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Ideas / Events / September
Things to do in the UK in September 2014

Apple harvest

Hay bales

Autumn leaves


In September the days are shortening rapidly and the temperatures are starting to fall. The harvest is being completed in the fields. The end of September is the start of the academic year. If you are a full-time student starting to study at a university in the UK, you may want to open a bank account. Many universities or colleges offer induction courses which can help new students to become organised. Universities may have "fresher fairs" at which you are encouraged to join societies and sports clubs: be careful not to join too many, so that you still have enough time to study. Many shops have special offers for students at this time. If you are living in London and use public transport regularly, this is the time to buy or renew your Student Photocard (see: Travel/Transport/London). One traditional event at this time of year is the Last Night of the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall in London: this is the last of a series of classical music concerts, finishing with a collection of patriotic British songs.

Events continuing this month:

Fri 18 Jul -
Sat 13 Sep 2014
Proms, London
The BBC Sir Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. A series of classical concerts in London at the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall. All of the concerts are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and some are shown on BBC TV. For full details, see:
* Further details: Life/Entertainment/Concerts

Sat 2 Aug -
Sun 28 Sep 2014
Summer opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, Central London
The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace will be open to visitors (tickets need to be bought in advance). See:
* Further information: Travel/Tours/London/BuckinghamPalace

Fri 29 Aug -
Sun 9 Nov 2014
Blackpool Illuminations, Blackpool
The seaside town of Blackpool is decorated with lights along 6 miles of the sea front. On the first night the lights are switched on by a celebrity. See:
* Photos of Blackpool: Travel/Tours/England/Blackpool

Events starting this month:

Mon 1 Sep -
Tue 30 Sep 2014
Thames Festival, London
A river-focused multi-arts and education festival. One of the largest of its kind in the world, it promotes activities that reach up to the source of the Thames and down to its mouth.
* Pictures of the Thames Festival: Ideas/Album/ThamesFestival.

Sat 6 Sep -
Thu 11 Sep 2014
British Science Festival, Birmingham
Each September the British Science Festival celebrates the role in our lives of science, engineering and technology through a series of talks, workshops and other events. It is held in a different location each year. See:

Sat 6 Sep 2014 Braemar Gathering & Highland Games, Scottish highlands
Braemar is a small Scottish village in the Highlands of Scotland, not far from Balmoral Castle. It is a tradition for the villages to organise a gathering each year, and these include highland games and competitions for bagpipes and Scottish dancing. The Braemar event is one of the last of these events, taking place on the first Saturday in September. It is particularly famous because it is usually attended by the Queen, who stays at Balmoral during the summer. For details, see:
* Information about Highland Games: Ideas/Album/HighlandGames

Sun 7 Sep -
Tue 9 Sep 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Games, Europe
The first games are played between pairs of national teams from the 9 qualifying groups for the Euro 2016 football competition.
* Information about football in the UK: Life/Sport/Football

Sun 7 Sep 2014 Great North Run, Gateshead/Newcastle
The world's largest half-marathon is run in Newcastle (north-east England). There are about 50,000 runners, many of them running to raise money for charity. You can watch the event live on BBC1 (starting at about 9:30am). For further details, see: or
* Pictures of Newcastle: Travel/Tours/England/Newcastle

Sun 7 Sep 2014 London Mela, Gunnersbury Park (London)
A free celebration of Indian subcontinent cultures at Gunnersbury Park (nearest Tube: Turnham Green or Acton Town). See:

Sun 7 Sep 2014 Angel Canal Festival, London
Annual free one-day festival in the area around City Road Lock. The festival site extends from Graham Street/Danbury Street, all along the Regent's Canal towpath to Packington Square (nearest Tube: Angel; map). See:

Mon 8 Sep 2014 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying Games
Switzerland play England. Kick-off is at 7:45pm (UK time)

Thu 11 Sep -
Sun 14 Sep 2014
Heritage Open Days, England, Wales & Northern Ireland
Free entry is offered at many National Trust properties across the UK. For information about the places which are taking part see: or

Heritage Open Days:
Free entry at National Trust properties such as Ham House

Heritage Open Days:
Cherry Garden at Ham House (near Richmond)

Fri 12 Sep -
Tue 16 Sep 2014
London Fashion Week, London
A showcase for some of the world’s leading fashion talent, based on spring/summer collections. There are public events as well as events for members of the fashion trade. See:

Sat 13 Sep -
Sun 21 Sep 2014
London Design Festival, London
A series of events across London (mostly free) celebrating creative design. See:

Sat 13 Sep 2014 Last Night of the Proms
Famous classical music concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London. There are also classical "Proms in the Park" concerts in Hyde Park, London and in other parts of the UK (see: If you cannot go to the concerts but are living in the UK, watch the first part on BBC2 and then the ending on BBC1, or listen on Radio 3. If you miss it or if you are not in the UK, you can listen on the BBC's internet site for a week or two after the concert (
* Further information about the Proms: Life/Entertainment/Concerts

Last Night of the Proms: Royal Albert Hall

Wed 17 Sep 2014 Rigoletto (opera), UK
Free public screenings of a live performance from London's Royal Opera House, as one of the events of the BP Summer Big Screens season.
Tonight you can see Verdi's opera Rigoletto, starting at 7:30pm.
Screenings will be held in various locations across the UK (locations to be confirmed, including Trafalgar Square in London)
* Concerts: Life/Entertainment/Concerts

Thu 18 Sep 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum, Scotland
A vote is being held in Scotland to decide whether it should become an independent country, or whether it should remain part of the United Kingdom.

Sat 20 Sep -
Sun 21 Sep 2014
London Open House, London
During this weekend you can visit many buildings in London which are not normally open to the public. For the most popular buildings it is necessary to book in advance.
For more details, see:

Sat 20 Sep 2014 Egremont Crab Fair: World Gurning Championships, Egremont (Cumbria)
The eccentric British sport of gurning (pulling a grotesque face) is celebrated at the World Gurning Championships.
For more details, see:

World Gurning Championships

Harvest festivals
A "harvest festival" is a thanksgiving ceremony, to give thanks after crops have been harvested successfully. It is a very old tradition. Each location chooses its own date: it usually takes place on a Sunday in September or early October. People collect food from their homes and take it to their churches or schools. The food is later given to poor or older members of the local community.

Harvest Festival: food is collected ...

... and distributed to the poor

Pearly Queen and Princess

Tue 23 Sep -
Sun 28 Sep 2014
Ryder Cup, Scotland
The Ryder Cup is a golfing competition between US and European teams which takes place every 2 years. In 2014 it is held at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland. See:

Tue 23 Sep 2014 Autumn Equinox
The autumn equinox is when day and night are of equal length. Druids celebrate this at Primrose Hill, London and at Stonehenge and other ancient monuments.

Thu 25 Sep 2014 Rosh Hashanah
The start of the Jewish New Year. The celebration starts at nightfall on the previous day and ends at nightfall on the following day. One of the traditions at this time is to blow the shofar (a ram's horn, used as an instrument) in the synagogues (Jewish places of worship). See:
* Simcha on the Square: Ideas/Album/Simcha

Sat 27 Sep 2014 The Great River Race, London
Over 200 different rowing boats race along the River Thames. For details, see:

Great River Race: dragon boat

Hundreds of boats take part in the river marathon

Sting opened the 2007 event

Sun 28 Sep 2014 NFL International Series Game (American Football), Wembley Stadium, London
American Football game: Oakland Raiders v Miami Dolphins, played at Wembley Stadium. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Events for which dates have not been confirmed (or which may not be taking place this year) - check the links for the latest details:

- National Paralympic Day, plus Liberty - London's Disability Rights festival, London
* Photos from this event: Ideas/Album/Liberty

Selected tours this month:

Anderson Tours International Friends
Fri 5th Sept Stonehenge Private Viewing £83.00
Sat 6th Sept Glastonbury & Cheddar £49.00
Sun 7th Sept Windsor & Hampton Court £52.00
Mon 8th Sept Stonehenge Private Viewing £83.00
Fri 12th Sept Paris by Eurostar - 3 day tour £249.00
Fri 12th Sept Holland & Belgium - 3 day tour £199.00
Sat 13th Sept York by rail £49.00
Sun 14th Sept A Day in Wales £52.00
Fri 19th Sept Edinburgh by Rail £199.00
Fri 19th Sept Stonehenge Private Viewing £83.00
Sat 20th Sept B rugge £52.00
Sun 21st Sept Isle of Wight £52.00
Fri 26th Sept Paris by Eurostar £249.00
Sat 27th Sept Cambridge £35.00
Sat 27th Sept Wales Overnight £119.00
Sun 28th Sept Cotswolds Villages £40.00

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