Travelling to the United Kingdom is a treat any time of year. In addition to the fascinating history, natural beauty and architecture to see and experience year-round, there are some stupendous events happening in 2012. Be sure to plan ahead, because this year is the year for visiting the UK!
As we all know the Olympics and the Queens Jubilee are dominating the 2012 calendar but there is so much more to get involved in whilst your here as you can see from the list below.
So if you’re in the UK during 2012 (and why wouldn’t you be?) then make sure you get involved with some of the below.
World Shakespeare Festival – England
April 23 – July 27
A collaboration of Shakespearean production companies from the UK and beyond, the Great Bard comes back to the stage, where his plays will be performed at various venues throughout London.
Edinburgh International Harp Festival – Scotland
March 30 – April 4
The Harp Festival is a festival honouring the part the harp (or clarsach) has played in the culture of the Celts over thousands of years. Musical styles from all over the world will be featured in addition to time-honoured, traditional pieces.
Titanic Experience Belfast – Northern Ireland
Opens March 31
Belfast is the birthplace of the “unsinkable” Titanic. Myths and legends surround the gigantic ship and her ill-fated maiden voyage. View full-size portions of the ship, real pieces recovered from the wreckage and explore with the aid of virtual tours.
English and Welsh Castles – Wales
Spring and summer months
There are over 400 castles in Wales; more than 100 still stand in majestic splendour. Dotted all over the Welsh countryside, these magnificent structures stand as silent witnesses to several bitter battles with England over many generations.
2012 Olympics – England
July 27 – August 12
This summer the world’s athletes compete in London for Olympic gold in 26 events. Ceremony, pomp and circumstance surrounding the events will create memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Scotland
August 3 – 27
The Festival Fringe in Edinburgh is the largest arts festival in the world. This eagerly awaited annual event transforms Scotland’s capital city into a gigantic stage, from which thousands of performers present shows of all types to eager audiences.
Scuba Diving – Northern Ireland
The cold waters of the Belfast Lough off the North Down Coast are active and bustling with sea life. The North Ireland coast is also home to several hundred shipwrecks, where many of the underwater denizens make their home. Scuba diving the Belfast Lough is like visiting an undersea museum.
Snowdonia National Park – Wales
Spring and summer months
Snowdon, the tallest mountain in England and Wales, is surrounded by Snowdonia National Park, an 823-square mile park of breathtaking Welsh beauty. If you’re not an experienced climber, the late spring and summer months provide other kinds of activities, including hiking, cycling and education at the park’s Environmental Studies Centre.
2012 Paralympics – England
August 29 – September 9
The Olympics are not finished with London yet! The 2012 Paralympics will be no less exciting and inspiring. Twenty-one events include boccia, cycling, power lifting, sailing, judo and equestrian dressage.
Orkney International Science Festival – Scotland
September 6 – September 12
Scots have been at the heart of a number of scientific breakthroughs over the centuries. This festival celebrates the ingenuity and exploration of science with food, sky gazing, events and demonstrations.
Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Intense volcanic activity created a natural formation of perfectly formed columns of volcanic basalt between 50-60 million years ago. The stark beauty of the Giant’s Causeway against the background of the Atlantic Ocean is a truly awe-inspiring sight.
The Welsh are creative with their food, and each year, the best and most creative food and drink are yours for the sampling at the Abergavenny Food Festival.
Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes Day – England
In 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I and his Parliament failed miserably. The narrow escape of the king and his lords is celebrated with revelry and lots of fireworks every year.
Edinburgh Hogmanay – Scotland
December 30 – January 2
“Hogmanay” is a Scots word that means “the last day of the year.” Edinburgh can throw a New Years’ Eve party that could put Times Square to shame! Revellers from all over the UK flock to Edinburgh to celebrate this ancient tradition.
Celebrate Diwali and Samhain – Northern Ireland
The Irish people have celebrated the Samhain for thousands of years. Pair that with the equally ancient Hindu festival of lights and you have one hopping Indo-Celtic festival in Belfast.
Tobogganing in Storey Arms – Wales
Pen Y Fan is a favourite destination for wintertime revellers. You will see some skiers, but since the ski lift is gone, only the hardcore skiers will brave the slopes, only to trudge back up and do it again.