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Photograph: False Idols

The 24 best new things to do in the UK in 2024

Grab your calendars and get ready to book

Chiara Wilkinson
Ed Cunningham
Edited by
Chiara Wilkinson
Ed Cunningham

If you thought each minute of 2023 was jam-packed with brand new stuff to see and do, just wait for 2024. Up and down the UK, in Time Out’s best places to visit next year and far beyond, you’ll find grand plans adding to this country’s already-formidable roster of attractions.

Up for getting active and reconnecting with spectacular natural landscapes? 2024 will offer plenty of that. Want to have all your senses blasted at once by glitzy new cultural venues? It’ll have that too. Curious about trying something new, like a niche food festival in one the country’s most vibrant cities? Aye, the coming year will even have that.

2024 promises to be a cracking year filled with a simply huge amount of exciting new things: things which opened at the end of 2023 and you’ve probably not got round to checking out just yet, as well as a whole host of other fantastic stuff opening throughout the new year. Below we’ve picked out the ones that’ll be most essential: these are Time Out’s 24 best new things to do in the UK in 2024. 

📍 The best things to do in the UK
🏖️ The best places to visit in the UK in 2024
🏘️ The best Airbnbs in the UK

The best new things to do in the UK

1. See the National Gallery on tour

In May, London’s National Gallery will celebrate a seriously impressive 200 years of its existence. And what better way to celebrate than letting every corner of the country have a slice of the artsy action? The gallery will be sending its mobile art studio to 18 locations over a year-long road trip, serving up activities and events in celebration of each local community. Plus, twelve of the most iconic paintings from the gallery’s collection (we’re talking Monet’s ‘The Water Lily Pond’ and Botticelli’s ‘Venus and Mars’) will be brought to twelve UK cities including Newcastle, Aberystwyth, Edinburgh and Ulster, so everyone can get up close and personal with a piece of art history.
Amy Houghton
Contributing writer

2. Rock out at a sparkling new arena

It’s not even open yet, and Manchester’s new Co-op Arena already has some dazzling stars scheduled to grace its stage from April — Olivia RodrigoLiam Gallagher, Eric Clapton and the Jonas Brothers to name but a few. Maybe it’s down to its backing from Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen, maybe it’s thanks to its state of the art design featuring a ‘smart bowl’ and the largest floor space of any indoor venue in the country — but there’s a lot of hype around this place. It’s only right that you should go see it for yourself once it opens its doors in April.

Recommended: The best hotels in Manchester


3. Guzzle down some (actually nice) English wine

The UK’s vineyards have been absolutely thriving lately and are finally being taken more seriously by the big boys of the global wine scene. Thanks to our newfound plonk prestige, wine-loving Brits don’t even have to leave the country to try some of the best vino currently out there: 2024 is packed with brand new attractions. Kentish wine-makers Domaine Evremond are launching a visiting centre and winery in the second half of 2024 while the nearby Tudor Peacock houses a new wine bar with tastings and events in the village of Chilam. That’s not to mention London Wine Festival, Norwich Wine Week and an adorable Highland cow slash vineyard tour in East Yorkshire. Bottoms up!

Recommended: The 12 best vineyards in the UK

4. Let loose at Skepta’s new music festival

Most of us know Skepta as a rapper. But he’s also dipped his foot into DJing and painting, and now, he’s announced that he’s launching his own one-day music festival taking place in London’s Crystal Palace Park next summer. Big Smoke festival will take place on Saturday, July 6 and will feature a line-up curated by Skepta himself. One stage will be hosted by his record label Más Tiempo, showcasing dance artists, while the other will host live acts – including Skepta himself, in what is set to be his only UK performance of 2024.

Recommended: The best hotels in London
Chiara Wilkinson
Features Editor, UK

5. Knock back some drams at the first ever Wales Whisky Festival

When the dark nights roll in and the November chill hits, warm the cockles at Wales’s first ever whisky festival. Scotland has always held the whisky crown, but the likes of the Penderyn and Aber Falls distilleries are helping Wales rise from dark horse to a proper player in the liquor world. The event, held in the seaside town of Llandudno from November 1 to 3, kicks off with a swanky launch dinner, pairing four courses with the syrupy spirit. Across the rest of the weekend, 25 whiskey makers from around the globe will serve up tastings, tours and masterclasses.

6. Feast your eyes upon London Colisuem’s ‘Spirited Away’

Right off the back off RSC’s hugely acclaimed ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, we’re now being treated to another Studio Ghibli stage spectacular, with a bumper production of the Hayao Miyazaki 2001 animated masterpiece ‘Spirited Away’ coming to the London Colisuem from April 30 to August 24. There will be puppets, there will be a live orchestra – and of course, there’ll be some very strange spirits. Unlike ‘My Neighbour Totoro’, this one will be presented in Japanese with English surtitles – and it’s only a limited run, so best get organised.

