VisitEngland’s 2023 Springtime News
Spring is in the air and this year it’s set to be extra special. Along with the longer, lighter days and an abundance of bank holidays, England is hosting two once-in-a-generation events in May – the Coronation of King Charles III and the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool.
In addition, VisitEngland is celebrating English Tourism Week 2023 from 17 to 26 March. This year’s theme highlights the amazing people, places, history and experiences that help contribute to England’s vibrant tourism industry.
With major cultural events and new attractions, trails and accommodation options opening up across the country, spring 2023 offers plenty of opportunities to explore England’s vibrant array of travel experiences.
The Coronation of King Charles III, London
6 – 8 May 2023
The coronation of Charles III will take place in Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May, with the Archbishop of Canterbury leading the service. Camilla will also be crowned as Queen Consort during the ancient religious ceremony, which has largely remained the same for 10 centuries. On Sunday 7 May, 10,000 Brits will be welcomed to the grounds of Windsor Castle for the Coronation Concert, which will see a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by fantastic entertainers. Monday 8 May will be a bank holiday in honour of the occasion. The concert will also be broadcast live across the BBC network for audiences to enjoy from home. Royal exhibitions taking place this spring include; The Queen and Her Corgis at The Wallace Collection in London (8 March – 25 June), Royal Connections at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire (19 March – 30 July) and Crown to Couture at Kensington Palace in London (5 April – 29 October).
EuroFest & Eurovision Song Contest 2023, Liverpool
1 – 14 May 2023
Liverpool will host Eurovision in 2023, on behalf of 2022’s winners, Ukraine. The international talent show brings together the best, brightest and quirkiest acts from around Europe and further afield. While the Grand Finale takes place on Saturday 13 May, there are actually nine shows taking place in front of a live audience, from 8 May. From 1 to 14 May, Liverpool will be hosting EuroFest, a cultural festival taking over the streets to bring together communities and visitors, creating a moment of collective cultural resilience with Ukraine and Europe. EuroFest will include Eurovision fan zones and events around the city so that those without tickets can still get in on the action and atmosphere.
New Attractions & Experiences
Opening 10 March 2023
Replicating the exact experience of freefall, iFLY London Indoor Skydiving will arrive at The O2 to give visitors an unforgettable sensation of flying. The experience is open to all ages and abilities and will give budding daredevils the chance to enjoy human flight without so much as a parachute.
The BBC Earth Experience, London
30 March – 31 July 2023
Following the success of the award-winning series Seven Worlds, One Planet, the BBC is launching the BBC Earth Experience, a transformative audio-visual experience that takes visitors through the wonders of the natural world across the seven continents, right in the heart of London. The experience will feature bespoke narration from Sir David Attenborough and showcase breath-taking footage and music projected on multiple-angle screens using the very latest digital screen technology.
270 Climbing, Cotswolds
Opening April 2023
270 Climbing, a world-class climbing park with sports and adventure activities is coming to the Cotswolds this spring. The centre will be opening in a phased approach with a range of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages and abilities. It’s set to become an exciting attraction for the local region and offer a vibrant facility for climbers as well as families, groups and clubs.
Canvas Yard, Leeds
Opening 30 April 2023
A new outdoors events space will open its doors in the city of Leeds this April. Canvas Yard will play host to the city’s FAC51 Hacienda music event with artists such as Roger Sanchez and The Garden Party. This new space will be a must for ravers old and new and is set to be one of the best music venues in the city.
Reopening of Bishop Auckland to Stanhope Railway Line, County Durham
Opening 22 April 2023
The 16-mile railway line between Bishop Auckland and Stanhope will reopen on 22 April to coincide with the popular Bishop Auckland Food Festival (22 – 23 April 2023) which attracts around 30,000 visitors every year. Visitors will be able to use the re-established rail service to explore the Durham Dales and it will facilitate easier accessibility between the two locations.
Gameshow Studios, London
Opening spring 2023
A brand-new experience is bringing the golden age of TV gameshows to the masses. In teams of two to six, contestants share a booth and answer live questions using all the fancy-pants tech, tense music and bright lights that TV gameshows are famous for– including that essential fastest-finger-first buzzer. Food and drink will be served at booths in the 250-capacity venue. Location TBC.
New Tours, Trails & Outdoor England Experiences
Pier to Pier Way, North Somerset
Opening early April 2023
A new 13-mile (21km) cycle route will link Weston-super-Mare and Clevedon. Featuring quiet roads and traffic-free sections and forming the central section of the North Somerset coastal towns cycle route, the Pier to Pier Way is for commuters, leisure cyclists and tourists.
