From a world-class year of sport and landmark Jubilee celebrations to a nationwide festival of creativity, new outdoor adventures and brand new family and cultural attractions; 2022 in England has all the ingredients for a holiday or break to remember.
Here’s our (tip of the iceberg) round-up of England’s top new offerings for 2022.
City breaks with a sporting twist
A decade on from the inspirational London 2012 Olympics, it’s the West Midlands turn to take to the world stage as they host the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (28 July – 8 August), seeking to become the first-ever carbon-neutral Games, with a focus on providing a sustainable future for the region. Alongside the Games, the Birmingham 2022 Festival will showcase the region’s rich creativity from March through to September.
Hot on the heels of our men’s national team’s near glory in this year’s Euros, England will host the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 (6-31 July), with games taking place at nine venues across the country including Brighton; Southampton; London; Manchester and Sheffield.
12 months later than planned, The Rugby League World Cup (15 October – 19 November 2022) will also see men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions taking place simultaneously for the first time at venues across the country including York, Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle, Coventry, Hull, Liverpool, Leeds and London.
A year to celebrate – must-visit events
We’re set for an extended Bank Holiday bonanza from 2-5 June as part of year-long celebrations across the UK to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Key events including the Trooping of the Colour to mark the Queen’s official birthday; special displays at the official residences Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle over the summer months; a live concert from Buckingham Palace and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant; a spectacular Superbloom display in the Tower of London moat, as well as public and community events such as The Big Jubilee Lunch across the country.
UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK will bring a UK-wide programme of ten free large-scale events, installations and digital experiences to locations across the country between 1 March and 2 October. From an immersive public art installation to celebrate British weather on a decommissioned North Sea offshore platform in Weston Super-Mare, to a scaled version of our Solar system across a 10km sculpture trail in Cambridge, the diverse programme will be produced by some of the brightest minds in science, technology, engineering, art and maths.
There’s still time to enjoy Coventry City of Culture with events, exhibitions and celebrations planned up to May 2021, from the Radio 1 Big Weekend (27-29 May) to city-wide free art experiences such as The Show Windows, which turns shop windows into portals to fantasy worlds and mindscapes.
Brighton Pride, the UK’s biggest LGBTQ Pride festival, celebrates its delayed 30th year in 2022, making this year’s event (5-7 August 2022) even more of a calendar highlight.
Hadrian’s Wall 1900 (24 January – 23 December 2022) will shine a spotlight on one of England’s top World Heritage Sites to mark the 1900th anniversary of the commencement of its building, with a year-long programme of art, performances, talks and activities to celebrate its natural landscapes, dark skies and heritage.
Hot tickets – new attractions
New takes on Bath’s historic attractions will make it a must visit for 2022 with a free to visit World Heritage Centre opening at the Roman Baths in Spring, a brand-new Bath Abbey Discovery Centre in September and the restoration of the historic Sydney Gardens by December amongst its plans.
Set in a region with historic ties to the great playwright, The Shakespeare North Playhouse is set to open its doors in Prescot near Liverpool, in summer 2022. Alongside a 350-seat theatre modelled on designs from the Elizabethan period, the project also features an outdoor performance space, exhibition and educational facilities.
Titanic London will open from 17 December 2021 in Surrey Quays, London to bring an immersive journey through the tales of the Titanic and its passengers featuring 200 original objects never before seen in the UK.
Eureka! Discovery will bring a brand-new interactive science and discovery centre to the River Mersey in the Autumn of 2022, specially designed with and for inquisitive children between 7 and 14.
From 27 May – October, ABBA fans can rejoice as ABBA Voyage comes to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. For the first time in 40 years, ABBA are back with a revolutionary new concert at the purpose-built ABBA Arena; a state-of-the-art 3,000-capacity arena. The concert is set to be performed digitally with a 10-piece band and virtual versions of ABBA, which have been created by an 850-person team at George Lucas’ Industrial Light Magic.
