April 20 2014 Latest news:

Trebah house and garden

New amphitheatre opening this summer in Cornwall’s Trebah Garden

Located in Cornwall and ranked among the 80 finest gardens in the world, Trebah Garden is a sub-tropical paradise with pockets of different areas allowing visitors to take in the abundance of colour and scent at a leisurely pace.

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The Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court, London, © Hazel Dunlop/CAMRA

Britons wrongly believe that wine is healthier than beer

A poll* carried out for CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, showed that people in the UK are five times more likely to believe that wine is healthier to drink than beer. A survey of 1000 people showed that 67 per cent thought wine drinking is most healthy, compared to only 13 per cent for beer.

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Buckingham Palace 1700 stamp

Royal Mail celebrates the history of Buckingham Palace

Six stamps explore the different appearance of Buckingham Palace over the centuries while a four-stamp miniature sheet celebrates the opulence of its interior.

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Eastend Reservoir. © Andy Lees

Millions of pounds worth of investment for the North Pennines’ Allen Valleys

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership has announced that a multi-million pound project to conserve and celebrate the landscape of the Allen Valleys is now underway.

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Could you be Britain's worst holiday photographer?

Could you be the UK’s worst holiday photographer?

It’s the award no amateur photographer wants to win – the title of the UK’s worst holiday photographer! Travel website www.cheapHolidayLand.com has launched a competition to find the UK’s most inept snapper and is asking the public to send it their truly terrible shots.

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The Houses of Parliament. © VisitEngland Images/Diana Jarvis

London named third most popular destination in the world

Following a record-breaking year for London tourism, the capital has been rated third in the world in TripAdvisor 2014 Travellers’ Choice awards for Destinations.

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The Royal Mint is striking a limited number of silver coins from the bullion cargo of the SS Gairsoppa more than 70 years after the ship had sunk.

Pictured here is Andrew Craig the Odyssey's senior project manager striking a Gairsoppa Coin
 
©Wales News Service

The Royal Mint strikes silver coins from 70-year-old sunken bullion

The Royal Mint has today (4 April) announced that it will strike a limited number of silver coins from the bullion cargo of the SS Gairsoppa – more than 70 years after the silver carried on-board was destined to be delivered through The Royal Mint’s doors to boost its silver stocks during the Second World War.

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Aerial views of Lincoln Castle

Take a behind-the-scenes peek at the ongoing restoration work at Lincoln Castle

Work on the latest phase of the Lincoln Castle Revealed project is now available to view on the project’s most recent update film, “The Countdown to Lincoln Castle Revealed”. The three-minute film, is the latest in a series of short project videos that begin to reveal the scale of the project and the benefits it will bring to Lincolnshire.

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Remarkable Lives, a new Royal Mail stamp set

Ten remarkable lives celebrated in new royal mail stamp set

Royal Mail celebrates 10 remarkable individuals from the realms of sport, design, economics, heroism and the arts with the ‘Remarkable Lives’ stamp issue.

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JMW Turner's country retreat, Sandycombe Lodge

JMW Turner’s country retreat, Sandycombe Lodge, opens for the summer season

For the first time for many yearsn visitors to Sandycombe Lodge, will be able to view the facade of this pretty regency villa that Britain’s most celebrated landscape painter designed as his Twickenham country retreat.

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Enter the Professional Photographer of the Year Competition

Enter the Professional Photographer of the Year Competition

Now in its seventh year the Professional Photographer of the Year Competition welcomes the best professional photography in the industry across a number of genres.

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The impressive exterior of the Cromlix hotel

Take a look inside Andy Murray’s new hotel in Perthshire

Today (1 April 2014) sees the opening of the Cromlix hotel in Perthshire, the latest venture of reigning Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray. The historic property was originally converted from a private residence into a luxury country house hotel in 1981, but it has undergone extensive refurbishment since Murray purchased the property at the start of 2013. With restoration now complete, the glorious era of grand country house living is reinvented within the sumptuous interiors of this Victorian mansion hotel.

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Arundells, Salisbury

Sir Edward Heath’s historic home reopens to the public

The home of former Prime Minister Edward Heath has reopened to the public with its future assured. Arundells in Salisbury, where Sir Edward lived until his death in 2005, contains a unique collection of artefacts reflecting the former Prime Minister’s passion for art and achievements in music, sailing and politics. The house, whose origins date back to the 13th century, is the only residence of a British Prime Minister which remains as it was when he was alive.

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Streets of Quality Accommodation map

The UK’s best streets for holiday accommodation unveiled

A list of the UK’s best streets for holiday accommodation has been unveiled. Quality in Tourism (QiT), the official assessment service provider for VisitEngland, has produced a league table of those streets within the UK, that have the largest percentage of accommodation outlets which have been accredited.

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Colchester Castle will reopen to the public on 2 May

Britain’s largest Norman keep prepares for reopening following revamp

The largest Norman Keep in Europe will reopen to the public on 2 May 2014 after a £4.2 million redevelopment programme.

