England’s 2024 travel scene – what’s set to trend?

December 2023: VisitEngland has identified a number of travel trends for 2024, including more ways to enjoy the ever-evolving English wine scene, new immersive experiences offering a peek behind the scenes and a spotlight on outdoor trails with the King Charles III England Coast Path opening fully next year.

 

A vintage year for English wine

Raise a glass to England’s wine scene, which is brimming with new tours and festivals next year. In spring, the London Wine Festival will put home-grown vineyards in the spotlight, with four days of expert-led tastings, artisan stalls and cork-popping events at Shoreditch’s Truman Brewery. Meanwhile in Norfolk, Norwich Wine Week (June) will celebrate the local viticulture that’s rooted in Ancient Rome – with today’s award-winning vineyards and producers bringing a modern twist. Delve further into England’s wineries with new offerings launching in spring 2024: Wine Tours of Kent presents its new Twilight Tours (April), combining exclusive tastings and vineyard visits – while Bath-based Minerva Wine will whisk wine lovers on a host of new tours, tastings and grape picking experiences – along with launching luxurious shepherd huts and accommodation packages (April). Years in the making, the first sparkling wines of Domaine Evremond will finally be ready to taste in late 2024: in partnership with Taittinger, this Kent vineyard will take fine English wine to new heights. If mixology masterclasses are more your thing, it’s a bumper year for the Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, which will mark its 10th anniversary by launching a new winter festival (October), and extending its July event to four days. Cheers to that!

 

New reasons to get outdoors

Take a walk on the wild side! Recent VisitEngland Domestic Sentiment Tracker insights show us that UK holidaymakers are ‘more likely’ to seek out outdoor areas and leisure or sports activities in 2024, thanks to the affordability of activities like hiking, cycling and swimming*– and of course, it’s a boost for health and wellbeing too. The King Charles III England Coast Path, the world’s longest continual coastal walking route, will fully open in 2024 – an incredible 2,700-mile (4,498km) trail through the nation’s most glorious beaches, clifftops and seaside towns. Meanwhile, the Corsham Walking Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary (June), and the Isle of Wight Walking Festival will mark 25 years (spring and autumn) – both featuring expert-led hikes and activities for all abilities. For tangible history, follow Leicestershire’s Bosworth 1485 Trail: it will open in autumn, with bespoke new sculptures bringing the centuries-old tale of King Richard III to life. In Oxford, this summer’s colourful OxTrail will feature 30 life-sized oxen decorated by local and international artists, while the life-affirming beauty of the South West Coast Path is set to grace our screens in 2024, with the film adaptation of The Salt Path. Raynor Winn’s best-selling memoir will star Gillian Anderson, Jason Isaacs and the magnificent Cornwall, Somerset, Devon and Dorset seascapes.

*For more details, please see the Domestic Sentiment Tracker Report – October 2023.

 

Peek behind the scenes

Calling the curious: 2024 is full of opportunities to explore places and landmarks you’ve never seen before. Maybe you’ll step into the 1960s at the Black Country Living Museum’s new vintage experience (summer), or discover 2,000 years of history at Leicestershire’s revamped Jewry Wall Museum (autumn)? At Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace, Icons of Fashion (March to June) will reveal hitherto unseen couture, photography and sketches – and in London, the Design Museum’s Barbie (from July) and The World of Tim Burton (from October) will give fans an immersive behind-the-scenes experience. Take a further break from reality at Bristol’s We The Curious, which will feature the UK’s only 3D planetarium with full surround sound for an epic journey through space (spring). In March, the new Showtown museum will put Blackpool’s showbiz roots in the spotlight: from its decades of glittering cabaret and comedy hits, to the stars of Strictly Come Dancing. And for the first time ever, the medieval keep (tower) of Norwich Castle will open to visitors this summer, after an extensive restoration – a chance to see this mighty fortress through the eyes of King Henry I himself.

 

The joy of eating local

We’re hungry for adventure: according to insights from VisitEngland, trying local food and drink is a priority for UK holidaymakers, as more than a third of those planning to travel in the next three months say it’s top of the agenda for their next staycation*. So what’s on your menu? In Liverpool, BOXPARK (opening in spring) will showcase homegrown street eats and live entertainment, while Manchester’s House of Social is set to launch in late 2024, with five open kitchens serving affordable, locally sourced fare. In Sheffield, the new Cambridge Street Collective (Easter) will feature cooking classes, food stalls and a microbrewery. It’s also a great year for food markets: The Rising at Raby Castle in County Durham will open in spring, while Oxford Covered Market will debut a new-look outdoor area for dining, live music and festivals (spring). In its 2024 travel trends forecast, Booking.com reports that the majority of UK holidaymakers (52%) are now more interested in learning about a destination’s foodie history than they were in the past – and they’ll find plenty to savour in England. Whether that’s exploring the 200 years since the first Cadbury shop, enjoying a traditional hot buttered bake at the North-East’s inaugural National Stottie Cake Week (February), or feasting on award-winning cheese and artisan cider at the Bath & West Food & Drink Festival 2024 – which will open its doors for the first time in March.

*For more details, please see the Domestic Sentiment Tracker Report – October 2023.

 

Sporting heroes, old and new

From epic goals to global glory, 2024 will be a year of sporting champions. In August, the tenth Women’s Rugby World Cup will kick off in venues all over England, bringing the world’s greatest players to Brighton, Exeter, York, Sunderland and beyond. In football, Premier League club Aston Villa FC will celebrate its 150th anniversary with fan events and exhibitions at Birmingham’s Villa Park – while Everton FC’s new stadium in Liverpool is set to open at the end of the year. March will mark the 100th birthday of the Gold Cup at Cheltenham Festival, one of horse racing’s most hotly-contested fixtures: don’t miss its ‘Parade of Champions’, a chance to see legendary horses and jockeys return to the racecourse. This summer, Team GB will be hoping to take the Paris 2024 Olympic games (26 July to 11 August) and Paris 2024 Paralympic games (28 August to 8 September) by storm, and you can be part of the action at the free Fanzones throughout England (details expected in early 2024). The Paralympic flame will be relayed to the French capital from Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire – the birthplace of the Paralympics and the new permanent lighting point of its torch (announced in October 2023) – so now’s your chance to explore its inspirational Paralympics museum and events.

 

 

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Notes to editors:

  • VisitEngland’s comprehensive What’s New in England 2024 overview can be downloaded here. The password is England2024
  • Registration to the VisitBritain asset library is required to download general destination images. Register here.

 

 

For more information visit:

media.visitengland.com  www.visitengland.com

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