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

Number Four, Privet Drive opens its door to visitors

Friday 27th May - Monday 6th June

For the first time ever, visitors will get the chance to step inside number four, Privet Drive and peer into the Dursleys' living room as the exterior set is opened especially for the Studio Tour's 15th anniversary celebrations of the film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

For one week only, visitors will have the opportunity to walk through the front door and look into the Dursleys' front room where hundreds of Harry's Hogwarts letters created by MinaLima, the graphic designers for all eight Harry Potter films, will be suspended in the air as though they've flown through the fireplace as they did in the iconic scene from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The letter that started Harry's adventure at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry featured so prominently in the film that an astonishing 10,000 of these envelopes were created for the first Harry Potter film and were even printed on extra lightweight paper so the owls could carry them.

Fans will remember number four, Privet Drive as the Muggle home where Harry spent most of his childhood with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Cousin Dudley. During production, set decorators were tasked with filling the house with quirky pieces of furniture and had lots of fun sourcing the ugliest sofas, worst tiles and most unattractive curtains possible which will be on display in the dressed set.

Also on display for the first time in the Studio Tour will be the Dursleys' costumes which proved to be a rich source of inspiration for Costume Designer Judianna Makovsky. She remembers them being the most fun to dress, creating clothes that appeared out of date and pretentious for Mr and Mrs Dursley, as well as hideous jumpers for young Dudley.

In addition to the opening of number four, Privet Drive, Warner. Bros Studio Tour London will be showcasing the equipment that was used to shoot Harry's Hogwarts letters through the letterbox of number four, Privet Drive. The machine, which was specially created for the film by award winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson, will be on display in the Studio Tour during the feature between 27th May - 6th June.

Notes to Editors

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone made its debut cinema debut in 2001 as the first of eight films based on J.K. Rowling's world-famous series about a young wizard and his adventures at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Fifteen years later and in celebration of the iconic film's anniversary, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter is running a series of special features, offering visitors the opportunity to go behind the scenes and discover where the filmmaking magic began.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter opened its doors on 31st March 2012. The unique attraction offers visitors the ultimate chance to get up close to authentic sets, discover the magic behind spellbinding special effects and explore the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Harry Potter film series.

The Studio Tour has been well received with 97% of the 20,000+ reviews on TripAdvisor rating it as ‘Excellent' or ‘Very Good'.

Highlights include walking through the Great Hall where so many famous scenes were shot, seeing the treasures stored in Dumbledore's office and strolling down Diagon Alley. Tickets must be pre-booked at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk or by calling the Studio Tour's Visitor Services Team on 0345 084 0900 and cannot be bought at the attraction.

VisitBritain Partners with Ora.TV for #ModernTraveler Premiere Episodes Larry King calls new travel show a 'must see'

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/

A ‘YORKIE’ ADVENTURE

  • Visit York appoints a Yorkshire Terrier named Yorkie to present its new travelogue series
  • The three part short film series, hosted on You Tube is inspired by ‘slow TV' and follows a Yorkshire Terrier on an unhurried adventure around York and North Yorkshire. The trailer for the series is out today 3rd August 2016 with three episodes to follow shortly (stay tuned on Visit York's YouTube page www.youtube.com/visityork).
  • Viewers are given a unique canine perspective of the historic city and county's most iconic sights
  • Series designed to showcase the many adventures visitors to York and North Yorkshire can have

Dogs have been cast in a variety of starring roles over the years: from their first cinema appearance in the 1894 film Athlete with Wand[1] to the Hollywood classic Lassie Come Home[2], where the eponymous dog embarks on a journey to her Yorkshire home. And that is the very same location in which a little Yorkshire Terrier will today add another string to the dog's venerable bow of feats in front of the camera: by becoming the world's first canine travel show presenter.

The world's first travelogue series hosted by a dog has been commissioned by Visit York and gives viewers the opportunity to embark on an adventure into the heart of England's iconic historic city and its surrounding countryside from the perspective of one of Yorkshire's most famous exports: the Yorkshire Terrier, otherwise affectionately known as a ‘Yorkie'.

The three-part travelogue series has been directly inspired by the hugely popular concept of ‘slow TV'[3] and comprises long stretches of uninterrupted, unhurried footage captured from behind Yorkie - allowing viewers to take in the beauty of York and North Yorkshire's stunning landscapes and visitor attractions in an entirely new way. Dressed in a special adventurer's outfit, complete with Visit York and Yorkshire Rose pin badges, throughout the series Yorkie gives the likes of Michaels Palin and Portillo a run for their money.

You can watch him strolling along the twisting, narrow lane of one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, Shambles, getting a ‘VIP guest' dogs-eye view of the giant locomotives at the National Railway Museum, taking a scenic journey in the cosy compartments and wood panelled carriages of a steam train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, meandering through the enchanting landscapes of the North York Moors National Park and roaming the ruins of Whitby Abbey perched high on the east cliff above Whitby.

‘Yorkie', the adventurous pooch also meets with Viking fans from the site of one of the most astounding discoveries of modern archaeology, at the Jorvik Viking Center, trots around the gardens of one of Britain's finest stately homes; Castle Howard, dines at the birthplace of a notorious plotter; The Guy Fawkes Inn and explores the history of the city's chocolate making heritage at York's Chocolate Story.

The travelogue series has been launched in partnership with City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Virgin Trains to celebrate Visit York's ‘the Original City Adventure' campaign aimed at encouraging visitors to plan their very own adventure in York and North Yorkshire.

