Great Britain, star of the Oscars 2019

It’s been another remarkable year for the British film industry, reflected by the raft of nominations for UK films, actors and directors for The Oscars 2019. We are especially excited to see British actors represented including Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz, Christian Bale and Richard E. Grant!

The Favourite tied with Roma for 10 leading nominations, and British talent or content is up for 23 top awards. Additionally, British projects are well represented in the Directing, Best Picture Costume Design, Production Design and Cinematography categories.

The Favourite

The magnificence of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire provided the predominant filming location for director Yorgos Lanthimos’ period drama about Queen Anne in 18th-century England. Both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are nominated for best Actress in a Supporting Role, with the film itself nominated for Best Picture, Writing (Original Screenplay) and Cinematography, among others. The country house is a leading example of Jacobean architecture, while the surrounding landscape is home to two deer parks and an array of other wildlife.

Hatfield House, Gardens, Parks and Woodland Walks will be open to the public from 6 April 2019.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Another nomination for Best Picture, Rami Malek’s portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury means he’s also nominated for best Actor in a Leading Role. Shot across London, notable landmarks used during filming include the Grade II listed art deco Gillette Building in Brentford and Hornsey Town Hall in Haringey. Southwark’s Union Street also doubled up as New York in the biopic, with the picturesque backdrop of the Grand Union Canal near Rickmansworth providing a further spectacular setting for a glimpse into the life of one of music’s most revered talents.

Mary Queen of Scots

Josie Rourke’s historical drama features an array of exciting and engrossing film locations across both England and Scotland. Nominated for Makeup and Hairstyling alongside Costume Design, the enthralling tale of Mary Queen of Scots takes in Seacliff Beach and North Beach in East Lothian, as well as Blackness Castle in Linlithgow. Derbyshire’s Hardwick Hall, Gloucester Cathedral and Penshurst Place also feature in the epic portrayal of life in Elizabethan Britain.

Blackness Castle is open all-year-round, with extended opening hours between 1 April and 30 September.

Hardwick Hall is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and opens for 2019 from 27 February.

Penshurst Place and Gardens is open daily from 16-24 February, on weekends in March and then daily from 30 March to 27 October.

Gloucester Cathedral is open all-year-round.

Mary Poppins Returns

The heart of the City of London is a prominent feature as the magical nanny makes her return to the big screen. The spectacular Victoria Monument, near to Buckingham Palace, also features in the film that has been put forward for best Production Design, Music (Original Score) and Costume Design.  

The following list of Oscar nominations features British themes and talent, and we’re thrilled to see the UK represented on the global stage!

Best Picture

“The Favourite”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Lead Actor

Christian Bale, “Vice”

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody (American)

Lead Actress

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Supporting Actor

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Supporting Actress

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Emma Stone, “The Favourite” (American)

Director

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite” (Greek)

Original Screenplay:

“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

Cinematography

“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan

Film Editing

“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman

Sound Editing

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Warhurst

Sound Mixing

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Production Design

“The Favourite,” Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton

“Mary Poppins Returns,” John Myhre, Gordon Sim

Original Score

“Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

Original Song

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

Makeup and Hair

“Mary Queen of Scots”

Costume Design

“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne

Britain on the silver screen

Travelling through the UK, you may experience a sense of déjà vu - that’s because Great Britain is filled with locations you'll recognise from the movies. Several are being honoured this year with a host of BAFTA and Academy Award nominations so here are some of those places that you can visit in real life.

 

Dunkirk

Nominations: Eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and eight BAFTA Awards including Best Film.

Most of Dunkirk was filmed in France, but Britain makes some stunning cameos. Think of the scene when the civilian fleet sets sail from the seaside town of Weymouth in Dorset while on their return, they're bolstered to see the white-chalk cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. Weary soldiers receive a hero’s welcome when they pull into a postcard-pretty train platform; you can book your own journey on the Swanage Steam Railway.

 

Paddington 2

Nominations: Outstanding British Film, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards.

London’s busy Paddington station appears in the sequel although exterior shots filmed at Marylebone Station. Visit the Paddington Bear Shop, then find the statue near Platform 1 and follow the rest of the Pawprint Trail. You can also follow in Paddington’s pawsteps at Portobello Market or wander the towpath of Little Venice where the bear gave chase to the thief from Mr Gruber's antique shop.

 

Phantom Thread

Nominations: Four Academy Awards including Best Picture and four BAFTA Awards including Best Actor.

The Victoria Bay Hotel near Whitby, North Yorkshire, was stripped back to fit the 1950s setting. Visit the modern incarnation and enjoy familiar views over the fishing village of Robin's Hood Bay - you might even recognise some of the staff who appeared as extras. The opulent glamour of Blackpool Tower Ballroom also made the cut as the perfect setting for a lavish party scene. Take a tour, enjoy afternoon tea, or spin on the famous dance floor.

 

Darkest Hour

Nominations: Six Academy Awards including Best Picture and nine BAFTA Awards including Best Film.

London’s Cabinet War Rooms, where Winston Churchill orchestrated Allied troops during World War II, were meticulously recreated for their role in this film. And of course, you can visit the real-life underground bunkers too, which stand exactly as they did in 1945. And while the Commons Chamber in the Palace of Westminster was another carefully constructed set, get a glimpse of the real thing with a guided tour of Parliament. Also in the capital is the film’s backdrop, picturesque Greenwich; explore the rest of this World Heritage Site which includes the Royal Observatory, the historic Cutty Sark, and the Meridian Line.

Up in Rotherham, Yorkshire is Wentworth Woodhouse which doubles up as the interior of Buckingham Palace. Privately owned for many years, this grand historic home has recently been opened to the public.

 

Victoria & Abdul

Nominations: Best Costume Design and Best Makeup & Hairstyling at both the Academy Awards and the BAFTA Awards.

Osborne House was Queen Victoria's beloved family home on the Isle of Wight, and the place where she first met Abdul. Peek inside royal life with a tour of the private apartments, bathing beach and children's play cottage. Queen Victoria later introduces Abdul to her Aberdeenshire getaway, Balmoral Castle, which remains the summer holiday home of the Royal Family today and open to the public from 30 March to 31 July. Don't miss the stunning setting of Cairngorms National Park that surrounds it, where the pair enjoyed a scenic picnic. 

The Crown filming locations around Britain

The Crown follows the story of Her Majesty The Queen in her accession to the throne, and as a young monarch faced with a country in the depths of turbulent post-war Britain. With the new Netflix series returning to British screens on Friday 8 December 2017, we’ve rounded-up some of the regal filming locations featured in the hit show.

 

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England

Home to the 7th Marquis and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family, this grand location also includes the Old Palace, which was owned by Henry VIII. The King had his three children raised in the palace, including Elizabeth I - she was there when she was told of her accession to the throne, making it a fitting place to use in filming for The Crown.
www.hatfield-house.co.uk

Getting there: Hatfield House is a 70-minute journey by train or car from London.

 

Wrotham Park, Barnet, Hertfordshire, England

This grand estate has been little changed since its design in 1754, and still remains in the care and charge of the Byng family. Surrounded by 300 acres of parkland, the secluded estate is an idyllic location for hosting private functions, banquets and parties.
www.wrothampark.com

Getting there: Wrotham Park is a 65-minute journey by train or car from London.

 

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral was founded in 672 AD, with the current building dating back to 1083 AD. Used in the filming of The Crown, this spectacular location stood in for Westminster Abbey on the wedding day of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, re-enacted just as it was 68 years ago. The regal location has also starred in The Other Boleyn Girl, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The King's Speech.

www.elycathedral.org

Getting there: Ely is located in Cambridge, and is a two-hour drive or a 70-minute train journey from London.

 

Lyceum Theatre, London

Wind back the clock and you'll see Matt Smith (Prince Phillip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth) looking suave in 1940s garb at the Lyceum Theatre, oozing elegance in a post-war Britain. The Lyceum Theatre, opened in 1841, has a dramatic front facade and has hosted performances for nearly 200 years. Today the theatre is home to the ever-popular The Lion King.

www.lyceumtheatrelondon.org

Getting there: the Lyceum Theatre is closest to Temple London Underground station.

