With the post-Brexit exchange rate holding at its lowest level since the mid ‘80s, fans of English costume dramas will be thrilled by Masterpiece Theatre’s mid-January screening of ITV’s ‘Victoria,’ while Jane Austen’s 200th anniversary will encourage more ‘On Location’ interest in some of their earlier productions.
Staying with the literary theme but blending together David Hockney, Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, James Herriot, and JMW Turner with the ongoing Bronte 200, celebrations programs opens up new opportunities for more creative tours in England’s North Country.
Thanks to the Royal Horticultural Society, garden lovers will be really pleased by the many award-winning gardens in the north of England that can be built around the new RHS Chatsworth Flower Show next June.
Costume drama lovers will be thrilled to learn about an 8-part series that will fill the Masterpiece theatre Sunday evening slot previously occupied by Downton Abbey. Appearing on your screens on 15th January will be an ambitious 8-part ITV drama that follows the early life of Queen Victoria from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Watch this space for details of an On Location tour set in the county of Yorkshire that includes the great treasure-filled stately homes of Harewood House and Castle Howard. The hot news is that ITV has just confirmed that Victoria is to return for a second series in the UK.
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. She was born, lived, and died in and around the cathedral city of Winchester, and it’s not difficult to put together a program that will appeal to fans as a pre or post cruise extension – London-Bath-Winchester-Southampton or Southampton-Winchester via Salisbury to Bath-London. Both make perfect sense.
The Jane Austen Festival takes place in Bath between Friday, September 8th to Saturday, September 17th, 2017. If you have clients who’d like to join the Grand Regency Costumed Parade, I know where you can rent costumes so that you can take part in the procession.
Meanwhile, a five-year program continues to celebrate the bicentenaries of the births of four of the Brontës: Charlotte in 2016, Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018, and Anne in 2020. In 2019, the Brontë Society will celebrate Rev Patrick Brontë, 200 years after he was invited to take up the role of parson in Haworth. Add to this Beatrix Potter in the Lake District, James Herriot in the Yorkshire Dales, and ‘Victoria’ in various Yorkshire locations and you’ve just found the ingredients for another inspired look at your old friend Britain.
The RHS Chatsworth Flower Show
In addition to the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows, the Royal Horticultural Society is staging a brand new event in the dramatic Derbyshire Peak District setting of Chatsworth. Running between June 7-11, 2017, it will follow in the footsteps of Chatsworth’s revolutionary designers Capability Brown and Joseph Paxton with show gardens, specialist nurseries, outdoor lifestyle shopping, and displays from hotly tipped garden designers.
As gardeners are often seriously busy in May, the timing of this sumptuous horticultural showcase couldn’t really be better, especially as it enables garden tour planners to offer something completely new. With Chelsea and Hampton Court being London-centric, Chatsworth enables you to introduce clients to no fewer than 9 northern-based former winners of the coveted Historic Houses Association/Christies Garden of the Year award.
With a bit of careful planning, you can also put together a tour that starts with ‘Bloom’ in Dublin, continues with the castles and gardens in North Wales, and spends a day at the Chatsworth Flower Show.
Paull Tickner, creator of Special Interest Britain, is an expert in developing customized niche travel programs for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Check out his website at www.customgb.co.uk and email him at email@example.com