UK events: May

We’ve entered the month of May, which means you should start to notice the sun appearing for a bit longer, and the temperatures starting to rise. With that in mind, this month has a very outdoors feel to it, with all four of our recommended events giving you the chance to get out and about and explore the UK.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

24 – 28 May, London

Over 500 exhibitors will already be making plans and tending to their most prized plants in preparation for the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show, which has taken place annually (apart from a few gaps during the two world wars) for over 100 years now. This is one of the most famous, and best, flower shows in the world, so if you go along, you will be in for a treat!

1940s Weekend

28 – 30 May, East Lancashire Railway

Take a step back in time and join the East Lancashire Railway to party like it’s 1949 in Rawtenstall, a pretty pocket of Lancashire where the blitz spirit is still going strong.

The 1940s Weekend is definitely one of the East Lancashire Railway’s most popular events, taking thousands of visitors on a nostalgic trip back to a time of ration books, sharp suits and military uniforms. A natty outfit is almost a prerequisite as you hop aboard one of the railway’s restored steam trains. Enjoy afternoon tea dances set to 40s swing, vintage and retro fairs, ENSA entertainers, period vehicle displays, battle re-enactments, and a military parade.


28 – 30 May, North York Moors, North Yorkshire

WalkFest takes to the hills, coast and dales with a great programme of events in May, including guided themed walks in some very special places. Expect Cleveland Way National Trail rambles, moorland hikes, heritage walks and afternoon tea strolls, all in the company of expert guides from the worlds of archaeology, wildlife, conservation, local history and artisan brewing. More information about the walks are available online.

Tetbury Woolsack Race

30 May, Tetbury, Gloucestershire

This is undoubtedly one of England’s strangest sports, but its tradition dates back to the 17th-century.The aim –– is to run up a ridiculously steep hill as fast as you can, while carrying a sackful of wool on your back. If you’re feeling tired just thinking about it, the good news is you don’t have to join in; teams spend months training for the event so most people who come here are happy to just watch.