18 Geeky UK Conventions To Add To Your Bucket List

It’s beginning to look a lot like Con season!

March is generally when I start thinking about what conventions I want to attend during the year ahead. There are a few I tend to gravitate towards each year – either because they’re closest or I know them well – but since one of my goals for 2019 was MORE CONVENTIONS, I felt the need to see what else the UK had to offer, and lets just say I am going to be busy.

From a festival dedicated to TV series Friends, to an immersive James Bond Experience, there’s honestly something for everyone – no matter what fandom you geek out about. And if you’re like me and geek out about multiple things, well, you’re in for a treat.

18 UK CONVENTIONS TO GEEK OUT ABOUT

Walker Stalker Con

If you’re a fan of the Walking Dead TV series, Walker Stalker con needs to be the first festival on your list this year. Created by fans, for fans, you can go to panels and listen to the stars of the show, pick up autographs, and even have your photo taken with your favourite characters. This year’s event welcomes not only actors from Walking Dead, but also American Horror Story and Game of Thrones as well.

When | 30-31 March 2019

Where | Excel Centre, London

Guests | Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauran Cohan, Steven Yeun, Jon Bernthal, and more..

Tickets | Day tickets £37.50 / Weekend tickets £80


Discworld Covention

Based on Terry Pratchett’s popular book series, 2019 marks the sixth year that fans from around the world will join together in one space to talk, play games, compete in quizzes and share their love for everything Discworld. This year’s theme is Uberwald, and will be set around Sektoberfest, so you can expect weapon workshops, crafts, and lectures on the various ghoulies that plague the Discworld Novels.

When | 29-1 April 2019

Where | Cork International Hotel, Ireland

Guests | Bernard Pearson, Colin Smythe, Daniel Knight, Isobel Pearson, Pat Harkin

Tickets | From 55 Euros


Elstree-Con

If you’re looking for somewhere to geek out about Star Wars, this dedicated convention is for you. With guest appearances from actors who have appeared in the Star Wars universe, photo opportunities with props from the films, and a Light Saber Training Academy that you can actually join, Elstree-Con allows you to live out your favourite movie franchise. Plus, all the profits go to Make a Wish Foundation which is amazing.

When | 6 April 2019

Where | Allum Manor House, Elstree

Guests | Richard Cunnigham, Brian Wheeler, Chris Parsons, Scott Richardson

Tickets | From £8


Whitby Goth Weekend

Established in 1994, Whitby Goth Weekend has grown from a 40 person meet up with friends, to a world renowned event with over 8,000 visitors. The alternative festival encompasses the seaside town for an entire weekend, filling it with music, parades and over 100 quirky stalls at the Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Market. It’s worth visiting for the impressive costumes alone – everyone is encouraged to take part.

When | 12-14 April 2019

Where | Whitby

Tickets | Free


Insomnia Gaming Festival

Insomnia is one of the biggest gaming festivals in the UK, bringing multiplayer battles, Esport tournaments and some of your favourite gaming youtubers together under one roof. You can play the latest games, check out what’s coming soon, and take a trip down memory lane in the Retro and Indie Zones. If you’re not the best on a console, there’s also a huge Cosplay competition and table top zone as well.

When | 19-22 April 2019

Where | NEC, Birmingham

Guests | Syndicate, Pyrocynical, Dan Bull, Imallexx, Nerdout Music and more..

Tickets | Day tickets £26.73 / Weekend tickets £73.75


Portsmouth Comic Con

Only in its second year of existence, Portsmouth Comic Con is quite small compared to some of the more established cons in London – like MCM – and yet it has so much more to offer. There’s an entire room dedicated to retro gaming, there’s a massive board games section run by a local gaming cafe called Dice, and there’s a comic city and tonnes of traders. Last year saw an entire gallery of art created by Stan Lee. You might even get the chance to talk to your favourite comic book artist.

When | 4-5 May 2019

Where | Guildhall, Portsmouth

Guests | Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Tomm Coker, Mack Chater, and more..

Tickets | Day tickets £16 / Weekend tickets £32


HorrorCon

Self-proclaimed as the UK’s biggest Horror festival, if you’re a fan of everything spooky, this convention is a must. With special guests from movies Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Nightmare on Elm Street, along with live panels, and short film screenings, there’s a little something for everyone, no matter how you get your thrills. Make sure to check out the horror market, exhibits and props.

