What’s New in England 2020 and Beyond

Wed, 06/11/2019 - 09:31



Tillingham Wines – new hotel and restaurant

October 2019

Tillingham is a wine producer in East Sussex set atop a hill with views over Rye, the Romney Marsh and the English Channel. The 70 acre farm is home to vineyards, a winery and from October 2019 a restaurant with 11 rooms serving produce produced on the farm. New baking courses and yoga are amongst the new offerings in the planning for 2020.



The Baltic Hotel, Liverpool

Late 2019

A new boutique hotel looks set to become the place to lay your head on a visit to Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Located in a turn-of-the-century building in the city’s newly emerging creative quarter, The Baltic Hotel will have 36 “eccentrically designed” bedrooms. Downstairs will be a bar and restaurant run by Wolf & Lamb, who come with a Michelin-standard chef.



Treehouse Hotel, London

25 November 2019

Treehouse Hotels is the latest venture from Barry Sternlicht, the original founder of W Hotels and chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group. The brand’s first hotel will open next to the BBC’s Broadcasting House on Portland Place within the former Saint Georges Hotel. Aimed at millennials, the boho styling will embrace sustainable ideals throughout the 95 guest rooms (including 15 suites), penthouse restaurant and rooftop bar.



The Hudnall’s Hideout, Gloucestershire

Late November 2019

This adults-only treehouse promises to be a slice of Insta-heaven when it opens in the beautiful Wye Valley. The UK’s first A-frame treehouse has a mezzanine bedroom, a retro suspended fireplace, a telescope, two balance swings, interiors designed in partnership with MADE.COM, and an outdoors copper bateau-style bath for two that’s perfect for stargazing.



Bodmin Jail to become a hotel, Cornwall

Bodmin Jail is undergoing a £40m redevelopment and preservation project. A brand new immersive visitor attraction, teaching facility, and a four-star boutique hotel and restaurant are due to open in this Grade II-listed heritage building in 2020. (The hotel launch is scheduled for late 2020). The project will retain and enhance the unique atmosphere and sense of history that exists in the jail ruins. Expect to see bars on the windows, original brickwork and the original guard tower. The old cells are being used to create 70 spacious bedrooms with three cells to a room in the original civil, naval and women’s wings. An exciting new restaurant concept is due to open within the hotel. In short, this is one of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings of the year.



Soho House Brighton


Work has started on the new Soho House development in Brighton’s Madeira Terraces. The work is part of the ongoing regeneration of Brighton’s seafront. When complete, the new Soho House Brighton will be part of the worldwide exclusive members club, with bedrooms, spa and a restaurant.



Radisson RED London Greenwich


The Radisson Hotel Group will bring its upscale, lifestyle select-service hotel brand to the English capital in 2020. The new Radisson RED London Greenwich will be perfectly placed for business and leisure travellers visiting the O2 arena and other Greenwich museums and icons. The hotel will have 70 rooms, a bistro, bar and a gym. It’s part of a wider £8bn project to redevelop Greenwich Peninsula into a must-visit destination within London (see Design District entry, below). A new Radisson RED hotel will also open in Liverpool in 2020 (see below).




Radisson RED Liverpool


A Radisson RED hotel will open in one of Liverpool’s grandest properties: the historic North Western Hotel building, opposite St George’s Hall and next to Liverpool Lime Street. The building is undergoing a £30m refurbishment that will bring modern design and the ageless millennial mindset to an historic building that features Renaissance-style spires and turrets. The grandeur of the building is fitting; it was originally designed as a hotel. Another Radisson RED will also open in London in 2020 (see above).



Pan Pacific London


The Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s first foray into Europe will be in the new landmark tower at One Bishopgate Plaza, just across from Liverpool Street train station. It’s targeted at “discerning well-heeled travellers who seek to find a balance in life”. The hotel will have 237 guestrooms and suites designed by Yabu Pushelbery, the Square Mile’s first dedicated “smart ballroom”, a rainwater harvesting system, experiential sky gardens, an indoor lap pool with views of the street, and spectacular views of The Gherkin from the hotel’s Signature Suite on the 18th floor.



The Libertines’ Albion Rooms guest house and restaurant, Kent
Early 2020
Owned and developed by rock band The Libertines, The Albion Rooms is set in a five-storey Victorian building overlooking Margate’s bandstand and the sea. Its new design emphasises Margate’s strong artistic heritage – and future. The development is opening in phases: a recording studio, for use by the band and other artists, is already open, as is The Waste Land bar (the name is a reference to the TS Eliot poem, which has Margate connections). The Waste Land will host poetry and live music performances and art exhibitions. The restaurant and seven individually decorated guest bedrooms, including rooms themed by each member of The Libertines, will open soon.
www.facebook.com/thealbionroomsmargate ; www.thelibertines.com


New Treehouses at Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa, County Durham

Early 2020

Ramside Hall’s new luxury treehouses are sure to be a hit with Instagrammers. Built on stilts in the woodland adjacent to the 18th fairway of The Prince Bishops Course and overlooking the hotel and golf course, the treehouses have wrap-around balconies, sunken hot tubs and free-standing copper baths in state-of-the-art bathrooms. An opening date of January 2020 is likely.



The Harper, North Norfolk

Early 2020

The development of the former Langham Glass site brings a luxurious boutique hotel to North Norfolk. The Harper North Norfolk, owned by The Bijou Collection, promises to be a contemporary, laid back and “appealingly unstuffy” country escape. The historic Norfolk brick-and-stone building will have 32 high-tech bedrooms with modern four-poster beds and high-spec bathrooms, two restaurants, a bar, a lounge and a luxury spa with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and treatments.



Ruby Lucy, London

January 2020

Ruby Hotel’s first international property will launch in London’s Southbank. The brand is known for its “Lean Luxury” philosophy. The Ruby Lucy will have a 24-hour bar, a communal work station, a library and 76 rooms, all of which will showcase the brand’s scientific formula for a good night’s sleep. Guests can expect to drift off easily, cocooned in full soundproofing, blackout curtains and extra-large custom mattresses enveloped in high-quality linen.



Bike & Boot, Scarborough

February 2020

This new boutique hotel with 65 uniquely-designed bedrooms will open early in 2020 following a multi-million-pound investment. It will especially appeal to walkers and bikers thanks to its proximity to the North York Moors National Park.



Zedwell London

February 2020

Many years after it was first expected to open, Criterion Hospitality’s Trocadero hotel in London’s Piccadilly will launch as the first and flagship Zedwell, a new brand with a first-of-its-kind sleep-centred ethos. The hotel will focus on creating the perfect environment for a sweet night’s sleep. The 700+ bedrooms, spread over an expected 10 storeys, come with more effective soundproofed doors than most five-star hotels, noise-reducing walls and ceilings, calm-inducing colours, cosy furnishings, a “mindful absence” of in-room distractions such as screens and anxiety-inducing controls, and a constant flow of fresh air – all of which should add up to a deeper, more refreshing rest.



The George Hotel to re-open, Cotswolds
February 2020
The George Hotel will re-open in February 2020 with more than 40 tastefully designed bedrooms. The Regency Hotel in Cheltenham Spa was purchased by Julian Dunkerton and is currently undergoing a significant refurbishment which will fall in line with his premium collection of hotels at The Lucky Onion. The property will be ready to greet racegoers ahead of the Cheltenham racing festival in March. Website coming in February.

www.cotswolds.com ; theluckyonion.com


Buxton Crescent hotel, thermal spa and visitor attraction, Derbyshire

Spring 2020

The Crescent, a Grade I-listed architectural masterpiece in Buxton, will re-open as a luxury five-star hotel and visitor attraction. Around £50m has been invested in the project, which includes an 80-bedroom hotel, the magnificent Assembly Rooms, a thermal natural mineral water spa in the Natural Baths and six prestigious retail premises along the front ground façade. The Crescent – designed by John Carr of York and opened in 1789 – was the centrepiece of the 5th Duke of Devonshire’s plans to establish a fashionable Georgian spa town in Buxton, and is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in the UK. The Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa Heritage Trust Ltd will run the Visitor Experience in the Pump Room and a selection of spaces in the Crescent.

www.buxtoncrescent.com or www.buxtoncrescenttrust.org


Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, London

Spring 2020

The new Nobu Hotel – one of several new openings from the brand – will open in the heart of Marylebone. It will have 249 guest rooms and suites, together with a Nobu restaurant, ballroom and meeting spaces, all in the brand’s signature modern minimal Japanese style.



The Londoner, London

June 2020

Edwardian Hotels London will open its first purpose-built hotel in spring 2020. The Londoner, a five-star, £300m+ development near Leicester Square is being billed as “the world’s first super boutique hotel”. The landmark building will embrace the drama and heritage of its West End setting while offering five-star accommodation and facilities across 16 storeys. The ambiance is boutique, yet the scale is staggering, with 350 bedrooms, including suites and a tower penthouse with panoramic views; six concept eateries including a Japanese-style roof-top bar with a fire pit and unrivalled views of central London; a state-of-the-art ballroom; a subterranean, results-driven gym and spa; and two private screening rooms befitting the hotel’s theatreland neighbourhood.



Glamping at The Wave, Bristol
Spring 2020
Group glamping accommodation is due to open at the new inland surf pool, The Wave. This unique inland surfing destination opens in November 2019 (see below). Safari tents sleeping up to ten people will offer peaceful hideaways close to the surf. Surf pods are expected to open in spring 2020.


The Guardsman, London

Spring 2020

New luxury boutique hotel The Guardsman will have a members-club feel just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. There will be 53 luxurious bedrooms, plus six exclusive residences for longer-term stays.


Louisa Ryland House conversion, Birmingham

Spring 2020

Accommodation operator Native will convert Louisa Ryland House – in Birmingham’s central business district – into a four-star 173-room aparthotel. The aparthotel will feature 14,000 sq ft of ground floor leisure space, including a restaurant, café and fitness studio.



Luxury development at Andrew Shayes Holiday Park, Devon

March 2020

A brand new development of 10 lodge style caravans is paving the way for a new generation of visitors at Andrew Shayes Holiday Park. Phase one of The Orchard Retreat opened in July 2019; the second phase, which includes three more caravans and landscaping with more trees, will be complete in time for the 2020 season, which runs from mid-March to November. With stunning countryside views, luxury design and hot tubs, this is a far cry from Hi-de-Hi holiday camps many families remember from their youth! The park is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the Blackdown Hills, a 15-minute drive from Lyme Regis.



Hampton by Hilton Leeds City Centre

2 March 2020

Hilton will grow its Leeds hotel offering in early 2020 when it opens the new Hampton by Hilton Leeds City Centre. The 121-bedroom hotel will be on Bridge Street, close to Victoria Gate shopping centre and the emerging creative quarter in the Mabgate district.



Lodges at Ashling Park Estate, West Sussex

21 March 2020

New for 2020 are five lodges, designed by William Hardie of TV’s Amazing Spaces fame. The lodges bear William's imaginative and creative stamp; they’re made from local material including wood sourced from the South Downs National Park, with highly “specced” interiors. Think luxe-meets-hygge. There’s even a helicopter pad. There are also plans for vineyard visits and wine-tasting tours.



The NoMad Hotel, London

Summer 2020

US brand NoMad’s first venture outside the States is to an historic, grade II-listed building in the heart of Covent Garden. Many of The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station building’s original 19th-century architectural features will be woven into the new 91-bedroom hotel. The Magistrates’ Courtroom will become a venue for private events and gatherings, while a museum with rotating exhibitions will honor the history of the Metropolitan Police Force.



THE PIG at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall

June 2020

Grade II-listed Harlyn House will open as THE PIG at Harlyn Bay towards the end of 2020. Just a couple of miles from Padstow, it promises to be another gem along this foodie-famed part of Cornwall. As with the other Pigs, the kitchen garden and restaurant will be at its heart, and anything that can’t be home-grown will be sourced from the best producers within a 25-mile (40-km) radius. The coastal views promise to be delectable too. THE PIG at Harlyn Bay is the second of two new PIGS opening in 2020; the new South Downs PIG opens in summer (see below).



The Grand Hotel re-opens, Birmingham

Mid 2020

The Grand Hotel is a Grade II-listed building in a prominent and imposing position on Birmingham’s prestigious Colmore Row, with views over St Philip’s Cathedral. The eagerly-awaited reopening of the hotel is expected in mid 2020. As well as 185 bedrooms, the venue will include a destination restaurant and bars, gym facilities and an external feature terrace. Shops and offices also form part of the wider development.



Hotel Indigo Bath

1 June 2020

Set in a honey-coloured Georgian building on Bath’s elegant South Parade, and within easy walking distance of many of Bath’s sights, the new Hotel Indigo Bath will have 166 bedrooms, including 12 original underground vaulted bedrooms.



Habitat First launch Birchwood, North Devon

Autumn 2020

Habitat First Group’s third country estate, Birchwood, is in a Unesco Biosphere. When it opens, Birchwood will offer world-class nature conservation, alongside beautifully designed sustainable holiday accommodation in one of the most scenic areas of North Devon. Holiday homes available to purchase now; holiday information will be available in early 2020.

www.birchwoodnorthdevon.com ; www.habitatescapes.com


THE PIG in the South Downs, West Sussex

Late 2020

One of two new PIGS being added to Home Grown Hotels’ litter in 2020, the South Downs PIG will open in the Grade II-listed Madehurst Lodge, near Arundel. As with the other PIGS, the kitchen garden and restaurant will be at its heart, and anything that can’t be supplied by the gardens will be sourced from the best producers within a 25-mile (40-km) radius. THE PIG at Harlyn Bay is set to open in Cornwall later in the year (see above).



Clayton Hotel, Bristol

Late 2020

The neglected Natwest Court office building on Broad Street is being converted into a four-star Clayton Hotel. Expected to open in Q4 of 2020, the new hotel will have around 250 air-conditioned bedrooms, a bar, restaurant, dry gym and conference facilities.



Inhabit Hotel Cleveland Square, London

Late 2020

Inhabit’s second London outpost will share a similar life-enhancing ethos with its slightly older Paddington sibling (opened in late 2019). The urban wellness-focused hotel aims to inspire good habits and mindful travel.



New high-rise Hilton hotel, Surrey

Late 2020
Hilton is to open a new high-rise hotel in Woking as part of a £540m regeneration of the town centre. The four-star, 189-bedroom property will be in the upcoming Victoria Square retail and residential development. The site will include a Sky Bar, all-day restaurant, on-site coffee shop and 65 sq m (700 sq ft) of meeting space, including a ballroom for up to 500 guests.


New luxury city centre hotel, NewcastleGateshead

Late 2020

Gainford Group plans to transform the former Premier Inn into NewcastleGateshead’s most luxurious hotel, changing the face of the city centre. The new hotel and leisure project is going strong and will soon become a chic new place for visitors to lay their heads, wine and dine, network and relax. Complete with a host of new bars and restaurants, meeting spaces and beautiful gardens, the new project will be an exciting part of the changing face of Newcastle city centre. The new four-star, 180-bedroom hotel is a stone’s throw from the city’s leading shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants and cultural hotspots. A dazzling, illuminated ‘jewel box’ will be a bold talking point, forming a breathtaking glass viewing area overlooking the city and the River Tyne. The new site promises a range of high-end restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as a state-of-the-art spa and fitness centre and a luxurious rooftop bar to make the most of the building’s cityscape views. The project will also provide Newcastle with its biggest conference space, with facilities for events for up to 500 people.



Activities, Tours, Trails and Holidays__________________________________________________________


The Wave, Bristol
18 November 2019
Surfing is coming to the city! The Wave, a unique inland surfing destination, has been eight years in the making and is the first destination in the northern hemisphere to offer the Wavegarden Cove wave-making technology, which can provide up to 1,000 waves of varying sizes and shapes in an hour – that’s a wave every 8 seconds. Located in a beautiful rural site on the edge of Bristol, The Wave will also offer food and drink, a surf shop, beautiful gardens, meadowland and woodland and glamping (see above). It’s the perfect setting for surfers of all abilities, and the expert coaching team will be on hand to help everyone learn and improve; they’re also trained in teaching ‘adaptive surfing’ for those with a wide range of physical disabilities. The Wave will release tickets in batches, three times a year. The first surf sessions, covering 18 November 2019 to 4 March 2020, are now on sale. Camping facilities are expected to open in spring 2020.



GWR super-fast train services between London and Bristol

December 2019
Journey times from London are about to get shorter, thanks to Great Western Railway’s new, speedier timetable between Paddington and Bristol. Launching in December 2019, the new services will get passengers from London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads in 1 hour and 19 minutes, and from Paddington to Bristol Parkway in 1 hour and 7 minutes. Vaunted as GWR’s ‘first wholesale timetable change since the 1970s’, the changes will provide 20,000 additional seats a day through Bristol Temple Meads, and 15,000 through Bristol Parkway. In addition, GWR has already launched a partnership with Seat Frog allowing passengers to make last-minute bids for low-price upgrades to First Class seats via a downloadable app.





England Coast Path


The England Coast Path will be a new National Trail all around England's coast. It is opening in sections and DEFRA (Natural England) is committed to opening as much of the path as possible by 2020. The first 66-mile (106-km) stretch in Kent and East Sussex opened in July 2016. At 2,700 miles (4,498km) long, it will be the longest coastal walking route in the world.

www.nationaltrail.co.uk ; www.gov.uk


Waterfronts from England’s Creative Coast, Kent, Sussex and Essex

Spring – late autumn 2020

There’s a new way to experience the dramatic coastline between the South Downs and the Thames Estuary in 2020. England’s Creative Coast, a collaboration between the region’s world-class galleries and arts organisations, will launch Waterfronts, a series of seven new site-specific art commissions curated by Tamsin Dillon. The commissions, by Andreas Angelidakis, Mariana Castillo Deball, Holly Hendry, Jasleen Kaur, Katrina Palmer, Pilar Quinteros and Michael Rakowitz, explore the border between land and the waters. The world’s first art geocache tour will work with a group of local people to lead visitors on a GeoTour through the landscape, discovering the commissioned artworks, collecting geocaching rewards and hidden gems along the way. The first artwork will launch in spring with the others following over the summer. England’s Creative Coast is a Discover England Fund project, a multi-million pound programme that is now in the fourth year of delivery.



Durham Year of Pilgrimage and the Northern Saints Trails, northeast England

Spring 2020

Six routes traversing northeast England – The Christian Crossroads of the British Isles – are being developed to help tell the story of the region’s saints. The trails, with Durham Cathedral at their centre, will be set against the backdrop of the very best of the North East’s attractions, landscapes, places to eat and drink and visitor accommodation. The trails form a core part of Durham Year of Pilgrimage, which is set within the context of the region’s considerable Christian Heritage but will appeal to those of other faiths and to those simply looking for their own personal spirituality, peace and tranquillity.



Horden Rail Station, Durham

Spring 2020

A new £10.55m railway station will open on Durham Heritage Coast. With hourly north and south links to local, regional and national rail networks, it will make this stretch of the coast much more accessible to domestic visitors.



Tapnell Farm Aqua Park, Isle of Wight

Spring 2020

The Isle of Wight’s first outdoor, floating aqua park will make a big splash when it opens in spring! The floating, inflatable course will feature a range of obstacles. A section of the lake will be kept obstacle-free for kayaking, paddle-boarding and free swimming. There will be shower and changing facilities and a viewing platform for those who would rather stay dry.



New helicopter service to St Mary’s and Tresco, Isles of Scilly

March 2020

Helicopters will once again link the Isles of Scilly with Penzance. Penzance Heliport and Sloane Helicopters are partnering to provide regular helicopter flights from Penzance to both St Mary’s and Tresco – it will be the only Isles of Scilly helicopter service to fly to both islands. There will be up to 17 return flights per day and a limited Sunday schedule. Helicopter flights, which are more weather-resilient than other options, will take just 15 minutes.



Derby Ram Trail

June 2020

It will be the year of the Ram in Derby. Summer will see a flock of very colourful and highly visible ram sculptures springing up as part of a new tourist attraction in the city centre. The 30, five-foot high, fibreglass sculptures will be in the shape of Derby’s mythical ram – which, according to legend, was ten yards high with enormous horns and a huge flowing fleece. 


Aerial Flight, Lake District

Summer 2020

A new zip wire above England’s last working slate mine at Honister will follow the path of old industrial workings, transporting slate along the side of Fleetwith Pike via a mile-long aerial wire. Launching in summer, the modern version will be both an adrenaline-fuelled descent for people climbing the Via Ferrata and a way to bring walling slate, piled up by previous generations of miners, down the mountain.



Two-day Family Adventure Camp, New Forest

Summer 2020

New Forest Activities is expanding its repertoire of family adventure days to include a two-day family adventure camp in the New Forest National Park. The new package includes two nights camping in a bell tent village and two days of outdoor activities, such as paddling the Beaulieu River waters and swinging from the trees on a woodland ropes course. All the equipment needed for the selection of land and water-based activities, expert instruction, catering and an organiser to help plan the trip are included. The package costs £130 per adult and £110 per child (children must be 8+ years).



New AR experience: Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up

Autumn 2020

Launching in autumn, Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up combines the latest in augmented and mixed reality to create an all-new Wallace & Gromit story. The interactive journey reaches a finale on the streets of Bristol, where the story plays out live in augmented reality, using smartphones as a ‘window’ into Wallace and Gromit’s world. The state-of-the-art storytelling is made possible by a consortium of British companies, Potato, Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games, in partnership with Aardman, that has been awarded a multi-million-pound R&D grant to explore and pioneer cutting-edge immersive experiences as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s Audience of the Future programme.

thebigfixup.com (website launching late October) ; www.ukri.org


Connecting Cumbria’s Hidden Coast project

September 2020

Work is underway on a new 40-mile coastal challenge recreational route, stretching along the Cumbrian coast from Whitehaven to Millom – largely along the route of the England Coast Path. It will feature adrenalin activities, cycling facilities and art installations at various intervals along its unbroken 40-mile trail and will be available all year round. It’s expected to be complete in time to host the first of what will become an annual mass participation event in autumn 2020.



New boat joins Windermere Lake Cruises, Cumbria

September 2020

A new all-season boat will join Windermere Lake Cruises's iconic fleet in the 2020 season. The 300-seat MV Swift will be the largest craft to be launched into Windermere for more than 80 years. The new vessel will operate 364 days a year and bring 21st-century comfort and accessibility to lake cruises; it will also be equipped with a number of features not present on the existing fleet. Its slightly shorter length means it can access piers that have been off limits, such as private jetties at hotels including Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, making it easier for visitors to leave their cars behind and travel more sustainably.



Free astrophotography course at Silverlake, Dorset

10-11 September 2020

Guests staying at Habitat Escape’s Silverlake lakeside holiday destination on 10-11 September can take part in a new astrophotography course. The free course covers how to take dramatic night sky photography and how to edit your imagery, and the Dorset countryside of the private estate is a beautiful spot from which to gaze at the night skies. Suitable for most levels of photographer. Spaces are limited and will need to be pre-booked when booking a Silverlake holiday through Habitat Escapes.






