SUFFRAGETTE CITIES AND BEYOND

Events across England celebrate phenomenal females in the centenary year of votes for women

 

6 February 2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed some women in Britain to vote for the first time, gave them the right to stand as an MP and was the first time a female MP was elected. Seven areas across England will commemorate this milestone with the government’s ‘Centenary Cities’ – Bolton, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester and Nottingham have strong link to the women’s suffrage movement  and will be hosting projects celebrating those individuals who helped to make this happen. With International Women’s Day also on the horizon (8 March), events celebrating female empowerment will be taking place across England throughout the year.

 

London

Votes for Women Centenary, Museum of London

2 February 2018 – 6 January 2019

An experience likely to stir emotions; see Emmeline Pankhurst’s hunger strike medal up close and other iconic objects from the Museum of London’s huge Suffragette collection at its new display commemorating the Votes for Women centenary. But don’t just look – take part too. Book onto its Deeds Not Words event with independent jewellery company Tatty Devine, a jewellery masterclass on 17 March where you’ll create a Tatty Devine bunting necklace in Suffragette colours. Wear with pride. Museum admission free. Jewellery masterclass £45. www.museumoflondon.org.uk

 

Vote 100, Westminster Hall

27 June – 6 October 2018

Immersive and interactive tech, rare historic objects, pictures and archives will reveal the story of women in Parliament, from the campaigning, protests and achievements to where we are today and how we can continue to make change, in a free exhibition taking place this summer at Westminster Hall in London. Voice & Vote: Women's Place in Parliament is part of Vote 100, the year-long celebration of women’s voices in Parliament that will explore the contribution and impact of women on Parliament over the last 200 years. Witness a landmark moment too this year as the first female statue is unveiled in Parliament Square – renowned suffragette Millicent Fawcett. Admission free.

www.parliament.uk/vote100

 

Women of the World Festival (WOW), Southbank Centre

7 – 11 March 2018

WOW – Women of the World festival returns to the Southbank Centre for its eighth year, a global network of festivals that provides a platform for celebrating what has been achieved for women, and exploring further how we can continue to change the world. Join influential artists, writers, politicians, comedians and activists for a programme of talks and debates, concerts, performances, art installations and workshops. 1-day pass £30, 2-day pass £55, 3-day pass £80, all plus booking fee £2.50.

www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/festivals-series/women-of-the-world Women and the Hall, Royal Albert Hall

Until 26 April 2018

One of London’s most iconic venues, the Royal Albert Hall celebrates the women who formed its history and the women who are shaping its future, through a season of immersive drama tours, film screenings, talks and music performances, Women and the Hall. To celebrate International Women’s Day, the venue will present a night of ‘fierce, feminist truth, fiction, politics and poetry’ on 7 March, bringing together female writers and performers including broadcaster, activist and poet Bidisha and author and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz. Various ticket prices.

www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/series/women-and-the-hall

 

Women’s Hockey World Cup, London

21 July – 5 August 2018

Cheer on the world’s best female hockey teams from 15 nations as they take to the field at London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer. While not directly linked to the centenary celebrations, this is a sporting event of real significance; it’s the first time England has hosted a Hockey Women's World Cup, and will be the biggest standalone hockey event Britain has ever seen. Various ticket prices. www.fih.ch/events/world-cup/world-cup-2018

 

Manchester

Women’s Words, The Pankhurst Centre/Manchester Central Library

From February 2018

Women are being invited to share their stories, poems and memories at the exhibition Women’s Words, curated by the Pankhurst Centre, when it opens at Manchester Central Library in February, some of which will also feature in an artistic re-imagination of the original The Suffragette magazine. The Centre itself will host an exhibition Resistance! in September, featuring contemporary photographs of UK grassroots movements acting for social change, and will also run events around International Women’s Day. Immerse yourself in the place where suffrage history was made; the centre is the former home of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and was where the first meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union was held. Pankhurst Centre admission free; Manchester Central Library admission free. www.thepankhurstcentre.org.uk, www.manchester.gov.uk/centrallibrary

 

People’s History Museum

Throughout 2018

Delve into Manchester’s radical feminist past as the People’s History Museum has dedicated its 2018 programme to the suffragette movement. March is dedicated to Wonder Women, a festival – now in its fifth year – combining talks, theatre, discussion and art. In May, headline exhibition Represent! will open, exploring Manchester’s issues of representation and, later in the year, a rare suffragette banner will be added to the museum’s suffragette collection and go on public display for the first time in more than 100 years; a crowd-funding campaign to secure the piece and fund the exhibition is underway. Museum admission free. www.phm.org.uk

 

Castlefield Gallery

9 March to 29 April 2018

Search out the response to the historic struggles of women, the collective strength of women coming together and a look at life for women today, at artists Ruth Barker and Hannah Leighton-Boyce’s exhibition at Castlefield Gallery. The exhibition will take on many art forms, including ancient mythology and everyday life.  Gallery admission free.

www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk

 

