Six Lake District locations to visit this autumn

Since being awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017, the popularity of the Lake District National Park in north-west England has continued to soar. While the summer is, undoubtedly, a lovely time to visit, savvy travellers will find the Lakes and their towns and villages an equally beautiful destination in the autumn. The scenery is ablaze with colour, the summer crowds have thinned out and there’s plenty to see and do, no matter the weather.

Windermere and Bowness

Right at the heart of the Lake District, the towns of Windermere and Bowness boast picturesque scenery wherever you turn. Catch those bright autumn colours from the water itself and climb aboard Windermere Lake Cruises steamers. This cruise can also take you to the neo-gothic Wray Castle; looming over the shores of Windermere, it’s not your typical castle displaying family heirlooms and portraits… There’s something here for everyone, including the little ones – they’ll love the dressing up, castle building and adventure play area available. For a different class of architecture, head to Blackwell House, a brilliant example of the Arts & Crafts movement from the early 20th century, which retains many of its original features and holds fantastic permanent and visiting exhibitions. 

Children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was one of the Lakes’ most famous residents and all ages can enjoy the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction – you’ll feel as if you’re stepping into one of her books.

 

Kendal

A smart, handsome market town, Kendal is the Lakes’ arts and culture centre and is packed with independent cafés and pubs. Catch a play, exhibition, comedy or music event at the town’s thriving cultural hub, the Brewery Arts Centre or get your fix of art at the hidden gem that is the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, set in the Grade I-listed 18th-century building of Abbot Hall. Alternatively, you can experience a dose of history at Kendal Castle, once the family home ofKatherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII. Book onto a walking tour to hear more of its dynamic history and admire the excellent views from its hilltop vantage point.

Kendal is also a festival hotspot; in November it welcomes the Kendal Mountain Festival, an award-winning adventure film and speaker festival and a must-visit gathering for outdoor enthusiasts. This September will also see the return of Lakes Alive, which will bring contemporary art, activities and performances to Kendal and the wider Lake District National Park. Also in September is the Kendal Torchlight Carnival, followed by the only comic art festival in the UK, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which takes over the whole of the town in October. Another way to experience the rich heritage and culture in the Lakes are the Lakes Culture Signature Experiences; four different routes that celebrate the region's art, music and literature in a variety of ways.

 

Keswick and Ullswater

Keswick is close to the lakes of Ullswater, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, as well as the mountains of Grizedale Pike, Skiddaw and Catbells, yet it’s not just a walkers’ paradise. Head out onto Ullswater Lake on board Ullswater Steamers for a relaxed view of the beautiful scenery or, if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, check out Honister, an innovative adventure attraction (and also England’s last working slate mine). Climb the original miners’ route (the Via Ferrata Classic), an exposed adventure climbing course created from cargo nets and wire bridges strung 366 metres above the valley floor. If you’re feeling particularly brave, take the bigger challenge by climbing the Via Ferrata Extreme!

Keswick is also one of the Lakes’ cultural highlights. Professional producing theatre, Theatre on the Lake, close to Derwentwater on the edge of Keswick, is in one of the prettiest theatre settings imaginable and you can catch a play here throughout the year. Travel a little further out to The Lakes Distillery and join an interactive tour to see how its whisky, gin, and vodka are made, which also make an excellent gift to take home. And we mustn’t forget the most niche of museums; the Pencil Museum! It’s more than just pencils (although the collection does include gems such as secret Second World War pencils complete with hidden maps); it also runs art workshops.

 

Coniston

Coniston, nestled between Coniston Water and the Coniston Fells, has a copper mining and slate quarrying history and the village’s proximity to dramatic landscapes – lakes, mountains, waterfalls, tarns and woods – means walking, sightseeing, water sports, mountaineering and horse riding are all prevalent here.

The most notable feature of Coniston Village is The Old Man of Coniston, an 803-metre-high fell. For a slightly easier walk with incredible views, head to Tarn Hows, set more than 183 metres up in the hills above Coniston. A lovely, easy, 1.5-mile pathway shows off the best of the gorgeous Langdale Pikes.

Another lovely way to see Coniston Water and the Fells is by the steam yacht gondola; the trip takes you past Coniston Hall and then on to Brantwood, the home of celebrated Victorian art critic and artist John Ruskin. You can alight here to explore the house, which is filled with many fine paintings, beautiful furniture and Ruskin’s personal treasures. 

 

Ambleside

Ambleside is surrounded by magnificent Lakeland fells and is a town with an energetic vibe. Yet it’s also home to one of the oldest standing buildings in the Lakes, the quirky, picturesque Bridge House, which dates back to the 17th century.

A visit to Ambleside also means you’re very close to Hill Top House, the 17th-century farmhouse where Beatrix Potter lived, wrote and based many of her much-loved stories. When she left the house to the National Trust she left instructions about how it should be shown, so it stands exactly as she knew it and lived in it.

Some of Potter’s works can also be viewed at the Armitt Museum, Gallery and Library – she was one of its earliest supporters – which features the history of life, photography and the fine art of the Lake District. Or for a slice of contemporary art, head to the Old Courthouse Gallery, showcasing glassworks, jewellery, wall art and ceramics, which you can also buy. A great way to spend an evening in Ambleside is at the Jazz Bar of Zeffirellis, which hosts modern jazz and world music performances throughout the week. Want to sample local ale? Try the wares created by Ambleside’s Barngates Brewery, served in the Drunken Duck Inn and Restaurant – although the brewery isn’t open for tours, visitors to the Drunken Duck can request to see inside the adjacent brewery buildings.

 

Ravenglass

Ravenglass is the Lake District’s only coastal village and history emanates from every corner, from its Bronze Age settlements, Roman forts and Anglian crosses to its Viking remains, Norman churches and medieval mills. You can even go back to the Victorian era of steam and experience the Ravenglass & Eskdale steam railway, which takes you on a stunning seven-mile journey through the National Park.

