Whether it's going to a live gig, seeing some world-class theatre or attending a sporting event, England has no end of ways to keep you entertained.

Live Music

London and the big cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle offer an entertainment scene comparable with any other European city of their size. Big international bands and solo acts play at venues like London's O2 Arena and the Sage Gateshead in Newcastle, while any number of pubs and clubs host live performances by local and UK bands.

You can find London listings in TimeOut (www.timeout.com/london/music), while Gig Guide (www.gig-guide.co.uk) covers the whole country.

There is also a huge (and growing) number of music festivals across the UK in summer. Glastonbury is a legend, but there are countless more: Latitude, Bestival, Reading and Leeds, Wireless and Download, to name but a few.


The country that gave the world William Shakepeare has no shortage of dramatic delights on offer, from London's unsurpassable theatre scene to a superb program of regional theatre at the likes of the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Bath's Theatre Royal, Bristol's Old Vic, the Everyman in Liverpool, and Yorkshire's Hull Truck and Stephen Joseph. Check out www.theatresonline.com to see what's on where.

Traditional Music & Dance

English folk music – ie music that has mostly been passed down orally from generation to generation – has a long history, evolving from medieval court music to the songs of agricultural peasants, workers' political protest songs and sailors' sea shanties. In modern times it has influenced 1960s and '70s bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, and informed the work of musicians such as John Martin, Martin Carthy and Billy Bragg.

Traditional English folk dance is epitomised (almost to the point of cliche) by Morris dancing, which dates back to medieval times and is kept alive by dozens of Morris teams (known as 'sides') around the country – they can often be seen at local fairs and festivals.

Clog dancing also dates back to the Middle Ages, but is particularly associated with the 19th-century industrial areas of northern England, such as the Lancashire cotton mills and the Northumberland coal mines.

Check out English Folk Dance & Song Society (www.efdss.org) and Morris Ring (www.themorrisring.org) for more.