Lost Voices, Quarry Bank Mill

Opens 3 March

As part of the Wonder Women festival, which creates a platform for women’s voices, the exhibition Lost Voices will recapture the voices of the women during the ten-year period from 1918, when legislation was passed giving some women the vote (over the age of 30 and who met certain property qualifications), to 1928 when all women were given equal voting rights. From £11.70 adult ticket. National Trust members free.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank

 

From Petticoats to Microscopes, Manchester Museum

12 March

 Wonder Women 2018 will also celebrate the pioneers of Manchester, women who have helped to shape the world, championing their stories in a talk and object-handling session by Michelle Scott and Judith Fabian titled From Petticoats to Microscopes. Museum admission free.

www.museum.manchester.ac.uk

 

Film and theatre

Throughout 2018

Contact Young Theatre will present the first performance of She Bangs The Drums (8 March) at the Museum of Science and Industry, which has both humour and politics at its core and brings stories, voices and testaments of those campaigning for the vote. There will also be screenings, with the Pankhurst Trust showing the award-winning and moving film Suffragette at The Whitworth, while the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art will be showing Hooligan Sparrow; a documentary about China’s most prominent women’s rights activist. Various ticket prices.

https://contactmcr.com/project/contact-young-company, www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk, www.cfcca.org.uk

 

Statue of Emmeline Pankhurst

March 2019

One to remember for next year; 2019 will see Manchester unveiling a new public statue of Emmeline Pankhurst on International Women's Day.

www.womanchesterstatue.org

 

Bristol

Bristol Museums

Throughout 2018

Celebrations for International Women’s Day will take place across Bristol, with interactive theatre, music and debates top of the agenda. M Shed is once again taking part, hosting a dedicated exhibition, talks and suffragette tours. The SS Great Britain will host a hands-on science event particularly aimed at encouraging young women to consider STEM careers in the week preceding International Women in Engineering Day (23 June).

www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed; www.ssgreatbritain.org 

 

Upfest

28 – 30 July 2018

Videos at the ready as live painting takes place during two days of Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival which, this year, will be commissioning female graffiti artists to celebrate women past, present and future. A multi-venue urban festival, centred on North Street in Bedminster, Upfest is free to attend. Festival admission free.

www.upfest.co.uk

 

Bristol Festival of Ideas

Throughout 2018

Great for sparking ideas and debates, this festival dedicated to discussion, held throughout the year, will feature the panel discussion 100 Years Since Suffrage: Feminism and Protest on 17 March, bringing together ideas from leading feminist journalists and professors to discuss the battles the feminist movement is fighting today. Tickets from £9/£7 concessions. www.ideasfestival.co.uk

 

Leeds

A Woman’s Place, Abbey House Museum

Throughout 2018

Discover stories and objects from pioneering women from the present day, such as from Olympic boxing gold medallist Nicola Adams, back to the Victorian era, and explore the struggle for equality and the progress that’s been made. The exhibition A Woman’s Place? also looks at how daily life has changed for women. £4.95 adult ticket. www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/abbeyhouse/a-womans-place

 

Nottinghamshire

Women and Power season, The Workhouse

April – July 2018

Women from all walks of life were integral to forcing through change in political representation – and the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust have joined forces to open new displays focusing on that, in its Women and Power season. Find out more at its touring Faces of Change: Votes for Women exhibition, opening at The Workhouse in Southwell, Nottinghamshire (before transferring to Killerton, Devon, in November). It will take an in-depth look at the campaign for Votes for Women from the late 19th-century until 1918, in the context of the working women who joined the campaign, and also titled women who played a key role, including Lady Laura Elizabeth Ridding, the founder of Southwell House and of the National Union of Women Workers. Adult ticket from £9.10. National Trust members free. nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell

 

Leicester:

Unveiling of Alice Hawkins Statue

4 February 2018

Watch the unveiling of a bronze statue of Alice Hawkins – who led the women’s suffrage movement in Leicester in the early 1900s – which will be at the heart of the city’s celebrations for the centenary. The statue will stand on a 4ft plinth in Leicester’s new market square, close to where Alice would have addressed the crowds at the height of the suffragette movement. And an exhibition featuring some of Alice’s personal possessions – including her ‘Votes for Women’ sash, her hunger strike medal and her notes from Holloway jail – is also under proposal.

www.leicester.gov.uk 

 

Sevenoaks, Kent:

A Woman’s Place, Knole House

17 May – 4 November 2018

Online content, film and sculpture will explore love, betrayal, class, gender and inheritance issues, as Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid, and five other artists – CJ Mahony, Emily Speed, Lindsay Seers, Melanie Wilson and Alice May Williams – shine a light on women’s stories in the exhibition A Woman’s Place, at the historic home of Knole in Kent. Himid’s work will focus on the women who served and lived in the background at Knole, including the unseen and little-documented Grace Robinson, described in the house inventory as a ‘blackamoor’ laundry maid. Adult ticket from £3.15. National Trust members free. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole/features/coming-soon-a-womans-place-at-knole

 

Devon:

Branded: Fashion, Femininity and the Right to Vote’, Killerton

Feb – October 2018

Through contemporary film footage, art and design, original clothing and objects of identified suffragettes will be brought to life in a fashion exhibition Branded: Fashion, Femininity and the Right to Vote’ at 18th-century estate Killerton in Devon. Wander among items such as the parliamentary suit worn by the first female MP to take her seat, Nancy Astor, a hand-embroidered couture wedding dress worn by pro-suffrage Eleanor Acland as well as one of Queen Victoria’s garments which has recently been conserved for Killerton’s exhibition. Victoria famously spoke out against women having the vote. Adult ticket from £11.60. National Trust members free.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/killerton/the-fashion-collection

 

Across England

EqualiTeas

18 June – 2 July

All across England EqualiTeas will take place this summer, a chance to debate, share ideas and celebrate women’s right to vote – with tea and cake an added bonus! https://equaliteas.org.uk

 

Heritage Open Days

6-9 and 13-16 September

The country’s largest festival of history and culture, this year’s Heritage Open Days will be promoting women’s history, revealing and sharing marginalised, unknown or misunderstood female stories through its events’ programme Unsung stories. Admission free. www.heritageopendays.org.uk

 

1,100th anniversary of Æthelflæd, The Lady of Mercians

11 July

Our ‘greatest woman-general’ Æthelflæd, the powerful queen who ruled Mercia from 911 until her death in 918AD, will be commemorated in 2018, the 1,100th anniversary of her death. She is known to have re-fortified Tamworth in 913; the town will mark the anniversary with a massive community art Mercian mosaic (summer), and the installation of a six-metre-high Æthelflæ statue. There will also be celebrations in Gloucester on 11 July; Æthelflæd was buried in the St Oswald’s priory in Gloucester. Chester, meanwhile, plans to link the 1,111th anniversary of the founding of modern Chester in 907AD by Æthelflæd with the 100th anniversary of votes for women, as part of plans for a year celebrating female empowerment.

marketinggloucester.co.uk ; marketingcheshire.co.uk

 

Votes and Voices: Acts of Defiance - Historic Royal Palaces

January – July 2018

To mark the 100th anniversary of the representation of The People Act, a season of special programming will take place across palaces including events at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and Banqueting House. From live interpretation, workshops and expert talks, the series of events will be a chance for visitors to discover about some of the fascinating women that have marked the History.

www.hrp.org.uk/votesandvoices

 

For more information on what’s new for 2018 visit: www.media.visitengland.com

 

Ends

For further press information and images please contact:
Evelina Andrews / Louise Ferrall/ Sophie Dinsdale/ Anaïs Bobst
VisitEngland Press Office 
Tel: 020 7578 1446 / 020 7578 1437
Email: vepr@visitengland.org

Notes to Editors:

About VisitEngland

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Great British cycle routes

Great Britain excels in cycling, hosting celebrated challenge rides like the Peak District’s Eroica Britannia in Derbyshire, Scotland’s TweedLove Bike Festival and the UK National Track Championships in Manchester. But one of the best things about UK cycling is simply taking off spontaneously on a trail. Here are some ideas for exploring the UK on two wheels…   

 

Long-distance

Hebridean Way

This new long-distance ride spans the length of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides island chain. The 185-mile route crosses 10 islands in the archipelago – and it’s packed with paradise beaches visitors might not expect in the UK.

Surprise trailside treats: Calanais Standing Stones which pre-date Stonehenge, the historic Butt of Lewis Lighthouse.

 

Bay Cycle Way  

Starting at the nature reserves of Walney Island, this flattish route follows a spectacular yet often underrated coastline. Pedalling 81 miles through the Cumbrian and Lancashire countryside, cyclists can enjoy bird-watching in RSPB reserves and eating in the many gourmet restaurants in the village of Cartmel.

Surprise trailside treats: Coniston Priory Buddhist Centre, the art deco Midland Hotel.

 

Celtic Trail West

The Celtic Trail runs across Wales at its widest point with the west section connecting Swansea and Fishguard via the spectacular Swansea and Pembrokeshire coastlines. The seaside resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot are also worth a visit.

Surprise trailside treats: The sand dune forests of Millennium Coastal Park, the Brunel Trail.

 

See also:

South Coast Way

This 360-mile coastal route from Dover, Kent to Dawlish in Devon stops at the seaside towns of Brighton and Hastings.

 

Fun and family

Two Palaces Ride, London

This two-mile loop takes in more than just the two palaces of the title. The relaxed start from Buckingham Palace leads to a laidback ride through the Duke of Wellington Arch and into Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens on its way to Kensington Palace – best ridden on a Sunday.

Surprise trailside treats: Hyde Park’s Serpentine Gallery and Apsley House.

 

Monsal Trail, Peak District

In Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park, the traffic-free Monsal trail offers flat, easy cycling along the old Midland railway line with great views of the limestone dales. The eight-and-a-half mile trail, from Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale to Coombs Road at Bakewell, blasts through six moodily lit tunnels, up to 400 metres long.