A must-visit in the area is Muncaster Castle. Still lived in by the same family after nine centuries, Muncaster is said to be haunted and, this November, will hold a Scientific Ghost Vigil. If that doesn’t sound quite your thing, the castle itself is fascinating to explore and you can enjoy bird of prey displays at its Hawk and Owl Centre throughout the year.

60 minutes from… Edinburgh

If you’re coming to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, to enjoy one of its many festivals, you’ll soon see why it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as one of Britain’s greatest foodie and nightlife hotspots! And with gorgeous beaches, romantic castles and the vibrant buzz of Glasgow all only an hour away, you’ll be able to experience the country’s diverse landscapes, history and culture too, all within easy reach of a day trip.

 

The Borders

Picturesque coastlines in the east and rugged hills and moorlands in the west greet you at the Scottish Borders (bordering northern England), all of which is easily reached thanks to the Borders Railway, which connects Edinburgh and the Borders town of Tweedbank in less than an hour. Have your camera at the ready on this lovely rail journey as you pass by iconic architectural gems such as the Lothianbridge and Redbridge viaducts. Alight at Tweedbank to visit Abbotsford House, the home of famed writer Sir Walter Scott. This romantic mansion was built during the early decades of the 19th century and very much reflects the tastes of one of this era’s most prominent authors. Close by is the attractive town of Melrose, which is not only the home of the magnificent 12th-century Melrose Abbey, but also to two National Trust for Scotland gardens. Priorwood houses Scotland’s only dedicated dried flower garden and Harmony Gardens features a beautiful walled garden with breath-taking views over the abbey and the nearby Eildon Hills.

 

Glasgow

Did you know that Edinburgh, the capital, and Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, are only an hour apart? A lively, creative city, Glasgow is renowned for its mighty industrial heritage and world-class shopping as well as its vibrant arts, culture and music scene; it’s even a designated UNESCO City of Music! Discover why it won this status on a Glasgow Music City Tour, while fans of street art should check out Glasgow’s first dedicated tour to the genre, the City Centre Mural Trail. Football lovers can take tours of the world-famous Rangers and Celtic Football Clubs, while you can discover the city’s artistic and industrial legacy at a host of inspirational museums such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow and the Riverside Museum of Transport and the Tall Ship on the banks of the River Clyde.

 

North Berwick

In just half an hour by train you can swap Edinburgh’s cityscapes for coastal relaxation. North Berwick and its stretches of golden sands are spectacular – and if it’s glorious views you’ve come for, you won’t be disappointed. Sweeping vistas look out to Bass Rock, home to the world’s largest northern gannet colony, and to the Forth Islands. Take a boat trip out to the islands for an even closer inspection, while bird lovers should also pay a visit to the town’s Scottish Seabird Centre. Alternatively, if you fancy a game of golf overlooking these wonderful coastal scenes, tee off at either of the town’s excellent links courses, the Glen Golf Club and the North Berwick Golf Club.

The town itself is home to a fine collection of cafés, bars and shops, from vintage-style tearooms to stylish coffee shops…also make sure you hit the fish and chip shops and ice-cream parlours, it’s tradition at a British seaside resort! For heritage seekers, don’t miss the 14th-century fortress Tantallon Castle and Dirleton Castle, which houses some of the oldest castle architecture in Scotland.

 

Stirling

If you’ve ever watched the film Braveheart, you’ll want to visit Stirling. The iconic National Wallace Monument, which overlooks the scene of Scotland’s victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, gives a fascinating insight into the world of Scottish hero William Wallace. History pulsates through every inch of Stirling; explore the streets of the medieval old town, encounter intriguing royal history at Stirling Castle, and even see the world’s oldest football at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum. Perhaps one of the most absorbing attractions that tells the stories of the area’s past is the Battle of Bannockburn Experience. This 3D, immersive exhibition takes you into the heart of one of Scotland’s most historic battles, ending with a visit to the Battle Room where visitors can take part in the interactive battle game. And, if you’re a fan of the hit TV show Outlander, take the time to visit Doune Castle. Located around 15 minutes out of town, multiple scenes from the popular series were filmed at this splendid castle, as they were for Game of Thrones and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

 

Peebles

South of Edinburgh, on the banks of the River Tweed, lies Peebles, a small, attractive town with a distinctly artistic vibe, that’s framed by gorgeous countryside scenery. Scottish novelist John Buchan, author of The Thirty Nine Steps, made his home here and a picturesque 13-mile walking route is named after him, the John Buchan Way. Alternatively, head out hiking in Glentress Forest, which is also brilliant for mountain biking, as its trails are one of Scotland 7stanes (seven mountain biking centres in southern Scotland). Despite its size, Peebles boasts a number of art galleries and studios and its historic past is prevalent on every corner; ancient relics are dotted across town, from the ruined Cross Kirk to an old Mercat Cross (which depicts a town’s right, granted by a monarch or baron, to hold a regular market).

 

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  • Rosslyn Chapel - Discover intricate carvings and unique stonework at one of the most intriguing places of worship in Scotland, in the village of Roslin, 30-minutes’ drive from Edinburgh. Discover its story from its founding in the 15th century to its depiction in the novel and subsequent film The Da Vinci Code.
  • Musselburgh - Step into the past at this historic market town that derives its name from the mussel beds found on nearby shores. It’s also home to the oldest racecourse in Scotland – which hosts many race meets throughout the year – as well as to the historic nine-hole Musselburgh Links golf course, which has royal connections going back to the early 16th century.
  • Linlithgow Palace - Explore royal history at the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, a palace that was once a stopping point for royalty en-route between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle. Visit in the summer to enjoy its annual jousting spectacle.

