Aviation and military museums around Britain

Monday 26 August

 

The Red Arrows, the incredible Royal Air Force Display Team, is currently on a tour of North America for the first time in more than a decade. The team, based at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, puts the spotlight on Britain’s proud aviation heritage. Military and aviation buffs can explore various sites across Britain where you see everything from Second World War classic airplanes such as the Spitfire and Lancaster, to Winston Churchill’s War Rooms.

 

Imperial War Museum - Duxford

 

More than a century of aviation is on display in the hangars and buildings at RAF Duxford, the site where the first Spitfires first flew. See up close hundreds of aircraft and displays including the B-52, Concorde, the Spitfire, Lancaster and Tiger Moth, and the interior of a Vulcan bomber. There’s a permanent display of American aircraft from the Second World War to present day models, as well as a special Battle of Britain display exploring the UK’s defences from the First World War and beyond.

 

Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show 2019, IWM Duxford, 21-22 September 2019. Saturday tickets are £35, weekend tickets are £57.50 - children go free.

 

Adult tickets cost £18, children ages 5-15 £9 and under 4s go free. A family ticket for one adult and up to three children is £31.50, for two adults and up to 6 children is £45.

 

Imperial War Museum - London

 

IWM London explores conflicts throughout history including the Holocaust, the First World War and a special ‘Witnesses to War’ and how they’ve shaped past wars and modern society. Displays feature a Harrier jet, Spitfire plane, a V-2 rocket, a T-34 tank and a 13-Pounder Gun from the First World War. There is also a Reuters Land Rover damaged by a rocket attack in Gaza.

 

Free admission

 

Churchill War Rooms - London

 

From these hidden bunkers beneath the streets of Westminster, Winston Churchill and his war cabinet plotted the allied route to victory during the Second World War. Churchill War Rooms encompass a series of rooms and walkways, well-sheltered from the German bombing raids above. A must-see for Churchill fans to learn about his life and legacy.

 

Adult tickets cost £22, for children ages 5-15 tickets are £11, children ages four and under go free. Family tickets start from £40.

 

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust - Hampshire

 

The story of the history of aviation is told at Farnborough Air Sciences Trust. From the first airborne cameras and flying clothing to high altitude 'space suits', night vision aids, head-up cockpit displays and the first carbon fibre experiments, the development of aeronautical science owes much to Farnborough. You can tour a fully working demonstration wind tunnel!

 

Free admission

 

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum - Chichester

 

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum is located in a corner of the old Tangmere airfield, famed as an RAF fighter station from 1918 until Fighter Command left in 1958. Walk through a vast collection of historic aircrafts, from Hurricanes to two world speed record holding aircrafts. As well as being displayed in hanger-style halls, there are also flight simulators, making this a truly immersive aviation experience.

 

Adults: £10.00*; Over 60s: £8.00; Children between 5 and 16: £4.00; Children under 5: FREE

 

 

Gatwick Aviation Museum - Surrey

 

Gatwick Aviation Museum has a unique collection of British aircraft from the “golden age” of British aircraft manufacture (from the end of WWII until the 1970s). The collection features aircraft from major manufacturers such Avro, Hawker, Gloster, De Havilland, English Electric, Blackburn and Percival, plus aircraft engines from the likes of Bristol and Rolls Royce, as well as a collection of radio controlled and static models.

 

Adults £7.50; Children (5-14) £2.50; Under 5 Free

 

Dambusters Reservoir - Peak District

Derwent Dam (near Sheffield) offers a different view of aviation history as the site where the famous RAF ‘dambusters’ would practice bombing raids during the Second World War. You can walk around the tranquil Howden and Ladybower reservoirs and admire the dams still today. Derwent is a village 'drowned' in 1944 when the Ladybower Reservoir was created by flooding the village of Ashopton, Derwent Woodlands church and Derwent Hall. There are organised walks of the area.

 

 

National Museum of Flight - East Fortune, East Lothian

 

A highlight of the National Museum of Flight lets you get on board a G-BOAA Concorde (40 years since Scotland’s Concorde first flight), see a Red Arrows Hawk, and include hangar tours and see how East Fortune played a significant role in both World Wars.

 

Adult £12.50; Concession £10.50*; Child (5-15) £7.50 (under 5 free); Family (2 adults and 2 children) £33

 

Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum - Dumfries

 

The Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum collection started with a Bristol Hercules engine from a Wellington Bomber, and is now home to one of Europe’s most extensive collection of aero engines, as well as some of the earliest piston and radial engines through to modern jet engines, built by manufacturers including Rolls Royce, Armstrong Siddeley and De Havilland. The Control Tower is a very rare surviving example of a WW2 RAF control tower. It is home to the majority of the museum’s collection of smaller artefacts and memorabilia.

 

Adults: £5.40; Children and Concessions: £4.50; Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children): £16.00

 

 

Caernarfon Airworld Aviation Museum - Caernarfon https://www.airworldmuseum.com/

 

As one of the leading defensive sites along the Welsh coast, the airfield of the former RAF Llandwrog is now home to the Caernarfon Airworld Aviation Museum. Its extensive collection of aircraft and aviation memorabilia houses iconic machines such as the Hawker Hunter, D.H. Vampire, along with the only T2 BAe Harrier remaining worldwide. Fantastically, visitors may enter the cockpits of some of the aircraft and find out what it is like to sit in the narrow confines of a jet fighter aircraft.

 

Adult £6.50; Child/Pensioner £5; Family (2+2) £17.50

 

 

Fly in a Spitfire - Headcorn Aerodrome, Kent

 

For the experience of a lifetime, Fly In A Spitfire experience in a rare two-seater T9 Spitfire. An experienced Spitfire pilot will guide you through your unforgettable flight. Flights are also available in a Tiger Moth and a Harvard. Flights are from Headcorn Aerodrome, Kent (former RAF Lashenden) or from Sywell Aerodrome, Northants.

 

From £135 (Tiger Moth) to £2,750 (Spitfire)

Yesterday/Today; Ontem/Hoje: Veja os pontos turísticos ligados aos Beatles na Inglaterra

Um mundo sem os Beatles? Não dá para imaginar! O lançamento do filme britânico “Yesterday” nos cinemas brasileiros em 29 de agosto explora esse cenário. Já dá para antecipar uma obra com romance, comédia e boa música, além de alguns dos locais mais emblemáticos da Inglaterra, em Liverpool e Londres.  Você pode usar o filme como inspiração para visitar Liverpool e Londres e homenagear os Beatles ou outros músicos britânicos como Queen, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse ou Oasis, para ficar só em alguns. A Inglaterra tem inúmeros para uma viagem inspirada na música.