2016 – 2020: Brontë200, various locations

Until 2020

Brontë200 culminates this year. The five-year programme of events, workshops and activities celebrates the bicentenaries of the births of four of the Brontës: Charlotte (2016); Branwell (2017); Emily (2018); and Anne (2020). Rev Patrick Brontë, the brood’s father, was celebrated in 2019, 200 years after he took up the post of parson in Haworth. Anne, the youngest Brontë sibling and the author of Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, was born in Thornton, Bradford on 17 January 1820; she lived in Haworth and died in Scarborough in 1849. The programme is run by The Brontë Society, with events put on by Brontë enthusiasts, museums, festivals, literary societies and art organisations all over the world.

www.bronte.org.uk/bronte-200 ; #Bronte200

Mayflower 400, various locations
November 2019 – November 2020
On 16 September 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, transporting 102 Pilgrims across the Atlantic to New England. The voyage became one of the most famous in early American colonial history. Four hundred years later, the UK, USA and Holland are commemorating the perilous journey with major international events, cultural works, new tourism itineraries and products, education programmes, community participation and volunteering schemes, and joint scientific and business projects.

Eleven locations in England are participating in the Mayflower 400 programme: Austerfield, Doncaster; Boston, Lincolnshire; Dartmouth, Devon; Gainsborough, Lincolnshire; Harwich, Essex; Immingham, Lincolnshire; Worcestershire; Scrooby & Babworth, Nottinghamshire; Southwark, London; Southampton, Hampshire; and Plymouth, who will lead the plans.

Plymouth has already unveiled projects including renovations to historic city buildings, a world-class Mayflower monument, a history trail, a new history centre, and a new self-guided tours app. Celebrations kick off with the annual Thanksgiving and Illuminate events in Plymouth’s historic Barbican in November 2019, when lights, parades, music and entertainment will commemorate links with the USA. Other highlights include the Mayflower Muster display involving the UK, US and Dutch Navy forces (18-20 September 2020); the Legend and Legacy exhibition exploring the origins and legacy of the Mayflower journey, which will launch alongside The Box, Plymouth’s new multi-million-pound cultural hub (spring 2020; see separate entry); Southampton’s Mayflower Maritime Festival (14-16 August 2020); Wampum: Stories from the Shells of Native America is a touring exhibition that will acknowledge the connection with the Wampanoag people who met the Mayflower and ensured the survival of the English settlers; and a diverse programme of new performance pieces, including a mass street dance event in Plymouth.
www.mayflower400uk.com ; www.mayflower400uk.org/app


150th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s death, nationwide

Throughout 2020

After his death on 9 June 1870 in Kent (where he spent much of his life), Charles Dickens was laid to rest in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey. Born in Portsmouth in 1812, Dickens spent much of his working life in London, writing novels such as Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. He also has links to Manchester and Bradford in Yorkshire. The V&A is planning co-curated programmes and displays in the run-up to the anniversary, as part of its two-year-long ‘Deciphering Dickens’ research project. More events will be announced in due course.

www.visitkent.co.uk ; www.dickensmuseum.com ; www.charlesdickensbirthplace.co.uk ; www.vam.ac.uk


Salisbury Cathedral’s 800th anniversary, Wiltshire


2020 marks 800 years since the Salisbury Cathedral site was consecrated at New Sarum in 1220. Following an extensive year-long programme of restoration, January 2020 will see the re-installation of the cathedral’s Father Willis organ, in time for the anniversary. As well as its remarkable age, the cathedral has Britain’s tallest spire, the world’s oldest working mechanical clock, and the largest cathedral close in Britain.



125th anniversary of the National Trust, nationwide


To celebrate its 125th birthday, the National Trust wants to highlight how they benefit the nation – what they do (rather than what they have done) – and is drawing inspiration from one of their founders, Octavia Hill, who said: “The need of quiet, the need of air, and I believe the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all men”. In 2020, the National Trust’s focus will be on encouraging a busy and often divided nation that seems anxious about the future to take notice and connect with places in the here and now, at the places the Trust cares for and in places near where people live (non-National Trust places). The National Trust will showcase seasonally appropriate activities (inspired by the simplicity of 50things) that can be done anywhere, alone or in groups, on your doorstep, in and off National Trust places as part of a brilliant experience. The idea is to offer people prompts, reminders and reasons to be in the here and now; pause for beauty and wonder, which belong to all of us. The hub of the celebrations will be at Croome Court, Worcestershire, where there will be a year-long display of paintings of favourite National Trust properties by artist Jilly Oxlade-Arnott, in the Acorn to Oak Exhibition.



250th Anniversary of Gilpin’s Wye Tour – and the birth of tourism in Britain


2020 marks an important anniversary for British tourism; it’s 250 years since Reverend William Gilpin’s tour of the Wye Valley in 1770 put it firmly on the tourism map, and many herald this as the birth of tourism in Britain. More precisely, the anniversary marks 250 years since Gilpin took a boat tour down the River Wye and wrote Britain’s first tour guide: Observations on the River Wye. The guide might not have had the catchiest of titles but it helped boost the popularity of the area and started the fashion of picturesque tourism. The ‘Wye Tour’ became one of the first package holidays, with tourists dining at specific locations, visiting viewpoints and of course taking a trip down the river by boat with picnics on board. Visitors to the Wye Valley today are following in the footsteps of many an 18th-century traveller, sketchbook in hand, eagerly pursuing the British equivalent of the European Grand Tour. Today Ross on Wye is just as picturesque plus has a great vintage shopping scene, music/beer/cider festivals, riverside walks, fishing, canoeing and paddle boarding.



250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, nationwide


Expect England’s concert halls to be filled with the sweet strains of Ludwig van Beethoven’s compositions for a year-long celebration of the larger-than-life classical musician. The Sage in NewcastleGateshead and The Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre and the Barbican in London are just a few of the major music venues taking part.

sagegateshead.com ; www.southbankcentre.co.uk ; www.barbican.org.uk ; www.royalalberthall.com


50th anniversary of the Vindolanda Trust, Northumberland


The 50th anniversary of the founding of the Vindolanda Trust will be celebrated with a packed calendar of exciting events at both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum, from finds handling and dressing up, to bigger weekend events with reenactment groups. And, as ever, during the week, you can go and watch the volunteer archaeologists at work and witness discoveries. They are constantly uncovering shoes and have recently found gaming boards, valuable gems and much more.



England’s first chief spymaster turns 500, Lincolnshire


Burghley House will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of William Cecil – Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted minister and her first spymaster – with a series of special events, including special lectures and exhibitions.



250th anniversary of Jarrold, Norwich


Jarrold of Norwich began in 1770 as a grocer and draper; today, Jarrold is Norwich’s only independent department store, with five floors selling everything from fashion to deli produce, with a wine bar too. There’s a strong calendar of customer events, literary evenings, lunches and book signings. 2020 promises to be extra-special as the brand celebrates its 250th birthday with a number of special activities, including heritage short films and an exhibition at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell between July and October. In November, an historic Christmas celebration will mark 250 years of Jarrold in the streets of Norwich.



Nightingale 2020: 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, nationwide


The World Health Organisation has officially designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, in honour of the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Framed as the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale was a Victorian English social reformer who came to prominence during the Crimean War; she’s probably the world’s most famous nurse but she was also an influential statistician and a female icon within her own lifetime. Pay your respects to the Lady with the Lamp, as she became known, on a Blue Badge Guide-led Nightingale walking tour through London, or book a night at her childhood home, Lea Hurst, in the Peak District. Join the bicentenary celebrations at the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, and other locations around the country.



GW300: 300th anniversary of Gilbert White’s birth, Hampshire and nationwide


Most famous as the author of The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, Gilbert White is considered “the first ecologist”. GW300 is a partnership dedicated to raising White’s profile for his pioneering work observing and recording nature; Charles Darwin even made a pilgrimage to White’s home in Selborne, Hampshire, before setting off on his famous voyage. White was born 18 July 1720, and a wide range of events, from permanent exhibitions to talks, will take place around the country near that date, and likely throughout the year. The heart of the celebrations will be at White’s home and gardens in Selborne; it’s now Gilbert White & The Oates Collections, a dedicated visitor centre celebrating his life and achievements.



Double anniversary celebrations for SS Great Britain, Bristol


2020 is the 50th anniversary of Brunel’s SS Great Britain’s return to Bristol; there are plans for the annual Harbour Festival to be themed around this. The year is also be the 175th anniversary of the ship’s first trip to New York, from Liverpool in 1845.



100 years since Cary Grant emigrated to the USA, Bristol


2020 marks the 100-year anniversary of Bristol-born Archie Leach’s emigration to New York, where he began his journey to becoming Hollywood icon Cary Grant. Cary Comes Home, a biennial city centre festival, brings together Cary Grant ancestors and fans to celebrate his life in Bristol, the city where he grew up; the next event (July and 20 – 22 November 2020) will mark the anniversary.

visitbristol.co.uk ; www.carycomeshome.co.uk


40 years of Log House Holidays, Cotswolds


Forty years after Anthony Edmondson bought a disused gravel pit in the Cotswolds and transformed the barren landscape into a unique, 130-acre nature reserve bursting with wildlife and ecosystems, Log House Holidays, a Scandi-style wilderness just 90 minutes from London, is still going strong. The site was designated a SSSI in 1993 and has since become a tranquil place for people to escape to and stay in one of the eight hidden-away luxury log cabins perched on the lake's edge. Hot tubs, rowing boats and fire pits are included with the authentic Scandinavian log cabins. Otters, unusual birdlife and lakeside trails complete the picture.



50th anniversary of All Creatures Great and Small, various locations


James Herriot’s enchanting memoirs All Creatures Great and Small were first published in 1970. His tales based on his veterinary practice became so popular they were turned into a TV series, and the local area became known as Herriot Country. A new six-part series of All Creatures Great and Small is being filmed to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of James Herriot’s first book (see below). There will also be plenty of celebrations at The World of James Herriot, which is set in the Yorkshire vet’s fully restored 1940s home and surgery in Thirsk.



20th anniversary of Giffords Circus, various locations


The charismatic travelling circus marks 20 years of rowdy village green shows and creative excellence in 2020. It’s come a long way since it first held auditions in a dusty theatre in Cheltenham in 2000!



50 years of Harewood Bird Garden, Yorkshire


Designated zoo Harewood Bird Garden marks 50 years of birdlife conservation, preservation and education in 2020.



100th anniversary of the Tower Belle, Bristol

The Bristol Packet’s Tower Belle, turns 100 in 2020. The restored Tower Belle, a modernised river steamer originally built in 1920, is one of four traditional boats that make regular excursions around the city’s Floating Harbour, cruises up the Avon Gorge and River Avon and tours of dockside pubs.



Leeds Playhouse marks two anniversaries, Leeds


In October 2019, Leeds Playhouse (formerly known as the West Yorkshire Playhouse) threw open its doors following a £15.8m redevelopment. Theatregoers now enjoy improved access to the theatre, a new city-facing entrance, a restaurant and bar, and a studio theatre space in the undercroft. The redevelopment also cut the theatre’s impact on the environment. The huge redevelopment project comes shortly before the Playhouse marks two key anniversaries in 2020: 50 years since it was founded at the old Leeds site in 1970 and its 30-year anniversary since moving to its current site.



250th anniversary of Thomas Chatterton, Bristol


Bristol’s ‘boy poet’ was just 17 when his life ended in suicide on 24 August 1770. Events throughout the year will celebrate his precocious talents.



100th anniversary of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham


Elgar conducted the orchestra’s very first symphonic concert in September 1920. Today, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is the flagship of musical life in Birmingham and the West Midlands – and one of the world’s great orchestras. Based in Symphony Hall, it gives over 100 concerts each year in Birmingham, the UK and around the world, playing music that ranges from classics to contemporary, film music and even symphonic disco. Dozens of CBSO centenary commissions will be performed across the two centenary seasons, 2019-20 and 2020-21. 



