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.

New Year’s Morning Wheelbarrow Race 1st Jan
Two man teams race in wheelbarrows around the town in the morning in a tradition thought to date back to the 14th century. Ponteland, Northumberland

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

Bodmin Wassail 5th Jan
Dressed in top hats, dickie bows, waistcoats and tails Bodmin’s wassailers visit homes, public houses and shops on the 12th day of Christmas. Bodmin, Cornwall

Apple Howling 5th Jan
The proceedings begin at 6pm with a torchlight procession, followed by a noisy racket created by the crowd. Bolney, West Sussex

The Icicle Balloon Meet 5th-6th Jan
Informal hot air balloon meeting – with on average around 100 balloonists. Marlborough, Wilts

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

The Burning of the Clavie 11th Jan
10 men will take turns to parade the burning clavie (a burning barrel) around the town in the evening. Burghead, Scotland

The Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 11th-13th Jan
A parade around the local villages by a man dressed as a straw bear. Whittlesea, Cambs.

Coleby Plough Jag 12th Jan
40th annual Plough/Mummers Play performed in the town centre with traditional fool and characters. Gainsborough, Lincs

Plough Tour 12th Jan
Ancient local custom of Plough Bullocks parading their decorated plough through the Leicestershire villages accompanied by Molly Dancers. Sharnford, Leicestershire

Ramsey Straw Bear 14th 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 14th Jan (?)
A modern revival of the Plough Monday by the local Moris Men. Balsham, Cambs

Goathland Plough Stots 19th Jan
One of Yorkshires traditional long sword teams, if not the oldest still dancing their own dance as performed as far back as the early 19th century. Goathand, Yorkshire

Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb 22nd-24th Jan
The festival celebrates the traditional links with rhubarb growing in Wakefield, while offering the finest and tastiest regional produce and showcasing the most talented local chefs. Wakefield, Yorkshire

Holly Holy Day 26th Jan
For over 40 years the faithful troops of The Sealed Knot have gathered in the historic town of Nantwich, Cheshire to re-enact the bloody battle that took place almost 400 years ago and marked the end of the long and painful siege of the town. Nantwich, Cheshire

Aviemore Sled Dog Rally 26th-27th Jan
Siberian Husky racing championships. Aviemore, Cairngorms

Katharine of Aragon Festival: Service of Commemoration 29th Jan
This annual Commemorative Service features music by Tudor musicians Hautbois. The event will be attended by city dignitaries and local school children. Peterborough, Cambs.



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