Liverpool, Inglaterra:

  • The Beatles Story Provavelmente o melhor lugar para começar sua jornada dos Beatles. Essa exposição interativa guia você pela história da banda desde o primeiro encontro de John e Paul até a Beatlemania global, álbuns posteriores e carreiras solo. Embalado com informações curiosas e muita história, o guia de áudio está disponível em 12 idiomas, incluindo português (Brasil).
    www.beatlesstory.com
     
  • Magical Mystery Tour: Você não pode perder o passeio a bordo deste ônibus pintado em cores psicodélicas. Ele leva visitantes a locais que inspiraram canções como “Penny Lane”, “Strawberry Fields Forever” e “Woolton Village”, onde John e Paul se conheceram e onde fica o túmulo de Eleanor Rigby.
    www.cavernclub.com/the-magical-mystery-tour
     
  • The Cavern Club: Nenhuma visita está completa sem uma viagem descendo as escadas para The Cavern Club, onde os Beatles tocaram 292 vezes e aperfeiçoaram seus talentos no início dos anos 1960. Ainda há música ao vivo lá todos os dias, e apesar de seu pequeno tamanho, o local recebeu outros grandes nomes, incluindo Adele, Arctic Monkeys e um cara chamado Paul McCartney, que fez um concerto lendário no bar no ano passado.
    www.cavernclub.com
     
  • Casas de infância de John e Paul: Se você quiser ver algo realmente pessoal e se transportar para a juventude de John e Paul, faça o tour do National Trust em suas duas casas de infância, Mendips e 20 Forthlin Road. As duas são imaculadamente preservadas, então dá para imaginar como viviam os dois jovens compositores.
    Elas são abertas aos visitantes quatro vezes por dia em excursões que partem do centro da cidade.
    www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatles-childhood-homes
     
  • Estátua dos Beatles: Um dos pontos de selfie mais populares da cidade, a estátua icônica dos quatro Beatles fica no meio da orla da cidade. Esse é o lugar onde os turistas foram surpreendidos quando Paul parou para uma foto rápida em seu passeio pela cidade durante o programa “Carpool Karaoke” no ano passado.
    www.visitliverpool.com/things-to-do/the-beatles-statue-p397421
     
  • Magical Beatles Museum: O museu na Matthew Street possui alguns produtos fantásticos e raros dos Beatles. Tudo vem da coleção pessoal de seu dono, Roag Best, irmão do baterista original da banda, Pete, e filho de Mona, dono do Casbah Club. Há seções para cada fase da banda, mas nós particularmente amamos os itens de período em Hamburgo, que conta a história de uma banda jovem no exterior – incluindo um caso de prisão e expulsão do país!
    www.magicalbeatlesmuseum.com
     
  • The Casbah Coffee Club: Antes do Cavern, havia o Casbah. A despretensiosa casa suburbana era o lar do primeiro clube de rock'n'roll de Liverpool, onde John e Paul se divertiram, fizeram seus primeiros shows e participaram da movimentada cena de Merseybeat. Os visitantes ainda podem ir ao clube e ver como tudo era no início.
    www.petebest.com/casbah-coffee-club
     
  • Abertura de Strawberry Field em Setembro: O local onde John Lennon brincou quando criança e inspirou a famosa canção dos Beatles já é um local de peregrinação para os fãs do quarteto. Neste ano, ele será reaberto ao público como uma atração para visitantes, além de ser um centro que oferece aos jovens com deficiência a oportunidade de desenvolver novas habilidades, treinamento e oportunidades de trabalho.
    www.strawberryfieldliverpool.com/
     
  • Double Fantasy - John & Yoko: A impressionante e emocionante exposição no Museum of Liverpool tem itens da coleção pessoal de Yoko e conta a história do casal nas suas próprias palavras. A exposição fechará em 3 de novembro de 2019.
    www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol
     
  • Penny Lane: Sim, é um lugar real. Sim, existe uma barbearia. E sim, você pode tirar uma foto ao lado da placa da rua.
    www.visitliverpool.com/explore-the-city/top-spots/penny-lane
     
  • British Music Experience: Este museu do Merseyside conta a história da música britânica através de trajes, instrumentos, performances e memorabilia dos Beatles, David Bowie, Oasis, Coldplay, Adele e outros artistas. 
    www.britishmusicexperience.com
     

Londres, Inglaterra:
 

  • London Rock Tours: A empresa organiza um passeio de meio dia na capital totalmente focado nos Beatles chamado Ticket to Ride. Embora tenham nascido em Liverpool, os Beatles se fizeram em Londres, cidade que influenciou diretamente seu desenvolvimento artístico. No passeio noturno “Ticket to Ride”, é possível visitar mais de 50 grandes locais dos Beatles, registrando o período da Beatlemania de 1962 a 1969 e os anos solo depois disso. Nenhum outro passeio da Londres dos Beatles cobre tantos locais do centro da capital em uma única turnê. Os destaques incluem o Abbey Road Studios, a casa de Paul McCartney em Londres, a galeria de arte onde John Lennon conheceu Yoko, o local onde a música “Yesterday” foi escrita, locações de filmes de “A Hard Day's Night”, “Help!” e “Magical Mystery Tour” e muito mais. Outros passeios da London Rock Tours que incluem locais do ligados dos Beatles, além de outras bandas britânicas, são o Rock Walk e o Classic Rock Legends.
    www.londonrocktour.com/tour-5-why-walk-when-you-can-take-a-ticket-to-ride
  • Outros passeios ligados à música britânica: Londres é a cidade ideal para fazer uma viagem focada em música. A Rock 'n' Roll London Tour leva você para visitar locais ligados aos Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Sex Pistols, Blur e Oasis. A Undiscovered London organiza o Camden Markets and Music Legends Tour, no qual você aprenderá sobre a vida e a música de Amy Winehouse, Pink Floyd e outros artistas que viveram e trabalharam no bairro de Camden, no norte de Londres. Os fãs de David Bowie devem conferir a David Bowie Musical Walking Tour no bairro onde o artista vivia no sul de Londres, Brixton. Outra opção é viajar no tempo a bordo do Swinging 60s bus, que transporta você de volta à década crucial para a música.
    - Rock ´n´ Roll London Tour: www.walks.com/our-walks/rock-n-roll-london-keep-on-
      walking-keep-on-rocking

    - Camden Markets & Music Legends Tour: www.undiscoveredlondon.com/walking-
      tours/camden-walking-tour/
    - David Bowie Musical Walking Tour: www.bowietourlondon.co.uk
    - Swinging 60s Bus: www.60sbus.london
     
  • Passeios autoguiados: Um simples passeio pelas ruas de Londres revelará locais que as lendas do rock britânico tornaram famosos. A Berwick Street, no Soho, é a rua que aparece na capa do álbum seminal do Oasis (What's The Story) Morning Glory. Baixe o aplicativo Blue Plaques para descobrir onde músicos como Jimi Hendrix e John Lennon viveram ou tocaram. Dê um passeio pela Denmark Street do Soho -- carinhosamente conhecida como Tin Pan Alley por seu grande número de lojas de instrumentos musicais que serviram clientes famosos ao longo das décadas. Visite o Handel & Hendrix Museum em 23 Brook Street, onde você aprenderá sobre a vida de dois músicos muito diferentes que viveram neste endereço com séculos de diferença. E você não pode vir para a capital da Inglaterra sem recriar a lendária travessia dos Beatles que virou capa do álbum Abbey Road - vá até o bairro de St John's Wood e fotografe seus passos na faixa de pedestres mais famosa do mundo (cuidado com o tráfego!).
    - Blue Plaques: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/blue-plaques
    - Handel & Hendrix Museum: https://handelhendrix.org/plan-your-visit/whats-
      here/hendrix-flat

