48 Hours on….The Wales Way

Recently launched, The Wales Way is a group of three national touring routes crossing the country’s most epic landscapes, showcasing its fascinating history, coastlines and attractions. The routes demonstrate how Wales is a destination for experience-seeking travellers, willing to explore off-the-beaten track locations along The North Wales Way, The Cambrian Way and The Coastal Way, all year round. Here we take a look at how to spend 48 hours across the Cambrian Way, a north to south journey of the country, stretching 185 miles (300km) along what is known as the ‘mountainous spine’ of Wales.

 

DAY ONE

09:00 Begin your journey in the vibrant capital city of Wales, Cardiff, and gain an insight into the country you’re about to traverse with a visit to the National Museum of Wales. Discover Wales’ national art, geology and natural history collections as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions…and it’s all for free! Visit from now until 24 February 2019 and explore the world-renowned Artes Mundi, a biennial international art exhibition and prize.

11:00 Travel on half an hour out of Cardiff to the Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant. The Royal Mint makes and distributes British coins and official medals for around 60 countries every year and visitors can take a guided tour of the manufacturing areas to discover how coins are created, plus the chance to strike your own coin. The experience concludes with an interactive exhibition.

13:00 Did you know that more than 20 different grape varieties are grown in vineyards across Wales? Stop to discover seven of those varieties, as you arrive at the Brecon Beacons National Park and a tour of the Sugar Loaf Vineyards near Abergavenny. The vineyard produces three whites, a rosé and, if the weather is in its favour, a red. You’ll also be rewarded with lovely views of the Usk Valley and be sure to stop for some lunch in its coffee shop – any non-drivers should, of course, order a glass of wine to go with it!

15:00 Another hour’s drive will take you to the stunning Farmers’ Lavender Fields near Builth Wells, which produce the scented oils that are used in the Farmers’ body care creams and lotions range. The farm is open year-round (although peak time for lavender is midsummer) for visitors to embark on self-guided tours and, out of season, the distillery is open for visitors see how lavender flowers produce essential oil. Stock up on body care products and a range of beautiful gifts in its shop as well as enjoying some tea and cake in the tea shop.

17:00 45 minutes from the lavender fields is the pretty market town of Llanidloes, a beautiful spot at the gateway to the Cambrian Mountains and also, intriguingly, that lays at the heart of Arwystli, an ancient medieval kingdom. It’s a pleasant spot to stop and settle in for the evening.

19:00 Dine out in town, which boasts a range of eateries. In the mood for homemade pies or succulent steaks? Check out Bistro Hafren. Fish and chips take your fancy? Head to the town’s Evans Fish Bar. And, for some after-dinner drinks accompanied by live music, take a walk to the Old Mill Bar, a café-bar set in a former flannel mill.

 

Time to check in

Llanidloes is well-served by charming bed and breakfast accommodation. Among them are the prettily named Unicorn Hotel, which offers six classic rooms, and The Whistling Badger, a historic pub that has been operating for more than 100 years, which offers three rooms. 

DAY TWO

09:00 Just over an hour’s drive from Llanidloes and you’ll hit the start of Snowdonia National Park and the amazing viewpoint Bwlch y Groes. Meaning ‘Pass of the Cross’, this mountain pass stands at 1,788 feet/545 metres above sea level and is well worth travelling through for some epic views.  

10:00 Take advantage of being in the adventure playground that is the Snowdonia National Park and check out some seriously thrilling activities to get the adrenaline pumping! Ever wanted to try surfing…inland? Surf Snowdonia (due to reopen in Spring 2019) is a 300-metre lagoon in the heart of the Conwy Valley countryside where, along with surfing, you can try out a watery assault course and have fun at its Crash & Splash Lagoon. Alternatively, Zip World, near the historic mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, is the place to go to bounce and slide through a huge underground net adventure, climb through a unique underground course in a disused slate mine or zip down Europe’s largest zipwire!

