For an exhaustive list of events beyond those listed here, check http://events.frommers.com, where you'll find a searchable, up-to-the-minute roster of what's happening in cities all over the world.
London Boat Show ExCel, Docklands -- (tel. 0870/060-0246; www.londonboatshow.com). This is the largest boat show in Europe. Mid-January.
Charles I Commemoration, London -- To mark the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I "in the name of freedom and democracy," hundreds of cavaliers march through central London in 17th-century dress, and prayers are said at Whitehall's Banqueting House. Last Sunday in January.
Chinese New Year, London -- The famous Lion Dancers in Soho perform free on the nearest Sunday to Chinese New Year. Call the London Chinese Community Centre at tel. 020/7851-6686 (www.chinatownchinese.co.uk). Either in late January or early February (based on the lunar calendar).
Jorvik Festival, York -- This 2-week festival celebrates this historic cathedral city's role as a Viking outpost. For more information, call tel. 01904/543400 or visit www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk. Mid-February.
St. Davids Day Parade, Cardiff, Wales -- The capital of Wales comes to a standstill on Wales's national day, honoring its patron saint with the country's showiest and most fun-filled parade. Contact the Wales Tourist Board, Cardiff Visitor Centre, The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff (tel. 029/2087-2087; www.stdavidsday.org). March 1.
Crufts Dog Show, Birmingham -- The English, they say, love their pets more than their offspring. Crufts offers an opportunity to observe the nation's pet lovers doting on 23,000 dogs, representing 209 breeds. It's held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands. Tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information, call tel. 0870/606-6750 or visit www.crufts.org.uk. Early March.
John Smith's Grand National Meeting, outside Liverpool -- England's premier steeplechase event takes place on a 6.5km (4-mile) course at Aintree Racecourse, Aintree (tel. 0151/523-2600; www.aintree.co.uk). Early April.
Flora London Marathon -- More than 30,000 competitors run from Greenwich Park to Buckingham Palace; call tel. 020/7902-0200 (www.london-marathon.co.uk) for information. If you'd like to take the challenge, call during May and June for an application. Mid-April.
Easter Parade, London -- A memorable parade of brightly colored floats and marching bands occurs around Battersea Park. Easter Monday.
The Shakespeare Season, Stratford-upon-Avon -- The Royal Shakespeare Company begins its annual season, presenting works by the Bard in his hometown, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside (tel. 01789/403444; www.rsc.org.uk). Tickets are available at the box office or through such agents as Keith Prowse Global Tickets (tel. 800/669-8687; www.keithprowse.com). April to October.
Brighton Festival -- England's largest arts festival features some 400 different cultural events. For information, call tel. 01273/709-709; www.brightonfestival.org). Most of May.
Royal Windsor Horse Show -- The country's major show-jumping presentation, held at the Home Park in Windsor, Berkshire, is attended by the queen herself. Call tel. 01753/860-633, or see www.royal-windsor-horse-show.co.uk for more information. Mid-May.
Glyndebourne Festival -- One of England's major cultural events, this festival is centered at the 1,200-seat Glyndebourne Opera House in Sussex, some 87km (54 miles) south of London. Tickets, which cost anywhere from £10 to £200, are available from Glyndebourne Festival Opera Box Office, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5UU (tel. 01273/815000; www.glyndebourne.com). Mid-April to late August.
Bath International Music Festival -- One of Europe's most prestigious international festivals of music and the arts features as many as 1,000 performers at various venues in Bath. For information, contact the Bath Festivals, Abbey Chambers, Kingston Buildings, Bath BA1 1NT (tel. 01225/463362; www.bathfestivals.org.uk). Mid-May to early June.
Chelsea Flower Show, London -- The best of British gardening, with plants and flowers of the season, is displayed at the Chelsea Royal Hospital. Contact the local British Tourist Authority Office to find out which overseas reservations agency is handling ticket sales; or contact the Chelsea Show Ticket Office, Shows Department, Royal Horticultural Society, 80 Vincent Sq., London SW1P 2PE (tel. 0845/260-5000; www.rhs.org.uk). Late May.
Chichester Festival Theatre -- Some great classic and modern plays are presented at this West Sussex theater. For tickets and information, contact the Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, West Sussex PO19 4AP (tel. 01243/784437; www.cft.org.uk). The season runs May to October.
Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, London -- This institution, founded in 1768, has for some 2 centuries held Summer Exhibitions of living painters at Burlington House, Piccadilly Circus. Call tel. 0870/848-8484, or visit www.royalacademy.org.uk for more information. Early June to mid-August.
Vodafone Derby Stakes -- This famous horse-racing event (the "Darby," as it's called here) is held at Epsom Downs, Epsom, Surrey. Men wear top hats; women, including the queen, put on silly millinery creations. For more details, call tel. 01372/726311 or check out www.epsomderby.co.uk. First week of June.