60 minutes from… Manchester

A city of culture, sport, music, history, creativity and diversity, Manchester in north-west England  should be on the must-visit list of any traveller to Britain; plus it’s one of the key gateways into the destination. It’s also in an enviable location, which means that journeying just an hour by train or car outside the city will lead you to a realm of ancient cities and spa towns, beautiful beach resorts, stately homes, unique countryside and bohemian heartlands – all perfect to visit on a day trip from Manchester.

 

Buxton, Derbyshire
Renowned as a historic spa town and peppered with architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries, the stately Crescent, which is being transformed into an 80-bedroom, five-star spa hotel, due to open in 2019, is a must-see. Buxton also boasts an impressive repertoire of festivals. This summer stop by for the open-access arts festival, the Buxton Fringe Festival, plus the Buxton Military Tattoo, and the Buxton International Festival of Opera, Music and Literature.

 

Liverpool, Merseyside
2018 is a huge year for Liverpool as it celebrates ten years since it was named European City of Culture 2008 and welcomes Britain’s largest celebration of contemporary art during the Liverpool Biennial, when artworks by 40 artists from 22 countries will be showcased for free across the city…all just 30 minutes by train direct from Manchester. There are a myriad of attractions to enjoy, from The Beatles Story and The Cavern (why not visit during the International Beatle Week Festival in August?) to contemporary art gallery Tate Liverpool and maybe cheer your football heroes on at a Premiere League football match at either Liverpool FC or Everton FC.

 

Southport, Merseyside
Miles of magnificent beaches greet you at Southport, a pretty coastal resort where you can kite surf, climb sand dunes, stroll along its historic pier or follow one of the town’s historic trails. Take a trip to Crosby Beach, which is home to Anthony Gormley’s art installation Another Place, 100 iron men standing looking out to sea. The area is also part of the UK’s ‘golfing capital’ – tee off at the prestigious Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport or travel 15 minutes’ from town to several more championship courses.

 

Chester, Cheshire
Wherever you walk in Chester, you can feel its rich history pulsating through its buildings, its city walls – the most complete city walls remaining in the UK – and its attractions. Here you can visit Britain’s largest Roman amphitheatre, walk through 700 years of history while shopping in the Rows galleries, enjoy race days at Britain’s oldest racecourse and visit one of Britain’s largest zoos, Chester Zoo, where you can meet 21,000 animals and experience its passion for conservation.

 

Peak District, Derbyshire

The nearest part of the picturesque Peak District National Park to Manchester is packed with dramatic landscapes of high moorland plateaus – travel further south in the park to discover a diverse landscape of hills and dales – which makes for great walking territory. The Peak District is also home to charming villages and attractive market towns and, if you travel just 90 minutes from Manchester, you can visit some of the loveliest stately homes in the country, such as the grand Tudor Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House; when the house reopened in March the wraps came off a major long-term, £32.7 million restoration programme.

 

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Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, for its creative vibe generated from the influence of writers and artists, cute galleries and independent shops, all set near valleys and heather moorland. Come for the summer’s Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

Tatton Park, Cheshire, for its neo-classical mansion, 1,000 acres of deer park, collection of fine art, as well as walks through the huge gardens, plus the many events held here every year. Come in July for its Food Festival and RHS Flower Show. 

Blackpool, Lancashire, for its traditional English seaside resort attractions, the stunning Blackpool Illuminations and the iconic Blackpool Tower. Come this summer as the town celebrates the 250th anniversary of the circus with a series of special events.

Lake District National Park, Cumbria, for the sheer beauty of its landscapes. Parts are reachable from Manchester within 60-90 minutes so is still manageable for a day trip. Explore the lovely town of Kendal in the south of the Lake District National Park, before heading for a walk on the shores of Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England and just nine miles from Kendal.

Top 12 Romantic locations

Love is in the air, following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement. If their upcoming nuptials have inspired you to take your own romantic mini-break, why not visit one of these 12 beautiful locations with that special someone in your life. 

 

1. Isle of Anglesey, Wales

What place could be more appropriate for a young couple to spend the first years of their married life than the Isle of Anglesey? After all, here they have not just one special day for lovers, but two - the small island of Llanddwyn on the west coast of Anglesey (only an island at high tide), was once the home of Saint Dwynwen, the patron saint of Welsh lovers, who lived in a monastery there and Welsh lovebirds remember her on 25th January, an extra Valentine’s Day!

 

2. St Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews, the romantic Scottish town in the Kingdom of Fife, is now undoubtedly synonymous with the courtship of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after they met at the town’s historic university.

 

3. The Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly located just 28 miles off the Cornish coast in the Atlantic Ocean, so must be accessed by air or sea, providing a real sense of escape. The Scillies comprise five inhabited and numerous uninhabited islands. Any honeymooning couple can enjoy romantic walks around the stunning scenic islands. To truly enjoy the romance, newlyweds can also discover the islands by boat – enjoying a sail around the uninhabited isles or to see the abundant marine wildlife including puffins, basking sharks, gannets and even occasionally whales. For those who prefer to spend time on land, there are ancient monuments to discover, horse riding along the beach, and castles and forts to explore.

4. Isle of Eriska, Scotland

Isle of Eriska - Scotland has long been a favourite romantic location for the Royal Family, with many holidays spent at Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish home, originally purchased by Queen Victoria. Eriska is located in the heart of West Argyll, 12 miles north of Oban. During the 10th Century, the west coast of Scotland was subject to a surge of Norse invasions, including by Erik the Red, hence the name of the island. The sheer remoteness of the island, along with its breathtaking scenery, means that this is a fabulous honeymoon spot. As well as glorious nature walks and wildlife spotting (the island is home to otters, badgers, deer and sea birds), there is golfing, clay pigeon shooting and windsurfing on and around the island. It is also well-situated for exploring the Highlands, including Oban and Fort William. The Isle of Eriska hotel is a 19th Century country house, which has been converted into a warm hotel, complete with spa.

