Shin Kicking, Floral Extravaganzas, Opera, and a Royal Regatta | Travel Research Online


Shin Kicking, Floral Extravaganzas, Opera, and a Royal Regatta


I don’t know about you but after the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations, January and even February are often dull and drab months that have to be endured. Let me lift your spirits with a collection of festivals and events that can be used as the cornerstone for a UK tour that can be customised to meet your customer’s interests, time frame and budget. To enable them to travel less and therefore see more, they are based in the Cotswolds and in the colourful seaside city of Brighton.

The Olimpick Games

On 4th June, in Chipping Campden, the Cotswolds’ hidden gem, they’ll be celebrating the 410th staging of Robert Dover’s Olimpick Games. Based on the ancient games of Greece (without the horse and chariot races), the event features the Static Jump (jumping as far as possible from a standstill), Spurning the Barre (an old English version of the Scottish tossing the caber), the Hammer Throw, Putting the Shot, and Shin Kicking. It concludes with a torchlit parade back into town.

The Blenheim Palace Flower Show

Later in the month, the Blenheim Palace Flower Show (25th-27th June) is guaranteed to fill a full day. A riot of colour, fragrance and weird and wonderful plants, the 20,000 square foot Grand Floral Pavilion forms the centrepiece of the show. It features the UK’s finest nurseries and growers giving expert advice and gardening ideas, fabulous food and drink, as well as more than 300 exhibitors and an outdoor Plant Village. Their rose display will be magnificently fragrant.

Realms of Glory

Between 3rd-5th June, Chichester Cathedral will host a stunning floral extravaganza comprising of over 50,000 flowers in more than 80 stunning arrangements at their ‘Realms of Glory’ Festival of Flowers. As well as the displays in the Cathedral and environs, you’ll be able to admire the medieval wall paintings, sculpture reliefs, Victorian glass work and contemporary art and stroll through the cloisters and Cathedral grounds, before visiting the Festival Market and enjoying delicious refreshments in the Café des Fleurs.

Top Literary Festivals

For customers who like to time their UK visits to coincide with major literary events, there are Dickens Festivals in the Kent towns of Rochester (5th-6th June) where dressing up for the occasion is actively encouraged and in nearby Broadstairs (18th-20th June) and a Jane Austen/Regency Festival in Alton, Hampshire (19th-27th June). I recommend that we add visits to the great treasure-filled stately homes of Chartwell and Hever Castle where the rose gardens will be fragrantly wonderful.

Performances of World-Class Opera

With daytime visits to nearby Arundel Castle, Brighton’s dazzlingly beautiful Royal Pavilion and the stunning rose gardens at privately owned Borde Hill, evenings can be filled with outstanding performances at Glyndebourne, with a picnic during the 90-minute interval. Meanwhile, the Opera Festival in the Cotswolds village of Longborough runs from 1st June-3rd August. Staged in one of the finest of England’s opera houses, their June calendar includes performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre and Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte.

The Henley Royal Regatta

Between 29th June and 4th July, the picturesque market town of Henley-on-Thames (just west of Windsor) is transformed into a cosmopolitan hub of rowing when the Henley Royal Regatta comes to town. This five-day festival, which attracts rowing crews from all over the world, is one of the highlights of the British summer social calendar and offers up to 90 world-class events raced over a course of one mile 550 yards (2,112m) from Temple Island upstream towards Henley Bridge.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at or email him at

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