If you’re planning an England travel adventure, there are delightful new ways to explore England in 2018, including tree top experiences, cultural trails that uncover England’s rich heritage and the latest foodie hubs.

So whether you fancy climbing the canopy in the New Forest; discovering a unique digital trail in Norfolk; sightseeing in the Salisbury Plains or enjoying street food delights served out of a shipping container in York – these England travel ideas are worth experiencing.

Tree top camping

With a new Robin Hood film out in the spring, there’s never been a better time to take to the treetops like the legendary outlaw on your England travel. Branch out with recreational tree climbing expert Goodleaf, which will be rolling out its new tree top camping experience to travel lovers in 2018, the first of its kind on the Isle of Wight. Located in the grounds of historic Jacobean manor house Northcourt in Shorwell, climbers will learn the ropes, before spending the night in a special ‘Tree Boat’, high in the canopy of a beautiful 15 metre beech tree.

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Tree top camping

Robin Hood Festival

With the re-opening of the new Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre in early 2018, the Forest is also the setting for the annual Robin Hood Festival in mid-August – a merry, medieval gala of entertainment, food and drink, activities, and live-action re-enactments, bringing Robin Hood’s exploits to life. How’s that for an awesome England travel adventure?

Timber – The only international forest festival in the UK

Also new for 2018 – Timber is an extraordinary new festival where music, art, philosophy and sustainability will weave together into an exhilarating weekend in the heart of the National Forest, one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects. Taking place from 6 – 8 July 2018, it will be the only international forest festival in the UK. Festival goers will experience the transformative impact of forests with artists, musicians, scientists and thinkers from across the world. Created by the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus, award-winning producers of the Just So Festival, the experiences that Timber will offer, alongside early-bird tickets and boutique camping, have been announced ahead of a full programme release in early 2018.

Timber Festival - into the woods credit Andrew Allcock

Photo: Andrew Allcock

Cultural trails

Cultural trails are popping up around England in 2018, with a whole host of travel routes dedicated to great England travel experiences and for exploring its rich cultural heritage in new and exciting ways. To mark the 50th anniversary for Norfolk Coast and the Kent Downs, The LifeCycles and Landscapes project in Norfolk will place large-scale outdoor artistic and heritage works on sites along the ancient 400-mile Icknield Way from Dorset to the Norfolk Coast AONB, culminating with events at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival (11 – 27 May), plus there will be new Discovering Britain walks along the Kent Downs.

Great Exhibition of The North

Science and industry meet art and design for the Great Exhibition of The North (22 June – 9 September), a one-off celebration of everything that’s great about the north of England. Expect a summer of amazing exhibits, inspired technology, vibrant street performance, cutting-edge culture, set to the overarching theme of ‘The Blazing World – The Fires of Invention’.

The opening weekend, ‘Get North’, is the event’s first headline moment and the opening ceremony at the NewcastleGateshead Quayside will feature a bridge of illuminated drones over the River Tyne. The closing weekend promises a powerful Creating the Future theme. Throughout the Great Exhibition, travel lovers will be able to explore NewcastleGateshead’s dynamic cityscape on three themed walking routes: the ‘Seeing in Wonder’ art route, ‘Thinking in Style’ design route, and ‘Dreaming in WOW’ innovation route.

Meanwhile, the BALTIC art gallery will invite five northern and five international artists to create work on the exhibition’s themes. Manchester has many events planned, including a series of water sculptures that are activated every day throughout the exhibition, a two-mile-long soundscape, and a Story of the North in 100 objects, with one object profiled each day in the run up to the exhibition launch.

Liverpool’s Biennial

For a celebration of contemporary art, travel to Liverpool’s Biennial (14 July – 28 October 2018). Every two years, the city’s public places, unused buildings and galleries showcase thought-provoking contemporary art. Founded in 1998, the Biennial has commissioned 305 new artworks and presented work by more than 450 artists from around the world.

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Photo: Mark Mcnulty

Gastro Hubs: England’s independent food scene

England’s indie food scene has grown massively in the past few years. Next year will see a whole host of new ‘gastro-hubs’, housed in shipping containers, sprouting up across the country, offering foodies a delicious array of street food delights from independent, local suppliers. Famous foodie Mecca Box Park is opening a brand new site near Wembley’s giant entertainment venues towards the end of next year. Situated in an iconic location on Olympic Way in Wembley Park, the new foodie hub will dish up a year-round creative events alongside mouth-watering street food feasts.

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Box Park Wembley new site rendering

New gastro hub: Spark

The North of England will also welcome a number of new foodie hotspots – billed as York’s answer to Box Park, trendy new gastro hub Spark is set to serve up sizzling street food delights from independent start-ups including vegan cuisine from Once Across The Garden; Japanese inspired dishes from Street Cleaver and savoury crepes courtesy of Krep. To coincide with the Great Exhibition of the North, Newcastle also has plans to build the world’s largest shipping container garden on the banks of the River Tyne. Planning permission is yet to be granted, but if it is successful the venture will include an urban garden and a leisure destination housing shops, cafes, art exhibitions, catering units and start-up businesses made out of recycled shipping containers.

Much-expanded Dark Skies Festival, various locations

The 2018 Dark Skies Festival (9 – 25 February 2018) will be bigger and better than ever before. The event, which takes place in Northumberland, North York Moors, South Downs and Yorkshire Dales, has been expanded from nine to 17 days. The additional days will be filled with new experiences, including a night-time zip-wire experience, night-time walking, running and gravel biking, and expert-led stargazing from historical landmarks fuelled by local food and drink.

The festival’s new dates coincide with both UK half-term holiday weeks, so there will be plenty of family-friendly events for travel lovers too, such as Forest Schools under the night sky and space-themed craft sessions. Many individual events are free, most others are under £10.

Here’s your England travel for 2018 sorted!

Information courtesy Visit England. 

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