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Melford Hall, Sudbury, Suffolk

Success in search for Melford Hall’s long-lost owner

Sir Thomas Savage, 1st Viscount Savage, who inherited Melford in 1602 and is an ancestor of Princes William and Harry, has for a long time been conspicuous by his absence from the walls of the grand house. That was because there was only one known likeness of him, held in a private collection in Yorkshire.

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View from ArcelorMittal Orbit

Tickets now on sale for UK’s tallest sculpture, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Tickets for London’s newest attraction, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, go on sale today, 14 March 2014, ahead of its reopening on 5 April 2014.

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The Sill

Northumberland to gain new Landscape Discovery Centre

Final designs for The Sill, Northumberland’s proposed £11.2m national Landscape Discovery Centre, have been unveiled. The centre will house state-of-the-art education facilities, exhibition space and a local produce cafe. The designs created by award-winning architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall, have been refined with materials utilised in the construction phase from dry stone walling to grassland roof, reflecting the natural habitat of the national park.

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Bronze Age footprints © Dr Edith Evans

Prehistoric footprints found in Wales

Recent storms have uncovered what are believed to be Bronze Age footprints on the south coast of Wales at Port Eynon beach. The discovery was made by Dr Edith Evans from the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust, which has been running a volunteer project to monitor the archaeology of the area.

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© Bristol Old Vic

Bristol’s Old Vic theatre to undergo £12m refurbishment

Bristol’s Old Vic theatre is set to undergo a £12m refurbishment to coincide with its 250th anniversary in 2016. The work has been approved by the City Council and will include a new spacious entrance foyer, new studio theatre, improved bar and restaurant facilities, as well as returning Coppers’ Hall (old foyer) to its original 18th-century function as an events space. Tom Morris, artistic director, said, “The plans have unlocked Bristol Old Vic’s historical riches.”

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White-tailed eagle. ©Lorne Gill/www.snh.org.uk

Scotland’s eagle numbers soar

After the species was first reintroduced into Scotland in 1975, the number of white-tailed eagles (also known as sea eagles) has gone from strength to strength with an estimated 80 breeding pairs today. Once a regular sight in Scotland’s skies, the white-tailed eagle was driven to extinction in the Victorian era. Between 2007-13 a further 85 sea eagles were reintroduced to Scotland’s east coast; the species is now also spotted in central Scotland. Though reintroduction has met with some controversy, an RSPB Scotland study found that at least £5m per year can be generated for local economy through eagle-spotting tourism.

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The Invisible City

Tree-house pavilions to be erected in London’s Regent’s Park

This summer will see giant tree-house pavilions erected in London’s Regent’s Park in a project patroned by Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Artists Claudia Moseley and Edward Shuster are behind this innovative public platform for art within nature. Artists are inviting the public to suggest performances, workshops and talks they would like to see.

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Elvaston Castle

Elvaston Castle to receive £6m of repairs

Derbyshire County Council has announced plans to save Grade II-listed Elvaston Castle, which has been on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register for several years. The council’s 10-year plan would see the property receive £6m worth of repairs to bring the 19th-century building back into public use.

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John Piper, 'The Rise of the Dovey'

John Piper artworks acquired for Wales

Several of John Piper artworks, which reflect the artist’s unique vision of Wales, have been acquired for Wales’ national art collection. The series of works by the mid 20th-century neo-romantic artist has been purchased from a private individual with links to Wales, thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Derek Williams Trust and the Art Fund, totalling almost £1m. The works are currently on display at the National Museum Cardiff. Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said, “This is a very exciting acquisition for National Museum Wales and we are delighted to be able to support it. This popular artist and his works have a strong connection to Wales and these acquired paintings play an important part in interpreting and reflecting our diverse landscapes. Snowdonia is one of our national heritage jewels and is beautifully portrayed in John Piper’s pieces. We look forward to seeing them displayed around Wales and used in new and exciting ways so that people can learn more about heritage.”

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© Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Oxford University Museum of Natural History reopens to public

Following a lengthy closure, Oxford University Museum of Natural History has reopened its doors and collections, which include a 40ft tyrannosaurus rex and Alice’s dodo, to visitors. During the restoration, all of the museum’s 8,500 glass roof panes have been cleaned and resealed, while a number of major displays, such as the whale skeletons, have received conservation attention for the first time in 100 years. Founded in 1860, the Grade I-listed neo-Gothic building was created by Benjamin Woodward and Thomas Newenham Deane as a “cathedral to science”. The museum was originally a research centre for the university, steadily gathering collections of entomological, geological and zoological specimens.

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Ramsgate Tunnels © Mirrorpix / The Bridgeman Art Library

New Ramsgate Tunnels attraction set to open this summer

A network of tunnels under Ramsgate in Kent is set to be turned into the town’s latest tourist attraction this summer. Extended from a Victorian railway tunnel, the passages were first created as an extensive air raid shelter where around 26,000 people took refuge during bombing in the Second World War. Creating new subterranean communities, the townspeople were visited by eminent figures of the day, including Churchill. Plans include guided tours and exhibitions.

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King Richard III audio tour for Leicestershire

King Richard III new audio tour launched

A new audio tour has been developed to help visitors re-live the story of King Richard III’s final days in Leicester and Leicestershire.

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