 

Knebworth House

Take a walk through 500 years of history, both on and off screen. With generations of the Lynton family residing at Knebworth since the Tudor times, each has been sure to make their mark on this magnificent building. With a romantic exterior adorned with turrets, domes and gargoyles the house is definitely worth a visit. Used, of course, as a location in The Crown, the house has also starred in The King's Speech, and Batman the Movie.

www.knebworthhouse.com

Getting there: Knebworth House is an 80-minute drive from London. Alternatively it's a 65-minute journey by train and public transport.

 

Slains Castle and Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Standing on a cliff top overlooking the North Sea, are the ruins of Slains Castle. This enchanting spot was once ruled by the powerful Clan Hay and in its prime the castle was a Scots Baronial Mansion with three gardens. Used in the The Crown the hauntingly beautiful spot is the perfect reason to explore Scotland's rugged, wild coastline, steeped in its own history. It is often said that the castle was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Make sure to stop at Cruden Bay, also used for scenes in the Netflix series.
www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/slains-castle-p255271
www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/cruden-bay-p315541

Getting there: Cruden Bay is less than a four-hour drive from Edinburgh, or four and a half hours by train and public transport. Edinburgh is an hour flight from London.

VisitBritain launches legendary tourism campaign in run-up to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword film release

In the run-up to the 18 May release of the action adventure film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, VisitBritain has launched an international film tourism campaign to showcase why Britain is a legendary tourist destination. The six-week global ‘Where Stories Become Legends' digital campaign, a non-commercial partnership between VisitBritain and Warner Bros. Pictures, inspires people to book a King Arthur-themed holiday to Britain using #OMGBLegends (Oh My Great Britain ‘Home of Legendary Moments'). The campaign features an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of writer/director/producer Guy Ritchie, writer/producer Lionel Wigram, and the film's stars Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law, on location talking about the epic British landscapes used in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the emotions they inspire - click here to view the film. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was filmed at Windsor Great Park and the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley in England, Snowdonia in Wales and Isle of Skye and the Highlands in Scotland. VisitBritain Director of Marketing Clare Mullin said: "From watching the sunset from the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye to walking in King Arthur's footsteps in majestic Snowdonia to retracing his story at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, Britain's epic scenery, ancient history and magical landscapes have the power to transform our holiday experiences into the stuff of legends. "Our collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a fantastic opportunity to showcase to a global audience of millions the legendary experiences only available in Britain, inspiring people to book a trip right now to discover their own epic stories."

‘Where Stories become Legends' is a six-week digital advertising campaign in Australia, France, Germany and the US, Britain's four most valuable inbound markets. The Australian campaign launched this week, featuring #OMGBLegends social media and digital content including VisitBritain's first Snapchat lens (available on 6 May) - inspired by the film.

The campaign drives online ‘traffic' to a dedicated campaign page featuring King Arthur: Legend of the Sword content on visitbritain.com filled with information on British locations from the film and King Arthur-inspired holiday experiences. Visitors to the site can play a ‘Legend Generator' game to unlock their own ‘kingdom' and discover which epic British location they are destined to rule. Fans can also enter a global competition to win a legendary road trip in Britain. VisitBritain has been promoting Britain to the world through film for more than a decade, most recently as part of the UK Government's GREAT Britain campaign. Films and TV are powerful motivators for travel with VisitBritain's research showing that more than a third of all potential visitors to Britain want to visit places they have seen on screen. Last year was a record-breaker for inbound tourism to the UK with 37.3 million visits, up 3.4% on 2015, with visitors spending £22.2 billion, matching 2015's record spend. VisitBritain's forecast shows that this growth is set to continue with 38.8 million visits this year, while spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach £23.9 billion. Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy. ENDS
 

For more information please contact

Kristen Angus at VisitBritain: Kristen.angus@visitbritain.org / +61 414 626 929

Notes to editors: Images If you use any of the images, you must include this legal line: © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved *Image captions and credits: KA-07804rv2 (L-r) DJIMON HOUNSOU as Bedivere and CHARLIE HUNNAM as Arthur in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' fantasy action adventure "KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD," distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. Photo credit: Daniel Smith KA-06299 CHARLIE HUNNAM as Arthur and ASTRID BERGES-FRISBEY as The Mage in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' fantasy action adventure "KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD," distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures KA-20692 CHARLIE HUNNAM as Arthur in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' fantasy action adventure "KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD," distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures KA-21727r CHARLIE HUNNAM as Arthur in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' fantasy action adventure "KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD," distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Britain offers a wealth of opportunity for a King Arthur-inspired adventure, taking in ancient historic sites with claims to both the real-life legend and the dramatic locations that formed the backdrop for the film.

  • In Cumbria lies the rumoured site of King Arthur's Round Table, a Neolithic earthwork henge, dating from about 2000 BC, but much later believed to be King Arthur's jousting arena. Legend has it that Cumbria's capital Carlisle was King Arthur's Camelot (his headquarters), where Arthur and his adviser Merlin would have made use of the Roman fortifications.
  • From Carlisle, take a trip to nearby Hadrian's Wall and visit Birdoswald Roman Fort which is thought to be where Arthur's final Battle of Camlann was fought. For a true taste of the battlefield, visit between April and September 2017 to see the brand new wall-wide exhibition of Roman Cavalry.
  • The Great Hall of Winchester in Hampshire is, according to legend, home to the actual round table around which King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table met.
  • Head to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley to see locations where sequences in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword were captured, including King Arthur's cave, filmed at the prehistoric cave standing in the shadow of Great Doward.
  • The iconic Windsor Great Park also features in the film. No stranger to film crews, the park has formed a backdrop for films including the Harry Potter film series, Snow White and the Huntsman and World War Z.
  • The Quiraing walking track on the Isle of Skye in Scotland is another stunning filming location in the new movie.
  • In Edinburgh, visitors can walk up Arthur's Seat overlooking the historic city stand where King Arthur and his knights may have once stood.
  • In Wales two lakes, Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Ogwen, claim to be the watery resting place of Arthur's sword, which was so powerful it had a name - ‘Excalibur' in English and ‘Caledfwlch' in Welsh. Both are in the Snowdonia National Park in North Wales, and while Llydaw is inaccessible, Llyn Ogwen is popular with walkers.
  • Head to the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, and pay homage to the warrior at Bedd Arthur, a set of standing stones said to mark Arthur's final resting place.

About the Film: Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur's journey from the streets to the throne. When the child Arthur's father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur's uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy...whether he likes it or not. In addition to Hunnam and Law, the film also stars Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, and Eric Bana. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Ritchie from a screenplay is by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by David Dobkin and Joby Harold. The film is produced by Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell, Steve Clark-Hall, Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram. David Dobkin and Bruce Berman are executive producers. Slated for release worldwide beginning May 12, 2017, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. www.kingarthurmovie.net
 

WHAT’S NEW in Britain in 2017



2017 is packed with exciting events, anniversaries, new attractions and key dates, making Britain a top destination to visit next year! From the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh Festivals and The Natural History Museum's new Blue Whale display to Hull's City of Culture 2017 and hot new hotel openings. For media, this means lots of fantastic story ideas to keep you coming back to Britain.


Anniversaries

70th anniversary of Edinburgh Festivals

Led by the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festivals were born in 1947 as a platform to celebrate art and culture and to bring nations together once again after global conflict. For 70 years that inspiration has been sustained, making Edinburgh and its festivals an unparalleled destination for visitors, performers, artists and thinkers from all over the globe. In 2017, the 12 major festivals of Edinburgh will mark this special 70th anniversary by transforming the historic city like never before with music, science, film, art, theatre, dance, literature and storytelling, as its festivals continue to dream, reflect, invent and celebrate - while looking forward to another 70 years.

www.edinburghfestivalcity.com

25th anniversary of the Premier League

The world-famous Premier League turns 25 in 2017. The inaugural season kicked off on 15 August 1992 and has been drawing international interest ever since. Attending a match is an unforgettable experience and high up on the must-do list of any visitor to Britain - you'll witness the players' skills, the fans' passion and be surrounded by the stadiums' electric atmosphere. As well as the opportunity to watch the crème de la crème of English and Welsh football (Scotland has its own league), attending a game is also the perfect chance to visit the clubs' destinations. Reaching from the far north-east of England (Newcastle) to the south of Wales (Swansea), over to London and across to the hip cities of north-west England (Manchester and Liverpool), following Premier League football also means discovering some of Britain's most exciting cities - and, of course, the opportunity to explore behind the scenes at many stadiums run tours.

www.premierleague.com

125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes short story

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Scottish author and physician, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was published in 1892. Now a popular TV series, London is almost a character in itself in the Sherlock stories and it's hard to imagine the detective living anywhere else. Explore the city as Sherlock did and visit some of his favourite haunts, including 221B Baker Street. While it doesn't actually exist, the exterior of the flat as seen in the TV series, is shot in this quieter west London road, 25 minutes' walk from Baker Street, at 187 North Gower Street. Other destinations include The Sherlock Holmes Museum, featuring a re-creation of his sitting room, as well as a gift shop. The Sherlock Homes Pub in Westminster is stuffed with memorabilia, including Dr Watson's old service revolver and his favourite food, Cumberland sausages.

