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January Festival and Events Roundup

An overview of events and festivals throughout the UK during January


January Weather View - Don't Come for the Climate

January is cold, wet and dark - though since the winter solstice in December, days are lengthening. Don't be surprised if you have to turn on the lights at 3:30 in London- even earlier further north. Bring socks, hats, gloves and winter pyjamas. If you're very lucky, you might not need them.

Meanwhile - here's the 30 year average to 2000 from the UK Met Office for guidance:

  • High - 44°F (6.6°C)
  • Low - 34°F (1.1°C)
  • Average daily hours of sunshine - 1.62
  • Average monthly rainfall - 3.3" (84.3mm)
  • High - 41°F (5°C)
  • Low - 31.6°F (-0.2°C)
  • Average daily hours of sunshine - 1
  • Average monthly rainfall - 6.7" (170.6mm)
  • High - 44°F (6.5°C)
  • Low - 34°F (1.3°C)
  • Average daily hours of sunshine - 1.38
  • Average monthly rainfall - 6.24" (158.6mm)

Check out average temperatures and rainfall throughout the year, all around the UK.

January Daylight

There are only about eight hours of full daylight in January, and somewhat less in Scotland. For that reason, time for outdoor exploration or road touring is limited. This is the time of year for indoor and urban entertainments as well as short, concentrated outdoor activities. Limited daylight hours means shorter distances covered for cycling or hiking and extreme mountain hikes are only for the well equipped and experienced.

January Highlights

Music and Arts

  • Celtic Connections A Major Celtic and traditional music festival in Glasgow, January 20 - February 6, 2012.
  • Abertawe Festival for Young Musicians Competitive and non competitive instrumental music festival at the Guildhall in Swansea and other venues. January 28 to February 2, 2010.
  • Inverclyde Music Festival Festival of music, dance and speech in Greenock, culminating in a Grand Concert at the Greenock Town Hall. From the last week in January, for two weeks.
  • Winter Words Festival 4-Day literature festival at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Book signings, workshops, readings and children's events. January 29 to February 7, 2010.

Food and Drink Festivals

  • Dine Around Edinburgh Sample seasonal Scottish cuisine on discount, fixed price menus around Edinburgh. Usually January and February. Seasonal information posted on the VisitScotland website.
  • Exeter & East Devon, Festival of Winter Ales January 8 and 9, at Exeter City Football Club, St James Park.
  • National Winter Ales Festival More than 200 British and foreign beers, real ales, ciders and perries. January 20 to 23, Sheridan Suite, Manchester
  • Colchester Winter Ale Festival January 21 to 23,2010 at the Colchester Arts Centre. 40 real ales and seasonal specials from local brewers, a Belgian beer bar, free soft drinks for drivers and a Hog Roast.
  • Bent & Bongs Beer Bash January 28-30, 2010, Formby Hall in Atherton.


  • Burns' Night - January 25th is Burns' Night, a celebration of the Scottish bard, Robert Burns. Suppers of a traditional Scottish meal, including haggis, neeps and tatties can be found in hotels and restaurants, which book up early for the night. The evening includes recitals, toasts and celebration. Check out the Burns's Night advice from the BBC to organize your own Burns' Night Supper.
  • The Haxey Hood An ancient Twelft Night Game
  • Twelfth Night at the Globe A free festival of verse, music, dance and other activities, Sunday, January 3, 2010 to celebrate 12th Night at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.

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