Written by: Lee Watson
We’re back with the second part of our guide to things to look forward to in 2023. This time we’re covering everything happening between the beginning of April and the end of June.
In this blog, we’re covering some of the events, sports, celebrations, and holidays that are coming up in the year’s second quarter. As the months get warmer and summer approaches, we start to get a lot more outdoor activities, so join us for a breakdown of some of the highlights between April and June.
1st April – April fool’s day
Prank your friends and family all day today and you’ll in theory, get away with it. Marvel at the fake stories about ridiculous happenings that the news media will come up with. Try not to fall for anything particularly stupid or improbable though.
1st of April – International Pillow fight day
To the delight of children and the young at heart everywhere, the 1st is also It’s also international pillow fight day, so, have fun with that.
2nd April Autism Awareness Day
Recognised around the world and sanctioned by the United Nations, Autism Awareness Day strives to bring attention to the struggles faced by those on the Autism Spectrum. The Autism Spectrum takes in a variety of different conditions and those on it can have vastly different needs and requirements.
To find out more, please take a look at the UN website here
5th April – Passover
Passover celebrates the Israelites escape from their Egyptian slavers after God cursed them with ten plagues. Passover is, perhaps, one of the most celebrated of Jewish holidays and begins with a special family meal called the seder. Passover continues for 7 or 8 days, depending on the form of Judaism followed.
7th April Good Friday
A holiday in the UK, but not in Ireland, the day is sacred to Christians as it commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The day, along with that of Easter Sunday, changes year to year due to the fact that it is calculated based in a Lunisolar calendar, which tales in to account the position of both the sun and the moon.
9th April Easter Sunday
Celebrated by Christians as they say Jesus was said to have risen from the dead. Its association with eggs, which are strongly linked to fertility and rebirth, dates back to early Christians in Mesopotamia, who would paint/dye eggs. The practice then spread throughout the Christian world.
10th April – Easter Monday
The day after Easter is a holiday in both the UK and Ireland.
13th-15th April- The Grand National
The biggest race meeting of the year, The Grand National takes place over the three days from the 13-15th at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. Vast amounts of money are bet on the outcome of the race which takes place on the 15th. It’s not just a race though. It’s a place to be seen, especially on ladies’ day on the 14th, where women attend to show off their most fashionable outfits.
15th of April to 1st of May – World Championship snooker at the Crucible
The Snooker World Championships come to the Crucible in Sheffield from the 15th of April. Marvel as some of the world’s top players knock multi-coloured balls across a table using only a long stick. Ronnie O’Sullivan took the title last time round, so tune in to find out who will win this year.
23rd of April – London Marathon
One of the 6 top marathons in the world, this year’s event coincides with St George’s day and pits competitors against each other to run the gruelling 26.2 miles. Of course, not everybody is going for a personal best. A big part of the London Marathon is to raise money for charity, so whilst only one person can cross the line in first place, there are actually thousands of winners.
The race starts in Blackheath, then follows an eastern route through Charlton and Woolwich before turning back west and heading past the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Runners cross the Thames via Tower Bridge then backtrack east again, going past Canary Wharf. It loops around the Isle of Dogs before going back West along much of the Thames before finally finishing on The Mall near St. James’s and Green Parks.
Website – https://www.tcslondonmarathon.com/
23rd April – St Georges’s Day
The third patron saint’s day of the year celebrates England’s representative, St George. St. George is the fabled dragon slayer of legend. In reality, he was a Roman soldier who was from Cappadocia, now modern-day Turkey.
St George is claimed as the patron saint of not just England, but also of Ukraine, Ethiopia, Georgia, Catalonia, Moscow, and Aragon.
26th April- 1st May Cheltenham, Jazz Festival
Do you like Jazz and are you in the Gloucestershire area towards the end of April? Then get yourself down to Cheltenham where you’ll be treated to performances from renowned jazz acts. Nice!
Website – https://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz
26th April – 1st May – Spirit of Speyside Whiskey Festival
If you find yourself considerably further north in Scotland, this event allows you to sample the delights of the local distilleries. There’s also food and entertainment including live music and tours.
28th to 30th April – Liverpool Sound City
The annual international music festival returns to Liverpool. With stars from all around the world, as well as local artists and upcoming acts, you’re sure to find somebody you’ll like.
Website – https://www.soundcity.uk.com/
29th – 30th April – TweedLove Bike Festival
Every year, the Tweed valley on the Scottish borders plays host to Britain’s fastest-growing cycling festival. During previous years there have been races to watch and participate in too.
Website – https://tweedlove.com/
1st May – Early May bank Holiday
Both the UK and Ireland get to have a bank holiday to start the month. For the UK, it’ll be the first of three this month. Ireland just gets two this month.
