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Your guide to spring bank holiday events

Fun-filled events for the 2024 May bank holiday

Weekend warriors rejoice as we are in for yet another bank holiday weekend. With all this free time, it can be difficult to know how to make the most of it. But don’t fret, we are here to give you the rundown on England’s unmissable Whitsun bank holiday events. We’ve got you covered, from free flower festivals to show-stopping music events.

 

1

FREE: Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling

Cooper’s Hill

England is known for many spectacles, from Glastonbury Festival to Royal Ascot, but one of the quirkiest of all is our world-famous cheese-rolling event . Now officially an extreme sport, cheese rolling attracts competitors from around the world to the glorious Gloucestershire countryside. If you’re not familiar with this bank holiday event, the main premise is to chase a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down the incredibly steep Cooper’s Hill, a 200-yard-long mound with a gradient of 1:2. If you would like to witness tumbling adrenaline junkies chasing some cheese, make your way to Cooper’s Hill early to secure a great viewing spot, before it starts at noon. 

When? 27 May 2024

More things to do in Gloucestershire
2

Birmingham Pride

Birmingham

Back for its 26th year, Birmingham Pride’s vibrant celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, empowerment and community hits the West Midlands this late May bank holiday weekend The event offers a warm environment where people can be who they want without fear of prejudice. This year you can expect a star-studded lineup appearing at the Pride festival, including Gok Wan and Sophie Ellis-Bextor confirmed so far. The fun doesn’t stop there; there will be a huge parade, street party and delicious street food.

When? 25 to 26 May 2024

Find out more about Birmingham
3

Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Leeds, West Yorkshire

Ever seen a 10-metre tall woman or a unicorn amongst the trees? Discover the iconic creations of Damien Hirst at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) where you can set your sights on four thought-provoking sculptures in serene surroundings. Here until September, Charity (2002), Myth (2010), The Hat Makes the Man (2004), and The Virgin Mother (2005) tell the story of the impermanence of life, offer a chance for reflection and also make for great photos. 

When? Until 1 September 2024

See what’s happening in nearby Leeds
4

FREE: Whitley Bay Carnival 2024

Tyne & Wear

Cameras at the ready for a 1,000+ strong bank holiday parade filled with musicians, technicoloured art, brass bands and hundreds of carefully crafted costumes. Expect street food, live music and all the excitement of theatre and circus performance at this unmissable coastal party. Dancing is a must when the Monster Ceilidh Band perform and there’s more fun to be had at the pop-up fairground. 

When? 25 and 26 May 2024

Explore North Tyneside
5

Love Saves the Day 2024

Bristol

Put on your dancing shoes and feel the beat at Bristol’s largest music festival, Love Saves the Day, taking over the city this spring bank holiday This year sees Rudim3ntal, Camelphat and Gorgan gracing the stage, along with over 165 other artists, making it the biggest yet. The two-day festival celebrates electronic and alternative culture, attracting boundary-pushing artists like Archie Hamilton, Mala, Syreeta and Chloe Robinson.

When? 25 to 26 May 2024

Find more things to do in Bristol
6

WWII Weekend at Dover Castle

Dover, Kent

Step back in time to the 1940s for a bank holiday weekend filled with adrenaline-inducing battles, vintage vehicles and, of course, some good old-fashioned fun. Immerse yourself in a live-action battle between the allied and enemy troops featuring striking pyrotechnics to bring the scene to life. Why not look the part and get yourself a spiffing victory haircut at the beauty parlour or go full Great Escape and attempt the gruelling sergeant’s assault course? The WWII weekend isn’t the only thing to enjoy; you can also discover the story of Dunkirk in the castle’s secret tunnels and re-live the tension of the medical field during the war at the Underground Hospital.

When? 25 to 27 May 2024

Find more things to do in Kent
7

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

Oxfordshire

Whet your appetite at the 10th Blenheim Palace Food Festival and sample delicious cooked goods from artisan bakers and international chefs. As Oxfordshire’s largest gastronomic festival, this foodie event attracts renowned chefs from around the world, drawing the likes of Raymond Blanc and former MasterChef winners in previous years. Delicious dishes aren’t the only thing on the menu as there will also be children’s storytellers and musicians performing too.