    - Abbey Road: https://www.abbeyroad.com/CROSSING
     
  • Hard Rock Hotel London: Localizado na esquina da Oxford Street com a Park Lane, o hotel abriu em abril este ano. Aqui funcionou, anteriormente, o Cumberland Hotel. Como Hard Rock, ele tem uma coleção de relíquias para homenagear antigos residentes e hóspedes como Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder e Madonna. O Hard Rock Hotel London tem cerca de 1.000 quartos e suítes elegantes, juntamente com dois bares vibrantes e um animado Hard Rock Cafe®. No lobby, a mundialmente famosa Rock Shop® conta com os icônicos produtos do Hard Rock.
    www.hardrockhotels.com/london
     
  • K West Hotel & Spa: Este hotel poderia ser “apenas” um retiro de quatro estrelas no oeste de Londres, mas vai além, com seu estilo e ambiente vanguardista. E isso se deve à sua localização dentro de antigos estúdios de gravação, onde lendas como The Kinks e Bob Marley gravaram faixas. O seu Studio Bar é replete de mobiliário chique e lustres, abrigando uma multidão urbana descolada nos fins de semana.
    www.k-west.co.uk

 

  • Portobello Hotel: Esse hotel butique no bairro de Notting Hill tem um "bar de honestidade" (sem atendentes; você paga o que consome), o que pode ser uma das razões para atrair tantos músicos e bandas famosas que acabam se hospedando aqui. Reserve um quarto aqui e você estará no mesmo ambiente onde já dormiram U2, Mick Jagger, Blur, Alice Cooper, Oasis e Sex Pistols -- embora nem todos ao mesmo tempo (isso seria uma festa bem louca!)
    www.portobellohotel.com
     
  • Karma Sanctum Soho: O local convida você a “viver a vida de rock star” -- o que combina perfeitamente com o bar 24 horas e a banheira de hidromassagem. Duas moradias georgianas foram convertidas em 30 quartos de hotel. O hotel butique combina com a história artística e de vanguarda de Soho. Os membros do Motorhead se hospedaram aqui no passado.
    https://karmagroup.com/find-destination/karma-sanctum/karma-sanctum-soho/
     
  • Divertir-se: Quer tomar uma cerveja nos mesmos locais que seus ídolos do rock beberam ou tocaram? Londres está repleta de pubs e bares onde seus artistas deram início às suas carreiras. O pub The Dublin Castle em Camden, por exemplo, já recebeu The Killers, Blur e Amy Winehouse como artistas e clientes. Confira também o Camden Assembly, (anteriormente conhecido como The Barfly), um bar onde Oasis, Coldplay e Franz Ferdinand fizeram arte, bem como The Good Mixer, ainda um local de música ao vivo e um pub onde Amy Winehouse, Blur, Pulp e Oasis eram ou são vistos. Em Earl's Court, The Troubadour é um local de música histórico onde Bob Dylan e Jimi Hendrix tocaram. Já em Islington, o pub The Hope & Anchor já recebeu bandas como U2, The Police e The Stranglers enquanto eles subiam no mundo da música. Os fãs dos Rolling Stones podem comer alguma coisa no restaurante Sticky Fingers de Bill Wyman, em Kensington.
    - The Dublin Castle: http://thedublincastle.com
    - Camden Assembly: https://camdenassembly.com
    - The Troubadour: www.troubadourlondon.com
    - Hope & Anchor: www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/greater-london/hope-anchor

- Sticky Fingers: www.stickyfingers.co.uk
 

VisitBritain highlights importance of gardens to tourism at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

VisitBritain is this year supporting the RHS Bridgewater Feature Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, hosting an event to shine the spotlight on the role that gardens play in driving both domestic and inbound tourism.

It comes as latest statistics show that more Brits are visiting gardens as part of a day trip out in England, last year taking 7.4 million more such trips than in 2017, up 16% and making gardens more popular than visiting a stately home, historic house or palace. 

Longer-term, visits to gardens as part of a day trip in England have increased 14% on average each year during the last five years from 2014 to 2018. 

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“Britain’s stunning gardens are a proven tourism draw which have inspired visitors for generations, admired at home and across the world for their beauty and variety and enjoyed by domestic and overseas tourists in growing numbers. With the summer season upon us and Britain’s gardens in bloom, it is the perfect time to be highlighting their importance to tourism at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations.”

Garden attractions in England have also seen higher growth than other types of attractions according to VisitEngland’s latest Annual Attractions Survey. Garden attractions saw a 3% annual increase in domestic and inbound visitors, above the average for all attraction types of 2%. 

When looking at inbound tourism, almost a third of all visits annually to the UK include a trip to a garden or park with those visitors spending a total of £8.9 billion during their stay. The US, France and Germany make up the top three inbound markets respectively for the number of visits to gardens and parks made during trips to the UK. 

Gardens have been a cornerstone of the tourism agency’s promotional activity for decades, from the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition which it ran for many years to VisitEngland’s year-long themed campaigns promoting English gardens to drive domestic tourism. More recently its focus has been supporting tourism product development for example the ‘Gourmet Garden Trails of England’ which packages up accommodation, and food and drink around English garden attractions.

VisitBritain is hosting an evening reception for its 50th anniversary at the RHS Bridgewater Garden during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, putting the spotlight on regional destinations and visitor attractions. The garden is designed by Tom Stuart-Smith and is the largest at this year’s show, described as a collage of the garden being built around the new Welcome Building at RHS Bridgewater in Greater Manchester. 

Tourism overall is worth £127 billion annually to the UK economy, creating jobs and driving economic growth across its nations and regions.

ENDS 

Notes to editors: 

• For a link to an online map of some of Britain’s flower shows and content please see: https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/discover-some-britains-most-fantastic-flower-shows
• For content on flower shows in Britain please see: 

https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/media/story-ideas/discover-some-britains-most-fantastic-flower-shows
• The British Tourist Authority (VisitBritain/VisitEngland) marks its 50th anniversary this year, 2019. It was established following The Development of Tourism Act 1969.
• Latest statistics show that in 2018 there 54.4 million domestic day trips in England which included a visit to a garden compared to 47 million in 2017, an increase of 16%.
• The third of inbound tourism visits accounted for (32%) of visits to the UK based on 2016 International Passenger Survey statistics from ONS.
• The latest VisitEngland Annual Attractions Survey is for 2017 (and published in August 2018): See link here: https://www.visitbritain.org/sites/default/files/vb-corporate/Documents-Library/documents/England-documents/vva_2017_trends_in_england.pdf 

• For more information on the RHS Bridgewater Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show see:
https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/bridgewater

Ainda dá tempo para "Spice Up Your Life" com as Spice Girls na Grã-Bretanha este junho: Conheça as novas viagens com guias da Viaje Entre Iguais

Theatre to book in 2019

London shows

Small Island

Opening in May, the Olivier Theatre in London’s National Theatre will welcome an adaptation of Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel Small Island by Helen Edmundson. Focusing on the history of Jamaica and Britain and set at the time when the Empire Windrush docked in the UK, the show follows the connected stories of Hortense, new to London from Jamaica, landlady Queenie and two servicemen, Bernard and Gilbert.

The Antipodes

October means the European premiere of Annie Baker’s The Antipodes at the Dorfman Theatre, another of the National Theatre spaces. Following a period at the Signature Theatre in New York, the play about stories and the people that tell them is directed by Lila Neugebauer.

Top Girls

Having premiered in London in 1982, Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls will return in 2019 to the National Theatre’s Lyttelton space. Following Marlene, the first woman to head the Top Girls employment agency, the play is an innovative look at a country that is divided by its ambitions – the first showing is in late March.

