Tickets for the big events can be hard to get and expensive… so if you can’t do that…do this!
British National Dance Championships
Winter Gardens, Blackpool, 17-19 Nov
Move over Len Goodman – couples from around Britain will take to the floor to dance their socks off in the hope of scooping a prize for their ballroom or Latin American dancing. expect sequins and tears in a gorgeous period setting.
World’s Biggest Liar Contest
Santon Bridge, Cumbria, Nov TBC
Held in the Bridge Inn, this unusual annual competition sees contestants try to ‘out lie’ each other. each spins his or her yarn, and the most fantastic and convincing tale wins.
Somerset House Ice Rink
All month the cobbled courtyard of Somerset House becomes one of the capital’s prettiest rinks for the winter season. a great place for a festive whirl and mulled wine sipping.
Big Red Tenby Boxing Day Swim
Tenby, Wales, 26 Dec
Man-up and take the plunge with a group of crazy swimmers (many in Santa outts) who brave the chill of the Pembrokeshire coast. Don’t want to get wet? Join canoeing or raft-racing events – or watch from the shore with a cuppa.
Leonardo da Vinci
National Gallery, London, until 5 Feb
It’s the last month of this blockbuster show, ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan’. the most complete display of the artist’s rare surviving paintings ever held concentrates on his work as a court painter in the late 1480s and 1490s.
Brighton Tattoo Convention
Brighton, 28-29 Jan
Held at Brighton racecourse, you’ll see great artists at work on their human canvases. come and gawp at the staggering designs or get inked-up yourself – and there’s a best tattoo competition too.
England v Wales Six Nations 2012
Twickenham Stadium, 25 Feb
The annual northern hemisphere rugby union championship will be half-way through when England and Wales come face-to-face for what’s bound to be a gripping match at twickenham.
Olney Pancake Race
Olney, Buckinghamshire, 21 Feb
Held annually since 1445, women contestants race through town, tossing pancakes all the way (men taking part must dress as housewives). Since the Fifties it’s been an ‘international race’ between people in liberal, Kansas, too – race times are compared and an overall winner
NEC, Birmingham, 8-11 March
Tails will wag at the world’s largest dog show where, more than 22,000 pooches compete in seven different categories – from gundog to pastoral – and the winners battle it out for best in show.
Cheshire, 3-4 March
TickedTICA is an all-breed cat club, though abyssinian, Somali and other ‘ticked’ cats (those with a particular type of marking) are especially welcome. Watch some of the sleekest felines that you’re ever likely to see strut their slinky stuff n this purr-fect annual show
Do Not Disturb (In-hotel Magazine)