This article was published by the Great British Mag content team on 8 September 2021
As summer draws to a close, we Brits start to feel a little nostalgic for days gone by. Many of September’s best events are historic ones – vintage racecars at Goodwood Revival and explorations of history and culture through the Heritage Open Days. But September is also when cutting-edge events like London Fashion Week take place. Whether you want to indulge in yesteryear or charge headfirst into the future, this month has something for you.
When: 3 September – 3 January
Where: The Tower Festival Headland, Blackpool
Known as “artificial sunshine” – the Illuminations mark the transition between summer and autumn in the seaside city of Blackpool. While other seaside havens are preparing for hibernation, Blackpool will continue to buzz (literally!) with excitement and offer a dazzling lights display that extends all the way from the southern district of Starr Gate to the northern village of Bispham.
If you visit the Blackpool Illuminations then you will see why it is nicknamed the “greatest free light show on Earth” – one million light bulbs are used to transform the city every evening.
When: 17-19 September
Where: The Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester, West Sussex
Cost: Tickets start at £70
Got a need for speed as well as a need to dress up? Why not combine both urges at the best vintage motor sport event of the year?
The Goodwood Revival is three days of motor sport and unadulterated nostalgia - a celebration of motor racing in the golden era of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s (1948-1966 to be precise).
Throughout the weekend, races will feature a fabulous collection of classic 1950s sports-racing cars in the spirit of the Goodwood Nine Hours races, such as the Jaguar C-type, Aston Martin DB3 and DB3S, Austin-Healey 100S, Ferrari 750 Monza, Allard and HWM.
Many visitors get into the spirit of the event by wearing period clothes. If you’re more interested in trilby hats and double-breasted suits than fuel-injection systems – you’re still sure to love this event.
When: 13-17 September
Where: Across London
Cost: Ticket prices vary
If you are a fashionista and want to know what the big trends are – then make a date in your diary to attend the London Fashion Week Festival. There will be for catwalk shows by leading UK and international designers and the chance to pick up exclusive designer pieces at great prices.
When: 10-19 September
Where: Across the UK
Do you know the history, local culture and the stories behind the people and buildings in your city, town or village? Well Heritage Open Days – a collection of over 5,000 events across the country – is a great way to learn.
Whereever you are in the country you will be able to find free talks, tours and events that will give you interesting insights into your local area.
When: 4-12 September
Where: 800 buildings across London
If you are the nosey type and would love to take a walk around some of the London’s most important and iconic buildings – most of which are not open to the public – then check out Open House which sees public and private buildings open their doors to the public.
Some of the buildings you can visit include 10 Downing Street (understandably this is a very popular one and you have to enter a ballot for a ticket) and HMS Treasury.
When: 26 September
Where: St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside, London
The tradition of the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival goes back 140-years when an orphan called Henry Croft, who was a road sweeper around the markets in the East End of London, started raising money for the poor. He embellished his clothes with pearl buttons to attract attention.
His endeavours were successful and he enlisted the help of the market traders, who were a close-knit community that had a long tradition of helping each other. The market traders that helped Henry Croft were known as Costermongers, who went onto become the first Pearly families.
The tradition is still going strong and Croft’s great-granddaughter is the Pearly Queen of Somers Town. Many Pearly Kings and Queens are carrying on Henry Croft’s charitable work. Their efforts are marked every year with a Harvest Festival at the Guildhall in London.
The Harvest Festival is a time in the UK when people give thanks to a bountiful crop harvest and the Pearly Kings and Queens use this as a time to remind people that there are people in every community that need help.
The event, which starts at 2pm, includes traditional entertainment, such as marching bands. The Pearly Kings and Queens will be dressed in their traditional dark suits covered in hundreds of bright pearl buttons.