When | 11-12 May 2019

Where | Magna, Sheffield

Guests | Denis O’Hare, Dario Argento, Ed Neal, Duncan Regehr, Scout Taylor-Compton

Tickets | Day tickets £23 / Weekend tickets £40


Thronefest

Just in time of the series’ final season, Thronesfest in Kent celebrates everything Game of Thrones. Watch a Tourney of the Hand style jousting show, see how you fare at archery, or sit atop the Iron Throne. You will also come face to face with wolves, dragons, bird of prey, and the Night King himself. And don’t forget to meet Barriston Selmy, Grand Maester Pycelle, Jeor Mormont and Syrio Forel in real life.

When | 19 May 2019

Where | Quex Park, Birchington, Kent

Guests | Ian McElhinney, Julian Glover, James Cosmo, Miltos Yerolemou

Tickets | From £18


Heroes and Villains FanFest

Heroes and Villains fanfest is the ultimate fandom convention for lovers of the DC universe. You can meet your favourite superheroes, with actors from TV series’ The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow – you’ll be spoilt for choice on who you want to have a photo with. There will also be panels, exhibits, and opportunities to practise your very own superpowers with bungee jumping and archery.

When | 25-26 May 2019

Where | Olympia, London

Guests | Stephen Amell, Caity Lotz, Tom Cavanagh, Matt Ryan, Juliana Harkavy, and more..

Tickets | Day tickets £37.50 / Weekend tickets £70


Secret Cinema | Casino Royale

Not your convention, Secret Cinema is an immersive experience where you have the opportunity to LIVE in one of your favourite films for a few hours. From Star Wars to Back to the Future, they’ve featured some big names in the movie industry, and this year they’re back with the largest franchise of all – James Bond. Spend your evening sipping martinis, gambling in the casino, or investigate the criminal underworld – just make sure to dress the part.

When | 5 June – 22 September 2019

Where | Secret Location

Tickets | From £49


Enchanted

If you’re a massive fan of the series Once Upon A Time, and still haven’t quite gotten over the fact that it’s ended, make sure you head to the Enchanted convention in Birmingham, where you can meet some of the stars of the show, listen to their panels and guest talks, have photos with them, and even party with them – themes include Pirates of the Seven Seas, Disney Princes and Princess, and Snow White and the Steampunk Dwarves.

When | 14-16 June 2019

Where | Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham

Guests | Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Colin O’Donoghue, Andrew J West, David Anders, and more..

Tickets | From £120


Cross Roads

Any Supernatural fans out there? Cross Roads is the ultimate fan event for every Wayward Son. Featuring guest talks, photo and autograph opportunities with actors from the show, panels, competitions, and of course the opportunity to meet other people in love with the fandom. Plus, each night the convention hosts a themed party, so make sure you’ve got your best Sam and Dean cosplay ready.

When | 21-23 June 2019

Where | Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham

Guests | Mark Sheppard, Tahmoh Penikett, Elizabeth Blackmore, Teryl Rothery, and more..

Tickets | From £120


Draigcon

One for the Harry Potter geeks, Draigcon is the ultimate independent Harry Potter convention, where you can meets actors from the movies – including Percy Weasley, Oliver Wood and Viktor Krum – check out street magic, dress up as your favourite characters, and try themed food and drink from the fandom. With loads of props and sets, there are tonnes of photo opportunities as well, so dress in your house colours or as your favourite witch or wizard.

When | 6-7 July 2019

Where | The Printworks, Manchester

Guests | Chris Rankin, Sean Biggerstaff, Stanislav Yanevski, Adrian Rawlins and more..

Tickets | Day tickets £18 / Weekend tickets £40


Friendsfest

Friends celebrates it’s 25th anniversary this year, which means there’s no better time to head to Friendsfest for the ultimate throwback. Play foosball in Joey and Chandler’s apartment, grab a coffee in Central Perk, recreate the intro with your very own umbrella – or just about any of your favourite scenes in the huge array of sets. There will also be Friend’s themed food and drink, along with exclusive merchandise.

When | 2 August-29 September 2019

Where | Multiple Locations, including Manchester, Bristol and London

Tickets | From £26.50


Robin Hood Festival

The Robin Hood Festival is a week long celebration held in none other than the mythical home of Robin and his merry men. Now in its 35th year, expect a fun filled festival with everything from trails, games, dressing up, storytelling, dancing, singing and lots of re-enactment. If you’re a lover of the legend, you wont want to miss a chance to drink, eat and shoot arrows like the Sherwood Forest bandit.