Surprise trailside treats: The Secret Tea Garden at Miller’s Dale. 

 

Lagan and Lough Cycle Way, Northern Ireland

The Lagan and Lough Cycle Way is a 21-mile, mostly traffic-free route from Lisburn to Jordanstown via Belfast. Cyclists can enjoy biking along the Lagan Towpath and Belfast Lough, with spectacular views inland to Belfast’s hills.

Surprise trailside treats: Kingfisher-spotting in the Lagan Valley Regional Park and Belfast’s most famous pub, The Crown Bar.

 

Cuckoo Trail, Sussex

The Cuckoo Trail gets its name from an old Sussex tradition of releasing a cuckoo at the Heathfield Agricultural Show. Running from Polegate near Eastbourne to Heathfield itself, it covers 11 family-friendly miles of traffic-free tarmac and gravel along a railway line.

Surprise trailside treats: See if you can spot Artist Steve Geliot’s wooden benches carved from storm damaged oaks, Hailsham village and nearby Michelham Priory, a medieval monastery-turned-country house and museum.

 

See also:

Fallowfield Loopline, Manchester

Head south from the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre and you’ll find the 16-mile traffic-free route to South Manchester.

 

Derby Canal Path and Cloud Trail

Flat, well-surfaced riverside riding starting in Derby and ending at the engagingly named Cloud Quarry where cyclists are rewarded by wonderful views. 

 

Camel Trail

A popular 18-mile, predominantly traffic-free railway trail taking in Padstow, Bodmin, Wadebridge, and Wenford Bridge; a delightful mix of Cornish woodland, birdlife and wild estuary.

On the trail of British women who changed the world

In March, London’s Southbank Centre hosts its annual Women of the World festival, celebrating the achievements of women around the world. But it’s not the only place with the WOW factor. Here are nine destinations showcasing the highlights and heritage of influential British women.

1. J.K. Rowling

Visitors to Edinburgh can experience Potter magic through some of J.K. Rowling’s favourite haunts. Take a trip to the Elephant House, once a writing refuge for the author and where fans can sit in the seat she vacated, or book the suite at The Balmoral where she wrote the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Don’t miss the Potter Trail, a free walking tour around Edinburgh’s old town, which spills the beans on how He Who Must Not Be Named got his name.

2. Emmeline Pankhurst

In her hometown of Manchester, visitors can explore the legacy of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the Suffragette movement that helped women secure the vote. Stay in the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel, once Manchester’s Free Trade Hall which hosted the first public meeting on women’s suffrage, and visit The Pankhurst Centreat 62 Nelson Street, the family home of Emmeline Pankhurst. Currently, Manchester Art Gallery is taking votes on the design of a memorial statue to be unveiled on International Women’s Day 2019.

3. Kelly Holmes

Athlete Dame Kelly Holmes was on the move long before she was crowned double Olympic champion or founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. In her early years, she did paper rounds for a sweetshop in Hildenborough near Tonbridge, Kent – she has since turned the shop into Café 1809 where visitors earn loyalty points for healthy food choices and can chat about sporting endeavours.

4. Mary Quant

Designer Dame Mary Quant made London’s King’s Road world-famous with her Bazaar boutique in the 1950s and is credited with placing the mini skirt on the fashion map; nowadays, the area is packed with high-end stores and restaurants. After a long day’s shopping, get your culture fix at the nearby Saatchi Gallery or take a tour of the Royal Hospital Chelsea with one of the Chelsea Pensioners, the retired soldiers who live here.

5. Diana, Princess of Wales

London’s Kensington Palace and Gardens are a good starting point for exploring the life of Princess Diana and the venue is currently hosting the exhibition; Diana: Her Fashion Story. As well as being a member of the royal family, she was known for raising awareness of causes such as HIV/AIDS and anti-landmine campaigns. Younger visitors can explore the Diana Memorial Playground complete with sensory trail, beach, and pirate ship. Visitors can also dip their toes in Hyde Park’s Diana Memorial Fountain or stretch their legs on a seven-mile Memorial Walk through four London parks.

6. Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter left 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust so people could enjoy her beloved Lake District. You can follow the Beatrix Potter trail which includes her former home, the National Trust property of Hill Top, and the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead, set in a 17th-century building once the office of her solicitor husband. Separate to the Trust, the exhibition and character-inspired gardens at the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windemere offer an engaging insight into this much-loved author’s life and books. 

Also, you may want to consider these influential women:

  • Amy Winehouse - view street art dedicated to the late singer in Camden, north west London.
  • Elizabeth Garrett Anderson - discover the inspirational story of Britain’s first female doctor at The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery, London, and The Long Shop Museum near Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
  • Kate Moss – the international supermodel is a big fan of the London Eye – she’s taken it 25 times.

New Year, New You

As we wave goodbye to turkey-guzzling and bubbly poppin’, and the Christmas jumper is tucked into drawer for another year, it’s time to start the New Year as we mean to go on. We’ve rounded up the ways in which we can stick to those New Year’s resolutions, as the year ahead shines bright and fresh.

