Each and every year there are a whole host of magnificent major UK events that draws crowds from far and wide. From world-class sporting events to incredible music festivals, there’s plenty to fill your calendar. The chances are though, if you’ve already got your tickets, you’ll have started planning your trip, so we’re here to lend a helping hand.
The biggest UK events, be it sports, music festivals or horse racing events, are often a reason to get away for a short break with friends or a long weekend with family. If you’d like to know what’s happening in 2023, read on to discover a variety of major UK events not to miss. And if you’re thinking of taking part in any, we’ve sourced some large houses where you and your supporters can stay nearby, full of all the facilities needed to relax and unwind in style before and after the event.
Cheltenham Festival | Gloucestershire in March
Place your bets and hope for a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in March. This prestigious and unmissable jump racing event of the year sees around 250,000 people descend onto the beautiful Cotswold Hills for four days of scintillating action. Held at Cheltenham Racecourse, watch the finest horses, jockeys, and trainers battle it out for the highest racing honours, culminating in Gold Cup Day – the biggest event of the entire National Hunt season.
Location: Cheltenham Racecourse, Evesham Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH
Getting there: Arrive by car, coach, or helicopter. You will need to purchase a parking pass at least a week before the festival if you are travelling by car. The racecourse approx. 3 miles from Cheltenham Spa railway station.
Things to do nearby:
- Shop, dine and explore the fascinating history of the beautiful regency town of Cheltenham
- Discover Pittville Park, the largest ornamental park in Cheltenham, featuring a Pump Room and stunning lakes
- Step back in time with a nostalgic trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway
See our group's guide to the Cotswolds
or our guide to hen dos in the Cotswolds
for more ideas!
Where to stay for the Cheltenham festival
Choose from our collection of cottages within the Cotswolds with travel times of under an hour to reach Cheltenham Festival.
The Grand National | Liverpool in April
Another of the big annual racing events is the Aintree Grand National, which sees around 40 horses and their jockeys lining up in what is the ultimate test, and a major horse racing event in the UK in 2023. This is one of the most popular sporting days on the calendar, full of excitement, fun and adrenaline rushes as riders race towards the finishing line to compete for some of the most sought-after titles in the region.
Location: The entrance is on Ormskirk Road (A59), postcode: L9 5AS
Getting there: The best way to get there is by rail to Aintree Station, which is opposite the racecourse with trains running at least every 15 minutes, but there are also regular buses, and car parking is available. See the racecourse website for more information.
Things to do nearby:
- Head into Liverpool and take in the sights of Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool Cathedral, St Geroge’s Hall, and so much more
- Discover the Baltic Triangle, a creative and independent quarter which has seen abandoned factories transformed into hipster coffee houses, bars, leisure venues and flea markets
- If you have the family in tow, enjoy a wild day out at Knowsley Safari Park – the longest safari drive through in the UK at 5 miles
Where to stay for the Grand National
Ashley Place, Victoria House and Cumberland House are all approximately 16 miles away in Southport.
Tour de Yorkshire | Yorkshire in May
It has been announced that the Tour de Yorkshire, one of the biggest UK cycling events, will be replaced by a new-look event in time for the 10th anniversary of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the region in 2024. As one of the most popular cycle events on the calendar, there has been much speculation as to what this new event will look like. An agreement in principle has been made with SweetSpot, organisers of the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour. We can’t tell you much more right now, but if you are a cycling fan and you’d like to secure your spot at this refreshed event in 2024 you can start looking for somewhere to stay today.
More info to come soon…
Glastonbury Festival | Somerset in June
One of the most legendary 2023 events has to be Glastonbury Festival, set within the peaceful rolling pastures of Somerset. Last year, the most famous music festival in the world saw Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar headline the Pyramid stage! While rumours are rife about the 2023 line-up, nothing is yet confirmed!
Location: Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 4BY
Getting there: Car parking is available but will require pre-booking. Those travelling by train - the best option is to get off at Castle Cary and use the FREE shuttle buses that run every 15 minutes. You can also use the drop off and pick up point. See the Glastonbury Festival website for more details.
