A possibly regular feature starts today – a 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.

Might tempt you outside London (horror!).


Banbury Hobby Horse Festival 1st to 3rd July
The restoration of the hobby horses, Jack in the Greens, straw men and other similar characters in an annual parade through the town center. Banbury, Oxfordshire

Aldershot Army Show 2nd July
Army’s parachute and fast-action motorcycle stunt riding display teams and the soldiers themselves, many recently returned from Afghanistan, will be there to explain life in your Army, its equipment and how it operates today. Aldershot, Hampshire

RAF Waddington International Airshow 2nd – 3rd July
Held annually each July at Royal Air Force Waddington, the RAF Waddington International Air Show is the largest of all RAF air shows Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Heddington & Stockley Steam Rally 2nd – 3rd July
The Heddington and Stockley Steam Rally has been an annual event for the past 37 years, with a few exceptions. Exhibits include vintage traction engines in full steam, miniature steam, stationary engines, tractors, classic cars, motor cycles and bygones. There is also a large display of military and commercial vehicles. Calne, Wiltshire

UK National Sandcastle Competition 3rd July
The 2011 UK National Sandcastle Competition held on Woolacombe beach celebrates its 16th year, and attracts thousand of spectators every year. Woolacombe Bay, Devon

The 125th Annual Wenlock Olympian Games 3rd-11th July
The Wenlock Olympian Games have been held almost every year in Much Wenlock since 1850 attracting athletes from all across the UK. Much Wenlock, Shropshire

ClogFest 8th – 10th July
Clog dancers from all over England gather to celebrate the glorious tradition of English step dance. Clog dancing probably started in the mills, when workers wearing clogs would tap their feet to the rhythm of the machines. It developed into music-hall acts, and now features in folk festivals such as Whitby and Fylde. Skipton, North Yorkshire

Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championships 9th July
The idea is to cycle along the bottom of a 6ft deep peat bog wearing a mask and snorkel and get back in the quickest time. The bike used is specially prepared with a lead filled frame and water filled tyres to ensure grip on the pond bottom. The snorkeller/cyclist wears a lead weight belt to avoid floating off the bike! Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales

Cheshire Steam Fair 9th – 10th July
Established for over 30 years the Cheshire Steam Fair, the event is not just for the Steam enthusiast but it is also a great family day out with hundreds of exhibits on display, attracting visitors from throughout the UK. Warrington, Cheshire

Tewkesbury Medieval Festival 9th – 10th July
Thousands of re-enactors will travel from all round the world to help re-create the Battle of Tewkesbury of 1471. Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire

Wales National Air Show 9th – 10th July
The 2011 air displays will feature the Red Arrows, Team Viper, Tornado GR4s, RAF Falcons parachute display, Black Cats helicopter displays and much more… The air show allows visitors to get up close to tanks, try an inflatable assault course, feel what it’s like to be a pilot in a fighter cockpit and try out helicopters for size in the ground display. Swansea Bay, Wales

Langwathby Scarecrow Festival 9th – 10th July
Festival started in 2004 – Over 100 scarecrows in different guises in people’s gardens, on the Village Green and by the roadside. Langwathby, Cumbria

The World Pea Shooting Championship 9th July
In 1971 The village schoolmaster, Mr Tyson, caught some mischievous pupils amusing themselves by pinging their unfortunate schoolmates with peas and he confiscated the offending weapons. At the time the village had identified a need for a village hall and they were seeking ways to raise funds, Mr Tyson came up with the idea of a World Peashooting Championship. Witcham, Cambridgeshire

Yeovilton Air Day 2011 9th July
The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2011 will this year celebrate 40 years since the first flight of the Lynx aircraft. Yeovil, Somerset

New Milton Pedal Car Grand Prix 10th July
An idea from France – pedal car racing around the town. The races now attract in excess of fifty cars and crowds of "tifosi" numbering many thousands. Teams range from talented racers to enthusiastic pub teams, ladies teams and juniors. New Milton, Hampshire

Kent County Show 15th -17th July
Traditional county fair with animals, stalls, trade fair, entertainments. Maidstone, Kent

Festival of History 16th -17th July
Celebrate over 2000 years of history with a full weekend of live-action events. Watch as knights on horses thunder past in our thrilling Medieval joust. Travel back to WWI with our walk through trench experience, marvel at our dramatic aerial Spitfire display and much more. Kelmarsh Hall, Nottinghamshire