20th anniversary of Wolverhampton receiving city status


Along with Brighton and Hove, and Inverness, Wolverhampton beat 39 other towns to become one of the Millennium 2000 cities. Today, the young and vibrant city with a population of 254,000 is one of the top ten growing economies in the UK. Wolverhampton is currently enjoying record levels of private and public investment with £3.7b being injected into regeneration projects citywide, including £992m either on site or planned in the city centre alone. The new state-of-the-art railway station building to serve the city will be fully open in summer 2020, offering a first-class gateway to welcome new audiences and visitors, from Premier League football fans to arts and culture vultures.



30th anniversary of the Birmingham Royal Ballet


In 1990, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet moved to a new home in Birmingham and changed its name to Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB). Based at Birmingham Hippodrome, BRB productions in 2020 include Swan Lake (February) and Don Quixote (June).



40th anniversary of Resorts World Arena, Birmingham


Originally built as the seventh hall of the National Exhibition Centre, Resorts World Arena opened as Birmingham International Arena in 1980 with a concert from Queen. The 15,685-capacity arena – which is a host venue for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games – will welcome fans of Planet Earth II, Andre Rieu and Elton John in 2020.



800th anniversary of St Alphege Church, Solihull


In 2020, Solihull will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the first known church building on the site of St Alphege Church. The church is a fine medieval building with Grade 1-listed status, many beautiful stained glass windows of varying ages and other interesting internal and external features. www.solihullparish.org.uk  


950th anniversary of Dudley Castle, West Midlands


The motte and bailey construction of Dudley Castle was completed in 1070 by Ansculf de Picquigny. In 1937, the Earl of Dudley opened Dudley Zoological Society alongside the castle, with exotic animals from across the world. Today, the castle and its courtyard are the scene of living demonstrations organised by re-enactment groups, along with highly popular ghost walks, open- air music extravaganzas, children’s events and amazing birds of prey displays.



40th anniversary touring show for Norwich Puppet Theatre, various locations

15 February – 24 April, 22 October 2020

Norwich Puppet Theatre, one of only three permanent puppet theatres in the country, is celebrating their 40th anniversary by going on tour with a very special show for all the family. Beastly Belle is a new twist on an old tale, inspired by 1920s and 1930s cinema.



20:20 The 20th anniversary of The New Art Gallery, Birmingham

20 February – 14 June 2020

The New Art Gallery in Walsall celebrates its 20th birthday on the 20th February 2020. To celebrate, it will bring together a range of works collected over the last 20 years: Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art (21 February – 14 June 2020). Works will span a wide range of media and include both international artists as well as those closer to home. It will also acknowledge significant gifts and schemes such as the Contemporary Art Society’s Special Collection Scheme and Art Fund International as well as the Clive Beardsmore Gift. Participating artists include Mohamed Bourouissa, Andrew Jackson, Dayanita Singh, Barry McGee, Soheila Sokhanvari, Grazia Toderi and Stuart Whipps.



William Wordsworth’s 250th birthday, Cumbria

Spring 2020

2020 marks 250 years since the birth of William Wordsworth, one of the world’s most celebrated poets, on 7 April 1770. Known for some of the greatest works in English literature including ‘The Prelude’ and ‘Daffodils’, and as one of the founding fathers of the global conservation movement, Wordsworth is forever linked to the Lake District; his 'Guide through the District of the Lakes' published in 1820 marked the beginning of mass tourism to the area. To mark the anniversary, Dove Cottage & the Wordsworth Museum are undergoing a £6.2m project, ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’; a major project is underway to help make Dove Cottage more interactive, with an authentic restoration bringing the sights and sounds of a lively family home to life for contemporary audiences; meanwhile, the Wordsworth Museum will be expanded and modernised with new galleries to host books, fine art and manuscripts, which will be interpreted using new interactive methods and contemporary voices to give more modern-day relevance and insights. There will also be a new learning space for exhibitions and workshops, alongside walking trails and a viewing station to help visitors connect Wordsworth’s poetry to the landscape that inspired him.

www.golakes.co.uk ; wordsworth.org.uk


10th anniversary of the South Downs National Park

31 March 2020

South Downs National Park will celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2020, making this the perfect time for visitors to explore the varied delights of one of Britain’s finest national parks. The South Downs became England’s 10th national park on 31 March 2010. Expect the Park’s Way in a Day event to be part of the celebrations.



50th anniversary of Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, Cotswolds

27 March 2020

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens near Burford in Oxfordshire celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. The Park opened on Good Friday, 27 March 1970.



40th anniversary of the London Marathon

26 April 2020

The 40th running of the London Marathon takes place on 26 April 2020. The event has already broken one record – the number of applicants registering for a ballot place rose to an incredible 457,861, setting a new world record for a third successive year.



10th anniversary of Albourne Estate, Sussex

May 2020

Albourne Estate celebrates 10 years since planting the vineyard, and there’s a new winery cellar door opening, too.



VE Day 75: 75th anniversary of VE Day, nationwide

8-10 May 2020

The early May bank holiday has been moved back by four days to Friday 8 May to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. The international anniversary commemorations, which mark 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe, will take place over a long weekend. Commemorative events will include: more than 20,000 pubs encouraging visitors to take part in the Nation’s Toast in remembrance of those who died or were wounded in the war (3pm, 8 May); a Ringing Out for Peace at churches and cathedrals (7pm, 8 May); a large public event at National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire and street parties and celebration at pubs, clubs, hotels, village greens and halls across the country (8-10 May). It’s not the first time a bank holiday date has been moved; in 1995, the early May bank holiday was changed to mark VE Day’s 50th anniversary.



1,000th anniversary of Abbey of St Edmund, Suffolk

May – November 2020

The founding of the Abbey of St Edmund by King Canute in 1020 will be celebrated with a number of events from May to St Edmunds Day on 20 November. St Edmund, the first Patron Saint of England and King of East Anglia, was enshrined in this site in 903 – hence the name of the town that was built around it: Bury St Edmunds. The shrine became one of the most famous and wealthy pilgrimage locations in England. The abbey is also known for its links to the Magna Carta.

www.english-heritage.org.uk ; www.visit-burystedmunds.co.uk


50th anniversary of Glastonbury Festival, Somerset

24 – 28 June 2020

Summer’s biggest music festival celebrates its 50th birthday in 2020. Hidden away in the green fields of Somerset and overlooked by Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury rocks on a site steeped in Arthurian legend. 50 years after the festival’s first incarnation, which took place the day after Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, it’s still the place to see the biggest pop and rock acts and a great selection of up-and-coming performers. The atmosphere is second to none – although you probably won’t get free milk from the farm like Glasto’s original festivalgoers did!



50th anniversary of The Railway Children

31 August 2020   

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Railway Children film over the August Bank Holiday. Based on the original novel by E Nesbit and directed by Lionel Jeffries, the film was critically successful. Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the surrounding towns and villages were used extensively in the 1970 film The Railway Children and several of the railway’s steam locomotives also featured.




40th anniversary of the Great North Run, NewcastleGateshead

13 September 2020

The iconic half marathon starts in the city centre, winds past several of the area’s landmarks, and ends at the sea. The Great North Run celebrates its 40th birthday in 2020.



50 years of the MA in Creative Writing at UEA, Norfolk

Autumn 2020

The UK’s most prestigious creative writing programme marks its 50th birthday in 2020. Ian McEwan was the first student on the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA course; other notable alumni include Kazuo Ishiguro and Naomi Alderman. The University of East Anglia will begin celebrations for its 50th anniversary in September 2020 with a series of events and activities leading to a public exhibition during spring 2021. Expect Norwich’s annual literary events and festivals to be extra-special this year. 2020 also marks important cultural anniversaries for Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich Playhouse and Norwich Puppet Theatre. This is a great year to get under the skin of this Unesco City of Literature!

www.visitnorwich.co.uk ; www.cityofstories.co.uk


Attractions, Exhibitions and Restaurants_____________________________________________________


Kindling Restaurant, Brighton

Autumn 2019

Kindling Restaurant is set to take Brighton’s food scene by storm when it opens in East Street. The concept has been developed by husband and wife team, Ramin and Jane Mostowfi and their chef team, Holly Taylor and Toby Geneen. Kindling is on a mission to change the way we eat, with a mantra of “Good food, done well”.  The Kindling concept focuses on food that is good for the soul and kind to the environment, offering delicious and seasonal plant-based dishes with ethical meat and sustainable fish. The food promises to surprise, delight and stimulate with ‘being kind’ at the core of every creation.



Silverstone Heritage Experience, Northamptonshire

Autumn 2019

A new visitor attraction opening at Silverstone will showcase the heritage of the home of British Motor Racing. The permanent exhibition, housed in a refurbished World War II-hangar on the Silverstone circuit site, will use state-of-the-art interactive displays to tell the stories of people who have been involved in the site’s history, from medieval monks to modern racing drivers and engineers. The immersive show dome finale to the 2.5-hour experience will allow visitors to feel what it’s like to zoom around the track alongside their racing heroes.



City Pool and Turkish Baths restoration, NewcastleGateshead

Autumn 2019

The Grade II-listed Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths building is being restored. One of the most popular sports and leisure facilities in the city until it closed in 2013, the iconic building is being brought back to life through a £7.5m development by Fusion Lifestyle. The City Baths is set to open as a health and wellbeing destination with a spa, café-bistro and glass-fronted health and fitness area – all while retaining many of the building’s original mid-19th-century features such as the soaring arches, roof lanterns, alcoves, cornices, wall tiles and marble flooring.


Tynemouth Aquarium, NewcastleGateshead

Autumn 2019

Blue Reef Aquarium is changing to Tynemouth Aquarium. The aquarium is undergoing an upgrade and will relaunch with a new name, a new exhibit about River Giants, and new facilities including a sea-view café, shop and exhibition space.

www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk/tynemouth ; deepsealeisureplc.cmail19.com


Major developments at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, Cotswolds

November 2019 – summer 2020

Slimbridge 2020, a £6m project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, brings 12 new visitor attractions to WWT Slimbridge. The Estuary Tower Hide, a fully accessible hide with sweeping views of the Severn Estuary opens November 2019. A new open-air Living Wetland Theatre and Waterscapes Aviary opens Easter 2020, followed in summer 2020 by the fully wheelchair accessible Severn Estuary Walkway and Mission Impossible, an introduction to the story behind the world’s rarest goose. New attractions already open include a recreation of a Scott-era research hut on the Russian tundra, and the Scott House Museum. Sir Peter Scott was an international leader in conservation and the founder of the WWT; he was also the son of Scott of the Antarctic.



Auckland Castle, County Durham

2 November 2019
Auckland Castle is opening to the public following a multi-million-pound conservation project. The Castle is the former private palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham, who governed the North East as the King’s second-in-command for more than 750 years. The Castle’s State Rooms have been returned to their original Georgian Gothic splendour, while the Bishops’ private apartments are being opened to visitors for the first time, offering an intriguing insight into both the public and private lives of some of the most prominent characters in British history. A highlight will be the remarkable painting Jacob and His Twelve Sons by Spanish master Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664), returned to Auckland Castle following an international tour to America and Israel. The Castle sits at the heart of The Auckland Project, a multi-faceted visitor destination using art and heritage to fuel long-term regeneration in Bishop Auckland. Opening dates for other projects including the Spanish Gallery, Faith Museum and the original, 17th-century Walled Garden are yet to be confirmed.



Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, London

2 November 2019 – 3 May 2020

Visitors can celebrate 100 years since the ground-breaking discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb with a visit to the Saatchi Gallery, which will be exhibiting more than 150 pieces from the world-famous site in Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh. Featuring 60 artefacts that have never been seen outside of Egypt before, this is the last opportunity to admire these fascinating relics before they are returned to their rightful home, making it a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.