Things to do nearby:
- Climb Glastonbury Tor and take in the magnificent Somerset views
- Explore the Mural Trail which showcases approx. 50 murals throughout the town and encompasses the town’s unique community spirit
- Take on the Glastonbury Way, a 7.5-mile walking route and self-guided tour that takes you through the countryside, the town centre and interesting places of pilgrimage
Where to stay for Glastonbury Festival
Not everyone feels compelled to experience the full camping experience of Glastonbury Festival. For many, home comforts are a must. Our large cottages in Somerset are the perfect solution for you and a group of mates.
Royal Ascot | Berkshire in June
A third date in the calendar for those with a love of horse racing, Royal Ascot is a special week, welcoming around 300,000 visitors in their finest apparel. Attended by the royal family, this unique and sophisticated event offers unparalleled racing, high fashion, and fine dining. There are six world-class races on the card each afternoon - cheer your favourite horse past the post and revel in the whirlwind of excitement and atmosphere.
Location: Ascot Racecourse adjoins the beautiful Windsor Great Park. Postcode: SL5 7JX
Getting there: Parking is available to purchase online before the event, but you can also arrive by train from Reading, Guildford, and London Waterloo (the station is a 7-minute walk). See the Ascot Racecourse website for more information.
Things to do nearby:
- Relax and socialise at Lavender Park Golf Centre, sports bar, and premiere snooker hall
- Head to Windsor Great Park to soak up its natural beauty, spot the majestic herd of red deer and enjoy an array of activities, including horse riding, walking, and children’s play
- Go sightseeing in Windsor – don’t miss Windsor Castle, St George’s Chapel, boating on the river Thames, and dining at a Michelin star restaurant
Where to stay for Royal Ascot
Choose from Woodlands House and The Flint House, both only 15.5 miles away from Royal Ascot.
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge | Wiltshire in June
To see the sunrise at Stonehenge summer solstice is a magical bucket-list experience. One of the most unique 2023 cultural events in the UK, thousands of people from around the world will gather here to celebrate the dawn of the longest day. This is one of the rare occasions when visitors are allowed to enter the prehistoric stone circle and feel its energy. If you stand in the right place inside the monument, you can see the sun rise above the Heel Stone and its rays will beam directly into the centre. The Stonehenge summer solstice takes place on the longest day of the year in June.
Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE
Getting there: You can travel to Stonehenge for the summer solstice by car but parking is limited, and once the car park is full there are few other options. You can get the train to Salisbury and a bus to nearby Amesbury.
Things to do nearby:
- Visit the medieval city of Salisbury and explore its striking cathedral and beautiful architecture
- Just 5 miles from Stonehenge, combine your trip with a visit to Woodhenge, a reconstructed wooden monument
- Explore the parkland, and water and rose gardens of this stunning country house built on the site of a 9th-century nunnery
Places to stay near Stonehenge
See our collection of large cottages in Wiltshire to find the perfect place to stay near Stonehenge for the summer solstice with a group of friends.
Goodwood Festival of Speed | Sussex in July
When it comes to major sporting events in the UK, the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2023 is a well-established crowd-pleaser. Held in the immaculate grounds of Goodwood House in Sussex, this three-day automobile extravaganza sees a mix of classic vehicles and futuristic supercars come together to celebrate the past, present, and future of car racing. The most iconic aspect of the event is spectating the high-octane thrills of the Goodwood Hillclimb - nowhere else will get you so close to the cars and bikes as they blast up the track.
Location: Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0PX
Getting there: Goodwood House is easily accessible by road and parking is available at the event. You can also take the train from London to Chichester or from Brighton to Portsmouth – buses and taxis are then available.
