This month, we bring you news of cultural openings and a raft of new festivals. Head to Brighton to hear your favourite podcasts at the Wave Podcast Festival and to the New Forest for a new dog festival. Milton Keynes and Hertfordshire are having a cultural renaissance with the opening of the new MK Gallery and reopening of the North Hertfordshire Museum. Meanwhile, Whitby’s new Fish and Chip Festival, which has a jam-packed weekend, with music, top chefs, food demos, fireworks and workshops, will get you in the spirit of fast-approaching summer.
Please see below for more information, plus a roundup of other news just in from around the country.
Wave Podcast Festival, Brighton
This New Podcast Festival will feature a range of special guests, and take place major at Brighton and Hove venues, allowing audiences to sit in on and enjoy some of the best loved podcasts, from politics to lifestyle, comedy and music to mystery, via unique live recordings. Romesh Ranganathan, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Richard Herring are just some of the featured podcaster who will be taking part, all delving into new material, debate and content, especially for the festival.
New tours up the Royal Liver Building, Liverpool
Royal Liver Building 360 will open up the city’s most recognisable building – home to the famous Liver Birds and Europe’s first skyscraper - for the first time to visitors. Incorporating a museum, immersive experience inside the clockface and even a trip up the tower for unforgettable 360 degree views from the Liver Birds’ perch, this is one not to miss. Royal Liver Building 360 is a new world-class visitor attraction unlocking a city icon. RLB 360 will be designed, delivered and operated by Heritage Great Britain in partnership with Corestate. The tour, which is suitable for those aged 7 years and over, will take approximately 70 minutes and is limited to groups of 14 people per time slot. More information is available from the website where tickets are on sale now. £15 adult, £10 children
The Clive, Ludlow
The Clive Arms, just west of Ludlow, is to reopen in late April following an extensive refurbishment. This will see the creation of a new open plan restaurant and bar offering, as well as an additional three bedrooms for hotel guests and the creation of an impressive outdoor dining area. Previously known as The Clive Restaurant with Rooms, the main building has been closed for the renovation since January. The relaunch will take the Georgian coaching inn, part of the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakly Park Estate, into a new era as a genuine ‘farm to fork’ dining destination. The new layout includes a main 40 cover restaurant with a separate cosy snug and further dining opportunities offered by extended bar areas. A new garden and courtyard area to the rear of the building will provide year-round eating and socialising areas. Rooms start from £144 a night with the new suites starting from £194 a night on a B&B basis.
Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom,
Nationwide tour, various dates
A brand-new, prehistoric, outdoor family attraction coming to the UK for the first time in 2019, Ice Age: The Lost Kingdom is Europe’s first touring animatronic Ice Age experience and will bring to life the sights and sounds of the Ice Age with 40 majestic beasts that roamed the world some 70,000 years ago. A variety of street food outlets will be available, together with a mini-cinema marquee showing an educational Ice Age documentary, as well as a fossil excavation pit for children to unearth skeletons.
Discover National Parks, Nationwide
6 – 21 April
Help celebrate a milestone anniversary for National Parks. This year the annual National Parks Fortnight of events and activities will have an especial significance as it marks the organisation’s 70th year. The festival is moving to spring in time with the Easter school holidays across the UK. Expect events from caving to navigation, letterboxing and more.
MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
Opened 16 March
MK Gallery forms a creative hub for Milton Keynes. Designed by 6a Architects, the masterminds behind Peckham’s incredible South London Gallery, it builds upon the original MK Gallery which was constructed in the late 1990s and is inspired by the city’s original grid as well as the geometries of the adjacent Campbell Park. The completed development provides five exhibition galleries, with a total of 500 square metres of exhibition space; a large learning and community studio and The Sky Room, a flexible auditorium on the upper floor with 150 retractable seats and views over Campbell Park and the countryside. The inaugural exhibition, The Lie of the Land, utilizes all five galleries and features the work of 85 artists, architects and designers, including Thomas Gainsborough, J.M.W Turner and Joseph Paxton, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Jeremy Deller and Bridget Riley. Admission Free
North Hertfordshire Museum
North Hertfordshire Museum is a brand new museum next door to the completely refurbished Town Hall in Brand Street, Hitchin. Displaying collections from the old Letchworth and Hitchin museums and many items from around the District that have never before been on public display, the museum is now partially open, with more to be unveiled in the upcoming months. One of the first exhibitions is a retrospective of-renowned sculptor and local resident, John W Mills whose best known works include the National Firefighters Memorial, outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London, unveiled in 1991 and the Monument to the Women of World War Two in Whitehall, unveiled in 2005. Museum is open Tuesday to Thursday. Entry is free and the John W. Mills: sculptor to the nation, exhibition runs from 23rd February to 27th April 2019
Fish and Chip Festival, Whitby
18 – 19 May
Whitby’s new seaside spectacular celebrates the Yorkshire Coast’s magnificent maritime culture, with sensational seafood in the festival kitchen, and live entertainment throughout the town. Two of the UK’s top TV chefs, Brian Turner CBE and Jean-Christophe Novelli are heading to Whitby to prove that there’s much more to the Yorkshire Coast than fish, chips and scampi. During Whitby’s Fish & Ships Festival they’ll be visitors how to catch, fillet and dress a huge variety of locally-caught seafood – as well as cooking it up in live demos or transforming the daily catch into BBQs on the pier. Restaurants across the town will also be serving up special ‘Dishes of the Festival’. Expect maritime fun, with music, madcap street theatre, inspired artworks, and a grand firework display. Free entry, some elements various fees.
UNESCO Cities of Literature, Norwich and Nottingham
Cultural leaders from 28 countries will come to the UK in May 2019 for a global gathering of the UNESCO Cities of Literature. It will be the first time that the prestigious international forum has taken place in England and will see Norwich and Nottingham, two of the UK’s four Cities of Literature hold a week-long programme of cultural events. The two-stage gathering - Nottwich 2019 - will bring together writers and practitioners from across the world and act as a catalyst for future artistic collaboration.
New Dog Festival, Hampshire
18 – 19 May
A new dog festival is coming to the UK. Dogstival is launching in the UK and will feature plenty of activities for both dogs and their owners. Join the pack, meet hundreds of other dogs and owners whilst watching world class dog displays. The main arena will host ShadowQuest, Paws For Thought and the Rockwood Display Teams. Tickets can be purchased solely through the Dogstival website via the Ticketmaster Universe platform. Adult tickets start from £15.44, child tickets from £9.11, while your dog can go for free.
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