From July 2022, ZSL London Zoo will welcome visitors to Monkey Valley, a new walkthrough home for the Zoo’s troop of Eastern black and white colobus monkeys and the new name for the Zoo’s historic Snowdon Aviary, an iconic Grade II listed structure that is undergoing restoration after having been a soaring fixture on the London skyline for more than 50 years.
Manchester Museum is set to reopen in late 2022 after a £13.5 million ‘hello future’ transformation project. New developments will include a beautiful two-storey extension and new galleries including a large Exhibition Hall, Belonging Gallery, the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, and the South Asia Gallery. The museum will also gain an impressive new entrance, shop, café, and inclusive visitor facilities that are fully accessible.
Exciting multi-million pound renovations are underway to restore the Norwich Castle Keep including a new gallery designed in partnership with the British Museum and accessibility across all five floors. The first phase of development is due for completion in Spring with a new entrance, shop and restaurant for visitors. When completed it will take its place as one of the most important medieval castles in Europe.
Hot tickets – new exhibitions
Music lovers should head to Brighton for a new Paul Weller Exhibition This is the Modern World (29 July – 22 September 2022) bringing together the biggest ever collection of memorabilia spanning two decades of Paul Weller’s career. Or head to the Bob Marley One Love Experience, which will make its global debut in February at London’s Saatchi Gallery (2 February – 18 April 2022). The interactive exhibition will showcase unseen Marley photographs and memorabilia, and immerse visitors on a journey through his life, influences and legacy.
Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature (12 February 2022 – 8 January 2023) will see the VA and National Trust – two of the world’s largest Beatrix Potter collections – come together to tell her life story in a new London exhibition. It will be the first to tell the complete life story of Beatrix Potter, providing a playful and interactive discovery of her achievements and multifaceted life, from storyteller to natural scientist and conservationist.
Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce exhibition will launch at the London Transport Museum on 11 February and run until Summer 2024, celebrating the huge contribution that people with Caribbean heritage have made to transport in London and British culture, using personal oral histories to bring to light their individual experiences and struggles.
A pop-up at the International Slavery Museum, Liverpool is planned for the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building (4 March – 5 June 2022), working with creatives to develop an artistic response to Liverpool and its role in historic slavery. As a platform for multiple voices, this project will influence and shape the museum’s transformation as to how we interpret our past and look forward to the future.
Water babies rejoice
Those who’ve discovered the benefits of al-fresco swimming during the last year can add some new spots to their list for 2022.
From Spring, visitors to Brighton can look forward to a dip at Sea Lanes, a new heated 50m swimming pool that aims to transform the former Peter Pan site on Madeira Drive and revive competitive and recreational sea-swimming on the Seafront.
Great Yarmouth’s seafront will also enjoy a makeover in the shape of a new £26 million Marina Centre on the Golden Mile from summer 2022. Facilities will include a six-lane 25m pool with full disabled access, a confidence water area and learner pool with moveable floor, aqua fun with two water flumes and a splash pad, as well as gym, climbing and beach-front café.
From next Summer, Bath’s The Cleveland Pools, Britain’s oldest lido dating back over 200 years, is set to open once again after a 17-year campaign to save it. Restoration has started to make the facility fit for use, with plans to create a unique open-air public swimming pool, with the energy for heating the water coming from heat pumps in the adjacent river.
New trails, walks and outdoor adventures
For a magical after-dark stroll, visit the new Ignite after-dark Fire and Fantasy events at Tyntesfield near Bristol (4-6 and 9-20 February 2022) and Nymans in West Sussex (11-27 February and 2-6 March 2022), an hour-long illuminated discovery against the backdrop of two beautiful National Trust locations. Plus watch this space for a new Bexhill After-dark festival planned for January.
From May 2022, East Yorkshire celebrates its role as a puffin paradise with a new ‘Puffins Galore’ public art trail featuring 40 giant artist decorated puffin sculptures springing up at coastal locations from Flamborough Head to Spurn Point before being auctioned off for charity in October.
