Experience Britain’s finest literary festivals

Cheltenham Literature Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2019, with an extensive line-up packed full of icons from the worlds of sport, television, music and literature. But while the household names promise to attract the crowds to Gloucestershire, the festival is just one of many exciting literary events that are set to celebrate writing in what remains of 2019.

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Established in 1949, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is the UK’s oldest annual festival of its type and welcomes more than 600 of the world’s writers, politicians, poets and actors to celebrate the written word. The 70th edition of the ten-day festival will feature around 500 events and workshops, including Book It!, a series of events aimed specifically at families and young children. As the festival falls on the eve of the Rugby World Cup, former Wales captain Mark Warburton will discuss his new autobiography, while England’s cricketing hero Alastair Cook will talk about his time out in the middle. Veteran broadcaster John Humphrys, musical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, comedian Lenny Henry and Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi are among the others scheduled to be involved.

When? 4 – 13 October

Edinburgh International Book Festival    

Welcoming around 900 authors to a specially created tented village in the centre of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh International Book Festival includes more than 800 events for people of all ages. Nobel and Booker prize-winners are among those to feature on past line-ups, alongside sportsmen and women, illustrators, philosophers, scientists, poets, comic creators, biographers, economists and musicians.

When? 10 – 26 August

Bath Children’s Literature Festival

The Bath Children’s Literature Festival is Europe’s biggest festival dedicated to children’s literature, offering youngsters the unique opportunity to meet the creators of their literary heroes. David Williams and Philip Pullman were among the authors to attend in 2018, while this year’s line-up includes comedian Harry Hill and former England women’s footballer Casey Stoney, alongside authors Chris Riddell, David Baddiel, Jacqueline Wilson, Holly Smale and Chris Ryan. A number of Shaun the Sheep model making workshops and book readings are also included in the line-up. Away from the festival, Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site with an abundance of splendid architecture to enjoy.

When? 27 September – 6 October 2019

Cliveden Literary Festival

A newcomer to the literary festival scene, Cliveden Literary Festival mixes discussion with a chance to explore the picturesque grounds and Renaissance splendour of the spectacular Cliveden House. Speakers at the 2019 festival include award-winning author, journalist and editor Tina Brown, physicist Brian Cox, Bridget Jones’ creator Helen Fielding, presenter and DJ Chris Evans, prizewinning historian Simon Sebag Montefiore and Gaby Wood, the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation. A full programme for the festival at the Grade II listed property will be announced in August.

When? 28-29 September

London Literary Festival

The London Literary Festival returns to London’s South Bank Centre for its 13th year in October, bringing together writers, journalists and creative thinkers for 11 days of readings, talks, poetry and performance. The Southbank Centre’s longest running festival, Poetry International, will kick-start proceedings, having been founded by former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes in 1967. Past speakers at the festival have included author Phillip Pullman, US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy and actor Tom Hanks.

When? 17 – 27 October

Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film and Music

Blenheim Palace celebrates the power of words with an all-encompassing literature, film and music festival in late October. The stately home has welcomed many famous faces to previous festivals, including comedian Gyles Brandreth, TV presenter Alexander Armstrong and politician Boris Johnson. A full programme of events is spread across four days at the festival, embracing a broad range of literary and cultural themes.

When? 24th – 27th October

Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

With a diverse programme of events designed to inspire and entertain, the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival explores the connections between people, landscapes, nature and places. Predominantly featuring authors with ties to nature, landscape and mountain literature, more than 40 shared their work in 2018 and that figure is expected to grow. Set in spectacular surroundings and with a distinctive outdoors feel, the festival seeks to promote positive environmental attitudes and values through the power of literature.

When? 14 – 17 November

C.S Lewis Festival

Held as an annual celebration of Belfast-born author Clive Staples Lewis, the C.S Lewis Festival explores his legacy via an array of talks, exhibitions, tours, workshops, poetry and film screenings in his former home city. Renowned as the created of The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis made major contributions in literary criticism, children’s and fantasy literature, and the festival is a recognition of his efforts.

When? November (dates to be confirmed)

Scotland’s Storybook Trail

Young and old alike can embark on a magical adventure from page to place as part of Scotland’s Storybook Trail. The guide to places to visit includes an array of stunning locations with ties to literary figures, characters and more. Meet some of Hedwig’s friends from J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series at the Scottish Owl Centre or hop aboard the Hogwart’s Express at the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Discover how Braemer and Fidra Islands provided the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island or visit the Crinan Canal in Argyll, said to have influenced Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows.

When? All year round

Open doors in Britain - discover Britain's stately homes, houses and archives

The doors of Britain’s historic monuments and buildings, including many that are normally closed to the public, are set to be flung open in September. Heritage Open Days, established in 1994, has become England’s biggest heritage festival, with thousands of stately homes, historic properties and archives opening their doors between 13-22 September.

To celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary this year, a special programme of themed events will focus on ‘People Power’ – looking into both modern and historic communities, groups and individuals that have been drivers of positive change. More than 5,000 free events are expected to take place, giving visitors a unique glimpse into the buildings and the people that run them.

Open House London

The ten day event coincides with Open House London, taking place on 21-22 September, an architecture festival which seeks to showcase the benefits of great design by giving free access to many of London’s best buildings.

Last year more than 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours were part of Open House London, with those events visited by more than a quarter of a million people. Among the buildings to open their doors were historic houses and monuments, places of worship, private clubs, train stations, government buildings, town halls and even tunnels!

The programme for this year will be unveiled on 20 August, although UK Parliament has already confirmed that it is taking part on 21 September by granting admission to Portcullis House – the newest building on the parliamentary estate.

Events to look out for

Heritage Open Days has already confirmed several highlights for 2019, including a community harvest at the National Trust’s Brockhampton orchard and a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the Prince Philip Maritime Collection housed at Royal Museums Greenwich. Here are just some of the thousands of events to look out for.

New for 2019

Prince Philip Maritime Collection, Greenwich

Visitors can catch a rare glimpse of the Prince Philip Maritime Collection as part of an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Museum Greenwich’s storage collection. The items will be accompanied by interpretations by local residences that take into account the heritage stories behind them.

When? Friday 20 September and Saturday 21 September at 10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm, with an additional show at 4pm on Friday.

The Way We Were film screening, Sunderland

The Way We Were film screening will combine film, music and photographs that explore Sunderland throughout history, taking visitors on a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

When? Tuesday 17 September at 7pm

Medieval Origins of Today's Remedies, John Innes Centre, Norwich

Learn about the importance of plants and gardens in medieval medicine as part of an exploration of how the past has influenced the present at the John Innes Centre, a hub for plant science research and training. Alongside illustrated talks from Dr Joy Hawkins, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and Anne Edwards, a plant scientist at the centre, the open house event will look at the Medieval Origins of Today’s Remedies, including a display of rare books.

When? Thursday 19 September and Friday 20 September at 10am.

People Power events

Collections Showcase, Newcastle University Library Archives, Newcastle

Delve into Newcastle’s rich history as part of a thought-provoking look at the Newcastle University Library Archives. Learn how the city’s first female doctor and suffragist Ethal William’s fought for women’s rights and discover how student marches and human rights speeches helped to shape Newcastle’s past, as revealed by the Special Collections and Archives Team.

When? Thursday 19 September, 1pm-4pm.

Scott House at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucester

Once the home of environmental conservation campaigner Sir Peter Scott, visitors to Scott House at WWT Slimbridge can find out about his life and work, while embracing the ‘people power’ he harnessed when creating both the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the World Wildlife Fund.

When? Saturday 14 September, 10am-4pm.

Moor Pool Heritage Festival, Moor Pool Heritage Trust, Birmingham

The delightful Arts and Crafts Garden Suburb in Birmingham was saved following a community campaign in 2014, and it remains one of the last remaining intact Garden Suburbs in the UK. To celebrate the ‘people power’ of the community, the gardens will be opened for families to enjoy sports games, musical performances and an exciting array of children’s activities.

When? Sunday 15 September, 11am-3pm.

Family Activities

Heritage Steam Railway, Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight’s Heritage Steam Railway is offering several weekends of fun for all the family at the Train Story Discovery Centre. Interactive displays will showcase the historic locomotives, carriages and wagons, while guided tours will provide exclusive access to workshops, giving visitors a rare glimpse of ongoing restoration work. There’ll also be a birds of prey flying display to keep youngsters entertained.

When? Saturday 14 September and Sunday 15 December, 11am-3.30pm, and Thursday 19 September to Sunday 22 September, 9.30am to 5pm.

Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke-on-Trent

Visitors can explore the renowned Gladstone Pottery Museum and even get hands-on with an array of interactive demonstrations and activities. The site provides a fascinating insight into the history of Stoke-on-Trent while numerous throwing, casting and painting demonstrations will highlight the skills that helped put the Pottery on the map. The on-site Flushed with Pride exhibition takes a fun look at the history of sewerage too, embracing giant toilet rolls and rude sound effects in the process!

When? Saturday 21 September, 10am-5pm.

Magpie Mine, Derbyshire

Britain’s best surviving example of an 18th and 19th-century lead mine, Magpie Mine was the last working mine in the Peak District. Since closing in 1958, the site is has been designated a Scheduled Monument and is preserved by the Peak District Mines Historical Society. Although the mining tunnels will remain closed for Heritage Open Days, a comprehensive guided tour will provide insight into life at the mine by exploring the former buildings, delving into a piece of mining heritage in the process.

When? Sunday 15 September, 11am-4pm

Welwyn Roman Baths, Welwyn

Travel back in history at the Welwyn Roman Baths to experience what life was like 1,700 years ago for the Romans of Britain. Alongside dressing up in period costumes, children can embrace traditional Roman games and learn more about foods of the past, before exploring several thrilling trails around the ancient site.

When? Saturday 14 September, 2pm-5pm.

Cragside, Northumberland

Enter into the world of Victorian inventor Lord Armstrong, an innovator and landscaping genius, at Cragside. As the world’s first house to be lit using hydroelectricity, the extraordinary property remains full of gadgets, while its garden spaces are equally as impressive. One of Europe’s largest rock gardens leads the way to the Iron Bridge, while the Rhododendron forest tunnels of Nelly’s Labyrinth offer an outdoor escape for all the family.

When? Thursday 19 September, 10am-5pm.

Watts Artist Village, Surrey

Packed with paintings and sculptures from Victorian artist G F Watts, the historic galleries at the Watts Artist Village can be explored via guided tours, talks and workshops. Bask in the glorious surroundings of the site’s Grade I listed chapel, see the studios where Watts created his masterpieces and get behind-the-scenes access to Limnerslease, a property designed by the great Arts & Crafts architect Sir Ernest George.

When? Sunday 15 September

Brockhampton’s Damson Harvest Helpers, Worcester

Visitors to Brockhampton’s orchards can pick fruit to assist with fundraising for the medieval manor’s replanting project as part of the community damson harvest. The trees at the National Trust site are laden with fruit in the autumn months, giving people the chance to relax and refresh their senses while surrounded by the best of what nature has to offer.

When? Saturday 14 September, 11am-5pm.

Historic Openings

Queen Anne’s Summerhouse, Bedfordshire

This spectacular 18th century summerhouse has beautifully crafted brickwork and dates back to around 1712. Lovingly restored by the Landmark Trust in the years since the Second World War to include an elegant bedsit with kitchen, dining, sitting and sleeping space, Queen Anne’s Summerhouse on the Shuttleworth Estate promises beautiful architecture and exceptional views.

When? Friday 13 September to Sunday 15 September, 10am-4pm, and Monday 16 September, 10am-1pm.

Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, Staffordshire

Discover a spectacular array of former mining buildings at the Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, the most comprehensive surviving deep mine complex in England. Although there is no underground access now, visitors can access and explore the many different structures as part of a guided tour by Chatterley Whitfield Friends. The site closed and became a museum in 1973, and although the museum closed its doors in 1993, a new heritage centre explains the site’s rich history.

When? Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, and Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September, 10am-4pm.

Arlington Court, Devon

A jewel in the National Trust’s crown, Arlington Court houses an impressive set of horse-drawn vehicles in addition to an intriguing Regency property. The National Trust Carriage Museum includes vehicles for every occasion, and the collection currently includes the Speaker’s State Coach – a glorious carriage with more than 300 years of history. Visitors can explore the family estate, including 20 miles of walking paths and a two-mile loop around the man-made lake.

When? Saturday 14 September, 11am-5pm.

Wilmington Priory, East Sussex

Dating back to 1215, Wilmington Priory was once the priory of a Benedictine Abbey and features architectural additions from nearly every century since. Although the abbey is now a romantic ruin, visitors can get a glimpse of the Landmark Trust’s restoration of the neighbouring farmhouse, now a holiday let.

When? Saturday 14 September and Sunday 15 September, 10am-4pm, and Monday 16 September, 10am-1pm.

Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool

Hidden deep below Liverpool are the Williamson Tunnels, a 200-year-old labyrinth developed by 19th-century philanthropist Joseph Williamson. Lost and forgotten for a long period, the tunnels can be explored as part of a guided tour that reveals what was behind his mysterious burrowing.

When? Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September, and Friday 20 September to Sunday 22 September, all tours at 10.30am.

Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire

With exclusive access to parts of Gawthorpe Hall that are not usually open to the public, Heritage Open Day will allow people to see a different side to the National Trust property. Browse textiles from the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection and see portraits from the National Portrait Gallery before experiencing the surroundings of the Victorian kitchen and servant’s quarters.

When? Saturday 14 September, 12pm-5pm.

 

Heritage Open Days is coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Accommodation Update - July

Summer is here and with it comes numerous exciting hotel openings and transformative accommodation refurbishments across Britain. From 16th-century hotels to brand new developments by superstar footballers, there’s something to suit every taste on a trip to Britain.

Recently opened

Dakota, Manchester

Situated in the heart of Manchester, brand new design hotel Dakota offers sleek, sophisticated luxury. The elegantly-decorated guestrooms range from a classic double room to a two-bedroom grand deluxe suite. With a neutral palette of warm creams, greys and taupe, the rooms also include luxury facilities such as rainfall en-suite showers and full Sky Sports and Sky Movie packages, making this understated hotel a welcome addition to Manchester’s quality accommodation offer.

The Queen’s Head, The Lake District

The newly refurbished 17th-century pub The Queen’s Head is a family-friendly accommodation nestled in the beautiful Cumbrian countryside. Now a part of the Askham Collection the hotel welcomed its first guests in mid-April and offers family-sized rooms and dog-friendly accommodation ranging in price from £130-190 per night (based on two people sharing with breakfast).  

Hotel Indigo, Statford-upon-Avon

The quirky 92-room Hotel Indigo boasts a 16th-century, Grade I-listed façade. Originally a public house, the rooms are inspired by the area’s rich cultural and historical roots. Perfect for visitors looking to experience Shakespeare country, double rooms start from £149 per night including breakfast.  

 

Coming soon

The Newt, Somerset

Opening its Georgian doors on 29 August 2019, The Newt is a brand new luxury hotel and spa in Somerset. Set in Hadspen House, this 17th-century building was remodeled in the Georgian era, giving the house and gardens a suitably regal atmosphere which beautifully offsets the contemporary décor. With gardens ranging from parkland and woods to orchards, a state-of-the-art Cyder Cellar and a luxury spa, plus afternoon tea made using produce from their garden, The Newt offers a unique place to stay that’s bursting with local character.

MAMA Shelter, London

The stylish hotel chain MAMA Shelter will soon be coming to London, with a new 193-room hotel in the trendy Shoreditch area. Due to open in September this year, MAMA Shelter boasts a fun design ethos with an emphasis on socializing and has been described as halfway between a cosy family home and a sexy nightclub. Aimed at a millennial market, there will be ping-pong and a modern dining space for both guests and the general public to enjoy.

The Stock Exchange, Manchester

Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Winston Zahra are set to open their new hotel, The Stock Exchange, in Manchester in November. This sleekly designed hotel is housed in what was once the Northern Stock Exchange, a Grade II-listed building dating back to 1906. It will offer understated luxury throughout their guestrooms and signature suites, one of the most impressive of which was formerly the boardroom of the building.

Recently refurbished

Formby Hall Gold Resort & Spa, Southport

The newly refurbished Formby Hall Gold Resort & Spa is now offering a spa experience using Made For Life Organics products plus a new range of treatments. This luxurious 76-bedroom hotel and golf resort sits in the north-west of England, close to the buzzing cities of Liverpool and Manchester. Rooms are available from £149 per night, based on two sharing on a bed and breakfast basis.

White Horse Inn, South Downs National Park

Having undergone a complete refurbishment under new ownership, the Grade II-listed 18th-century White Horse Inn is ready to welcome guests. Nestled in the tranquil South Downs National Park and sleeping up to 16 guests, the Inn is a charming base from which to explore the surrounding area. The accommodation is spilt into five rooms in the main house, one refurbished cottage and one brand-new luxury lodge in rear garden, giving guests a fantastic range of places to stay. Overnight accommodation for two adults with a hearty breakfast starts from £130 per room per night.

JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London

The historic JW Marriott Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane has unveiled a ‘multi-million dollar’ renovation. The ground floor has been thoughtfully re-imagined in order to complement the views over Hyde Park, while the design of the hall and guestrooms has also drawn influence from the park itself, with a flowing foliage theme and seasonal colour palette throughout.

Aldwych One, London

Iconic luxury hotel Aldwych One in London’s Covent Garden has recently reopened its doors, welcoming guests to an entirely new look. The extravagantly spacious lobby has been transformed into a cocktail bar and lounge, with ceiling-height windows that highlight views over The Strand. Originally designed by Mewès & Davies, the architects also responsible for the Ritz hotels in Paris and London, the hotel now also offers an exclusive guest-only lounge, cinema and impressive health club.

Discover the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site

Britain has a new UNESCO World Heritage Site after Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire was granted the prestigious status.

It means the UK is now home to 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a list which includes Stonehenge, the city of Bath, Blenheim Palace, Hadrian’s Wall and the Tower of London.

The home of the Lovell Telescope, the world’s third largest steerable radio telescope, Jodrell Bank is a working scientific observatory and a leading tourist attraction.

First used to track the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite – the world’s first artificial satellite – Jodrell now operates the UK’s national e-MERLIN radio telescope and is the headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array – a ground-breaking project to build the world’s biggest telescope.

Jodrell Bank’s addition to the World Heritage Site list is in recognition of its outstanding scientific heritage and of its role in the development of radio astronomy.

The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre acts as a site of inspiration for budding scientists of all ages, while its 35-acre gardens are popular for walks and picnics.

Families can explore scientific theory and discover more about space in the Planet Pavilion, find out about the inner workings of Jodrell Bank in the Space Pavilion and enjoy science shows and exhibitions in the Stars Pavilion.

An exciting array of interactive screens, games and displays explore space, encouraging people of all ages to discover more about the solar system and the extent of the universe.

Telescope Walking Tours take place daily at 3.15pm, with additional tours at 11.45am at weekends, offering visitors the chance to find out more about how the Grade I-listed Lovell Telescope works. The tours last around 45 minutes and are free with general admission to the site.

