As we begin to enjoy a sense of normality with our pubs, restaurants, hotels and galleries throwing open the doors to welcome us back, we’ve highlighted many of the new offerings we’ll have the chance to experience over long summer days and beyond. As always, make sure you’re aware of any restrictions so you’re in the know before you go.
To shake off the zoom gloom:
Escape to Freight Island, Manchester – launching mid July
This month will see the launch of a new urban landscape comprising of outdoor food market, art space and terrace-style seating revitalising a disused freight depot. The area will house bars, restaurants, food trucks, retail space and Bike Park, as well as hosting a diverse, ticketed events programme, with free festival-calibre entertainment 12 hours-a-day. Escape to Freight Island will open with a 'Safe + Social Manifesto', limiting the capacity to 600, expanding to 2,500 people when fully open later this year.
The ultimate drive-in cinema experience from The Luna Cinema, various locations – From July
The Luna Cinema announces a brand-new season, offering film fans the opportunity to watch new and classic movies in a nostalgic, socially distanced, drive-in setting across the country, including Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, the Allianz Park stadium in London and Knebworth House, with more venues to be added soon. With remote order and delivery of food and drink, and state-of-the-art sound and visuals, using the UK's highest definition outdoor screens and a brand-new in car digital sound solution, it promises to be the ultimate drive-in cinema experience.
Price: £29.50 per car for two people in off peak screenings, and £35 per car in peak screenings. Additional occupants will be charged £5 each
Six the hugely popular musical will leave its home in the West End for a summer road trip across the country. The show will be staged for Utilita Live From the Drive-In season, performing at 11 venues across England. Audiences can enjoy live singing and dancing from a designated space around their cars and from the big screen.
Explore a new immersive experience at SEA LIFE Weymouth
SEA LIFE Weymouth has reopened to visitors with a brand new immersive experience, Night and Day. The experience, takes visitors through 24 hours in a coral reef as it moves from dawn to dusk, featuring Black Tip Sharks, Stingrays, Nurse Sharks, Green Sea Turtles and more. Visitors will also experience the sensations of walking along a tropical shore, journeying underwater and diving beneath a swaying reef thanks to projected bio-luminescence, which fills the ocean tunnel setting. (pre-booking essential)
New Interactive Anglo-Saxon gallery at Tamworth Castle is being developed
Dates coming soon
A new ‘Battle and Tribute’ state-of-the-art interactive exhibition is currently being built at Tamworth Castle. The display will turn the space into an interactive exhibition bringing Tamworth’s dramatic and exciting Anglo-Saxon history to life. This will include the creation of a mead hall, an immersive combat film experience and a unique touch-table battle strategy game.
Think private dining with a ‘twist’, Town Hall Hotel, London
Based in East London’s Town Hall Hotel, APT offers a roster of chefs for your very own socially-distant event — be it a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Choose from a roster of London’s best chefs and have them cook for your social bubble of 2-10 guests — all from one of Town Hall Hotel’s many apartments. Keep an eye out for other locations coming soon.
Giffords Hall Vineyard, in the heart of the Upper Stour valley, to open in August 2020
In easy reach of pretty villages Lavenham and Long Melford, Giffords Hall Vineyard was planted in the 1970s on the sandy clay of an ancient glacial riverbed, where Hebridean sheep now graze – they nibble around the vines, keeping the area tidy. Its new barrel hall and winery (currently an old grain store) will be opening in August 2020.
Largest UK exhibition of outdoor sculptures by Anish Kapoor at Houghton Hall, Norfolk
12 Jul – 1 Nov 2020
Influential works of British sculptor Anish Kapoor will exhibit in the grounds and historic interiors of Houghton Hall in Norfolk. The exhibition features 24 mirror and stone sculptures as well as drawings, challenging the classical architecture of the house and the idyllic beauty of the grounds, whilst being in continuous dialogue and engagement with Houghton’s history. Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors working today, known for creating ambitious public sculptures adventurous in both form and engineering across vastly different scales and materials.
To celebrate the reawakening of London, and the reopening of retail, dining and cultural businesses, King’s Cross has partnered with renowned street artist Andy Leek to deliver a summer of public art that will bring positivity and fun to the 67-acre estate. Andy Leek has been given the entire King’s Cross estate to use as his canvas during a three-month residency. He will be creating an evolving series of public artworks which spread optimism and fun and capture the public mood as the nation emerges from lockdown. Leek is widely recognised for Notes To Strangers – his hand-written notes which appear across London to deliver unexpected and uplifting messages to passers.
