From D-Day to Dior

Seven ab­so­lutely fab­u­lous rea­sons to visit the UK in 2019

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - ESCAPE - KERRY PAR­NELL es­cape.com.au

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.

Photo: iStock

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.

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