February is the UK’s final month of winter and there are plenty of exciting things to do and places to visit before spring starts to roll around.
So, if you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration for how to spend your time this month, here are 12 things to do and upcoming events in the UK this February. From music and literature events, to classic car shows and comedy festivals, hopefully there’ll be something to pique everyone’s interest.
1. Take a trip to the largest Viking festival in Europe, York
Jorvik Viking Festival in York is the largest celebration of Norse heritage in Europe.
With tours, talks, family events, and dramatic battle reenactments, whether you’re a history enthusiast or not, there’s something to keep everyone entertained here.
Plus, this year, guests also have the opportunity to enjoy a feast at the Banquet of the Voyagers – a ticketed event taking place in the Merchant Adventurers Hall.
You can find further information about what to expect and book tickets to specific events like live battle reenactments, feasts, plays, and lectures on the Jorvik Group website. The festival will run from 11th-19th February 2023.
2. Immerse yourself in literature and stories at BookFest, Portsmouth
If you’re a keen bookworm, then it’s likely you’ll enjoy the range of literary events taking place across Portsmouth during BookFest this February.
The first week of BookFest (February half-term) is children’s week, but adult events are to follow over the two weeks after.
There’s a wide range of events planned to cater to a variety of interests – including the return of BookFest’s ever-popular MysteryFest, which is a day festival celebrating crime fiction and fact.
There’ll also be events discussing politics and current affairs, various writing workshops, and visits from special guests. Among them are acclaimed crime thriller author Graham Hurley; Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow; and historian, writer, and broadcaster Tessa Dunlop.
3. Play Topgolf, UK-wide
Topgolf involves scoring points by hitting microchipped golf balls at giant targets on an outfield. The closer you hit your ball to the centre of a target and the further the distance, the more points you earn.
You might think of outdoor golf as more of a summer activity, but because each hitting bay is climate controlled, it’s great for winter too and you won’t have to worry about getting chilly.
As an activity that requires no golfing ability, players can be reassured by the fact that having a good golf swing is definitely not needed to score points. And, paired with good food and drinks that can be enjoyed while you’re not hitting, Topgolf has quickly become one of the most popular, reinvented ways to enjoy a day at the driving range with friends.
Topgolf currently has four venues across the UK located in Chigwell, Watford, Glasgow, and Surrey.
Alternatively, if there isn’t a Topgolf near you, crazy golf makes for an equally fun activity to enjoy with friends and family. Dotted all over the UK, you can use this handy tool from Crazy Golf UK to search for courses near you.
4. Get back to nature at the Fort William Mountain Festival, Lochaber
Set in the outdoor capital of the UK, the Fort William Mountain Festival is an annual five-day event that celebrates the mountains and the outdoor lifestyle that surround us.
Run by a team of volunteers, the aim of Fort William Mountain Festival is to inspire and encourage its visitors to respect and protect the environment.
This year’s festival line-up includes workshops, inspirational guest speakers, and a range of action-packed outdoor events, including mountain biking, snowboarding, open water wild swimming, and winter walking. It’s a wonderful opportunity to escape everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
5. Visit Kent’s biggest blue’s festival, Broadstairs
On the weekend of 17th-19th February, the town of Broadstairs will host Kent’s biggest blues festival. Ninety free, top quality Blues Acts will be delivering top-quality blues performances all over the town.
The lineup includes Adam Sweet, Blue Bandits, Bad Pennies, and Voodoo Vendors; and Saturday’s headline act is Nine Below Zero – one of Britain’s leading rhythm and blues bands.
And the good news is that apart from the Saturday night performance, the rest of the weekend is free.
6. Experience Welsh Dark Sky Week, various locations in Wales
Wales has the highest percentage of land with protected Dark Skies status in the world. Put simply, this means that due to lower light pollution, these areas offer a better view of the stars.
Together, Wales’ eight areas of protected landscapes (which includes its three National Parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons, and Pembrokeshire Coast) have come together to host Welsh Dark Sky Week.
There’s a range of exciting events planned (many of which are free of charge) to help people learn about the night sky and understand how to use outdoor lighting responsibly. This will include night stargazing walks, astrophotography workshops, and talks about Welsh star names.
This year, Welsh Dark Sky Week also coincides with the Brecon Beacons’ 10th anniversary of being named an International Dark Skies Reserve. So, on 17th February, the National Park Authority is asking all residents and businesses to switch off all lights between 7.30pm and 8.30pm, to really allow the stars to shine above.
Welsh Dark Sky Week will run from 17th to 26th February this year. Check out this event overview for more information on what to expect.