Step inside the painting - Van Gogh’s paintings in York St. Mary’s
From 5 July
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, is a cutting edge virtual projection which allows you to be part of the spectacular, incomparable universe of Vincent Van Gogh. The experience will let you discover the life of the artist in a new way: his time at the convent and in Arles, the secrets from the letters he wrote to his brother and much more.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts re-opens with Art Deco by the Sea and Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams, Norwich
7 Jul - 31 Dec
Art Deco by the Sea is a major exhibition that explores how the Art Deco style shaped the modern seaside during the 1920s and 30s (runs until 20 Sep), while the NEW show Art Nouveau: The Nature of Dreams examines the spectacular and controversial vision of art practice that raged across the Western world from the end of the 19th century: Art Nouveau (runs until 31 Dec).
Price: Art Deco by the Sea Adult £13, under 18 £6.5 / Art Nouveau adult £8, under 18 £4
Glamp, hike and surf with Contiki this Summer, Devon
From 27 Jul
Contiki’s new two-night glamping, hiking and surfing break in Croyde Bay on the North Devon coast promises sea air and rugged open spaces. With seven weekend breaks available starting on 24 July, the Devon Surf Weekend includes surfing lessons (with all the kit provided), coastal hikes, ocean swims, outdoor cookery lessons with @veganwise, energising and restorative yoga sessions and sunset fireside dinners. The price includes two nights’ bell tent accommodation, five meals (vegan, of course) and all activities, and starts from £265 based on four people sharing (singles, twins and triples are also available).
A new chapter for an age old story The MITRE, Hampton Court
Opening September 2020
The Mitre dates back to 1665 and was originally used as ancillary accommodation for guests of King Henry VIII. Opening soon as a relaxed and sophisticated boutique hotel on the banks of the River Thames combining British sensibility with authentic luxury, the 36 guest rooms are individually designed and will showcase the property’s historical significance (each room is named after a historic reference from the area). Some rooms will have private terraces with jacuzzis overlooking the Thames, others have private courtyards & fire pits and balconies overlooking the river.
The Mitre will mark the launch of a new British Hotel brand called the Signet Collection. The 5-star hotel will offer rooms starting at £195 a night, with suites from approx. £800 a night (family friendly + dog friendly)
Enjoy the luxury of a hotel all to yourself with ‘Yours for the Night’ from Tudor Farmhouse, Forest of Dean
From 27 July
Tudor Farmhouse, the 20-room boutique hotel in the heart of the Forest of Dean, has just announced two new exclusive use offers. Yours for the Night is perfect for groups to enjoy the luxury of a hotel all to themselves and its 11 acres of grounds after it reopens on 27 July. Prices start from £125pp for an overnight with breakfast and three course dinner with wine. In addition, for those looking to celebrate the end of lockdown with just one special person this summer, the three night * Breakout Escape is also on offer and includes a wild swimming map as well as the chance to book a SUP lesson on the Wye or a wildlife safari in the Forest of Dean with an expert guide.
The Bear - Newly renovated 18th Century Coaching Inn on the Jurassic Coast, Wareham
A fun and friendly place to eat, sleep and drink. The quirky and cosy inn marries 18th century charm with modern day luxury. Restful and stylish rooms, hearty food, fabulous cakes, artisan coffees, local brews, fabulous cocktails & more!
Newly renovated, luxury cottage with contemporary interiors is the latest addition from Sand and Stone Escape Collection, North Devon
Nestled within the picturesque village of Atherington, Lemon Cottage is a newly renovated, thatched luxury cottage with a stylish contemporary interior. Sleeping up to six people, the quintessentially English cottage is a delightful haven for families or groups of friends to take that much sought after staycation. Guests will love the homely interiors as they settle down for a movie night in in the cottages’ very own cinema room. On those long summer nights, guests can help themselves to the fresh rosemary that can be found within the gardens, making those delicious BBQ meals extra special. The cottage is situated just a short drive from the popular town of Barnstaple and the nearby beaches of North Devon making it the perfect place to explore the beautiful Devonshire coast.
Price: From £235, per night (3-night minimum stay)