(After a lengthy hiatus, I am restarting this monthly series)

My 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.


Lady Anne Clifford’s dole ceremony 2nd April
Annual service and handing out of bread and money for the poor at a stone pillar where it’s said Lady Anne said farewell to her mother. Brougham, Cumbria

Winter Dressage Championships 3rd-7th Apil
Talented amateurs and Britain’s best compete side by side over five days of intense competition. Hartpury, Gloucestershire

Sheep Grand National 6th April
A sheep race on the same day as the horses race the Grand National. Bideford, North Devon

Heritage Transport Show 6th April
Over 700 vehicles including motorbikes, cars, tractors, commercials and many more on display. Maidstone, Kent

UK Coach Rally 6th-7th April
Around 60 buses and coaches will parade around an 80-mile route on Saturday. Will be on display on Sunday. Blackpool, Lancashire

The Fast Show 7th April
Modified car show with events including, drag cars, Jet Cars, drifting and stunt displays, traders, fun fair, etc. Wellingborough, Northants

Tatworth Candle Auction 9th April
A private event by invitation, where the right to use a plot of pasture is auctioned off with the bidding timed by a burning candle.

Note, the pub was sold recently, so the auction is uncertain.

Tatworth, Somerset

Barmote Courts of Wirksworth 10th April
Annual auction of coal mining licenses. In line with tradition, bread, cheese, clay pipes and tobacco are provided at the meetings, and a representative of the monarch who is the Lord of the Field attends. Wirksworth, Derbyshire

Sharrow Lantern Carnival 10th April
Parade by local residents with lanterns made during the winter months. Sheffield, Sth Yorkshire

The Kate Kennedy Procession 13th April
Around 140 people march through the town in a variety of colourful costumes from various periods, led by a barefoot St Andrew with a cross hoisted on his back. St Andrews, Scotland

Culloden Memorial Service 13th April
Annual Culloden Memorial Service, run by the Gaelic Society of Inverness. Address by the Society Chief followed by prayers. Culloden, Inverness

Fritillary Sunday 14th April
The one day of the year, when a field growing The Snake’s Head Fritillary is open to the public. The church is open and a fair is set up. Ducklington, Oxfordshire

Uppies and Downies 19th April
A medieval version of football played just after Easter each year. There were traditionally no rules, except those suggested by cunning and skill, while brute force is of the greatest importance. Workington, Cumbria

Maundy Thursday 18th April
The Queen will hand out the ancient Maundy Money to worthy people. Windsor, Berkshire

British and World Marbles Championship 19th April
A revival of a marbles game that can be dated back to 1932 in the local pub. Crawley, West Sussex

Hartfield Dole 19th April
Money is given to local poor people on Good Friday at the Church of St Mary the Virgin as a 17th century legacy. Hartfield, Sussex

Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race 19th-21st April
Hundreds of kayakers and canoeists travel along the canal to the Thames and then to Westminster Along Kennet & Avon Canal

Bun Hanging 19th April
Every Good Friday a bun is added to a collection hanging from the ceiling. Stanford-le-Hope, Essex

Britannia Coconutters Boundary to Boundary Dance 20th April
Famous moris dancing around the local area by “Blacked up” men. Rochdale Lancashire

Newcastle Easter Vigil Rooftop Singing 21st April
Starting in the Castle Keep, hear the salvation story read by candlelight before climbing to the rooftop to greet the Easter Dawn. Followed by hot breakfast at the Cathedral. Newcastle upon Tyne

Festival of Steam & Transport 21st-22nd April
The historic dockyard opens for steam trains, food, funfair, live music, steam punk and classic cars. Chatham, Kent

Bolney Pram Race 22nd April
Charity fund racing race with contestants pushed along local roads in prams. Bolney, West Sussex

Bottle-kicking & hare pie scramble 22nd April
Locals carry a large hare pie and the three small kegs to a local park where it is blessed, and then a rough game is played. Hallaton, Leicestershire

World Coal Carrying Championship 22nd April
A race that dates back to 1963 and since then, each year men and women race the streets of Gawthorpe carrying huge sacks of coal. Wakefield, Yorks

London Harness Horse Parade 22nd April
Over 100 horse drawn vehicles and carriages, from Shetlands to Shires, will take part from all over Britain, together with a parade of the earliest motor cars, vintage tractors and historic motorcycles. Ardingly, West Sussex

Race of the Bog Men 22nd April
A mile-long run across the fields from Boyton Hall to the Chestnut Horse pub by men from two rival villages. Stowmarket, Suffolk

British Asparagus Festival 23rd April
The official start of the UK’s eight-week asparagus season launches with the Great British Asparagus Run. It celebrates the first-cut round of asparagus with all the pomp and ceremony you’d expect on Saint George’s Day. Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire

St George’s Court 23rd April
Ceremony in the Guildhall to appoint new officers to the Barony of Lichfield, and install Constabled and impose fines. Lichfield, Staffordshire

Harrogate Spring Flower Show 25th-28th April
Event includes horticultural nurseries, plant society marquees, show gardens, floristry and flower arranging, opportunity to see and buy horticultural sundries like tooks, summer houses, pots etc, arts and crags and lots of food. Harrogate, Nth Yorkshire

The Morpeth Gathering 26th-29th April
The festival includes a vast array of competitions including crafts, performance and writing. The emphasis of the Gathering is firmly upon the native traditions of Northumberland Morpeth, Northumbria

Heffle Cuckoo Fair 27th April
Ancient and (almost) annual country fair, with the release of the cuckoos, morris dancers and traditional funfair. Heathfield, Sussex

Shakepeare’s Birthday Celebrations 27th April
The birthday brings together performers, artists, the local community and ambassadors from around the world in a celebration of the life and works of William Shakespeare. Stratford upon Avon, Warks.

Lions Brimar Vintage and Classic Vehicle Display 28th April
Annual rally of up to 200 vintage vehicles through the town. Clevedon, Somerset

World Dock Pudding Championships 28th April
Dock Pudding is a local delicacy little-known outside the Calder Valley area of Yorkshire and the competition was founded in 1971 to help preserve it. Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire

Hocktide Celebrations 29th April
A medieval festival that still remains in Hungerford, with a parade around the town and the sitting of an ancient jury. Hungerford, Berkshire

Bourne Meadow Running Auction 29th April
An auction to the rights to pasture under a 1742 will, with the last bid made just as a child runs a 200 yard course deemed the winner. Bourne, Lincolnshire

Beltane Fire Festival 30th April
Celebrate the start of the summer with this spectacular revival of the ancient Celtic fertility festival in the heart of the Scottish capital. Edinburgh

Race of the Bog Men 22nd April
A mile-long run across the fields from Boyton Hall to the Chestnut Horse pub by men from two rival villages. Stowmarket, Suffolk

Ratcliffe Culey Lane Setting 25th April
A tradition dating to 1766 when the rates are set for the local roads. Now locals are able to buy sections of grass verge at the annual lane setting auction. Ratcliffe Culey, Leics


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  1. Dan G says:

    This is great – thanks Ian!

  2. A says:

    This blog is brilliant. I feel humbled for its presence. What a time to be alive, eh? And what an incredible, diverse, wonderful country this is.

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