New medicine galleries at the Science Museum, London

16 November 2019

The Science Museum’s medicine collections will get a brand new home when the medicine galleries open after a £24m investment. On the totally transformed first floor of the museum, the galleries will reveal personal stories about how our lives have been transformed by changes in medicine and health over the last 500 years. One of the most significant medicine collections in the world will be on display in an area the equivalent size of 1,500 hospital beds.



Paradise Birmingham

Late 2019/early 2020

The refurbished Chamberlain Square in Paradise Birmingham is set to re-open to the public, with the first retail units launching in One Chamberlain Square and Two Chamberlain Square. New restaurants at Paradise include wine bar and restaurant brand Vinoteca – which will open its first venue outside London in early 2020 – and popular Iranian café Dishoom





Nature2020, Sussex


Run by a coalition of local environmental organisations, Nature2020 is a year of events and activities to celebrate and highlight the natural environment of The Living Coast, Brighton and Lewes’ local biosphere reserve. Nature2020 has been prompted by the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity, offering us an opportunity to reflect on the state of wildlife and conservation.



UK’s second city welcomes next cultural wave, Manchester

2020 heralds the next wave of Manchester’s cultural renaissance. In 2015 the city saw two major cultural developments take place with the reopening of the award-winning Whitworth art gallery and the arrival of HOME cultural centre; and five years later it about to enter a second period where over £200m of investment in culture start to bear fruit. Major projects that will complete in 2020 include: the expansion of three museums: the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester Museum and Manchester Jewish Museum; the reopening of Contact theatre; the expansion of iconic music venue Band on the Wall; and most significantly, the phase one opening of Europe’s biggest heritage gardening project, RHS Garden Bridgewater (see separate entry). These developments will be followed in 2021 by arguably one of the biggest cultural developments in Europe when The Factory – the Rem Koolhaas designed, highly flexible new arts structure (akin and strongly connected to The Shed in New York) – opens. Supporting these developments will be new cultural spaces opening in late 2019 including DEPOT at Mayfield, a 10,000 capacity blank space venue set in a former railway depot, and Cultureplex a new mixed use venue housed in the lower floors of the iconic London Warehouse.



New welcome centre at Tatton Park, Cheshire


A new welcome centre for visitors will be followed by improved faciltiies in the stableyard (where the shops and restaurants are), and plans to make Tatton Park the place for exhibitions, events and live entertainment.



Sage Gateshead development, NewcastleGateshead


There will changes to Sage Gateshead’s spectacular Quayside venue in 2020. This will include a bespoke seating system, enabling the quick removal of seats to create space for a part standing audience. In addition to adapting the seating in Sage One, the project will also include a major refurbishment of the building’s iconic concourse – a focal point for many festivals, free events and a place to relax, play and work.



New McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, Staffordshire

The company behind six other major shopping outlets in the UK, including Cheshire Oaks, will open a new multi-million-pound designer outlet against the backdrop of a Staffordshire town in 2020. Work is already under way to create the £160m McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, on Mill Green in Cannock. The finished site will open in 2020, with Phase One set to be home to 80 luxury brands.



Spitfire to return to The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent’s famous Spitfire is expected to move back into its stunning new multi-million-pound home, at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley, in 2020. Plans for the £6m investment were first unveiled in 2017, and will result in a glass-fronted gallery being added to the city centre’s Potteries Museum & Art Gallery so that the iconic plane can become more viewable to the public, and inspire generations to come. The city is forever linked with the Spitfire thanks to one of its most famous sons – the aircraft designer Reginald Mitchell.



Bradford Live venue, Yorkshire


A grand new event space is expected to open in Bradford city centre in 2020. A magnificently restored art deco building – formerly the Bradford Odeon – will re-open as a music venue with a 3,800 capacity. Originally built in 1930 and overlooking City Park, Bradford Live is now billing itself as a “world-class leisure and business destination” that’s “bringing the beat back to Bradford”. As well as music, the venue will host a full-to-bursting calendar of comedy and family entertainment, making it a new cultural hub for the region.



Woolwich Works, London


Newly renamed as Woolwich Works, Woolwich’s creative quarter hopes to become London’s most exciting events venue. Five historic buildings are undergoing refurbishment as part of an ambitious £31m council-led development. Having been named after their original uses (The Fireworks Factory, The Academy, The Cartridge Factory, The Carriageworks and The Laboratory), the buildings will open to the public in 2020 as places for theatre, dance and art, with large-scale concert venues, rehearsal and studio spaces, offices, and places to eat. One anchor tenant is Punchdrunk, the successful immersive theatre company, while Chineke!, Europe’s first black and ethnic minority orchestra, will also house its HQ here.



Design District, London


The Design District on Greenwich Peninsula, London’s first purpose-built district made specifically for the creative community, will be a new creative destination in the capital when it opens in 2020. Visitor highlights include: The Market Hall, filled with food stalls; roof terraces for sky-level film screenings, yoga classes, exhibition previews, parks views and bars stocked with craft beer brewed four floor below; open workshops; event spaces; and a rooftop basketball court.



Monsoon Forest reopens at Chester Zoo, Cheshire


The UK’s largest tropical house, Monsoon Forest, will reopen in 2020 after it was devastated by fire in December 2018. The new space will include enhanced habitat for critically endangered Sumatran orangutans and threatened Indonesian hornbills.



Fotografiska London


Fotografiska will be the largest permanent space dedicated to photography when it opens in Whitechapel. The new photography hub will take up +95 000 sq ft in the Whitechapel Building near the acclaimed Whitechapel Gallery. Anything but a regular museum, Fotografiska will be a destination place offering an array of restaurants/cafes/bars, a learning academy and a rich programme of exhibitions, talks, screenings and other events. It will be the third overseas branch of the Swedish Fotografiska Organisation (after Tallinn and New York), which has hosted exhibitions by photographers such as Annie Leibovitz and Helmut Newton in its Stockholm venue. The opening date will be announced soon, but is expected to be in the second half of 2020.



Archway Project at the Roman Baths, Bath


The Archway Project, a major new development at the Roman Baths, is slated to open in 2020. The project will convert former Victorian spa buildings near to the Roman Baths into new spaces – including a new learning centre for schools and groups and a World Heritage Centre exploring why Bath is designated a World Heritage Site – and open up other areas of the Roman Baths to the public, such as a Roman exercise yard and laconicum (sauna).



The Roundhouse revived, Birmingham

Early 2020

The National Trust in partnership with the Canal & River Trust is reviving The Roundhouse, formerly 19th-century canal-side stables in Birmingham city centre, into a hub from which to explore the city by foot, bike or boat. The iconic, horseshoe-shaped building will become the centre of the city’s extensive canal network, with a variety of shops, cafes, offices and leisure facilities.



New visitor centre at Hambledon Vineyard, Hampshire

Early 2020

One of England’s top wine producers, Hambledon Vineyard, with over 200 acres of vineyards and the only gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery in the UK, continues to expand. By early 2020 it plans to open a brand new tasting room and visitor centre, extending its wine storage capacity in an underground cellar, with a new visitor centre located above overlooking the vineyards on the edge of the South Downs. 



Steve McQueen at Tate Modern, London

13 February – 11 May 2020

Tate Modern’s show spans 20 years of poignant and provocative work by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen. It’s the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK for 20 years.



Parties, Portraits and Politics: Blenheim in the Roaring 20’s, Oxfordshire

15 February – early April 2020

A new temporary exhibition will give visitors a glimpse of what it was like to be entertained in Blenheim Palace during the 1920s, from the menus and wine to the fashion, music, politics and art. The 9th Duke of Marlborough and his second wife ‘Gladys Deacon’, entertained lavishly throughout the roaring twenties; amongst the guests at the glamourous house parties were Winston Churchill, Cecil Beaton and members of the Bloomsbury set.



David Hockney: Drawing from Life, London, and new interactive Hockney map, Yorkshire
27 February – 28 June 2020
The National Portrait Gallery, London, is displaying the first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years. David Hockney: Drawing from Life explores Hockney as a draughtsman from the 1950s to the present by focusing on depictions of himself and a small group of sitters close to him. An interactive map launched by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, meanwhile, offers visitors to Hockney Country a chance to follow in the footsteps of the iconic British artist.

www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com ; www.npg.org.uk


The Box, Plymouth

Spring 2020

The Box, Plymouth’s new multi-million-pound cultural hub, opens in time for the crowds drawn by the city’s strong connections with the Mayflower 400 commemorations. It brings together six historic collections under one roof.



BeWILDerwood, Cheshire

Spring 2020

England’s second BeWILDerwood will open at a 70-acre site in Cholmondeley Castle’s grounds. The £5m attraction is based on the original theme park in Norfolk, which was created by Tom Blofeld, author of A Boggle at BeWILDerwood. Face-painting, arts and crafts and storytelling will take place in the mystical forest setting, designed to encourage traditional and imaginative outdoor play for kids.



New gallery at Tamworth Castle, Staffordshire

Spring 2020

Tamworth Castle will unveil a new state-of-the-art gallery celebrating the town’s Anglo-Saxon history – including a forgotten ‘warrior queen’.



Sea Lanes, Brighton

Spring 2020

Temporary planning permission to transform the derelict Peter Pan site on Madeira Drive into the National Open Water Swimming Centre has been granted. A new 25m open-air heated swimming pool will also support a number of small business units for retail, health and fitness, office space and a food court. The longer-term plan is to deliver a 50m pool that will become the national open water swimming centre.



First permanent exhibition at Seven Stories, NewcastleGateshead

Spring 2020

Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books is getting ready to launch their first-ever, permanent exhibition. The exhibition will celebrate children’s literature and the process from idea and imagination, through the draft and refining processes to the finished article. Visitors will be able to see examples of sketches, manuscripts, rough drafts and correspondence from a wealth of well-known UK authors, illustrators and publishers. Seven Stories will also refurbish a learning space to provide an area where visitors can have hands-on experience of The National Centre’s impressive archival material. It’s the first time that The National Centre has had more prominent access to the literatures in their archive on display and more readily available for public access.



The Geffrye re-opens after £18m development project, London

Spring 2020

The Geffrye will reopen following a major two-year-long transformation, named Unlocking the Geffrye. The scheme will open up the museum and greatly improve the visitor experience, create new spaces for its collections and learning activities, and develop the museum for generations to come.



Andy Warhol at Tate Modern, London

12 March – 6 September 2020

A bold new Andy Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern tells the story of this shy outsider who became a pop art superstar.



Rye Harbour Discovery Centre opens as Sussex Wildlife Trust’s first Visitor Centre

Spring 2020

In March 2020 Rye Harbour Nature Reserve celebrates its 50th Anniversary and in the Spring will open the doors to a new Discovery Centre, with help from numerous sources, one being a £588k grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The centre will transform the way visitors engage with the natural and cultural heritage of the reserve, with an exciting and innovative programme of activities, education, training and conservation projects.

The 1.110 acre reserve is one of the most biodiverse places in Britain with 4,200 plant and animal species recorded, over 200 rare or endangered birds and mammals. It also hosts a range of historic buildings, among them Henry VIII’s Camber Castle and the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House.



New visitor hub and Forest Holidays at Delamere Forest, Cheshire

Summer 2020

The UK’s second-busiest forest, with 750,000 visitors annually, is undergoing a multi-million-pound development project to create a new visitor hub and forest gateway, and new and improved trails and bridleways. It will also be the 11th location for Forest Holidays, with 67 eco-sensitive cabins amid the trees. The new hub is expected to open in summer 2020, with a bigger café, larger car park and upgraded washroom facilities. More details on a launch date for the Forest Holidays development expected to follow.