9 to 5 The Musical

Enjoy a hilarious tale of friendship, gossip and revenge, as well as Dolly Parton’s biggest hits in 9 to 5 the Musical, which premiers in the West End’s Savoy Theatre in late January, before concluding at the end of August. Telling the story of how to survive in an office environment, expect all of the classic songs, including the title track 9 to 5, Always a Woman and Around Here, as well as many more.

All About Eve

Discover Ivo van Hove’s new adaptation of All About Eve at London’s Noel Coward Theatre, starring Gillian Anderson and Lily James. Uncover a world of jealousy and ambition, and question why people are fascinated with celebrities, youth and identity when the show premiers in the West End in February 2019.

Come From Away

Having sold out on Broadway, Come From Away comes to the UK in 2019 to tell the remarkable true story of how a small town in Newfoundland housed 7,000 stranded air passengers in the wake of 9/11 in 2001. Highlighting the capacity for human kindness in difficult times and the triumph of humanity over hate, the show gets underway at London’s Phoenix Theatre in late January.

The Waitress

Taking inspiration from Adrienne Shelly’s hit film, The Waitress is the story of Jenna, a waitress and skilled pie-maker on the hunt of a new life beyond the confines of her small town and loveless marriage. Katharine McPhee will star as Jenna during the limited run from February to May at the Adelphi Theatre on the Strand.

Long-running shows Lion King The Musical, The Book of Mormon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables and Thriller-Live will all continue to grab the imagination in 2019 too.

Across the UK

Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne’s re-imagined take on Tchaikovsky’s classic Swan Lake completes its tour of Britain in the first half of 2019, with shows all over the country. Famed for its male ballet ensemble, it’s an exciting modern look at a renowned classic production. Alongside shows at Sadler’s Wells in London, the tour will visit Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Southampton, Glasgow, Bristol, Canterbury, Norwich, Liverpool, Wimbledon, Hull, Woking, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Annie

Following a successful stint on London’s West End, the heart-warming story of young orphan Annie will visit 16 cities across the UK between early February and the beginning of July. Expect all of the hit songs, including It’s the Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow, and keep your eyes peeled for Anita Dobson and Craig Revel Horwood, who are both set for spells as tyrannical orphanage owner Miss Hannigan in Michael Harrison and David Ian’s hit production.

The Bodyguard

X-factor winner Alexandra Burke leads the cast in The Bodyguard, a musical based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. Having successfully conquered London’s West End, the romantic thriller follows bodyguard Frank Farmer and superstar Rachel Marron and is directed by award-wining Thea Sharrock. Having opened in Glasgow in late 2018, the hit musical will travel across the UK in 2019 before culminating with Manchester shows in early January 2020. Note that Carole Stennett will step into the lead role for certain shows.

Measure for Measure

Despite being written in the early 1600s, Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure still resonates strongly to this day. Gregory Doran directs the story of a young nun, compromised by a corrupt official and unsure of her options. Starting in late June, shows will take place at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon until the end of August.

In The Willows

Discover a fresh new take on Kenneth Grahame’s classic as The Wind in the Willows is transformed into a thrilling hip hop musical. Director Poppy Burton-Morgan has joined forces with award-winning composer Pippa Cleary and pioneering hip-hop composer Kieran Merrick for In The Willows, which will tour the UK from mid-February to the start of June. Expect killer beats and epic tunes as deaf street dancer Chris Fonseca stars as Otter.

Pirates!

A vibrant revival of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance is set to open in 2019, although dates are yet to be confirmed. Pirates!, directed by Daryl Gray, will feature new arrangements and orchestrations from Grammy Award winner Steve Sidwell, some 140 years after the original was first performed.

We Will Rock You

The smash hit Queen and Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You returns in 2019 for a UK and Ireland tour, having toured internationally since leaving the West End in 2014. Offering a combination of Elton’s futuristic comedy writing paired with 24 of Queen’s biggest hits, it follows the epic Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which opened at number one in the box office in more than 30 countries. The nine-month tour of the UK gets underway in September.

7 of the most Instagrammable winter walks near London

Crisp, clean air, winter sun shining, frost crunching underfoot – it’s the perfect time of year to take an invigorating walk across one of these picture-perfect routes, all within a couple of hours reach of the capital.

Thames Path National Trail

Embarking on this long-distance walking route (184 miles/294km) is an excellent way to discover the gorgeous scenery alongside the River Thames but even dipping in and out of it delivers a raft of Instagrammable sights that look beautiful bathed in winter sunshine and silvery frost. Rural tranquillity welcomes you as the Thames Path National Trail starts at the very source of the river in the Cotswolds, before meandering through several of south-east England’s rural counties and lovely villages. The trail also passes by towns and cities such as Oxford, Windsor and Henley, bringing further photo opportunities (university colleges, ‘dreaming spires’ and a castle or two to name just a few!) before heading through the charming leafy boroughs of Richmond and Kew, with the trail culminating at London’s historic Docklands. This is a perfect winter walking route as there are plenty of places to stop off to warm up en route; in fact, the trail has teamed up with the Hop Kettle Brewery to produce the Trail Ale Liquid Highway, a bespoke ale sold along the trail with a donation made to its upkeep with every one sold.

Time from central London: 2 hours to the start of the trail

Constable Country, Essex

The area of Dedham Vale and the Stour Valley has been attracting visitors keen to portray its beauty for centuries. One of Britain’s most famous painters, John Constable, depicted the stunning scenery here in several of his renowned works – it’s an area of pretty villages, picturesque meadows, ancient woodlands and a labyrinth of cute lanes. The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Stour Valley area boasts many walking routes and, if you head to the National Trust at Flatford, you’ll see those very views, villages and hamlets that inspired Constable’s famous works, The Hay Wain and Flatford Mill, meaning you can capture the contemporary version.

Time from central London: 2 hours

Hampstead Heath Circular, north London

London and its suburbs are famous for their green spaces, so you can experience a stunning winter walk without travelling out too far from the capital’s centre. Hampstead Heath to the north of the capital is a popular place to stroll, with several trails available. If you’re on the circular route, you’ll have the chance to snap pictures of Victorian architecture dotted along Hampstead High Street, the famous Hampstead Ponds and the magnificent panoramic views across central London once you’ve climbed Parliament Hill. Heading back down from the Heath you can also take in the genteel Kenwood House, which houses important works of art, and the elegant Hampstead Grove.

Time from central London: 30 minutes

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

The grounds of the National Trust’s Waddesdon Manor are ideal for exploring at this time of year – the even come with their very own Winter Garden. The route around the Winter Gardens emphasises the country manor estate’s finest points, with views back to Flint House – a unique-looking building in the grounds that is used to accommodate academics and artists working with Waddesdon’s educational and artistic programme and which also won the RIBA House of the Year Award in 2015 – and highlights the remarkable bronze and black colours of the Winter Garden’s features. Take time to walk to the Aviary Glade and visit its exotic species of birds, stop for a picture with the amazing 3D plant sculptures or the awesome contemporary sculpture dotted throughout the gardens, before warming up again with a steaming mug of hot chocolate in its Stables Café.

