From huge anniversaries to new openings, 2020 promises to be another top year for group travel. Here’s a round-up of some of the big announcements to keep on the radar:
VE Day’s 75th anniversary
Massive parties and celebrations are set to sweep across the nation on the weekend of 8th – 10th May to celebrate 75 years since the end of World War Two. A number of different attractions will host their own celebrations to commemorate the occasion, such as Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire – the home of the code breakers. The site will hold its own retro party, featuring live 1940s music, dancing, delicious food & drink and much more to celebrate the occasion. Other highlights include the National Memorial Arboretum’s special remembrance service in Staffordshire, plus the Imperial War Museum London will explore the meaning of victory through collections, stories and live events.
Revisiting the past at Bodmin Jail
The former home of some of Britain’s notorious murderers will reopen in May following a huge £40 million redevelopment to enhance the visitor experience. The attraction in Cornwall will introduce a range of new additions, including a ‘Dark Walk’ experience to bring back the memories of its former inmates. The prison will aim to offer a haunting day out for the whole group when complete.
Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday
As well as a series of different events linked to the Lady with the Lamp for her bicentenary year, groups wanting to learn more about the famous nurse can visit the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. The collection consists of personal material associated with Florence Nightingale, items relating to the Crimean War and nursing artefacts. Guided tours around the museum are available for groups.
125 years of the National Trust
The organisation which helps preserve some of the country’s best historical sites will celebrate its 125th anniversary. Sites looked after by the Trust up and down the country will host special events to celebrate a momentous day in its history including Croome Court in Worcestershire. The mansion will house a year-long Acorn to Oak exhibition featuring paintings of favourite National Trust properties by artist Jilly Oxlade-Arnott. Entry is included in the admission price.
Exciting additions for Kynren’s outdoor spectacular
Made up of 1,000 cast and crew members on a 7.5 acre stage, Kynren – An Epic Tale of England is an annual outdoor event in County Durham which showcases 2,000 years of English history. There’s lots of new additions to this year’s spectacle, such as a Horse Stunt Show which is made up of horse-riding stunts, chariot races and live jousting and a Maze of Fame where visitors can meet a host of characters inside. Live Music on the Lake and a Food Hall are new attractions for this year allowing visitors to grab a bite to eat and relax by the lakeside.
Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s big openings
The London Wetland centre will host a contemporary year-long art programme (March 2020 – March 2021), featuring new sculptural, installation, video and textile works by ten artists ‘exploring the paradoxes of conservation within wetlands’. The Slimbridge centre in Gloucestershire will be transformed to include eight immersive and inspirational exhibits, including the newly opened Sir Peter Scott Museum. Other openings at the Gloucestershire attraction includes a Waterscapes Aviary (opening summer 2020) and a new Estuary Tower, complete with a lift so all members of the group can take in the fine views overlooking the Severn river. Arundel Wetland Centre in west Sussex will also open an aviary in the summer.
Incredible improvements for the home of Wordsworth
Dove Cottage in the Lake District, the home of famous writer William Wordsworth and his wife Dorothy, will reopen on 7th April on the official anniversary of his 250th birthday following a big refurbishment project. This will then be accompanied by the opening of the neighbouring museum in the summer, which will comfortably display the writer’s manuscripts, books and fine art, as well as new interpretations of his work for a more interactive experience. Some of the cottage’s improvements include the restoration of its interiors and recreation of the writer’s orchard garden.
A new RHS garden to visit
The wait for the first RHS garden to open in just under 20 years is nearly over, with the attraction aiming to swing its gates open for groups in 2020. RHS Bridgewater, near Salford in Manchester, is set to be a spectacular 154-acre garden, transforming the historic grounds of Worsley New Hall into a beautiful green place for the local community and visitors to enjoy all year-round. Groups visiting RHS gardens benefit from a range of perks including special offers and guided tours.
You’ll find lots of brilliant ideas for your next group trip at the 2020 Group Leisure & Travel Show on Thursday 8th October at Stadium MK’s Marshall Arena. To find out more about how the GLT Show can help you, why not watch what some of last year’s exhibitors and visitors had to say here?
If you’re interested in exhibiting at the show, contact Sharon Yandell on 01908 613323 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org