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England gears up for first National Tourism Week

England gears up for first National Tourism Week

In celebration of English Tourism week, Peak Walking is offering 2 for the price of 1 on a number of picturesque guided walks in the region between 10-18 March. Choose from popular routes that include Charms of Chatsworth, the Kinder Scot walk and Derwent Valley.  See for more information and booking details.

Those that prefer to stay in reach of the bright lights can join a free guided walk through Bristol with a local guide exploring the city’s historic port, old town and markets, city centre and new Harbourside.  Running at 11am on 17th March, the walk will start from the Tourist Information Centre on Harbourside.

Alternatively, make like an Olympian and take to the open road on a cycling trip in the Surrey hills. Just Pedal is offering guided cycling trips for just £15 between 10 – 18 March. The price includes a guided ride taking in the highlights of the 2012 Olympic road race, on-ride snacks and a pub lunch. See for more information.

Learn a New Skill
Learn the intricacies of English wines on a tour and tasting in Kent. To mark English Tourism Week, the award-winning Chapel Down is offering two guided tours for the price of one from Sunday 10th March to Friday 16th March.  All Guided Tours include a wine tasting, naturally.  Additionally Biddenden Vineyard and The Carr Taylor Vineyard are both offering a free vineyard trail and wine tasting throughout English Tourism Week. / /

Have a go at painting in watercolour against the inspiring backdrop of the Norfolk Broads. Linda Matthews is a renowned Norfolk Artist and a Tutor, and during English Tourism Week she will be running free watercolour taster sessions at her studio. The two hour slots must be pre booked.


Entertain the Kids
Stamford Bridge, Chelsea Football Club, is offering free behind-the-scenes stadium tours to children accompanying a paying adult between 10 – 18 March in recognition of English Tourism Week. Pre-book at and quote ‘NTWEEK’ at time of booking. Up to four free children (under 16 only) if accompanied by one paying adult. Tours must be pre-booked.

Drayton Manor Theme Park’s 2012 season begins on Saturday 17th March, making it a great place to celebrate English Tourism Week with the whole family.  The award-winning Drayton Manor is packed with amazing rides and attractions, including Europe’s only Thomas Land, which features 20 rides and attractions based on the ever-popular Thomas & Friends series, such as Cranky’s Drop Tower and the Troublesome Trucks Coaster and the newest addition, Blue Mountain Engines. Visitors can also enjoy exploring the 15-acre zoo, which has a Sumatran tiger, monkeys and primates, a meerkat mob, a pair of highly endangered black leopards, as well as various birds of prey and reptiles. To pre-book discounted entry tickets visit 

SEARCH Education Centre in Gosport Hampshire has a drop-in Family Open Day on Saturday 17th March. This museum opens up the fascinating world of animal abilities. Find out which animal swims the fastest, jumps the highest and travels the furthest, and make top trumps cards to play the Olympic Animals games with your friends. No need to book, just turn up - children must be accompanied by an adult. Free of charge.

And Spoil Their Mum
Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire is offering mothers’ entry for just £5 this Mother’s Day. Mums can gain entry for just £5 on 18th March for a fun packed family visit to the Zoo. Normal admission charges apply for other adults and children.

Stroll the beautiful 18th century landscape of Painshill Park in Surrey this mother’s day – free to mothers accompanied by their children. Treat her to afternoon tea afterwards in the café for a special mother’s day treat.

Show your mum just how much you rate her cooking by entering her into Bodiam Castle’s cake baking competition. Cake entries will be accepted on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th March and the winner will not only receive a trophy and goody bag, but will also have their cake named after them and recreated for sale in the Tea Room for the whole of April.

Get Cultured
From 16 – 18 March, BBC Radio 4’s ‘More than Words’ festival will broadcast live from Bristol, bringing a free three-day festival of spoken word events. All the station’s favourite programmes will be broadcast from the festival, including ‘Desert Island Discs’ - which is celebrating 70 years on the air this year.

Opening its doors for the first time on 17 March, The Jerwood Gallery is the new home for the Jerwood Collection of 20th and 21st Century British Art in Hastings.  The Gallery also holds a range of paintings by leading contemporary British painters and showcases a changing programme of exhibitions.

Meanwhile in the Peak District, 11th March marks the beginning of the 2012 season at Chatsworth House and will start a very special season at the property. Revealing clean stonework, repaired carvings and shining gold windows on the south and west façades of the house after extensive restoration, the house will hold seasonal displays throughout the year to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

Also during English Tourism Week, 4 Poofs and a Piano return to the stage at Norden Farm. The foursome made their name on BBC1’s award winning Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and have since performed on ITV’s An Audience with Neil Diamond and toured with Joan Collins. Their new show brings their popular brand of irreverent, humour together with lush harmonies. Tickets £16 (£14 conc).