The previous attractions post has been updated to remove items for September 2018 and earlier.
Putting nationwide suggestions together without informed contributions and recommendations from other VA members is very time consuming. Without your feedback it is difficult to judge whether this information is useful to you.
For future articles of this nature, I will continue to publish suggestions from my own experiences from travelling in the UK, although these will to a large extent, relate to the South and West of England. As always, I would really welcome contributions from our members nationwide and thank the small number of you who have put forward helpful information and comments over the last year.
3rdto 7th October– Nottingham Goose Fair– perhaps this could form the basis of a Casual Event for those travelling south, prior to the VA AGM in Malvern? The fair is one of Europe's largest travelling fairs with a history that dates back more than 700 years.
4th October to 4th November – The Enchanted Forest- Forestry Commission Scotland's Faskally Wood in Highland, Perthshire is holder of the Scottish Outdoor Leisure Award for Best Outdoor Festival as well as Scotland's Best Large Event, this Autumn illumination display could light up your visit to Scotland.
17th to 20th October– Robin Hood Beer and Cider Festival, Nottingham– the festival will feature over 1,000 real ales and 200 ciders so it sounds like there should be something for everybody’s taste here!
19th to 21st October– Dartmouth Food Festival, Devon - with a tempting mix of delicious regional food and drink, chef demonstrations, workshops, lively food debates and fun for all the family.
2nd to 3rd November – Light up Lancaster - experience a magical after-dark light-art trail that literally shines a new light on the city’s familiar places, with massive projections, artworks and installations illuminating handsome historic buildings, squares, parks and monuments.
3rd November– Carlisle Fire Show – Bitts Park, Nr. Carlisle Castle – this very popular spectacle will be the 31st event of its kind attracting visitors from all over the country. Each year the bonfire is constructed to a theme. Entertainment is provided before the bonfire is lit and it is followed by a 20 minute firework display. There are a number of caravan parks close to Carlisle.
NB The link above includes pictures of last years’ event.
3rd November – Bridgewater Guy Fawkes Carnival, Somerset– this is the first in a series of spectacular illuminated carnivals held during November throughout Somerset. If you have never seen one of these illuminated carnivals with their giant floats, you will be in for a real treat. On a cold autumn evening, you need to take your coat off as the heat of the lights on the huge floats warms up the spectators. There are several caravan sites in the area, some detailed on the linked websites, as well as caravan rallies, but you need to be quick as these book up really fast. Details of other Somerset carnivals can be found [Here]
10th November – Lord Mayor’s Show, City of London– this elaborate parade, featuring dancers, horses, military marching bands and more, as the City of London celebrates its newly elected mayor with the 800-year-old tradition.
17th November to 20th December – Winchester Christmas Market- is recognized as one of the best markets of its kind in Europe. The Lantern Parade, held in the Cathedral Outer Close on 30th November is also worth attending if you are in the area.
24th to 25th November- Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre – “Eat Drink and Be Merry” the website proclaims is what can be achieved at this 20th anniversary of this annual seasonal fairFayre. Martin Wickson visited a couple of years ago and recommends booking in at the Ludlow Touring Park. This is a 20 minute walk from the town; essential for avoiding parking problems. The site will also arrange a taxi shuttle at a nominal charge.
Combine your visit to the lights with a visit to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. A great location to get together with family and friends for a festive adventure with ice skating, fairground rides, big top shows, Christmas markets and seasonal food under sparkling Christmas lights.
For something really special, Knightsbridge and Harrods are close to Hyde Park. Expensive Christmas shopping but a walk around to experience the store at this time of year is Free.
As usual there are many seasonal events planned for the festive season throughout the UK. Below is a selection from around the country. Check out this link for many more events [Here]
1st to 3rd December- Victorian Festival of Christmas, Portsmouth – held inside the historic Royal Naval Dockyard with its many Victorian buildings as the back drop for this annual event. Street actors play out the part of people who would be found in late 19thCentury England complete with artificial snow to make the seasonal scene complete.
6thto 9th December- Lincoln Christmas Market– the cathedral quarter is transformed into a winter wonderland for this annual event.
1st, 2nd, 8th& 9th December- Grassington Dickensian Christmas Festival– no excuse is required to spend a few days in the Yorkshire Dales and for those in the area, this looks like an event worth adding to your itinerary.
31st December– Edinburgh Hogmanay- Year after year the Hogmanay street party brings something new: Torchlight Procession, Carnival, Street Theatre and more.
PERMANENT ATTRACTIONS RECOMMENDED BY MEMBERS
The International Bomber Command Visitor Centre Lincoln was officially opened in April. This new attraction is well worth visiting if you are in the area. The visitors centre, which is open six days a week between 0930 and 1700, includes the UK's tallest war memorial, dedicated to those involved with Bomber Command during WWII.
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent– is celebrating its’ 400thanniversary this year and has some special events arranged between April and October. The 80-acre site includes three historic ships plus gardens, exhibitions and galleries.
Followers of the successful TV series, Call the Midwife may be interested to know that the dockyard has formed the backdrop for many of the show’s most iconic scenes. A Call the Midwife location tour is available until 28th October.