We're spilling the beans on the coolest places to visit in England and sharing expert advice from those in the know. Stick with us as we get under the cobbled streets, rolling fields and beaches that make up this fine country, showcasing the country's hidden gems and reminding you about the famous sites and experiences that are on your doorstep.

Theatre Royal Winchester

The history of panto

by Katie Rowe

December 30 2013 in Culture vulture

We catch up with James Barry, Pantomime expert (oh no he's not, oh yes he is) and Director of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs – showing at the Theatre Royal Winchester until 5 January – to talk about the origins of the traditional Christmas show, men…

Children playing at A Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth. © DRM Images

Dickens and the story of Christmas

by Katie Rowe

December 18 2013 in History & heritage

Charles Dickens’ great-great-great granddaughter, Lucinda Dickens Hawksley, tells us all about the man who “invented” Christmas, and how the Dickensian Christmas became a part of our culture. When writing my biography of Dickens’ artist daughter Katey…

Keep cosy and carry on reading

by Katie Rowe

December 18 2013 in We love

It’s that time of year where there is nothing more appealing on a winter's day than to curl up with a book. And we’ve found a most excellent place to do this. Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland is everything you could ever want from a good proper…

Does a hobbit live in here? ©VisitBritain Tony Pleavin

Explore the real Middle Earth

by Chris Moore

December 13 2013 in The great outdoors

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is released in cinemas today. The second in a trilogy of films is a re-imagining of J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel, The Hobbit and sees the dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf, continue their quest to reclaim…

The Brace Restaurant, The Raithwaite Estate

The Raithwaite Estate

by Katie Rowe

December 3 2013 in We love

VisitEngland's Katie Rowe combines seaside kitsch with country estate class on the North Yorkshire coast...I’m a big fan of Whitby. It embodies everything I love about the English seaside. Polite queues for much talked-about fish and chips from Magpie’s…

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