Let’s take a hopscotch tour through the UK in order to better help you tap into these markets. We have a few snippets of how the UK is positioning each of these locations this year to gain travelers, plus there are a few new hotels and attractions, too.
For those visiting Northern Ireland, Belfast has had a rejuvenation in recent years, according to Siobhan McManamy, director of markets, Tourism Ireland. There’s a new street art walking tour in the Cathedral Quarter, and biking tours are gaining popularity as well. By the end of the year there will be an additional 1,200 new hotel rooms in Belfast. Two of these new openings are the 32-room Bishops Gate Hotel in Derry, a high-end boutique hotel, and Bullitt Hotel, which opened in October 2016. (tourismireland.com)
In Wales, there are a few new hotel openings, as well, including the Exchange Hotel, Indigo Hotel Cardiff, the 18-guestroom Pale Hall, The Grove, the 19-room Swan at Hay Hotel, and Bluestone, among others. And, at the new attraction, Surf Snowdonia (surfsnowdonia.com), guests can surf in a 984-ft. surf lagoon in the world’s first inland surf lagoon. (visitwales.com)
In London, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first “Harry Potter” book takes place on June 26. In celebration of the anniversary, Warner Bros. Studios (wbstudiotour.co.uk) launched a new expansion to its Harry Potter tour on March 31—The Forbidden Forest—where guests get to walk through Hogwarts Gates deep into the forest and encounter Buckbeak and Aragog.
But that’s not all that’s happening in this vibrant city. A few new hotels will spring up this year, including the five-star hotel The Ned, the 150-guestroom Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, the 120-room The Curtain Hotel & Members Club, the 583-room Ibis Styles Piccadilly Circus, and Hard Rock Hotel London. (visitlondon.com)
Moving over to Brighton & Hove, this summer 400 bikes will be available at 40 hubs throughout the area for public use. As England’s only beachside city, Brighton is known as a festival city, offering more outdoor events than any other city in the country throughout the year. In May, this year’s Brighton Festival will feature Brighton Festival Exclusive: For the Birds, an immersive nighttime journey through sound and light via installations of sound, light, and moving sculptures within the Sussex woodland. There’s also the The Great Escape on May 18-20—a festival focused on new music showcasing 450 emerging artists from around the world throughout 30 walkable venues across the city. Paddle Round the Pier takes place July 1-2 and showcases events and competitive watersports in the sea; and in the autumn months the comedy and digital festivals take place. The season ends on Dec. 21 with the Burning the Clocks event that celebrates the shortest day of the year by making paper and willow lanterns, parading them through the city, and then throwing them into a blazing bonfire on Brighton beach as an indication of the year’s end.
Later this year in Brighton, the new spa retreat, Proud Country House Hotel & Spa, opens in Stanmer Park. (visitbrighton.com)