Wonders of Whinlatter Trail, Lake District
Opening April 2023
The Wonders of Whinlatter Trail will be an immersive and engaging multi-user trail which tells the story of England’s only mountain forest and also highlights what makes the Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site so special. With nine key areas across the five-kilometre trail, visitors will enjoy not only a peaceful forest experience, but also the fascinating story of Whinlatter.
Walk Scilly, Isles of Scilly
15 – 21 April 2023
Now in its 16th year, the much-loved annual walking festival ‘Walk Scilly’ returns to the enchanting Isles of Scilly in spring 2023. The festival, which celebrates the coast paths, beaches, gardens and farmland of Scilly, offers visitors a chance to explore the archipelago through a series of carefully curated guided walks. As ever, reflecting the island’s intrinsic link to the natural world, wildlife and conservation feature prominently on the programme.
Shropshire Castle Cycling Tour, Shropshire
Launching May 2023
Specialist Shropshire cycling tour operator Wheely Wonderful Cycling has a new extended five-day, four-night cycle tour. The theme of the tour is castles, featuring sites in Clun, Montgomery and Ludlow. The moderate cycling route covers approximately 134 miles and features many historical sites and villages with plenty of charm.
Spalding Flower Parade, Lincolnshire
13 May 2023
The fields around the Lincolnshire town of Spalding were once awash with dazzling spring colours, thanks to the area being at the centre of Britain’s tulip growing industry. It was a crop celebrated with a world-famous Flower Parade, until it ended 10 years ago. Now, the famous floral festival is set to bloom again. While the tulip fields may have gone, over 200 million stems a year are still grown here in glasshouses.
Tibetan Discovery Weekend at RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon
26 – 28 May 2023
North Devon’s RHS Garden Rosemoor will welcome eight Tashi Lhunpo Monks as part of their 50th Anniversary Year tour. Over three days they will construct a Sand Mandala, culminating in a special blessing on the Sunday afternoon. The occasion will also allow visitors to hear monastic music and learn about their traditional dress.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London
23 – 27 May 2023
RHS Chelsea Flower Show is known as the world’s greatest flower show, full of cutting-edge garden designs, seasonal floral displays and endless shopping. In 2023, it’s all about how gardens and gardening can help boost our health and wellbeing, with a focus on how gardens can have a restorative effect on us and the environment. Expect to see gardens that help socially deprived communities connect with nature and with each other, hospital gardens, and gardens inspired by brownfield sites.
The Cartford Inn and Bowland & Bay Artisan Foodie Tours, Lancashire
New for 2023, discover the taste of rural Lancashire on a foodie getaway tour from award-winning Cartford Inn and Bowland & Bay Artisan Foodie Tours. These dedicated events take place throughout the year and focus on different aspects of food on offer in the area surrounding The Cartford Inn, with an opportunity to meet the producers. Each tour takes six hours, and is followed by a three-course dinner, overnight stay and breakfast at this stylish inn. Up-and-coming spring tours include 30 March, 13 April and 27 April 2023.
Cultural Events & Exhibitions
Julian Stair: Art, Death and the Afterlife, Norwich
18 March – 17 September 2023
Leading ceramic artist, Julian Stair OBE, presents new works in Art, Death and the Afterlife at The Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. From 12 March the Centre will become the first museum in the UK to adopt a ‘Pay If and What You Can’ ticketing scheme, aiming to open up a world of art to more people. Created in response to the global pandemic, Stair offers commemoration and solace for those who have died and those who have lost loved ones. Around thirty new artworks by the artist, including monumental figural forms, will invite the visitors to contemplate the relationship between the clay vessel and the human body. They will be presented alongside objects from the Sainsbury Centre Collection, selected by the artist to communicate the universality of death as aesthetic inspiration and philosophical inquiry.
Folio 400 Celebration, Nationwide
25 March – 5 November 2023
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, a book that collected 36 of Shakespeare’s plays together in a single volume for the first time, several events will be happening across the country. On Shakespeare’s birthday, Royal Museums Greenwich is offering special tours of their Tudor and Stuart Seafarers Gallery and the Queen’s House, alongside a display of a copy of the Folio itself. Additionally, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Warwickshire will launch a new exhibition exploring the long-lasting legacy of this special volume, featuring one of the original Folios.
Flower Fairies, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Wirral
15 April – 5 November 2023
To mark the 100-year anniversary of Cicely Mary Baker’s first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, the Lady Lever Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition featuring around 45 of Baker’s original illustrations alongside digital projections and costumes inspired by the fairies, designed by Vin Burnham.