As one of the world's most dog loving nations [4], Visit York aims to showcase the many adventures on offer in the region through the eyes of this adorable pooch and tourism chiefs are keen to point out this is not a guide to dog friendly venues in the area, though well behaved dogs are of course welcome with their owners!

Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism, Make It York, said of the travelogue's launch: ‘We know that photos and videos of lovable animals, especially dogs are really popular on social media. So by commissioning this travelogue series through the eyes of ‘Yorkie', an adorable Yorkshire Terrier, we aim to give newcomers to York and York fans a fun flavor of the adventure that awaits you here in beautiful York and North Yorkshire. We hope our viewers will enjoy watching Yorkie explore York and North Yorkshire.'

Each episode features new attractions where viewers can experience the sights and sounds that the location has to offer. The full list of locations Yorkie visited throughout the filming of the series are as follows:

Walmgate Ale House: visits the wood-beamed snug and chic dining room of the charming 17th century buildin

Jorvik On Tour: discovers the hustle and bustle of the Viking-age and meets Viking traders (to excite visitors about the re-opening of JORVIK in the New Year)

National Rail Museum: meets the stars of the national locomotive collection in giant halls full of steam and diesel engines

York Minster: Yorkie passes by and advises visitors not to leave without a visit to this world-renowned cathedral

Shambles: meanders the narrow medieval street awarded the most picturesque street in Britain [5]

Guy Fawkes Inn: relaxes in a setting befitting of the time of Guido Fawkes, lit by candlelight and gas lamps

Castle Howard: experiences the breathtaking views of the stately home's tranquil gardens, lakes and fountains

Goathland Station: boards a train at the railway station that became the bewitching Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films

North Yorkshire Moors Railway: travels to Whitby on one of the world's greatest heritage railway experiences

Whitby Abbey: enjoys the exhilarating views across Whitby's harbor and town from the site of the 13th century gothic ruins of the abbey church

York Designer Outlet: shops at the outlet that is home to over 120 stores

The Yorkshire Terrier: stops by this York Brewery pub, a hidden gem situated on historic Stonegate, an obvious choice for Yorkie, the presenter! Just a bowl of Yorkshire water consumed of course!

The first episode of Yorkie's travelogue series will be released in mid-August (release dates soon to be announced), followed by two more episodes in September. In the meantime, for a flavor or what's to come, watch the newly released preview trailer of Yorkie's travelogue series at www.youtube.com/visityork, follow Visit York on Twitter and Instagram @visityork and at facebook.com/visityork and share your own York and North Yorkshire adventure with the hashtags #YorkAdventure and #Yorkie.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

The travelogue was commissioned by Visit York to encourage visitors to plan their own adventure in York and North Yorkshire and it is important to note that it is not a guide to dog friendly venues - though well behaved dogs are welcome!

1. Cinema's first dog appeared in Edison Studio's Athlete with Wand. The 30-second film was directed by William K. L. Dickson and features a gymnast assuming a number of positions while holding a wand with a dog lounging in the corner of the foreground.

2. Lassie Come Home is a 1943 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor feature film starring Roddy McDowall and canine actor, Pal, in a story about the profound bond between Yorkshire boy Joe Carraclough and his rough collie, Lassie. The film was directed by Fred M. Wilcox from a screenplay by Hugo Butler based upon the 1940 novel Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight. The film was the first in a series of seven MGM films starring "Lassie".

3. The name given to ‘slow TV' derived from the natural slow pace of the television program's progress with the latest evolution starting in 2009 when producers broadcast a 7-hour long journey from Oslo to Bergen. Other examples include 12 hours of non-stop knitting and 18 hours of salmon fishing that were also big hits in Norway. The BBC has recently broadcast a canal trip and a sleigh ride inspired by concepts of ‘Slow TV'.

4. The fact that more than half of Brits keep a minimum of one pet shows that they are pet lovers. To be more specific, British households in total host 6.6 million dogs and 7.7 million cats.

5. The unique beauty of The Shambles has been recognised and awarded the title of the most picturesque street in Britain in the Google Street View Awards.

About the Presenter

Yorkie's real name is Sunny, he is 8 years old, lives in Coventry and likes long walks around the countryside and playing with his toys in the garden.

About Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are commonly referred to today as the "Yorkie".

The English breed is no more than 100 years old and was originally bred for the purpose of catching rats in mines. The ancestors of the Yorkshire Terrier are the Waterside Terrier, a small Scottish breed with a long blue-gray coat. The Waterside Terrier was brought to Yorkshire, England in the mid 19th century.

The Yorkie made its first appearance in England in 1861 during a bench show. At this time they were known as the "Broken-haired Scotch Terrier". The Yorkie kept this title for 9 years until during one show a reporter commented that the breed should be known as Yorkshire Terriers, because the breed had improved so much since their arrival in Yorkshire.

About Make It York

Make It York's purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings - nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.

About Visit York

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand.

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York's aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

York Tourism Facts

  • £608 million annual tourism spend
  • 6.8 million visitors annually
  • 20,300 jobs supported by tourism

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

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

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

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

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

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

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

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

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

The first visuals for the campaign:

Download high res images


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

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

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

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

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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

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

  • London & Partners' Dream Jar Trail in London;

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

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

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

For more information on this press release please contact:

Meredith Pearson

Marketing and Communications Director, North America

Meredith.pearson@visitbritain.org

Kelly Harrison

Marketing and Communications Manager, USA

Kelly.harrison@visitbritain.org

Dana O'Malley

Marketing and Communications Manager, USA

Dana.omalley@visitbritain.org