With long summer days and loads of weird and wonderful events, June is the perfect time to get outside. Bare it all in the World Naked Bike Race, cheer race horses on whilst sipping champagne at Royal Ascot, and watch the sun rise at Stonehenge.
World Naked Bike Ride
When: 1 June – 21 July
Where: Bristol, Brighton, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Edinburgh, Exeter, Folkestone, London, Portsmouth, Manchester, Newcastle-Gateshead, Scarborough, Southampton, Worthing, and York
Cost: Free to watch, but those who want to take part must register
The first official World Naked Bike Ride was held in Spain in 2004 to protest society’s reliance on oil-based transport and car culture in general. Since then the event has spread to more than 50 cities worldwide.
You don’t have to be completely naked to take part in a WNBR, but the organisers do like riders to be creative. Many are completely starkers – to use a popular British slang word – but others are partially clothed and some use body paint to cover strategic areas.
This year’s UK rides are taking place between 1 Jun – 21 July. The London ride – one of the biggest – will be held on 9 June. If you aren’t brave enough to take part, go along and cheer those who are.
To register as a rider or find the closest event to you click here.
Queen’s Official Birthday
When: 10:00AM on 8 June
Where: Central London
Cost: Free, unless you want a seat in one of the seated stands around Horse Guards Parade, in which case tickets start at £5.00.
Did you know that the Queen has two birthdays? She was born on 21 April, but her “official birthday” is on the second Saturday in June. This way she can celebrate her real birthday in private with her family, and her official birthday with her subjects on a sunny summer day.
The queen’s official birthday is celebrated with lots of pomp and circumstance in central London. There are gun salutes in Hyde Park, Windsor Great Park, and the Tower of London and a big birthday parade (also known as Trooping the Colour). The queen will make a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham palace.
When: 18 – 22 June
Where: Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire
Cost: Tickets start at £37.00 and should be booked in advance
Royal Ascot is one of Britain’s most iconic events. It draws hundreds of thousands of people, including the royal family. Over the course of five days, spectators will drink roughly 56,000 bottles of champagne and horses will compete for prizes of over a million pounds.
Fashion is the real name of this game, though, especially on “Ladies’ Day.” You’ll get to see all sorts of elegant dresses and magnificent hats while you brush shoulder with the British elite.
Photo credit: Jaguar MENA
Summer Solstice Festival
When: 18 – 22 June
Where: Stonehenge – Amesbury, Wiltshire
Cost: Tickets start at £125
The stone circle known as Stonehenge is one of the seven wonders of the world. It dates back an estimated 5,000 years, but no one really knows why it was built or by whom. It is a national treasure and, for many, a sacred site.
For thousands of years, people have gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the longest day of the year – the Summer Solstice. People gather to dance all night and watch the sunrise on 21 June.
As a bonus, the Stonehenge Summer Music Festival is happening at the same time. The festival is near Stonehenge. You can hire a tent or bring your own. There is live music and, best of all, a private bus service to take you to Stonehenge.
When: 21 June
Where: Everywhere in the UK, but head to Stonehenge
The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. In the northernmost parts of the UK, the day will be 18 hours long! Make the most of it by going out for a picnic or a barbecue or visiting a park.
There will also be a variety of public events going on across the UK. Many people like to gather at Neolithic sites such as Stonehenge to celebrate, do yoga at dawn, or just wake up early enough to watch the sunrise.
World Toe Wrestling Championships
When: 22 June
Where: Bentley Brook Inn, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire
In 1974, the UK was struggling to produce atheletes who were world champions. Some clever fellows in Staffordshire realised that if they could come up with a sport that no one else knew about, then the UK would automatically have a world champion. And thus, the World Toe Wrestling Championships were born.
Toe wrestling is similar to thumb or arm wrestling. Opponents lock toes and try to pin down the other person’s foot. This strange sport has its dangers: Wrestlers often wind up with bruised or broken toes.
If you’d like to have a go you can enter the competition for 2.50. But be sure your feet aren’t stinky!
Willaston World Worm Charming Championship
Where: Willaston County Primary School
When: 29 June
Cost: £1; plots start at £6
If you thought toe wrestling was weird, well, worm charming just might be weirder. The Willaston World Worm Charming Championship challenges competitors to coax as many worms out of the ground as they can.
Contestants – or “wormers,” as they’re known – are given a three metre square plot of grass and half an hour in which to compete. They can sing, play music, stomp the ground, or do anything else they fancy. The one thing they can’t do is dig the worms up.
The record catch of 511 worms was made back in 1980 by a local farmer, Tom Shufflebothan, who is now in the Guinness book of records. And don’t worry – the worms are safely returned to the ground on the same day.