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May 2017

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Historical, Military, Transport Arial, Airshows, Balloons, Kites Country Shows, Countryside, Carnivals Unusual Events Sporting Events Water, Other Events

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

Remember to also look at our Wildlife and Nature Calendar for events in the Wildlife world.






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.



Jack in the Green

28th April to 1st May 2017 Hastings, Sussex. A traditional May Day weekend celebration in Hastings. On May Day (Monday) at 10am The Jack is released from the Fisherman’s Museum and a procession of Morris Dancers, Giants and Bogies follow through the streets to Hastings Castle, where an afternoon of activities and entertainment takes place. At around 3.30pm the Jack is killed and the spirit of summer is released.

Hastings Jack


Abbey Hill Steam Rally

28th April to 1st May 2017 Yeovil Showground, Dorchester Road, Yeovil, Somerset. On display steam engines, classic cars, vintage tractors, commercial vehicles and buses, military and emergency vehicles, organs, fair, crafts, stalls and more.

Hill Rally


Urchfont Scarecrow Festival

29th April to 1st May 2017 Urchfont, Devizes, Wiltshire. The festival runs from 10.30am to 5pm each day. Around 50 scarecrows can be found at various locations around the village. The Scarecrow Trail starts at the village pond where you can collect a programme to follow around the village and see them all. Free car parking is provided in the local playing fields.



Rushden Cavalcade of Transport & Country Show

29th April to 1st May 2017 Bedford Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 0SN. 10am-5pm. Over 1,200 exhibits from traction engines, vintage vehicles, vintage fun fair rides, kids entertainment, and trade stands.

Rushden Cavalcade


IWA Canalway Cavalcade

29th April to 1st May 2017 Little Venice, London W2. Sat & Sun 10am-6pm, Mon 10am-5pm. A unique waterways and community festival arranged at Little Venice since 1983. Highlights include boaters’ gathering, a pageant of boats, trade shows and stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris Dancers, a real ale bar, a wide variety of snacks and food. Sunday Music at 8pm followed by a procession of illuminated boats at 9pm.



Spring Jousting Tournament

29th April to 1st May 2017 Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. 11am onwards. With knights showing off their skills, compete in hand to hand combat with medieval weapons on the ground, and then on horseback with 3 metre lances. There will also be falconry displays and have-a-go archery and more.



Sweeps Festival

29th April to 1st May 2017 Rochester, Kent. Festivities include Morris Dancing in the streets, storytelling in the Charles Dickens Centre and a funfair in the castle grounds. There is also a procession through the streets, including people dressed as chimney sweeps.

Sweeps Fest


Llandudno Transport Festival

29th April to 1st May 2017 Bodafon Fields (on the sea front), Llandudno, North Wales. 9am. Held in conjunction with the Victorian Extravaganza, where costume, vintage fairground and a host of attractions combine in an annual celebration of transport and entertainment heritage.

Transport Festival

01/05/2017 Hampshire Country Fair 30th April and 1st May 2017. Netley Marsh Showground, SO40 7GH. Living history and Country Fair event including events for dogs, horses, field sports, falconry, chainsaw carving, steam and vintage machines, traditional working crafts, food and shopping. Country Fair


Truckfest Peterborough

30th April and 1st May 2017 East of England Showground, Peterborough. Loads of trucks on display as well as trade exhibitions and in the main arena action with Monster Trucks somersaulting, monster truck displays from USA and a jet-propelled truck.


01/05/2017 Padstow May Day Padstow, Cornwall. Know as 'Obby 'Oss Day is the biggest day in Padstow's calendar with around 30,000 people crammed into the small Cornish town. The wearer of the 6ft wide Obby Oss regalia parades through the streets, swirling and dancing accompanied by a Teazer and Morris dancers and singers. Visit Cornwall

'Obby 'Oss


The Blossom Trail

April to Mid May 2017 A 50 mile AA Yellow signposted trail criss-crossing the River Avon, taking you through Evesham, Pershore, Broadway to Worcester. Amongst the top 5 blossom events in the world. There are coach tours, drive yourself car routes, the Bikeaway Charity Ride and walks of between 3 and 6 miles long.

The Blossom Trail

PDF: Map


World Stilton Cheese Rolling Championships

Stilton, Cambridgeshire. An annual May Day event in Stilton where teams battle it out for the honour or being called the Stilton Cheese Rolling Champions. The teams roll the large Stilton Cheeses down the High Street. There are also other activities taking place including maypole and country dancing, street entertainers, fancy dress competition, evening concert on village playing field and lots more.