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, Austen fans can visit Jane Austen's former home in Chawton, near Alton in Hampshire, south England, around an hour by train from London. Here, everything will gear-up for the 2017 ‘Jane Austen 200' commemorations, as well as in wider Hampshire. The charming house was where she spent the last eight years of her life, wrote Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion, and revised Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. Now called the Jane Austen's House Museum, it runs a programme of events throughout the year to keep even the most ardent of Austen aficionados happy.

www.janeausten200.co.uk

20th anniversary of the Harry Potter book series

Since the release of J.K. 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, inspiring the popular film series. All eight movies were filmed in Britain, with locations spanning England, Scotland and Wales. While in London, Potter fans shouldn't miss a priceless photo opportunity at Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station. Would-be sorcerers can try their hand at pushing a trolley through the brick wall between platforms nine and ten, 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 muggles - young or old - who watched and loved the movies and books.

To celebrate the anniversary, The British Library in London is launching a new exhibition about the magic of Harry Potter, set to open on 20 October 2017 it will run until 28 February 2018. From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins to the origins of the philosopher's stone, the exhibition will take readers on a journey to the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Look out for an extraordinary range of wizarding books, manuscripts and objects, with original material from Bloomsbury's and J.K. Rowling's archives, that will sit alongside centuries-old British Library treasures. #HarryPotter20

www.bl.uk, www.harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/harry-potter-20

Attractions and openings


Blue Whale comes to the Natural History Museum after 35 years of Diplodocus display

The central display in the Natural History Museum's Hintze Hall is set to change in the summer of 2017, as long-serving resident ‘Dippy the Diplodocus' is being replaced after 35 years with a blue whale skeleton, which will mark the beginning of a decade of transformation for the museum.

www.nhm.ac.uk

New interactive gallery at the Science Museum - Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery

Featuring live event spaces, hands-on experiments and state-of-the-art interactive exhibits. Visitors to the gallery will be able to walk through a giant Orrery with a canopy of stars, take part in live chemistry experiments, and whizz down the friction slide!

www.beta.sciencemuseum.org.uk/wonderlab/#overview

British Music Experience moves from London to Liverpool

This new permanent attraction in Liverpool has moved from London to Liverpool and opens at the historic Cunard Building on the Pier Head, 11 February 2017. The attraction will feature more than 600 artefacts and over 90 hours of digital content highlighting how music has influenced British culture over the last 70 years.

www.britishmusicexperience.com

Liverpool World Museum's new Ancient World gallery

February 2017

The museum has been inspiring children of all ages since 1853. Its popular Ancient World gallery is currently being revamped and is set to open early next year. Alongside 4,000 objects - many of them previously unseen by the public - there are plans for a brand-new Mummy Room as well as interactive displays.

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

V&A improvements

The interiors of west London's Victoria and Albert Museum have been undergoing a daring series of redesigns, upgrades and expansions. Among them, 2017 will see the opening of a new main V&A Shop at the heart of the museum and the completion of the £49.5 million Exhibition Road Project. Designed by the Amanda Levete Architects, the project will create a grand new entrance to the museum from Exhibition Road, a magnificent open courtyard, and a purpose-built gallery to house temporary exhibitions.

www.vam.ac.uk/page/e/exhibition-road-building-project

New Hadrian's Cavalry exhibition

8 April - 10 September 2017

1 - 2 July: largest Roman cavalry re-enactments ever seen in Britain

Taking place at ten attractions across the full 150-milelength of Hadrian's Wall, Hadrian's Cavalry will be a wall-wide exhibition celebrating the elite Roman cavalry regiments that guarded Hadrian's Wall and projected the power of Imperial Rome 2,000 years ago. The six-month exhibition is a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to explore the role and daily life of the cavalry forces of the Roman army. On 1 & 2 July, the largest Roman cavalry re-enactments ever seen in Britain will take place throughout the day at Bitts Park in Carlisle, with a troop (turma) of 30 Roman cavalrymen coming together to perform ancient training exercises.

www.hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/events/hadrians-cavalry-2017

New National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, east England

In 2016 the National Horseracing Museum moved to Palace House in Newmarket (around 90 minutes' drive from London) and is the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art. As well as live thoroughbred horses in the Rothschild Yard and a four-acre paddock, the centre will include a new museum that celebrates the sport and science of horseracing. The move to Palace House means the museum will occupy the last remaining element of King Charles II's racing palace in Newmarket, a town synonymous with the ‘sport of kings', and home to two racecourses, the Rowley Mile and July Course.

www.nhrm.co.uk


RHS Flower Show, Chatsworth

7 - 11 June 2017

For the first time in more than a decade, the Royal Horticultural Society is embarking on a new show in the expansive 1,000 acre grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. It will join the current portfolio of shows at Malvern, Chelsea, Hampton Court Palace, Tatton Park, and Chelsea in London but expand the experience with an immersive horticultural event based on ‘Design Revolutionaries'. The event will celebrate the creative genius and conceptual thinking of gardeners and garden designers from the past and present, including Lancelot ‘Capability' Brown. Provisional dates for all RHS Flower Shows in 2017 are:

7 - 9 April: RHS Flower Show Cardiff
23 - 27 May: RHS Chelsea Flower Show
7 - 11 June: RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
4 - 9 July: RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
19 - 23 July: RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

www.rhs.org.uk/chatsworth-show

Film & TV-inspired holidays

Step into these films and TV series due for release in 2017 with a visit to the British landscapes they were filmed in.

T2: Trainspotting - UK release date 27 January 2017

A continuation of the Trainspotting saga, T2: Trainspotting reunites the original characters in and around the country of Scotland and will star Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle. The cast have been spotted filming at locations across Edinburgh and Glasgow.

www.visitscotland.com

Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur - UK release date 24 March 2017

This epic adventure film retells the story of the famous legend. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the cast includes Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey and Jude Law. British locations used in the film include Snowdonia in north Wales, the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, plus Windsor Great Park and the Forest of Dean on the border of England and Wales.

www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/highlands

www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/isle-skye

www.windsorgreatpark.co.uk,

www.wyedeantourism.co.uk

Disney's Beauty and the Beast - UK release date 17 March 2017

An adaptation of the classic fairy tale about a monstrous prince and a young woman who fall in love. The cast includes Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen, and was filmed on location in London and Surrey in south-east England.

www.visitlondon.com

Kingsman: The Golden Circle - UK release date 16 June 2017

Twentieth Century Fox's The Kingsman: Secret Service returns in 2017 with its sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. See Eggsy and Marlin work together to take on a new villain with the help of the American agency: Statesman. Filming locations for this action-film include Birmingham in England, and London.

www.visitbirmingham.com

Paddington 2 - UK release date 24 November 2017

Paddington fans can rejoice as the nation's favourite furry friend is back with Studio Canal's sequel Paddington 2. It will feature the same cast as the first movie with a new addition playing the villain. Shooting for the movie will start this autumn in London, England.

www.visitlondon.com

Poldark

Cornwall's favourite hero returned to US TV screens with a second series on 25 September. Filmed in and around Cornwall in England, fans can now book Poldark tours around the movie locations in the seaside county. www.poldarktours.co.uk

Victoria

Already a hit in the UK, the new TV drama Victoria airs in the US from January 2017. Based on the life of Queen Victoria in her early reign, the series stars Jenna Coleman and features eight episodes. Mostly filmed in Yorkshire, locations include Harewood House in Leeds, Castle Howard, and Beverly Minster, which stood in as Westminster Abbey.

www.harewood.org, www.castlehoward.co.uk, www.beverleyminster.org.uk

Sherlock series 4

Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's much loved book series, the Sherlock TV series has seen huge success in the UK and will be returning to PBS in America for series four in early 2017. Excitingly, there are also rumours Avengers star Tom Hiddleston could feature. Based in Victorian and Georgian England, London has proved to be an ideal location for filming throughout the previous three series. www.visitlondon.com

Broadchurch (Series 3)

Crime-thriller Broadchurch returns for a final series in 2017 with David Tennant and Olivia Colman reprising their roles. It will continue to be filmed on location in Dorset at Bridport and West Bay, as well as Clevedon in Somerset, England.

www.visit-dorset.com

Hot new hotel openings in 2017


London's West End gets its biggest budget hotel

Hotel operator Accor is set to open the new 583-room Ibis Styles Piccadilly Circus hotel in 2017 on the site of the huge Trocadero building between Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street. It will be the West End's biggest budget hotel and around 80 percent of its guests are expected to be tourists. The prime central location and proposed price per night (£100 to £150) will make Ibis Styles unique; most hotel openings in the heart of the West End in recent years have been luxury five star hotels. Over the centuries the site has served as a tennis court, circus, theatre, exhibition space and music hall, as well as a tearoom and restaurant until the mid-Sixties. In the Eighties it was turned into an indoor theme park with rides, cinemas and shops but closed in February this year.

www.ibis.com

Scotland Yard Hotel

The original Scotland Yard police station is set to become a new five-star luxury hotel, opening in early 2017 following a £50 million refurbishment to the historic building. Scotland Yard was made known to millions reading the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and was the centre of the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper' investigation in 1888. The new hotel combines luxury bedrooms - costing up to £10,000 a night - with two bars, a library, and dining rooms.

Liverpool strikes gold with new hotel in Martins Bank building

Principal Hayley Group is converting the historic Martins Bank building in Liverpool into a 227-room luxury hotel with a spa, bar and restaurant. Designed by noted architect Herbert James Rowse and completed in 1932, the Martins Bank building is considered to be among the finest classical buildings built in England during the interwar period, and was used to hide Britain's gold during WW2. Due to open late 2017.

www.ph-hotels.co.uk

Southampton's first luxury five-star hotel

Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa is due to open in June 2017 at Ocean Village. Highlights will include 85 luxury bedrooms, a jetty restaurant featuring a rooftop champagne bar, and the decadent harbour Spa, with gym and swimming pool.

www.harbourhotels.co.uk/hotels/southampton-harbour-hotel-spa

Eden Project Hotel, Cornwall

A £6million hotel is set to open at the Eden Project in Cornwall next year. The hotel will have 115 bedrooms and has been designed to ‘blend into the countryside'. It will have access to the main Eden Project site, as well as being close to the perimeter of its outer estate.

www.edenproject.com

Woolsington Hall Hotel & Spa, Newcastle
Woolsington Hall is undergoing a luxury renovation, transforming the historic building into a 34-bedroom, five-star hotel and leisure complex - the first of its kind in Newcastle. Due to open by early 2017, the site will also be complete with a restaurant, lodges, golf course, spa, and a cookery school.

www.woolsingtonhallhotel.co.uk

Z Hotel, Bath

Offering compact luxury rooms in city centre locations, Z Hotels will be opening its first property in the south-west of England next year after a £14 million development. Z Bath will offer 148 bedrooms and, following in the footsteps of all other Z Hotels, offer luxury bed linen on handcrafted beds, 40" LED TVs with Sky Sports and Movies at no extra cost, power showers and free high speed Wi-Fi throughout. There will also be complimentary cheese and wine each evening for guests.

www.theZhotels.com

Q1 2017: Nobu Hotel

Master sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa is opening his first European hotel, the Willow Street Hotel in London's Shoreditch, in 2017. It will have 150 bedrooms and a statement restaurant: a dramatic five-metre high space in the basement with imaginative creations from Nobu himself.

www.nobuhotels.com/london-nobu-hotel, www.nobuhospitality.com

Spring 2017: The Ned, City of London

The former Midland Bank headquarters is being turned into a new five-star hotel, The Ned. Redesigned with the glamour of a 1930s transatlantic ocean liner as inspiration, the hotel will have 252 suites, a rooftop bar with landscaped terraces, a health spa, and a range of restaurants and cafes, including a New-York-style deli.

www.thened.com

Summer 2017: New LEGOLAND Castle Hotel at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, Berkshire

Situated on the edge of the popular theme park resort, the 61-room LEGOLAND Castle Hotel will bring to life an enchanted world of brave knights and princesses, wily wizards and jolly jesters. Families will be able to choose between two imaginatively themed room types - Knights and Wizards - each with separate sleeping areas for adults and children. Colourful LEGO touches and models will feature throughout - from the lobby's giant LEGO Wizard to the a la carte Tournament Tavern Restaurant, indoor Jester's Play area and outdoor Playground. Special guest benefits will include early entry to the park, fast track access on selected rides and LEGO gifts and collectables. Booking will open in mid-October 2016.

www.legoland.co.uk/castle

PR contact: tansy@freerange.eu

Summer 2017: Hotel Du Vin, Stratford-upon-Avon

The Malmaison Hotel du Vin Group is creating a new luxurious 48-bedroom Hotel du Vin in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. The hotel will have 48 luxurious bedrooms, a bistro du vin, meeting and private dining rooms, and a banqueting room with the capacity to seat 80 guests.

www.hotelduvin.com

PR contact: malhdv@hudsonsandler.com

Events

UK City of Culture 2017: Hull, Yorkshire

All year

For 2017 Hull will be the UK City of Culture and host the Turner Prize, one of the biggest events in British art, at Hull's Ferens Art Gallery. Organisers have separated the year into four different "Seasons", each with its own theme: Made in Hull (January - March), Roots and Routes (April - June), Freedom (July - September), Tell The World (October - December)

www.hull2017.co.uk

Scotland's Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology

All year

2017 will celebrate Scotland's Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology. It will be a chance to showcase its rich history, heritage and archaeology, ranging 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.

www.visitscotland.org/business_support/advice_materials/toolkits/yhha.aspx

Wales' Year of Legends

All year

The Year of Legends proposes to explore more of Wales' distinctive history, culture, heritage and mythology. 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.

www.visitwales.com/explore/traditions-history/discover-welsh-myths-legends

Women's Rugby World Cup

The event will hosted by Ulster Rugby alongside the Irish Rugby Football Union in August 2017. It will culminate with the world's top female rugby players coming together for the semi-finals and positional play-offs in the Kingspan Stadium Belfast in Northern Ireland's capital. In September, Kingspan will also open a new education and heritage centre, exploring the history of rugby in Ulster.

www.rwcwomens.com

Women's Cricket World Cup

The scene is being set for a thrilling 2017 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in England, with confirmation of London's iconic Lord's Cricket Ground as the venue. Lord's is the home of cricket; playing its perfectly manicured wicket is the pinnacle of international cricketing ambition. Take a guided tour of Lord's and follow the footsteps of international cricketers through the Long Room, a cricketing art gallery and gateway to the hallowed turf. Tours run seven days a week (with some exceptions) from the MCC Museum, one of the oldest sporting museums in the world.

www.icc-cricket.com


Exhibitions

Major new exhibitions: late 2016 and 2017

Leonardo da Vinci: Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, south Wales

14 October 2016 - 6 January 2017

Ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection, showcasing the extraordinary scope of the artist's interests and his use of different media - pen and ink, red and black chalks, watercolour and metal point.

www.glynnvivian.com

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the National History Museum

21 October 2016 - 20 September 2017

Marvel at startling images produced by photographers' passion for the natural world.

www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions.html#sthash.lpRyQklr.dpuf

Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line at the British Library, London

4 November 2016 - 1 March 2017

Uncovering the fascinating story of how maps became everyday objects for the first time in the 20th century.

www.bl.uk/events/maps-and-the-20th-century-drawing-the-line

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition at the 02 Arena, Greenwich, London

18 November 2016 - 3 September 2017

Get to know the characters of Star Wars on a whole new level, with 200 original costumes, props, models, and pieces of artwork to discover up close.