12:30 To wind down after all that adventure, explore somewhere a little statelier; Gwydir Castle, half an hour from Zip World and sitting on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. Once the ancestral home of the local, powerful Wynn family, it has a long tradition of entertaining royalty and is regarded as one of Wales’ finest Tudor houses.

14:00 Travel on 40 minutes and you’ll arrive at the splendid Bodnant Estate, set in picturesque countryside with wonderful views across to Snowdonia. Explore the magnificent Bodnant Hall, its terraced gardens, lawns and wild garden, admire the stone cottages (that you can also stay in) and farm buildings that were restored using traditional techniques and materials, as well as its Garden Centre and Craft Centre.

17:00 Head north on a 20-minute drive from the Bodnant Estate and you’ll arrive in the seaside retreat of Llandudno in north Wales. Its beautiful beaches have made this a popular resort since the Victorian era, while fans of Alice in Wonderland will enjoy taking part in the town’s Alice in Wonderland trails (the real Alice, Alice Liddell, spent time at her family’s holiday home in Llandudno). The town is also home to Wales’ longest pier (built in 1876), which stretches 2,295ft/700 metres out to sea. Just 15 minutes’ drive away is the seaside town of Conwy – home to the spectacular medieval Conwy Castle, built by England’s King Edward I; climb up to its battlements for incredible views across the sea and the town.

19:30 Time to feast on local delicacies such as pot roast of Welsh beef or slow-braised shoulder of Conwy Valley lamb, a sample of dishes that can be found at the town’s Bistro Bach. For dining at a proper Welsh country pub, try The Cottage Loaf, a charming inn of wooden beams and log fires serving a menu of seasonal specials and pub classics created from ingredients that are as locally sourced as possible.

Time to check in

Llandudno offers a good accommodation mix of hotels, townhouses and B&Bs. One of the most elegant and luxurious is Bodysgallen Hall & Spa, just south of the town centre; a romantic hotel set in a Grade I-listed country house with stunning gardens to match, guests will also love its gorgeous views over both the mountains and the sea.

The Quay Hotel & Spa located on the Conwy Estuary, affords amazing views over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Conwy Castle and has fantastic leisure facilities, while if you’re looking for something a little more central to town, the luxurious rooms at St George’s Hotel overlook Llandudno’s glorious seascape, which are particularly good from its rooms with balconies on The Rooftop.

Getting there: Cardiff, at the start of the Cambrian Way, has an international airport and is 2.5 hours by train from London. Llandudno, at the end of the journey, is a two-hour train journey from Manchester, and three hours from London. 

19 fabulous things to do in Britain in 2019

  1. Channel your inner Formula 1 driver

When the Silverstone Heritage Experience opens in Spring at the home of British Motor Racing, this thrilling new visitor attraction – which will use state-of-the-art interactive displays to tell the story of motor racing in a permanent exhibition – culminates in an immersive show dome finale where you can experience what it’s like to zip around the track alongside your racing heroes.

 

  1. Watch the world premiere of an Idris Elba production

As part of the Manchester International Festival – the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events and the biggest event on Manchester’s cultural calendar that takes place every two years – film and TV star Idris Elba joins forces with London’s Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, for the thrilling production of Tree. This, among many other cultural events, will take place at venues all over the city between 4 – 21 July.

 

  1. Surf inland in England’s south west

Pull on a wetsuit and hit the waves…in the city of Bristol. Set to open in the autumn, new inland surfing lake The Wave Bristol will be powered by the latest wave-making technology and generate up to 1,000 quality waves per hour. There’ll be three surf zones for different abilities and a high-performance surf centre for elite athletes and aspiring pros.

  1. Book tickets to one of Britain’s youngest music festivals

Following on from the success of last year’s launch, the RiZE Festival is one of the newest multi-genre music festivals to arrive in the UK. This is a party for everyone; the music genres range from indie and pop to dance and urban and takes places in Chelmsford, Essex, in south-east England between 16 – 17 August.
 