 

Find courage and conquer your greatest fears

New for 2018, The Bear Grylls Adventure at Birmingham NEC is a great way to channel your inner strength with a series of adventure activities designed to test self-belief and physical and mental agility. Challenges will include conquering small spaces, indoor skydiving and the highest free-roam high ropes in Europe.

Can’t think of anything worse than falling face-down deep inside a cave? Turn that fear into thrills by signing up to the Black Cat Free Fall at Cheddar Gorge & Caves – the first of its kind in any UK cave.

Those who prefer feet safely on the ground, meet some fluffy friends at Longleat (Wiltshire) for its animal experiences, as rangers arrange a personal introduction where you can hold a tarantula, or let a snake slither across your shoulders.

 

Get spiritualised

With meditating emojis taking over our digital lives, find your zen in the real world with health and wellbeing retreats at Chilston Park Hotel in Kent. From New Beginnings and Restoring You courses to Couple’s Mindfulness, free your mind from the stresses of 2017.

Or get back in the saddle as horse riding has been billed as the latest fitness trend to aid mindfulness. The new Salisbury Plain Horse Back Safaris take in the dramatic landscapes and picturesque villages surrounding Stonehenge and the Plain, as well as Europe’s largest chalk grassland while on horseback.

 

Enjoy more ‘you time’

Indulge yourself with a spa break at HarSPA, the newly opened Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa. From a crystal steam room to hydrotherapy pool and massages, the new spa offers all the facilities for a perfect moment of relaxation. After a busy day, enjoy a facial massage or a hot stone back massage.

Or, head to Llandrindod Wells in mid-Wales. The legacy for this town is resplendent with Victorian hotels such as the magnificent, recently restored Metropole. Enjoy contemporary four star spa experience at The Rock Spa, amid the surroundings of a Victorian-style conservatory. The hotel’s award-winning Radnor & Miles Restaurant serves up a delicious à la carte menu for lunch and dinner.

Alternatively, go up the North and visit the Scottish town of Crieff, located less than an hour and a half by train from Scotland. To this day, its Crieff Hydro remains a relaxing retreat for visitors. This four star spa is set amid beautiful grounds and offers an enormous range of leisure activities additional to the usual body and beauty treatments, making it a family holiday destination too.

 

Let your creativity flow and learn a new skill

The hills are alive on the Isle of Wight and the sounds of your song can run through them, learn to hit those high notes with the Joy of Singing Weekend (16-18 Feb). Free your voice, increase your confidence, enjoy self-expression and ignite your creativity.

If your voice is best kept for the shower, tie on your apron, unleash your creativity, and get cooking! For a cookery class with a difference, head to Blackaddie Hotel in Scotland, owned by Ian McAndrew. This is not your normal cookery school, but hands-on work in a real kitchen, with a maximum of two students at a time. Experience what goes into a full day in the kitchens, from initial menu planning with the chefs in the morning through to preparation and live service.

If in London, the V&A Museum also offers a range of various artistic workshops from gouache portraits to polaroid photography techniques. Participants will be able to explore and develop new skills and learn from experts in a creative environment.

 

Work off those mince pies

Get in shape with a two-night electric-bike sightseeing package on the Isle of Wight, offering a great way to get exercise in the fresh air but the extra help from the electric motor. Yoga classes on the water are a great way to challenge your body’s balance and restore inner peace.

Or, following in the steps of Wales’ national footballers and head to The Vale Resort where the team trained before their semi-final run at 2016’s European Championships. This four-star hotel have outstanding sporting facilities but offers also Wales’ largest spa, a gigantic gym geared for professional athletes and two 18-hole championship golf courses, plus academy and pro shop.

As the only Northern Irish hotel to promise ‘sporting excellence’, no wonder the Crowne Plaza receives so many visiting sports teams. Its on-site health centre stars a large pool and can rent out bikes, while local partners include rugby, cricket, Gaelic football and hockey clubs, with all those sports possible to arrange. Ditto sea-kayaking. Some guests work up an perfectly-adequate sweat merely exploring Belfast, and especially its Titanic Experience

Accommodation Update July-October 2017

Britain’s best awarded at the AA Hospitality Awards 2017

The AA has announced the results of its Hospitality Awards 2017, naming its industry gold-standard hotels, pubs and restaurants across Britain. 

The Gainsborough Bath Spa in the south-west took England’s top spot for its 'sophisticated and luxurious experience', while The Douneside House in Aboyne was awarded Scotland’s Hotel of the Year. The Old Inn, Bangor, took first prize for Northern Ireland, praised for its 'untold elegance and grandeur'. Twr Y Felin Hotel, St Davids, won Hotel of the Year Wales, awarded for its 'excellent design and presentation, with noteworthy attention to detail'. Hotel of the Year London went to The Goring; described as 'an icon of British hospitality', it was where Kate Middleton famously got ready for her royal wedding to Prince William.

