Your guide to breaks, staycations and events in 2022
What better way to celebrate the start of the new year by planning ahead for a 2022 short break. From unmissable events and new hotels openings to immersive experiences based on your favourite films and the best new restaurant openings, here are a few ideas for your 2022 staycation.
Last chance to see
Rock ‘n’ Roll with David Bowie in Brighton
Brighton, East Sussex
Open until 23 January 2022, this exhibition of photographs taken by David Bowie’s close friend, Geoff MacCormack, captures the musician and actor’s most iconic moments, from Ziggy Stardust to his first major film, The Man Who Fell to Earth.
Der, der, der, der – don’t miss The Shark is Broken, playing at The Ambassadors Theatre until 13 February 2022. This hilarious behind-the-scenes drama follows the lead actors of 1974’s Jaws as they find themselves stuck on a boat, awash with alcohol and ambition.
Glimpse an Olympic gymnast at this cheertastic show
Based on the film of the same name, Bring It On: The Musical follows newly crowned squad captain, Campbell, as she’s catapulted into life at a new high school. Full of explosive choreography and tricks, the show even features Team GB’s very own Louis Smith.
Bring It On: The Musical is currently on tour throughout the UK, finishing at Milton Keynes Theatre on 30 July 2022.
Visit Bath’s Fashion Museum before 24 April to see a world-class display of shoes and boots (350 pairs to be exact), highlighting the evolution of shoe design over the last 300 years. Stars of the show include heels worn by Her Majesty Queen Mary and Noel Coward’s embroidered velvet slippers.
Head to Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall to see the first real Tyrannosaurus Rex to be displayed in England for over a century. Titus: T-Rex is King, open until the end of August, explores the world of this titanic predator through digital and interactive displays, as well as the truth behind the myths of this iconic dinosaur.
Book a spring stay in a luxury ‘lake pod’ at 80-acre Clawford Lakes Resort & Spa. Perched right on the water, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows flooding the cabin with natural light, these romantic hideaways (which are available to book from April 2022) offer a perfect blend of modern living with close-to-nature tranquillity.
Clayton Hotels’ brand-new four-star property is opening in Bristol’s city centre in spring 2022. This 255-room hotel is a conversion of the NatWest Court office building and will house a bar, restaurant and gym.
Inspired by the history, glamour and grit of Soho, The Broadwick – the first London hotel designed by Swedish interior architect, Martin Brudnizki – promises to be one of the area’s hottest new spots. Opening in the spring, the luxury boutique hotel will also have a rooftop bar and house an Italian restaurant.
Blackpool seafront’s first and only five-star hotel, the Sands Venue Resort, is set to open in Autumn 2022, donning décor inspired by the Art Deco era. As well as spacious bedrooms and suites, expect an array of restaurants, bars and a luxury spa.
Set amongst woodland, Ramside Hall’s triangular glass-fronted treehouses take luxury to new heights. The treehouses, which are taking bookings for February onwards, come with a wraparound balcony and a sunken hot tub and sauna.
Celebrate the Queen at a double bank holiday in June
As well as an extended bank holiday (2-5 June), the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s historic milestone – the first British Monarch to celebrate 70 years on the throne – with an array of parties, parades and public events, community activities and national moments of reflection.
Be sure to check out Superbloom at the Tower of London, where 20 million seeds will be sown in the Tower’s famous moat as a permanent legacy of Her Majesty The Queen.
Step into the world of Netflix’s Bridgerton at a secret London location in February. Dressed in your Regency-style glad rags, you’ll be given a bespoke character backstory and quest to fulfil over the course of the evening, alongside dining, dancing and mingling with your fellow upper-class guests.
Birmingham will be 2022’s home of the Commonwealth Games, an international multi-sport event involving athletes and para-athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The games, which start on 29 July, include swimming and diving, cricket, gymnastics, athletics, cycling and boxing.
Alongside the Commonwealth Games, Birmingham is hosting a six-month festival shining a spotlight on creativity in the West Midlands. Running from March through to September, the festival will feature hundreds of commissions from art and photography to dance, theatre and more.