Time from central London: 1 ¾ hours

Saxon Shore Way, Kent and East Sussex

It may well be a long-distance pathway – stretching from Gravesend in Kent, hugging the south-east England coastline and ending in Hastings, East Sussex 163 miles (262km) away, but joining any part of the Saxon Shore Way will have you reaching for your camera phone. It traverses through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a number of Nature Reserves where you’ll spot a multitude of birds, butterflies and mammals. Must-see panoramic views to capture digitally include the route along the cliffs from Folkestone to Rye as well as the vista you’re rewarded with as you walk along the sandstone cliffs of the High Weald at Hastings.

Time from central London: 2 hours

Leith Hill, Surrey

Close to the charming market town of Dorking is Leith Hill, looked after by the National Trust – endeavour to climb this hill and you’ll be rewarded with astounding views over the county of Surrey and the Surrey Hills. Come on a clear day and you may well be able to see London to the north and the coastline to the south too. With plenty of walking trails through open heathland or woodland you’ll get to experience different terrains but the pièce de résistance of views you’ll want to capture on camera is from the top of Leith Hill Tower – this is the highest point of south-east England and you’ll discover why this part of the landscape is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Time from central London: 1.5 hours

Coombe Hill & Chequers, Chiltern Hills

Ever wondered what the British Prime Minister’s grand country residence looked like? Embark on this 8.5-mile walk through countryside landscapes looked after by the National Trust, and you can find out! The route also includes the chance to climb to the Boer War Memorial at the top of Coombe Hill in the county of Buckinghamshire and, from here, you’ll experience the spectacular views across to the Cotswold and Aylesbury Vale and even catch a glimpse of distant landmarks via the toposcope located on top of the hill. That’s before you’ve walked through stunning woodlands, the pretty village of Ellesborough and the footpath that then leads you past the driveway entrance of Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country retreat.

Time from central London: 1.5 hours

Accommodation Update - December 2018

Whether you’re looking for a boutique luxury hotel in leafy Kent or affordable accommodation in the heart of Glasgow, our round-up of the UK’s newest hotels offers something for every traveller. Discover our top picks below.

Recently refurbished

London

The Marylebone, Marylebone

Situated in the heart of central London a short walk from Bond Street, The Marylebone is a recently renovated boutique hotel boasting new facilities. These include The Cocktail Bar, which combines 4 adjoining spaces themed around the seasons, from the cosy winter lounge complete with a roaring fire to the outdoor terrace that’s perfect for summer socialising. Other additions include The Marylebone Rooms and Number Six – a series of stylish private event rooms designed in the hotel’s signature art deco style by the award-winning Michaelis Boyd studio. There is also a range of newly refurbished luxury rooms and suites to choose from.

Recently opened

Scotland

The Grandtully Hotel, Perthshire

Dedicated to delivering exceptional Scottish food and drink to its guests, the newly renovated The Grandtully Hotel by Ballintaggart offers luxurious culinary experiences in equally luxurious settings. With just eight bedrooms, this boutique property has been lovingly restored and features a careful blend of traditional features and contemporary design. Facilities include a 30-cover restaurant serving fine local produce, a bar, a private dining area and an outdoor terrace. 

Citi Hotel, Aberdeen

City Hotel in Aberdeen prides itself on offering affordable stays in the heart of the city. Based on the former site of The Royal Hotel, the property underwent a £500,000 refurbishment over 12 months and reopened at the start of November.  The self-dubbed ‘poshtel’ boasts a new reception area, newly fitted bathroom suites, refined décor and 42 bedrooms starting from just £35 per night.  

Opening soon

London

The Bedford, Balham

Opening December 2018

Beloved by musicians including Ed Sheeran, London’s famous The Bedford pub is undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment. Scheduled to reopen this December, the Grade II-listed building will boast five bars, a ballroom, four private rooms and a 250-capacity live music venue hosting a range of events, from comedy to burlesque. There are also 15 ensuite bedrooms to choose from, each designed around the pub’s distinctive medley of art deco and 1970s style.

The Standard, St Pancras

Opening in spring 2019

The boutique Standard Hotel chain will soon be celebrating the opening of its first international hotel in London. Scheduled to open in early 2019, the hotel will be the newest addition to the chain’s properties in New York, Miami and L.A. Located within the Camden Town Hall Annex, one of the city’s best-known examples of 1970s brutalist architecture, the hotel promises to embody the quirky culture and history of the local area while serving as a luxury base from which to explore King’s Cross and the surrounding area.

 

South-east England

Lion Lodge, Port Lympne, Kent  

Opening in spring 2019

The luxurious Lion Lodge will give guests the chance to stay in close proximity to Port Lympne’s lion pride. Set within the lions’ enclosure, the loft-style lodge features floor-to-ceiling windows in the open plan living space and master bedroom, an open fire, underfloor heating and a monsoon shower and wet room. Designed to sleep four, the master bedroom offers incredible views of the lions at rest and play, with the mezzanine level offering two additional beds accessed by spiral staircase. Guests can also enjoy the Scandinavian outdoor bath, built on a platform overlooking the sea and the 600-acre wildlife reserve.

The Albion Rooms, Margate

Opening date to be confirmed

Owned and developed by The Libertines rock band, The Albion Rooms is located on the seafront of Margate, a classic British seaside town with a strong artistic heritage. The development will comprise both a studio – scheduled to be finished in February 2019 - and bar within the five-storey Victorian building, in addition to 10 guest bedrooms individually designed by the band. The official opening date is still to be confirmed, but future guests can track the development’s progress here.

The Pig at Bridge Place, Canterbury

Opening in spring 2019

The Pig at Bridge Place is the latest hotel to be developed by the popular Pig Hotel chain. Opening its doors in spring 2019, the hotel is located in the former Bridge Place Country Club, a delightful 16th-century manor just outside Canterbury in historic Bridge village. In addition to the main building, guests can choose to stay in one of 12 bedrooms in the Coach House or 2 in the newly renovated gate lodge. Alternatively, there’s the option to choose from 7 ‘hop picker’ huts, for those looking for a more romantic getaway.

 

North-west England

Whitworth Locke, Manchester

Opening in December 2018

Due to open next month, Whitworth Locke is an 160-unit aparthotel offering a choice of one-bedroom suites or 24-sq metre studios overlooking Rochdale Canal. Designed by architects Grzywinski + Pons, this stylish residence and former cotton mill will offer the services and facilities of hotel living with the autonomy of a private apartment.

 

Hotel Indigo, Manchester

Opening in December 2018

Located in the city’s Northern Quarter opposite Victoria Station, Hotel Indigo embodies the style and originality that typifies the former industrial heart of the city - now a mecca for hipsters, musicians and the achingly cool. The hotel offers 187 bedrooms, all of which have been carefully renovated to reflect the cultural history of the area, and combines original Victorian features with modern facilities including an on-site gym, bar and restaurant.

 

London Warehouse, Manchester

Opening in spring 2019

The newly renovated London Warehouse hotel will open in spring 2019. Located in the Victorian railway warehouse formerly occupied by The Place Aparthotel, this luxurious 166-bed four-star aparthotel will offer facilities including a gym created by fitness brand BLOK. Other highlights include an all-day hangout space and a mini cinema, restaurant, bar and lounge managed by Bistrotheque restaurant.

 

Dakota Hotel, Manchester

Opening in spring 2019

Work has now begun on the £25 million pound development of Dakota Deluxe design hotel in Manchester. Scheduled to open in spring 2019, the hotel is located close to Piccadilly Station and promises to deliver the same elegant style, tasteful décor and luxurious facilities as its sister properties in Leeds and Glasgow.

