New and unmissable things to do in 2017

by Katie Rowe

Category: Things to do
December 21 2016

With new attractions, exciting anniversaries and the coolest of cities to visit, England is full of excitement and promise for 2017. Here, Danielle Jones runs through 10 reasons why 2017 in England is going to be great.

Get cultured in Hull

A concert in Hull

Hull is poised to have a brilliant year having been named the 2017 UK City of Culture.  Filled with weird and wonderful world-class events, festivals and exhibitions the city will also be hosting the world-renowned Turner Prize.

The year will be split into four cultural “Seasons”, each showcasing a different part of Hull’s eclectic personality.

The year of festivities kicks off with bang as Hull hosts a firework display on 2nd January which is bigger than London’s New Year spectacle.

Find out more about a very special year in Hull

Bring your favourite books to life

Chawton, East Hampshire

This year England celebrates some huge  literary anniversaries, all of which are being marked with appropriate splendour across England.

July marks 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, with numerous events across her home county of Hampshire throughout the year.

We also celebrate 20 years since the publication of the first Harry Potter novel in June. Events already in the planning include a Harry Potter Film concert series (11-19 May 2017) accompanied by a live orchestra and a new exhibition at the British Library, dedicated to the magic of Harry Potter. (20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018)

Keep your eyes open for other events celebrating authors and poets such as Enid Blyton, Lord Tennyson, Arthur Ransome, including the 125th anniversary of the book in which Arthur Conan Doyle introduced super sleuth Sherlock Holmes.

Follow in the footsteps of Austen, Blyton and many more…

Run rabbit run to the The Pink Floyd Exhibition at the V&A

One band that has definitely earned its legendary status is Pink Floyd, and as a testament to their musical achievements, the psychedelic band with Cambridge roots are having their first international retrospective at the V&A Museum in London.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains, includes original album artwork, recognisable the world over, props, posters and more, all displayed in the V&A’s typical show-stopping style.

Spanning their entire career, right from the 1960s to the present day, this is a must for any fan, or even for anyone who has hummed along to Another Brick In The Wall.

Find other culture hotspots to visit in 2017

Giddy up for the new Hadrian’s Cavalry exhibition

Hadrian's Wall

Built to defend the Roman’s from their northerly neighbours, Hadrian’s Wall stands as the largest remaining artefact from Roman times. And 2017 sees a brand new exhibition at this World Heritage Site, focusing on the regiments that defended beyond the wall whilst on horseback.

The exhibition, running from 8 April to 10 September, spans the entire wall, from Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria to Wallsend in Tyne and Wear.

It’s a glimpse into the daily life and times of these conquerors. On top of the artefacts and items gathered from across the globe, there will also be special live re-enactments across the wall and special art commissions to commemorate its history.  

Find more Romans sites in England

Rest your head at these sparkling new hotels

Nobu Hotel

Treat yourself to a getaway at one of England’s brand new hotels. Take the Great Scotland Yard Hotel for example. Built on the site of the original London police station, this luxury five-star crash pad would be suitable for even Sherlock Holmes himself.

Elsewhere in Shoreditch, a new branch of the trendy Nobu chain is set to open in spring.

In Cumbria, you’ll be able to enjoy dramatic views when Another Place opens its doors on the shores Ullswater, and down south in Hampshire, Southampton’s first ever five-star hotel, shaped like a ship, is set to open on the harbourside. 

Take a look at some more short breaks ideas

Sing along with The Addams Family Musical

This year, the creepiest and kookiest family in entertainment will be heading to a theatre near you, as the Addams Family musical takes to the road.

Starting the English leg of the tour in Northampton’s Royal & Derngate on the 9 May, the cast includes stars of stage and screen such as Eastenders’ Samantha Womack as Morticia and Les Dennis as Uncle Fester.

The story follows the famous family as Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with someone respectable, sweet and not the slightest bit spooky at all. Follow the trials and tribulations as the two families meet over an amusing, if eventful, dinner. Tickets are available now. 

Find fun things on at the theatre

Stargaze in style in Northumberland

Star trails over Kielder

Gaze up the milky way while staying in a brand new luxury lodge at Kielder Waterside & Forest Park. This remote oasis is the perfect getaway with room for up to six guests in each luxury lodge.

The finished domiciles will each feature a swim spa, BBQ huts, hot tubs, games consoles, Bluetooth speakers, under floor heating, deck and patio area and, of course, the amazing stargazing pods.

Kielder Water’s remote location makes it one of the best spots in the world to see the stars; it also gives you the chance for a truly relaxing break from the day-to-day grind. 

Discover the wild beauty of Northumberland

Get a culture-fix on a city break in Leeds


Head to Leeds in 2017 and uncover a city filled with a cornucopia of cool, from world-class exhibitions to trendy food and drink festivals.

On top of the grand reopening of Leeds Art Gallery, there are also a number of exciting exhibitions and new openings for the year ahead.

Swing by the Leeds Art Gallery and you will be treated to works from Francis Bacon, Edward Armitage, Henry Moore and Rodin.

In 2017, you will also be able to visit new exhibitions such as Fairytales & Fantasy at the Abbey House Museum and For All Seasons at Leeds City Museum.

Or for something a bit more modern you can meander the streets, taking in some of city’s 19 beer festivals or the Indie Food Festival in May.

Plan your weekend break to Leeds

Send a postcard from the new Postal Museum

The Royal Mail was founded back in 1516, when King Henry VIII established the “Master of Posts”. It certainly seems apt that 501 years later that the brand new Postal Museum should be opening its doors.

Bringing together artefacts from its current three sites, The Postal Museum contains important items such as telegrams from the night the Titanic sank, the original copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses, as well as collections of commemorative stamps.

On top of the static exhibits, deep below the London streets, the museum will also be opening a stretch of track from London’s Mail Rail. This underground system of driverless, electric trains ran post and packages across the city to be distributed across the country, and even the world. 

Find more things to do in London

Explore the myth with the release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

English director, Guy Ritchie, turns his hand to English myth and legend this year with the release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Scheduled for release in May 2017, this epic delves into one of England’s most famous of sons and how he rose to the throne with his sword Excalibur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Arthur was rumoured to have connections in places such as London, Shropshire, Tintagel in Cornwall and Glastonbury in Somerset. 

Discover Shropshire, the real home of Arthur

Katie Rowe

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