14 things to book today to make the most of the 2024 Summer Season

Music, sport, gardens and more — here are some of the best events to attend this summer.

Tis the season… to book tickets for the flagship events that signal Britain’s summer Season and they are selling fast.

This week’s issue of Country Life takes a look at some of the highlights you can expect to enjoy in Britain over the next couple of months, along with tips on what to wear, how to avoid the weather, and 18 picnic tips from some of Britain’s top chefs. If you’re lookign

 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Some slots at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 21–25), for which the first two days are members only, will have gone, but check the website at www.rhs.org.uk. And if you want to take a bit of Chelsea home, the selling of the glorious floral displays begins at 4pm on the Saturday.

Royal Ascot

Tickets for the Thursday and Saturday of Royal Ascot (June 18–22) are now limited, but there is availability in the Village Enclosure (from £85), where evening entertainment is provided by Masters of the Scene: ABBA, The Show, and in the Windsor Enclosure (£65), where there’s also live music and you can bring your own picnic. See www.ascot.com.


Glorious Goodwood (July 30–August 3) is always a delightful alternative to Ascot and early-bird discounts of 15% are available until May 31. See www.goodwood.com.

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The public ballot for Wimbledon (July 1–14) has closed, but there’s still debentures, hospitality — and, rarely for a major sporting event — The Queue, a great tradition in itself. Early birds will have a chance to buy one of 500 tickets for Centre Court and Courts No 1 and 2 (until the last four days of the tournament) or a grounds pass (£30). The keen beans who camp out overnight at the front will have their pick, but organisers advise that, if you arrive by 9am, you should get in. For more details see www.wimbledon.com.

Henley Royal Regatta

World class sport without the need to queue in Wimbledon Park is an option if rowing is your thing: visit www.hrr.co.uk to book for Henley Royal Regatta (July 2–7, prices start at £34).


There is thrilling high-goal polo at Guards, Windsor — see www.guardspoloclub.com — where the Cartier Queen’s Cup (17–22 goals) final is on June 16.

The international polo world descends on Cowdray, just outside Midhurst in West Sussex, for the 22-goal Gold Cup (the final is on July 21; www.cowdraypolo.co.uk).


The England vs West Indies (men’s) Lord’s Test match runs this year on July 10–14 and tickets for Thursday and Friday are already sold out, but there are other international fixtures later in the summer (www.lords.org).


Cowes Week (July 27–August 2; www.cowesweek.co.uk) is more relaxed than almost anything else on this list: you can book trips on spectator boats on the day.

Outdoor opera

Glyndebourne’s opera festival (May 16–August 25), features Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. See www.glyndebourne.com.

There’s undiluted Wagner at Longborough Festival Opera in the Cotswolds, from June 16–August 6 — see www.lfo.org.uk.

Rameau, Britten, Verdi and Mozart are at Garsington, Buckinghamshire from May 29–July 31; listings at www.garsingtonopera.org.

The Grange, Alresford, Hampshire, is unbeatable for its idyllic setting. There will be Monteverd, Puccini and Stravinsky, as well as jazz and ballet (June 6–July 6; www.thegrangefestival.co.uk).

The Proms

Details for the BBC Proms 2024 will be announced on April 25, with tickets on sale from May 18. Find out more at www.bbc.co.uk/proms.