Other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Britain include Durham Castle and Cathedral, the Ironbridge Gorge, the old and new towns of Edinburgh, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the Forth Bridge, the waterfront in Liverpool, Maritime Greenwich and the Dorset and East Devon Coast.

Vintage experiences in Britain

As the Goodwood Festival of Speed (4-7 July 2019) casts the spotlight on classic cars and motorsport generally, it’s a reminder that Britain is packed full of thrilling vintage experiences. From fashionable afternoon teas to car shows and literary walks, there’s ample opportunity to experience the delights of the past, in the present.

 

Goodwood Festival of Speed

A global celebration of car culture, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is renowned for showcasing the best of the glamour that accompanies motorsport. From the Hillclimb event – the centrepiece of the festival where fans can get up close to the cars and bikes in action – to the showgrounds and arenas, the motoring garden party has something for everyone. The FOS Future Lab provides a glimpse into the future of the automotive industry, while the First Glance Paddock showcases the latest from the production line. Visitors can be wowed by motorsport displays in the Arena, see thrilling extreme sports in the Goodwood Action Sports area and watch as drivers hurtle their way around the Forest Rally Stage.

When? 4-7 July

Pret-a-Portea: Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley

Sit back and relax with a vintage afternoon tea, inspired by the iconic designs of Christian Dior. This season’s Pret-a-Portea offering from The Berkeley enables guests to tuck into the Dior Coutre Collection, where landmark pieces have been transformed into delicious biscuits, bakes and fancies. Expect to see the iconic Bar Jacket from the 1947 catwalk show that formed a ‘New Look’ in biscuit form, as well as a reference to the Junon Dress worn by Theo Graham at Le Pre Catalan in Paris in 1949. The afternoon tea includes an array of elegant canapés, sandwiches and tasters, as well as a loose leaf tea from the hotel’s extensive collection. Pret-a-Portea is priced at £60 per person, while a range of champagne options are also available at additional cost.

When? Until 29 September

Silverstone Classic

An action-packed weekend of historic motor racing at the renowned Silverstone circuit awaits those attending the Silverstone Classic. The world’s biggest classic motor racing festival includes more than 20 races and demonstrations, featuring more than 1,000 vehicles, and is accompanied by an eclectic mix of music and entertainment. The family-friendly event includes Rocking and Racing, a set of musical performances from tribute acts to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous Woodstock festival, as well as a vintage funfair, crazy golf and Street Car Shootout drag racing. There’s also a shopping village crammed with vintage clothing and memorabilia and football coaching from the Chelsea FC Foundation.

When? 26-28 July

Atomic Festival   

Dive into a world of classic cars and retro music at Atomic Festival, a 1950s weekend of fun at the Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire. As well as a line-up of bands and DJs playing rock and roll and dance floor fillers in four venues, expect to witness drag racing involving hot rods, classic trucks and motorcycles, an array of classic car displays and even a hotly-contested soap-box derby. Enjoy fairground rides and crazy golf by day, as well as jive classes, burlesque shows, films in a ‘vintage’ cinema, and much more. Saturday tickets for Atomic cost from £45 and Sunday tickets from £40. Weekend, camping and glamping options are also available.

When? 27-28 July

Passion for Power

Hundreds of exotic supercars converge on Tatton Park, in Knutsford, for the Passion for Power Classic Motor Show, offering an exciting day out for all the family. The show encourages classic and supercar owners to attend, while the Dream Cars Pavilion showcases some of the rarest, fastest and most spectacular vehicles on the planet. Alongside a variety of trade stalls and car clubs that are attending, there’s an abundance of food and drink options on site. Tickets for Passion for Power cost £9 for adults and £6 for children, while those under 10 go free. All visitors will need to pay for entry to Tatton Park in addition to the costs of the show.

When? 17-18 August

Twinwood Festival

A buzzing celebration of vintage music, dance and fashion, Twinwood Festival, near Bedford, is spread over four days of the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Main Arena will take people on a musical journey from the 1920s through to the 1960s, while more than 100 vintage acts are set to perform at 16 different venues across the site. The fashion of that era is also the keystone of the festival, and with more than 100 traders and boutiques on site, selling everything from vintage clothing to homewares, there’s ample opportunity to get into the retro spirit. A set of vintage salons and a barbershop only adds to the festival’s charm. A three-day adult ticket costs £109, with adult day tickets priced at £49 each for Saturday and Sunday and £29 for Monday. Child tickets cost £8 per day, or £15 for a three-day ticket. Those with three-day tickets can access the festival on Friday for free, while non-campers can purchase a Friday ticket for £25, or £5 for children, provided they have purchased another day ticket as well.

When? 23-26 August

The Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show

Welcoming motorcycles from the 1960s, 70s and 80s to the Staffordshire County Showground, the Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show is one of two annual Stafford Classic Bike Shows. The 26th edition of the show in October is set to feature more than 900 traders, dealers and autojumble stands, with parts and products to help enthusiasts. Visit the Off-road Hall and Grand Prix Paddock to discover rare bikes and see some of the machines in action. Tickets are priced from £12 for adults, while children under 15 go free. The other show – the Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show – takes place on the weekend of 25-26 April 2020.

When? 19-20 October

Vintage Adventure Tours

Experience the picturesque beauty of the Lake District from high up in a 1929 vintage car with Vintage Adventure Tours. In addition to eight carefully designed tours that take in different parts of the incredible landscape, guests get sole use of the 1929 Model A Ford Phaeton, meaning they can create their own trips and touring routes too. Zip along country lanes in the only vintage car in Britain that is registered for private hire – tours are priced from £195 for up to four people, while bespoke route costs vary based on time and distance travelled. Advance booking is a must.

When? All-year-round, dependent on availability

Sail on a Traditional Wherry

Experience sailing along the waters of the Broads National Park the traditional way aboard an Edwardian wherry yacht. As one of only three surviving vessels from the period, each more than 100 years old, a range of trips are available to experience the rivers as in Edwardian times, taking in the changing scenery and rare wildlife within the National Park. Part of the English National Park Experience Collection, scheduled trips are available for booking – lengths and prices vary.

When? Trips on selected dates

Literary footsteps in Exmoor

Discover the ancient traditions of Exmoor National Park and follow in the footsteps of literary greats, including poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and author R.D Blackmore on a Literary Footsteps tour. The vintage walking trail explores the lands that provided inspiration for their work, before the day is rounded off with a delicious Devonshire Cream Tea or a drink in a traditional pub. Tours are priced from £50 to £80, with half-day and full-day walking options available, and must be booked in advance.