Recommended: The best London theatre shows in 2024


7. Trek the entire King Charles III Coast Path

We’ve all known for a long time that Charlie loves his nature – so what could be more fitting than to celebrate his coronation with the longest managed coastal path in the world? More of the King Charles III Coast Path is set to open across 2024, with the entire trail set to be walkable by the end of the year. Covering 2,700 miles, it’ll eventually loop all the way around England’s coast – linking up coastal walking route favourites and opening up entire new areas. 

Recommended: 11 of the most breathtaking hikes in the UK
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London

8. Catch an all-new musical at the Bristol Old Vic

Imagine how (even more) iconic ‘University Challenge’ would be if Jeremy Paxman and co threw a few showtunes and love triangles into the mix. A brand new musical adaptation of the 2006 film ‘Starter for Ten’ is probably as close as we’re gonna get. Like the movie starring James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch, the show follows a student who wins a place on his uni’s UC quiz team. Bristol’s Old Vic describes the play as being all ‘about love, belonging and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom,’ so we’re betting you can expect a healthy dose of cheese. It’s due to run from February 29 to March 30 – and if you need any more persuasion, Bristol was named Time Out’s best place to visit in the UK in 2024.

Recommended: The best hotels in Bristol


9. Visit a glowed-up Black Country Living Museum

What better way to learn some history than having it played out right in front of your eyes? The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley has brought the heritage of the Midlands to life since 1978 with 50 impeccably preserved buildings, including a working 1920s cinema, 1930s chippy and an army of dedicated actors. In 2023 it saw the addition of a 1960s high street and a replica of Wolverhampton’s Lea Road Infant Welfare Centre, which takes visitors through stories of the NHS’s foundation, the impact of migration and the support given to new mothers in the Black Country.

10. Guzzle your way through the first ever National Stottie Week

What is stottie cake and why are we celebrating it, you ask? Well, we’ll have you know that it’s a Geordie delicacy. The dense, crusty, frisbee-shaped bread was originally made by the region’s working class out of leftover scraps of dough and got its name from the phrase ‘to stott’ (meaning ‘to bounce’), as it was traditionally tested for quality by whether or not it bounced off the kitchen floor. Intrigued? Newcastle’s Big River Bakery has a lot more from where that came from. It’s launching the UK’s first National Stottie Cake Week, with all sorts of stottie-based events and activities happening from February 12 to 18.

Recommended: The best things to do in Newcastle


11. Get nerdy at the new Perth museum

The ‘stone of destiny’ sounds like something you’d read about in a Harry Potter novel, right? It’s actually a real thing – it was used as part of King Charles’s coronation – and it’s one of the UK’s most significant historical objects. You’ll soon be able to find it at the new £26.5 million Perth Museum, housed in a snazzy heritage Edwardian building, alongside of a tonne of other old objects telling the stories of Scotland. It’s due to open in spring.

12. Surf some waves at Europe’s biggest inland surf resort

From Thurso and Aberdeen to the Hebrides, Scotland has a pretty decent selection of top surf spots. Inland Scotland? Not so much... until 2024. Move over Cornwall and Devon, no less than Europe’s biggest inland surf resort is coming to Scotland next year. Called the Lost Shore Surf Resort, it’ll be 250 metres long and offer 20 kinds of waves – yep, 20! – as well as wave rides of up to 22 seconds. All in a country park near Edinburgh, it’s set to open in September. Surf has never been more up.

Recommended: The best things to do in Edinburgh


13. Dance for days at London’s newest megaclub

Though it has dished out an epic line-up since opening in October (BICEP, Marcel Dettmann, SHERELLE and Skepta to name but a few) 2023 was just a warm up for London superclub Drumsheds. In its own words, this former Ikea, spanning 608,000 square feet, does things in ‘an unashamedly massive way’. So massive, in fact, that new party people False Idols even hosted the Sugababes in the mighty venue. And from the people who brought us Printworks, we should expect nothing less. 2024 is set to be even bigger and even better.

Recommended: The 51 best nights out in London

14. Browse Bradford’s spectacular new market and social hub

We’re firm believers that street food is an elite type of food. The smells! The bustle! The choice! After being pushed back from its original opening date in September, come 2024, Bradford will be blessed with a swanky £21 million new market, known as Darley Street Market, with an entire floor dedicated to street-food vendors and bars. Another floor will sell fresh food and the ground floor will house other stalls, so you can eat, shop and socialise – all in one place.


15. Chill out at Dorset’s brand new wild swimming festival

Haven’t you heard? The era of bog-standard, normie swimming is over. Nowadays swimming has to be wild, out in open bodies of water which may or may not be recognised by Google Maps, organised in Whatsapp groups named things like ‘The Flippers’ and ‘Ladies Who Dunk’. In 2024 you can finally celebrate it the way it should be celebrated: welcome to Dorset’s brand-new Wild Swimming Festival, to be held in July, where you’ll find live music, speakers and group swim challenges around the bay. You can visit for the day or stay for the weekend, at its designated campsite (or one of the private rooms available, if you don’t fancy roughing it).