Stilton Rolling

01/05/2017 Great Malvern May Day Donkey Procession Malvern, Worcestershire. 10:30am-5pm. Donkeys gather at the Priory Gatehouse for their blessing before the procession leaves and visits the main spouts in the town centre, finishing at St Ann's Well Pool around 12:30. From 2pm members of the public can flat a candle in the Pool and there is also a ballet performed by local children of May Day on the Malvern Hills, inspired by The Vision of Piers Plowman. For More Info


Sand Sculpture Festival

14th April to 30 September 2017 Weston Super Mare Beach, Somerset. 10am-6pm daily. This has become an annual event and has some spectacular craftmanship on display.

Sand Sculpture


Derbyshire and Peak District Well Dressing

May to September 2017 Various locations throughout Derbyshire and the Peak District display their well dressing designs. See website links for exact dates and places.

Peak Dressing

Well Dressing


Badminton Horse Trials

3rd to 7th May 2017 Badminton, Gloucestershire. Gates open at 8am each day. Main Events are Thurs & Fri Dressage, Saturday is Cross Country, Sunday is Show Jumping. Trade stands close at 6pm each day except Saturday when it's 7pm.



Festival of Living Crafts

4th to 7th May 2017 Hatfield House, Hertfordshire. 10am-5pm daily. One of the largest crafts fairs where you can look at and purchase items from hundreds of Britain's top designers and crafts people. There will also be many live demonstrations taking place.

Craft Festival


Newton Stewart Walking Festival

5th to 11th May 2017 Newton Stewart, Scotland. Walking festival in the south of Scotland, 29 walk routes to choose from, some guided and hill routes as well as some coastal routes allowing you to take in the Scottish countryside and wildlife.



Flora Day and Furry Dance

Helston, Cornwall. The whole town is decorated with greenery and bluebells. A blend of Pagan ritual and Christian celebration where the streets come alive with singing, dancing, parties as the town celebrates the start of spring throughout the day. Free event.

Flora Day


UK Coach Rally

6th and 7th May 2017 The Promenade, Blackpool Tower, Blackpool. 70+ coaches take part and over both days trade stands and everything bus will be available.

Coach Rally

06/05/2017 Day of Dance Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London. 2pm-6pm. Teams of Morris Men from across England gather together to dance in Trafalgar Square for the annual day of dance. Dance


Chesterfield Walking Festival

6th to 14th May 2017 Many different walks available of different lengths for all abilities. Take a historical walk on the Hardwick Estate home of Bess of Hardwick or follow in the footsteps of murderers past, plus many more.

Walking Festival


Brighton Festival

6th to 28th May 2017 A 3 week international festival of music, theatre, dance, literature and arts events in Brighton.

Brighton Festival


Randwick Cheese Rolling Ceremony

Randwick, Gloucestershire at 10:30am. Cheese rolling event and spring service in the local church which usually occurs the weekend before the annual WAP festival in the village.

The Wap


Maldon Mud Race

Promenade Park, Maldon, Essex. 11am sees the start of the race. Around 250 competitors race through the mud of the River Blackwater at low tide. The return crossing can take an hour with competitors returning covered in mud. Best times in previous events are under 4 minutes. £1 for spectators. The event raises money for charity each year.

Mud Race


International Dawn Chorus Day

Organised by the Wildlife Trust it is an annual celebration of the world's oldest wake up call, the beauty of birdsong. It is not only celebrated in the UK, but also in France, Italy, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand.

Dawn Chorus


Gloucester Severn Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge

Gloucester Docks, Gloucestershire. A Sunday morning race and an afternoon race in the docks. Raising funds for the Rotary Club.

Dragon Boat Racing


The Royal Windsor Horse Show

10th to 14th May 2017 Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire. 8.30am-7.30pm each day. The show has over 200 jumping, carriage driving, Dressage, endurance and showing classes. There will also be military displays and competitions and Pony Club games. There is also has a Shopping Village.

Horse Show


RHS Malvern Spring Garden Show

11th to 14th May 2017 Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire. Floral displays, display gardens, floral art and much more to be seen at this show.

Garden Show


Randwick Wap Procession and Fayre

Randwick, Gloucestershire. Starts at 12.45pm. An ancient procession lead by the Mop Man who swishes water to clear the crowds. They Mayor and Queen flanked by Cheese bearers are paraded through the village, the Mayor is dunked in the Mayors pool and doused in spring water, the procession ends at the Well Leaze where two double Gloucester cheeses are rolled down the hill. 2pm onwards there is a Fayre in the Field.

