3 March 2015
Reviewed by Emma Salmon
As the cold weather finally appears to be subsiding, many are looking towards the Easter and Summer holidays and thinking about day trips and activities to keep them entertained.
We were invited to the Piccadilly Institute, a centrally located venue with a variety of spaces available for private and corporate events, to discover the best tourist attractions the South East has to offer to tempt us this year. Representatives from destination tourism departments were on hand to inform about special events and new attractions in each region. More information can be found in the links below, which will take you to the event listings for specific areas.
One new attraction of note is the incredible double zip wire in Bournemouth – carrying riders 80 feet above the sea it is the world’s first Pier to Shore wire, and the double line allows friends to race each other, or even for couples to propose!
2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carter and events are being held in Kent and Windsor to mark the occasion. Other anniversaries which will be celebrated across the region are 200 years since Waterloo, 50 years since the death of Churchill, 25 years of PRIDE, 150 years since the birth of Rudyard Kipling, and next year sees the Battle of Hastings 950th anniversary.
As well as the attractions there has been a rise in the phenomenon of ‘Stay-cationing’ as many now choose to take short breaks and longer stays in the UK, discovering the joys of our beautiful and varied country. As well as a plethora of hotels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation – ranging from picture postcard historical cottages to chic and stylish boutique hotels, offering a choice to suit anyone’s taste and pocket, there is an amazing array of eco and glamping options for those who like camping but need a little more luxury. Port Lyme zoo offers several types of glamping out on the safari park’s estate, and this year opens an amazing treehouse hotel. Across the region there are a great selection of yurts, ecopods, shepherd’s huts and other often bizarre, yet creative, sites.
New attractions are opening this year – the ‘People’s Pier’ on Hastings seafront, Dreamland Heritage Park in Margate, Liz Earle’s Horticultural Oasis on the Isle of Wight, exhibitions at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, new areas in both Legoland and Paultons theme parks, and the stunning Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery in Laverstock Mill (who kindly sponsored the event).
All in all, with more sunny days than any other part of the UK, a wealth of events and festivals spanning the whole year, and more choice of places to stay than can be imagined, why not try the South East for a break that you will remember for ever.
Some useful websites to visit are: