The Eden Project
The Big Lunch - an Eden Project

Previous Big Lunches

Since 2009, on one day each summer, neighbours nationwide have held street parties, barbecues, community events and simple get-togethers to mark The Big Lunch. Here are some highlights from the past 6 years...

Sunday 7th June 2015Big_Lunch_Cornwall_2015

Magic number 7; our 7th annual Big Lunch on Sunday 7th June drew 7.29 million people to participate across the UK! And another fantastic day of friendly neighbourhood fun it was. From Big Lunching in a Hot Air Balloon in Tavistock, a zumba-loving dog stealing the show in Birmingham and a sumo wrestling match in Beckton, here’s a picture of what was happening across the UK!

  • Gill in Par, Cornwall organised a massive cream tea for the local community. One so big, that tea and scones were served to more than 700 people, beating the world record of 600! The scones were served in the traditional Cornish way, with the jam first!

  • In Wales they saw all sorts of Big Lunches from a beach party in Aberporth to a dog show in Flintshire! As well as Cerys from Cardiff who invited the prospective buyers of her house to her street’s Big Lunch so they could get to know their neighbours before they moved in! – a lovely idea indeed!

  • Lyn, Amy and Eugenie organised their first ever Big Lunch this year in Rutherglen, just outside Glasgow. They brought people together in the local park, where the group of ladies have plans to restore and develop a new community garden. There were also street parties in Glasgow and Edinburgh, picnics in the park in Dumfries and Perthshire and a Big Lunch beach party on the Isle of Skye!

  • Northern Ireland was home to a monumental Big Lunch on Sunday, with both sides of an interface in East Belfast joining for lunch. 700 people came together for this cross-community day organised by two ladies from either side.

The team thoroughly enjoyed popping along to some of your Big Lunches and witnessing the hard work that had been put in to create another brilliant day for neighbours! Thanks for having us and bring on 2016!


Sunday 1st June 2014The_Big_Lunch_2014

We were delighted to see even more people getting their communities together this year, with a massive 4.83million people attending a Big Lunch in 2014!

  • In Wales, lots of first time Big Lunches were happening in the scorching sunny weather - thanks to our friend Derek the weatherman!  
  • In England, a rock choir performed at The Big Lunch in Selby and in London, Englefield Road had fun putting on their unique event - part Big Lunch part dog show!
  • In Scotland, children in Edinburgh had their own mini Big Lunch and street games were shared between generations in Dumfries.
  • And, in Northern Ireland we heard of one lady who had lived in the same street for 23 years and only knew two neighbours – but not anymore!

91% met at least one new person at their Big Lunch and 89% of you plan to keep in touch. 84% now feel better about their neighbourhood and 97% would therefore recommend taking part to their friends and family in 2015!

And who could forget Morph getting stuck into his own Big Lunch, A Girl Called Jack and her delicious recipes, Dr Tanya Byron on the importance of small talk, Michelle McManus and fire station Big Lunches, healthy Big Lunches in NI with Vital Nutrition, plus the continued support of our partners and sponsors.

Huge thanks from The Big Lunch Team for another brilliant year!


Sunday 2nd June 2013HRH_Duchess_of_Cornwall_Big_Lunch_2013

2013 marked the 5th year of The Big Lunch and saw 3.65 million people take part across the UK!

We’ve received some great feedback and Big Lunchers say the best 3 parts of their day were feeling a great sense of community, enjoying good food and meeting new people.

96 per cent of people would recommend The Big Lunch to their friends, 86 per cent said it made them feel better about their neighbourhood and 88 per cent are already thinking about doing one next year!

In the months before Big Lunch day…

  • We called for nominations for The Big Lunch Community Awards to commemorate our fifth birthday and celebrated with 5 winning communities at a special ceremony at Clarence House, hosted by our patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and attended by Big Lunch ambassador Barbara Windsor.
  • Giant green doors popped up in towns and cities across the UK promoting the message ‘just one knock’, encouraging people to knock on their neighbours doors and invite them to a Big Lunch!
  • The Royal Society of Arts held a discussion on the social impact of The Big Lunch which looked at the Local Government Information Unit report The Big Lunch Feeding Community Spirit.