Trooping the Colour -- This is the queen's official birthday parade, a quintessential British event, with exquisite pageantry and pomp as she inspects her regiments and takes their salute, while they parade their colors before her at the Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall. Tickets for the parade and two reviews, held on preceding Saturdays, are allocated by ballot. Applicants must write between January 1 and the end of February, enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope or International Reply Coupon to the Ticket Office, HQ Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1X 6AA. Tickets are free. The ballot is held in mid-March, and only successful applicants are informed in April. Call tel. 020/7414-2479 or visit www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk for more details. Held on a day designated in June (not necessarily the queen's actual birthday).
Grosvenor House Art and Antique Fair, London -- This very prestigious antiques fair is held at Le Méridien Grosvenor House, Park Lane. For information, contact Grosvenor House Art and Antiques Fair, Grosvenor House, 86-90 Park Lane, London W1A 3AA (tel. 020/7399-8100; www.grosvenor-antiquesfair.co.uk). Mid-June.
City of London Festival -- This annual art festival is held in venues throughout the city. Call tel. 020/7583-3585, or visit www.colf.org for information. Late June to mid-July.
Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts -- The composer Benjamin Britten launched this 2-week festival in 1948. For more details on the events and for the year-round program, write to Aldeburgh Foundation, High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk IP17 1SP (tel. 01728/687110; www.aldeburgh.co.uk). Mid- to late June.
Royal Ascot Week -- Though Ascot Racecourse is open year-round for guided tours, events, exhibitions, and conferences, there are 25 race days throughout the year, with the feature races being the Royal. For information, contact Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JX (tel. 0870/727-1234; www.ascot.co.uk). Key race days are the Meeting in June, Diamond Day in late July, and the Festival at Ascot in late September.
The Exeter Summer Festival -- The town of Exeter hosts more than 150 events celebrating classical music, ranging from concerts and opera to lectures. Festival dates and offerings vary from year to year; more information is available by contacting the Exeter Festival Office at tel. 01392/277888 (www.exeter.gov.uk). Late June to mid-July.
Lawn Tennis Championships, Wimbledon, London -- Ever since players took to the grass courts at Wimbledon in 1877, this tournament has attracted quite a crowd, and there's still an excited hush and a certain thrill at Centre Court. Savor the strawberries and cream that are part of the experience. Early bookings for the world's most famous tennis tournament are strongly advised. Acquiring tickets and overnight lodgings during the annual tennis competitions at Wimbledon can be difficult to arrange independently. Two outfits that book both hotel accommodations and tickets to the event are Steve Furgal's International Tennis Tours, 11305 Rancho Bernardo Rd., Ste. 108, San Diego, CA 92127 (tel. 800/258-3664 or 858/675-3555; www.tours4tennis.com); and Championship Tennis Tours, 13951 N. Scottsdale Rd., Ste. 133, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (tel. 800/468-3664 or 480/429-7700; www.tennistours.com). Tickets for Centre and Number One courts are obtainable through a lottery. Write in from August to December to All England Lawn Tennis Club, P.O. Box 98, Church Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE (tel. 020/8944-1066; www.wimbledon.org). Outside court tickets are available daily, but be prepared to wait in line. Late June to early July.
Shakespeare under the Stars, London -- The Bard's works are performed at the Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, NW1 4NU, in London. Take the Tube to Baker Street. Performances are Monday to Saturday at 8pm; Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday also at 2:30pm. Call tel. 0844/826-4242, or visit www.openairtheatre.org.uk for more information. Previews begin in June and last throughout the summer.
Ludlow Festival -- This is one of England's major arts festivals, complete with an open-air Shakespeare performance within the Inner Bailey of Ludlow Castle. Concerts, lectures, readings, exhibitions, and workshops round out the offerings. From March onward, a schedule can be obtained from the box office. Write to Ludlow Festival Box Office, Castle Square, Ludlow, Shropshire SY8 1AY; enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (tel. 01584/872150; www.ludlowfestival.co.uk). Late June to early July.
Cardiff Festival -- In venues across the Welsh capital, this 3-week festival features pop, jazz, theater, street performances, funfairs, opera, comedies, and children's events. Most events are free and take place in public and open-air places. For more information, contact the Cardiff Festival, Health Park, Cardiff CF4 4EP (tel. 029/2087-2087; www.cardiff-festival.com). Late June to early August.
Henley Royal Regatta -- This international rowing competition in Oxfordshire is the premier event on the English social calendar. For more information, call tel. 01491/572153 or visit www.hrr.co.uk. Early July.
Kenwood Lakeside Concerts, London -- These summer concerts on the north side of Hampstead Heath have continued a British tradition of outdoor performances for nearly 50 years. Fireworks displays and laser shows enliven the premier musical performances. The audience catches the music as it drifts across the lake from the performance shell. For more information, call tel. 020/8348-1286. Every Saturday from early July to late August.
The Proms, London -- A night at "the Proms" -- the annual Henry Wood promenade concerts at Royal Albert Hall -- attracts music aficionados from around the world. Staged almost daily (except for a few Sun), these traditional concerts were launched in 1895 and are the principal summer engagements for the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Cheering and clapping, Union Jacks on parade, banners, and balloons -- it's great summer fun. Call tel. 020/7589-8212, or check out www.bbc.co.uk/proms for more details. Mid-July to mid-September.