When? 25 to 27 May 2024

Find more things to do in Oxfordshire
8

Brighton Fringe and Festival

Brighton

Where can you listen to a thought-provoking debate, join a tea dance, shout ‘house’ at drag bingo and then rave into the small hours all in one day? Brighton, of course! Every May, two flagship arts festivals transform the coastal city into an epicentre of eclectic entertainment. Brighton Fringe is one of the world’s largest fringe events and the place to be for lovers of cabaret, comedy, circus and quirky club nights. The Brighton Festival kicks off one day earlier and hosts an eclectic programme covering everything from family-friendly theatre to late-night DJ sets. 

When? 

Brighton Festival: 4 to 26 May 2024 

Brighton Fringe: 3 May to 2 June 2024

 

Explore Brighton’s events
9

Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Norfolk

The streets of Norwich and various areas in Norfolk are transformed with all kinds of creativity and artistic flare this May. Spanning 17 days, the festival brings together thousands of visitors to witness a fantastic programme of world-class music, dance, theatre, circus, literature and visual arts. Enjoy a plethora of exciting paid and free events such as alfresco tunes from the band stand, choirs by candlelight, undiscovered books at the publishing fair and playful street performers, to name a few.

When? 10 to 26 May 2024

Find out more about Norwich
10

Chatsworth Family Festival

Bakewell, Peak District

Get the family together for Chatsworth House's first-ever Family Festival, where all things associated with childhood fun are celebrated. Learn to make a kite, master some impressive circus skills to impress your friends and relive your own school days with old-fashioned sports day races. And once the little ones have worn themselves out, settle down for storytime. Kids of all ages from 1 to 101 (and more!) are welcome. 

When? 25 to 27 May 2024

Fun for the whole family

Check out more May events happening in England

•  Take a stroll in the sun with drink in hand, while sampling delectable treats and grooving to live tunes at The North Leeds Food Festival 2024 at Roundhay Park, on 11 and 12 May 2024. 

•  Venture down memory lane at Croydon's Whitgift Centre, where Pollock's Toy Museum is hosting a pop-up exhibition until June 2024. Marvel at its eclectic collection of miniature theatres, toys, games and dolls. Look out for a display of of toys made in local factory A Barton who were based in nearby New Addington from the 1950s to the 1980s.

•  Prepare to split your sides laughing as the BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning Nineties comedy Drop The Dead Donkey returns - this time on stage - for a limited run (21 to 25 May 2024) at Theatre Royal Newcastle. Starring the original cast, which includes Susannah Doyle, Robert Duncan, Ingrid Lacey, Neil Pearson, Jeff Rawle, Stephen Tompkinson and Victoria Wicks. 

•  Expect an engaging and thought-provoking five weeks across South Yorkshire as the Festival of Debate returns for its 10th year (16 April to 25 May 2024). This challenging and diverse programme feaures a host of well-known keynote speakers from across the political spectrum. 

• Treat your tastebuds to an explosion of different flavours, as Plymouth welcomes FlavourFest for its 20th year from 31 May to 2 June 2024. Explore over 80 stalls of fresh local produce, tasting sessions and, new for this year, pre-bookable masterclasses, workshops, cooking demonstrations and kids' activities, 

• Groove along to over 100 live performances at the Dart Music Festival, which celebrates nearly all genres including orchestral, rock, choral, blues, opera, folk, and jazz. The three-day extravaganza takes place at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues, including two churches - and what's more, it's all completely free to enjoy.

• Zoom up to Capesthorne Hall in Macclesfield for the two-day Cheshire Classic Car & Motorcycle Show (26 to 27 May 2024). With over 400+ vintage, classic and modern classic vehicles on display, this is a vintage petrolhead's dream.

28 Mar 2024(last updated)

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  • 1

    Cooper’s Hill

  • 2

    Birmingham

  • 3

    Leeds, West Yorkshire

  • 4

    Tyne & Wear

  • 5

    Bristol

  • 6

    Dover, Kent

  • 7

    Oxfordshire

  • 8

    Brighton

  • 9

    Norfolk

  • 10

    Bakewell, Peak District

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