)



Burghley Horse Trails

31st August to 3rd September 2017. 3 day event including dressage, cross country and show jumping.

Burghley Horse Trials

September 2017


Blackpool Illuminations

1st September to 5th November 2017. The illuminations have been a major part of Blackpool since 1879. The first night is the big switch on, the best time to visit is after the clocks change when the evenings are darker. Great night time photography not only from the lights, but also all the attractions on the piers.

Blackpool Illuminations


Heritage Open Days

7th to 10th September 2017. Free Entry to many properties usually closed to the public or normally charge admission such as the National Trust properties across the UK which includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland. See website for places taking part. Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors, ranging from castles to factories, town halls to tithe barns, parish churches to Buddhist temples.

Heritage Open Days


Autumn Equinox

When day and night are equal length. Druids celebrate at Primrose Hill, London and Stonehenge as well as other ancient monuments.


October 2017


Horse of the Year Show

4th to 8th October 2017. Held at the NEC Birmingham. Major show jumping event in UK.

Horse of the Year Show


British Summer Time Ends

British Summer Time ends. Clocks go back one hour.




 A night of witches, ghosts and spooks!!


November 2017


Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival

Starts at 7pm. A colourful illuminated procession of over 150 entrants, many large vehicles with many thousands of lights, which can take 2-3 hours to complete. Many photographic opportunities but get there early to get a good spot at the front.

Bridgwater Carnival


Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival - Squibbing

10:45pm after the carnival procession around 150 Squibbers are involved in a simultaneous firing of large fireworks. The Squibbers line the Bridgwater High Street in a line of two wide and all light they squibs at the same time. The large firework is strapped to a cosh, and the squibbers hold it at arms length above their heads.

Bridgwater Carnival


Bonfire Night

Various firework demonstrations both small local events and large public displays go on around the country.



Lord Mayors Show - London

A street parade which starts at the Guildhall at 11am. The 3 mile long parade including horses, floats, motor vehicles, marching bands etc, covers just 1.7miles. It takes about an hour and a quarter to pass. The Lord Mayor follows at the end of the procession in his golden coach. The procession travels past St Paul's Cathedral and ends at the Royal Courts of Justice in Aldwych. At 1.00pm the procession returns, starting near Temple tube station, and following Victoria Embankment and Queen Victoria Street back to the Guildhall, finishing at about 2:30pm.

Lord Mayors Show


Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance events take place all across Britain to remember those that have died or been injured during wars. The largest event being at The Cenotaph in London.



St Andrews Day

Patron Saint of Scotland. National Holiday in Scotland.


December 2017


Olympia Horse Show

12th to 18th December 2017. Olympia, London. 7 days of show jumping indoors in the Olympia arena.

Olympia Horse Show


Winter Solstice

Shortest day of the year



Christmas Day




Boxing Day

Public Holiday in UK


30/12/2017 Edinburgh Torchlight Procession Calton Hill, Edinburgh 6.30pm. A procession of people carrying wax based torches and once they get to Carlton Hill there is Firework Finale at around 7.45pm. You can buy the torches and be part of the procession as well. Torchlight Procession


New Years Eve



31/12/2017 Nos Galan New Years Eve Road Race Mountain Ash, Rhondda Cynon Taff, South Wales. 5pm-8.30pm. An evening road race for children and adults the first junior race starts at 5.15pm and the Adult Elite race at 7pm. There are fireworks at 6:45pm behind the train station. Nos Galan
31/12/2017 Stonehaven Fire Ball Spectacular Stonehaven, nr Aberdeen. On the stroke of midnight (spectators should be in place by 11pm). Over 60 people march up and down the High Street of Stonehaven (just south of Aberdeen) swinging giant, blazing fireballs weighing up to 20 lbs each. Stonehaven Fire Balls
January 2018


New Years Day




New Years Day London Parade

Starts at 12noon in Parliament Square, FREE EVENT where more than 10,000 performers from 20 countries follow the 2 mile route through London. Types of attractions include: marching bands, cheerleaders, historic vehicles, clowns, acrobats, giant balloons etc.

London Parade


Hogmanay - Edinburgh

New Year celebrations in Scotland.

Edinburgh Hogmanay


Burns Night

Burns Suppers are traditional Scottish celebrations of the birth of the most famous Scottish Poet Robert Burns.

Burns Supper

February 2018
02/02/2018 World Wetlands Day Celebrating the creation of the Convention on Wetlands and protection of wetlands around the world.