 

5. The Peak District

The Peak District is the area that inspired Jane Austen to write Pride and Prejudice (it is thought that Pemberley is based on Chatsworth House and Bakewell is represented as Lambton in the novel), and the region has a fantastically dramatic romantic landscape. The Peak District was named as Britain’s first national park in 1951, and includes welcoming country pubs, original coaching inns and lots of local festivals throughout spring and summer. Nearby Bolsover Castle is also particularly romantic, situated on a hilltop overlooking the Vale of Scarsdale, and with the beautiful Venus Garden. The Garden includes secluded love seats, statues and a fountain – perfect for a peaceful stroll.

 

6. Norfolk Broads

Just a couple of hours away from their central London wedding, the county of Norfolk offers both the beautiful countryside of the Norfolk Broads, as well as stunning and lesser-known beaches, the county is the ideal spot for a remote honeymoon hideaway. Couples can even enjoy seal-spotting and sailing off the coast. Holkham beach on the north coast was the location for the romantic final scene in Shakespeare in Love.

 

7. St Pancras International Station, London

Start a romantic getaway by meeting under Paul Day's 30 foot tall statue, The Lovers, at St Pancras International station where you can then enjoy a glass of champagne at the Longest Champagne Bar in Europe.

 

8. Shere, Surrey

Shere in Surrey is a little quintessentially English village, just 30 miles from London. Sitting in the heart of the rolling Surrey Hills, with a pretty pub, 12th century village church and duck pond it’s easy to see why romantic films such as ‘The Holiday’ and ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ have used this location for their films.

 

9. Bath

With beautiful Georgian architecture and stunning scenery Bath is a great place for a romantic break. Enjoy a couple’s day at the Thermae Bath Spa then fly over the rooftops of the Royal Crescent before drifting out to the surrounding countryside in a hot air balloon.

 

 

10. Hever Castle, Kent

The Gardens at Hever Castle were last year voted the ‘most romantic garden in the South East’. One of the most important historic castle on the English landscape Hever Castle was once the family home of one of England’s most famous Queens – Anne Boleyn, the intriguing second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I.

 

11. Sark, Channel Islands

Why not settle down for a romantic night under the stars on Sark, the world’s first ‘Dark Sky Island’. As the smallest of the four main Channel Islands, Sark has quaint villages bordered by a breath-taking, craggy coastline and is a haven for rare wildlife. The ‘dark sky island’ status has been awarded by the International Dark Sky Association and is in recognition of the exceptional blackness of the night sky that makes for spectacular stargazing on the island.

 

12. Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds

Stroll hand in hand down Copse Hill Road in Lower Slaughter, which has been given a Google Street View award as the most romantic street in Britain. This quaint Cotswolds village sits beside the little Eye stream and is known for its unspoilt limestone cottages in the traditional Cotswolds style.

HRH The Prince of Wales records video message in support of the Year of the English Garden

Lonely Planet declares North Wales in Britain as one of the world's top regions for 2017

North Wales has been named one of the top regions in the world for travelers in 2017. The region receives the accolade in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017, the highly anticipated collection of the world's hottest trends, destinations and experiences for the year ahead.

North Wales earned its place as a must-see destination for 2017 thanks to the region's reinvention. As the book highlights, Surf Snowdonia, based on the site of an aluminium factory in the Conwy Valley, is perhaps the most headline-stealing example of this reinvention, while Zip World at Penrhyn Quarry boasts the world's fastest (and Europe's longest) zip line. Bounce Below offers the chance to enjoy giant trampolines strung in the caverns beneath Blaenau Ffestiniog, one-time capital of Wales' slate-mining industry.

If that wasn't enough, Snowdonia National Park - Wales' largest - has been designated a dark-sky reserve, thanks to its lack of light pollution.

North Wales featured fourth on the list of top regions for 2017, coming in ahead of South Australia, Aysén in Chile, the Tuamotus in French Polynesia and Coastal Georgia in the USA.

Lonely Planet's writers and experts spend time on the road in almost every destination on the planet, and each year they report which destinations are set to take off, offering travelers the best experience available. The destinations selected for Lonely Planet's Best in Travel meet specific criteria; it could be that something special is going on in the year ahead or there's been recent development and a lot of buzz about the place, that it offers travelers new things to see or do, or that the Lonely Planet team of experts thinks it's been overlooked and underrated and suggests travelers visit before the crowds do.

Top 10 Regions in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017:

1. Choquequirao, Peru

2. Taranaki, New Zealand

3. The Azores, Portugal

4. North Wales, UK

5. South Australia

6. Aysén, Chile

7. The Tuamotus, French Polynesia

8. Coastal Georgia, USA

9. Perak, Malaysia

10. The Skellig Ring, Ireland

WHAT’S NEW in Britain in 2017

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


Anniversaries

70th anniversary of Edinburgh Festivals

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

www.edinburghfestivalcity.com

25th anniversary of the Premier League

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

www.premierleague.com

125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes short story

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

200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen

One of the most widely read authors in English literature, Jane Austen died on 18 July 1817 in Winchester, south England. To mark the 200th anniversary of her death, Austen fans can visit Jane Austen's former home in Chawton, near Alton in Hampshire, south England, around an hour by train from London. Here, everything will gear-up for the 2017 ‘Jane Austen 200' commemorations, as well as in wider Hampshire. The charming house was where she spent the last eight years of her life, wrote Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion, and revised Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. Now called the Jane Austen's House Museum, it runs a program of events throughout the year to keep even the most ardent of Austen aficionados happy.

www.janeausten200.co.uk

20th anniversary of the Harry Potter book series

Since the release of J.K. Rowling's first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide, inspiring the popular film series. All eight movies were filmed in Britain, with locations spanning England, Scotland and Wales. While in London, Potter fans shouldn't miss a priceless photo opportunity at Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station. Would-be sorcerers can try their hand at pushing a trolley through the brick wall between platforms nine and ten, otherwise known as the portal to the wizarding world. And a must-visit for any discerning Harry Potter fan is the Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter, a dream come true for muggles - young or old - who watched and loved the movies and books.

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

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

Attractions and openings


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

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

www.nhm.ac.uk

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

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

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

British Music Experience moves from London to Liverpool

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

www.britishmusicexperience.com

Liverpool World Museum's new Ancient World gallery

February 2017

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

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

V&A improvements

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

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

New Hadrian's Cavalry exhibition

8 April - 10 September 2017

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

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

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

New National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, east England

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

www.nhrm.co.uk


RHS Flower Show, Chatsworth

7 - 11 June 2017

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

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

www.rhs.org.uk/chatsworth-show

Film & TV-inspired holidays

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

T2: Trainspotting - UK release date 27 January 2017

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

www.visitscotland.com

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

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

www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/highlands

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

www.windsorgreatpark.co.uk,

www.wyedeantourism.co.uk

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

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

www.visitlondon.com

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

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

www.visitbirmingham.com

Paddington 2 - UK release date 24 November 2017

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

www.visitlondon.com

Poldark

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

Victoria

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

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

Sherlock series 4

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

Broadchurch (Series 3)

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

www.visit-dorset.com

Hot new hotel openings in 2017


London's West End gets its biggest budget hotel

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

www.ibis.com

Scotland Yard Hotel

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

Liverpool strikes gold with new hotel in Martins Bank building

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

www.ph-hotels.co.uk

Southampton's first luxury five-star hotel

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

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

Eden Project Hotel, Cornwall

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

www.edenproject.com

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

www.woolsingtonhallhotel.co.uk

Z Hotel, Bath

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

www.theZhotels.com

Q1 2017: Nobu Hotel

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

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

Spring 2017: The Ned, City of London

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

www.thened.com

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

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

www.legoland.co.uk/castle

PR contact: tansy@freerange.eu

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

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

www.hotelduvin.com

PR contact: malhdv@hudsonsandler.com

Events

UK City of Culture 2017: Hull, Yorkshire

All year

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

www.hull2017.co.uk

Scotland's Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology

All year

2017 will celebrate Scotland's Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology. It will be a chance to showcase its rich history, heritage and archaeology, ranging from the remains of its earliest settlements going back thousands of years, through to the turbulent times of the Middle Ages and on to the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

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

Wales' Year of Legends

All year

The Year of Legends proposes to explore more of Wales' distinctive history, culture, heritage and mythology. In addition, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and one of the most prestigious club competitions in European football, the UEFA Champions League Final, will be played in Wales' capital Cardiff in 2017 - a fantastic opportunity to showcase Wales to the world and watch the emergence of new footballing legends.

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

Women's Rugby World Cup

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

www.rwcwomens.com

Women's Cricket World Cup

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

www.icc-cricket.com


Exhibitions

Major new exhibitions: late 2016 and 2017

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

14 October 2016 - 6 January 2017

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

www.glynnvivian.com

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the National History Museum

21 October 2016 - 20 September 2017

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

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

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

4 November 2016 - 1 March 2017

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

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

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

18 November 2016 - 3 September 2017

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

www.starwarsidentities.com

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

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

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

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

Runs until 8 January 2017

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

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

Runs until 8 January 2017

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

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

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

Runs until 5 February 2017

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

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

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

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

www.vam.ac.uk

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

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

www.vam.ac.uk

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

23 March 2017 - 25 June 2017

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

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

Fire! Fire! at the Museum of London

Runs until 17 April 2017

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

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

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

13 May 2017 - 1 October 2017

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

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

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

Runs until 1 January 2019

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

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


Stage

Theatre


An American in Paris, Dominion Theatre, London

4 March - 30 September 2017

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

www.anamericaninparisthemusical.co.uk

42nd Street, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London

20 March 2017 - 22 July 2017

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

www.42ndstreetmusical.co.uk

Sleepless: The New Musical, Plymouth and London

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

Dates TBC: London West End run (theatre TBC)

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

www.sleeplessmusical.com

The Girls, Phoenix Theatre, London

28 January 2017 - 22 April 2017

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

www.thegirlsmusical.com

The Band, details TBC

2017 dates TBC

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


Extended London West End shows and musicals in 2017

The Book of Mormon, Prince of Wales Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017

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

www.bookofmormonlondon.com

The Mouse Trap, St Martin's Theatre

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

www.the-mousetrap.co.uk

The Bodyguard, Dominion Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017

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

www.thebodyguardmusical.com

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Running until 7 January 2017

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

www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com

Show Boat, New London Theatre

Running until 7 January 2017

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

www.showboatmusical.co.uk

Stomp, Ambassadors Theatre

Running until 8 January 2017

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

www.stomplondon.com

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

Running until February 2017

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

www.curiousonstage.com

Les Miserables, Queen's Theatre

Running until 4 March 2017

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

www.lesmis.com/uk

Mamma Mia, Novello Theatre

Running until 4 March 2017

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

www.mamma-mia.com/london.php

The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty's Theatre

Running until 4 March 2017

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

www.thephantomoftheopera.com/london

The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre

Running until 2 April 2017

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

www.thelionking.co.uk

Dreamgirls, Savoy Theatre

21 November 2016 - 11 March 2017

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

www.dreamgirlswestend.com

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child at Palace Theatre, London

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

www.harrypottertheplay.com

Billy Elliot The Musical

Touring the UK until May 2017

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

www.billyelliotthemusical.com

Thriller - Live, Lyric Theatre

Running until 1 October 2017

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

www.thrillerlive.com

Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre

Running until 15 October 2017

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

www.matildathemusical.com

Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre

Running until 4 November 2017

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

www.wickedthemusical.co.uk

Jersey Boys, Piccadilly Theatre

Running until 16 April 2017

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

www.jerseyboyslondon.com

Aladdin - Disney's New Musical, Prince Edward Theatre

Summer 2016 - 1 April 2017

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

Kinky Boots, Adelphi Theatre

Running until 6 May 2017

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

www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical, Aldwych Theatre

Running until 22 July 2017

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

www.beautifulmusical.co.uk



Opera

Cinderella (La Cenerentola)