RHS Garden Bridgewater, Manchester
Summer 2020
A fifth garden is set to join the RHS’s portfolio when the new 156-acre RHS Garden Bridgewater resurrects the historic gardens of Worsley New Hall, Salford. Bridgewater will be the RHS’s first new garden in 17 years, and it is the largest gardening project in Europe. Top landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith created the masterplan for the garden, which includes a kitchen garden, learning garden, heritage orchard, therapeutic garden and community allotments, all set within a magnificent historic 11-acre walled garden (one of the largest in the UK). The RHS hopes to welcome 1 million people a year within a decade to this new destination garden. Preview tours can be booked now.


Derby Silk Mill to open as Museum of Making
Summer 2020

On the site of the world’s first factory, Derby’s rich history of making will be celebrated when the city opens a new museum created to inspire future creativity. Run by Derby Museums, The Museum of Making will celebrate the area’s rich history of innovation, in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, and display objects from the area’s 300-year-long industrial history.



Dorset County Museum reopens

Summer 2020

The Dorset County Museum is set to re-open following a multi-million pound redevelopment. The new museum will become a cultural destination at the heart of Dorset’s community, complete with new galleries, a learning centre, collections storage, a library and visitor facilities.



Michael Caines restaurant, bar and cafe at new development on Exmouth Waterfront, Devon

Summer 2020

The award-winning chef Michael Caines will join a new scheme that will see part of Exmouth waterfront transformed into a brand-new water sports facility for the community. Caines, who grew up in Exeter, will open a waterfront restaurant with a bar and café that’s very different to the fine dining experience at Lympstone Manor, his nearby hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant. There will be everything from a casual dining restaurant to a dog-friendly café and healthy takeaway. The restaurant will use quality, locally sourced produce, including fish from the Exmouth docks and meat from local farms, and embrace seasonal menus, as well as an environmentally responsible approach to packaging, waste and water efficiency, heating, cooling and lighting. 



All-weather tourist facility at Isle of Wight Steam Railway

May 2020

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway (IWSR) has been awarded a grant of £116,000 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, enabling the Railway to construct a 360 sq m (3875 sq ft) barn in the Havenstreet station show field. The total cost of the project will be close to £300,000 and will provide a substantial all-weather space for events and a variety of functions. Work is due for completion by May 2020.



Pre-Raphaelites at the City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol

16 May – 27 September 2020
A fresh look at the Pre-Raphaelite movement, with a focus on paintings of knights and medieval heroines. Along with highlights from Bristol’s collection, the exhibition will feature loans from art collections around the UK including Tate and feature works by Edward Burne-Jones, Frank Dicksee, William Morris and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.



Tornado Springs at Paultons Park, New Forest
19 May 2020
Paultons Park’s latest world, the 1950s Americana-themed Tornado Springs, will become the largest ever themed attraction launch at the UK’s favourite family theme park. Tornado Springs is a creative imagining of a Midwest desert resort town set in the American heyday of the 1950s. The concept, developed exclusively by Paultons Park, is designed to appeal to ages 3 to 14 and covers more than four acres featuring over eight different rides and attractions.
paultonspark.co.uk ; paultonspark.co.uk/themed-worlds/tornado-springs


Graffiti Artists Come to Bristol’s The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol

6 June – 23 August

Bristol’s street art scene goes mainstream as one of the city’s top galleries take urban art off the streets and into official exhibition spaces.



Bristol Street Art: past, present and future, Bristol 

6 June – 1 November

This new exhibition at the M Shed celebrates Bristol as the birthplace of modern British street art, with a world-class exhibition produced by a collective of artists, musicians and creatives specialising in the second-generation graffiti movement. Expect work by Dicy, Will Barras, Paris, Xenz, China Mike, Vermin, Mr Jago and, of course, Bristol’s most famous artist, Banksy.



Alice in Wonderland at the V&A, London

27 June 2020

An immersive and theatrical show explores the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland over the last 157 years. Opens 27 June.



New bridges for Illuminated River, London

Autumn 2020

This ambitious public art commission aims to light up to 15 bridges spanning the River Thames. Once complete, Illuminated River will be the longest public art project in the world. Phase one of Illuminated River, covering London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium bridges, was completed in summer 2019. Phase two, which will include bridges from Blackfriars Road Bridge to Lambeth, including Waterloo, Golden Jubilee Footbridges and Westminster Bridge, will be complete by autumn 2020.



Refurbishment of Mercury Theatre, Essex

Autumn 2020

Mercury Rising is an ambitious project to extend and refurbish Colchester’s Mercury Theatre. The much-improved building will open in 2020 with a bigger, brighter foyer, more seats in the main auditorium, greatly improved access, a new café and rehearsal and community spaces, and revamped backstage facilities.



Major redevelopment of the Wiston Estate, Sussex

September 2020

A major £17m redevelopment of the Wiston Estate is due for completion in September 2020. Phase one of the plan will double production of the Wiston Estate winery and includes wine tours, a café and event space. There are also plans for self-contained holiday units.





Turner and the Modern World at Tate Britain, London

28 October 2020 – 7 March 2021

  1. n the year that JMW Turner will appear on the new £20 bank note, Tate Britain will celebrate Britain’s great painter of the industrial revolution with a major new exhibition. Turner and the Modern World will show his fascination with the age of the industrial revolution, when a new society was forged. It will also coincide with the 2020 Turner Prize exhibition, named in honour of this innovative and influential artist.



Films, Novels and Theatre__________________________________________________________________



December 2019

Before one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the year hits screens, get to grips with TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the poetry collection behind Cats, and explore places linked to the modernist poet, such as Margate where Eliot worked on The Wasteland, one of the most important poems of the 20th century.

www.visitkent.co.uk ; www.imdb.com/title/tt5697572




This new film starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan is sure to show off Dorset’s Jurassic Coast in all its glory. It’s based on the life of pioneering fossil collector Mary Anning and set in her home town of Lyme Regis in the 1840s. Modern day visitors can find out more about fossils through fossil walks at the Lyme Regis museum and at DinosaurLand Fossil museum also in the coastal town. Slightly further afield in Dorset’s Kimmeridge, The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life, is a must visit for budding collectors.

www.visit-dorset.com/explore/jurassic-coast ; www.imdb.com/title/tt7983894


All Creatures Great and Small

Channel 5 has announced the return of All Creatures Great and Small, the TV series, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original publication of James Herriot’s books (see separate entry). Based on the real-life adventures of the Yorkshire vet James Herriot, it originally ran on BBC1 from 1978 to 1990, and is now being given a fresh interpretation by Channel 5. At its peak, All Creatures Great and Small pulled in audiences of more than 13 million. The new series will be created by Playground, the production company behind the hit dramas Howards End and Wolf Hall, with a promise to remain faithful to the books of Alf Wight, James Herriot’s real name.

www.yorkshire.com ; www.channel5.com


The English Game


Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes turns his hand to football in Netflix’s new six-part drama. Filming took place throughout the north of England, in locations including Unesco World Heritage Site Saltaire and Little Germany in Bradford, where horses and carriages and actors in Victorian costume were spotted on Cater Street. The story covers the origins of the beautiful game and how it became the world’s most popular sport, reaching across geographical and class divides. The series, which stars Edward Holcroft, Craig Parkinson and Charlotte Hope, kicks off in 2020.



Sex Education season 2

January 2020

A second series of Netflix’s hit show Sex Education is likely to hit screens in early 2020. The Netflix show is filmed throughout the Wye Valley. The distinctive red and white Chalet that overlooks the river Wye at Symonds Yat is the home of the main character, Otis, played by Asa Butterfield, and his mum Jean (Gillian Anderson). This together with sweeping shots of the river and Brockweir Bridge are constant features throughout the series.

www.wyedeantourism.co.uk ; www.imdb.com/title/tt7767422


The Personal History of David Copperfield

10 January 2020

Director Armando Iannucci’s new film is based on Charles Dickens’ most autobiographical novel and stars Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie and Ben Wishaw, with Dev Patel in the title role. Filming took place in King’s Lynn, Hull and Suffolk’s Bury St Edmunds, where a fully set-dressed Angel Hill stood in as a period coaching inn in London.



Peter Rabbit 2

27 March 2020

The follow-up to 2018’s hit Peter Rabbit is due for release in the UK on 27 March 2020. Peter Rabbit was filmed in and around Beatrix Potter’s old haunts in the Lake District. The plot of the sequel hasn’t yet been released, but it’s likely the Lake District will feature again.



No Time to Die

3 April 2020

The latest Bond film picks up with the agent after his retirement. (Spoiler alert – there’s no such thing as an easy retirement when your job title was 007!) The film showcases locations in London and further afield.



The Secret Garden

17 April 2020

Colin Firth and Julie Walters lead in a new film adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's novel The Secret Garden. Key locations for the film include Helmsley Walled Garden (the secret garden), Helmsley Castle and Duncombe Park in Helmsley, plus moorland shots in Farndale, all in the North York Moors National Park.

www.northyorkmoors.org.uk ; www.imdb.com/title/tt2702920


Jingle Jangle

December 2020

In 2019 Netflix came to Norwich’s Elm Hill to film Jingle Jangle, a magical Christmas tale of children and toymakers with Forest Whitaker in the role of the toymaker. Writer and director David E Talbert commented, "When I wrote the script, I always imagined a magical cobblestone town as the centrepiece of the film. Little did I know, this town already existed." Elm Hill is Norwich’s most complete medieval street and probably one of the most famous in Norwich known to locals. Even today, it has a magical sense of history and an air of romance about it with its charming cobbles, quaint houses and shops and thatched merchants house which is now The Britons Arms Coffee House. Jingle Jangle will air Christmas 2020.

www.visitnorwich.co.uk ; www.imdb.com/title/tt7736496



Bristol Light Festival

February 2020

This illuminating new annual event will celebrate the creative talents of local, national and international designers and collaborators in a playful outdoor gallery of light installations that will bring vivid colour to Bristol city centre's public spaces at a traditionally quiet and dark time of the year. Following Bristol leadership around green energy and new technologies, there will be an emphasis on exploring sustainable light art and interactive environments.







Love Light Norwich, Norfolk

13 – 15 February 2020

A mesmerising new light festival will illuminate Norwich city centre for the Valentine’s weekend in 2020. An illuminating trail of light and fire artworks, installations, performances and interventions will celebrate the city’s art and innovation, all set to a love and belonging theme.

www.visitnorwich.co.uk ; www.facebook.com (website coming soon)


The Hundred: new cricket league, nationwide

Summer 2020

Following the excitement of England’s 2019 Cricket World Cup success, the Hundred is a brand new 100-ball cricket league. The new tournament will run over a 38-day period between mid-July 2020 and early-September 2020. Eight new women’s and men’s teams have been created, in seven cities including Birmingham, London and Manchester.



UEFA Festival for Euro 2020, London

12 June – 12 July 2020

London is one of 12 cities hosting games for the UEFA European Championship – EURO 2020. The tournament runs from 12 June to 12 July, with the first of seven games (including the semi-finals and final) being held at Wembley Stadium on 14 June. New for UEFA EURO 2020 is the UEFA Festival; Londoners and visitors can take part in the celebrations through a series of planned cultural projects, community events, the Football Village, the UEFA Euro Trophy Tour and at a range of fan zones, where families, neighbours and fans can come together to cheer on the tournament. Fan zones are subject to consultation, but the Queen’s Field area of Greenwich Park is one likely candidate.

www.london.gov.uk ; www.uefa.com


Upfest, Bristol

July 2020

Lovers of modern art can put their finger on the pulse of Bristol’s incredible graffiti scene during Upfest. Back for 2020 after taking a fallow year in 2019, Europe’s biggest street art and graffiti festival is set to feature even more inspirational pieces around the city. With over 300 artists giving a brand new look to 40 venues, there will be plenty to inspire when exploring Bristol’s charming streets. Exact dates TBC.



