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Ideas / Events / January
Things to do in the UK in January 2015


January sales
January is the start of the second term (Easter term) at schools and universities. It is usually one of the coldest months of the year and the days are short. This is a time when people make New Year's resolutions. You can also buy some things cheaply in the January sales, as shops try to sell the goods which remain after Christmas. If you are in Scotland, be sure to enjoy the Hogmanay celebrations at the start of January, and then Burns Night later in the month. You should apply now if you would like a chance of getting a seat to watch the Queen's Birthday Parade or the Garter Day parade in June, or if you want to buy tickets to go to Royal Ascot.

Thu 1 Jan -
Fri 13 Feb 2015
Get Into London Theatre, London
A limited number of tickets for London shows (for performances in January and early February next year) go on sale for reduced prices of £40, £30, £20 or £10. See:
* London theatre: Life/Entertainment/Theatre/Tickets

Thu 1 Jan -
Fri 2 Jan 2015
New year celebrations in Scotland. The celebrations in Edinburgh are especially famous; for full details, see:
* Photos of Hogmanay in Edinburgh: Ideas/Album/Hogmanay
* For details of tours from London to Edinburgh for Hogmanay see: Travel/Tours/Dates/December

Thu 1 Jan 2015
New Year's Day holiday, UK
A public holiday in the UK. Check with transport providers for details of their services.

Thu 1 Jan 2015
New Year's Day Parade
There is a free street parade in London. There are more than 10,000 performers (including marching bands, cheerleaders, historic vehicles, clowns, jugglers and acrobats), and giant balloons. The parade starts at Piccadilly (at the junction with Berkeley Street, close to Green Park underground station) shortly before noon, then travels along Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Street. It ends at Parliament Square (near Westminster underground station, next to the Houses of Parliament) at about 3pm.
Collectors along the route will be raising money for charity. For more details, including a map of the route of the parade, see:
* Photos from this event: Ideas/Album/NewYearsDayParade

Fri 2 Jan 2015
Public holiday, Scotland
A public holiday in Scotland, but not in other parts of the UK.

Sat 3 Jan -
Sun 11 Jan 2015
World Professional Darts Championship, Lakeside Country Club (Surrey)
International darts championship organised by the BDO (British Darts Organisation). Matches are shown on BBC2.

Sun 4 Jan 2015
The Lion's Part: Twelfth Night, London
The Lion's Part put on a free celebration of seasonal English traditions. See the Holly Man, find out what mumming and wassailing are, and have a chance of becoming King Bean or Queen Pea! The event starts outside the Globe Theatre (nearest Tube stations: Southwark or London Bridge; map). To check details, see:
* Photos of this event: Ideas/Album/TwelfthNight.

King Bean and Queen Pea at the
Lion's Part's Twelfth Night event

Mon 5 Jan 2015
Twelfth Night (Epiphany), all of the UK
Christmas decorations are taken down on (or before) the night of 5th/6th January (this is known as Twelfth Night, which is 12 days after Christmas Day).

Tue 6 Jan 2015
Farewell to Christmas, London
There is a service to mark Twelfth Night at the Geffrye Museum. This is located on Kingsland Road in London (nearest Tube: Liverpool Street, then take bus 149 or 242 north from Bishopsgate; map). There is music and carol singing, holly and ivy decorations are burnt, and mulled wine and cake are provided (it is traditional to hide a bean and a pea in two bits of the cake: the people who get these are made King and Queen for the day). The event is held outside in the garden, so you should dress warmly. See:

Christmas decorations
burnt, Geffrye Museum

Carol service at the Geffrye
Museum on Twelfth Night

Thu 8 Jan -
Sat 31 Jan 2015
International Mime Festival, London
A season of mime events at various venues in London. See:

Fri 9 Jan -
Sun 18 Jan 2015
London Boat Show, London
Boat show at ExCeL in Docklands (nearest station: Custom House on the DLR; map). See:

Sat 10 Jan -
Sun 11 Jan 2015
Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival, Whittlesea
Traditional folk festival in Whittlesea (near Peterborough), featuring Molly and morris dancing and a straw bear. See:
* Photos from this event: Ideas/Album/Whittlesea-Straw-Bear-Festival

Festival banner

Straw bear

Morris dancers

Sun 11 Jan -
Sun 18 Jan 2015
The Masters Snooker Championship, London
Snooker championship at Alexandra Palace in London. Matches are shown on BBC2.

