Top 12 things to do for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend in the North West

Everywhere you look the bunting is going up, as the North West, along with the rest of the country, gears up for a bank holiday weekend like no other.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations will stretch from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June, with official and fringe events happening all over the region.

Gardens, pavements, and high streets will be turning red, white and blue in honour of the longest-serving monarch, and it is anticipated that more than 10 million people up and down the country will mark the occasion with their own street parties and events.

But if you haven't yet organised your own event, here are some picks of the best ways to join in the Jubliee weekend festivities.

1. Jubilee beacons

The Jubilee Beacons is one of the official events of the Platinum Jubilee in 2022 providing an opportunity for communities to come together to celebrate this historic milestone.

On 2 June 2022, more than 2,022 beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories, and one in each of the capital cities of Commonwealth countries, in recognition of The Queen's long and selfless service.

The lighting of the Jubilee beacons follows a long tradition in the UK of celebrating Royal Jubilees, weddings and coronations with beacons.

Beacons are set to be lit on top of mountains, church and cathedral towers, castle battlements, on town and village greens, country estates, parks and farms, along beaches and on cliff tops.

At 2pm local time Town Criers are being invited to undertake the Proclamation announcing the lighting of the beacons later that evening.

Lighting of the beacons will happen at 9:45pm with local choirs encouraged to sing a specially composed song for the event, 'Song for the Commonwealth'.

Alongside traditional beacons, there will also be sustainable beacons lit. Tameside Hospital in Manchester, who will be lighting the official NHS beacon, have teamed up with theirnearby further education college.

Using broken and old hospital beds the welding and design apprentices are creating a unique framework, shaped like a crown, while the lighting and optics students will generate blue laser projections from the centre of the beacon to signify the distinct NHS colour.

To find out where your nearest beacon lighting event will be click here.

2. Morecambe - World record attempt

Morecambe is hoping to break the record for the world's biggest picnic on the prom to celebrate the Jubilee.

It's expected more than 2,000 locals will flock to secure a prime seaside position to mark the anniversary, with all proceeds going to Cancer Care and Ukraine Charities.

Residents are asked to book a table and bring their own chairs, food and drink, to join in the picnic celebrations in honour of Her Majesty.

 Everyone is asked to dress in red, white and blue to add to the theme.   Entertainment will be provided along the promenade.

Cllr Tricia Heath, chairman of Morecambe Town Council’s Festival and Events Committee, said: “This event will be remembered for years to come and is set to be the longest Jubilee picnic ever recorded in England.”

East Lancashire Railway are planning a Jubilee themed weekend of events Credit: East Lancashire Railway

3. Bury - East Lancs Railway

East Lancashire Railway is hosting a 1940s/50s themed Jubilee Weekend Extravaganza on 3-5 June with a calendar full of unique events including vintage stalls, music and entertainment.

The heritage railway run by volunteers is set to have performances at every stop along the 12 mile line.

Acts including Washboard Resonators, the Rum and Cola Girls, Kitty LaMare and the George Formby Appreciation Society, as well as chance to meet the performer nicknamed the 'young Queen Elizabeth', Hattie Bee.

Guests will also have the opportunity to see flypasts from two iconic aircraft from the period, with a Hurricane jetting by at 1.25pm on 4th June and a Spitfire roaring overhead at 2.27pm on 5 June.

The heritage railway run by volunteers is hosting the 1940’s/50’s themed weekend 3rd-5th June with a calendar full of unique events Credit: East Lancashire Railway

4. Liverpool - Strawberry Field Garden Fete

The Liverpool visitor attraction, Strawberry Field, will be hosting its iconic Garden Fete over The Platinum Jubilee Weekend (June 2-5).

The fete was regularly attended by a young John Lennon, and his Aunt Mimi in the 40s and 50s.

The free event on the 4th and 5 will include everything from arts and crafts, to the “Find The Crown Treasure Hunt”, demonstrations from the Calderstones Wood Turners group, live music, and dancing from Mersey Swing.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their Strawberry Field memories, with any images, letters and keepsakes brought set to be displayed in the foyer.

5. Blackpool - Heritage Tram Parade, Jubilee concert and fireworks

Blackpool is aiming to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in style - with a spectacular parade of its heritage trams.

Around a dozen heritage trams will travel in convoy on the afternoon of Thursday 2 June, creating the largest tram parade the resort has ever staged.

The parade will be complemented by various other exciting events over the four days including a giant outdoor picnic on the Comedy Carpet, a dazzling firework display and a concert headlined by chart-topping singer Sonia.

More details can be found here.

The heritage tram parade and beacon lighting ceremony form part of an extensive programme of events across the resort Credit: Visit Blackpool

6. Manchester - Irlam Live 2022

Irlam Live is back for it's sixth year - a four day festival of music (2-5 June) at Manchester's Prince's Park.