 

LONDON

 

New and upcoming openings

 

Opened September 2017: The Mandrake, Fitzrovia

Billed as one of central London’s hottest new hotels, this exotic boutique luxury setting (named after a mystical plant) has already hosted London Fashion Week parties. Five years in the making, The Mandrake’s 30 bedrooms and three suites frame a jungle-style inner courtyard of tropical plants. The interior design mixes opulent purples and reds with gold finishes, velvet, feathers, ornate chandeliers and striking artwork. The lavish Mandrake Suite and the Penthouse are sure to be Instagram favourites, the latter clad in white marble with a huge bed and a jacuzzi under a retractable roof. The hotel’s headline restaurant is Serge et le Phoque, by Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Peneau.

 

Opening October 2017: Trafalgar St. James

This classic hotel overlooking Trafalgar Square –which has hosted the likes of Tom Cruise and Nicole Scherzinger – is unveiling its modern new look since joining the Curio Collection by Hilton. A “peer panel” of young Londoners – including lifestyle blogger Lucy Freedman and DJ Doug Marshall – were appointed during the project to give their perspective on everything from furnishings to menus. Trafalgar St. James now has 131 bedrooms, the Trafalgar Dining Rooms, an underground lounge, Biblio, and a 14-cover private dining room. The rooftop bar has great views of Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery. PR contact: hshearer@thecommunicationgroup.co.uk

 

Opening October 2017: The Pilgrm, Paddington

New design hotel The Pilgrm focuses on pared-back urban chic with a vintage touch. There is no lobby or reception desk – instead, guests will be able to check in online. The ground floor café will provide a welcome area, plus a lounge bar and dining room. Interiors showcase the building’s 200-year-old parquet flooring, as well as cast-iron radiators and a “cloud carpet”. The hotel’s 73 rooms come in four sizes: ‘bunk’ (two single beds), small, medium and large. PR contact: Alexandra Berry a.berry@gemmabellandcompany.com

 

Opening October 2017: New Road Hotel, Whitechapel, east London

With its “Everything you need, nothing you don’t” promise, New Road Hotel focuses on stylish stripped-back luxury. Owned by three brothers, the 80-bedroom boutique hotel has been built on the site of an old textile factory where their father once worked. The interiors reflect this heritage, and quirky touches include a rooftop Eco Shed and the Loft + Hot Tub room, with views of London’s skyline. The hotel’s restaurant is by Marco Pierre White, and other features include a fitness studio and social areas where guests can enjoy live music, games and a library.

 

Opening early 2018: Vintry & Mercer, Cannon Street, City of London

Located in London’s historic trading centre near St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard, forthcoming 92-bedroom hotel Vintry & Merceris named after two of the City’s historic professions: vintners, who traded fine wines, and mercers, who sold fine silks. Both trades will be reflected in the hotel’s design. For food and drink, there will be Vintry Kitchen, serving Mediterranean food; rooftop Mercer Terrace; and DND, (Do Not Disturb), an underground cocktail bar.

 

Long-lead

 

Date TBC: Marylebone Lane hotel, Marylebone, central London

A brand new luxury 206-bedroom, nine-storey hotel operated by Shiva Hotels is planned for Marylebone. The proposed hotel will have a spa, swimming pool, café and club lounge.

 

2020: The Hoxton, Shepherd's Bush, west London

Subject to planning permission, the capital will be getting another stylish Hoxton hotel in west London. The new 214-bedroom property will join sister hotels already open in London (Shoreditch and Holborn), and Amsterdam.

 

2020: Raffles Hotels & Resort London, Westminster, central London

One of London’s most significant historic buildings, the Old War Office – once the office of Winston Churchill, and sections of the British secret service – is being transformed into a 125-room luxury hotel by Raffles Hotels & Resorts. It will be the company’s first property in Britain, and rooms will include 50 suites and 88 private residences.

 

Refurbs & expansions

 

Now open: The English Grill at The Rubens at the Palace, Westminster, central London

The Rubens at the Palace has opened its new restaurant as part of a five-year, multi-million pound refurbishment. The English Grill’s menu includes a daily roast, carved from a silver trolley at diners’ tables.

 

Opening November 2017: The Coral Room bar at Bloomsbury Hotel, central London

As part of a major refurbishment of the 153-room Bloomsbury Hotel, its new Coral Room bar will be unveiled in November alongside the hotel’s redesigned public spaces. PR contact: chloe.davison@ttc.com

 

SCOTLAND

 

New and upcoming openings

 

Opened September 2017: The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square

Following a top-to-toe refurbishment, The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square (formerly The Roxburghe Hotel) has re-opened its doors. One of Edinburgh’s oldest hotels, it’s hosted A-list Hollywood actors and is made up of seven inter-connecting Georgian townhouses in the city’s New Town. The concierge still wears a kilt and vintage red post boxes in the new lobby collect post daily. The 199 elegantly refurbished bedrooms (including 18 suites) are designed with Scottish accents and earthy colours. There is informal all-day-dining at The Garden, and eastern Mediterranean cuisine at BABA restaurant, opening in November. PR contact: georgie.griffiths@theprincipalhotel.com

