� IN FOCUS l SOUTH OF ENGLAND New welcome centre at Wisley

Challenge your groups with New Forest fun

A Beaulieu-based outdoor activity specialist has launched new options for groups visiting the New Forest. New Forest Activities offers the chance to try bushcraft sessions, treasure hunts, cycling, canoeing, raft building, laser battles, ropes courses, archery and cycling. The Great New Forest Challenge

taking one or two days, includes a forest walk, navigating through deer sanctuaries, forests and open terrain, plus a 25km cycle ride and a 12km canoe paddle along the Beaulieu River.


w Harry Potter attraction is tailormade for fans

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter has unveiled a ‘Behind the Seams’ tour, revealing the secrets of costumes in the famous films. Called The Making of Harry

The planned approach to the main entrance

A welcome centre will open at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey next year, as the first phase of a major transformation. The new arrivals hall will have a 100-seat restaurant, cafe, and expanded indoor plant centre. They will sit within a landscape

created by leading designer, Christopher Bradley-Hole, with an avenue of 100 cherry trees, and more than 250 native trees around the car parks. The horticultural masterplan

‘Great Reveals’ for Winchester

Winchester Cathedral is hosting events this year to mark the end of a five-year, £20.5 million conservation project. Its ‘Great Reveal’ began earlier this year, exposing the newly-restored high vault, bosses and medieval windows. New exhibition spaces allow

all four volumes of the newly conserved and rebound 12th- century Winchester Bible to be accessibly displayed. Two further exhibitions tell the story of the Hampshire cathedral and its history. The Winchester Cathedral Flower Festival returns later this year (September 5-9). The year will end with a Christmas market and outdoor ice rink over the festive season.

16 TravelGBI | June 2018

for Wisley also includes a new National Centre for Horticultural Science and surrounding gardens, due to open in 2020. Melissa Hackney, groups sales and marketing manager, said: “Over the next two years we will

be making some of the most exciting and significant changes in our history, with developments across all our gardens and shows, from stunning new horticultural experiences to new restaurants and entertainment areas. “We will be investing some

£160 million in the future of horticulture, allowing us to bring the joy of gardening to millions – including our group visitors.” Last year, the attraction opened its first Exotic Garden with plants ranging from palms and bananas to flowers such as dahlias and cannas. Wisley also plans a sculpture

trail (June 23-July 31) and six-day flower show (September 4-9).

Potter – Behind the Seams, the experience explores how 25,000 unique items of clothing were created for the films and characters. The new experience will run

every weekend until July 22.

w BBC Countryfile Live returns to Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Blenheim Palace – the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill – will host the BBC Countryfile Live show (August 2-5), showcasing “the best of the British countryside”. The Oxfordshire stately

home will welcome stars from the TV show, as well as theatre and music performers, livestock and food and drink


Bournemouth and Poole tourism worth £1bn

Bournemouth & Poole Tourism Management Board has released new figures showing that the resorts attract more than 11 million visitors a year. The new tourism body

estimates that these visitors make a contribution to the local economy of almost £1 billion. The figures show there are 9.7 million leisure daytime visits, 2.2 million overseas study night stays and one million overnight business stays each year. The local tourism industry

accounts for more than 14,500 jobs in Bournemouth and Poole.

Councillor John Challinor,

portfolio holder responsible for tourism in Poole, said: “We’re so lucky to have such impressive

surroundings, a rich history and enthusiastic individuals driving our attraction and restaurant offer locally.” Andrew Woodland, chair of the Bournemouth & Poole Tourism Management Board, said: “We’re incredibly proud of these statistics – they’re testament to the passion and hard work of thousands of tourism industry professionals across the region, not forgetting the many local businesses that support and benefit from the industry.”

©VisitBritain/Daniel Bosworth



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