  1. Explore a world-class medicine collection

Following a £24 million investment, the entire first floor of London’s Science Museum will be given over to one of the most significant medicine collections in the world at the museum’s new Medicine Galleries. Due to open in 2019, the extraordinary collections of the pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcome and the Science Museum will be on display, telling the stories of how our lives have been transformed by changes in medicine and health over the last 400 years.
 

  1. Party like a dancing queen

Opening its doors at London’s The O2 in summer 2019 is the must-visit event from Stockholm – Mamma Mia! The Party. Guests will be transported to Nikos’ Taverna on an exotic Greek island, where they’ll be served Mediterranean food and drink and sing and dance along to ABBA songs. The perfect event for anyone who loves to party.
 

  1. See sporting legends make history

Britain has been crazy about cricket for centuries, making it a fantastic destination for the ICC Cricket World Cup

 

  1. Join a ‘Carnival of History’

2019 will see Leeds Castle in Kent, south-east England, celebrate its incredible 900-year anniversary, with events taking place over the entire 12 months. Put the 27 – 28 July in your diary in particular as it will host an amazing ‘Carnival of History’, a colourful procession that will culminate in an impressive finale set against the backdrop of this stunning castle.
 

  1. Discover why Van Gogh loved London

​​​​​​​Tate Britain has announced the largest exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s work in the UK for nearly a decade (27 March – 11 August). Van Gogh and Britain will bring together 40 paintings of the artist’s most famous works, including one of the Sunflowers paintings and will examine Van Gogh’s relationship with Britain – he lived in London in his early 20s – and the British art, literature and culture he was inspired by.
 

  1. Watch the world’s best golfers battle to win one of golf’s most prestigious cups

The biggest event in women’s golf, the Solheim Cup, comes to the celebrated Gleneagles Golf Course in Perthshire, Scotland, between 9 – 15 September. Teams of 12 players representing Europe and the United States will hit the world-renowned golf course, with more than 100,000 spectators expected to attend from around the world. Will one of them be you?
 

  1. Gain cultural kudos at Britain’s largest sculpture festival

​​​​​​​Head to the county of Yorkshire in north England next year for the first-ever Yorkshire Sculpture International, a free, 100-day festival that will be presented by four world-renowned cultural institutions based in Leeds and Wakefield: the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The festival will build upon Yorkshire’s rich history as the birthplace of pioneering sculptors, and as the home of this unique consortium of galleries and celebrated sculpture collections.
 

  1. Cheer on your country

​​​​​​​The competitive world of netball comes to Liverpool, north-west England, between 12 – 21 July, as the city hosts the Netball World Cup. Sixteen international teams will be arriving in Liverpool, with host nation England placed at second seeds, following their Commonwealth Games gold medal earlier this year. Who will you be supporting?
 

  1. Celebrate a British icon’s birthday

​​​​​​​The legendary Mini turns 60 next year and, for the first time in five years, the International Mini Meet will take place in the UK. Washingpool Farm near Bristol in south-west England will be the host (8 – 12 August), welcoming Mini owners from all over the world and celebrating with a huge birthday party. Also head to the British Motor Museum in Warwick, south-west England, where a two-day show between 3 – 4 August will mark the landmark birthday with a series of Mini-themed activities.
 

  1. Witness the return of Girl Power

​​​​​​​We’re sure you’ve heard…but British super-group The Spice Girls will be setting out on a reunion tour in June 2019 as a four-piece (minus Victoria Beckham) at various stadia across Britain. Will you be among the lucky ones to get tickets?
 

  1. Set your eyes on fabulous fashion

​​​​​​​A must-see for anyone who follows fashion are two fantastic exhibitions coming to London’s V&A Museum in 2019. Opening in February is Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams while April sees the launch of an exhibition dedicated to 1960s fashion revolutionary Mary Quant.
 

