Suggestions for things to do outside London in January

My now regular look ahead to events happening next month that would probably be in my events guide, if only they weren’t happening outside the psychological barrier of the M25 motorway.

New Year’s Day Bath Race 1st Jan
The Pirates of Poole take to the water in a variety of unusual craft for the annual New Year’s Day Bath Race. Poole, Dorset

The Haxey Hood 6th Jan
Every year, villagers in Westwoodside and Haxey dress up to compete for possession of ‘the Hood’. This 700-year tradition started when Lady de Mowbray was out riding and a sudden gust of wind blew her hat off. Haxey, Nth Lincolnshire

Apple Howling 7th Jan
The proceedings begin at 6pm with a torchlight procession, followed by a noisy racket created by the crowd. Bolney, Sussex

Plough Tour 7th Jan
Ancient local custom of Plough Bullocks parading their decorated plough through the Leicestershire villages accompanied by Molly Dancers. Sharnford, Leicestershire

The Icicle Balloon Meet 7th-8th Jan
Informal hot air balloon meeting – with on average around 100 balloonists. Marlborough, Wilts

Blessing of the Seas 8th Jan
The 48th Blessing of the Seas ceremony in Margate, carried out by the local Greek Orthodox Church Margate, Kent

Ramsey Straw Bear 9th Jan
In a small area of the Huntingdonshire Fens, from Ramsey to Whittlesey, a straw bear is lead through the streets on Plough Monday. Ramsey, Cambridgeshire

Balsham Ploughmen 9th Jan
A modern revival of the Plough Monday by the local Moris Men. Balsham, Cambridgeshire

Plough Monday in Northwold 9th Jan
An evening plough procession with molly dancing from The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers, The Norwich Kitwitches, St Andrew’s Mummers and Kings Morris. Northwold, Norfolk

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 13th-15th Jan
A parade around the local villages by a man dressed as a straw bear. Whittlesea, Cambs.

Hunters Moon Wassail 15th Jan
Morris dancing and drummers, Torch-lit procession bonfire and Traditional Wassailing of the apple trees, Mummers Play, Barn Dances. Lewes, East Sussex

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 21st-22nd Jan
Siberian Husky racing championships. Aviemore, Cairngorms


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