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

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

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

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

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

www.operanorth.co.uk/productions/cinderella

The Royal Opera House, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 - 16 July 2017: Turandot by Giacomo Puccini

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

www.roh.org.uk

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

16 February - 25 April 2017

16 February: Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff, Wales

21 March: Milton Keynes Theatre, south-east England

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

4 April: Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Wales

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

25 April: Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, south England

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

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

Glyndebourne Festival 2017

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

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

21 May - 19 June: La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

11 June - 6 July: Hamlet by Brett Dean

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

13 July - 23 August: Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti

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

www.glyndebourne.com/festival_2017

Dance


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

An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fat<

World's top travel bloggers arriving in Inverness for Social Travel Summit

The global social media spotlight will be on Inverness next week when nearly 50 of the world's top travel bloggers arrive for a social media conference.

The Social Travel Summit, this year sponsored by VisitBritain and held in the UK for the first time, brings together popular travel bloggers and the travel industry to explore trends and insights on online travel marketing.

Bloggers from 17 countries including China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands and the USA will be attending the summit, held from 19 - 21 September and organized by travel network iambassador. The bloggers will also have the chance to see the best of ‘destination Britain' and share these travel experiences with their social media followers during pre and post event trips.

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

"We know the powerful role social media plays in promoting Britain to overseas visitors so we're thrilled to be bringing this summit here for the first time. I look forward to seeing some fantastic content created by the world's top bloggers as they tour the country, sharing their stories online and inspiring more visitors to book a trip to Britain."


VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead said:

"For Inverness to host the first Social Travel Summit to be held in Great Britain is a fantastic achievement for the Highland capital. The digital domain plays a hugely important role in reaching potential and returning visitors and the tourism industry needs to embrace new ways of working to succeed in a competitive global market."

Social media is at the heart of VisitBritain's domestic and international #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments' campaigns which showcase the incredible experiences that can only be had on a trip in Britain. The campaign invites people to share their amazing UK travel experiences using the hashtag #OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain), which will also be used by the travel bloggers attending the summit.

Figures from last year's Social Travel Summit held in Hamburg show that more than 500 images and blog posts were created during the summit and shared globally, reaching an estimated four million people.

Research by VisitBritain shows the influence social media has in positioning Britain as a destination of choice for international visitors, offering unparalleled opportunities to engage directly with potential visitors in a timely way, with the right messages, demonstrating an understanding of their world and motivations for travel.

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


ENDS


Notes to Editors:

• The Social Travel Summit is sponsored by VisitBritain with substantial support from VisitInvernessLochNess and VisitScotland

  • The Social Travel Summit has received funding from the VisitScotland National Conference Bid Fund and the Highland Council Common Good Fund

• For more information on #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments': https://www.visitbritain.org/great-britain-home-amazing-moments-campaign

Quotes from some of the top bloggers attending the 2016 Social Travel Summit (for press use):

• Landlopers blogger Matt Long (USA) said:

"The Social Travel Summit is always a fantastic opportunity to meet with like-minded peers and learn from them in a collaborative environment. I'm thrilled that the conference is being held in Inverness this year - it's one of my favourite destinations in Britain and an ideal place from which to launch a great trip around the country."
http://www.landlopers.com
Voyages etc. blogger Adeline Gressin (France) said:
"As a professional travel blogger and co-founder of the French travel blogger collective I can't wait to be inspired by the latest social media travel trends and ideas at the summit in Inverness. Britain has so much to offer travellers with its vibrant culture, amazing people, fantastic food and breath-taking landscapes."
http://www.voyagesetc.fr

· Travel Dudes blogger Melvin Bocher (Germany) said:

"The Social Travel Summit is the most important conference for professional travel bloggers and influencers as it provides invaluable opportunities to network and connect with leaders in digital travel marketing. Our job is to inspire our audiences to travel and so Scotland, with its stunning landscapes, is an ideal location for this event."
http://www.traveldudes.org/

· The Shooting Star blogger Shivya Nath (India) said:

"The moment I heard that the 2016 Social Travel Summit is being held in the Scottish Highlands, I knew I had to be part of it. Networking with the travel blogging industry while exploring dreamy countryside landscapes - I can't think of a better way to take my work as a travel blogger to the next level."
http://the-shooting-star.com/

TASTE Newsletter July 2016 edition - the 'need to know' about new Food and Drink in Britain

TREND: Distilleries and craft beers

Bundobust, the hugely popular Indian food and craft beer bar in Leeds, will be opening up another branch to convert Manchester to the joys of craft beer and Gujarati vegetarian grub. With 140 covers, the new venture is twice the size of its Leeds counterpart but will still be embracing its craft beer roots, with keg lines and cask pumps, Magic Rock and Kirkstall, plus Cloudwater and other Manchester hop favourites. Dine on simple, authentic Indian cuisine, like okra fries, classic chaat, idli sambhar steamed dumplings and their famous veggie burger Mumbai speciality, vada pav.

Due to open this August inside Pump House No.5, a Victorian building located in Kent's Historic Dockyard Chatham, is The Copper Rivet Distillery. Expect a beautiful space with craft gins and other spirits. www.copperrivetdistillery.com

TREND: Award-winning afternoon teas

Tea lovers across the globe can rejoice, as this quintessentially British pastime now has its own awards: The Afternoon Tea Awards. In its inaugural year, the London-based winners were chosen in line with a variety of categories, and with Afternoon Tea Week just around the corner, there's no better time to enjoy a spot of tea.