4th May – Star Wars Day
A celebration of all things Star Wars (It’s May the 4th, which sounds a bit like “May the force…”), its essentially an opportunity to sell you Star Wars related products. Expects special deals and maybe a few announcements.
Website – https://www.starwars.com/star-wars-day
4th May – UK Local Elections
Local elections in the UK are also taking place on the 4th of May, pitting the Rebels against the Empire. Sorry, no that’s Start Warts again. It pits the Labour Party against the Conservatives. If polling is to be believed, the Conservatives may well suffer some heavy defeats, but nothing is ever clear in politics.
6th of May – The Coronation of Kings Charles
The official ceremony to crown King Charles III takes place on Saturday the 6th of May, with a bank holiday to follow on Monday the 8th, meaning there’s a reason to celebrate even if you are not a monarchist.
6th to 28th May – Brighton Festival
Head down to the south coast of England for the Brighton festival. The festival has been running since 1967 and celebrates the diversity of its host city. Now one the leading arts festivals in Europe, there are events that take in all the best film, theatre, dance, art and literature that there is to offer. There are also family events, so it’s not just a festival for adults. The festival takes place at venues throughout the city of Brighton and Hove.
Website – https://brightonfestival.org/
8th of May – Bank Holiday in the UK for the King’s coronation
9th May to 13th of May – Eurovision Song Contest 2023
The Eurovision song Contest takes place in Liverpool from the 9th to the 13th of May. Semi-finals take place on the 9th and 11th whilst the grand final is held on the 13th of May.
Expect a cavalcade of acts from Europe, along with other countries like Israel and Australia to perform their best song with the aim of becoming Eurovision winners.
Usually, the host of the contest would be the previous years winning country. However, last year’s winner, Ukraine, is unable to host due to the war, so runner Up country, the UK, stepped in.
14th May – Women’s FA Cup Final
Women’s football in England has seen something of a boost since the Lionesses’ success at Euro 2022. The Women’s FA Cup final will take place at Wembley and is sure to draw a good crowd.
18th May – Local Elections in Northern Ireland
23rd to 27th May – Chelsea Flower Show
The annual opportunity for fervent horticulturists to prove their prowess, The Chelsea Flower Show once more comes to West London. There will be an abundance of floral displays with prizes given for the best ones.
25th May to 4th June – Hay on Wye Festival
With over 20 bookshops, the town of Hay-on-Wye is often described as the town of books. It’s therefore appropriate that a literary festival takes there every year. Some well-known authors will be joined by emerging writers in what is the literary event of the year.
The town, located on the perimeter of the Brecon Beacon’s National Park, also affords some wonderful views of the countryside.
Website – https://www.hayfestival.com/wales/home
27th to 29th May – Blenheim Palace Food Festival
The largest food festival in Oxfordshire takes place against the backdrop of the glorious Blenheim Palace. As well as delicious food from artisan bakers, there will be craft brewers and all sorts of international cuisine spread across the event’s stalls.
29th May – Late May Bank Holiday
Both the UK and Ireland have a bank holiday on Monday the 29th to close out the month of May.
2nd to 3rd June – Cazoo Derby Festival, Epsom Downs Race Course, Surrey –
More Horse Racing, this time at the world’s most famous flat race. The race itself takes place on the 3rd with the day before being the Ladies Day. So if you fancy a flutter, are a rich racehorse owner, or happen to be one of the ladies who want to show off their latest hats on the 2nd, then have fun.
2nd June – Trooping the Colour, London – The annual celebration of the monarch’s official birthday (they get two birthdays), will be heralded with all the usual pomp and ceremony, at Horse Guard Parade near Whitehall. The royal family will be in attendance as they watch various members of the armed forces parade around both on foot and horseback all accompanied by military bands. This one will be the first since King Charles took the throne, so it will be a historic moment for fans of the monarchy.
Website – https://kbp.army.mod.uk/
3rd June – FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London
The weekend of the 2nd/3rd of June is certainly packed and the fun continues at Wembley stadium as two teams compete to see who’s the most skilled at kicking a ball around. The FA cup is the oldest football competition in the world and usually draws a massive crowd at the ground as well as garnering a huge TV audience. Travelers on the Metropolitan line will have to look out for overcrowding on the tube caused by all those who enjoy seeing a bunch of millionaires prancing around the pitch.
5th June – Bank Holiday in Ireland
Another holiday for everyone in Ireland. This is very much the equivalent of the late May holiday in the UK, except it takes place in early June.
6th June – D-Day
The annual commemoration of the D-Day landings, a decisive moment during World War 2 in 1944 when the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy in what would prove to be an ultimately victorious effort to rid Europe of Nazi rule. Those who fought and gave their lives for the cause of freedom should never be forgotten, nor should the lessons that should have been learned about the abhorrence of fascism.