  1. Embrace your love for literature

​​​​​​​2019 will see cultural leaders from 28 countries come to Britain in May for a global gathering of the UNESCO Cities of Literature, the first time the event will take place in the UK. Dubbed Nottwich 2019 – as its gathering of writers and programme of cultural events will take place in Norwich and Nottingham in east England, two of Britain’s Cities of Literature – look out for a literary programme that will challenge your mind.
 

  1. Party like it’s 2019

​​​​​​​Celebrate with the people of London’s first-ever Borough of Culture – an initiative launched by London Mayor Sadiq Khan – as Waltham Forest in north-east London, kicks off its year-long cultural programme between 11 – 13 January with a huge party called Welcome to the Forest. Expect a magnificent visual and audio show, carnivals and light installations all telling the stories of the local people and area.
 

  1. Reserve a table at one of London’s hottest new restaurants

​​​​​​​Slated to open in January, chef Leonardo Pereira – who spent five years working at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the world’s most famous restaurants – is opening a Covent Garden-based restaurant called Nutshell, which will feature Iranian cuisine created from British produce.
 

  1. Book to see a new West End show

​​​​​​​London’s West End will welcome a host of fabulous new shows in 2019, including the hit musical Waitress, which comes to the Adelphi Theatre in Spring, while Mary Poppins makes a welcome return to the stage in Autumn at the Prince Edward Theatre.

The United Kingdom Could Expect a Boost in Visits from the United States during Thanksgiving Week

New York, New York (November 16th, 2018) – The UK could expect a rise in visitors from the United States (US) during Thanksgiving week, with flight bookings showing a rise of 20% compared to the same period in 2017. 

Data from ForwardKeys shows flight bookings from the US to the UK are up 20% from Sunday November 18th to Saturday November 24th for 2018 compared to the week when Thanksgiving fell last year. Thanksgiving Day this year is on Thursday, November 22nd.

The increase echoes a longer-term trend with forward bookings from the US to the UK tracking up 27% from November 2018 to April 2019 compared to the same period previously. 

The US is the UK’s most valuable inbound visitor market for tourism spend. Visitors from the US spent a record £3.6 billion (around $4.7 billion USD) across the UK last year, up 9% on the previous year. Visits from the US grew 13% to 3.9 million in 2017, the highest since 2000.

VisitBritain Executive Vice President, Americas, Gavin Landry said:
“There has never been a better time to book a trip to Britain, with our attractions and accommodation offering great value. US visitors can enjoy classic Thanksgiving traditions, from eating a Thanksgiving feast to watching the NFL games, ice skating and holiday light festivals and displays.

“Working with partners including American Airlines, British Airways, Norwegian Air and Virgin Atlantic, we continue to boost route connectivity and seat capacity, making it easier for US visitors to travel and explore further through regional gateways such as Manchester, driving growth from tourism across our nations and regions. The UK is the number one destination in Europe for US travelers, and it is great to see forward bookings looking strong in the coming weeks and months from our most valuable visitor market.”

VisitBritain is also working with content partners in the US including Refinery29, Matador Network, Food52 and Men in Blazers to promote Britain’s food and drink, culture and countryside and Premier League-related visitor experiences, telling the stories of destinations inspiring visitors to discover more, travel further and stay longer.

VisitBritain’s global campaign “I Travel For…” launched earlier this year in the US and is also shining the spotlight on unexpected experiences and less explored destinations across the UK alongside its globally renowned and iconic landmarks and attractions to drive tourism across the nations and regions.                                                                                                                               

US perceptions of the UK as a visitor destination are strong. The US ranked the UK second overall out of 50 nations for its overall brand in the 2018 Anholt Nation Brands Index, up one place on 2017 and equalling its highest ranking ever. The US also rated the UK highly for its vibrant cities and urban attractions and historic buildings and monuments.

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

To view a variety of Thanksgiving-inspired experiences taking place in Britain this month, please refer to the Appendix below.

 

ENDS

 

VisitBritain Media Contact
Diana Gonzalez
Marketing & Communications Manager
diana.gonzalez@visitbritain.org
+1 212-850-0318

 

About VisitBritain

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing its visitor economy.

Visitors from the US made 3.9 million visits to the UK in 2017 – up 13% compared to the previous year. This represents the highest visitor numbers since 2000. The US is the UK’s most valuable inbound tourism market and is one of the most important markets in terms of visitor numbers. In 2017, Americans spent £3.6 billion (around $4.7 billion USD) across the UK– the highest amount since records began and up 9% on 2016.

Visitors traveling to Britain can find out more information from www.visitbritain.com and also purchase money- and time-saving local transport, sightseeing, attraction, and theatre tickets from www.visitbritainshop.com.

Follow VisitBritain on YouTube (LoveGREATBritain), Twitter (@VisitBritain), Pinterest (Love GREAT Britain), Instagram (lovegreatbritain) and Facebook (LoveGREATbritain).

For hi-res images, register at www.visitbritainimages.com.

 

APPENDIX

Celebrating Thanksgiving Day:

Thanksgiving Meals & Drinks In London

Balthazar’s famous pecan pie returns for another year. Visitors can pick one up from their boulangerie or sit down to the classic Thanksgiving menu with gingerbread fizz, roasted butternut squash soup, and roast turkey with all the trimmings.
https://balthazarlondon.com/thanksgiving-at-balthazar/

Neptune’s Thanksgiving menu includes clam and smoked bacon chowder, turkey with chestnut and sausage stuffing, creamed kale, corn and cheddar biscuits and pumpkin custard tart.
https://neptune.london/index.php/2018/11/01/thanksgiving/

Ace Hotel have teamed up with The POP to host Breaking Bread: A Modern Thanksgiving Event, starting with pumpkin martinis on the 7th floor rooftop, followed by freshly baked cornbread, corn on the cob, roast turkey and pie.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/breaking-bread-a-modern-thanksgiving-tick...

Enjoy complimentary drinks for two hours amidst breathtaking views and a DJ playing until close at London’s highest bar, The View from The Shard. Their "Drinks on us" party nights take place every Thursday and Friday from November 22nd through December 13th, 2018, from 6:00 pm. – 8:00 pm.
https://www.theviewfromtheshard.com/whats-on/the-drinks-are-on-us/

Vegetarians can enjoy a plant-based meal at Farmacy’s first ever supper club, including three courses and a cocktail – expect seasonal mezze with chestnut hummus, Farmacy’s classic winter bowl with braised red cabbage, whipped squash and celeriac remoulade, and a twist on the classic American pie.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/farmacy-thanksgiving-supper-club-tickets-...

 

St Pauls Cathedral, London

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

The annual Thanksgiving Day service will take place at St Pauls from 11am until 12pm. No tickets are needed to attend the traditional service but visitors are recommended to arrive early as doors close at 10.30am.

www.stpauls.co.uk

 

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London

November 22nd, 2018 – January 6th, 2019

Winter Wonderland opens for the Christmas season this year on Thanksgiving Day from 4pm. The annual attraction is free-to-enter and features a family-fun activities including ice-skating on the UK’s largest outdoor rink, fairground attractions, Christmas markets and plenty of cosy restaurants to indulge in hot drinks and festive treats.

www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

 

Illuminate Light Festival, Plymouth

November 22nd – November 25th, 2018

Celebrate Thanksgiving Day at the city’s free-to-enter light festival, held at the historic Royal William Yard. The festival sees visual light projections take place with a theme of linking music to light, and visitors can get involved with their own light projects in a series of interactive workshops taking place during the four days. This year also sees artists experiment with light projections onto the sea.

www.visitplymouth.co.uk

 

Christmas at Kew Gardens, Richmond, London

November 22nd, 2018 – January 5th, 2019

Now in its sixth year, Christmas at Kew returns on Thanksgiving Day with a winter trail of twinkling lights to explore. Visitors can also enjoy the sculptural fire garden and a new Laser Garden to watch lights bouncing across the branches. End the evening with warm treats of roasted chestnuts and a hot chocolate under the starry skies.

www.kew.org

 

Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum, London

Through January 20th, 2019

To celebrate Thanksgiving Day with history, visitors can head to the Natural History Museum and skate against the backdrop of the grand attraction either day or night. Although it is recommended to book tickets to guarantee a place, visitors can buy a ticket at the box office, and warm up with a meal and drink at the Café Bar. www.nhm.ac.uk

 

e-Passport gates to ease travel for American passengers into the U.K.

