Scotland: The Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology
2017 will celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology. You'll see everything from the remains of its earliest settlements going back thousands of years, through to the turbulent times of the Middle Ages and on to the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.
Where to go: Visit Glasgow for its eclectic mix of architectural styles, including the art nouveau buildings by celebrated designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Explore the capital Edinburgh and find history on every corner, in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of its Old and New Towns.
Head to the centre of Scotland to the ancient Kingdom of Fife to the home of golf, St Andrews, and its famous Old Course, before travelling to Falkland Palace, one of the homes of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Wales: The Year of Legends
Following its 2016 Year of Adventure, Wales will run its Year of Legends in 2017. The Year of Legends will explore Wales’ distinctive history, culture, heritage and mythology.
Perfect timing for Guy Ritchie’s Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur - an epic adventure film retelling the story of the famous legend. British locations used in the film include Snowdonia in north Wales and the Forest of Dean on the border of England and Wales.
In addition, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and one of the most prestigious club competitions in European football, the UEFA Champions League Final, will be played in Wales’ capital Cardiff in 2017 – a fantastic opportunity to showcase Wales to the world and watch the emergence of new footballing legends.
England: The Year of Literary Heroes
In England 2017 is the Year of Literary Heroes, in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and 20 years since the first Harry Potter book!
200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen
One of the most widely read authors in English literature, Jane Austen died on 18 July 1817 in Winchester, south England.
To mark the 200th anniversary of her death, fans can visit Jane Austen's house, Chawton, near Alton in Hampshire, south England, around an hour by train from London. It was here that she wrote Emma, as well as Mansfield Park and Persuasion.
20th anniversary of the Harry Potter book series
Since the release of JK Rowling’s first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, and inspired a popular film series.
All eight movies were filmed in Britain, with locations spanning England, Scotland andWales. While in London, Potter fans shouldn’t miss a priceless photo opportunity at the enchanted Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. Would-be sorcerers can try their hand at pushing a trolley through the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10, otherwise known as the portal to the wizarding world.
And a must-visit for any discerning Harry Potter fan is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, a dream come true for anyone – young or old – who watched and loved the movies and the books.