Musicfest Aberystwyth -- This is a pageant of cultural and sporting events in Aberystwyth, the cultural center of the western section of middle Wales. For more information, contact Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Penglais, Aberystwyth SW23 3DE (tel. 01970/623-232; www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk). End of July.
Skandia Cowes Week, off the Isle of Wight -- For details about this yachting festival, call tel. 01983/295744 or visit www.skandiacowesweek.co.uk. Early August.
Pontardawe International Music Festival -- The little Welsh village of Pontardawe, lying 13km (8 miles) north of Swansea, attracts some of the world's leading folk and rock musicians for its annual summer concert series. For more information, call tel. 01792/830200 or see www.pontardawefestival.com. Mid-August.
Notting Hill Carnival, Ladbroke Grove, London -- Notting Hill is the setting for one of the largest annual street festivals in Europe, attracting more than half a million people. There's live reggae and soul music, plus great Caribbean food. Call tel. 020/7727-0072, or see www.nottinghillcarnival.biz for information. Two days in late August. International Beatles Week, Liverpool -- Tens of thousands of fans gather in Liverpool to celebrate the music of the Fab Four. There's an entire series of concerts by international cover bands, plus tributes, auctions, and tours. Cavern City Tours, a local company, offers hotel and festival packages that include accommodations and tickets to tours and events. For information, contact Cavern City Tours at tel. 0151/236-9091 (www.cavernclub.org) or the Tourist Information Centre in Liverpool at tel. 0151/233-2008 (www.visitliverpool.com). Late August.
The Landrover Burghley Horse Trials, Lincolnshire -- This annual event is staged on the grounds of the largest Elizabethan house in England, Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire (tel. 01780/752131; www.burghley-horse.co.uk). Early September.
Raising of the Thames Barrier, Unity Way, SE18 -- Once a year, usually in September, a full test is done on this miracle of modern engineering; all 10 massive steel gates are raised against the low and high tides. Call tel. 020/8854-8888 or go to www.greenwich.gov.uk for exact date and time.
Horse of the Year Show, NEC Arena -- Riders fly from every continent to join in this festive display of horsemanship (much appreciated by the queen). The British press calls it an "equine extravaganza." It's held at NEC Arena, in Birmingham. For more information, call tel. 01582/711-411 or see www.hoys.co.uk. Late September to early October.
The Ascot Festival, Ascot, Berkshire -- This is Britain's greatest horse-racing weekend, providing the grand finale to the summer season at Ascot. The 3-day "meeting" combines some of the most valuable racing of the year with other entertainment. A highlight of the festival is the £250,000 Watership Down Stud Sales race, restricted to 2-year-old fillies. Other racing highlights include the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, with the winning horse crowned champion miler in Europe. To book tickets, call tel. 0870/727-1234 or visit www.ascot.co.uk. Last weekend in September.
Quit Rents Ceremony, London -- The origins of this ceremony go back so far they have been forgotten. The city solicitor pays the queen's remembrancer (medieval term for collector of the queen's rents) token rents for properties long ago leased -- in many cases no longer standing. It's all for fun, show, and tradition. For example, the solicitor will pay the remembrancer two faggots of wood, a billhook, and a hatchet for land in Shropshire; or else 61 nails and six horseshoes for a long-gone forge in the Strand. The ceremony is held at the Royal Courts of Justice. Call tel. 020/7947-6000 (www.royalcourtsofjustice-events.co.uk) for more information. Early October.
Cheltenham Festival of Literature -- This Cotswold event features readings, book exhibitions, and theatrical performances -- all in the famed spa town of Gloucestershire. Call tel. 01242/227979, or visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk for more details. Early to mid-October.
Opening of Parliament, London -- Ever since the 17th century, when the English beheaded Charles I, British monarchs have been denied the right to enter the House of Commons. Instead, the monarch opens Parliament in the House of Lords, reading an official speech that is in fact written by the government. Queen Elizabeth II rides from Buckingham Palace to Westminster in a royal coach accompanied by the Yeoman of the Guard and the Household Cavalry. The public galleries are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Call tel. 020/7219-3107, or go to www.parliament.uk. Late October to mid-November.
London-Brighton Veteran Car Run -- This race begins in London's Hyde Park and ends in the seaside resort of Brighton, in East Sussex. Call tel. 01462/742-818, or see www.vccofgb.co.uk for more details. First Sunday in November.
Guy Fawkes Night, throughout England -- This British celebration commemorates the anniversary of the "Gunpowder Plot," an attempt to blow up King James I and Parliament. Huge organized bonfires are lit throughout London, and Guy Fawkes, the plot's most famous conspirator, is burned in effigy. Check Time Out for locations or www.gunpowder-plot.org. Early November.
Lord Mayor's Procession and Show, the City, London -- The queen has to ask permission to enter the square mile in London called the City -- and the right of refusal has been jealously guarded by London merchants since the 17th century. Suffice it to say that the lord mayor is a powerful character, and the procession from the Guildhall to the Royal Courts is appropriately impressive. You can watch the procession from the street; the banquet is by invitation only. Call tel. 020/7222-4345, or visit www.lordmayorshow.org for details. Second Saturday in November.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.