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Musical extravaganzas, captivating cultural hubs and a right royal occasion are just some of the ways to experience Britain differently in 2023. Here’s why you should grab your bags and get a taste for the latest flavours while seeking out adventure and a slice of the unknown. From hot new openings to fresh takes on British classics, here’s what to look forward to in 2023.
Eurovision’s 67th Song Contest on 13 May. The Liverpool Arena, on the banks of the River Mersey in the heart of the UNESCO City of Music, is now poised to welcome talent from across the continent, and beyond.
For theatrical entertainment, look to Soho Place in London – the West End’s first new venue for more than 50 years. Or bag yourself tickets for Dirty Dancing and Guys and Dolls, which return to the stage at the Dominion Theatre and The Bridge Theatre respectively. For all things cultural head to Manchester’s Factory International – the arts centre is set to burst into life in 2023, bringing contemporary exhibitions, creative workshops and the return of the Manchester International Festival.
As 6 May 2023 marks the Coronation of King Charles III, immerse yourself in the lives of the Royal Family, with tours and unique exhibitions at Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Buckingham Palace. Don’t miss the chance to see the Coronation Regalia at the Tower of London, including the Imperial State Crown, worn by monarchs after their Coronation.
Or take the royal experience further, with a stay in London’s luxury accommodation. Mandarin Oriental Mayfair is set to be a hidden sanctuary opening in the spring, with a relaxing spa and a restaurant providing a fusion of Korean and Japanese cuisine. For an ultra-luxury hotel experience, visit Raffles at the OWO, set inside the transformed Old War Office in Whitehall.
Following on from the success of their trio of London locations, BOXPARK will open its doors in Liverpool, bringing big flavours to the iconic Baltic Triangle District. Meanwhile top-notch premium food and drink will be served up in Bristol and London Liverpool Street, as part of a brand new BOXHALL concept.
In Manchester, the urban playground Diecast is set to be an all-in-one beer hall, night market, brewery and exotic garden. Summer 2023 will see the opening of Bradford’s Darley Street Market - spanning across three floors, expect international flavours and all-day entertainment. Old Brewer’s Yard in London’s Covent Garden is getting a Guinness makeover, with a brand-new microbrewery, shop and open fire kitchen with a rooftop venue all set to launch in 2023.
If you’re after food that’s good for the planet, look to Britain’s 31 Michelin Green Star restaurants, with an updated list of Michelin starred eateries due in 2023. Awarded to eateries that combine top culinary skills with eco-friendly commitments, expect ‘no dig’ gardens, top local produce and zero-waste dining.
Experience rejuvenating vibes with an alfresco spa stay at Silverlake in Dorset. Set to open in 2023, you’ll be immersed in nature with a choice of treatments, yoga and meditation sessions. Or escape into the Lake District to Another Place for a contemporary spa in spectacular countryside. Indulge in a land and water massage, try stand-up paddleboarding or look to the night sky for a spot of stargazing.
Alternatively, heal your mind at Adventure Tours Wild Wellness Retreat, featuring everything from mindful meditation and foraging to storytelling round the campfire – providing the perfect way to switch off in the Welsh countryside.
Having just celebrated 10 years of the Wales Coast Path, there’s no time like the present to get out and discover its 870 miles (1400km) of soaring shorelines, diverse nature and cultural hubs. Along the way, take the opportunity to climb aboard a traditional schooner and uncover Wales’ maritime heritage at the new Wales International Coastal Centre – opening in 2023.
Once it fully launches in 2023, the England Coast Path will be the longest continuous coastal path in the world, covering 2,795 miles (4,500km). From riding the waves along the north west, to tucking into delectable Dorset crab along the Jurassic Coast – there’s plenty of fresh experiences along England’s shores.
While in Scotland, go island hopping for a remote escape immersed in nature and incredible scenery. Sip on the malty flavours of whiskies from the Isle of Islay, get into voluntourism on the Isle of Skye, or try your hand at windsurfing along the sands of Tiree.
Reach new limits at Gloucestershire’s 270 Climbing, upping Britain’s bouldering game to bring a world-class centre filled with adrenaline-pumping activities and adventure to the country. Or take the experience underwater by grabbing a snorkel and taking a dip with stingrays, sharks and a green turtle at Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium. You can also indulge a love of football at London’s iconic O2 at TOCA Social, packed with interactive football spaces, foosball tables and creative foodie concoctions from a Michelin-trained chef.
Alternatively, breathe in the sea air at Brighton’s Sea Lanes. Sat on the fringes of the seafront, the outdoor swimming pool, complete with a collection of local indie traders, is set to make a splash in the city from spring 2023.
Gaze above for starry displays at Dark Skies Festivals across the whole country. The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks join forces to bring stargazing safaris, kayaking and zip wires to the area during their festival in February. Other festivals take place in the Lake District and Northumberland.
Use 2023 to reconnect with nature at Manchester’s natural urban haven, Castlefield Viaduct. Or take to the South Downs on two wheels to discover the South Downs Way, one of the world’s most picturesque routes according to Instagram data.
Or use your best dancing skills to power Glasgow’s eco-conscious club, SWG3 – check out their events for raving bingo, gigs and club classics. While in London, weave through a colourful labyrinth of shipping containers in Camden at the UK’s first dedicated eco-conscious market, Buck Street Market. A must visit for the conscious consumer, get your teeth into international vegan flavours, or pick up ethical produce from local traders.
Or reimagine the world of rail travel, and journey along the east coast between London and Edinburgh aboard Lumo. As an affordable and low-carbon option that hopes to promote environmentally friendly travel, take the opportunity to hop off at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth for big adventures.