The Best Traditional Afternoon Tea was awarded to Claridge's, which has been observing this aspect of Britain's culinary heritage for 150 years. The Best Contemporary Afternoon Tea went to The Mandarin Oriental who have their own ‘Tea Master' and team of pastry chefs. The Best Themed Afternoon Tea was awarded to Sanderson London with their Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea - a nod to the anniversary of the much loved children's tale. Last but not least is the Best Family Friendly Afternoon Tea award, won by Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott hotel. The hotel promises its afternoon tea experience in the Park Room is one to remember.

www.claridges.co.uk, www.mandarinoriental.com/london, www.morganshotelgroup.com/originals/originals-sanderson-london, www.parkroom.co.uk

TREND: Luxury retreats with dining experiences to match

As it celebrates the 600th birthday of its historic Auld Keep, luxury venue Dundas Castle has launched a series of unique dinner packages. Created specifically for groups, the dinners take place within the historic and atmospheric surroundings of the Auld Keep. While the usual requirement is for visitors to take the whole castle on an exclusive use basis, the 600th birthday dinners represent a break from tradition and, for the year of celebrations, are available without the need to hire the venue as a whole.

www.dundascastle.co.uk

Now nearing completion of its extensive refurbishment, the beautiful Grade II listed country house hotel, Palé Hall in North Wales, will be opening in September. The restaurant has been developed in association with Michelin-star chef Michael Caines, and will offer exquisite food with the finest fresh, local seasonal produce. www.palehall.co.uk

Grade II listed Georgian mansion Lympstone Manor in Devon, also acquired by Michael Caines, is set to open in February 2017 following an exciting transformation into a luxury country house hotel, complete with 60-cover fine dining restaurant.

London

One of Soho's newest additions is Poppie's Fish & Chips, which serves fresh fish, chunky hand-cut chips and comforting mushy peas. Practically an institution in itself, with shops in Camden and Spitalfields, the Soho branch will embrace the charms of its sister restaurants with live music and a stage. It will also be housed on the old site of 2i's Coffee Bar, widely known as the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll. www.poppiesfishandchips.co.uk

Gracing Holborn this summer with a light-hearted take on the Hong Kong café subculture is Cha Chaan Teng. Expect an eclectic range of Chinese comfort food infused with western influences from renowned TV chef and creator of School of Wok, Jeremy Pang. Enjoy Cha Chaan Teng staples such as deep-fried peanut butter French toast, and classic crusty rolls with spam, fried quail egg or soy pork chop. www.chachaantenguk.co.uk

Lovers of New York-inspired cuisine will rejoice at the news of a third Dirty Bones site opening this summer in Shoreditch. Housed in an iconic heritage building, the new branch will serve comfort food dishes and cocktails, and be first Dirty Bones to house an all-day dining menu. Enjoy a range of culinary offerings, from the breakfast menu exclusive for Shoreditch to evening cocktails with live bands and DJ nights. www.dirty-bones.com/food

Love boutique hotels? Love Michelin-starred chefs? Then we have the dining experience for you. Celebrated chef Shaun Rankin has joined forces with Flemings Mayfair to bring you the 85-cover restaurant Ormer Mayfair, due to open on 14 September after a £14 million refurbishment. Expect an Art Deco-inspired space with a 1930s glamour, serving light and refreshing dishes, decadent deserts and specially selected wines. The restaurant will offer a relaxed environment surrounded by affordable luxury in the heart of London's Mayfair. www.flemings-mayfair.co.uk

Mayfair restaurant Tokimeitē has launched its unique Japanese Robata-style brunch this month. The brunch offers diners an authentic, yet contemporary take on Japanese dining, but in a relaxed and informal setting. Take a break from the usual roast dinner and enjoy this Sunday-only brunch menu of slow-grilled food designed for sharing. www.tokimeite.com

Opening its doors this summer is Samarkand, which claims to be one of the first restaurants to celebrate Uzbekistan's cuisine. Located in Fitzrovia, it will serve a modern take on Uzbeck dishes for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The interiors feature a grand entrance and staircase that will lead down to a 130-cover chandelier-laden dining room.

The Royal Botanic Gardens will see its first all-day table service restaurant opening this August. The Botanical will overlook the Palm House Conservatory and pond, featuring a bar, terrace, and private dining room. The Botanical will be the fifth dining venue at Kew, and hopes to grow the concept of 'Why Plants Matter' through its dishes. www.kew.org

Making its way across the pond is Smashburger - a casual restaurant with big ambitions to revolutionise the fast-food burger scene. Coming to the town of Milton Keynes (located thirty minutes out of London), their secret is in the 'smash', where a hand-crafted meatball is smashed into a hot buttered grill, searing in all the juices and flavour. Try it with garlic and rosemary

Smash fries. www.smashburger.co.uk

Taking inspiration from the beautiful city of Venice, the Salt Yard Group will be opening its first all-day restaurant in St James's Market, Veneta. Seating 110 covers in areas that combine classic bar-counter seating, banqueting booths and intimate tables, expect classic Venetian dishes, a classic raw bar, and both indulgent and healthy breakfasts.www.veneta-stjames.co.uk

Scotland

GLASGOW

The Shilling Brewing Co. is the first to bring the brewpub experience to Glasgow, a city with a centuries-old heritage of brewing pioneers. The company opened The Shilling in June, a space where everyone can discover and appreciate beer, straight from the source. The fermentation tanks are located in the basement, where visitors can view the brewing process through a glass wall. www.shillingbrewingcompany.co.uk

After the success of their Glasgow-Finnieston and Edinburgh branches, the three owners of Lebowskis decided to open a new venue in Glasgow's Southside with a more grown up, contemporary look this June. The chain is mainly famous for its legendary burgers but The Lebowskis South is now also offering a range of Scottish bar specialties, small dishes, or even brunch at the weekend. www.lebowskis.co.uk/glasgow-southside

EDINBURGH

A bespoke and stylish bar, Cannonball Restaurant & Bar, opened this June at Cannonball House in partnership with Glengoyne. With stunning views down the Royal Mile, it's the perfect space for visitors to enjoy a pre or post-dinner drink while they soak up the atmosphere in one of Edinburgh's most iconic locations. www.contini.com/cannonball

Enjoy a delicious picnic in the heart of Edinburgh in The Glasshouse Hotel - Rooftop Garden Picnic, which opened this month. Escape the hustle and bustle, relax and take in the breath-taking views of Calton Hill. Upon arrival, guests will be presented with a quaint picnic rug and basket full of fresh Scottish produce and accompanied with the choice of non-alcoholic or alcoholic drinks.

www.theglasshousehotel.co.uk/food-and-drink/dining/rooftop-picnic

Following the success of the Grapevine restaurant which launched in Selkirk last year, the Grapevine Galashiels opened in the town's Douglas Bridge this month. Expect innovative menus and offerings in this central location close to the Borders Railway.