Headliners for this year include Marti Pellow and Bananarama. Also playing the main stage is The Feeling, Hue & Cry, Boyzlife, N-Trance, Abz from 5ive, and Ben from Phats and Small.

It all kicks off on Thursday 2nd June with 'Cool Britannia'. This is the Queen's Platinum Jubilee day, where we have a full day of fun for the whole family including a host of the UK's finest tribute bands.

Irlam Live 2022 - The Music Festival are hosting a special Jubilee Day on 2nd June

Queen (of course) will headline Thursday's main stage with lots of flag waving, and we have one of the best with Now I'm Here Queen. 

Also playing the main stage is Revival Abba, Aladinsane (Bowie), Take Off That, LMX (Little Mix) and Tony Lewis as Robbie Williams.

Lots of things happening off stage too, including a fantastic model making workshop from the Oscar-winning Aardman Animations, the team behind Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep, Morph and Creature Comforts.

You can find out more here

Leyland Festival will be a free event at Worden Park Credit: Leyland Festival

7. Leyland Festival

Over 20,000 people are expected at Leyland festival on Thursday 2 June. The festival which has been active for over a 100 years is back after a two-year absence.

This years event is completely free of charge, thanks to support from South Ribble Borough Council.

To mark the Jubilee, they're organising a traditional procession involving old vintage, expensive and sports cars, dressed up floats and walking groups dressing up for the occasion.

The procession ends at Worden park where there will be Worden motor village; a Paws in the park dog show; and Queens jubilee garden.

There will also be a large stage with headline acts - Kenny Thomas, Pete Valentine and a kids zone, food and drinks stalls and a fair ground.

Friday 3 June also sees Music in the Park at Worden park with headline acts including - Tony Hadley - Go West - Heaven 17 - T'Pau - Doctor & the Medics - Pat Sharpe (Dj set) this event is ticket only.

On Saturday 4 June there will be a big street party on Hough Lane.

Credit: PA images

8. Oldham - Jubilee Festival

This 4-day festival in Oldham is being billed as one of the biggest Jubilee celebrations in Greater Manchester. As well as more than 230 street parties being funded in neighbourhoods across the borough, there will be an illuminated spectacle as 70 local torchbearers parade through the centre of town before arriving at Oldham Parish Church to take part in the lighting of a Jubilee beacon. On Friday, residents can relive the Queen’s Coronation in full as Oldham Parish Church hosts a special documentary titled ‘A Queen is Crowned’ on the big screen and over the weekend Oldham town centre will be taken over by a range of free outstanding local, national and international street artists, music, theatre and dance performances.This comes as part of the borough’s 25th Festival Oldham event which this year is inspired by all things Jubilee, as well as Oldham’s connections with the Commonwealth.

Events will be scattered around the centre of Oldham, including Parliament Square, the High Street, Gallery Oldham and Oldham Library.

9. Cumbria - The 'Light' District

The Lake District will be celebrating the Jubilee with its own festival of light entitled 'The Light District'.

Attractions, homes, monuments and gardens will be lit up across the Lake District on Thursday evening, in celebration of the historic moment in time, coinciding with the national lighting of beacons.

The newest passenger vessel on Windermere in the Lake District will be among those being illuminated - MV Swift will be lit up in royal purple as part of "The Light District"

MV Swift lights up in royal purple in preparation for Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the Lake District Credit: Windermere Lake Cruises

10. Cheshire - Museum jubilee events

All four of West Cheshire Museums will be putting on special events as part of the extended four-day bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (2-5 June).

These will include a Platinum Garden party; an Animal Parade picnic, the showing of 1950s films and a display of 1950s clothes.

There will be craft activities at each site and screens playing a specially-made Jubilee Film showing photos from the museums’ archive collection as well as commentary.

Events are not dependent on visitors paying to go around the museums but there will be a small charge, to cover materials, for all children’s activities. For more information click here

11. Cheshire - Holmes Chapel's Knitted Jubilee

How about a visit to Holmes Chapel in Cheshire to see their Jubilee ? They've decorated the village in knitted bunting with a magnificent centrepiece of a life-sized model of the Queen made out of knitting and crochet.

A life-sized model of The Queen made out of knitting and crochet Credit: Holmes Chapel Community Yarn Bombers

12. Liverpool - Flash Mob Choir

Members of the Liverpool, Mold, Wrexham, Colwyn Bay, Wirral and West Kirkby Rock Choir will be performing simultaneous surprise flashmobs in 3 different locations - Castle Street, Church Street & Bold Street Liverpool City Centre on Saturday 4 June at midday.

This event is just one of 70 'flash mob' performances that ROCK CHOIR IS staging across the UK in 70 locations, raising money for 70 different  good causes, in the lead up to and across the Jubilee weekend, commemorating Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne.

In this week's Royal Rota - Royal Editor Chris Shop and Producer Lizzie Robinson discuss the Queen's equestrian extravaganza and what to expect from Jubilee week.