It’s a great month ahead to get outdoors and embrace the changing seasons, with the start of year-long celebrations of the Mayflower pioneering voyage to America at the Illuminate festival in Plymouth, and the chance to go Leaf Peeping on a new trail in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley. Further ahead, explore space without leaving the earth at the Dark Skies Festival in Yorkshire. See below for more information, plus a round-up of more openings, events and exhibitions around the country.
The Silverstone Experience
The Silverstone Experience will take visitors on an exciting journey through the past, present and future of Silverstone and British motorsport when it opens this October. Experiences include the chance to climb into a replica 1940s Grand Prix car, and see iconic race-winning vehicles from across the decades.Modern-day racing then comes to life with hands-on activities across topics from commentating to safety and strategy and learning how to design a world-beating racing car or bike in the Technology Lab. The highlight looks set to be experiencing the thrill of speeding around Silverstone alongside racing heroes in an immersive show ‘The Ultimate Lap of Silverstone’ with commentary by Murray Walker. Family and individual tickets available.
Lightpool Festival, Blackpool
11 -26 October (half-term)
Blackpool is gearing up for its biggest ever programme of free entertainment over the October half-term holiday.The award-winning Lightpool Festival will provide an amazing mix of live performance and light-based art installations, including a replica planet Earth in The Blackpool Tower Ballroom; the world premiere of a large-scale Sun in the Winter Gardens, and a display of giant illuminated see-saws in the town centre.The programme also includes the return of the Carnival of the Lights; Carnival Magic, featuring a menagerie of illuminated characters; a glow-in-the-dark children’s football tournament; fire and light-based shows; 3D projections on to the front of the Blackpool Tower building; and a town centre art trail. https://www.theblackpoolilluminations.info/lightpool/
Mayflower 400 – Illuminate Festival, Plymouth
28 November 2019 –November 2020
November will see the start of an ambitious, year-long celebration marking the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s pioneering voyage across the Atlantic from Plymouth to New England. The journey, transporting 102 English pilgrims, set sail on 16 September 1620, becoming one of the most famous in early American colonial history. 400 years later, the UK, USA and Holland will commemorate 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. Events kick off in Plymouth around Thanksgiving, with Illuminate, an event featuring lights, parades, music and entertainment to commemorate links with the USA. Eleven English locations will take part in the 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. An app has been developed with walking and driving trails linking the eleven English locations with the Mayflower.
https://www.mayflower400uk.org/app www.mayflower400uk.com https://illuminate-festival.co.uk/
Leaf Peeping Tourism
The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley has launched the country’s first Leaf Peeping Drive and an online guide to attract more visitors this autumn. ‘Leaf Peeping’ tourism is a term from North America describing people enjoying the changing seasons and travelling to view and photograph foliage. The guide covers parts of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire which are well known for their annual symphony of colour, with over 20 million trees of mixed species spread over 200 square miles. The app guides visitors to the very best spots of autumn colour, demonstrating how the region’s foliage show can easily rival that of New England and Japan where peepers from around the world flock to in their thousands each year. http://www.wyedeantourism.co.uk/leafpeeperswelcome
New Seaside Holiday Park for East Yorkshire.
Bridlington welcomes new £12m seaside holiday park South Cliff Holiday Park on the East Yorkshire coast. It is set in countryside, but just metres from an award-winning beach, and a short walk to the resort of Bridlington. It offers lodges and holiday homes plus pitches for touring caravans, motor homes and tents. For glamping, there are Shepherd Huts on the edge of a wildlife area.
Turner Contemporary to host Turner Prize 2019,
October 2019 – January 2020
The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate is now the host of the famous Turner Prize until January 2020. Both venue and event are named after the innovative landscape artist JMW Turner, who was a regular visitor to Margate and inspired by the east Kent coast. The gallery is built on the site of a boarding house where Turner stayed when he visited the seaside town. Margate was also the childhood home of Tracey Emin, whose controversial My Bed artwork was shortlisted for the prize in 1999. The winner will be announced at a major awards ceremony in December 2019.
Manhattan Loft Gardens, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The 42-storey design hotel Manhattan Loft Gardens was founded by Harry Handelsman, the visionary behind the restored St Pancras Hotel and Chiltern Firehouse. With 145 guestrooms and suites, the skyscraper has panoramic views of the city skyline and space for yoga classes and weekly gin tastings.
2020: Hyde Park Picture House to re-open following refurbishment, Leeds
Work will begin on a £3.6 million year-long renovation of the Hyde Park Picture House, the world’s only surviving gas-lit cinema. The works include a new three-storey extension, a new basement with a second screen, and an enlarged foyer. 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. The cinema plans to re-open in January 2021 but will continue operating at other venues during the works.
2020: 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. 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. It’s due for completion in 2020, when it will reopen with a brand new name.
Travel into Space from Yorkshire at the Dark Skies Festival
14 Feb – 1 March 2020
The fifth Dark Skies Festival, held jointly by the North York Moors YorkshireDales National Parks, will show just how much visitors can enjoy cosmos without leaving planet Earth. The 17-day Festival which coincides with February half term holidays, will comprise more than 100 events including space travel courtesy of pop-up planetariums, stargazing safaris using telescopes, after-dark runs and bike rides as well as talks and crafting sessions fire the imagination.
Find out more about Microgapping www.visitbritain.com/mymicrogap
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