Uncover dramatic landscapes, cultures and art of Northumberland, Cumbria and Tyne & Wear while learning about the iconic wall’s Roman history through a series of performances, talks, activities and exhibitions at this year-long festival.
26 May 2022 marks the 125th anniversary of the original Gothic novel, Dracula. Fans will be able to visit the bloodthirsty Count’s haunt of Whitby, with details of related events and activities to be confirmed.
The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 will be hitting our shores in July 2022, with England’s Lionesses joining 15 other nations for three and a half weeks of world-class football. Fans can watch the 31 matches at nine host cities across the country, including Brighton, London, Manchester and Milton Keynes.
Attend Brighton Pride’s belated 30th birthday party
Brighton, East Sussex
Head down to the best LGBTQ+ event in the country, for an all-singing, all-dancing carnival of colour. The 6-7 August 2022 will see 300,000 people pour onto Brighton’s streets before parading down to the main Pride festival site for live music, dance tents and a host of diverse and immersive events.
Feel the power of together at the Rugby League World Cup
For the first time ever, Rugby’s best male, female and wheelchair players will assemble for the postponed RLWC 2022 between 15 October and 19 November. The tournaments will be held simultaneously in Newcastle’s St James Park and Manchester’s Old Trafford in a breakthrough moment for Rugby League.
Set against the backdrop of the romantic Nyman’s (a historical National Trust garden), IGNITE is a new illuminated trail full of flickering flames and shimmering spaces. Explore this fiery interpretation of stars and spheres, flora and fantasy between 11 February and 6 March to a soundscape that will inspire and intrigue.
Unbox the best of British innovation and creativity
UNBOXED, a festival taking place throughout 2022, aims to celebrate British creativity and innovation in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics spaces. Of the 10 exhibitions, eight will take place in England, including Our Place in Space – a 10-kilometre sculpture trail of the solar system through Cambridge – and PoliNations, an immersive forest filled with real and architectural trees in Birmingham.
Calling all garden lovers! The Great British Gardening Festival 2022 unites green-fingered friends to find out about all of the diverse horticultural, gardening and growing events happening across the country in 2022. It’s even teamed up with garden centres and gardens for great deals all year round.
Uncover London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce legacy
Covent Garden, London
A new exhibition in Convent Garden’s London Transport Museum named Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce will open in February 2022, showcasing not only the amazing work of Caribbean people since the 1950s but the experiences and struggles of people settling into their new lives in the city.
Discover Doctor Who: Worlds of Wonder in Liverpool
Explore the world of science within the universe of Doctor Who at Liverpool’s World Museum. Opening on the 27 May, the immersive experience – complete with artefacts, props and sets – will be brought to life with some of the Doctor’s many adventures through space and time.
From sketchbooks and coded diaries to family photographs, the Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature exhibition, opening on 12 February in London, will be the first to tell the life story of this much-loved children’s author, thanks to the V&A and National Trust.
Set in Alabama in 1934, To Kill a Mockingbird centres on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, the small-town lawyer Atticus Finch. The long-awaited Broadway transfer will open in the West End in March 2022, with performances at the Gielgud Theatre.
Join judges Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli – along with professional dancers and celebs – as they fox-trot into arenas across the country in January and February to host 33 sparkle-filled shows on the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour. Incredible live music and spellbinding choreography is guaranteed.
A sparkling tribute to friendship, sisterhood and music, Sister Act The Musical tells the hilarious tale of a disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Produced by the original Deloris van Cartier herself, Whoopi Goldberg, the nostalgia-filled show will open at London’s Eventim Apollo in July 2022.
Before embarking on a multi-city tour, the Bob Marley One Love Experience will make its global debut in February at London’s Saatchi Gallery, showcasing unseen Marley photographs and memorabilia, and immersing visitors on a journey through his life, influences and legacy.
Titanic: The Exhibition, tells the tale of history’s most legendary ship on its maiden and final voyage. Discover the passengers’ stories through handwritten letters and personal belongings, and walk in their footsteps as you explore life-size recreations of the ship’s interiors.
For the first time in 40 years, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid are back with a revolutionary new concert at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Playing between May and October, the show will be performed digitally with a 10-piece band and virtual versions of ABBA, created by an 850-person team at George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic.
