See in the Season Across England – Autumn Equinox 22 September

22 September is the Autumn Equinox and the first day of England’s most gloriously colourful – and some would say delicious – season.

Source: See in the Season Across England – Autumn Equinox 22 September


8 Reasons to Love the Historic North East

Heritage Calling

This Sunday tens of thousands of people will take part in the largest half marathon in the world. Now in its 36th year, the Great North Run kicks off in Newcastle and ends on the seafront at South Shields, taking in a number of historical landmarks along the way.

Whether you’re a runner or a spectator, here’s a quick guide to some of our favourite heritage highlights along the Great North Run:

Exhibition Park

Exhibition park 2008 Exhibition park 2008 © Historic England Archive

Starting on Claremont Road, the Great North Run takes in Exhibition Park, which got its name from a history of showcasing local industry.  In 1887 it was the site of the Royal Mining Engineering Jubilee Exhibition, part of a wider celebration for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It drew over 2 million visitors, with exhibits including gardens, a theatre, art galleries and photography.

The only remnant from…

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From Factory to Fireside: 6 Marvellous Model Villages

Heritage Calling

The later years of the industrial revolution brought about a radical change in living conditions for a lucky few.

Some industrial entrepreneurs moved their enterprises away from the choked towns and cities to rural areas and created purpose-built villages to house their work force. The new estates rescued workers from the cramped slum dwellings of overcrowded towns and cities, providing housing in airy, sanitary ‘model villages’, often complete with school, chapel and recreational facilities.

Here’s a tour of 6 industries from soap to shoes and their wonderful worker’s villages:

Textiles and Saltaire Model Village, Shipley

aa039287.tif View along Titus Street, Saltaire © Historic England

In the 1850s, wool industrialist Titus Salt relocated all five of his mills from Bradford to a new rural site near the River Aire, and close to the canal and railway, fulfilling all transport and waterpower needs for his operation. Near the mills, Salt built ‘Saltaire’, a…

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Andrew Logan sculpture comes to Buckland Abbey, former home of Sir Francis Drake

National Trust Press Office

‘The Art of Reflection’ from 1 July 2017

An exhibition of contemporary art by the renowned sculptor Andrew Logan will open on Saturday 1 July at the National Trust’s Buckland Abbey in Devon.

‘The Art of Reflection’ interprets the history and spirit of the abbey in 18 Logan sculptures, placed in 13 selected locations throughout the house and gardens, including the Great Barn, Kitchen Garden and the historic Cart Pond.

The exhibition, one of the largest ever staged by the National Trust in collaboration with one artist, is curated jointly by Buckland Abbey and Andrew Logan, with work selected from five decades of the artist’s career.

A major attraction will be Andrew Logan’s new jewel and painted glass portrait of Sir Francis Drake, Buckland’s most celebrated owner.

Drake’s Portrait 2017, photo Steve Haywood/National Trust

‘The Art of Reflection’ has been organised under the conservation charity’s          …

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10 Dramatic Coastal Sites to Visit this Summer

Heritage Calling

In his new book England’s Maritime Heritage from the Air Peter Waller presents a stunning array of images of our coastal heritage from the Historic England archives.

In celebration of the book’s launch, Joe Flatman, Head of Listing Programmes, tells us about 10 coastal sites in England which are open to the public, and are worth a visit at any time of the year.

Tell us about your favourite coastal heritage sites in the comments.

1. Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland, Grade I listed.

LINDISFARNE PRIORY, Northumberland. Aerial view. Lindisfarne Priory © Historic England

Originally a 16th century castle, Lindisfarne was converted in 1902 into a luxury family home by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for Edward Hudson, the founder of Country Life magazine. The castle affords fine views of the nearby coastline and walks around Lindisfarne Island, including the site of the nearby Anglo-Saxon priory. The island is only accessible via a…

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Get set for summer in Shakespeare’s England

Shakespeare’s England invites you to spend a sizzling Summer in and around the historic region of central England with a host of special activities and events that are lined up for all the family.

There is so much to see and look forward to with everything from an outdoor theatre performance, enjoying a picnic at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, experiencing the new Wars of the Roses Live at Warwick Castle, staying overnight in a tree pod, listening to live music or taking part in one of many exciting Festivals!

During the summer month weekends, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, ‘The Dell’, will play host to a range of student, community and semi-professional productions.  Performances kick off on 3 June and continue until 27 August.  The Dell is situated on the banks of the River Avon in Avonbank Gardens. Entrance is free. Stratford-upon-Avon river scene


 Pack a picnic and bring the family to the annual Big Picnic celebrations at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage on 29 July. Enjoy garden games, musical entertainment and browse stalls filled with goods. Free entry for CV37 residents. Madcap Theatre Productions return to Mary Arden’s Farm with their new production of As You Like It from 14 – 15 July from 6pm – 10pm. Oddsocks Theatre also returns to the farm with Macbeth on 28 July and Romeo and Juliet on 29 July. Doors open 6.30pm, performance starts at 7.30pm.

Shakespeares Birthplace low res

War is coming to Warwick Castle from 22 July – 3 September with an all-new horseback jousting spectacle.  Families must pledge allegiance to either the House of York or the House of Lancaster and join a 2,000-strong cheering crowd in the jousting arena as the pummeling of horses’ hooves and the splintering of lances reverberates throughout Wars of the Roses LIVE.  The spectacle is included in castle admission at no extra cost.