When? Trips on selected dates

Jane Austen - The Dancing Years

Be transported back to the Regency Period and imagine Hampshire life for celebrated author Jane Austen in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Jane Austen’s Dancing Years Tour explores the picturesque villages, many that are largely unchanged from Victorian times, before taking in the Jane Austen House Museum at Chowton where she spent her last years. Tours are priced on a per person basis and vary dependent on the size of the tour party.

When? All-year-round, dependent on availability

London Design Festival 2019

The London Design Festival (LDF) returns to the capital for a 17th time in September, marking a citywide celebration of all things design. An eclectic mix of events, fairs, workshops and exhibitions spanning nine days, the festival will feature numerous specially commissioned works from renowned international designers.

Formed by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans in 2003, the festival seeks to bring together creative individuals from around the globe to promote London as a global powerhouse for art and design. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) acts as a hub for the festival – taking place from 14-22 September – housing a number of innovative installations and hosting the festival’s thought-leadership programme: The Global Design Forum. Visitors can listen in to inspirational talks, take part in debates and workshops, and enjoy daily tours.

Encompassing trade shows, exhibitions and installations across the capital, London Design Festival dives into the world of design innovation and its impact on everyday life.

Design Districts

In order to make as many of the London Design Festival’s 400 events and installations as accessible as possible, events are clustered into Design Districts – groups of events all within a short distance of each other. The number of districts has increased alongside the festival’s popularity, with ten areas set to showcase the best in design in 2019.

Bankside Design District

Running along the banks of the River Thames from Borough Market to Oxo Tower Wharf, the Bankside Design District will champion the region as ‘London’s Other Side’ in celebration of the area’s thriving creative industries. Alongside innovative installations by Tate Edit and The Africa Centre, the iconic Oxo Tower Wharf will showcase craft and design from its abundance of designer-maker shops and studios.

Brompton Design District

As the oldest of LDF’s designated districts, the Brompton Design District is renowned for having a focus on progressive and responsible design. Expect an array of installations and exhibits that explore the theme of Nature/Nurture for 2019, with designers urged to reassess human relationships with nature to determine how design can aid preservation. Leading international designers including Marlene Huissoud and Jorge Penades are among those taking part.

Clerkenwell Design Quarter

The Clerkenwell Design Quarter is preparing for its eighth year and brings together an array of multidisciplinary design strands dotted across the historic part of London, stretching from the boundaries of EC1 to the Barbican and Hatton Cross. The region hosts new product launches and events from showrooms and retailers, as well as plenty of bars, pop-ups and restaurants.

Marylebone Design District

Home to a diverse collection of design retailers, galleries and workshops, the Marylebone Design District has everything from small independent designers to internationally famous brands. As well as exclusive launches, there’ll be a number of partner-hosted demonstrations and workshops for the duration of the festival.

Mayfair Design District

The Mayfair Design District seeks to showcase how this small portion of London is embracing modern art and design. Established galleries and pop-up spaces host inspiring exhibitions, while major estates including The Crown Estate, the Pollen Estate Commission and the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estate have all commissioned architecture. A number of international collaborations put a further focus on the importance of design in an area rich with regeneration.

Pimlico Road Design District

A creative hub just minutes from Sloane Square, the Pimlico Road Design District is home to internationally renowned designers, studios and an abundance of shopping opportunities. Known for its antiques, art and fine furniture, the district provides a unique insight into design in Belgravia.

Shoreditch Design Triangle

Since being established in 2008 to aid collaboration among designers in the East End, the Shoreditch Design Triangle mixes exhibitions and installations with product launches, talks, tours and workshops, as well as numerous culinary options. Past years have seen as many as 60 individual events, showcasing everything from furniture and accessories to lighting, prints, cookware and textiles.

Victoria Connections Design District

With a theme of Connections: people and places, the Victoria Connections Design District will showcase the role that design has played in creating the Victoria that exists today. This newly formed Design District launched last year and different forms of design will be highlighted at a variety of events and activities, delving into the area-wide transformation that has occurred in recent years.

West Kensington Design District

Another newly formed district, having first made an appearance in 2018, the West Kensington Design District will bring together exciting cultural institutions, leading design destinations and numerous events for the duration of the festival.

Kings Cross Design District

A new district for 2019 to coincide with the widespread development of the region, the Kings Cross Design District is recognition that the area is now a thriving hub of design, architecture and creative industries. Expect an extensive programme of events, including large scale public installations, contemporary design event, designjunction, and plenty of other exhibitions.

Landmark Projects

The London Design Festival will see Finsbury Park Square, in Broadgate, transformed by British designer Paul Cocksedge’s landmark project, Please Be Seated. Marking the most ambitious of British Land’s commissions to date, the installation will feature curves for people to sit on and walk under. Made from scaffolding planks, the project represents a reimagining of how building wood is used.

Trade shows and exhibitions

This year marks 25 years of 100% Design, a trade event that showcases innovative exhibitions, panel discussions and talks from some of the biggest names in design. Renowned as being a centre of design and innovation, the show features a stellar line-up of more than 400 exhibitors, inspirational installations and thought-provoking experiences that push the boundaries of design.

Designjunction will return to King’s Cross, presenting an exciting range of over 200 internationally known design brands for four days from 19 September. Now in its ninth year, the exhibition features pop-up shops, temporary structures and brand activations, alongside the latest developments in furniture, lighting and technology design.

The London Design Fair takes place from 19-22 September and welcomes 550 exhibitors from around the world to the heart of East London at the Old Truman Brewery Site near Brick Lane. Independent designers and more than 300 established brands are involved, while a host of international country pavilions showcase innovations from particular parts of the globe.

Focus/19 includes an array of collection launches and immersive events from 600 international brands, spread over six days from 15 September. The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, hosts Design Discovery Tours, meet the designer sessions and workshops that explore various elements of design, accompanied by talks from world-class speakers.

Installations

French-born designer Camille Walala will attempt to create an ‘urban living room’, transforming South Molton Street in Mayfair into the Walala Lounge, featuring 11 unique, geometric and boldly colourful benches for the public to enjoy. Surrounded by international boutiques and cafes, the design aims to make Molton a place for reflection and relaxation.

Matthew McCormick’s Falling Sky multi-storey design-art installation will hang in the V&A for the duration of the festival, with a focus on global warming and its impact on life. Manually crafted from reflective aluminium, the installation is designed to mimic frost-like formations that are seemingly frozen in time.