Things to do nearby:
- Explore the beautiful scenery of the South Downs National Park on foot, bike, or horseback
- Sip wine, enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea and take a fascinating tour at Tinwood Estate Vineyard
- Visit Goodwood House itself, enjoy a tour, take tea in the ballroom and discover a fascinating history of Goodwood stories
Goodwood Festival of Speed Accommodation
Off to the festival with a group of friends or taking the family along? Find your Goodwood group accommodation from our collection of large cottages in Sussex.
British Grand Prix | Northamptonshire in July
With the British Grand Prix renowned for its amazing Formula 1 atmosphere, this is one of the major events in 2023 not to miss. An adrenaline-fuelled, entertainment-packed racing weekend awaits at super-slick Silverstone, one of the fastest circuits in the F1 calendar. As well as watching the drama unfold on the track, there is a thrilling line-up of concerts and activities across the weekend.
Location: Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN
How to get there: Don't forget to book parking at the time of purchasing tickets. The nearest train station is Wolverton (approx. 10 miles), and coaches and buses will drop off close to the main gate. The Silverstone website offers detailed information on travelling to the Grand Prix.
Things to do nearby:
- Explore the beautiful gardens, lakes and temples of Stowe, a stunning National Trust property 6 miles from the Silverstone circuit
- Perfect for a group of friends, Towcester Mill Brewery is an award-winning Tap Room - perfect for groups to gather no matter the weather
- Keen golfers can choose between Silverstone Golf Course and Whittlebury Park Golf Course for a day on the green
British Grand Prix accommodation
Stay in comfort and enjoy the luxuries of your own self-catering accommodation. Our large cottages in Northamptonshire offer flexibility to your trip, making it a great opportunity for a family holiday or a group getaway with friends.
Boardmasters | Cornwall in August
Boardmasters is the ultimate surfers weekend held in Newquay at Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach. This surf, sea and sun festival brings together the world’s best surfers, skateboarders and BMX riders, and offers a whopping 12 stages of music from international headliners through to breaking acts. As well as catching live sets, festivalgoers can enjoy comedy shows, yoga classes, workshops and film sessions.
Location: Trebelsue Farm, Watergate Bay, TR8 4AN and Fistral Beach, Headland Rd, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1HY
How to get there: By train to Newquay and then a shuttle bus which will run approximately every 15 minutes, using the Big Green Coach, or by car and use one of the available car parks. See the Boardmasters website for more details.
Things to do nearby:
- Soak up the cool surf-style vibe in the lively town of Newquay
- Travel a few miles south of Watergate Bay and visit the vast and beautiful beach and seaside town of Perranporth
- Head to the charming fishing port of Padstow for excellent seafood, fun water sports on the Camel River and beautiful cycling on the Camel Trail
Take a look at our guide to group holidays in Cornwall for more inspiration.
Places to stay near Boardmasters
Not a camper? You’re in luck, we have a fantastic collection of large cottages in Newquay that are perfect for your group to call home during the Boardmasters festival.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta | Bristol, 6-9 August
Attracting over 130 hot air balloons of all shapes, colours, and sizes from across the globe, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons. One of the big events happening in 2023 and perfect for families, this spectacular sight must be seen to be believed. Join one of the mass ascensions at dawn or dusk, an incredible way to start or end your day, and witness the famous Night Glows, when the balloons light up the sky in time to music followed by a huge fireworks display.
Location: The main festival event is at Ashton Court, to the south west of Bristol city centre.
Getting here: The best way to get here is by car – don’t forget to pre-purchase a car parking ticket.
Things to do in Bristol:
- Go shopping and choose from an eclectic mix of high street names, stylish boutiques, vintage hideaways, quirky pop-ups, and independent businesses for a little bit of everything
- Have fun in Millennium Square, home to the best things to do in Bristol with kids! Head to Bristol Aquarium and We the Curious, a fascinating science centre (closed for repairs but will re-open soon)
- Marvel at the Clifton Suspension Bridge and discover the Clifton Observatory, one of only two working camera obscura in the UK
Accommodation near Bristol Balloon Fiesta
Make a few days of it and explore more of Bristol and the surrounding countryside when you stay in one of our cottages in Somerset.