Classic Ibiza at Burghley House, Lincolnshire

1 August 2020

Classic Balearic beats take a trip to Burghley House for a new live music event in 2020. Classic Ibiza takes people on a typical night out in Ibiza – in the beautiful grounds of Burghley House. The evening starts with sundowners and ambient tunes from the likes of Massive Attack and William Orbit played by the Urban Soul Orchestra, then builds to a crescendo of laser lights and a Goldierocks set pumping out dance anthems from Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Underworld and others. The event replaces Burghley Film Festival.

www.classicibiza.co.uk ; www.burghley.co.uk


London Mural Festival

1 – 13 September 2020

London will become a vast canvas for the inaugural London Mural Festival, when a minimum of 20 new large-scale murals will be painted by local, national and international talent across the capital. The two-week programme includes talks, workshops, film screenings, gallery shows and street art tours, culminating with 100+ artists painting alongside live music, DJs and a series of parties for a weekend of activity at Here East and Hackney Wick in East London (5 – 6 September).





Last ATP Finals in London

November 2020

London’s 12-year-long tenure as the host of the ATP Finals ends in 2020. The annual tennis tournament will move to Turin in 2021.


And Beyond…____________________________________________________________________________


2021: Redevelopment of Colston Hall, Bristol


One of Bristol’s major concert halls, Colston Hall, turned 150 years old in 2017. To celebrate, it is undergoing Bristol’s biggest ever redevelopment programme in the arts sector. Phase 1 was completed in 2009. Phase 2 kicked off in 2018 and is due for completion in 2021, when it will reopen with a brand new name. Planned improvements include remodelling the existing main auditorium and equipping it with international standards of acoustics, comfort and flexibility; restoring the historic core of the building and the Colston Street frontage to its Victorian magnificence; redeveloping the second hall, known as The Lantern, into an elegant and versatile performance venue; and creating a third venue in the Victorian cellars.



2021: Spectacular new Eden Project hotel, Cornwall


There will be a new £8.5m addition to the Eden Project in 2021: a 109-bedroom hotel. The unconventional structure will blend into the countryside and offer high levels of accessibility, energy efficiency and sustainability. Designed by Tate Harmer, one of the UK's leading architects for sustainability and natural environments, the new hotel will incorporate existing features such as old trees and stone walls. A meadow and an orchard will be planted around the hotel.


2021: The Factory, Manchester


When it opens, this large-scale, game-changing venue on the old Granada site will be the North’s flagship cultural centre, capturing the depth and creativity of Manchester’s cultural life. The £110m venue, designed by Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), will host everything from concerts, theatre, music and opera to major exhibitions; it will also become the permanent home of Manchester International Festival. Upon completion, it is expected to attract 850,000 people from across Manchester, the UK and the world annually, boosting the region’s economy by £1.1b over a decade

www.manchester.gov.uk ; mif.co.uk/thefactory


2021: Shakespeare North, Liverpool

Early 2021

Shakespeare North plans to celebrate the Elizabethan heritage of Merseyside by building a replica Shakespearean theatre in the area. They will build the playhouse in Prescot, which, was home to the only purpose-built Elizabethan playhouse outside of London, over 400 years ago. The 350-seat Shakespeare North Playhouse will be a faithful candlelit replica, built inside a modern shell; it will also include classrooms and an exhibition area. Shakespeare North is planning to open at the start of 2021 but will be coming together in 2020 for any ‘first look’ type features or interviews.



2021: Hyde Park Picture House to re-open following refurbishment, Leeds

January 2021

Hyde Park Picture House, the world’s only surviving gas-lit cinema, is to undergo a £3.6m renovation to preserve the Grade II-listed cinema while making it more comfortable, more sustainable and more accessible. Planning permission has been granted for works including a new three-storey extension, a new basement with a second screen, an enlarged foyer, tech upgrades and step-free access to all major parts of the cinema. The historic community cinema in a Grade II-listed building was built in 1914 and has several remarkable surviving elements, including a hexagonal ticket office, Edwardian plasterworks and unique gas-lights. Works begins January 2020, and the cinema plans to re-open a year later.

www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk ; thepicturehouseproject.com


2021: Renovations at Belsay Hall, Northumberland


English Heritage’s Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens will undergo a £5m renovation project to include a new family outdoor playground, new café and major renovations to the 19th-century mansion (all subject to funding). The famous gardens will undergo major rejuvenation as works restore lost views, design and plant collections. The renovation work is due to start in 2020 and complete in 2021.



2021: The Canterbury Journey, Canterbury Cathedral

Until autumn 2021

In May 2014, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded an in-principle grant of nearly £12m to Canterbury Cathedral. Work started in 2016 and is expected to complete in autumn/winter 2021. The Canterbury Journey is radically transforming the accessibility and sustainability of the cathedral while safeguarding the building (including the cathedral’s endangered western end), increasing the number of visitors and enriching their experience. Works already completed include: a new welcome centre and community space; external nave roof repairs; and new exhibition and interpretation spaces. There will also be new trails to guide visitors through both the cathedral and its newly landscaped precincts, and an outreach programme to schools and communities. The project is due for completion autumn/winter 2021.



2021: 900 years of Tewkesbury Abbey

23 October 2021

The build-up has begun for one of the largest celebrations of its kind, marking 900 years of the consecration of Tewkesbury Abbey in 1121. A massive fund-raising project kicked off in 2017. The project aims to make the Abbey fit for purpose for future generations and includes cleaning and restoring the much-loved Milton Organ. There’s another reason why 2021 will be momentous for the market town of Tewkesbury; the year also marks 550 years since the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. 



2021: The Wesley Hotel, Leeds

November 2021

The Grade II-listed Oxford Place Methodist Church will be transformed into an ethical and environmentally responsible hotel. Plans for the four-star hotel include 70 bedrooms, a restaurant, meeting and conference facilities and a wide range of facilities for guests with disabilities. The development is part of the Methodist Church’s aim to step into the ethical hotel market. It is being run by a Methodist-based company with an ethically orientated business model that already runs similar social enterprise ventures in London and Rome.



2021: Remaking Beamish, County Durham


The £18m Remaking Beamish project will create a range of new ways for people to experience the heritage of the north east, with a reconstruction of a 1950s town with cinema as its centerpiece – meaning the museum will recreate a period within living memory. Visitors will also be able to spend the night in a reconstructed Great North Road coaching inn. By 2021, Beamish plans to attract 100,000 more visitors to the region annually, and create 95 permanent jobs and 50 apprenticeships.



2021: Novotel Paddington Village, Liverpool


Liverpool City Council has selected Accor Hotels for a joint Novotel hotel and aparthotel for its £1bn Paddington Village Scheme in the city’s Knowledge Quarter. The 16-storey tower will be located opposite the new Royal Liverpool Hospital and will have a commanding presence across the city as the highest venue in Liverpool; lit up at night, it will be the beacon for KQ Liverpool. It is set to include a winter garden, a generous reception foyer and atrium with multi-purpose conference and event facilities, function bar, restaurant and executive bar lounge, fitness suite and meeting rooms.



2021: The Peninsula hotel to open, London


The luxury global chain has announced plans to open its first ever UK property in London. Located in Belgravia, steps away from Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, the new 189-bedroom Peninsula hotel will be in a prime location to explore the capital’s cultural highlights. In-house academy programmes, designed to offer destination insight, will add to the hotel’s ‘cultural learning experience’. The five-star hotel is slated to open in 2021, following a £650m development project.

www.peninsula.com ; www.hshgroup.com/our-businesses/projects/the-peninsula-london  


2021: Bath Abbey Footprint


Footprint is an ongoing project to restore and improve Bath Abbey. The £19.3m programme includes the addition of new meeting, catering and toilet facilities, a new song school, the installation of more-environmentally friendly features, repairs to the abbey floor, and the creation of a new Discovery Centre that uses innovative technology and items from the Abbey’s collection to tell the Abbey’s story.



2021: Nottingham Castle reopens following transformation

Early 2021

Work began in 2017 to transform Nottingham Castle into a world-class destination. Approximately £24m is being invested in what is being called the most significant current heritage project in the UK. The grounds will be remodelled to reveal more of the medieval site and views across the city, and to enable them to host a new visitor centre and year-round outdoor events programme. An interactive Robin Hood Gallery will be added to the Ducal Palace, which will be returned to its 19th-century layout. There will be animated tours of the caves, which will be given improved access, including to some parts never before seen by the public. The ground-floor displays in the 17th-century Brewhouse Yard cottages will also be improved, and the cottages will be the welcome point for visitors arriving at the foot of Castle Rock. Work is expected to be completed in late 2020 with a view to opening fully in early 2021; the castle is closed until then.



2021: Una St Ives Resort, Carbis Bay, Cornwall
Spring 2021
Plans to build a new aparthotel, leisure facilities and 96 holiday villas at Una Resort in Carbis Bay (near St Ives) were approved in 2018. The £25m programme to develop Una into one of Cornwall’s leading resorts is now a reality. The site already has 29 contemporary self-catering eco-houses, extensive spa and leisure facilities and Una Kitchen, well known for its Mediterranean and wood-fired cooking. Phase one of Una’s expansion commenced in Autumn 2019, will deliver a 55-roomed aparthotel, additional self-catering apartments, and expanded leisure, spa, restaurant and event space. 2019 saw Una Kitchen the resort’s existing restaurant secure A Taste of The West Gold award and is currently a Finalist for Best Restaurant in Cornwall, under the Cornwall Tourism awards.



2021: Cleveland Pools, Bath

Summer 2021

Funds are being raised to restore the Cleveland Pools, the UK’s oldest and only surviving open-air Georgian lido. The plans include a 25-metre (82ft) swimming pool of naturally treated water, and the refurbishment of the original Georgian changing cubicles and cottage. The unusual open-air lido was built in 1815 on the banks of the River Avon, and was in use until 1984. Pending funding from the Heritage Lottery Fun, the restoration of these Grade II-listed baths should be complete in time for summer 2021.



2021: Coventry UK City of Culture 2021

Ongoing until winter 2021

Coventry will be UK City of Culture 2021. Highlights of Coventry’s winning bid include: a Streets of Culture programme co-producing work in local communities; major productions by the RSC and the screening of the entire works of Shakespeare in iconic locations; ‘Moments of Silence’, an artist-led festival that will create moments of silence and beauty, reflect on the city’s 700-year-old Carthusian monastery Charterhouse, and play on the myth of being ‘Sent to Coventry’; and Tale of Two Streets, a project that looks at two of the most diverse streets in Britain through the eyes of photographers. A 2.2-mile (3.5-km) Ring Road poem is set to be one of the digital centrepieces. The build-up started in 2018, with the UK’s first Shop Front Theatre Festival (March), and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Coventry Cathedral with a major new lighting commission. Coventry will also have the opportunity to host a number of core events, including ones run by Arts Council England, the UK Film Council and the BBC.



2021: Darley Street Market, Yorkshire

Late 2021

Bradford’s new £21m Darley Street market facility will include a floor featuring numerous street food vendors, music performances and possibly bars. Construction should begin in January 2020.



2022: Inspiring People: Transforming our National Portrait Gallery, London


The National Portrait Gallery is working towards a £35.5m transformation programme. Inspiring People involves a comprehensive re-display of the Collection across all the galleries (the first in the Gallery’s history) combined with a significant refurbishment, creating twenty per cent more public and gallery spaces. The programme will improve the gallery’s main entrance and create a new state-of-the-art Learning Centre with several studio spaces. The transformation will also see the Gallery’s most extensive programme of activities, with plans to engage audiences onsite, locally, regionally and online. As well as extending activities for schools, families, young people and students, a volunteering programme will be introduced. Building works are scheduled to start in summer 2020.