The V&A’s Medieval and Renaissance galleries will be home to Rony Plesl’s unique glass installation Sacred Geometry, featuring hexagonal glass tree trunks. Marking the first time the exhibition has been seen outside of Plesl’s native Czech Republic, it details how new technology enables glass to be casted into any array of 3D shapes.

Tate Modern

Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern’s collection of contemporary art is the most extensive in the country. Offering free admission to the majority of the pieces, including Picasso, Rothko, Dali and Matisse, there are also after-hours ‘Tate Lates’ events on the last Friday of every month, as well as ticketed exhibitions. One such exhibition coinciding with the LDF is ‘Takis’, one of the most celebrated artistic voices to come out of 1960s Europe.

The Design Museum

Kensington’s Design Museum will host the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition in September, showcasing the best ideas that the design industry has seen over the last 12 months, as voted for by the public and experts.

Where to eat

In a former tram-generator building, Tramshed offers high-quality food, with many sharable dishes. Meals are served with a backdrop of Damien Hirst artworks, most notably his ‘Cock ‘n’ Bull’ installation. Run by renowned chef Mark Hix, the East End eatery is a unique blend of food, art and style.

Located in Hyde Park, Chucs Café is a modern architectural gem in itself. Designed by iconic architect Zaha Hadid, the café is located in the ‘Magazine’ extension of the Serpentine Gallery. Open from breakfast to dinner, it serves everything from fresh salads, pizza and fish dishes.

Inspired by the traditional tearooms of 1960s Hong Kong, Duddell’s serves high-end Cantonese cuisine in a richly decorated Grade II deconsecrated church. Found in London Bridge, in the shadow of the Shard, the elegant interior is complemented by ‘museum-quality’ art exhibitions, displayed all year round.

Where to drink

In the trendy area of Dalston, Hackey, Untitled Bar serves cocktails by celebrated mixologist, Tony Conigliaro, in a tinfoil-covered, minimalist space.

Within the new Battersea Power Station’s Circus West Village is the luxe-1960s inspired bar and restaurant No29 Power Station West. With a cocktail menu ranging from ‘Long & Fresh’ to ‘Short & to the Point’, this is a bar carefully designed and curated for a modern yet homely atmosphere.

Lyaness (formerly Dandelyan) has an interior as rich as its reputation, and is renowned for its flavoursome cocktails. With a multi-award winning bartender dubbed ‘Mr Lyan’, Lyaness is located in the Sea Containers hotel, overlooking the River Thames.

Where to sleep

In the heart of Shoreditch, The Hoxton Hotel offers rooms ranging from ‘Shoebox’, which although a money-saver, does not scrimp on style, to the bigger ‘Roomy’ size. The ‘Concept’ rooms, each individually designed by a local artist, offer a unique design experience, while the Hoxton Grill offers American dishes, served all-day. Prices start from £109 per night.

Found near Spitalfields and Brick Lane, Leman Locke offers an over-night experience lying somewhere between relaxed apartment living and boutique hotel. Every inch of the aparthotel is design-led, with a refreshing pastel colour scheme, simple industrial-chic furniture and space-saving layouts. Prices start from £180 per night.

With ten unique bedrooms located in the heart of London’s West End, Artist’s Residence offers eclectically designed rooms and suites. Luxury additions include roll-top baths, floor-to-ceiling windows and a rainfall shower. The Tate Britain, the Saatchi Gallery and the hub of the London Design Festival, the V&A are all within walking distance. Prices start from £215 per night.

Discover Caribbean culture in the UK

The Caribbean community has played a pivotal role in shaping British culture, since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush 71 years ago. This is now celebrated annually on 22 June as Windrush Day. On that day in 1948, the vessel landed at Tilbury Docks, in London, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean. In the years that followed, a huge number of immigrants from the Caribbean followed, and the ship’s name inspired the term, the Windrush Generation. The celebration is designed to recognise and celebrate the incredible contributions of the Windrush Generation and their descendants in helping create the multicultural Britain that exists today.

As well as the Windrush Day celebrations, numerous other events take place across Britain throughout the year to celebrate Caribbean culture, including one of the world’s largest street festivals – the Notting Hill Carnival. Visitors can enjoy revelry, dance and music, while getting a true taste of Caribbean food and drink in Britain.

Events for Windrush Day

A number of events are taking place in London to mark Windrush Day, including the Radiate Windrush Festival, held in Crystal Palace Park. Numerous acts are performing, alongside a food village offering a range of Caribbean and African cuisine.

The Migration Museum at the Workshop is also hosting a day of activities to coincide with a new audio-visual exhibition called Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identity and Stories. The museum’s café will morph into a Caribbean takeaway, while also telling inspirational stories from those who arrived on the HMT Empire Windrush.

Newcastle is hosting a Rum and Reggae Festival on 22 June, where guests will be taken on a rum journey around the world. The festival is visiting numerous other locations during the summer months, including London, Reading, Nottingham, Brighton, Kidderminster, Manchester, Weston-Super-Mare and Lincoln.

Meanwhile the city of Bangor in Wales is hosting a Jamaican breakfast to mark the occasion.

Notting Hill Carnival

As one of the world’s largest street festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival celebrates Caribbean culture in Britain every August Bank Holiday. From the first event in 1959, the carnival in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has continued to grow, with steel bands, street food and dancing commonplace. By bringing together talents from London’s Caribbean community, the festival is a celebration of cultural diversity, creativity and the arts, with a traditional J’ouvert parade taking place early on Sunday morning (25 August). Expect revellers donned in brightly coloured paint and an array of dance shows, with the Sunday of the festival aimed at children in particular. As well as a Children’s Parade, a host of other family-friendly entertainment can be found dotted around the streets. The Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade brings an end to proceedings on Monday (26 August), with an array of dancing, street performances, steel bands and music groups all taking part.

When? 24-26 August

Jerk Jam

Having evolved from a small gathering, Jerk Jam is now a fully-fledged celebration of the Caribbean, with food vendors, artists, DJs and dancers flocking to Houndhill Farm in Hampshire. Alongside four stages of live music, there’ll be workshops for children, fairground rides and plenty of circus, arts and magic performers. The centre piece of the festival is the Jerk-Off BBQ Battle, when chefs from all over the country go head-to-head in a boxing ring, battling it out with authentic jerk pans.

When? 20 July

Caribbean Carnival of Manchester

Since launching in 1972, the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester has celebrated all that is great about Caribbean culture in the heart of the city’s Alexandra Park. Expect to see Caribbean music and dance, as well as theatre, steel bands and an abundance of bright and extravagant costumes. Proceedings start with an early morning J’ouvert parade before the main carnival procession weaves its way through the crowds, complete with floats, DJs, dance troupes and a host of carnival queens and princesses in the early afternoon. Three stages of music will be accompanied by a host of food vendors and Soca bands.