Sun 25 Jan 2015
Burns Night, Scotland
Burns Suppers are traditional celebrations of the birth of the most famous Scottish poet (Robert Burns) on 25th January 1759. They take place throughout Scotland. Poetry readings (including "To a Haggis"), a meal of chicken and leek soup ("cock-a-leekie" soup) followed by haggis, turnips ("neeps") and potatoes ("tatties") and sherry trifle ("tyspy laird"), finishing with the joining of hands and singing of "Auld Lang Syne". There may also be a Scottish ceilidh (traditional evening of music and dance). For details of events, see:
* Scottish dancing: Life/Entertainment/Dance

Scottish music ...

... dancing ...

... and food

Mon 26 Jan 2015 Australia Day
Australians celebrate their national day on the anniversary of Foundation Day (26 January 1788).
* Useful links for Australians coming to the UK: Links/Australia

Australia Day celebrations: out on the streets ...

... and in the bars

Thu 29 Jan 2015
Postgraduate Study Fair from the Careers Group, London
Fair providing information for people who want to do postgraduate study. The event is held at the Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU (near Angel underground station; map). For details about the fair, see
* Finding a postgraduate course in the UK: Course/Postgrad

Applying for tickets to Trooping the Colour and rehearsals (in June):
Dates and approximate costs for seats at Trooping the Colour and rehearsals are:
- The Major General's Review (Sat 30 May 2015): Free
- The Colonel's Review (Sat 6 June 2015): about £10
- The Queen's Birthday Parade: Trooping the Colour (Sat 13 June 2015): about £25
You can apply for tickets between 1 January and the end of February by sending a letter (including a stamped self-addressed envelope) to:
Brigade Major, HQ Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SWlA 2AX
A ballot is held in mid-March and successful applicants are notified and asked for payment (cheques must be paid from a British bank).
For further information, see:
* Pictures of Trooping the Colour: Ideas/Album/TroopingTheColour

Applying for tickets to Garter Day event in Windsor Castle (in June):
The Garter service takes place in mid-June on the Monday of the week of Royal Ascot (this year's service will be on Mon 15 June 2015). A limited number of tickets is available for members of the public to stand inside the precincts of Windsor Castle and watch the procession to St. George's Chapel (you can apply in January or February for up to 4 tickets). A ballot is held and successful applicants are notified. For further information and details about how to apply for tickets, see:
* Pictures of Garter Day: Ideas/Album/GarterDay

Applying for tickets to Royal Ascot (in June):
The official opening will be on Tuesday 16 June 2015, and Ladies Day will be on Thursday 18 June 2015. The final day will be on Sat 20 June 2015. To buy tickets, see:
* Pictures of Royal Ascot: Ideas/Album/RoyalAscot

Preparing for Valentine's Day (in February):
This month is a good time to prepare for Valentine's Day (14 February). For some ideas of possible presents of treats, see: Ideas/Gifts/Valentine

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

No event in 2015
London Ice Sculpting Festival, London
Free ice sculpture event in Wood Wharf and the surrounding area (nearest Tube or DLR station: Canary Wharf). Note that outdoor sculpting will not take place during periods of heavy rain.

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New Year's Day Parade photos: Ideas/Album/NewYearsDayParade
Edinburgh Hogmanay: Ideas/Album/Hogmanay
Twelfth Night celebrations: Ideas/Album/TwelfthNight
Events in February: Ideas/Events/February
Print a free calendar: Ideas/Calendar
London Theatre: Life/Entertainment/Theatre

Home page: Home

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