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Our 2022 guide to inspiring experiences across the British Isles

By 25th February 2022Articles, Lifestyle, News

L-R: The Vineyard in Newbury, Berkshire, The Goring, London and Grantley Hall, Yorkshire

Pride of Britain Hotels, an expertly curated collection of the finest independent hotels in the UK, offers inspiration for the year ahead.

2022 is a time to return to your love of literature, arts, culture, sport and, most importantly, travel. Here we have our guide to exciting experiences across the country, carefully paired with a remarkable hotel at each stop. So let’s start by exploring a new art exhibition, enjoying music, a summer festival or celebrating a very important milestone in British history with Pride of Britain Hotels.

Pop up on set

Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released in cinemas on 29 April 2022, with much of it filmed at Highclere Castle. The Castle’s cellars even feature an Egyptian Exhibition with artefacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb in what is the 100th anniversary year of the discovery of the Boy King’s resting place. Nearby is the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in Stockcross, Berkshire (from £195 per night*), home to a wine cellar featuring an impressive 30,000-bottle collection of iconic wines.

Jane Austen’s Persuasion has been re-made for a modern audience, starring Dakota Johnson. Set for release in spring 2022, many of the filming locations were in the historic city of Bath. Step back into 18th century high society at the iconic Royal Crescent, home to The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, a breath-taking example of neo-classical architecture (from £330 per night*).

The popular Netflix show Bridgerton returns for a second series in mid-2022, depicting a world of masquerade balls, dashing characters and unrequited love in beautiful surroundings. Scenes were filmed in Harwich, Essex, near Talbooth House & Spa (from £210 per night*) – which is set to unveil a new spa in spring 2022, and in Beamish Museum, County Durham, close to both Rockliffe Hall Hotel, with its spectacular 3AA Rosette Orangery Restaurant (from £220 per night*) and Seaham Hall Hotel, boasting a 44,000 square-foot spa and an imposing clifftop setting, (from £315 per night*).

For the love of art

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, set within the 500-acre Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire, presents Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958-2018 (12 March 2022-8 January 2023), displaying work that spans 60 years of the American pop artist’s career, best known for his iconic ‘LOVE’ sculpture and his pieces exploring the darker side of the American Dream. This is the first European museum exhibition of his sculpture displayed in the open air against a beautiful backdrop of parkland, lakes and woodland. Stay close to the many attractions of the city of York at Middlethorpe Hall and Spa (from £219 per night*), or nearby at Grantley Hall, with its stately, glamorous interiors coupled with the superb backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales (from £600 per night*).

Another unmissable cultural event is the new exhibition, Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature (until 8 January, 2023), at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, which looks at the life story of the beloved children’s author-illustrator, her enduring love of nature, and her work as a farmer and conservationist in the Lake District. The exhibition will highlight a multitude of original watercolours, drawings and manuscripts, as well as many of Potter’s personal artefacts, letters and photographs. Stay in the heart of London at Mayfair’s The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences (from £331 per night*) with its iconic exterior living garden wall. Alternatively, to immerse yourself in Potter’s natural surroundings in the Lake District, stay at Gilpin Hotel on Lake Windermere, with its private spa lodges boasting their own ensuite spas with rainmaker showers, steam rooms, hydrotherapy hot tubs and saunas (from £275 per night*).

In Edinburgh, the new Van Gogh Alive experience opens in Edinburgh’s Festival Square from 17 March to 17 July 2022. This immersive experience exploring the works of impressionist Vincent van Gogh delves into his most famous artworks. Rest your head at the boutique townhouse hotel Dunstane Houses (from £174 per night*).

Raise a glass: Events and anniversaries

The first British monarch to celebrate 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations will take place over an extended Bank Holiday weekend, from 2-5 June. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up the sense of royal occasion, staying at a traditional country house hotel with royal connections. Hartwell House Hotel (from £210 per night*), in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, has housed a colourful royal cast over the years – including Louis XVIII of France, King Charles X and the Duchesse d’Angoulême, the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

London’s The Goring (from £410 per night*), the closest hotel to Buckingham Palace, was granted a Royal Warrant by HM the Queen in 2013, and has been a firm royal favourite over many years, including hosting the Duchess of Cambridge’s family before the Royal Wedding in 2011. Celebrations will also take place for the Jubilee near to the Queen’s Highland home, Balmoral: the Braemar Highland Games (known as the Braemar Gathering) will be attended by the Queen on 3 September. Stay nearby at Braemar’s The Fife Arms (from £325 per night*), an authentically Scottish bolthole just nine miles from Balmoral Castle. This property will excite all art lovers with over 16,000 antiques, artworks and curios which can be found throughout the hotel, from Pablo Picasso, Lucian Freud, Gerhard Richter and Bruegel to site specific commissions from contemporary art stars and water colours by Queen Victoria and Prince Charles.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games begins on 28 July and will be the largest sporting event to take place in the UK in a decade, with 11 days of swimming, diving, gymnastics and athletics. Stay at Kilworth House Hotel (from £145 per night*) for easy access to the Birmingham venues hosting the wide range of sports. While you are there, indulge in a magical performance at the hotel’s very own theatre close to the lake within the grounds.

26 May will mark the 125th Anniversary of Dracula, the novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. One of the novel’s locations is the Victorian fishing town of Whitby, in Yorkshire, an essential stop for any Dracula fan. Stay at the Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa (from £140 per night*) in Helmsley, easily accessible to the town for a day trip, and trace the roots of this most famous of Gothic books.

New openings

The new World Heritage Centre in the UNESCO city of Bath opens in spring 2022. Located in the heart of the city, with free access for all, it will allow visitors to discover what makes Bath such a unique city, with its Roman baths, Georgian architecture, surrounding hills and countryside.  Stay at the city’s Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa (from £330 per night*) or head to one of the cottages at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa for your own private haven of luxury set in the 500 acre estate.

Summer festivals

The family-friendly favourite Camp Bestival, at Lulworth Castle, Dorset (28–31 July), will be headlined by huge names such as Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Sister Sledge, Kool & the Gang, and Rudimental, with fun activities for children and adults alike, including a trapeze school, axe-throwing and wild tree climbing. If you’d rather retire to a country house haven than a muddy field, then stay at The Priory Hotel (from £220 per night*), a Grade II listed property on the banks of the River Frome, with an English cottage garden to explore and rowing boats for hire nearby for messing around on the river.

From 1-3 July, Glynde Place in East Sussex hosts the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, with big names in jazz and soul such as Erykah Badu, TLC, Tom Misch and Lianne La Havas playing alongside a range of yoga sessions, street food stalls and fairground rides. Stay nearby in Cuckfield at Ockenden Manor Hotel (from £180 per night*) with its Elizabethan glamour and modern spa.

Cornwall’s Boardmasters Festival(10 – 14 August), near Newquay, will host headliners George Ezra, Kings of Leon and Bastille, combined with a world-famous surfing competition. Stay at the Victorian gem The Headland Hotel & Spa, perched on a magnificent headland overlooking Fistral Bay (from £150 per night*).

*Room prices are based on two sharing, including breakfast.

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