Read more: The most beautiful wild swimming spots in the UK
Ella Doyle
Guides Editor

16. Get lost in Blackpool’s museum of entertainment

Blackpool is often associated with a certain old-school type of fun: strolls along the promenade, arcade games and vintage wooden roller coasters. But there will soon be another reason to pay a visit to the OG seaside town, as a new attraction called Showtown is set to draw visitors of all ages. Branding itself as a ‘museum of fun and entertainment’, it’s all-singing, all-dancing, and right on the Prom, with a whole load of comedy, dance, drama and acrobatics events to get stuck into when it opens later next year. It opens on March 15, 2024.


17. Get high at the UK’s first vertical distillery

Distilleries are vertical now, keep up. This new whisky distillery in the ever-trendy area of Leith in Edinburgh (AKA, one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world) stretches up nine stories tall and features a top floor mezzanine bar, which offers 360-degree views out over both Edinburgh and the surrounding landscape. It opened up at the end of 2023 and not only does it look good – but the whisky it makes is pretty bloody delicious, too.

Recommended: The best hotels in Edinburgh

18. Take a ride on one of Glasgow’s new driverless trains

Train lovers, this one’s for you. Head to Glasgow for a ride on one of the city’s swish new futuristic subway trains, introduced for the very first time in December. They’re the first new trains on the city’s underground system in 43 years – oh, and they’re driverless. If you needed an excuse to visit the vibrant Scottish city, surely this has to be it.

Recommended: The best hotels in Glasgow


19. Have a big day out at the new Oxford Street IKEA

You know it as well as we do: IKEA is not just a furniture shop. Sure, it sells furniture, but how about the huge blue IKEA bags? How about the inflation-proof Swedish meatballs on a school dinner tray? IKEA is a right of passage when you’re moving somewhere new, and a whole ass day out whether you need furniture or not. In 2024, there’s a brand-new one coming to Oxford Street in London, where the Big Topshop used to be (RIP), and yes, there will be meatballs. People will probably camp outside the night before it opens in Autumn 2024, and we won’t judge if you’re one of them.

Recommended: The 100 best shops in London

20. Paddle down an all-new canoe trail

Go fully off the grid in the spring and spend up to three days cruising down the River Tweed on the new Tweed Valley Canoe Trail, opening spring 2024. Canoeing 30 miles downstream, you’ll start a stone’s throw away from Dawyck Botanic Garden in the village of Stobo and finish your journey in Abbotsford — the home of Sir Walter Scott. When it opens, the route will be the south of Scotland’s first official canoe trail and can be braved by beginners and tackled by pros alike. If you’re a paddling machine, you may even be able to storm down the course in one day, but taking it easy sounds much more appealing to us.


21. See a gig at a ground-breaking grassroots music venue

The UK is packed with fabulous music venues, but The Snug in Atherton, Greater Manchester is extra special. It’s the first venue acquired by Music Venue Properties, which is an initiative by the Music Venue Trust that sees fans purchase grassroots venues and protect them from private landlords and rising rents. AKA, back in October, its future was secured after fans bought shares. The Snug represents an initiative that could feasibly transform this nation’s grassroots music scene – and so, naturally, it deserves all the support it can get. Comedy, punk, hip-hop, electronic music... whatever your jam, get down to a blistering, sweaty night in 2024.

Read more: Could fan-owned venues be the future of live music?
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London

22. Feel the Kenergy at Barbie®: The Exhibition

If anything defined 2023, let’s be real, it was Barbie. She came, she saw, she conquered – and she had us all wearing head-to-toe pink to our local Odeon on a Friday night. Barbie somehow wasn’t just a film, she was a cultural crossover and a uniting moment of silliness. Thankfully, the pink-painted fun doesn’t have to end in 2023. From July 2024 to early 2025, The Design Museum will host Barbie: The Exhibition, which explores the design evolution of the iconic doll (its Barbie’s 65th anniversary next year) through fashion, architecture, historic items and more. Hey, there might even be a little Ken, too.

Recommended: The top 10 art exhibitions in London


23. Zip-wire across a legendary sports venue

Zip wires are cool – but a zip wire over one of the nation’s biggest and most famous sports stadiums? Well, that threatens to totally max out the cool-ometer. And that’s exactly what’ll be happening next spring at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. At a brand-new attracting called SCALE, keen zip-liners will get the chance to sail through the air above the home of Welsh Rugby Union, taking in views of both the stadium below and the city skyline as they go. Set to open in spring, the wire itself will be 300 feet long, while ultra-daring visitors will be able to abseil down to ground level. Wheee!

Recommended: The 10 best Airbnbs in Cardiff

24. Spend the night in a futuristic treehouse

Fancy yourself a bit of a tree hugger? Well how about a tree sleeper? Come March, you’ll be able to spend the night in one of seven spectacular treehouses opening in a 1,000 year old woodland in the Cotswolds. Each porperty looks a bit like a space ship has landed amoung the branches, and is decked out with a freestanding bath, a hamper of local treats, a private outdoor shower and a wood-burning stove. Talk about cosy. 

Recommended: The best treehouses in the UK

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