When | 5-11 August 2019

Where | Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire

Tickets | Free


Jane Austen Festival

The Jane Austen Festival is a celebration of the author, her life, and her works, spanning ten days in the beautiful city of Bath where Austen once lived. If you want to learn more about her novels or know everything there is to know and just want to meet other people who also love her work, this festival is for you. It also includes a ball, with dancing, so don’t forget to dress up.

When | 13-22 September 2019

Where | Bath

Tickets | TBC


Destination Star Trek

Of course there is a convention for all the Trekkies out there – were you getting worried? Destination Star Trek is a three day event where you can boldly go where no one has gone before, by meeting cast and crew from both the series and movies. Explore interactive exhibits, learn about the impact Star Trek has had on science and technology, and of course take loads of photos whilst doing so.

When | 25-27 October 2019

Where | NEC, Birmingham

Guests | George Takei, Alice Eve, Anson Mount, Michelle Forbes, and more..

Tickets | Day tickets £29 / Weekend tickets £49


Dickens Christmas

With classic Dickensian characters singing Christmas carols, while you while away time drinking Gin in a parlour, eating Christmas treats, and exploring the Victorian themed markets, there’s no better place for a geek to end the year than at the Dickens Festival held in the birthplace of Charles Dickens himself – Portsmouth. Meet Victorian street performers whilst exploring the dockyard, and take photos with some of your favourite characters.

When | 29 November – 1 December 2019

Where | Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth

Tickets | TBC


Are you attending any conventions or festivals this year? Are any of these on your list, or have you been to one before? What’s your favourite Con?

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13 thoughts on “18 Geeky UK Conventions To Add To Your Bucket List

  1. A great list Emma and I’d love to go to quite a few of these! We’re heading off to the Sci Fi Weekender again for our third year. It’s a yearly weekend that was held in Wales until this year and due to emergency venue changes it’s actually been split into two events this year. So we’ve got two cons for the price of one! We’re off to Sheffield for part 1 at the end of March and for Halloween Weekend we’ll be going all the way to Great Yarmouth for part 2 :D

    Heather
    http://geeking-by.net

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    1. I’ve actually been to Sc-Fi weekender before – maybe 4 years ago. It was a nice con, very friendly. I had no idea it had moved though – I really liked the little trailer park it used to be held in in Wales. Though it was definitely a mission to get to, driving through Snowdonia. I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like now, you’ll have to make sure to share loads of photos!

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  2. Great list of alternative cons that aren’t just MCM MCM MCM…! (Even though I do like the odd comic con…)
    Discworld convention sound amazing but I doubt I can fly out to Ireland for it! ✨ Thanks for the list… Some of these are going on the bucket list ✨
    Amy
    “Writing into the Ether“

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    1. I do love MCM, but I’ve been going for close to 8 years now, and every year it gets a little worse because of the sheer amount of people that turn up. They seem to be getting less and less organised. I’d love to go to the Discworld Convention though, the activities they have in store – just wow. Left it a little late to start planning a trip over there this month, but I’ll definitely be keeping it bookmarked for next year.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Duane – this looks like a great con. I’m a massive comic book fan and it looks like there are going to be a few great artists there which is exciting.

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  3. This makes me wish I lived in the UK, these sound awesome! I usually always try to go to BookCon and NY Comic Con every year, and I’m going to Comic Book Expo next month which I’m super excited for.

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    1. I’m always jealous of you guys over in the US. I’d love to go to SDCC one year, just to soak in the atmosphere, but it would just cost so much for me to go – definitely need to save for that one. I’d quite like to go to NYCC at some point too. I hope you have fun at all of your cons.

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  4. But MCM and LFCC have got too big and unorganised, but I love going to catch up with Con Friends. I am looking to do more this years, so will be adding a few of these to my list.

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    1. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been going to MCM every year for the past 8 years maybe, and each year it expands and gets more cramped with huge queues for everything. I think I’ll be giving it a miss this year. I’ve not been to LFCC since its moved from Earls Court though – is it still held at Olympia?

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    1. This looks pretty epic! I love how they have different plans depending on what you want out of your con experience. I used to be a massive Stargate fan when I lived at home because my parents would watch it, but I don’t think I’ve seen for a good 8 years. It’s definitely a show id love to get back into.

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