Royal International Air Tattoo 16th -17th July
Said to be the world’s largest annual military air display. Over two miles of static aircraft, interactive activities and ground exhibitions. Swindon, Gloucestershire

Thames Traditional Boat Rally 16th -17th July
The Rally is a huge display of traditionally built craft, of any age, both powered and unpowered. A total of over 200 qualifying craft will be on display. Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Medieval Harewood 16th -17th July
A festival of medieval entertainment with pageantry, knightly combat, arms and armour, archery, music and song, puppet shows, living history encampment and archaeological digs. Leeds, Yorkshire

World Snail Racing Championships 16th July
The snails race from the centre of a circle to the outside. The circle has a radius of 13 inches. The snails are put in the middle and pointed in the right direction. The World record stands at 2 minutes over the 13 inches. It was set up in 1995 by a snail called Archie. The record can only be challenged at the World Championships at Congham. Congham, Norfolk

Swan Upping 18th – 22nd July
Annual ceremony to count the Swans along the Thames, part tradition and part serious conservation effort. The Thames in Berkshire

The War and Peace Show 20th-24th July
Over 3,500 military vehicles, in all shapes and sizes. Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, Half-Tracks, Motorcycles, Trucks, Jeeps and more at the world’s largest military vehicle show. Paddock Wood, Kent

40th World Tin Bath Championships 23rd July
The annual World Tin Bath Championship takes place in Castletown Harbour with nearly a hundred competitors and thousands of spectators. Being the only race of its kind, the event draws eager tin bath racers into cold harbour waters Isle of Man

John Knill’s 5-Yearly Ceremony 25th July
The result of a bizarre will, every five years, ten young girls, the local vicar, mayor and customs officer and the local town dance around the monument to John Knill St Ives, Cornwall

Hot Pennies Ceremony
26th July (?)
The ceremony dates back to the 13th Century, when
Honiton was granted a Royal Charter and pennies were handed out to the
poor. The reason behind the pennies being thrown hot, was that the
affluent people who threw out the pennies took great delight in seeing the
peasants burn their fingers whilst collecting them. Nowadays the pennies
are merely warm!
Honiton, East Devon

Classics on the Common 27th July
The biggest classic car meeting of its kind in Britain, with over 1,200 classic vehicle owners driving from all over the UK and beyond to display their lovingly-maintained vehicles. Harpenden , Hertfordshire

The Waterways Festival 29th-31st July
Over 350 boats on display, along with trade stalls, fair, entertainments and live music/ale bar. Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire

Berkeley Skirmish 2011 30th-31st July
Lord William, Baron of Berkeley has invited the very best merchants, the finest of foods and the most intoxicating ales, along with merriest of musicians and jauntiest of jesters to welcome the King to stay. Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire

Maidstone River Festival 30th July
The theme for the festival this year is ‘At the Movies’. Although still to be confirmed, they also plan to hold a tug of war across the river against estate agents and local bankers. Maidstone, Kent

Oxfordshire County & Thame Show 30th July
Thame Show is billed as The Greatest One Day Agricultural Show in the country. Competitions for Sheep and Cattle, Horses and Showjumping with some of the country’s finest riders, a Premier Dog Show, food stalls and fair. Thame, Oxon

American Rod & Custom Car Show 31st July
American Cars, Hotrods, Dragsters, Harley Davidson bikes & more all on display gathered on the Steyne Worthing, West Sussex

South West Birdman 2011 31st July
Ilfracombe Pier will host the annual South West Birdman competition which involves lots of crazy people or so called ‘would-be aviators’ flinging themselves over the pier to see who can ‘fly’ the furthest or at least plummet hilariously into the waiting sea. Ilfracombe, North Devon



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  1. Ian, you continue to astound and amaze. Some brilliant suggestions here.

  2. Steve says:

    Excellent idea. I can see several things on that list to tempt me out of London for a day or weekend, so keep it up please

  3. Peter says:

    This is brilliant – I don’t know of any other source of great ideas for excursions. Has to be good for the events themselves too.

  4. Please.
    Every month.

  5. Sue says:

    Agree with DJ – this every month would be brilliant. Might even get as far as Tewkesbury.

  6. Toni says:

    Brilliant idea – please do continue!

  7. Pete says:

    Great stuff Ian. Can you make this as regular thing?

  8. Carol says:

    More please!! Any similar events north of the border?

  9. Martin Tolley says:

    Some really good ideas here. Just a pickky point – Kelmarsh Hall Festival of history is in Northamptonshire, not Notts.

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