There’s a lot happening in Britain next year, from great sporting events to major literary anniversaries, exciting new cultural experiences through to blockbuster hotel openings. Here are ten great events to look forward to over the coming months.
1. Shakespeare 450
2014 marks 450 years since Shakespeare was born. His birthplace Stratford-Upon-Avon, will celebrate his legacy with events throughout the year and a ‘Shakespeare Week’ in March. In London, home of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a brand new Jacobean Theatre will be unveiled in January. Confirmed on the bill are three plays, an opera and candlelit concerts.
2. Tour de France – le Grand Départ from Yorkshire
Yorkshire will kick-off the Grand Départ for the Tour de France. While the July race will be gruelling for the participating cyclists; fans and spectators will be able to take in the picture-postcard views offered by the two National Parks – the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors and partake of the fantastic food. The Tour de France will then head to the university city of Cambridge before going on to London.
3. Sport in Scotland
Glasgow, host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games next July, has never been more vibrant, buzzing and ready to show off. Experience the arts and music, from piping to clubbing, in this UNESCO Heritage City of Music. Explore serene Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park that are within an hour from Glasgow. Then in September it’s all about golf, with the Ryder Cup due to take place at the legendary Gleneagles, in Perthshire.
4. Homecoming Scotland
Homecoming is a celebration of Scotland through a year-long series of events - from mass participation to small community activity. The five themes that Homecoming will explore are food and drink, active, creative, natural and ancestry.
5. Re-opening of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
London’s triangle-tipped Olympic Stadium will re-open to the public under its new name, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. From Spring 2014, the Park will present an array of visitor attractions, from being entertained at concerts in the Stadium, to trying out the Velodrome and Olympic standard swimming pools.
6. Commemorating World War I
2014 marks one hundred years since the outbreak of World War I. The Imperial War Museums (IWM) was established in 1917 while the War was still being fought. IWM London will re-open next year with groundbreaking new First World War Galleries, while IWM North, in Manchester, will have a major First World War exhibition. Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, will hold a World War One exhibition from February.
7. Dylan Thomas 100
2014 also marks the one hundred year birth anniversary of Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet and writer, famous for Under Milk Wood and poems such as ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’. The writer’s life and works will be celebrated with a year-long programme of events all over Wales, including Swansea, where he was born and the pretty seaside village of Laugharne, where he lived.
8. Celebrating Glyndebourne and the Henley Royal Regatta
2014 marks the 80th birthday of the Sussex opera festival Glyndebourne (May to August) and the 175th anniversary of the rowing race the Henley Royal Regatta (July). As well as showing the best in arts and sports respectively, Glyndebourne and Henley are both prime occasions for people-watching and dressing up.
9. Accommodation trends
Value mixed with cutting edge technology looks set to be a key priority in 2014. At the other end of the spectrum, the appetite for luxury country hotels continues unabated.
10. Top class culture
Culture is one of Britain’s key strengths, and 2014 is no exception with its offer of exhibitions, theatre, musicals and film. Early in the year, the National Portrait Gallery in London presents Bailey’s Stardust, a landmark exhibition of the photographer David Bailey. On stage, the new musical I Can’t Sing! will bring the X Factor to life from March, while Sam Mendes will direct King Lear at the National Theatre early in the year.
Catch up on all the action. Plan your 2014 holiday to Britain now.