 

Refurbs & expansions

 

Opened September 2017: Sleeperz Hotels, Edinburgh

Budget operator Sleeperz Hotels has launched a new wing at its Cityroomz Edinburgh hotel, accessible via Princes Street. The 43 new bedrooms include superior doubles, family and cabin rooms, as well as ten suites. Flooring in the suite bathrooms is printed with a city street map of Edinburgh. Sleeperz will also be opening a 120-bedroom hotel in Dundee in 2018 opposite the new V&A Museum. PR contact: matthew@honeypotmedia.co.uk

 

Now open: Cameron House, Loch Lomond

Cameron House, the five-AA-star, luxury 36-bedroom resort set on the banks of Loch Lomond, has completed the final phase of its multi–million pound refurbishment. Its new-look rooms and suites have Scotland-inspired features, such as contemporary tartan and handmade leather sleigh beds. The hotel has also announced the launch of its new Cameron Kids offering, treating little ones to their own slice of luxury during their stay.

 

Summer 2018: Ten Hill Place, Edinburgh

Work has started on a 52-bedroom expansion of Ten Hill Place hotel. Owned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, hotel profits go back into the college.

 

WALES

 

Long-lead

 

2021: Afan Valley Adventure Resort, Port Talbot, south Wales

Plans have been submitted for a new 480-acre adventure resort in south Wales, which will have a 100-bedroom hotel and spa, plus 400 luxury lodges, and adventures zones, bars, restaurants and retail outlets. The proposed Afan Valley Adventure Resort site is just south of Afan Forest Park. There are plans for five main ‘zones’: Forest, Xtreme, Trails, Zen and Alpine, the last of which will include three different ski slopes. The resort will also be home to the Bear Grylls Survival Academy – a series of challenges and endurance courses designed by the TV survival expert. Other activities will include ice skating, Segway tours, indoor skydiving and surfing, ‘ninja warrior’ training, go-karting, forest zip wires, paintballing and mountain biking. Watch the action-packed teaser film here.

 

SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND

 

New and upcoming openings

 

Opened August 2017: Beaverbrook, Surrey

The former country home of press baron and politician Lord Beaverbrook has opened as the luxurious Beaverbrook hotel, following a multi-million pound transformation. Just 19 miles from London, the hotel is surrounded by 400 acres of privately owned countryside. Designed by Soho House interiors guru Susie Atkinson, the interiors exude classic opulence, featuring four-poster beds and rich fabrics. Each of the hotel’s 18 rooms and suites have been named after one of the estate’s famous former guests, which include Winston Churchill, James Bond author Ian Fleming, Elizabeth Taylor, and Charlie Chaplin. The hotel also has an Art Deco-style cinema, the glamorous Parrot Bar, a cookery school, and a Japanese restaurant, The Dining Room, headed up by top ex-Nobu chef Taiji Maruyama. By the end of the year the hotel will also have a spa with swimming pools, a hammam and a sauna. PR contact: gemma@gp-associates.com

 

Opened August 2017: Hog Deer Creek, Kent

This summer, Kent safari park Port Lympne Reserve opened its latest accommodation, Hog Deer Creek. The five luxury shepherd huts are designed for couples or families, and located within the park’s Asian Experience, so guests’ neighbours will include roaming Asian animals such as Sambar deer.

 

Opened September 2017: Piggledy Tree House, South Downs National Park

This new four-bed treehouse looks like a forest dwelling straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Designed for adults and kids alike, The Piggledy Tree House is located in Blackberry Wood at the foot of the South Downs National Park near Brighton, and comes with a kitchen and a balcony. Owner Tim fulfilled a childhood dream by building the treehouse, which took three years to complete.

 

Opening March 2018: Room 2, Southampton

Room 2 has confirmed details of its second design-led aparthotel in Southampton, due to open next year. Its 71 studio rooms will feature nautical-inspired designs and come in three sizes: little, regular and large.

 

Long-lead

 

2020: Malmaison, Bournemouth

Next year work will begin on a 100-bedroom Malmaison hotel in the coastal town of Bournemouth. Expected to take around two years to build, the new hotel will include a Chez Mal bar and brasserie, a rooftop bar and terrace overlooking the seafront, a gym, a swimming pool, and beauty rooms.

 

WEST MIDLANDS

 

Long-lead

Autumn 2018: Hawkstone Hall, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Hawkstone Hall, a Georgian country mansion in Shropshire, is being transformed into a 40-bedroom hotel and wedding venue. Refurbishment of the main hall and 12 suites will be complete in summer 2018. By autumn, all works are due to be complete, resulting in a total of 40 suites and bedrooms.

