Spring is just around the corner, bringing with it plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy some of the biggest and best events across the country. Here’s a rundown of five of the best outdoor events taking place across the country, from racing to running and a reading festival…
1 Cheltenham Festival
14-17 March 2017
Let’s start with the big one: Cheltenham Festival, a week of racing action that has changed significantly since its early days to become one of the most famous racing festivals not just in the UK, but across the world. The first Gold Cup, the feature race of Cheltenham, took place way back in 1819. Nowadays, the festival that continues to put Gloucester in the spotlight every March offers prize money worth £3.67 million, draws in around 230,000 racing fans, and sees around 120,000 bottles of wine drunk.
William Hill’s infographic below highlights just a few of the astounding stats that accompany this mainstay of an event on the British sporting calendar. The real joy of Cheltenham lies not just in the chance to have a flutter, with Diamond King and Empire of Dirt two big priced winners from 2016’s festival, but also the chance to experience the class and luxury of a day at the races amid the glorious English countryside.
2 Tour De Yorkshire
29 April-1 May 2017
Running from Beverley to Scarborough, the Tour De Yorkshire continues to build upon the triumph of the Grand Depart that was relocated to Yorkshire in 2014. The Tour De Yorkshire offers cycling fans the chance to hit the streets of God’s Own Country and watch some of the world’s hottest cycling talent compete for dominance. If you’re struggling to pick where to view the event from, there are two obvious choices: either of Yorkshire’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Fountains Abbey and Saltaire.
3 Gloucester Tall Ships Festival
27-29 May 2017
The Cheltenham Festival may well be the big draw for Gloucester this spring, but the chance to see five amazing tall ships, Captain Jack Sparrow doing his thing, live music, foodie treats, and games for children (hopefully all in the sunshine) makes the Tall Ships Festival at the end of May a memorable event that really shows off the naval traditions of the British Isles. One of the highlights of this year’s festival is bound to be two of the tall ships recreating a pirate battle, with the presence of cutlasses and muskets. Advance tickets are on sale now.
— Carole Bowe 📚 (@Cazlar123) July 22, 2016
4 The London Marathon
23 April 2017
Much like the Tour De Yorkshire, the London Marathon gives us the chance to celebrate the absolute brilliance of professional athletes. However, what the London Marathon also offers is the chance to support people who have chosen to undertake the challenge of running 26.2 miles, some in a rhino costume, others dressed as Mary Poppins, all in the name of raising money for charity. The streets of London are traditionally packed full of spectators, with some of the key watching points also acting as opportunities to observe some of the most historic sights in our capital city. Perhaps the best thing about a day out watching the London Marathon is the fact that it is completely free to do so!
— London Marathon (@LondonMarathon) February 14, 2017
5 St Ives Literature Festival
13-20 May 2017
The Godrevy Lighthouse in St Ives is believed to have been the inspiration for one of the greatest novels ever written, Virginia Woolf’s ‘To The Lighthouse’. Nowadays, St Ives celebrates its undoubted literary heritage by running a Literature festival every May, offering talks, readings, and literary workshops to help engage people with the wonderful world of literature. St Ives is, of course, a stunning seaside town in its own right, so this event is just another excuse to enjoy a trip to the seaside in the spring sunshine.