World Wetlands Day

13/02/2018 Pancake Day Shrove Tuesday is Pancake Day in the UK. As well as making and eating them, there are also many races and activities taking place throughout the UK like the Olney Pancake Race. Olney Pancake Race
14/02/2018 Valentines Day This was originally thought to be the day on which birds chose their mates. There are many traditions and tales associated with romance activities on this day.  
14/02/2018 National Nest Box Week 14th to 21st February 2017 Launched every year on February 14th since 1997. It is used to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes to help our breeding birds and wildlife. BTO
16/02/2018 Chinese New Year When many parades and festivals take place amongst the Chinese communities within the UK. Year of the Rooster. New Year Dates
March 2018


St David's Day

Patron Saint of Wales




8th to 11th March 2018. The annual British Dog show held at NEC Birmingham.



Mothers Day

UK. Traditionally known as Mothering Sunday



Cheltenham Festival

13th to 16th March 2018. Gates Open 10:30am, first race at 1.30pm each day. One of the main horse racing events, Jump racing at Cheltenham Race Course. Major event, Gold Cup Day on the Friday.

The Festival

Cheltenham Racecourse


St Patrick's Day

Patron Saint of Ireland


17/03/2018 The Photography Show 17th to 2oth March 2018. NEC, Birmingham. 10am-5pm. A consumer and professional event, the largest photography event in the UK. Photography Show


British Summer Time

British Summer Time begins. Clocks go forward 1 hour.


30/03/2018 Good Friday Public/Bank Holiday in UK. Start of the Easter Holiday Weekend.  
April 2018
01/04/2018 Easter Sunday Easter Celebrations  
02/04/2018 Easter Monday Public/Bank Holiday in UK.  


Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race

The annual university Boat Race takes place on the Thames in London between Oxford and Cambridge University boat crews. Race starts at Putney Bridge and ends just north of Chiswick Bridge. The first contest gook place in 1829. Each year about 400 million people watch on TV in over 150 countries.

The Boat Race


Grand National Festival

12th to 14th April 2018. Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. One of the biggest Horse Racing events of the year over jumps. Races start around 2pm each day. The main race on Saturday the Grand National Steeple Chase starts at 4.15pm.

Grand National


London Marathon

Charity Race through London. Races start at 9am and 10am. Best places to view are at the start, or along Westferry Road on the Isle of Dogs. A free spectator guide is at tube stations

London Marathon


St Georges Day

Patron Saint of England.



World Pinhole Photography Day

Held on the last Sunday in April, photographers are invited to take a picture with a pinhole camera during the 24 hours on that day.

Pinhole Day

May 2018
05/05/2018 Urchfont Scarecrow Festival 5th to 7th May 2018. Urchfont, Devizes, Wiltshire. The festival runs from 10.30am-5pm each day. The scarecrow trail of 50-55 scarecrows starts at the village pond.  
05/05/2018 Sweeps Festival 5th to 7th May 2018. Rochester Kent. Festivities include Procession of Chimney Sweeps through the streets and Morris Dancing, also storytelling, and funfair in castle grounds.  


May Day Bank Holiday

A public holiday in the UK. In some towns and villages across the England there will be traditional celebrations taking place in parks with Morris Dancing, and Maypole displays.


12/05/2018 National Mills Weekend 12th and 13th May 2018. On the 2nd weekend of May each year more than 300 windmills and watermills open their doors to members of the public. Some of those mills taking part are not normally open to the public and it's a great way to see what goes on inside. National Mills Weekend


Chelsea Flower Show

22nd to 26th May 2018. RHS Flower Show at Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London. Open from 8am-8pm daily, except Saturday (last day) when it closes at 5.30pm.

Chelsea Flower Show


Spring Bank Holiday

A Public holiday in the UK and school half term week.


June 2018


The Derby Festival

2nd to 3rd June 2018. at Epson Downs Racecourse, Surrey. One of the major horse racing events of the year with Derby Day on the Saturday. Ladies Day on the Friday is a colourful event within the stands.

The Derby


Appleby Horse Fair

7th to 10th June 2018. Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria. Off the A66 from Scotch Corner to Penrith. The biggest horse fair of the country. Horses are everywhere on the roads, tied up along the riverbank, trotting horses, people on horseback and not to mention all the tourists who come to watch. Sat, Sun, Mon are the main days.

Appleby Horsefair

Eden Council


Royal Ascot

14th to 18th June 2018. 5 day horse racing event The Queen attends at least one of the days, Thursday's is Ladies Day and is famous its fashion as much as the horses.

Royal Ascot


Fathers Day

In the UK



Summer Solstice

The longest day in the UK each year.


July 2018


Henley Royal Regatta

4th to 8th July 2018. Henley on Thames Oxfordshire. Traditional rowing races on the Thames.

The Royal Regatta



Please check latest information before travelling, dates and times may be changed.

Although we are doing our best to find events to list both here and in the This Month, Next Month Photographers Diary sections, we would like to hear of events you know of for inclusion. Please let us know if you discover any changes.


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