The Wap


National Mills Weekend

13th and 14th May 2017 On the 2nd weekend in May each year more than 300 windmills and watermills open their doors to members of the public. Many of the mills will be running special family events and activities during the weekend including demonstrations and the chance to buy flour and other produce. Some of the mills taking part are not normally open to the public. Going to the website link will give you details of those that will be open.

Mills Weekend


Bishops Castle Walking Festival

13th to 17th May 2017 Bishops Castle, Shropshire. 11 walks including woodland, Iron Age Forts, and Heart of Wales railway links.

Walking Festival

13/05/2017 Lawn Mower Racing 13th May to 14th October 2017. Various events taking place around the country throughout the summer months. Take a look at website for dates and venues. BLMRA Calendar


Basingstoke Festival of Transport

War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, Hampshire. 11am-4pm. A 900 static vehicle display including classic, vintage and commercials as well as military ones. Free Admission, parking £2.

Transport Festival


Abingdon Air and Country Show

Abingdon Airfield, Oxfordshire. 10am-5.30pm. Flying and static displays of vintage and modern aircraft, but also activities on the ground such as vintage and classic vehicles, living history village, re-enactors, rides, music and trade stalls plus loads more. All in aid of charity.

Abingdon Country Show


14/05/2017 London to Eastbourne Jaguar Run The Old Royal Naval College, London, the start point. Cars leave in timed session the first at 8:30am. Taking in some of London's Landmarks as they Jag's travel to the finish of Western Lawns Seafront, Eastbourne where there will be display of Jaguar Cars, trade stands, and more. Jag


Devon County Show

18th to 20th May 2017 Westpoint, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon. 8am-6.30pm. Six busy Rings of entertainment, including Animals & agriculture, bikes, diggerland, vintage steam engines, armed forces, funfair, clay pigeon shoot, axe racing, dog show, rural crafts etc.

Devon County Show

19/05/2017 Rockingham International Horse Trials 19th to 21st May 2017. Rockingham Castle, Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Over the three days there will be a cross country event, show jumping and other arena events. Horse Trials
19/05/2017 Poole Harbour Boat Show 19th to 21st May 2017. Poole Quay, Dorset. 10am-6pm daily. Free Live entertainment with local bands, shanty groups and fireworks. Tall Ships berthed on the town quay and open to the public. Poole Boat Show
20/05/2017 Exmoor Golden Horseshoe Ride 20th and 21st May 2017. Exford, Somerset. Days start at around 7am. A 4 day event which includes a 100 mile endurance ride over 2 days across Exmoor. Golden Horseshoe Ride


British Pipe Band Championship

St James Playing Field, Paisley, Scotland. Starts at 10am. Over 4,000 pipers and drummers across 140 pipe bands take part, making it one of biggest events in the world.



Castle Combe Steam & Vintage Rally

20th and 21st May 2017 Castle Coombe Circuit, Castle Combe, Wiltshire. 10am-6pm. Steam Engines, Fair Organs, Vintage Vehicles, Vintage Machinery, Many Working Exhibits, Crafts, Model Aeroplanes, Auto Jumble, Trade Stands, Ring Events, Olde Tyme Fairground Rides.

Steam Rally


World Turtle Day

Started in 2000 to bring attention to turtle conservation and highlights ways each of us can help.



Chelsea Flower Show

23rd to 27th May 2017 RHS Flower Show at Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London. Open from 8am-8pm daily, except Saturday (last day) when it closes at 5.30pm. Saturday they also sell off display plants from 4pm.

RHS Chelsea

25/05/2017 Hay Festival 25th May to 4th June 2017. Celebration of literature, bringing together writers, film-makers, historians, poets and members of the public. Hay Festival


The Hunting of the Earl of Rone

26th to 29th May 2017 Combe Martin, Devon. Over 4 days the Grenadiers, Hobby Horse, Fool and villagers hunt through the village for the 'Earl of Rone', finally finding him on the Monday night. He is mounted back-to-front on a donkey and paraded through the village to the sea. He is frequently shot by the grenadiers and falls from the donkey only to be revived by the Hobby-horse and Fool, re-mounted on the donkey, and carried onwards to his fate. At the final shooting on the beach, he is not revived, but thrown into the sea.