Cowes Week | Isle of Wight in August
A huge highlight of the sailing calendar is Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight. The oldest and largest annual sailing regatta in the world, around 1,000 yachts, 8,000 competitors and over 100,000 excited spectators come together to enjoy this iconic event. Up to 40 races are staged each day, with some of the world's finest sailors competing - visitors can watch from the shore or opt to get out on the water aboard a spectator boat. Plus, there is a fantastic line-up of shoreside entertainment including live music, delicious food, open-air bars and the renowned firework display on the final Friday of the event.
Location: The regatta takes place on the Solent which includes several popular spectator locations such as The Green and The Parade.
Getting there: By train, car ferry or foot ferry. Parking is limited, but if you decide to bring a car, parking is available at Northwood House. See the Cowes Week website for more details on Cowes Week parking.
Things to do nearby:
- Escape the crowds of Cowes Weeks during your stay and discover the beautiful former home of Queen Victoria, Osborne House
- Cycle from Cowes to Newport alongside the River Medina – as a mostly flat route, it’s a good option for families
- For a fun-filled, traditional beach day, we recommend the award-winning Sandown Bay, which is approx. 15 miles on the other side of the island
Cowes Week accommodation
A fun event to attend with the family, make a holiday of it and book a large cottage on the Isle of Wight that can accommodate you all.
Great North Run | Newcastle upon Tyne in September
The Great North Run is a major sporting event and is one of the most popular in the UK's sporting calendar, taking place at the beginning of September. Attracting world-class athletes like Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie, this landmark half marathon takes around 57,000 runners on a 13.1-mile route from Newcastle's city centre to the coast in South Shields. With an electric atmosphere from start to finish, plus a display from the Red Arrows over the finish line, this is one UK running event that every runner should experience.
Location: The mass start takes place in the city centre before heading across the Tyne Bridge to Gateshead and then on to South Shields for the finish.
Getting there: Spectators should choose one spot to support runners and make the most of the excellent public transport on offer – for detailed information, see the Great North Run website.
Things to do while you’re in Newcastle:
- Celebrate the runner’s achievement in the cultural hub of Ouseburn in an array of pubs, bars, and eateries
- Head underground for a unique insight into Newcastle with a visit to Victoria Tunnel, a preserved 19th-century wagonway
- Escape the crowds and breathe in the fresh air and wonderful scenery of Rising Sun Country Park, a 400-acre park and nature reserve
Where to stay for the Great North Run
Are you and a group of friends or family supporting someone in the Great North Run? Stay somewhere within easy reach of Newcastle and be close to the finish line to cheer them on!
Hogmanay | Scotland in December
Hogmanay is Scotland’s biggest party of the year, an enormous celebration that engulfs the country to mark New Year’s Eve. Fireworks, open-air concerts, and street parties can be found across the land. From the midnight dram to the sound of Auld Lang Syne ringing through the streets, this passionate night is legendary the world over, so be sure to check out our collection of large cottages in Scotland to join in the fun and have an unforgettable start to the new year.
3 great places to spend Hogmanay in Scotland:
- Head to Edinburgh for the ultimate Hogmanay celebration and see the city come to life with street parties, live music, DJs, outdoor bars, giant screens and fireworks
- The Stonehaven Fireballs is a unique parade in Aberdeenshire that has been celebrated for over 100 years and sees a procession of swing balls of fire head down the street just before midnight
- Take to the Highlands for the Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness, a free Hogmanay celebration that takes place in Northern Meeting Park on the banks of the River Ness
Take a look at our guide to the best places to spend New Year for more inspiration.
Book a large holiday cottage for major UK events in 2023
Have any of these major UK events caught your eye for 2023? If so, have a browse of our large cottages across the country to find the perfect base to stay nearby. From sprawling country houses to chic seaside retreats, you’re sure to find the perfect setting for your UK break within our collection.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.