When? 10-11 August

Caribbean Music Festival – Liverpool

Dubbed the ‘ultimate Caribbean festival’, Liverpool’s celebration of the Caribbean welcomes an array of DJs and other artists to Brick Street to showcase their talents. Headline acts for the main stage of this year’s Caribbean Music Festival include Scrappy Sinon, DJ Rockshun, Big Band Tropical Storm, Firebiggz, DJ Rory and Iyah Sample, among others.

When? 17 August

Discover Britain’s musical legends on the trail of Rocketman

Telling the story of multi-Grammy award-winning superstar Sir Elton John, Rocketman dives head-first into the colourful world of rock and roll. The masterful biopic charts his rise to fame, from his origins as youngster Reginald Dwight to the fabulously flamboyant world of Elton John. Taron Egerton stars as the leading protagonist, as Rocketman explores Elton’s relationships with manager John Reid and lyricist Bernie Taupin, among others. In collaboration with Taupin, Elton has released more than 30 albums to date and has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time. But Elton isn’t the only British artist to change the face of music history. From The Beatles to Queen and David Bowie, Take That to the Rolling Stones, Britain is a cultural mecca for music fans, and whether you’re visiting London or Liverpool, there’s a musical experience that perfect for you.

London

A hive of musical activity throughout the ages, London really came into its own in the swinging 60s, when up-and-coming bands from across the world flocked to soak up the creative vibes and jam together. It was from his parent’s home in Pinner, North London, that a young Reginald Dwight formed Bluesology – the first step on his path to stardom. Indeed, the names of two band members, Elton Dean and John Baldry, were used to create his solo stage name – Elton John! Fans of the charismatic star can walk in his footsteps on a Pinner Walk, which takes in Elton’s childhood home, spectacular views from Pinner Hill Golf Club and his first gigging venue. Having welcomed Elton as a weekend pianist in the 1960s, Northwood Hills Hotel may be gone, but the building lives on as Namaste Lounge, a modern Indian restaurant, bar and shisha lounge. If you’re a rock fan on a trip to the capital you can also discover the former haunts of Led Zeppelin, The Clash and Amy Winehouse on a Rock Legends minibus tour, or visit the London flat that all four Beatles shared on the Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Tour of London, which also reveals the history of artists including U2 and Elton himself. Alternatively, why not go time travelling on the Swinging 60s bus tour, which transports you back to the music-defining decade.

Liverpool

Elton has close ties to Liverpool thanks to his auntie, while drummer Nigel Olsson, who has played drums alongside him for half a century, was born in the Wirral. The city is packed full of music-themed tours and experiences to enjoy. You can discover the history of Liverpool supergroup The Beatles and a whole host of other British artists at the British Music Experience.  With a section dedicated just to the Fab Four, you can see letters written by fans of the band, clothing worn by Ringo and John, and a whole range of memorabilia from the band’s travels in the 1960s. Other highlights include outfits worn by David Bowie, the Union Jack guitar played by Noel Gallagher at the pinnacle of Oasis’s fame, and even lyrics written by Adele.

Manchester

As the birthplace of Oasis, The 1975 and The Smiths, Manchester is no slouch when it comes to musical heritage. If you’re inspired by Rocketman to get back to your musical roots and Manchester is your destination of choice, why not jump on one of Manchester Music Tours sightseeing trips? Founded by Craig Gill, the drummer of Inspiral Carpets, the tours reveal the history of famous artists, bands and venues throughout the decades, from The Stone Roses to Joy Division. You can even travel in rock star style and take the tour from the comfort of a Manchester taxi. And from two-hour group tours to private itineraries, Manchester Music Story Tour has something for every fan – you can even do a combined tour of three British music cities, taking in the highlights of Manchester, London and Liverpool.

Edinburgh

From bagpipes to the Bay City Rollers, Scotland’s capital city has a rich musical history that’s well worth discovering. Elton’s first solo concert in 1972 was at the city’s Festival Theatre in Nicolson Street, then called the Empire, while the extravagant musician has also wowed crowds at Edinburgh Castle and Easter Road in the past. If you’re visiting the city, why not check out Edinburgh Music Tours, which offer 1.5-hour tours of the city’s musical highlights. For over 18s only, the tours finish in one of Edinburgh’s most famous folk bars, where you can discover more about the legendary acts that have played there over a wee dram or two.

Glasgow

A hot spot for up-and-coming musicians over the years, Elton wouldn’t have been out of place trying to forge his career in Glasgow! A favourite stomping ground of bands including Oasis and Manic Street Preachers, the city’s bars and pubs have played host to many a struggling artist both before and after they made it big. You can find out more about this epic musical heritage on a Glasgow Music City Tour, enjoy traditional folk music on the Scottish Trad Trail Tour or visit the historic music venues of yore on the Merchant City Tour.

Dotty for Downton - discover the filming locations of the Downton Abbey movie

The feature length Downton Abbey movie hits the screens in September, with the new trailer providing plenty of reasons for fans of the period drama to get excited.

Director Brian Percival’s feature length production will welcome back the stars of the hit ITV series, last seen on screens in 2015. And there are ample opportunities to visit the real Downton Abbey, both before and after the movie lands in UK cinemas on 13 September.

What to expect from the movie?

Set around a year after the finale of the TV series, in 1927, the Downton Abbey movie will revolve around a royal visit from His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary.

It will once again follow the aristocratic Crawley family and their dedicated staff on the fictional Yorkshire estate. Starring old favourites including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Lesley Nicole and Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter will also return as Carson the butler in a bid to restore Downton to its former glory.

See the real Downton Abbey!

The picturesque star of the movie, and of the past television series, Highclere Castle near the Hampshire/Berkshire border doubles up as the famous setting for Downton Abbey. The home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the stunning period property and 5,000-acre estate features Jacobean Revival architecture from Sir Charles Barry which dates back to the 1820s. In addition to the country house are its pristine grounds, landscaped by renowned gardener Capability Brown in 1770, and designated a Sight of Special Scientific Interest since 1991.

Events at Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle opens for a limited period during the summer, and on selected other dates for special events throughout the year, giving Downton Abbey fans a chance to experience the impressive building first-hand.