Jousting at Warwick Castle

Stay overnight in a Tree Pod with a private hot tub at Wootton Park. The 2 Tree Pods, named Heavens Above! and Over the Moon, are ensuite and self-catering and sit 10 feet up on stilts in the trees.  The price is £175 per night (Sunday – Thursday) and £195 (Friday & Saturday) with a minimum 2 night stay. Take advantage of an offer in the summer from Sunday – Wednesday. Get the second night half price at just £262 instead of £350. Each pod includes a bed, bedding, shower, toilet, wash basin, sofa, TV, kitchenette with hob, fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle, plus crockery, cutlery, glasses and pans.

The Victorian gardens at Hill Close Gardens in Warwick provide the setting for a weekend of Arts & Crafts from 19 – 20 August. Artists and craftspeople will demonstrate their talents and run workshops. Visitors of all ages can appreciate the skills of painting, poetry, music, literature, ceramics, printing, woodcarving, spinning and weaving, textiles and quilt-making. Entry is £4 for adults, £1 for children (free for under 5s, HCGT and RHS members).

Visit the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick on 28 August for its Garden open day.  The gem of this 500 year old garden is open from 10am – 5pm. Residents of Warwick are admitted free of charge. Normal cost for garden entry is £2. Enjoy cream teas served on the lawn (extra charge).

Experience the sights and sounds at Kenilworth Castle in the interwar years with a celebration of 1930s style and technology inspired by motoring pioneer Sir John Siddeley, the former owner of Kenilworth Castle on 22 July along with all the fun of a vintage fair. Clash of the Knights takes place on 27 August. Experience this all-action contest as knights on horseback and on foot battle it out in a test of strength and skill.

Celebrate Jane Austen’s 200 year celebration on 18 July at Stoneleigh Abbey.  Tours of the house will take place at 11.30am, 1pm, and 2.30pm when guests can find out about her connection to the Abbey and the Leigh family. Local Historian Sheila Woolf will also be giving a talk. The cost of entry to the grounds is £5 per adult and £1 for children over 4.  The tours and talk is offered free of charge.

Stoneleigh Abbey

In celebration of its 20th anniversary Battle Proms returns to Ragley Hall on 12 August. This year the Red Devils, the British Army and Parachute Regiment’s official display team will perform their spectacular freefall demonstration. The concert takes place by the lake, creating breathtaking pyrotechnic effects with cannon fire and fireworks.  Camper Calling returns from 25 – 28 August and will be headlined by Cast, Reef and The Lightning Seeds. This family festival offers a multitude of activities to keep everyone entertained.

Discover the new British Motoring Treasures Exhibition and enjoy a treasure trove of summer activities at the British Motor Museum.  Every day visitors can become a treasure hunter and seek out hidden treasures in a family trail or join in on a family costumed tour. Every Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm are themed family crafts where visitors can make their own motoring treasure out of junk. A photo will be taken of their creation and displayed on the cool wall.

Watch the Bowls England National Championships in Royal Leamington Spa from 5 August – 3 September which attracts 30,000 players and supporters. Players have competed in events across England to reach the final stages, with more than 30 national titles up for grabs. Spectators are invited to see some top-class bowls plus there will be an opportunity for those new to the sport to participate in various coaching sessions. Free entry.

The award winning 9th Stratford River Festival returns to the banks of the River Avon on the 1 & 2 July. It is the largest family friendly free event held in Stratford with over 70,000 visitors expected to enjoy events on and off the river, market stalls, entertainment and fireworks display. The Stratford Food Festival will place from 23 – 24 September with over 100 stalls across 3 town centre areas.

River Festival 2.jpg

Warwick Folk Festival takes place from 27 – 30 July featuring contemporary and traditional folk arts from the UK and beyond. The line-up includes the entertaining Australian Spooky Men’s Chorale, the mighty Oysterband, award winning Goitse (Ireland) and Gaelica (Venezuela), the first folk-comedy night and an evening with DJ & war correspondent Andy Kershaw. There are also ceilidhs, more for families with circus skills, storytelling, theatre and crafts, plus a programme of workshops spanning music, song, arts and even star gazing! Tickets cost from £19 for a concert or from £107 for the weekend.

The Leamington Food & Drink Festival is on the 9 & 10 September at the Pump Room Gardens, offering chance to experience the best of Leamington’s food and drink in this immensely popular event.


For more suggestions on things to do in Shakespeare’s England, plus ideas on recommended accommodation and restaurants in the area, visit


Shakespeare’s England is the official destination management organisation for Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Districts. It is a public-private sector partnership representing the leading tourism businesses and organisations in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Royal Leamington Spa, Kenilworth and surrounding market towns and villages.


Look forward to a summer of contemporary art at National Trust places

National Trust Press Office

This summer, visitors to the National Trust will be able to explore and celebrate the places in its care through a series of creative programming, exhibitions, visual arts, crafts and architecture as part of its Trust New Art programme.

Trust New Art is a programme of contemporary arts run by the National Trust in partnership with Arts Council England since 2009.

Many Trust houses and gardens were built with art at their hearts, and Trust New Art continues this creative legacy, introducing new audiences to well-known and up-and-coming artists.

Exploring the often complex themes and collections of National Trust properties, Trust New Art offers a different way to approach the stories that have shaped some of the country’s best known houses, gardens and landscapes.

Visitors will be able to see a variety of new art, including large installations, film and theatrical performances, carving and sculpture.

Grace Davies, Trust New Art…

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