7. Visit the London Classic Car Show, London
If you’re passionate about cars, then a trip to The London Classic Car Show this February could be one to add to your list.
Now in its ninth year, The London Classic Car show has been a must-see event for all classic car buyers, collectors, and enthusiasts. Here you can experience live events that celebrate a variety of classic car models by telling their stories and those of the legends behind them.
Following its success at Syon Park last year, the London Classic Car Show will be returning to the historic home of motor cars, Olympia London, between 24th and 26th February 2023.
8. Enjoy good food and drink at Wakefield Rhubarb Festival, Wakefield
Wakefield’s annual Rhubarb Festival has become a staple event in West Yorkshire since its debut in 1999. The city is famously linked with this vegetable because the area stretching from Wakefield to Leeds and Bradford once produced 90% of the world’s forced rhubarb.
And this year, the festival’s set to return bigger and better than ever before, with almost 60 food traders showcasing fresh rhubarb alongside finest gins, pickles, jams, and cheese.
Over a period of three days, the Rhubarb Festival will bring to Wakefield city centre an exciting programme of chef demonstrations, comedy nights, family workshops, and of course – the famous food and drinks market. Special guests will include Great British Bake Off 2021 finalist Crystelle Pereira.
The festival will run from 17th-19th February this year. If you’re a keen foodie, this isn’t one to miss.
9. Learn something new at the Northern Irish (NI) Science Festival, Belfast
Established in 2014, NI Science Festival has grown in popularity and become one of the leading science festivals across the whole of Europe.
The festival includes a programme of over 200 public events given across a range of fascinating topics – from engineering and robotics, to maths, physics, astronomy, and the environment. And the good news is that while some events require you to book tickets, others are free to attend.
In the evening, there’s also an intriguing mix of events that’ll include scientific debates, talks, comedy, music, theatres, and films for adults.
The Northern Irish Science Festival will run from 16th-26th February.
10. Visit a National Trust or English Heritage site, UK-wide
If you’re in the mood for fresh air and adventure this February, then you might like to consider visiting a National Trust or English Heritage site.
With it being February half-term, many sites will be hosting a range of fun events and activities alongside their usual openings throughout the month.
For example, Kingston Lacy in Dorset is holding a bird box workshop where you can create and decorate a bird box ahead of nesting season; and there’s a bug hunt around the house and gardens of East Riddlesden Hall in West Yorkshire.
There’s also a Valentine’s celebration event, which will include horse and carriage rides taking place at Castle Ward in County Down. Plus, historic performers will be re-enacting top 10 worst Victorian jobs at Audley End House and Gardens in Essex.
Even if you decide not to attend specific events, historic sites make for an enjoyable day out – and during the winter you’re more likely to skip the crowds too.
11. Visit the Leicester Comedy Festival, Leicester
If you’re up for a laugh this February, why not take a trip to Leicester Comedy Festival?
Running from 8th-26th February, this year’s event celebrates the festival’s 30th year. The exciting programme reflects this milestone, with fantastic comedy shows and events set to grace a number of different venues across the city.
On Sunday 26th February, the festival will finish with a 30th anniversary special, headlined by Nish Kumar.
12. Enjoy a Valentine’s day-themed activity
Last but not least, Valentine’s Day falls during February and is a day that many people, single or not, enjoy getting involved with.
If you’d like to plan a Valentine’s date for someone special, you’ll find plenty of romantic ideas in the dating section of our website.
This could be as simple as spending the day getting creative in the kitchen and preparing something delicious. Our article, 10 Valentine’s Day baking ideas, has recipe information on everything from red velvet cake to heart-shaped cookies and choux buns; and our 10 recipes for an at-home date should set you up for a successful date night at home.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to simply relax, one of these 14 romantic comedies might spark your fancy. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than curling up on the sofa on a winter’s evening and enjoying a feel-good film.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that Valentine’s day can be enjoyed by everyone, and isn’t exclusively for couples. Whether you decide to spend time with friends, family, or simply reserve Valentine’s as a day for self-care, remember to treat yourself with love. If this is something you struggle with, have a read of our article; 8 ways to fall in love with your own company.
However you’d like to spend your time this month, there are plenty of unique and exciting events to get involved with across the UK in February. From opportunities to immerse yourself in learning, to ideas that are great for spending quality time with friends and family, we hope there’s been something for you on this list.
For more fun day-out ideas, head over to the art and culture or travel section of our website. Here you’ll find everything from foodie hotspots and must-see historic sites, to scenic walking routes and staycation inspiration.