 

SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND

 

Refurbs & expansions

 

Re-opened July 2017: De Vere Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire

Victorian countryside mansion De Vere Tortworth Court is now open following its £5-million pound restoration, which has resulted in 11 spacious new suites, bringing the total number of guestrooms and suites in the main house to 55. All of the bedrooms have been refurbished to reflect modern British heritage, incorporating leather, tweed and linen. The largest suite, The Kipling, includes a dining table for six guests and a lounge that can be connected to The Paxton, to form a family suite that spans 129 square metres, overlooking the formal gardens.

 

Opened August 2017: Luxury sea-view suites at Lewinnick Lodge, Cornwall

Lewinnick Lodge has added six new suites to its cliff-top B&B hotel on Pentire Headland, close to Newquay’s Fistral Beach – widely regarded as England’s surfing capital. Each of the rooms has 180-degree coastal views, super-king beds, DAB radios, Bluetooth speakers, smart TVs, homemade biscuits and organic toiletries.

 

YORKSHIRE

 

New and upcoming openings

 

Opened July 2017: Swinton Country Club & Spa, North Yorkshire

The Good Spa Guide has awarded Swinton Estate’s new Country Club & Spa a five-bubble rating just two months after opening. The new club has a 10-metre outdoor natural water swimming pool and a hot tub, and the fitness team incorporate outdoor activities from the wider estate, such as running, cycling and outdoor yoga. The old Estate Gardener’s cottage has been transformed into a suite of beauty rooms, with signature treatments including the Elemis Garden of England Rose Restore Wrap.

 

Long-lead

 

2019: Bretton Hall, Wakefield, west Yorkshire  

Historic Georgian mansion house Bretton Hall is being transformed into a luxury 120-bedroom hotel and ‘creative campus’, set within 500 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland adjacent to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). The property’s redevelopment will include two theatres, a seminar space, exhibition area and conferencing facilities, with further accommodation, work and educational spaces planned for future phases.

 

Date TBC: Malmaison, York

Malmaison hotel chain will be opening a new site in York after being granted planning permission earlier this year. The new hotel will have 160 bedrooms and suites, as well as its Chez Mal Bar and Brasserie for cocktails and dining. Malmaison currently has hotels in 15 cities across Britain, including Leeds and Manchester.

 

NORTH-WEST ENGLAND

 

New and upcoming openings

 

2018: Dixie Dean Hotel, Liverpool

A 100-bedroom hotel in honour of Everton footballer Dixie Dean is due to open in Liverpool city centre next year, opposite The Shankly hotel, which similarly celebrates Scottish footballer and manager Bill Shankly (the two men were great friends). The Dixie Dean Hotel will have restaurants, bars and an events space, and showcase memorabilia from the footballer’s career.

 

Long lead

 

Date TBC: Manchester Moxy

Planning permission has been granted for a 145-bedroom Moxy hotel in Manchester’s Spinningfields district. Moxy is Marriot International’s millennial-focused boutique hotel concept, and the new hotel will join one other in London. There are plans for seven more in pipeline, located in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton, Bristol and York.

 

Date TBC: Re-opening of Trafford Park hotel, Manchester

The Trafford Park hotel, built in 1902, is being refurbished and relaunched under an international boutique brand after being derelict for eight years. Plans include an additional wing, which will expand the total bedroom count to 120.

 

Summer 2019: Zetter Hotel, London Road Fire Station, Manchester

Manchester's historic London Road Fire Station is being developed by London-based boutique hotel brand The Zetter Group. The new hotel will be the group’s first in Manchester, and will have on-site restaurants and bars.

 

NORTH-EAST ENGLAND

 

New and upcoming openings

 

Opened September 2017: The Cookie Jar, Alnwick, Northumberland

Deborah Cook, wife of the former chief executive of Malmaison, Hotel du Vin and De Vere Hotels, has opened her first solo venture, a luxury boutique hotel overlooking Alnwick Castle. The Cookie Jar has 11 bedrooms and offers quirky treats such as freshly baked cookies and milk. It has initially opened as a bed and breakfast operation, serving coffees, teas and sharing plates from the bar – but there are plans for a restaurant in the near future.

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

 

New and upcoming openings

 

September 2017: Titanic Hotel Belfast

Northern Ireland’s much-anticipated luxury Titanic-themed hotel is now open on the site of the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff, shipbuilders of the Titanic over 100 years ago. The 119-bedroom Titanic Hotel Belfast is sister hotel to the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. The interior design includes nautical touches, models of the iconic ship, and old photographs. The hotel’s dining room has views of the slipway where the Titanic was built, and art deco-inspired suites give impressive views of the Belfast Titanic building and the entire Titanic Quarter. There are also corporate and entertainment spaces available for events and conferences. PR contact: jane.williams@jcomms.co.uk

 

Long-lead

 

June 2018: Grand Central Hotel, Belfast  

Work is starting on what will be Belfast’s largest hotel development, the 304-bedroom Grand Central Hotel, Belfast.

 

June 2018:  George Best Hotel, Belfast

The developer of The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool (themed around Liverpool Football Club's legendary Scottish player and manager) is building a new 80-bedroom hotel in Belfast, named after and inspired by Manchester United and Northern Ireland football legend, George Best.