www.starwarsidentities.com

Shakespeare in the Royal Library in The Drawings Gallery at Windsor Castle, south-east England
Runs until 11 December 2016

Marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, this display draws on material in the Royal Library, including works of Shakespeare collected by the royal family, accounts of performances at Windsor Castle, and art by members of the royal family inspired by Shakespeare's plays. It will examine aspects of the playwright's life, work and influence, and celebrate his longstanding connection with Windsor and the royal court.

www.royalcollection.org.uk/whatson/event/794586/Shakespeare-in-the-Royal-Library

Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen's Wardrobe at Windsor Castle, south-east England

Runs until 8 January 2017

To celebrate The Queen's 90th birthday year and her support of British couture and millinery, this exhibition has toured Britain and ends its run at Windsor Castle. Explore significant events in The Queen's life and the nation's history through an unprecedented collection of couture and accessories exclusively designed for these occasions. www.royalcollection.org.uk/whatson/event/794179/Fashioning-a-Reign

Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies at the Imperial War Museum, London

Runs until 8 January 2017

Featuring film industry props and set designs from classic films including Apocalypse Now, Casablanca, Saving Private Ryan, Atonement and War Horse.

www.iwm.org.uk/exhibitions/iwm-london/real-to-reel-a-century-of-war-movies

Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery at the V&A Museum, London

Runs until 5 February 2017

Featuring over 100 surviving examples of exquisite hand-made English Medieval embroidery, revealing the artistic skill of the makers and the world in which they were created.

www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/opus-anglicanum-masterpieces-of-english-medieval-embroidery

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at the V&A Museum, London
Runs until 5 February 2017

The exhibition addresses the practicalities of underwear and its role in the fashionable wardrobe while highlighting its sensual, sexual appeal. Around 140 garments and accessories for men and women are on display, alongside fashion plates, photographs and films, advertisements and packaging to introduce changing concepts of the ideal body.

www.vam.ac.uk

You Say You Want A Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-1970 at the V&A Museum, London
Runs until 26 February 2017

This major exhibition examines the optimism, ideals and aspirations of the late 1960s, expressed through music, fashion, film, design and political activism. Fascinating objects are paired with an immersive soundtrack and theatrical three-dimensional design, investigating the cultural upheavals and the changes within the law that took place during the revolutionary years.

www.vam.ac.uk

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 at Barbican Art Gallery, east London

23 March 2017 - 25 June 2017

The first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War up to now.

www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=19951

Fire! Fire! at the Museum of London

Runs until 17 April 2017

Discover the capital before, during and after the Great Fire of London with this interactive exhibition marking the 350th anniversary of this disastrous event, including rarely seen artefacts from 1666.

www.museumoflondon.org.uk//museum-london/whats-on/exhibitions/fire-fire

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A Museum, London

13 May 2017 - 1 October 2017

The first international retrospective of one of the world's most iconic and influential bands.

www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/pink-floyd

A History of Fashion in 100 Objects at the Fashion Museum, Bath, south-west England

Runs until 1 January 2019

A fascinating collection of garments and fashion accessories drawn from the museum's world-class collection that created the look of the times - from the 1500s to the present day.

www.visitbath.co.uk/whats-on/a-history-of-fashion-in-100-objects-p1995403


Stage

Theatre


An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre, London

4 March - 30 September 2017

This award-winning, thrillingly staged Broadway musical features some of the greatest Gershwin music and lyrics ever written.

www.anamericaninparisthemusical.co.uk

42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London

20 March 2017 - 22 July 2017

Broadway's biggest show is set to make its West End debut next year. Young Peggy Sawyer is fresh off the bus from small-town America and just another face in the chorus line on Broadway's newest show. But when the leading lady gets injured, Peggy might just have the shot at stardom she's always dreamed of.

www.42ndstreetmusical.co.uk

Sleepless: The New Musical, Plymouth and London

25 March 2017 - 17 April 2017 at The Lyric - Theatre Royal Plymouth, south-west England

Dates TBC: London West End run (theatre TBC)

Based on the popular 1993 comedy film of the same name starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, this new musical will premiere in Plymouth before its first West End run. Former pop star of British girl band Girls Aloud, Kimberley Walsh, is set to star as the female lead. The American Film Institute (AFI) lists the film version of Sleepless in Seattle among the Top 10 Best Romantic Comedies of all time.

www.sleeplessmusical.com

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre, London

28 January 2017 - 22 April 2017

The true story of the Yorkshire Calendar Girls, a group of ordinary ladies who achieved something extraordinary. This new musical comedy has brought together the writing talents of pop legend Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, who grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years. The musical originally opened at The Grand Theatre in Leeds, where it received standing ovations at every performance.

www.thegirlsmusical.com

The Band, details TBC

2017 dates TBC

Not content with two musicals showing in the West End, Take That frontman Gary Barlow will add a third to his bow. Featuring the songs of Take That, The Band is being created in association with Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, and will tour Britain in 2017.


Extended London West End shows and musicals in 2017

The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017

Winner of 4 2014 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Actor In A Musical. Rolling Stone says, 'The Genii of South Park hit Broadway, and history is made. Mormon is on its march into legend'. It's The Book of Mormon, the Broadway musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez.

www.bookofmormonlondon.com

The Mouse Trap, St Martin's Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017
Agatha Christie's most famous stage mystery sees a group of people in a country house cut off by snow. The gathering realise that there is a murderer in their company and the hunt begins to find the identity of the killer. This tour will travel across the UK to more than 20 locations.

www.the-mousetrap.co.uk

The Bodyguard, Dominion Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017

The Bodyguard, based on the smash-hit film that starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, is wowing audiences at the Domion Theatre, London, starring Beverley Knight as Rachel Marron.

www.thebodyguardmusical.com

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Running until 7 January 2017

Roald Dahl's delicious tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Mr Willy Wonka comes to life in this hit West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com

Show Boat, New London Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017

Daniel Evans' popular production set on and around a Mississippi river barge theatre during legislated racial segregation in 1880s southern America is based on the novel by Edna Ferber, and credited as one of the first musicals with a song and narrative structure as we know them today.

www.showboatmusical.co.uk

Stomp, Ambassadors Theatre

Running until 8 January 2017

Now in its 13th year in the West End, the Olivier Award-winning percussion extravaganza brings audiences the universal language of rhythm theatre, comedy and dance.

www.stomplondon.com

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Gielgud Theatre

Running until February 2017

This highly acclaimed Olivier Award-winning production is based on Mark Haddon's popular novel. It tells the story of fifteen-year-old Christopher, who finds a dog that has obviously been killed, and goes about investigating who did the deed. But Christopher's extraordinary brain is ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, so how will he investigate the mystery further?

www.curiousonstage.com

Les Miserables, Queen's Theatre

Running until 4 March 2017

In October 2010 Cameron Mackintosh's legendary production of Boublil and Schonberg's Les Miserables celebrated its 25th Anniversary in London and is now the world's longest running musical. This international award-winning musical sweeps its audience through an epic tale of passion and destruction, against the backdrop of a nation in the grip of revolution.

www.lesmis.com/uk

Mamma Mia, Novello Theatre

Running until 4 March 2017

Join the ultimate feel-good party at the world's sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical.

www.mamma-mia.com/london.php

The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty's Theatre

Running until 4 March 2017

This multi-award winning musical continues to captivate audiences at Her Majesty's Theatre in London's West End, after more than 12,000 performances.

www.thephantomoftheopera.com/london

The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre

Running until 2 April 2017

Disney's musical phenomenon The Lion King continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Combining dazzling staging and highly imaginative costumes, masks and puppets, this astonishing show at the Lyceum Theatre uses breath-taking theatrical magic to tell the story of Simba - join him now in his epic journey to reclaim his kingdom!

www.thelionking.co.uk

Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre

21 November 2016 - 11 March 2017

Thirty-five years after the ground-breaking original Broadway production, this UK and West End premiere of the sensational and iconic Tony Award-winning musical Dreamgirls comes to the Savoy Theatre in November, 2016.

www.dreamgirlswestend.com

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre, London

Running until May 2017
A new play by Jack Thorne, inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, will debut in London's West End this year. It sees Rowling's hero all grown up, working for the Ministry of Magic and a father of three school-age children. The play is presented in two parts, which are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings.

www.harrypottertheplay.com

Billy Elliot The Musical

Touring the UK until May 2017

Based on the successful 2000 film, this West End production with music by Elton John tells the story of one boy's battle against convention to pursue his love of dance. Check tour dates and venues on the website.

www.billyelliotthemusical.com

Thriller - Live, Lyric Theatre

Running until 1 October 2017

Moonwalking into the West End after three UK tours and standing ovations across Europe, Thriller - Live is a spectacular, high-octane show celebrating the career of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.

www.thrillerlive.com

Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre

Running until 15 October 2017

This multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company was inspired by the beloved book by Roald Dahl.

www.matildathemusical.com

Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre

Running until 4 November 2017

Wicked has been casting its magical spell over audiences of all ages across the world since 2003 and continues to be a record-breaking hit. It has become the 16th longest-running West End musical of all time and earlier this year announced its 21st booking extension.

www.wickedthemusical.co.uk

Jersey Boys, Piccadilly Theatre

Running until 16 April 2017

The smash hit jukebox musical has extended its booking period until next year. It dramatizes the formation, success and eventual break-up of the 1960s rock 'n roll group The Four Seasons, with songs including Big Girls Don't Cry and Can't Take My Eyes Off You.

www.jerseyboyslondon.com

Aladdin - Disney's New Musical, Prince Edward Theatre

Summer 2016 - 1 April 2017

Brought to theatrical life by a legendary creative team, Disney's Broadway musical Aladdin sweep its audience into beautiful spectacle. The musical has been a smash hit on Broadway and includes all the memorable songs from the film including A Whole New World, Friend Like Me, Prince Ali and Arabian Nights. www.princeedwardtheatre.co.uk

Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre

Running until 6 May 2017

This feel-good, colourful, multi-award-winning show was inspired by true events and boasts music and lyrics by pop icon Cyndi Lauper. Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price, who has reluctantly inherited his father's Northampton shoe factory. Trying to live up to his father's legacy, he finds inspiration in the form of Lola and they join together to make shoe history.

www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre

Running until 22 July 2017

Beautiful is the untold story of Carole King's journey from schoolgirl to superstar; from her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin to her playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and her remarkable rise to stardom.

www.beautifulmusical.co.uk



Opera

Cinderella (La Cenerentola)

A new production of Rossini's sparkling comedy performed by an exciting international cast. A much-loved fairy tale, but not quite as you know it. Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

16 - 25 February 2017: Leeds Grand Theatre, Yorkshire, north England

2 - 4 March 2017: Theatre Royal, Newcastle, north-east England

9 - 11 March 2017: The Lowry Salford Quays, Manchester, north-west England

16 - 18 March 2017: Grand Opera House Belfast, Northern Ireland

www.operanorth.co.uk/productions/cinderella

The Royal Opera House, London

16 January- 4 July 2017: La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

Joyce El-Khoury, Ekaterina Bakanova and Corinne Winters lead three excellent casts in Richard Eyre's much-loved production of Verdi's most famous opera.

23 March - 25 April 2017: Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
Antonio Pappano and Renato Balsadonna conduct two great casts led by Ermonela Jaho and Ana María Martínez in Puccini's deeply poignant opera.

21 June - 15 July 2017: Otello by Giuseppe Verdi *NEW*
Antonio Pappano conducts a new production of Verdi's thrilling Shakespeare-inspired opera directed by Keith Warner, starring Jonas Kaufmann and Gregory Kunde in the title role.

19 - 20 July 2017: The Merchant of Venice by André Tchaikowsky, Welsh National Opera *NEW*

Tchaikowsky's Shakespeare-inspired opera is an important rediscovery in 20th-century opera and receives its London premiere in this new production directed by Keith Warner.

5 - 16 July 2017: Turandot by Giacomo Puccini

Andrei Serban's striking staging of Puccini's final opera. In ancient Beijing, beautiful Princess Turandot decrees that she will marry the prince who can solve three riddles. Those who fail are put to death. Music of exotic colour and overwhelming power, including the famous and instantly recognisable ‘Nessun Dorma'.

www.roh.org.uk

Le Vin herbé (Love's Poisoned Chalice), Welsh National Opera

16 February - 25 April 2017

16 February: Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff, Wales

21 March: Milton Keynes Theatre, south-east England

28 March: The Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol, south-west England

4 April: Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Wales

18 April: Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Devon, south-west England

25 April: Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, south England

Spring 2017 brings Frank Martin's touching re-tell of the Tristan and Isolde story, Le Vin herbé, (meaning the spiked drink).

www.wno.org.uk/season/loves-poisoned-chalice

Glyndebourne Festival 2017

Britain's most famous opera festival has another brilliant summer schedule for 2017:

20 May - 8 July: Hipermestra by Francesco Cavalli *UK premiere*

21 May - 19 June: La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

11 June - 6 July: Hamlet by Brett Dean

25 June - 27 July: Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss

13 July - 23 August: Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti

26 July - 26 August: La clemenza di Tito by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

www.glyndebourne.com/festival_2017

Dance


Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes - UK tour *NEW*

Bond is Back - VisitBritain today launches Bond is GREAT campaign to entice more international visitors to Britain

Bond is back in SPECTRE and VisitBritain is once again utilising 007's iconic international profile to show the world what makes Britain GREAT.

SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond adventure from Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, launches in cinemas worldwide from October 26 and in the US on November 6, 2015.

To leverage the global fascination with James Bond and the international exposure the film affords to potential visitors to Britain, VisitBritain is today launching a global Bond is GREAT Britain film tourism campaign in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

The Bond is GREAT campaign is kicking off across more than 60 countries to encourage 007 fans to choose Britain - the home of Bond - for their next holiday.

As the official national tourism partner for the theatrical release of SPECTRE, VisitBritain's global campaign is using a mix of outdoor billboards, print, digital and social media. This includes exclusive ‘behind the scenes' footage from SPECTRE through its dedicated campaign page VisitBritain.com/spectre . Three new Bond is GREAT images are also being released featuring James Bond, an Aston Martin outside Blenheim Palace as well as a scene from SPECTRE with James Bond in Whitehall.

Other highlights include the release of four new 360 images of key filming locations in SPECTRE including Blenheim Palace, Camden, Westminster Bridge and City Hall to be promoted internationally through VisitBritain's extensive social media channels. The immersive 360-degree experiences will give overseas visitors a virtual opportunity to step inside some of the iconic British locations showcased in SPECTRE with the first, of Blenheim Palace, released today on VisitBritain.com/spectre. The new images build on the series of hugely popular 360 degree images of some of the UK's best loved landscapes and historical attractions launched earlier this year by VisitBritain.

It is the third time that VisitBritain, working in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, has partnered with the Bond franchise to motivate and inspire even more international visitors to come to Britain.

Its 2012 Bond is GREAT campaign around the theatrical release of SKYFALL resulted in international promotional coverage reaching 653 million people around the world as well as £3.5 million worth of exposure for the Britain brand and partners. That campaign positively affected travel with 16% of people who recalled the Bond is GREAT campaign having booked a trip to Britain and 35% of those who recalled the advert saying they strongly intend to visit Britain in the next three years. (SKYFALL also helped boost visitor numbers to Glencoe in Scotland after being used as a filming location with visits up 41.7% on 2012.*)

VisitBritain Chief Executive Officer Sally Balcombe said:

"We know that the link between tourism and film is a potent one. Recent films have demonstrated that they deliver a real increase in visitor numbers with just under half of our potential visitors to Britain wanting to visit places they have seen featured in films or TV so we are doing everything we can to capitalise on this ‘set-jetting' phenomenon. That's why we are working hard to encourage and inspire more people to holiday in Britain through our ‘Bond is GREAT Britain' campaign, leading to a measurable increase in international visitor numbers and visitor spend across the nations and regions of Britain."

As part of this year's Bond is GREAT campaign, 007 fans from around the world will also have the chance to enter an exclusive online competition at visitbritain.com/spectre to live the Bond lifestyle in Britain - the prize includes a chauffeur driven Aston Martin, private visit to Madame Tussauds and a stay at one of the exclusive Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels. There's also a ‘Bond is GREAT' advert featuring clips from previous Bond movies and exclusive SPECTRE footage on VisitBritain's YouTube site and uploaded on to VisitBritain.com/spectre.