 

Stock Exchange Hotel

Opening in spring 2019

Manchester’s historic Stock Exchange building is being redeveloped into a luxurious five-star boutique hotel courtesy of former Manchester United football stars Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs (GG Hospitality). Due to open in spring 2019, the Edwardian Baroque building – with its impressive central dome – is located in Norfolk Street. In addition to 40 bedrooms and suites, two luxurious presidential suites and two fine dining restaurants, the hotel will offer private dining in the wine cellars.

Ten cool hotels to have on your radar in 2019

Suitcases at the ready – some fabulously cool hotels are set to open in Britain next year, each bringing their own unique vibe as they set to join the ‘hottest properties to stay at’ lists.

The Hard Rock Hotel, London

Get ready to rock – located on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane in the conversion of the existing Cumberland Hotel, the legendary Hard Rock Hotel is scheduled to open its new London property in Spring next year. With 1,000 rooms and suites, together with two bars and a Hard Rock Cafe®, Hard Rock Hotel London will pay tribute in its memorabilia collection to former residents such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Madonna. The lobby will house its world-famous Rock Shop® featuring Hard Rock merchandise, and guests seeking the ultimate experience will have the opportunity to elevate their status and become Rock Royalty®. These luxurious Rock Royalty rooms and suites will offer extra perks including a personal concierge and access to a lavish lounge.

The DogHouse, Aberdeenshire, north Scotland

Beer lovers rejoice; independent craft brewer BrewDog has announced plans to build the world’s first craft beer hotel – wittily called The DogHouse – and will launch this immersive craft beer hotel and brewery expansion at its headquarters in Aberdeenshire, north Scotland. Set to welcome guests in the first half of 2019, the 26-room hotel will feature beer taps in the rooms, a built-in shower beer fridge, while the rooms will overlook the brewery itself. Guests will also be able to watch brewers at work from rooms overlooking the new facility.

Vineyard hotel at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey, south-east England

If wine is more your favourite tipple, look no further than England’s largest single estate vineyard, which, come Spring 2019, will have converted its existing farmhouse accommodation into what is being billed as the UK’s first vineyard hotel. Set on the Denbies estate in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and offering panoramic views across the vineyard and North Downs Way, the new hotel will have 17 en-suite bedrooms, an Orangery-style garden restaurant, outdoor dining cabanas and its own ‘Enomatic™ wine dispensing machine’ – meaning guests can taste and purchase Denbies wine by the glass. Plus, there’ll be complimentary wine tasting tutorials. Cheers to that!

art'otel Hoxton, London

What could be cooler than staying in a hotel with its own art gallery? art’otel plans to open its first property in London in the neighbourhood of Hoxton, which will be an 18-storey, 350-bedroom contemporary hotel. As well as an art gallery located in the publicly accessible arts centre, plans are said to include a top-floor restaurant and bar and luxury spa. Another art’otel property to have on your radar is the one the hotel group is said to be opening near the historic Battersea Power Station in the new Nine Elms district, south London.

Grantley Hall, Yorkshire Dales, north England

When Spring rolls round, the doors are set to open on a new five-star luxury country resort hotel and spa, set in a grand 17th-century house on its own island! Situated between the elegant Yorkshire towns of Ripon and Harrogate, Grantley Hall is being restored to its former early 20th-century glory and guests will be able to choose from 47 rooms and suites, four restaurants, three bars, a private members club, a spa pool, state-of-the-art gym and elite performance centre. The elegance continues outside; explore gorgeous landscaped gardens, which including a 1910 Japanese Garden that features on Historic England’s National Heritage List.

Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester, north-west England

If you’re a football fan, the newest hotel owned by Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville should be on your hotel hot list. The former footballers-turned-hoteliers are transforming Manchester’s beautiful old Stock Exchange building into a five-star boutique hotel, with 40 bedrooms, two presidential suites, two restaurants and private dining in the wine cellars for up to 100 people. The hotel is due to open in Spring 2019.

The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent, south-east England

Joining the litter of Pig Hotels, The Pig at Bridge Place in Kent is due to open in Spring. Its home is within a 17th-century manor house that may once have been the refined Bridge Place Country Club but was also host to some legendary parties and gigs in its time – Led Zeppelin even played here in the 1970s. Its 28 bedrooms will be enhanced by period features such as large fireplaces, secret stairways and panelled rooms, and there’ll be a further 12 bedrooms in its new Coach House. As with all Pigs, the kitchen garden and restaurant will be at the heart of this new property, and anything that can’t be supplied by the gardens will be sourced from the best producers within a 25-mile (40-km) radius. Also keep an eye out for another Pig opening towards the end of 2019; The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall, south-west England.

Market Street Hotel, Edinburgh, Scotland

Early 2019 will see Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, welcome a property from the Carlton House Collection, called Market Street Hotel. Situated on the edge of Edinburgh’s gorgeous Old Town, the historic nature of the building means lovely high ceilings and plenty of historic references, although the 98 bedrooms will be contemporary, urban-styled rooms with ante-room bathrooms. Its top floor is intriguingly being described as a ‘Champagne city residence’ and will offer wonderful vistas across the city.

The Crescent, Buxton, Derbyshire, north-west England

Get ready for some serious indulgence as the historic spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire, welcomes an 80-bedroom, five-star spa hotel to the Grade I-listed architectural masterpiece The Crescent. The hotel will be part of the overall transformation of The Crescent – which originally opened in 1789 and is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Britain – and guests will also have access to the splendid Assembly Rooms, a thermal natural mineral water spa in the Natural Baths plus to the six prestigious retail premises along the front ground façade.

The Grand, Birmingham, central England

The chance to stay in hotels housed in some of Britain’s most iconic architectural sights continues in Birmingham, where one of the city’s best-known, Grade II-listed buildings is to be redeveloped into a luxury, 180-room hotel with a restaurant and bar, a spa and a rooftop infinity pool. While the hotel is scheduled to open in early 2019, several lovely bars and cafés have already set up home in the development - The Alchemist, Gusto and 200 Degrees cafe – that hotel guests will have easy access to.

Where to find the best post-Christmas sales in Britain

Coincide your visit to Britain during one of the major sales seasons and you could make huge savings on shopping during your trip. Post-Christmas is a brilliant seasonal sale period as shops offer great discounts and incentives, usually from Boxing Day (26 December) onwards. You’ll find them everywhere, from major department stores and high-street shops, independent boutiques and outlet centres.

CITY SHOPPING

London

England’s capital is, without doubt, one of the best places in the world to shop! Legendary shopping haunts such as Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street, Westfield in Stratford, east London and Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, Covent Garden and Knightsbridge, plus pretty much every other street in the capital, are teeming with shops that offer post-Christmas sales. If you’re searching for great prices at high-end stores, why not start at the ‘grande dame’ of them all, Harrods in Knightsbridge. Its Winter Sale is a real show-stopper of an event, opening with great fanfare on Boxing Day – in previous years, the Boxing Day sale event has featured live reindeers and a performance by Florence + The Machine. Also head to Selfridges on Oxford Street where, across six floors, you’ll discover fantastic sales on designer wear (its sale also kicks off on Boxing Day), while over in Knightsbridge, Harvey Nichols is a must-visit for luxury brands at sale price. Homewares, fashion and beauty bargains can be found at the elegant designer department store Liberty on Regent Street and, if it’s a good deal on foodie treats you’re looking for, head to Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, where sales tend to start on 27 December. 