2022: The Journey, Dorset


The planned £80m Jurassica attraction celebrating the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site’s heritage will no longer go ahead. Instead, it has joined forces with the Memo, a biodiversity project on the Isle of Portland. The new £20m scheme, which will tell the story of evolution, extinction and biodiversity, will be based in the underground tunnels of Albion Stone’s mines. Plans due to be submitted in spring are supported by Cornwall’s Eden Project.



2022: Admiralty Arch to become London’s first Waldorf Astoria


The iconic Admiralty Arch is being transformed into a five-star-plus luxury hotel, private members’ club and serviced residences. The Edwardian building marks the boundary between Trafalgar Square and The Mall – two of the capital’s most-loved landmarks – and the views from the 100 rooms and suites are guaranteed to be some of the city’s best. There will also be a state-of-the-art spa and several bars, while a restaurant spanning the first bridging floor will open the building to the public for the first time. A stay here promises to be a brush with some fascinating political and royal heritage: Winston Churchill was based here as First Lord of the Admiralty; First World War code-breaking operations were run from here; Ian Fleming worked here during the Second World War; and some royal processions still pass under the main arch, as they have done for over a century. Restoration and building works are underway, and when the hotel opens in 2022, it will be first Waldorf Astoria in London.


New maritime route, Hull


Hull is redefining itself as a key city of the North. Yorkshire’s Maritime City plans a multi-million-pound project to transform some of its historic maritime attractions, making Hull’s 800 years of seafaring history even more of a key part of the city's tourism offer. Initial work has already begun and by 2022 a new maritime route will be created, guiding visitors through the heart of the city to the River Hull.

www.visithull.org ; maritimehull.co.uk


2022: New flagship YHA London Stratford


The YHA’s flagship 850-room super-hostel will be the first on this scale in London and three times larger than any other existing property in the YHA’s network across England and Wales. It will be next to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford Underground station and Westfield Shopping Centre, and a short walk from east London’s Stratford International mainline station. The super-hostel will be ideal for group accommodation, with bars, restaurants, conference and meeting facilities, en-suite bedrooms, a self-catering kitchen and communal spaces. Planning consent has been approved and development is slated to begin in 2020.



2022: Art’otel® at Battersea Power Station, London
Located in one of the new Foster + Partners-designed buildings around historic Battersea Power Station, this 167-bedroom luxury lifestyle hotel will have a rooftop pool and a bar overlooking the iconic chimneys. Guests will be welcomed by a public gallery creative space with a rotating calendar of exhibitions, as well as cultural and artistic events that support both established and up-and-coming artists.



Royal Artillery Museum, Wiltshire


The Royal Artillery Museum is taking forward plans for its new museum on Salisbury Plain. It promises to be an exciting and immersive attraction for all the family, telling stories of artillery science and technology, the 300-year history of the regiment and the British Army's intimate relationship with the Plain. Construction work is scheduled to start in 2020, with the new attraction opening in 2022.



2022: Birmingham to host 2022 Commonwealth Games

27 July – 7 August 2022

Birmingham has officially been named the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The city’s strong existing venue infrastructure, risk management and long-term sporting legacy plans featured heavily in Birmingham’s winning proposal, which also includes plans to build the UK’s largest permanent athletics stadium, and to host some events in nearby places such as Walsall and Cannock Chase. The baton was passed to Birmingham at the closing ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on 15 April 2018.



2023: Giants on the Quayside and Europe’s tallest observation wheel, NewcastleGateshead


Giants on the Quayside, a new £100m leisure, sport and food and drink destination, will be situated on the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle. The development’s centrepiece is a giant observation wheel called The Whey Aye in celebration of the local dialect. At 140 metres (459ft) tall, it will be five metres (16ft) taller than the London Eye and the largest in Europe. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020 with the development opening in 2023.



2023: V&A East with new permanent Smithsonian/V&A collaboration, London


V&A East will have two exciting, interconnected sites in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: a new museum at Stratford Waterfront and a new collection and research centre at Here East. V&A East will host a permanent gallery space collaboration between two of the world’s most respected museums; the Smithsonian Institution and the V&A, who will work together on joint exhibitions, drawing on both museums' collections, as well as their expertise in science and the arts and humanities – “and where they intersect".


2023: Eden Project North, Lancashire
Spring 2023
Eden Project has unveiled its vision for Eden Project North, a major new attraction in Morecambe. The plan is for a destination that combines indoor and outdoor experiences, connecting people with the internationally-significant natural environment of Morecambe Bay while also enhancing wellbeing. Its vision includes reimagined lidos, gardens, performance spaces, immersive experiences and observatories. Central to the design is a series of five giant domes inspired by mussels. Eden Project is working with Grimshaw, the architecture firm who designed its world-famous Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, to create this unique structure for Morecambe with a focus on the marine environment.

2024: The London Resort, Kent


London Resort Company Holdings is partnering with major TV, film, music and entertainment brands including Paramount Picture Corporation, BBC Studios and ITV Studios to create The London Resort, a new 535-acre entertainment resort close to Ebbsfleet on the Swanscombe Peninsula. It will be one of the biggest themed entertainment resorts in Europe, with a water park, theme park, theatre, cinema, restaurants, retail outlets, live music venues and hotels. The resort’s location near the Eurostar line means visitors can travel from London in 20 minutes, or from Paris and Brussels in around two hours.



2024: Museum of London moves to new site


The Museum of London has reached capacity at its current London Wall site and announced plans to move from Barbican to a new site in West Smithfield. The new site is particularly resonant: an abandoned general market with Victorian buildings, a giant Edwardian gas burner, a working train line and a whole street. Through the move, the museum hopes to contribute to the rejuvenation of the Smithfield area, take advantage of the outstanding transport links, and use the increased exhibition space to showcase never-seen-before artefacts. The move will also form an important part of ‘Culture Mile’, a major new cultural and creative destination in the Square Mile.



2027: 10-year plan for Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Until 2027

Blenheim Palace has launched an ambitious 10-year plan to take the historic attraction to a whole new level, revolutionising virtually every aspect of the World Heritage Site. They plan to complete their £40m restoration programme by becoming a net generator of green energy, tripling the estate’s contribution to the local economy and housing 300 families in high quality affordable housing. They also plan to grow annual paying visitor numbers to more than 750,000.






2050: Thames Estuary Production Corridor

By 2050

DCMS has committed to ambitious plans to transform the Thames Estuary into a hub for artists and creatives. The vision document for the Thames Estuary Production Corridor includes theatre-making studios in Bexley, a foundry for large sculptures and artworks in Silvertown (including the UK’s biggest 3D printing centre), a gaming hub at the University of Essex, an arts centre in Woolwich and industrial research laboratories in Kent.



Regeneration in central Leeds


Leeds’ iconic Grade I-listed Kirkgate Market sits shoulder to shoulder with the jaw-dropping architecture of the city’s newest retail addition, Victoria Gate. Now the George Street development will showcase the area’s beautiful architecture and regenerate this must-see historic zone. Leeds Playhouse’s redevelopment will ensure accessibility for everyone, with a new entrance that embraces the city and versatile, environmentally-focused spaces that facilitate diverse work. The George Street development is due to start in autumn 2019.



Ongoing: Culture Mile, City of London


‘Culture Mile’ is a major new cultural and creative destination in the Square Mile – the beating heart of London, where creativity is the most valued currency. Working with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, the City of London Corporation is transforming the northwest corner of the City (an area stretching just under a mile from Farringdon to Moorgate) over 10 to 15 years. The area will be enlivened by imaginative collaborations, outdoor programming and events seven days a week, as well as vastly improved transport links and environmental standards. Three major building projects are included as part of the project: the new Museum of London at West Smithfield; a new Centre for Music on the current site of the Museum of London; and the transformation of Beech Street into a cultural hub for the area.

www.culturemile.london ; www.rdmr.co.uk/culture-mile


Ongoing: St John’s neighbourhood, Manchester


St John’s is an enormous masterplan to create a new neighbourhood for enterprise, culture and living on the former site of Granada Studios. Incorporating 2,400 residenti­­al homes, world-class hotels, work space, intimate streets and lively courtyards, the St John’s neighbourhood will retain many original buildings such as the iconic Bonded Warehouse as well as new-builds such as The Factory. Dates are slippery, but The Factory – billed as the North of England’s new flagship cultural venue – is scheduled to open in 2021.



TBC: Bargate Quarter, Southampton


Southampton continues to be one of the UK cities “on the up”. Improvements to the Cultural Quarter, the creation of Ocean Village, the extension of West Quay Shopping and the arrival of some landmark accommodation have already added to its city-break appeal and fascinating history and heritage. Next up (and currently awaiting amended planning consent) is the development of Bargate Quarter. The scheme will help uncover Southampton’s proud history 900 years after the Bargate Monument was built and bring an entirely new vibe to this part of the city, thanks to the introduction of a variety of carefully selected retail, food and beverage outlets.



TBC: Royal Pier, Southampton


It’s still in very early stages, but a £400m development promises to transform the landscape of Southampton’s waterfront, showcasing the international face of the city as a great place to live, work and enjoy. Mayflower Park will be recreated and extended, while speciality shops, offices, leisure venues, apartments and waterside attractions will be scattered along the shoreline. The park will become a high-quality public space offering spectacular views. There will also be a four/five-star hotel.



TBC: Brewdog Hotel in London
BrewDog has announced their intention to open London’s first ever Craft Beer Hotel – The DogHouse. Like its recently opened Columbus counterpart, Brewdog will ensure that all rooms in the DogHouse London will have fresh craft beer you can pour for yourself in each room – and their now iconic shower-beer fridges will also feature. A Punk IPA Jacuzzi has been mooted and the hotel will have its own craft beer museum. BrewDog are currently scouting out a site for the hotel.


TBC: Geothermal heating at Jubilee Pool, Cornwall


Part of Jubilee Pool in Penzance will be heated using geothermal energy, once a geothermal well has been dug on-site. The European Regional Development Fund has invested £1.4m in the project, which will be the first deep geothermal heat project in the UK for over 25 years. The rest of the pool will remain at its usual bracing temperature.



TBC: Camel Creek to become Britain’s first six-star resort, Cornwall

Britain’s first five++-star resort has gained approval from Cornwall Council. Camel Creek will have 236 holiday lodges, a leisure park, convention centre, exhibition space as well as shops, restaurants and a pub. Guests will be able to stay in one of 106 villas, 46 treehouses or 84 courtyard homes set around picturesque lakes. The land for the resort sits next to Camel Creek Adventure Park (formally Crealy Cornwall adventure park), which has ambitious plans to become the UK’s leading family attraction following a £20m investment. John Broome, former owner of Alton Towers theme park, is behind the developments. Early plans suggest an opening date in 2021.
www.camelcreekresort.com ; www.camelcreek.co.uk


TBC: £7m development at Ribby Hall Village


Ribby Hall Village has won planning approval for an ambitious new project that will make it one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the north of England. The exciting 22-acre Reeds Bay development will include 20 prestigious new holiday homes for purchase, two luxury holiday apartments and a water sports centre, set alongside a huge lake.


TBC: New hotel and waterpark at Longleat, Wiltshire

Longleat Enterprises Ltd plans to build a new 240-bedroom hotel with a waterpark and business conference facilities on the edge of its estate near Warminster. The new development’s design is inspired by the manor house’s 400-year-long history and The Age of Discovery. Architecture will embrace the Arts and Crafts movement and there will be a watering hole where exotic animals wander at will.



TBC: Sphere concert venue, London


Madison Square Garden Company has confirmed plans to build the Sphere, a giant orb-shaped music venue near East London’s Olympic Park. Early designs suggest the venue will be able to host 21,500 concertgoers beneath an enormous vaulted roof that can be used as a domed, 360-degree screen for projections – the largest and highest resolution LED screen in the world. True to London fashion, the 90m (295ft) glass structure has already been dubbed the Golf Ball.