You were busy too!

On the day Big Lunchers were launching new allotments in Moyle, getting sheltered housing residents together from across Wales, and breaking out the samba moves in in Chipping Sodbury. Barbara Windsor dropped by a Big Lunch in Hackney and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall celebrated The Big Lunch with Mead Community Primary School in Wiltshire. Meanwhile cake competitions were held in Peckham, the small crofting community got together on the Isle of Rum and Big Lunchers bathed and sang at Bude Sea Pool’s first Big Lunch!


Sunday 3rd June 2012

What a year with 8.5 million people taking part in The Big Lunch 2012!

Big Lunch on an Isle of Wight beachBig Lunches were hosted in every nook and cranny of the UK: from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides to the Isle of Wight in Hampshire, from Hillsborough Castle in County Down to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk to Truro in Cornwall.

As a result, 72% say the most successful aspect was the ‘great sense of community’.

  • The Scouts became our best friends appearing inside the gates of Buckingham Palace with Barbara Windsor, on the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, on the Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu as part of a 100 strong Scout Big Jubilee Lunch and at Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Jubilee Lunch at Number 10!
  • 457.2 metres of bunting was created by The Thomas Eaton CP School of Wimblington for their Big Lunch
  • From sunrise to sunset, people in 70 countries across the globe took part in Big Lunches.
  • Even our four legged friends got involved in a Big Jubilee Lunch at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home.
  • On the day The Big Lunch team ran around like headless chickens attending some of your lunches, giving interviews and hosting special guests HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and HRH The Duke of York and his daughters HRH Princess Beatrice and HRH Princess Eugenie at lunches in London.

So much happened, read our highlights from the biggest year yet here.

Sunday 5th June 2011

Three people enjoying seafood in a boat on some grassIn 2011 around two million people joined in The Big Lunch.

Events across the UK ranged from a beach in Scotland to a fire station in Staffordshire.

We heard about all sorts of unusual games being played, like an ‘onion and spoon race’, stilt walking and a traditional tug of war.

Celebrities made guest appearances at several lunches, including Liverpudlian singer Liz McClarnon who attended one Big Lunch as part of a competition prize. Boris Johnson and Barbara Windsor, official Street Party Ambassador for London, visited a Hackney Big Lunch, where they judged a cake competition.

Again, people told us the day really made a difference, with:

  • 89% saying it had brought generations together
  • 84% telling us it made them feel better about their neighbourhood
  • 74% creating new friendships that they hoped to build on

Watch highlights from The Big Lunch 2011


Sunday 18th July 2010

Residents grouped together sharing food in a cul de sacAnother million people or so turned out for the second Big Lunch, and we heard of events as far afield as the Shetland Islands and Australia!

Many communities used their Big Lunch to bring about positive change:

  • One lunch in Glasgow raised money for Oxfam, by holding a clothes swap on the day.
  • In Kings Heath, Birmingham, residents organised the event to make people feel safe again after a series of arson attacks in the area.
  • A Big Lunch marquee at the Middlesbrough Mela saw communities from all faiths sharing food together.

74% of people who took part told us they did a Big Lunch because they wanted to get to know their neighbours better. Afterwards, 94% said they did feel closer to them.

Watch highlights from The Big Lunch 2010


Sunday 19th July 2009

Kids playing with a hula hoop at a street partyThe first ever Big Lunch saw the best part of a million people take part across the country. Every neighbourhood did theirs differently:

  • In Walthamstow, London, they held a beach-themed street party with palm trees, sand pits and paddling pools.
  • A community arts group organised a huge street party for the people of Toxteth, an inner-city area of Liverpool.
  • The people of Garstang, Britain’s first Fairtrade Town, held a Big Lunch simultaneously with a cocoa farming community in Ghana, and a group in the US.
  • Residents of Holyhead joined The Big Lunch on the Celtic gateway bridge.

Afterwards, three in five people told us they’d met new friends, and four in five people felt the event had had a positive impact on their community.

Watch highlights from The Big Lunch 2009


Big Lunch gallery

Two men enjoying a pint at a Big Lunch

See great photos of Big Lunches across the UK and beyond.

See the gallery

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