Following the success of the Chop House which opened in Leith in September 2015, a second bar and butchery is set to open this July at The Arches on East Market Street in Edinburgh's Old Town. As well as the vibrant restaurant, with a menu focused on British beef, the new Chop House will boast an impressive bar serving craft beers and bespoke seasonal cocktails.

www.chophousesteak.co.uk

Liverpool

Revolucion de Cuba, a stunning two-floor rum bar complete with outdoor terrace, has recently opened on Liverpool's Albert Dock. Offering an exciting cocktail menu and special Catina Menu with the finest Cuban food, this new spot promises to take you straight to the heart of Cuban life. Enjoy live music and a variety of fine rums at the Havana Bar. www.revoluciondecuba.com/bar/liverpool

Enjoy a taste of Chinese history with the bestselling spirit in Europe, Baijiu. Made from grain and generally between 40%-60% in alcohol by volume, Baijiu can now be enjoyed at the first ever dedicated bar in Europe, FU Baijiu. Ease yourself in with an infusion or cocktail with herbs and fruits, or go straight in for a shot, with the aftertaste lingering for a whole ten seconds. There are different Baijius to try with different tasting notes - think slow roasted pork belly in sticky black bean sauce or crab and crayfish samosas - to accompany your FU Baijiu experience. www.fubaijiu.com

Northern 'molecular mixology' powerhouse, The Alchemist, will be opening its newest cocktail bar this month on Brunswick Street in Noble House. Liverpool will be the third branch of The Alchemist, following Manchester and Leeds. The cocktail bar and restaurant prides itself on mixology, alchemy and craftsmanship and promises a theatrical experience. www.thealchemist.uk.com

Enjoy the quintessentially British pastime of taking tea at the Jam Restaurant & Tea Bar, where guests can enjoy more than twenty-five different styles of tea. Located on Sir Thomas Street, the speciality tea shop, cocktail bar and eatery serves afternoon tea, homemade cakes and pastries, brunch and casual dining from 18.00pm onwards - and cocktails of course. www.jamrestaurants.co.uk

The Shankly Hotel has released plans for its rooftop bar and restaurant, Eden Bar, showcasing a luxury rooftop garden with uninterrupted views of Liverpool. Owned by Signature Living, the development is being completed with the Shankly family, and will include extravagant features such as a 100ft slide and hotel room doors that interact with smartphones. The terrace will house two 175-seat restaurants. www.shanklyhotel.com

Manchester

Beat Street will take up permanent residency at the Great Northern Warehouse after transforming the disused space into a unique venue. The development will be home to seven street food traders and three bars, with seating for 150 diners on a split-level, heated all-weather terrace with a rooftop sun deck and outdoor grill. www.beatstreetmcr.co.uk

Squid Ink, an independent Asian fusion restaurant, has just opened in the up-and-coming Ancoats area. You can expect an airy restaurant offering comfortable dining and a creative, ever-changing menu. www.squidinkmcr.com

Soon to grace the Palace Hotel is independently owned restaurant Volta at the Refuge. Its previously globe-trotting DJ owners have developed the 10,000 sq. foot space to open in September. The Victorian-tinged hall of tiled columns, glass atriums and big armchairs will feature a 139-cover restaurant for an all-day drinking and dining experience, complete with a leafy ‘Winter Garden'.

Football fans rejoice! The newly opened Spanish restaurant Tapeo and Wine on Deansgate is backed by Manchester United player Juan Mata. Try plates like shoulder of milk-fed lamb, lobster rice and thick seafood broth. Menus will change seasonally and customers can also expect a tempting array of homemade desserts. www.facebook.com/TapeoandWine

The team behind the award-winning Orangery at Losehill House have just opened a new British fine dining restaurant, Grafene, on King Street, in Manchester's foodie hot spot. Focusing on British produce and cuisine, the menu pays homage to the English countryside and celebrate fish and game, including dishes like the fillet of brill with cauliflower 'risotto' crab bisque and samphire scorched grapes. The space features a huge outdoor seating area for al-fresco dining. www.grafene.co.uk

Cumbria

Centred on the grand Victorian estate near Keswick where Beatrix Potter wrote some of her most famous children's books is Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden. The new café was built using re-claimed Lakeland stone. Expect a range of quality locally sourced foods, home baked breads, cakes and pastries, real barista coffee and an extensive range of teas. www.thelingholmestate.co.uk/the-lingholm-kitchen-walled-garden

The Cocoa Bean Hawkshead: Children's Chocolate Workshop & Chocolate Store is a new unique and interactive experience that offers children the chance to make delicious chocolate creations to take home - along with their own apron and hair net! Adults can browse the factory shop, full of goodies, gifts, and over 100 varieties of chocolates. www.thecocoabeancompany.com

 

After the success of The Flying Pig in Bowness-on-Winderemere, which opened in December 2015, High Spirits Leisure Group have this month opened The Arts Bar - also in Bowness and Fodder in Windermere. The Arts Bar celebrates a signature gin menu ‘Annie's List' created by Mixologist Hank Angelo Hughes Lumby and a playful food menu with dishes such as a Falafel burger named "The Lazy Farmer." www.the-arts-bar.co.uk