From D-Day to Dior
Seven absolutely fabulous reasons to visit the UK in 2019
IT’S A mix of old and new in the UK this year, from historic celebrations around the bicentenary of Queen Victoria’s birth and the 75th anniversary of D-Day, to the largest exhibition of van Gogh’s works in a decade.
1. Get ready to rock
One of London’s loudest launches has to be the Hard Rock Hotel. It’s on the site of the former Cumberland Hotel, whose previous guests included Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Madonna. Opening in March, it will have 1000 rooms, two bars and a Hard Rock Cafe.
2. Remember D-Day
June 6 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and celebrations are planned in the UK and Northern France. The Imperial War Museums’ Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast in London and IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire are hosting events from June 1–9. In Portsmouth, the new D-Day Story museum has moving exhibitions and memorabilia.
3. Revel in the Royals
The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is hosting the exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex from June to October, including Meghan’s Givenchy wedding dress. It is also 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace and it’s hosting a new exhibition in her former rooms, from May. Buckingham Palace is open to visitors from July–September.
4. London’s new neighbourhood
Just when you think you’ve sussed out everywhere to see in London there comes a new neighbourhood, Coal Drops Yard near King’s Cross. This arty shopping precinct has been developed from Victorian coalyards and the cobbled streets and arches revitalised, housing bars, cafes and shops.
5. Go for van Gogh
Tate Britain has announced the largest exhibition of Vincent van Gogh’s work in the UK for nearly a decade. Running March to August, The EY Exhibition: van Gogh and Britain, showcases 40 of the artist’s most famous works and looks at van Gogh’s relationship with Britain – he lived in London in his youth – and the British art, literature and culture he was inspired by, from Constable to Dickens.
6. Catch the cricket
Britain will be on the itineraries of sports fans next year with two major competitions, the Cricket World Cup between May and July, followed by the Ashes in August and September.
7. Adore Dior
Fashion lovers will be frilled London’s V&A is hosting Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, the largest exhibition of the designer in the UK so far. Highlights include his outfits for prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn and the gorgeous gown worn by Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday. The exhibition runs from February to July.
ROYAL WEDDING: The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will house a special exhibition to commemorate the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding from June.