Earl of Rone

26/05/2017 Llanelli Festival of Walks 26th to 29th May 2017 Guided walks to suit all levels of walker. Walks with be at different places including Brecon Beacons, Gower, Blaenavon and more. Festival of Walks
26/05/2017 Margam Park Kite Festival 26th to 29th May 2017. Margam Country Park, nr Port Talbot, South Wales. A variety of kites on display and other attractions. Bring along your own kite and take part. Kite Festival
27/05/2017 National Hot Rod & Custom Car Show 27th and 28th May 2017. Peterborough Arena, Cambridgeshire. A weekend of Hot Rod and Custom cars on display, Ink and Oil Tattoo convention, Monster Truck Crush, Lawn Mower Racing and Live Music. Hot Rod
27/05/2017 Crick Boat Show & Waterways Festival 27th to 29th May 2017 Crick Marina, Crick, Northants. 10am-6pm Sat & Sun, 10am to 5pm Mon. Not just boats but also over 200 stalls, a craft village, trip boats, canoes, old and new boats, toe tapping music, Real Ale bar, tasty food, dance, theatre, a traditional funfair, animals, face painting, arts and crafts, heritage craft skills and more. Boat Show


Sail Caledonia

27th May to 3rd June 2017 Fort William, Scotland. A week long series of races by 25 boats powered by sail and oars along the 3 main lochs of the Great Glen Way and the Caledonian Canal from Fort William to Inverness.

Sail Caledonia


Overlord Military Spectacular

27th to 29th May 2017 Lawns Showground, Forest Road, Denmead, Hampshire, PO7 6HS. 9am-5.30pm. Living history brought to life by exhibitors of vehicles and re-enactors, with 100's of military vehicles. A full programme of arena events and a large militaria market.



Isle of Man TT Races

27th May to 9th June 2017 Isle of Man. Two weeks of two wheels on the roads of the Isle of Man.

TT Races

28/05/2017 Luton Caribbean Carnival Wardown Park and Town Centre, Luton. 12noon to 6pm. A one day Caribbean carnival with the procession starting from Wardown Park at 1:30pm. Carnival


Muncaster Festival

28th to 30th May 2017 Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass, Cumbria. A 5 day festival which culminates with the International Jesters Tournament on the final day, where the Fool of Muncaster will be crowned.

Fool Festival


Festival of Country Life

28th and 29th May 2017 Lamport Hall, Northampton. 10am-5pm. Exhibits on display include vintage tractors, steam engines, period caravans, organs, agricultural implements, working exhibits, classic cars and motorcycles as well as traditional crafts and arena attractions and shopping.

CL Show


Spring Bank Holiday

A Public holiday in the UK. This holiday is normally the last Monday of May.



Woolsack Races

Tetbury, Gloucestershire. 10am event starts, with the racing at 2pm. A famous ancient custom, where teams of 4 people run in relays carrying a 60lb woolsack (35lbs for ladies) up and down Gumstool Hill - gradient 1 in 4. Races go back to 17th century, some say it goes back to the Drovers showing off to their girlfriends. Street Fair takes place in the town centre.

Woolsack Racing


Sherborne Castle Country Fair & Rare Breeds Show

Sherborne Castle, Dorset. This event highlights traditional rural skills, as well as those more modern, there is also a  rare breed show and a Dog show, Dragon Boat Racing, Big Top, Fair, Show ring, attractions and retail therapy.

Country Fair


Cheese Rolling Festival

At Coopers Hill, Gloucestershire. 12 noon start. Spring bank holiday wouldn't be the same without a little bit of Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling.

Cheese Rolling


Surrey County Show

Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey. 8am to 6pm. The show includes rare breeds, Llamas, Falconry, countryside pursuits, show jumping. Acres of shopping malls, packed with trade stands selling everything from tractors to garden furniture and clothes. And an Old time Funfair.

County Show


Soham Carnival & Heavy Horse Show

The Recreation Ground, Fountain Lane, Soham, Cambridgeshire. 9am-5pm. Heavy Horse Show 9am-1pm. Carnival parade starts at 1pm. Also includes Vintage and Classic Vehicle Show, a Chainsaw Carver, Pipe Band and Majorette, Bird of Prey displays, races, stalls and more.

Soham Carnival


Royal Bath and West Show

31st May to 3rd June 2017 Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. The UK's biggest rural festival and there is something for everyone. From livestock and over 600 trade stands and more. You can also experience an art exhibition, sample and purchase some British produce, watch birds of prey and loads more.

Bath and West Show

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

Remember to also look at our Wildlife and Nature Calendar for events in the Wildlife world.


Please let us know if you discover any changes, or additions that would be of interest to photographers, you feel we should add.


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