Whilst Britain is rich with culture, visitors from all around the world tend to visit the cliche monuments around the social hubs that we have to offer, albeit the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament all play a vital role in Britains rich heritage, we should consider the lesser-known cultures that have played an important role in shaping the way Britain is today. Take a look at our 5 recommendations below, offering an alternative take on Britains ‘so-called’ cultural places that you would not previously consider :
1. Banksy, Bristol
Not exactly into the art culture that London has to offer ? Then why not take an alternative approach to some more contemporary pieces available at hand around Bristol’s regenerated cultural neighbourhood of Stokes Croft ?
With a wealth of artist studios, traditional pubs, jazz bars and street food hubs, the neighbourhood area is uncanny, rich with street art and graffiti for all to see, with a particular ‘Banksy’ street art pieces going down well with fans of his work ! A now world famous figure, Banksy was merely another child with a spray can going around the streets of where he grew up in Bristol, taking part in the street art storm in Bristol during the 1980s. His earlier pieces are still visible today, but often take residence within Bristol’s M shed gallery, in order to protect the pieces as much as possible, however his more infamous work can be seen on regular ‘Banksy walking tours’ provided all year round for a minimal fee, but be sure to grab a drink at ‘The Canteen’ a retro pub opposite the infamous break dancing Jesus piece.
Available to see all year round ! Contemporary art with minimal tourism traffic in comparison to London … why not give it a go ?
2. The Beatles Story, Liverpool
In 2008 Liverpool was given the title of ‘European Capital of Culture’ , creating mass celebration for the year across all aspects of culture through arts, sport, music and heritage. This is still visible today, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that hasn’t forgotten about its roots. Much of Liverpool’s diversity was built on the success of the music culture, through a number of the bands we all know and love today, even creating the pop music genre of ‘Merseybeat’ developed as a result of the successful bands that have risen from Liverpool and the Merseyside in the early 1960s.
If you visit Liverpool, it’s a must that you take part in the Pilgrimage to celebrate the growth and success of Liverpool’s favourite band ‘The Beatles’. You will not be disappointed by what Liverpool has to offer in providing you with an attraction that takes you back to the early beginnings of the band and through their successful years as British icons. Bespoke tours to you Beatles fans can be found at ‘The Beatles Story’ in Albert Dock, the largest exhibition dedicated entirely to of course … the Beatles. Providing you with engaging spectacles rich with information and imagery to give you a better understanding as to how one of Britains biggest iconic came about. A number recreations of key locations during the bands career are on show; the cavern club, Abbey Road Studios and The Casbah Club, the perfect opportunity to grab some holiday snaps !
Come and see the lives of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison and John Lennon and how they not only grabbed the attention of Liverpool but the entire world !
3. Edinburgh Fringe Festival
For three weeks every August, the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place, attracting crowds from all over the world into Scotland’s capital. In what proves to be a spectacular occasion for every taste, ranging from big names in the entertainment business to those whom are just starting out, the fringe festival is the place to be. Catering for everyone’s needs, the festival offers; theatre, comedy, circus, opera, musicals, spoken word, physical theatre, cabaret and even children s shows, so why not bring them along for a once in a lifetime experience ?
When 8 performance acts suddenly turned up in 1947 to perform in the previous International Festival in the wake of World War II, nobody expected the unique European acts to be a success, particularly as they were not part of the official programme at the festival. Since then the newly named ‘Fringe Festival’ has not looked back, providing the perfect opportunity for aspiring entertainers to make a name for themselves within the industry. If you are keen on performance arts or simply want to soak in the atmosphere and buzz, then the Edinburgh Fringe Festival should not be missed. The beautiful city has stand out scenery and architecture if you feel the need to get away from the festival for a while, or simply fancy visiting the vibrant city outside of the festival hours. This city certainly has more to offer than meets the eye !
4. Welsh Proms, Cardiff
Come and relish a unique opportunity to see a broad range of orchestral acts at the Welsh Proms this summer, a series of performances spread out over a week, ranging from jazz, roots and chamber music. This year the the director is Owain Arwel Hughes CBE, hoping to create a spectacular performance for all with the help of some acts that include; Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Cory Band & Massed male choir and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Although this is an annual event; this year is proving to be a spectacular occasion, avoid disappointment and check out the dates below:
Classical Extravaganza – Saturday 18th July @ 7:30pm (The Philharmonic Orchestra) Masterpieces – Tuesday 21st July @ 7:30pm (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)
Brass & Voices – Wednesday 22nd July @7:30pm (The Cory Band & Massed Male Choir)
A night in Vienna – Friday 24th July @ 7:30pm (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra)
Last night of the Welsh Proms – Saturday 25th July @ 7:30pm (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra)
5. Olympic park, London
Following Britains successful hosting skills at the 2012 Olympics, there is no better time to visit the Olympic park attractions for all of the family to enjoy, building on the legacy implemented, and particularly as the crowds have diminished since then !
The Olympic park boasts up to 560 acres across East London, with many standout features, bespoke to making your experience as memorable as possible. Come and see what the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park has to offer, for visitors young and old:
– The ‘Arcelormittal Orbit’, scaling at 114.5 metres high, with the title of the UKs tallest sculpture, allowing visitors like yourself to see London skyline, stretching over 20 miles, including the landmarks; The Shard, The O2 Arena, The Gherkin, Canary Wharf and Big Ben ! As of 2015 you can abseil down the side of the landmark, capturing once in a lifetime snaps as you descent… (If you’re feeling brave!)
– After recovering from the dizzy heights, explore the idyllic parkland around the Olympic Park, with flower filled meadows to explore for the older generations, and climbing walls for the kids to tire themselves out on. The occasional musical performance can be seen on the bespoke stages, enhancing the chilled atmosphere for all to enjoy. And for keen photographers, the parkland is teeming with wildlife, with much of the parks focus on the conservation of species including otters, sand Martins, kingfishers, toads and even grass snakes !
Be sure not to miss the upcoming ‘Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival’ ! – Watching all the heroes compete again from the London 2012 Paralympic games within the iconic venues on Sunday 26th July 2015.