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Your Guide To Some Of The UK’s Biggest 2020 Events

Matt Crisp January 28, 2020

As we move into a new year now is the perfect time to get your blank diary out and start filling it with some fun and exciting events and goings on. Although you might be thinking about holidays overseas, we’re here to tell you that there’s plenty going on around the UK to keep you busy for the whole year.

We’ve highlighted a selection of the biggest events that you can look forward to this year, as well as a few you might not have heard of. Bear in mind that many are incredibly popular, and it’s therefore advisable to think about how you’re travelling to and from an event, as well as what you’ll be getting up to while you’re there.


Chinese New Year

25 January 2020

Chinese New Year is celebrated across the UK, but there are some particularly impressive celebrations in cities such as London and Manchester. In fact, the capital boasts the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of Asia. If you’ll be in London, you’ll want to head to Trafalgar Square, Chinatown or the West End to see the parades and other festivities.

This year, we’ll be welcoming the Year of the Rat. There will be lion and dragon dances, musical shows, martial arts displays and a host of food stalls serving up tasty oriental treats.


RBS Six Nations Rugby Tournament

1 February to 14 March 2020

This is one of the biggest annual events in the Rugby Union calendar. Each year, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy battle it out on the pitch to see who can claim the coveted Six Nations crown.

In the UK, you can watch matches at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Twickenham Stadium in London and Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland. As you’d expect, matchday traffic can be heavy so plan your travel well in advance.

This year, Wales start their campaign at home against Italy, while Scotland travel to Ireland for their opening match and England will take on France in Paris.


Jorvik Viking Festival

15 to 23 February 2020 

York plays host to Europe’s largest Viking Festival each year and it’s becoming increasingly popular. Last year, some 40,000 people travelled to the historic city to join the traditional Viking festivities to mark the end of winter and the start of spring.

If you’ve never visited York before, it’s an excellent opportunity to discover the city’s Viking heritage. You’ll find living history encampments, markets and dramatic combat displays taking place all over the city. There are also a host of tours to showcase its Norse ties.


Glasgow International Comedy Festival

12 to 29 March 2020 

If you love to laugh, Glasgow is the place to be in March. This event is the largest comedy festival in Europe and a great place to see emerging talent as well as famous comedians. You’ll find international names as well as UK-based artists playing shows at various venues across the city.

This year, some of the international performers include Trevor Noah, Steve Martin and Martin Short. There are dozens of stand-up acts, as well as comedic plays and other performances happening in the city.


FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival

27 March to 5 April 2020 

This eight-day festival celebrates more than just literature, although this is of course a significant element of the event. Expect discussions about history, politics and the environment, as well as literary affairs, all in the stunning surroundings of Oxford’s Christ Church College.

Among the authors and speakers lined up for this year’s event are Pat Barker, Val McDermid, Daniel Susskind and Prue Leith, but there are over 350 authors set to attend.


Norfolk & Norwich Festival

8 to 24 May 2020 

This event celebrates everything that the East of England has to offer. There will be more than 100 performances during the festival, ranging from music and dance to theatre and visual arts. The full line up of performances has yet to be announced, but there’s always plenty going on and it’s a great incentive to visit this part of the UK.



24 to 28 June 2020

Glastonbury never fails to be one of the biggest music events in the calendar and 2020 is set to be a particularly special one given that it marks the 50th anniversary of this iconic festival. Tickets sold out in just over half an hour, although there will be another opportunity to get tickets in April, Evening Standard pointed out.

Who’s on the bill for Glastonbury this year? As always, there are still plenty of elements of the line up yet to be revealed, but we do know that Taylor Swift will be headlining the Sunday, while Paul McCartney is headlining on Saturday. Diana Ross, meanwhile, will play the Sunday Legends slot at the festival.

Getting to and from the festival is always a challenge, so if you know a group of people who are all going, organise coach hire to Glastonbury early to split the cost and ensure that you’re ready for this epic summer party.



6 June to 1 November 2020

If you love street art and graffiti, you can’t miss Upfest. This is a celebration of Bristol’s street art scene and is the biggest festival of its kind in Europe. Over 300 artists descend on the city and give various venues and locations a makeover.

All you have to do is turn up and wander around the city’s streets, taking in the inspirational artwork that you’ll find around (almost) every corner. There’s also an Upfest Gallery, where you can pick up prints of some of the works you’ll see around the city.


Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival

3 to 5 July 2020

Foodies will love spending a weekend in Cardiff at the beginning of July to make the most of all that’s on offer during the city’s international food and drink festival. There are countless stalls at Mermaid Quay, where you can sample some of the best produce from Wales, as well as plenty of delicacies from further afield.


Cowes Week

8 to 15 August 2020

Cowes Week, which is held on the Isle of Wight each summer, is one of the biggest events in the sailing calendar. International sailing teams battle it out on the waters off the south coast, with over 1,000 yachts taking part.

As well as the racing on the water, there’s plenty on land to keep you occupied. The town of Cowes is buzzing during the regatta, so take some time to stroll along its picturesque streets, or spend the day at one of the Isle of Wight’s beaches.



27 to 30 August 2020

This is the biggest dance music festival in the summer calendar, and you can expect all the usual superstar DJs to be in attendance.

Confirmed so far for this year are Camelphat, Pendulum and Armin Van Buuren, but you can expect an extensive lineup that reads like a who’s who in the world of dance music. As it takes place over the August bank holiday, make sure you’ve got your travel plans sorted.


British Science Festival

8 to 12 September 2020

We’ll finish with the British Science Festival, which is an opportunity to learn more about some of the incredible breakthroughs being made in the scientific community. It’s organised by the British Science Association and sees hundreds of the country’s top scientists come together in Chelmsford.

You can attend lectures and debates, go to family-friendly workshops to learn while you have fun, or get tickets for one of the comedy or theatre performances that are happening as part of the festival. There really is something for everyone, with the aim to make science accessible to all.