When? The Castle and Gardens, as well as an onsite Egyptian Exhibition, will be open to the public from 7 July 2019 to 2 September 2019, although the Castle is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Downton Abbey Live Open Air Concert

Fans can prepare for the forthcoming movie release by taking in the TV show’s magical soundtrack this June. Set in the grounds of Highclere Castle, the Chamber Orchestra of London will join forces with the TV show’s composer John Lunn on piano for an exclusive open air concert. Hosted by Jim Carter, renowned for his portrayal of Mr Carson, the Downton Abbey Live open air concert aims to bring the TV phenomenon to life on 22 June.

When? 22 June, from 4pm

Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours

Just in time for the Downton Abbey movie release, Highclere Castle is hosting Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours on the weekend before it hits cinemas. Visitors can tour the castle, walking in the footsteps of the stars, while taking in a spectacular collection of costumes from the 1920s era. Highclere’s own cocktail van, ‘Josephine Vanessa’ will also be on site serving up a delicious array of refreshing drinks.

When? 7-8 September 2019. Grounds open from 10am to 6pm, with access on the Castle limited to the type of ticket. Morning ticket access from 10.30am to 12.30 pm. Afternoon ticket access from 12.20pm to 2.30pm.

Real Lives and Film Sets – Special guided tours

Once the film is released, fans of Downton Abbey will be able to set foot in many of the locations were the scenes were shot as part of exclusive special guided tours. Real Lives and Film Sets will enable visitors to explore the beauty of the State Rooms, climb the Great Oak Staircase and be immersed by the extensive Egyptian Exhibition – which details the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by the fifth Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter – while discovering more about the rich and varied history of the site. Tours also include a seasonal buffet at the estate’s Coach House Tea Rooms.

When? Tours on selected dates in September (14, 17, 20, 25, 28, 29) and October (16, 17, 23, 24) with morning sessions starting at 10.30am and afternoon sessions starting at 2.30pm for entry to the Castle.

Beamish Open Air Museum

Used as a backdrop for the upcoming Downton Abbey film, the renowned Beamish open air museum in County Durham explores life in North East England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1900s Town allows visitors to discover how families lived and worked in the build-up to the First World War, supported by highly engaging and thought-provoking Pit Village and Colliery experiences. A recreated tramway, a 1940s farm, an Edwardian style railway station and 1820s Pockerley are among the other star attractions.

When? Open daily from 10am to 5pm until 3 November 2019, with reduced opening hours of 10am to 4pm during the winter. Beamish is closed on selected days during the winter.

Discover London during Wimbledon

As the only Grand Slam tennis tournament still played on grass, the prestigious Wimbledon Championships continues to be a huge draw for fans across the world. The 2019 tournament runs from 1-14 July and will see thousands of fans descending on the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Tickets for the two-week event are in demand, with the majority only accessible via ballot, and the remaining tickets don’t come cheap. But that doesn’t mean fans in London need to miss the action on the famous grass courts in SW19.

As well as the men’s and ladies’ singles finals, there are also men’s doubles, ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles to enjoy during the tournament, as well as four junior events – boy’s and girls’ singles and boy’s and girls’ doubles. The best players from across the world go head-to-head, chasing multi-million-pound prize pots and a chance to cement their place in tennis folklore.

In the men’s game, no one has beaten Roger Federer’s eight Wimbledon titles, while of those still playing in the women’s game, Serena Williams has lifted the trophy an incredible seven times. Both will be hoping to secure their place in their respective finals, with the Women’s Singles’ Final on Saturday 13 July, and the Men’s Singles Final on Sunday 14 July.

Getting tickets for Wimbledon

Although the tennis attracts a worldwide audience of millions each year, only a maximum of 39,000 spectators are allowed into the grounds at any one time.

Those tickets are distributed via public ballots, long-term debenture seats, by queueing on the day for a limited number of release tickets and via online sales the day before play. The vast majority of tickets for the main courts – Centre Court, No.1 Court and Number 2 Court – are sold via ballots, months in advance of the action getting underway.  

Around 500 tickets for each of the three courts, as well as a limited number of Grounds Passes, are available to those who want to queue up each day – this often involves camping at the grounds for at least one night. Wristbands are allocated from 7.30am to those in the queue on Church Road leading to Gate 3. The grounds open at 9.30 and no wristband for the show courts means no ticket, although Grounds Passes could still be available. Note also that all tickets for the final four days of the tournament are sold in advance.

A big screen on Murray Mound (or Henman Hill), a strip of high ground adjacent to Court No. 1 is a go-to for those with Grounds Passes who are keen to see the elite stars in action.

Getting to Wimbledon

For those with a ticket to Wimbledon, it’s recommended to use public transport to access the All England Lawn Tennis Club as parking options are limited.

District Line services on the London Underground run regularly and the entrance to Wimbledon is around a 15-minute walk from Southfields. South West Trains services run from Waterloo Station to Wimbledon Station, with the walk to the venue taking around 30 minutes.

London’s big screenings

With tickets for Wimbledon in such high demand, it’s still possible to enjoy the action in the heart of London on one of several big screens.

Granary Square, King’s Cross

The canal side steps in Granary Square will show coverage of Wimbledon until at least 8pm each evening, with screenings continuing if key matches are not finished. The screenings form part of the Everyman Summer Love Film Festival and the KERB street food market and a pop-up bar will provide refreshments.

When? 1-14 July

Merchant Square, Paddington

Hidden away alongside the canal in the Paddington Basin, tennis will once again be shown on the big screen in Merchant Square. Relax in deckchairs and on beanbags, and tuck into an array of delicious street food on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

When? 1-14 July

British Summer Time, Hyde Park

As part of the Open House week of British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park, visitors can enjoy outdoor cinema, food markets and free Wimbledon screenings on four weekdays from 12pm, alongside delicious portions of strawberries and cream. Note that the championship finals will not be screened.

When? 8-11 July

The Piazza, Wimbledon

For those unable to secure a ticket to the All England Lawn Tennis Club, screenings will take place on The Piazza near to Wimbledon station, with an abundance of colourful deckchairs available for fans.

When? 1-14 July

Cardinal Place Roof Garden

The much-loved Wimbledon screenings at Cardinal Place, Victoria will return once again this summer – but with an all-new tropical twist.

Visitors to London can relax and unwind in sunshine-inspired surroundings whatever the weather, with deck chairs for sun worshippers, and a bright canary yellow canopy for those throwing some shade, as the roof garden at Cardinal Place is transformed as part of this year’s Colour my Summer campaign.

Come rain or shine, Wimbledon screenings at Cardinal Place will run seven days a week.

When? 1-14 July