10th of June – Man V Horse Marathon
On a slightly less serious note, the 10th of June sees the annual 22-mile race in Llanwrtyd Wells in Wales between runners and people on horseback. Horses aren’t allowed to compete in the 100 metres in the Olympics for good reason, so this does seem to be a bit of a one-sided race. Even still, it’s been taking place since 1980 and came about after a pub landlord overheard two patrons debating about who would win out of a runner and a horse over rough land (so it’s not as straightforward as it first seems). A runner was not, however, victorious until 2004, so, whilst the odds are probably stacked in the horses’ favour, it’s not always a foregone conclusion.
Website – https://www.green-events.co.uk/?mvh_main
14th-18th June – Taste of London Festival
Foodies should make their way to Regent’s Part in London for a fantastic festival that’s bound to delight the tastebuds of all who attend. Over the festival’s four days, visitors can sample some of the best dishes that London’s restaurants have to offer. With food from all around the world, it’s inevitable that you’ll find either some old favourites or some new gourmet cuisine to try.
Website – https://london.tastefestivals.com/
15th– 18th of June – Isle of Wight Festival
Music lovers will have a delightful month in June with The Isle of Wight festival being the first event on the calendar. Headliners include Pulp on Friday, George Ezra and the Chemical Brothers (presumably separately, not playing together!) and Robbie Williams on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, you can also take in performances from acts like The Courteeners, Sugarbabes, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, N-Dubz, Sam Ryder, Blondie, The Human League, Example, Manic Street Preachers, and Echo and the Bunnymen. Thursday arrivals will be entertained by, amongst other things, a DJ set by Groove Armada.
Website – https://isleofwightfestival.com/
17th – 25th June – Jane Austen Regency Week, Hampshire
Those looking for a slightly less frantic time in June can travel to Alton and nearby Chawton, where Jane Austen’s House and museum is located, for a celebration of all that is Austen. There will be guided tours, talks, music, singing, drama and dining throughout the 9-day-long festival. The famous Regency Ball will also take place.
17th – 18th June Pride Cymru, Cardiff Wales
Not to be confused with Plaid Cymru, the Welsh political party, Pride Cymru is, as you might expect, the annual celebration of all things LGBTQI+. There’ll be a funfair and arts and crafts cultural market, food and drink and a social hub offering support to members of the LGBTQI+ community as well as to their families and friends.
Website – https://www.pridecymru.com/
18th June – Father’s Day
It’s the dads’ turn to be spoiled in June. Buy them something manly like a screwdriver set or engine oil and they’re sure to appreciate it. Alternatively, perhaps consider some flowers, chocolates, and a nice drop of whatever tipple they fancy. It can also be a bit of a sad time of year for those who’ve lost their fathers, but it can be a nice time to remember everything they did for you whilst they were here.
18th – 21st June – Stonehenge Summer Solstice – Wiltshire
Stonehenge itself dates back to around 3100 BC and, although its exact purpose is lost to time, it’s been seen as a sacred site by people for eons. The Stonehenge Summer Solstice is a four-day long festival to celebrate the solstice on the 21st of June. Every day families and tourists bump shoulders with Wiccans, pagans, and druids in a celebration that includes workshops and bands.
21st June – 25th June 2023 – Glastonbury Festival
It’s for the big one! Glastonbury is perhaps the most iconic music festival in the UK and certainly up there as one of the contenders for the most legendary across the world. Live acts expected this year include Artic Monkeys, Guns N’ Rises, Elton John, Lizzo, Lana Del Rey, Blondie, Fatboy Slim, Chvrches, Lewis Capaldi, Manic Street Preachers, Texas, and many, many more. As well as bands, there will also be the usual array of things to do like visiting the Healing and Craft fields, and sampling, most probably overpriced food and drink.
Website – https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/
20th – 24th June – Royal Ascot – Berkshire
Horse racing comes to Berkshire for one of the jewels in the crown of the racing calendar. All the usual pageantry and fashion will be present at what is one of the highlights of the British social calendar. Oh, and there will even be horse racing too! The Queen was a regular attendee of Royal Ascot and, after her death last year, her presence will surely be missed, but hopefully, this year’s event will still be spectacular.
22nd – 25th June – The Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh
One of the major highlights of the Scottish Country calendar, the Royal Highland Show celebrates the farming, food, and life of rural Scotland. The excitement of the Golden Shears World Championship where sheep shearers compete against each other comes back to the Royal Highland Show this year. Who will win the coveted prize? We’ll have to wait until June to see.
Website – http://www.royalhighlandshow.org/
24th June- 9th July – Bristol Pride, Bristol
Another day, another celebration of pride, this time in the city of Bristol. There will be more funfairs market stalls, food and drink, and a community area.
Website – https://bristolpride.co.uk/