Birmingham, central England

Jump on a train from London and 90 minutes later you’ll find yourself in another shopper’s paradise. The city of Birmingham has a wonderful mix of shopping experiences, from luxury department stores and independent boutiques to historic markets and high-street favourites. Check out the post-Christmas sales at its branches of Harvey Nichols, found at the Mailbox shopping venue, which is also home to brands such as Armani and Calvin Klein. The Birmingham branch of Selfridges is located in one of the city’s most distinctive buildings and is part of The Bullring & Grand Central shopping destination, which also boasts upscale brands such as Michael Kors and the British institution that is department store John Lewis, which kicks off its famous sale on 27 December. Close by is Birmingham’s New Street, which has a myriad of narrow streets leading off it where you’ll find sales events at the independent boutiques and high-street favourites that have their home here. And don’t forget to explore the city’s renowned Jewellery Quarter, packed with historic buildings and jewellery boutiques to hunt for that gem of a post-Christmas bargain.

Manchester, north-west England

Whatever style you’re into, you’ll find it in Manchester’s shops – and at great prices too during sales season. Like London and Birmingham, Manchester has branches of luxury department stores Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, each home to a raft of designer concessions. If you’re looking for high-street bargains all under one roof, check out the city’s fantastic shopping centres; the intu Trafford Centre (where Selfridges is located) is home to Zara, Victoria’s Secret, John Lewis and that British favourite, Primark. For shopping in a historic destination, visit The Royal Exchange – once the hub of the world’s cotton trade and a Grade II-listed building – where premium high-street brands (think French Connection and Molton Brown) sit alongside independent boutiques and luxury retailers. The venue is also close to Manchester Arndale, where bargains can be found at leading British high-street fashion stores such as TopShop, River Island and Next. It’s also worth exploring Manchester’s creative, bohemian hub, the Northern Quarter, for vintage boutiques and independent record stores and head to Afflecks, where bargains can be picked up at independent designers trading across four floors – it’s a labyrinth of treasures.

Glasgow, Scotland

Home to one of the UK’s largest retail hubs outside of London, Glasgow is a shopaholic’s dream destination. Its world-famous Style Mile in the city centre means an easy route around all your favourite shops – good news, as hunting for bargains can be tiring work! The ‘Style Mile’ is home to well-loved British high-street stores, as well as luxury retailers, but it’s also the place to go to explore the city’s shopping centres and department stores. More than 80 retailers have made their home at the Buchanan Galleries, including a branch of John Lewis, the classically British Jones the Bootmaker, and beauty shops such as Bare Minerals. The West End of the city is the place to shop if you’re looking for sales bargains in more avant-garde and independent boutiques.

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff’s main shopping area in the city centre is mainly pedestrianised, meaning the hunt for post-Christmas bargains is all concentrated in an easy-to-navigate district. The Welsh capital is well-known for its Victorian arcades and no less than six have been transformed into shopping venues. The Castle Quarter alone comprises three; Castle Arcade, High Street Arcade and Duke Street Arcade, and it’s here you’ll find a raft of vintage shops, clothes stores and jewellery shops worth exploring during the post-Christmas sales. Contemporary British brands, such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, have made their home at the St David’s Centre and there are high-street names galore throughout the city centre.

 

OUTLETS

Grab even bigger bargains at Britain's outlet stores – they offer deals all year round, but you can discover even bigger discounts during the main sale periods as items are marked down further.

Bicester Village, Oxfordshire, central England

Only one hour from London, Bicester Village is one of Britain’s best-known luxury outlet destinations and bargain hunters can explore more than 160 famous brand-name boutiques, including Oscar de la Renta, Hugo Boss, Tods and Mulberry. Year-round they offer savings of up to 60% and may often discount further during the post-Christmas sales period. New designer boutiques recently opened at the Village include Roland Mouret, MonnaLisa and Amanda Wakeley, with British brand Shrimps opening soon. Bicester Village now also offers an exclusive by-appointment-only space where guests can retreat for private shopping consultations and, to complete the VIP shopping experience, can take advantage of valet parking, hands-free shopping and on-site tax refunds and money services.

McArthur Glen

McArthurGlen has designer outlets in six locations across Britain, including York (a two-hour train ride from London) and Cheshire, a 45-minute train journey from Liverpool. Cheshire Oaks is Britain’s largest designer outlet, with more than 145 boutiques, restaurants and cafés, and shoppers can find bargains from popular high-street names such as Marks & Spencer and Next, and high-end brands such as Burberry and Michael Kors. McArthur Glen’s other destinations include Ashford in Kent (40 minutes from London), Bridgend in south Wales (around 30 minutes from Cardiff), East Midlands (around 25 minutes from Nottingham) and Swindon (around 45 minutes from Bath). A new outlet is due to open in 2020 in Cannock in the West Midlands (30 minutes from Birmingham).

London Designer Outlet

Close to the world-famous Wembley Stadium in north London is the London Designer Outlet, where visitors will discover more than 50 outlet stores offering regular and seasonal discounts of up to 70% on top fashion and lifestyle brands – it’s ideal for post-Christmas sales! If you’re into sportswear, this is where you’ll find top sporting brands such as Nike and adidas, while if you’re searching for stylish homewares, check out lifestyle stores that include Villeroy & Boch, Sony and Procook. The outlet also offers services such as multi-lingual staff and overseas shoppers can claim an immediate VAT refund at the outlet’s currency exchange service.

ICON Outlet at the O2

New to the outlet scene – it opened in late October – the ICON Outlet at the iconic O2 arena in Greenwich, south-east London, has brought together a huge range of fashion and lifestyle brands at accessible prices all under the famous tented roof. Retailers that have opened in Phase 1 include Kurt Geiger, Aspinal of London, Jack Wills, Cath Kidston, Hackett, Guess, G-STAR Raw and Ted Baker, with many more due to open in the next phase. Customers can take advantage of services such as a concierge luggage drop and hands-free shopping. 

Celebrate World Vegan Day in the UK

From its origins in 1994, World Vegan Day on 1 November is now a worldwide day of awareness celebrating all things plant-based, with Britain now ranking as one of the most vegan-friendly destinations in Europe.

For vegans travelling to the UK, there’s an ever-growing number of vegan eateries and accommodation on offer - from high-end ethical suites to healthy cuisine and jaw-dropping junk food.

 

Vegan places to eat

 

London

Mildreds, Soho

One of the best-loved vegan-friendly spots in London is Mildreds. Originally established in Soho in 1988, the restaurant now boasts branches in Camden, King’s Cross and Dalston. Airy, bright and stylish, the chain is known for its delicious warming winter dishes like smoked tofu, apple and white bean sausages and mash, and toffee apple crumble. Diners can also savour vegan cocktails including a gin-soaked cucumber smash, watermelon cooler and vegan beer.

Manna, Primrose Hill

Located in leafy north-west London, Manna is one of the capital’s most popular vegan restaurants. With a menu displaying influences as far flung as India, Mexico and Japan, this elegant restaurant prides itself on using sustainable produce throughout the year. Diners can choose from seasonal specials including roasted root vegetable masala or buffalo cauliflower tostada, enjoy protein-rich Sunday roasts or splash out and savour the chef’s special five-course custom menu.