Inbound tourism is worth £26.2 billion a year to Britain and our culture and heritage is one of the main attractions for global visitors. SPECTRE provides a great international showcase for some of Britain's iconic locations. The scope of Britain's historical and cultural tourism offer along with its film expertise including its production talent and facilities, have been drawing film-makers to Britain for years.

ENDS

To download high-res versions of the 3 images click here .

*According to Scottish Natural Heritage.

Press enquiries:

Tracey Edginton, VisitBritain - +44 (0)207 578 1098


SPECTRE Synopsis

A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond's actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

Sam Mendes returns to direct SPECTRE, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007 for the fourth time. SPECTRE is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. The screenplay is by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Jez Butterworth, with a story by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.

About VisitBritain

VisitBritain is the national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain worldwide and developing Britain's visitor economy. A non- departmental public body, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we work with partners in the UK and overseas to ensure that Britain is marketed in an inspirational and relevant way around the world. Our partners include government agencies such as UKTI and British Council, airlines and operators, global brands such as the Premier League as well as the official tourism bodies for London, England, Scotland and Wales.

About Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions

EON Productions Limited and Danjaq LLC are wholly owned and controlled by the Broccoli/Wilson family. Danjaq is the US based company that co-owns, with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, the copyright in the existing James Bond films and controls the right to produce future James Bond films as well as all worldwide merchandising. EON Productions, an affiliate of Danjaq, is the UK based production company which makes the James Bond films. The 007 franchise is the longest running in film history with twenty-three films produced since 1962. Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli succeeded Albert R ‘Cubby' Broccoli and have produced some of the most successful Bond films ever including CASINO ROYALE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE and SKYFALL.

About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. ("MGM") is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of films and television content. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television programming. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international television channels, including MGM-branded channels. For more information, visit

www.mgm.com

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in 159 countries. For additional information, go to www.sonypictures.com

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY BRITAIN

Listen to the grandfather clock chime in Anne Hathaway's cottage, take a leisurely stroll on the beach at Durdle Door, or enjoy the choir singing at Rosslyn Chapel. These are just some of the things international tourists can now do in Britain - before they even arrive.

The national tourism agency, VisitBritain, has commissioned a series of immersive 360 degree experiences giving overseas visitors an opportunity to step inside some of Britain's most-loved attractions.

As part of the Government's hugely successful GREAT tourism campaign, this activity from VisitBritain aims to drive more international visitors out across the nations and regions of Britain. International tourism continues to deliver economic benefits across the country, and the last two years have seen almost all other parts of the UK grow faster than London. By UK area, Yorkshire recorded the highest levels of growth in visits in 2014, followed by Scotland and the North East. For spending, Scotland leads the way with a 10% increase, followed closely by the East of England at 9% and the South East at 8%.

The entire panoramic series, and much more inspirational content, can be found on the new www.visitbritainblog.com site from Saturday 11 July. The panoramas were created by 360 degree specialist Rod Edwards.

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: "Not only will this immersive experience allow potential visitors to snoop around some of our greatest tourist attractions before they arrive, but it will inspire and motivate more travel across the country.

"London is a huge global asset for Britain - a dynamic, cosmopolitan and well-connected city that visitors aspire to visit. Our challenge is to encourage visitors to add to their holiday experience by exploring even more during their short time here and making sure they know how easy it is to get around."

In 2014 the UK welcomed a record 34.8 million international visitors, up by 6% on 2013. Altogether they spent another record £21.7 billion in our economy (also up 3% in real terms), directly supporting 500,000 jobs. As a result of the success of recent years, VisitBritain projects that the UK will welcome a record 42 million international visitors annually by 2020.

VisitBritain's activity already delivers economic growth across the nations and regions of Britain. Exposure to the GREAT tactical campaign doubles the likelihood of a visit to both Scotland and Wales. In addition, Wales saw a three-fold increase and Scotland saw a 50% increase in the number of nights spent in the destinations among those having been influenced by the GREAT campaign. VisitBritain will use its Countryside is GREAT campaign to continue re-balancing the country's tourism economy.

ENDS


For more information please contact Mark Di-Toro at VisitBritain:
mark.di-toro@visitbritain.org / 0207 578 1098

Notes to editors


The 360 degree series in full:

Anne Hathaway's Cottage - The Broad Solar Bedroom
Anne Hathaway's Cottage - The Parlour
Cardiff Castle - The Arab Room
Cardiff Castle - The Library
Chatsworth House
Conwy Castle
Durdle Door
Durham Cathedral
Portmeirion
Rosslyn Chapel
Salisbury Cathedral
Warwick Castle

About VisitBritain

VisitBritain is the strategic body for inbound tourism, ensuring that international tourism continues to deliver economic growth and jobs across the nations and regions of Britain.

Our strength is that we understand international customers and markets. VisitBritain's international network of offices, covering 22 markets, is a resource supporting the industry and destinations to grow the value of tourism exports. We are a founding partner of the GREAT campaign, working alongside organisations such as the FCO, UKTI and The British Council.

Locking in private sector funding: In the last three years we have raised £43 million from commercial partners - airlines, operators and global brands such as the English Premier League and Sony - to match fund international tourism marketing.

Customer Focused: We know what motivates overseas customers to travel and how to inspire them to choose Britain.

VisitBritain launches GIANT tourism campaign in run-up to The BFG film release and Dahl’s 100th anniversary

As Britain gears up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG, VisitBritain is showcasing to the world what makes Britain a GIANT - and family-friendly - tourism destination.

The national tourism organization is today (Monday 20 June) launching an international ‘Where Giant Dreams come to Life' film tourism campaign in its first-ever collaboration with Disney, producer of The BFG. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book by Cardiff born author Roald Dahl, was filmed at locations across Britain including Blenheim Palace, London, the Isle of Skye and Bamburgh beach in Northumberland. The BFG film launches in the US on 1 July and in the UK on 22 July.

VisitBritain's $500,000 six-week digital and social media campaign showcases magical, mysterious and dreamlike moments that can only be experienced on a trip to Britain. The campaign features a set of exclusive images of giant landmarks in Britain including the Angel of the North, Big Ben, the Isle of Skye and the lions in Trafalgar Square.

These images, and other giant visitor experiences across Britain, are being promoted across VisitBritain's online and social media channels adapting its #OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain) to ‘Oh My GIANT Britain.' The campaign also wants people to upload their own images of ‘giant' experiences and locations in Britain to their own social channels.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

"Our collaboration with Disney on The BFG is a fantastic opportunity to promote to a global audience of millions an unexpected side of amazing, family-friendly moments that can only be experienced in Britain.

"By inspiring people to come and experience the best of ‘GIANT' Britain we can drive growth from tourism and its economic benefits across all our nations and regions."

Ms Balcombe said that the link between tourism and film - ‘set-jetting' - was "a potent one" with recent films delivering a real increase in visitor numbers.

The first visuals for the campaign:

Download high res images


VisitBritain's campaign drives online ‘traffic' to a BFG website on visitbritain.com/thebfg. The site has information on the British locations in the film, a ‘user-generated' feed of #OMGB content, the official BFG movie trailer and details of visitor experiences linked to Roald Dahl and events to celebrate his 100th anniversary in September. Visitors to the site in the US, France, Canada, Russia and Australia can enter a competition for the chance to win a family trip to Britain, including a visit to Cardiff for its ‘City of the Unexpected' celebrations in September.

Paid media campaigns are also launching in the US and France across Facebook, newsletters and entertainment website ‘takeovers'.

VisitBritain has more than 15 years' experience in film tourism and film promotion is part of the cross-government GREAT Britain campaign.

Last year set a record for inbound tourism to Britain on visits and spend with 36.1 million visits, 5% up on 2014, and spending up 1% to £22.1 billion.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth is 13 September 2016

See film locations from The BFG: Walk in the giant footsteps of The BFG
Other events throughout the year to celebrate this anniversary include:

  • London & Partners' Dream Jar Trail in London;

• Cardiff: City of the Unexpected - a birthday weekend celebration taking place in September;

  • The Roald Dahl Estate in Great Missenden is planning a year of celebrations;
  • The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl at the Southbank Centre until 3 July;
  • The launch of a new Gobblefunk Dictionary this month (June 2016);
  • Roald Dahl's Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park;

• A new David Austin rose named in Roald Dahl's honour launched at the Chelsea Flower Show;
• The BFG in Pictures at the House of Illustration, London.

For more information on this press release please contact:

Meredith Pearson

Marketing and Communications Director, North America

Meredith.pearson@visitbritain.org

Kelly Harrison

Marketing and Communications Manager, USA

Kelly.harrison@visitbritain.org

Dana O'Malley

Marketing and Communications Manager, USA

Dana.omalley@visitbritain.org

GREAT campaign ads to feature in new Paddington film

  • VisitBritain partners with STUDIOCANAL for international family marketing campaign
  • Largest ever film tourism campaign to attract first-time family visitors
  • GREAT posters will feature in the movie on a red Routemaster bus and on the Tube
  • The mischievous Bear takes VisitBritain ‘selfie’ to be used in digital marketing

The lovable bear will cause havoc once again in this new campaign with the tagline “See Britain through Paddington’s eyes”. VisitBritain will launch global PR, digital and social media activity on Facebook and Yahoo with extra investment in key markets France, Germany and the USA. VisitBritain has also captured a cheeky selfie with Paddington Bear to inspire visitors to take their own selfies at locations around the country using the hashtag #PaddingtonsBritain.

The movie is set to be STUDIOCANAL’S biggest release for 2014 and will feature Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington. The cast also includes Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi (the new Doctor Who).

VisitBritain GREAT branding will feature in the film, appearing in tube station scenes and on a red Routemaster bus. This is the first time the national tourism agency has placed advertising (at no extra cost) within an internationally released film.

The national tourist board will host a dedicated takeover on www.visitbritain.com/paddington, including a competition, film location images and user-generated consumer images from Instagram. The national tourism agency will identify and supply destination itineraries for towns across Britain reachable via Paddington station, highlighting how easy it is to travel across the country by train and, of course, where to find the best marmalade! Members of the tourism industry across Britain have been sent Paddington Bear soft toys to feature in their own photos of local landmarks, and the best will be shared on social media. Paddington Bear products can also be purchased via VisitBritain’s online shop platform.

This film tourism GREAT campaign is predicted to provide a return on investment of 7:1 and increase the incremental spend of overseas visitors by £1.75 million across Britain over a three-month period.

Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “This film is a huge opportunity that we really could not let slip through our paws! The power of set-jetting is an important element in driving incremental tourism with the right film acting as free advertising, so we do all we can to capitalise on that. The film demonstrates the warm welcome that Britain delivers to all our visitors - albeit in this case an ursine Peruvian!

“We have worked closely with STUDIOCANAL from the outset and have even agreed an element of product placement for the GREAT campaign. Paddington Bear is popular all over the world with people of all ages, giving us the opportunity to inspire a wider pool of visitors to come in greater numbers and to spend more money across the whole of Britain.”

The Paddington CGI was created by Framestore, a BAFTA and Academy Award® winning-winning British visual effects company, which won both awards for the visual effects in ‘Gravity’ and the Harry Potter films.

Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid added: “Paddington Bear is one of Britain’s most loved characters in children’s literature and his travel adventures are renowned across the world. This partnership between VisitBritain and STUDIOCANAL will capitalise on the global appeal of this endearing bear by featuring Paddington visiting famous British landmarks and shows the UK has much more than marmalade under its hat.”

Kate Lambert, Promotions and Partnerships Manager at STUDIOCANAL: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the GREAT Campaign, and for PADDINGTON to be front and centre in promoting tourism to the country, as well as highlighting the wonderful work those in the UK film industry are involved in. Paddington bear, as a newcomer himself to these shores, is the perfect icon for encouraging global visitors to discover Britain in the same way our favourite bear himself did.”

The Paddington Trail: International celebrities, designers and artists to lend their artistic talents to London

Today VisitLondon.com, the NSPCC and STUDIOCANAL announced the first of the exciting internationally renowned celebrities, designers and artists signed up to THE PADDINGTON TRAIL. The list includes stars of the Paddington film Hugh Bonneville, Peter Capaldi Nicole Kidman, Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw, Hollywood actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Sheen and Emma Watson, director Guy Ritchie, stars of the music world Nick Mason and Frankie Bridge, globally renowned photographer Rankin, leading fashion designers Christopher Kane, Lulu Guinness and Matthew Williamson, painter and street artist Inkie, multi-talented artists Tom Phillips and Hannah Warren and world-famous ex-footballer and underwear designer, David Beckham.

Actor Hugh Bonneville, who stars in the forthcoming Paddington film, which opens in UK Cinemas November 28, is amongst the designers and comments: “Paddington is an explorer - this trail is a wonderful way of bringing this to life and I hope it makes people look at London with fresh eyes. I am delighted to have been asked to design one of the bears and have created an ode to Paddington’s favourite preserve. I can’t wait for people to see it.”

The star-studded Paddington design team also includes former Royal Ballet principal dancer Darcey Bussell, presenters Davina McCall, Ant McPartlin & Declan Donnelly and Jonathan Ross, explorer and survival expert Bear Grylls, the Chelsea football team, the England rugby union team and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The first of the designs were also revealed today: ‘Paddington Bear’ by Michael Bond, ‘Paddington Shakesbear’ by Michael Sheen, ‘Paddington Sparkles’ by Frankie Bridge and ‘Paddingtonscape’ by artist, Hannah Warren.

Michael Sheen who designed ‘Shakesbear Paddington’ says: “It is such a privilege to be designing a statue for The Paddington Trail, especially as it is raising money for the NSPCC – a charity I’m proud to support. I am delighted to have been able to create Shakesbear and combine my love of the bear with my passion for the bard!

These adventurous designers are working on some of the 50 Paddington Bear statues, which will be placed across the capital ahead of the highly anticipated release of PADDINGTON in UK cinemas on 28 November 2014. This exciting and inspiring trail will take in museums, parks, shops and landmarks, all with a colourful, Paddington inspired flavour. London is Paddington’s favourite city: full of adventure and opportunities to explore the wonderful art, culture, innovation and entertainment that are so prominent in the capital.

Visitors will be able to follow in the furry footsteps of the world’s favourite Peruvian explorer visiting locations across the capital from as far west as Heathrow through to the O2 in the east, taking in some of London’s key cultural and landmark hotspots such as The Royal Opera House, Museum of London, Horse Guards Parade, the Museum of Childhood and, of course, Paddington Station with the trail ending in Selfridges, from 4 November – 30 December 2014.

VisitLondon.com has also launched a dedicated section of their website which will enable visitors to London to find out more about the trail and, later in the month, download the trail map, share their pictures and discover the stories behind each statue and location. VisitLondon.com/Paddington.

Paddington’s origins date back almost sixty years to when his creator, Michael Bond, bought a small bear from Selfridges on Christmas Eve 1956, as a present for his wife, and named him after the nearest railway station to which they lived.

Selfridges is the Trail’s retail partner and will be selling a selection of statue miniatures from a dedicated Paddington concept store showcasing a variety of Paddington related products and artifacts. The Paddington Curiosity Shop will be created especially to celebrate the historic link between the store and the famous bear as well as raising funds for the NSPCC.

In Michael Bond’s original tales, the young bear finds himself alone in a big and unfamiliar city. Taken in by the Brown family, he finds a warm welcome and a safe place to stay and sets out to discover more about his adopted city.

London based design company 3DEye is helping to create the three foot six inch tall statues, all of which will be auctioned later in the year to raise money for charity partners* including the NSPCC; a charity whose work is all about protecting vulnerable children and making them safe through its services including ChildLine.

Due for release in the UK on 28 November 2014, the big screen debut of PADDINGTON will showcase many of the trail locations in the capital, including his first port of entry – Paddington station. The film from STUDIOCANAL and Heyday Films is written and directed by Paul King (Bunny and the Bull, The Mighty Boosh) produced by David Heyman (Gravity, Harry Potter) and boasts an all-star cast including Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Jim Broadbent and Nicole Kidman with Ben Whishaw as the voice of PADDINGTON.

To find out more about The Paddington Trail, go to www.visitlondon.com/paddington

London & Partners contact details:

Rebekah Clement, Media & PR Manager – Leisure Tourism
Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5861 / +44 (0) 7826 907 415
rclement@londonandpartners.com