Millions more people will be able to use ePassport gates as they arrive in the U.K., under plans announced on October 29.

From summer 2019, eligible travelers from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States will be able to use the ePassport gates at 14 ports in the U.K. and at juxtaposed locations. 

The ePassport gates expansion will provide an automated route through the border for an estimated additional 6 million international travelers arriving in the U.K. every year.  The move is the next step in the Government’s continuing program of work to roll out digital technology at the border and is expected to significantly improve the flow of passengers at busy airports such as Heathrow.

ePassport gates, which are currently available for British and EU nationals, provide a faster route through the border as they allow eligible passengers to be processed quickly and securely. All passengers are automatically checked against Border Force systems and watchlists. The technology also allows Border Force officers to focus on other priority work such as identifying potential victims of trafficking.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:

“We want to encourage people who boost our economy through tourism and business to travel to the U.K., while at the same time maintaining border security. Expanding the number of nationalities eligible to use ePassport gates supports this aim.

“Increasing the use of digital technology is part of our ambitious program to improve the passenger experience and meet the challenge of increased passenger numbers.”

ePassport gates use facial recognition technology to compare the passenger’s face to the digital image recorded in their passport. The system is monitored by Border Force officers and anyone rejected by the gates will be sent to an alternative channel to have their passport checked.

There are now 259 ePassport gates in operation at 14 ports around the U.K. and juxtaposed control locations. The gates can be used by those aged 18 and over, and who are traveling using a biometric or ‘chipped’ passport. Those aged 12 to 17 years old, and who are accompanied by an adult, are also able to use them.   

 

Notes to editors:

  1. ePassport gates operate in 14 ports across the U.K. and at juxtaposed control locations which include:
    • Airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, Luton and London City. Cardiff airport will benefit from an installation of ePassport gates in early 2019.
    • Rail terminals (Eurostar terminals at Brussels and Paris, known as the juxtaposed controls).
  2. ePassport gates first went live in U.K. airports at Manchester Airport in 2008. In the year ending September 2018, 51.9 million passengers used them across the U.K.
  3. From Summer 2019, both visitors and those coming to the U.K. with a visa to study or work from eligible countries will be able to use the ePassport gates.
  4. Travelers who aren’t eligible to use ePassport gates (including family travelers with children under 12 years of age, people traveling with ID cards or without a biometric passport) will continue to be seen by an officer at the PCP (passport control desk).

Visit Nottinghamshire launches brand-new international Robin Hood itineraries to coincide with the release of the latest film

A brand new Robin Hood itinerary and two bookable Robin Hood products have been launched by Visit Nottinghamshire to coincide with the release of Otto Bathurst’s Robin Hood on the November 21.

These itineraries will be promoted around the world through the international travel trade, encouraging international tourists to visit Nottinghamshire and immerse themselves in the rich history, legends and literature of the region, taking advantage of the increased interest generated by the latest film.

The itinerary is one of a number of developed across England as part of the ‘Creating England’s Literary Greats’ project, one of several successful bids to secure funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a program of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing tourism industry, by offering world–class English tourism products to the right customer at the right time.  The Fund is a central government funded program of activity supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

The project is based on research which identified a demand for increased literary-themed visits to England, focusing on the US travel trade.

Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive at Visit Nottinghamshire, said, “We’re launching these new products at a time of increased interest in Nottingham thanks to the release of the latest Robin Hood film. They are specifically designed to appeal to international visitors with an interest in experiencing the legend for themselves, and we anticipate that they will provide a major boost to our thriving tourism economy.”

 

The two-day Robin Hood itinerary includes the multi-award-winning Robin Hood Town Tour with the character tour guide Ezekial Bone, Nottingham Castle (set to be an even bigger tourist attraction when it reopens in 2020 following a fantastic £29.8m Heritage Lottery Funded transformation), Sherwood Forest and the Major Oak and Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of Lord Byron.

 

The two new bookable products will see tourists exploring culturally and historically significant sites in Nottinghamshire with Ezekial Bone and Cultural Heritage Tours for an immersive and hands-on experience. For the first time ever, The Legend of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest offers a joined-up tour of both Nottingham city centre with Robin Hood and a visit to the historic landscapes of Sherwood Forest, whilst the Robin Hood Town Tour and Lunch will have tourists exploring the historic city centre followed by a meal in England’s oldest pub.

 

Ezekial Bone said, “These new products break down the glass wall between the city and the county, providing a fully comprehensive Nottinghamshire experience. All the main sites of interest linked with the Robin Hood legend will be brought together into a package for those with a thirst for adventure, knowledge and good times. With masterful storytelling, Robin Hood will bring the legend and the history of the City of Nottingham to life.”

 

Karl Gibson, the landlord of Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, said, “It creates a real sense of community that we as a city can collaborate together to develop these great experiences. The Literary Greats project provides a fantastic gateway to help visitors learn and discover the great significance and the impact that Nottinghamshire has had on the country and further afield.”

 

The bookable products can be bought independently or incorporated into wider itineraries and tours, and can be purchased ‘off the shelf’ or tailored as required. The itineraries also recommend accommodation, with a focus on trade or group-friendly properties and those that relate to the theme or are quintessentially English. Also included are suggested complimentary experiences including food experiences, landscapes famous for film locations or other local sites of interest.

 

Research has revealed an increasing recognition of the importance of culture and heritage for tourist motivation, behaviour and experiences, with more than a third of overseas visitors looking to see places from film and literature, and almost half of them having visited museums, art galleries, castles or historic houses on previous trips. Cultural tourists are thought to spend more, stay longer, travel more frequently, and participate in more activities than other tourists.

 

These itineraries and activities have therefore been designed in line with these market trends and in response to consumer demands, using the legend and character of Robin Hood as a hook. They are expected to benefit Nottinghamshire’s tourism economy – attracting more international visitors and strengthening the region’s cultural identity.

 

Andy Mercian, from Cultural Heritage Ltd, said: “This tour package offers people the chance to meet Robin Hood himself, and expert historians, and to uncover the real story behind the legends. It’s a chance to soak up the culture of the vibrant city of Nottingham, before wandering through the ancient oak trees of the Forest, helping to link the county and city together for the greater good.”

 

Ends

 

 

Notes to Editors:

Details of the Robin Hood itinerary and new bookable products can be found on https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk/.

 

About Marketing NG: Marketing NG is the official Place Marketing Organisation (PMO) for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The organisation is responsible for growing the local economy through encouraging inward investment, attracting business and leisure visitors, student retention and aligning with the local business community. It is made up of three divisions: Visit Nottinghamshire, Invest in Nottingham and Nottingham Partners.

 

About the Discover England Fund

In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.

The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.

The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches.  In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:

A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,

A smaller funding pot for new one year pilot projects (in year two), and

Continuation funding for existing year one projects that demonstrated early learnings (in year two).

 

About VisitEngland:

VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

 

Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com for consumer information.

