Britain’s fun packed summer continues between the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The weeks between the end of the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Opening Ceremony are packed with great festivals, events and the start of a brand new football season. It’s the ideal time to get out of London and explore the nation in full summer swing. Here’s what to do.
Dance for days at some of the best music festivals in the world. The third weekend in August is packed with choices, including the V Festival (18-19 August), Green Man (16-19th), set in lush Welsh parkland, and Beautiful Days (17-19th), the folk choice, in beautiful Devon. There’s also the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival (18-19th), a homage to the stinking rose but not all about food – there will be quirky bands, a zoo, classic cars and ‘a few wandering celebrities’.
Sing along to The Beatles in their fiftieth year. The Cavern Club, where the band played hundreds of gigs, puts on International Beatles Week from 22-28 August, which attracts bands from over 20 countries and fans from over 40. Highlights include a Paul McCartney 70th Birthday Tribute at the Philharmonic Hall, and the 20th Mathew Street Music Festival, a major annual event with five stages outdoors all over the city.
Experience the Edinburgh Festivals – you can laugh your way through comedy shows at the Fringe, see world-famous authors at the International Book Festival (starts 11 August) and take part in the show’s most talked about art work, NVA’s Speed of Light, a spectacular light show around Arthur’s Seat. The Hilton Edinburgh Airport launched a special haggis cupcake to celebrate the start of the Edinburgh Festival – a unique way to try Scotland’s famous dish!
Enjoy more of the London 2012 Festival – some of the highlight events take place in August. See No Evil in Bristol will involve graffiti artists quite literally painting the town red (and other colours) in the UK’s largest permanent street art project from 16-19 August. Stockhausen’s monumental opera Mittwoch aus Licht will be performed with two choirs, flying solo instrumentalists, live electronic and acoustic music and a string quartet in Birmingham. The FLAGS project by German artist Hans Peter Kuhn launches on the 20th, as large yellow and red flags are set up along UNESCO world heritage site the Giant’s Causeway in a striking art installation.
Watch the best musical of the 20th century – as voted by Time magazine. Carousel opens on 15 August at the Barbican Theatre in London, with just 37 performances – so catch it while you can.
See the footy season kick off on 18 August when all twenty clubs will be in action. If you can’t get to a match, a stadium tour is a great way to feel the atmosphere of a match from the players’ perspective – see their changing rooms and emerge from the players’ tunnel and onto the pitch. You can buy tickets for several stadiums at the VisitBritain shop.
The 100 metres, diving and discus-throwing? Watch bog snorkelling, wife carrying and stiletto racing instead. The World Alternative Games begins on 17 August in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales and lasts two weeks. Some of the events are more amusing than sporting, though Man vs. Horse is not to be taken lightly.
Carnival! See the Paralympics in with style at the Notting Hill Carnival, which happens the weekend just before the Paralympics (26-27th). The annual event will take over West London with fabulous floats, music and non-stop dancing.
For more information contact:
- VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing the UK’s visitor economy.
- Americans made 2.8 million visits to Britain in 2012 and spent $3.7 billion USD (£2.4 billion). The US remains in the top spot in terms of market value for inbound tourism and is one of the top three most important markets in terms of visitor numbers.
- Visitors traveling to Britain can find out more information from visitbritain.us plus purchase money and time saving local transport, sightseeing, attraction, theatre and tour tickets from visitbritainshop.us
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