Following its huge success, the creators of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience are heading to London in July 2022 with Klimt: The Immersive Experience. With floor-to-ceiling projections, moving painting and virtual reality, this 360-degree digital art spectacular will immerse you in the golden universe of the Austrian modernist.
Borough Yards, neighbouring Borough Market, aims to fill forgotten warehouses and railway arches with eclectic eateries and established retail brands. Some of the first to open their doors in 2022 are Bar Daskal, a Spanish wine and tapas bar, Butchies – serving finger-licking buttermilk-fried chicken – and Vinoteca, which will have a focus on sustainably made wines.
The team behind London’s BoxPark venues are set to open BoxHall at Bristol’s Welsh Back Waterfront in June 2022. The new food hall concept will host independent restaurants, street food traders and pop-ups for all-day dining, as well as live music and events like art shows, film screenings and gaming.
Try Lincolnshire libations at Lincoln Castle’s food festival
From June to August next year, Lincoln Castle is hosting a huge summer of events, from live music and iconic sporting events to a food festival celebrating Lincolnshire’s best food, drink and beer. And with the country producing an eighth of England’s food, we can bet it’s going to be tasty.
Provisions, natural cheese and wine experts, are opening their second store in Hackney in February, alongside their flagship on Holloway Road. As well as stocking wines from the Languedoc, Roussillon and Southern Rhone regions and over 80 cheeses, Provisions will host a programme of chef dinners and tasting events.
After popping up around London with his supper clubs, chef Akwasi Brenya-Mensa is now opening a permanent restaurant in The Africa Centre in Southwark, London. The 50-seat eatery, opening in the spring, will feature the likes of cassavas bravas, Omo Tuo Nkatekwan Sesame (mashed rice with groundnut, peanut soup) and plantain cheesecake.
The owners of Manchester’s 20 Stories and Chelsea’s Bluebird Café are set to open a new restaurant right at the top of 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham’s tallest office tower. The restaurant (whose name is TBC), will open next year and will come with some pretty spectacular views over the city.
Tuck into dishes inspired by the street food of Myanmar
Covent Garden, London
Lahpet, the popular Burmese restaurant in Shoreditch, is set to bring its bold Burmese flavours to London's Covent Garden this February. Serving up well-loved classics like coconut noodles with chicken and Shan tofu fritters, Lahpet West End will showcase a range of new dishes including roasted pork belly and bamboo shoots and Rakhine fish noodle soup - a spicy and sour soup cooked with fermented fish paste.
The Cleveland Pools, which date back over 200 years, are set to open again in the summer of 2022. After a 17-year campaign to save them, the National Lottery Heritage Fund granted the money to restore Bath’s unique open-air swimming pools, with energy for heating the water coming from heat pumps in the adjacent river.
Unmask figures behind England’s most infamous plot
Tower Hill, London
Be transported back to 1605 to investigate treason in this thrilling new immersive experience. Using a combination of live-action, virtual reality and mind-blowing special effects, The Gunpowder Plot (which opens in May) will ignite your senses as you step inside history’s most daring conspiracy.
Prescot was once home to the only purpose-built Elizabethan playhouse outside of London over 400 years ago. Next summer, the town will unveil a 350-seat candlelit replica of the theatre, The Shakespeare North Playhouse, and complete the UK’s Shakespearean triangle, alongside London and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Connect the everyday with the extraordinary in Merseyside
After the immense success of Eureka! in Yorkshire, a brand-new interactive experience, Eureka! Science + Discovery, will open on the River Mersey in Autumn 2022. Designed with, and for, children aged 7-14 years, the centre will connect the every day with the extraordinary and ignite curiosities.
Come face-to-face with both the heroic and villainous inhabitants of Gotham City next autumn at this multi-sensory recreation of the notorious psychiatric hospital, Arkham Asylum. With futuristic technology and interactive theatrics, this epic alternate reality experience is not for the faint-hearted.
Burrowing into Blackpool next year, this brand-new Peter Rabbit TV series attraction will have you bouncing through five fluffy-tailed themed zones, to see whether you have the skills to join the secret treehouse club. You’ll also be able to high-paw Peter himself, making it a bumper bunny day out!