Through the year in GB - 3rd Quarter




...and the living is easy...July is also in Great Britain the time where school ends and the holiday season begins. Like in Germany the Brits spend their holidays mostly in their own country, and in the summer months the population density shifts from the inside of the Island to the coast. Great Britain does really have no shortage of coast and beaches, but in July and August you can get the idea that there's not enough of them. Especially Devon and Cornwall get really crowded, and it is essential to book accomodation in advance there.

July is also the season of small and big events, there are festivals, shows and open-air concerts like e.g. the "proms", and of course numerous Rock- and Pop-events, as well as local activities for visitors and those who stay at home.

St. Swithun's Day

The 15th of July is St. Swithun's Day, named after a former bishop of Westminster, and it is the equivalent of the German "Siebenschläfer" ("sevensleeper" i.e. the edible dormouse) - when it rains on this day it is said to rain for another 40 days. Evil tongues claim that this would happen anyway, but believe me - the weather is, especially in England, not as bad as its reputation.


August Bank Holiday

In August there is another bank holiday Monday, in England and Wales at the end of the month, in Scotland (probably due to the weather) at the beginning of August.

Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh Festival is a collection of different events, which take part in summer every year in Scotland's capital city. It goes from the Fringe, a street theater festival to the military "Tatoo", a parade that has nothing to do with body painting. These events are quite popular and draw millions into the city every year.

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill is a district of London, and the Carnival is a parade with caribean design, where women dance in colourful costumes with feathers and steel drum bands play. This type on Carnival is now found all over the country, but nowhere as big and as famous as in Notting Hill, where caribean immigrants started this kind of events.


Blackpool Illuminations

When the days get shorter, the time for illuminations starts. This was first introduced in Blackpool as an attraction in the after-season to get more tourists in. Coloured lights are placed everywhere, on the beach in form of light chains with figurines, on the tower and the ferris wheel along the structure, up to illuminated working trams.

beleuchtete Strassenbahn
Blackpool Tram

The dimensions of this light show are gigantic - there are 10 km (6 miles) of promenade illuminated. The "Switch On" is a media event that is broadcasted live on BBC radio (!). The honour of turning the switch is handed to current celebrities, a list of who did it can be found here on Wikipedia.

The big success of the Blackpool Illuminations of course made other sea towns do their own lights, even inland you can find such "Venetian Nights" like e.g. in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, where on the River Derwent self-built boats with coloured lights in all shapes and variations compete, some with electrical lighting using a car battery, some with candles, completed with firework displays on weekends. But none of these illumations reached yet the size and the publicity of the one in Blackpool.

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