VisitBritain

ON THE FRINGE
Britain is brimming with edgy entertainment

24 MAY 2019: Whether it’s a celebration of live theatre, dance, arts or comedy, fringe festivals can be found in nearly every corner of Britain. Visitors are invited to laugh along with the nation’s finest comedians as they prepare for their major tours, take in the sounds of up-and-coming musicians and discover new takes on some of the finest theatrical works. Packed with live entertainment and clever improvisation, these are some the best Fringe Festivals to enjoy this summer:


A RARE PIECE OF BRITISH HISTORY
On display at Hampton Court Palace

23 MAY 2019: Following a three-year conservation project by Historic Royal Palaces, the stunning “Bacton Altar Cloth” will go on display at Elizabeth I’s former home, Hampton Court Palace, alongside the iconic “Rainbow” portrait in which it may once have featured. Opening on 12 October, this exhibition is included in palace admission.


BREXIT, WHAT BREXIT
British tourism keeps calm and carries on

21 MAY 2019: Tourism to Britain continues to be unaffected by Brexit, at least when it comes to long-haul visitations – including Canada – says the country’s tourist board.


QUICK AND EASY
ePassport makes entry to UK easy for Canadians

21 MAY 2019: Citizens of the US and Canada are among seven countries who can now use ePassport gates, giving easier and faster entry into the UK. The expansion of the ePassport gate eligibility is set to significantly reduce lines and improve the flow of passengers as well as the overall experience at the UK border. We had an opportunity to use the newly installed ePassport gates at Gatwick on Friday and the difference is amazing. 


ROYAL TREATMENT
VisitBritain welcomes the world at Explore GB

16 MAY 2019: It was a good week to be in Britain for ExploreGB, VisitBritain’s flagship travel trade event (May 8-10). Harry and Meghan conveniently had a baby, Brexit was on a relatively low boil, Liverpool and Tottenham both staged comebacks for the ages to qualify for the Champions League soccer final (against each other), and it didn’t snow. The locals were most excited.


SHEFFIELD PARK AND GARDEN
Acres of landscape garden bordered by historic parkland and woodland

14 MAY 2019: Sheffield Park, an informal Grade 1 listed gardens in East Sussex, lies in the valley of the River Ouse and was first sited in the 11th century Domesday Book. The ornamental gardens originally formed part of the estate of the adjacent Sheffield Park House, a privately owned neo-gothic country house that rises above the gardens. It, overlooking the panoramic lake, like a fairy-tale castle with its fine tracery window.


THE BEST PLACES FOR A CAFFEINE HIT IN LONDON

13 MAY 2019: Brits drink an estimated 95 million cups of coffee every day and across London there are a host of exceptional coffee outlets that have perfected the fine art of creating the perfect brew. From using carefully selected seasonal coffee beans from around the world to roasting them in-house, expect specialty coffee experiences.


COVENTRY CATHEDRAL

10 MAY 2019: The Cathedral Church St Michael – better known as Coventry Cathedral – is a Grade 1 listed building. It replaced the 14th century St Michael’s Cathedral, destroyed in a German air raid in 1940. Architect Basil Spence’s radical modernist design for the new building caused controversy when it was revealed in 1950. Rather than rebuilding the cathedral Spence’s design built a new structure beside the ruins of the bombed Cathedral. The juxtaposition of the two is breathtaking.


THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF BESPOKE
Savile Row. The name alone evokes images of style, tradition and refinement.

09 MAY 2019: Since the first tailor moved into Savile Row in 1785, the neighbourhood has been applauded the world over as the place for handmade suits, created from the finest fabrics, by the most skilled of craftsmen, for the most discerning gentlemen.


A TINY TOURIST ATTRACTION
Baby Sussex already credited with an expected rise in tourism

07 MAY 2019: Journalists, tourists and well-wishers had camped out for days in Windsor, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) west of London, awaiting news of the arrival of the baby of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. On Monday the royal family announced the birth of a baby boy, who is seventh in line for the British throne.


THE MILK HOUSE, SISSINGHURST
Where the pastures always greener

06 MAY 2019: The once forlorn and faded Bull Inn, a 16th-century pub and coaching inn, closed its doors and for two years waited to be rescued. In 2013 Sarah and New Zealand-born chef Dane Allchorne, saw its potential and painstakingly restored the historic building, creating a beautiful ‘The Milk House’ – recalling Sissinghurst’s former name, which changed after a local 19th-century smuggling gang brought it unwanted notoriety.


SEEING AND BELIEVING
Mack makes it worth the trip

02 MAY 2019: After decades in this industry, I like many others, have been subjected to more than my fair share of tours and tour guides usually droning on and on in monotonous monotones about some seriously uninteresting - let's call it - stuff. Regrettably over the years I have on occasion inflicted this same dull disservice on other unfortunate travellers. Only twice in all that time have I ever found a tour that offered me an experience that was truly both interesting, fun and made me not dread getting back on the coach. And both occasions had three common denominators.


RELAX AND ENJOY
Five luxurious ways to travel around Britain

02 MAY 2019: Perhaps one of the most amazing things about Britain is how extraordinarily beautiful it is. For a small industrial nation, the landscape seems vast ranging from rugged cliffs, to pristine beaches, to heather clad hills, to dales, lakes and fields with stone walled fences. There is a pastoral peace about the British countryside and there are some seriously glamorous to explore it.


BRITAIN REMEMBERS
D-Day Landings commemorated

01 MAY 2019: Seventy five years ago the forces of 13 Allied countries gathered in Britain before launching the historic operation to liberate Europe. Winston Churchill rightly said that D-Day was “undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult” operation that had ever taken place. On June 06 the date of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, several important occasions will commemorate the anniversary of the Second World War and Britain will show its veterans that the country’s debt to them is never forgotten.


THE VIKINGS ARE COMING
Invaders enhance epic UK outdoor theatre event Kynren

30 APR 2019: Vikings are preparing to crash the UK’s biggest outdoor live theatre spectacular, Kynren – an epic tale of England, this summer. Featuring a 1,000-strong cast and crew, Kynren – an epic tale of England, takes place annually in the northeastern English county of Durham.


PALACE INTRIGUE
Spring happenings at Britains royal palaces

29 APR 2019: From a transformed castle to explore and brand-new Queen Victoria exhibitions to live performances uncovering the “Terrible Tudors” in all their gory glory, there’s a whole range of activities visitors can join in at Britain’s Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) this Spring.


SHOW ME THE WAY
Great West Way touring route a first in England

26 APR 2019: England’s The Great West Way may have been officially unveiled last November, but with the summer tourism season at hand, Canadian visitors are just now starting to roll out along the unique new touring route.


BREXIT BREWS

25 APR 2019: As the dispute and turmoil over Brexit continues in Britain, now with the deadline to exit extended to Halloween, no irony intended, I got to thinking about British pubs. Perfect places for heated debate, creative writing or just drowning sorrows, they were often the linchpin of a community. Today’s tourists can find along with that insight into a neighbourhood, a great meal at a value price. The trick is knowing how to locate the best.


TREASURE HUNT
Kids search for London gold

24 APR 2019: Treasure hunters and budding buccaneers can gather their crewmates and set out on a self-guided adventure in the heart of London with two brand new self-guided “treasure hunts.”


ALL HAIL WALES
UK gem celebrating Year of Discovery in 2019

23 APR 2019: Yearly themes are nothing new in tourism as tourist boards often invoke general topics like food, art or culture, or sometimes specific events or anniversaries, in the hopes of inspiring or simply framing visitor interest.


Hole Park Gardens
The hidden gem of High Weald

22 APR 2019: Secreted away in the Weald of Kent, just beyond the picturesque white weather-boarded village of Rolvenden, lies Hole Park Gardens, a magnificent country estate, one of the best in Kent, the Garden of England.


GRAY-NICHOLLS AND THE BATMAN OF ROBERTSBRIDGE

18 APR 2019: The sleepy East Sussex town of Robertsbridge in Sussex is home to Gray-Nicolls who, since 1855 have been manufacturing cricket bats for some of the world's greatest players like David Gower, Mike Atherton, Clive Lloyd and Brian Lara.

 


THE BEST OF BLENHEIM
Winston’s world and more at Oxfordshire palace

17 APR 2019: 'At Blenheim, I took two very important decisions: to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.' – Sir Winston Churchill.


ODE TO AUTUMN IN UK
Keats classic 200 years old

16 APR 2019: Autumn can be an awesome time of the year in Britain, an observation not lost on John Keats, whose heartfelt ode “To Autumn” is regarded by many as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language. Penned 200 years ago on Sept. 19, 1819, the classic composition paints a portrayal of a season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness” and urges readers to “think not” of the songs of Spring.


HOME OF THRONES
GOT studio tour coming to Northern Ireland

15 APR 2019: It will take another year, but fans of Games of Thrones, which began its hugely anticipated final season on television last night (Sunday), will be able to be immerse themselves in the world of Westeros in a unique studio tour experience in Northern Ireland, where much of the hit HBO series has been filmed.

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