Wulf & Lamb, Sloane Square

“Run with the wolves, eat with the lambs” is the mantra of Wulf & Lamb. Its 100% plant-based menu focuses heavily on comfort food, so expect fabulously filling dishes, including an open burrito with sautéed ackee, green coconut curry and the seitan Wulf Burger. Sweet-toothed diners can also choose from deliciously decadent desserts including Eton Mess or dairy-free mango and passionfruit cheesecake. 

The Gate

Celebrating 30 years of planet-based cuisine, The Gate serves up-market vegan and vegetarian food across four locations within the capital. In addition to the exciting a la carte menu which includes indulgent dishes such as aubergine teriyaki and wild mushroom risotto cake, The Gate also hosts monthly ‘secret vegan supper clubs’, offering a five-course tasting menu with paired wines. The two supper clubs closest to World Vegan Day are on 20 October and 17 November 2019, check the website for events thereafter.

We are Vegan Everything

Lovers of the plant-based lifestyle can relax in the bohemian Bali-inspired space of We Are Vegan Everything (WAVE) in the heart of Hackney. Expect soya ‘freakshakes’, juice shots, superfood lattes and vegan cakes, as well as brownies and croissants. For savoury vegan treats there is a ‘small’ menu, featuring a classic toastie, mushroom sausage roll and vegan salmon and cream cheese.

 

Manchester

The Allotment, Lloyd Street

Named best vegetarian restaurant of 2018 by The Times, award-winning restaurant The Allotment offers three, seven and ten-course tasting menus in the heart of Manchester. All its dishes are also 100% gluten, dairy and egg free, making it perfect for coeliacs in addition to those following a plant-based diet. During the holiday season, visitors can tuck into its Christmas menu featuring festive delights including cranberry and red wine parfait and pan fried cauliflower roast with all the trimmings.

V-Rev Vegan Diner, Edge Street

A mecca for vegan junk food lovers, V-Rev offers gloriously greasy delights at a price that won’t break the budget. From loaded southwest fries with smashed avocado and southwest chipotle mayo to buffalo mac and cheez made with homemade cheez sauce, beacon and buffalo sauce, this is the perfect venue for post-party pick me ups and cheat days. Can’t decide between savoury and sweet? Look out for Donut Stop Me Now – a mouth-watering medley of buttermilk fried seitan chckn, cheez, baecon, maple syrup and crispy fried onions between two fried donuts, for a decadent burger experience with a difference.

Greens, Didsbury

Set up by Simon Connolly and Simon Rimmer, now one of the UK’s top TV chefs, Greens has been ‘terrifying carnivores’ since 1990 with its inspiring menu of delicious plant-based dishes. Influenced by cuisines from around the world, the menu features dishes including soba noodle salad, sweet potato katsu curry and handmade gnocchi. Greens also offer a three-course Sunday roast set menu for £17, which includes a soup starter, roast and dessert.

 

Edinburgh

Holy Cow, Elder Street

Located in Edinburgh’s New Town, quirky independent café Holy Cow prides itself on using organic local produce to create its 100% vegan menu. Dishes change according to the season and you can expect tasty treats including spicy butternut squash soup, in addition to staples such as vegan burgers, open sandwiches and seasonal salads. Much loved for its cakes, the café has an ever-changing selection of sweet delights including chocolate and peanut butter cake, pumpkin pie and spiced pear and walnut cake.

The Ivy on the Square, St Andrew Square

The Ivy on the Square has swiftly become a staple on the Edinburgh dining scene. Its specially designed vegetarian menu features vegan-friendly options, while non-vegans can also choose from the à la carte menu. With delicious dishes including sweet potato Keralan curry, warm Asian salad and roasted butternut squash with grains, this chic and stylish restaurant is the ideal spot for vegan and vegetarian celebrations while in the Scottish capital.

The Auld Hoose, St Leonard’s Street

Home to some of the best rock, metal and punk music in Edinburgh via their legendary jukebox, The Auld Hoose is also one of the city’s best venues for vegans in search of a little comfort food. From huge plates of nachos dripping in vegan cheese to crunchy onions rings, vegan falafel burgers and even a vegan sorbet sundae, this is a must visit for meat-free visitors and music lovers alike.

 

Brighton

Purezza, St James’s Street

The UK’s first vegan pizzeria, Purezza take animal-friendly Italian cuisine seriously. Having spent two years developing their dairy-free mozzarella (made from brown rice), the restaurant uses innovative recipes and ingredients to create delectable vegan pizzas, pastas and desserts – from meltingly moreish macaroni to cheesesteak calzone and vegan oreo pizza. With a second branch in London and many gluten-free options available, it’s the perfect pit-stop for vegans looking for a taste of Italy in the UK.

Food for Friends, Prince Albert Street

Established in 1981, the award-winning Food for Friends is one of Brighton’s longest-running vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a favourite with locals and visitors alike. Boasting a seasonal menu made with local and organic produce, diners can enjoy Middle Eastern, Japanese and British-inspired vegan dishes including courgette kofta and Inari tofu wraps in addition to a selection of mouth-watering desserts and vegan cocktails.

Terre à Terre, East Street

A haven of vegan indulgence, Terra à Terra prides itself on its marvellous meat-free creations made with ethically sourced ingredients. Playfully named dishes range from KFC, Korean fried cauliflower with sweet and sour sesame, to Snap, Crackle and Choc, a rich chocolate mousse with praline and chocolate shortbread. With a range of organic vegan wines, beers and ciders on offer as well as cocktails and non-alcoholic options, this is the perfect spot for special vegan suppers by the sea.

 

Vegan places to stay

2019 saw the opening of the world’s first vegan suite at the Hilton Bankside in London. Created in collaboration with the Vegan Society, this luxury hotel now offers five-star vegan accommodation in the capital. From ethical bedding to the faux leather seating, even the cleaning products used are cruelty-free and eco-friendly. The in-room menu and minibar offer a range of vegan options, such as avocado and scrambled Quorn for breakfast and cauliflower steak or five-bean dhal for lunch or dinner. Located in the heart of London, attractions including Borough Market, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern are all a short walk away. Advanced bookings from £432 per night.

Offering a cosy, family-run B&B with a fully-vegan philosophy, Bay Tree House in Hastings is a plant-based haven in the south of England. In addition to providing healthy, organic and eco-friendly food, including an all-vegan breakfast, Bay Tree House organises numerous wellness activities, such as yoga and tai chi, making this bed and breakfast holistically health-conscious. A classic example of a Victorian home, it has been remodelled to a high standard, with traditional hardwood flooring and plush furnishings adding to the tranquil atmosphere. An en-suite room starts from £90 per night, including breakfast.

Allowing guests to enjoy a slice of nature in an ethically focused environment, Saorse 1875 is a countryside hotel designed with vegans in mind. Set in two acres of woodland near the Scottish town of Pitlochry, it aims to champion ‘ethical luxury’. Slow-paced and thoughtfully designed, this 19th-century house offers a plant-based menu that uses seasonal, local and foraged produce, served by a cosy restaurant fire. As well as the food menu, each room includes vegan toiletries. Prices start from £100 per night, for a room for one guest, and £150 per night for two.