Dragcaster at Muncaster Castle, Lake District
29 April 2023
2023 sees Muncaster’s first drag festival, Dragcaster, take place over the Early May Bank Holiday weekend. Bringing a touch of flamboyance to Muncaster, the festival will celebrate all things drag, with performances, music, makeovers and more.
Cotswolds Wool Weekend, Gloucestershire
29 April – 1 May 2023
This new Cirencester event will celebrate the Cotswolds’ wool heritage, bringing together exhibitors, fibre artists, indie dyers, demonstrations, talks, workshops and wool walks, all recognising the journey from farm to fibre.
Luxury and power: Persia to Greece at the British Museum, London
4 May – 13 August 2023
This major exhibition at the British Museum will explore the relationship between luxury and power in the Middle East and southeast Europe between 550-30 BC. Drawing on exquisite objects and star loans, including the Panagyurishte Treasure from Bulgaria, it will explore how the royal Persian court used luxurious items as markers of authority, defining a style that was copied by social classes throughout the empire.
Van Gogh Alive at Brighton Dome, East Sussex
12 May – 6 August 2023
Brighton Dome’s Grade I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre has recently been refurbished and is set to host the Van Gogh Alive for its first event to welcome back visitors. The multi-sensory experience will explore the life and work of the seminal Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Over 3,000 images will be displayed, including iconic works such as Sunflowers and lesser-known paintings.
The Late Shows, NewcastleGateshead
19 – 20 May 2023
Newcastle and Gateshead’s free late-night culture crawl is back in May 2023 with museums, galleries, studio collectives and landmark historical buildings opening after hours to offer hands-on workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, performances and parties. It’s the perfect way to sample the best of Newcastle and Gateshead’s cultural offer in short taster visits. Free admission.
Hot Beds – New Accommodation
Malmaison, Manchester Deansgate
Opening March 2023
With views of the iconic Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall, the Malmaison Manchester Deansgate will have 70 guest rooms paying homage to the retro designs of the 60s and 70s. The hotel will also feature its famous Chez Mal Brasserie alongside SORA, a rooftop garden offering panoramic views of the city.
Hedingham Castle, Essex
Opening March 2023
Live like a king and stay in a fortified stone tower that was built over 900 years ago. This Norman Keep will be the new addition to Hedingham Castle’s accommodation offering and give guests the chance to sleep in a four-poster bed with views of the Essex countryside. Prices will start from £490 per night.
Forty Seven, Manchester
Opening May 2023
Located in vibrant Peter Street, Forty Seven is set to be one of Manchester’s most luxurious hotel openings this year. The hotel will offer 32 bedrooms and will house Asha’s, an Indian cuisine restaurant run by the legendary Bollywood star Asha Bhosle.
New sustainable treehouses at Elmore Court, Gloucestershire
Opening 24 May 2023
In celebration of the 10th anniversary since its opening as a wedding venue, the award-winning Elmore Court will open six new sustainably built treehouses. This will allow visitors beyond those attending private functions to stay on the estate. Each treehouse will operate as a self-serviced holiday let and will feature electric car charging points, cork flooring, poplar ply walls and British cedar cladding with corrugated roofs.
The Three Horseshoes, Somerset
Opening spring 2023
A 17th century coaching inn in the quaint village of Batcombe, Somerset, is undergoing restoration to offer guests a round of drinks, a bite to eat and a place to stay overnight. The face behind this pub with lodgings is Margot Henderson OBE, one of Britain’s most respected and acclaimed chefs, who is hoping to provide guests with heartfelt food using produce from local farmers.
Raffles London at The OWO, London
Opening spring 2023
London’s first Raffles launches as an ultra-luxury hotel in the iconic, Grade II-listed Old War Office on Whitehall. The building is being reborn as The OWO, a flagship hotel with 120 rooms and suites, nine destination restaurants and bars, an immersive spa and a grand ballroom.
Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London
Opening spring 2023
Mandarin Oriental’s second London hotel will open on Hanover Square, the oldest square in Mayfair. The new five-star hotel will be a calming and discreet sanctuary with a vibrant, contemporary atmosphere. Expect the brand’s legendary service and respect for tradition to shine through.
Bike and Boot, Peak District
Opening spring 2023
Bike and Boot will open their second hotel in the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District’s Hope Valley. Their Scarborough hotel won Best Hotel Interior Design of the Year at the Northern Design Awards 2020, so expect the new hotel to be just as thoughtfully designed and created. An outdoor lovers’ type of hotel company based across the North of England with future sites in the Midlands, Wales, and Scotland, Bike and Boot are relaxed, quirky, contemporary and inclusive – so bring your dog, bike or surfboard.