 

 

Britain's favourite festive Christmas experiences

Britain's favourite festive Christmas experiences

The best seafood in Devon & Cornwall

The best seafood in Devon & Cornwall

Where to find the best post-Christmas sales in Britain

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

CITY SHOPPING

London

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

Birmingham, central England

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

Manchester, north-west England

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

Glasgow, Scotland

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

Cardiff, Wales

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

 

OUTLETS

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

Bicester Village, Oxfordshire, central England

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

McArthur Glen

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

London Designer Outlet

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

ICON Outlet at the O2

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

Celebrate World Vegan Day in the UK

World Vegan Day is almost upon us, kickstarting a month-long celebration of all things plant based. If you’re vegan and travelling to the UK, you’ll discover an ever-growing number of restaurants, cafés and bars serving up delicious sweet and savoury vegan treats – from high-end healthy cuisine to jaw-dropping junk food. Here’s a few of our favourites below.

 

London

Mildreds, Soho

Whether you’re looking for vegan-friendly cocktails or cuisine, London is no slouch when it comes to plant-based restaurants and bars. One of the best is Mildreds. Originally established in Soho in 1988, the restaurant now boasts branches in Camden, King’s Cross and Dalston too. Airy, bright and stylish, the chain is loved for its delicious cuisine which includes warming winter dishes like smoked tofu, apple and white bean sausages and mash, and toffee apple crumble. Diners can also savour vegan cocktails including popcorn martinis and blood orange margaritas and enjoy a special brunch menu at weekends.

Manna, Primrose Hill

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

Wulf & Lamb, Sloane Square

“Run with the wolves, eat with the lambs” is the mantra of Wulf & Lamb, one of the newest additions to the London vegan scene. It’s 100% plant-based menu focuses heavily on comfort food, so expect fabulously filling dishes including an open burrito with sautéed ackee, green coconut curry with sweet potato mash and the seitan Wulf Burger complete with cashew aioli and wedges.  Sweet-toothed diners can also choose from deliciously decadent desserts including tiramisu with raw almond cream or dairy-free mango and passionfruit cheesecake. 

Quaglino’s and The Meet, various locations

If you’re looking for cocktails over cuisine, The Green Revolution at Quaglino’s Bar in St James’s is offering a Science of Sustainability cocktail menu. Divided into past, present and future, the menu reveals the history of sustainability via a range of delicious drinks including The Green Revolution, which combines Matchers Rye, yellow chartreuse, lime, beer, honey and matcha tea served with a pistachio foam. Alternatively, head to Vegroni at The Meet. Opening on 2 November, this new pop-up offers vegan cocktails, including a delicious rhubarb and vanilla custard martini, comfort food and even a bottomless vegan brunch, all in a memorable setting under the railway arches of Clapham North.

 

Manchester

The Allotment, Lloyd Street

Named best vegetarian restaurant of 2018 by the Times, award-winning restaurant The Allotment offers 3, 7 and 10-course tasting menus in the heart of Manchester. All its dishes are also 100% gluten, dairy and egg free, making it perfect for coeliacs in addition to those following a plant-based diet. Visit during the holiday season and you can also enjoy its Christmas menu featuring festive delights including cranberry and red wine parfait and pan fried cauliflower roast with all the trimmings.

V-Rev Vegan Diner, Edge Street

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

Greens, Didsbury

Set up by Simon Connolly and Simon Rimmer, now one of the UK’s top TV chefs, Greens has been ‘terrifying carnivores’ since 1990 with its inspiring menu of delicious plant-based dishes. Influenced by cuisines from around the world, the menu features dishes including deep-fried oyster mushrooms, pancakes with plum sauce and sage gnocchi with roasted squash and horseradish crumb. Visiting this winter? Enjoy a festive feast of dishes including red lentil and walnut loaf and vegan Christmas pudding, available throughout December.

Edinburgh

Holy Cow, Elder Street

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

The Ivy on the Square, St Andrew Square

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

The Auld Hoose, St Leonard’s Street

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

 

Brighton

Purezza, St James’s Street

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

Food for Friends, Prince Albert Street

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

Terre à Terre, East Street

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

Edinburgh's Hogmanay - The greatest New Year party in the world

Edinburgh's Hogmanay - The greatest New Year party in the world