A new North Down Way Arts Trail also aims to entice visitors to stop, rest and enjoy some of the beautiful views along the 153 mile long trail which runs from Dover in Kent to Farnham in Surrey, with eight artworks made from sustainable materials also doubling up as sculptural seats and each piece supported by a range of downloadable self-guided walking and/or cycling routes The full trail is due to be completed in 2022, but the three on the ancient pilgrims’ route from Canterbury to Dover are already in place.
In the Lincolnshire Wolds, a brand new Outdoors Festival (30 April – 5 June 2022) will shine a spotlight on the wealth of activities the region has to offer across multiple locations.
Fresh from news that the Yorkshire Wolds could soon become one of Britain’s newest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), 2022 will mark 40 years since the Yorkshire Wolds Way, a 79-mile National Trail officially opened, on 2 October 1982. It’s also the 70th anniversary of the North York Moors National Park with events in the planning.
Plus, watch this space for the opening of new stretches along the England Coast Path as it aims to near completion as the longest managed coastal walking route on the planet.
As seen on screen…
England will play a starring role in some of 2022’s hottest film releases, whilst there will be plenty of new ways to celebrate our small screen heritage.
In April, The Railway Children Return will once again shine a spotlight on its Yorkshire setting including iconic locations from the original film such as Haworth and Keighley.
Bath’s covetable period backdrops will once again steal the show in Bridgerton Season 2 (release date pending) as well as a new Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with Dakota Johnson in Spring.
Liverpool and its landmarks including the Royal Liver building will play their part as Gotham City in The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, in cinemas from March 2022.
It’s the seventh outing for Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible 7 due for release in September 2022, with locations in Birmingham, Derbyshire and Yorkshire all used for filming.
Taking inspiration from the small screen, a world premiere exhibition Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder at World Museum in Liverpool (27 May -30 October 2022) will celebrate the cult show in an immersive journey through the costumes, props and science of the Doctor’s many adventures and encounters through space and time.
New places to rest your head and fill your bellies
Befitting a Platinum Jubilee year, the new 200 bedroom Fairmont Windsor Park looks set to open on 1 January 2022 complete with a sprawling state-of-the-art spa and seven restaurants and bars.
For seaside escapes, the redevelopment by international hotelier Grace Leo of Bexhill’s Cooden Beach Hotel to reopen in Spring 2022 as Relais Cooden Beach is one to watch, whilst Blackpool will welcome its first five-star hotel to be located on the seafront when the new Art Deco inspired Sands Venue Resort Hotel opens in autumn.
For lakeside luxury just 30 minutes from the North Cornwall coast and set within the North Devon biosphere, Clawford Lakes Resort Spa will open new lake pods in April 2022, perfect for couples and anglers with a range of paddle-boarding, kayaking, cycling, walks and bush craft activities on offer. This will be followed by a Scandinavian style swimming pool and spa complete with sauna, treatment rooms and infinity pools right on the lakeside come July.
For city stays, new Clayton Hotels in Bristol and Manchester are set for early 2022, whilst September will see the launch of the much-anticipated The Broadwick Soho, the first London hotel designed by Swedish interior architect, Martin Brudnizki (Annabel’s, The Wolseley) featuring 47 guestrooms and 9 suites, a rooftop bar and wraparound terrace, plus a sumptuous Italian restaurant run in partnership with culinary powerhouses Jamie Poulton and Ed Baines (of Randall and Aubin fame). Other luxury London highlights will include the capital’s first Raffles property Raffles at The Owo.
There’s new foodie hubs planned for some of our top cities in 2022. From June, Bristol’s Welshback waterfront will welcome Box Hall, a brand-new destination dining hub and event space from the same team as BoxPark and in London, Borough Yards, a new shopping and dining district neighbouring the famous Borough Market, welcomes new eateries in early 2022 with Vinoteca amongst the first to have opened its doors.