Europe’s first Tequila Hotel is to be built on England’s Isle of Wight, The Hunger Games is making its stage debut in London’s West End, a Shaun the Sheep Experience is coming to Land’s End, Cornwall – and that’s not all!
VisitBritain chose the perfect venue this week to unveil a vast array of events, anniversaries and attractions set to make visiting Britain in 2016 a great and memorable experience.
A Brit-inspired lunch by chef Nelly Robinson, who runs the much acclaimed nel.restaurant in Sydney’s Wentworth Ave, included Lancashire hotpot with pickled red cabbage followed by sticky toffee pudding, caramel and buttermilk.
Britain’s food revolution continues and Robinson says many pubs are transforming themselves into Michelin-starred restaurants. Others remain pubs, of course – there is no shortage.
Kristen Angus, VisitBritain’s insights and communications manager, introduced a handy new guide called Great Value Britain, A Guide. Downloadable as a PDF, Great Value Britain, A Guide presents “quintessentially British experiences that won’t hurt your wallet”, a compilation of all sorts of enjoyable, affordable and free things to do on a visit to Britain. With the Australian dollar continuing to slide, Great Value Britain, A Guide is perfectly timed.
The spotlight in 2016 is on Scotland and England’s north and southwest, Angus said.
As for things to do in Britain, here’s just a small taste. More can be found on the VisitBritain website: http://www.visitbritain.com/en/AU/:
Coming in 2016
The world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide is set to open at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Olympic Park next spring. Starting at 80 metres high, the ArcelorMittal Orbit slider will spiral around the tower five times before a final 50 metre route down to the ground.
A café for cats – and people who like cats – is set to open in Nottingham. The Kitty Café is unashamedly quirky. Nottingham’s first ever feline cafe is the only one in England outside London.
“Meet and relax with 19 cats and kittens, all of which are looking for a new home. An absolute must for all cat lovers, guests can also enjoy a range of 100 different types of tea, fresh coffees and baked goods made onsite, whilst making lots of new furry friends. www.kittycafe.co.uk/
The 800 year-old Gothic cathedral of York Minster will undergo a spectacular transformation to become a monumental auditorium for a much anticipated month-long staging of the York Minster Mystery Plays 2016. The Mystery Plays will return to the Minster for the first time since the acclaimed Millennium production in 2000 when over 28,000 people attended the sell-out performances.
The National Museums of Scotland will open new galleries in 2016; the GBP 14 million project will create 10 new galleries displaying National Museums of Scotland’s internationally important collections of Science and Technology and Art and Design.
Beautifully located overlooking Porthmeor Beach in Cornwall in south-west England, Tate St Ives is undergoing refurbishment that will see the gallery space double and visitor experiences improved when fully completed in 2016.
The full cast and filming locations have been announced for Spectre, the latest film in the James Bond series. Its due for release at the end of 2015. Daniel Craig has already been spotted at several London locations filming scenes, including Camden in north London and on a speedboat on the River Thames. Fans of 007 can gear up for his next outing by booking onto ‘live like Bond tours’ (like Brit Movie Tours), or else embarking on a high-adrenaline experience like a London RIB Voyage.
A new film of Tarzan will be released in 2016, the plot of which has led to filming taking place in several British locations such as Windsor Great Park (around an hour’s drive from London), National Trust-owned 18th-century mansion Kedleston Hall, close to the city of Derby, north England, and Dinorwig Quarry in Llanberis, north Wales, a former slate quarry and also home to the Welsh National Slate Museum.
Bridlington, on the East Yorkshire Coast was transformed recently for the filming of a big screen version of the much-loved classic, Dad’s Army. The movie’s production team transformed the Old Town into the fictional Walmington-on-Sea in the 1940s. Cast members Bill Nighy, Toby Jones, Sir Tom Courteney and Sir Michael Gambon joined more than 300 extras to create a St George’s Day parade.
Damien Hirst has spent GBP 25 million and three years on a new art space in London, Newport Street Gallery, Vauxhall. Its claimed to be the most exciting art opening since Tate launched its modern-art powerhouse at Bankside, 15 years ago. The first show at the gallery will be Damien Hirst’s 3000-strong ‘Murderme’ collection – which includes pieces from Sarah Lucas and Francis Baco. 8 October 2015 – 23 April 2016
Rievaulx Abbey is one of the best preserved and most impressive monastic sites in England. Opening in early summer 2016, a new museum will tell the abbey’s 900-year story and display its nationality important and spectacular of the abbey ruins in North Yorkshire.
The Isle of Wight will play host to one of the most different hotel openings of the season, as El Patron announces the launch of a second site Europe’s First Tequila Hotel. Following in the successful footsteps of tequila bar, El Patron London, the Isle of Wight site will take the El Patron experience even further with the extraordinary opening of a restaurant, bar and Europe’s First Tequila Hotel. Renowned for their quirky interior, late-night fiestas and authentic menus, El Patron Isle of Wight will open in the historic Charter House – a striking red brick, grade II building in the idyllic St Thomas’s Square, offering a large outdoor area, perfect for warmer days – at the end of 2015; and will enjoy its first full season in 2016.
An expansion of Warner Bros. Studio will include the original Hogwarts Express steam engine and a recreation of Platform 9¾. This new, permanent addition will offer a glimpse into how some of the films’ most iconic scenes were created, as well as giving visitors the chance to climb aboard the train and to pose with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform wall.
Newcastle Castle will be transformed into a hub of heritage activity and learning. The Black Gate and Castle Keep will provide visitors with a portal into the history of Old Newcastle, telling the story of the people who lived here over the centuries. www.newcastlecastle.co.uk/
After five years at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock, Nathan Outlaw’s latest restaurant will open in the fishing village of Port Issac where it will sit within the spacious, modern building currently known as The Edge. It will complement the one Michelin star Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen also in Port Isaac while Outlaw’s at St Enodoc Hotel will remain open for hotel guests and non-residents. www.nathan-outlaw.com
Written by Peter Needham