VisitEngland’s new Facebook app sets out to find the top 101 Things to Do Before You Go Abroad. Residents from far and wide have been submitting and voting on their top experiences under six categories – Arts & Culture, History & Heritage, Food & Drink, Wildlife & Nature, Health & Fitness and Because it’s Awesome.
Hot on the heels of VisitEngland’s latest campaign celebrating the country’s cultural cities, here are some of the experiences that have been nominated for Art & Culture in England.
See a Gig at the Cavern Club, Liverpool
The Beatles played the Cavern Club nearly 300 times, helping it become the most famous live music venue in the world. Today s Cavern is a thriving live music destination and one of Liverpool s top tourist attractions. The three venues the Cavern Club, Cavern Live Lounge and the Cavern Pub showcase not only the incredible legacy of The Beatles, but also other established artists alongside new up and coming bands.
Browse Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland
Image: Steve & Jemma Copley, Flickr
One of England’s largest second hand bookshops, Barter Books is a treasure trove of literary gems, interspersed with a few steam trains, comfy sofas, a cosy café and roaring open fires. Everything a book lover needs. Oh, and the original 'Keep Calm & Carry On' poster was found here too.
See a Shakespearean Play Underground, Kents Cavern
Image: Warwick Conway, Flickr
Kents Cavern is one of the most important Stone Age cave sites in Europe. For one week every November, visitors to Kents Cavern can see a Shakespeare play underground - they are led around the caverns by the actors. With no seats but bags of atmosphere, this is a very different way to see a classic English play. Twelfth Night is planned for Nov 2013.
Go Banksy-Spotting in Bristol
Image: tmv_media, Flickr
Now a world-famous artist, Bristol-born Banksy was involved in the wave of street art that took Bristol by storm in the 1980s and some of his earliest work is still hidden around the city. Nelson Street is a great place to start. The centre of Bristol’s street art scene, this street is home to the annual See No Evil street art festival.
Buy Some Whitby Jet
Whitby is a fascinating place to visit and English jet is ethical jewellery at its most dashingly gothic. Whitby Jet was one of the earliest gemstones used to create jewellery. It has a rich history and cultural heritage dating back to the Bronze Age. While jet can be found in many countries, the very finest jet comes from this 7.5 mile stretch of the North Yorkshire coastline. A piece of Whitby Jet is a souvenir guaranteed to please.
Discover the Watts Gallery
Image: Jon's Pics, Flickr
Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Watts Gallery houses over one hundred paintings by the prominent Victorian artist, George Frederic Watts OM RA (1817-1904). These works include portraits, landscapes and many of his major symbolic works. A must for art lovers, this is a national gallery in a village setting. Just down the road from the gallery visitors will find the Watts Cemetery Chapel, an Arts and Crafts masterpiece.
Have a Picnic at the Angel of the North, Newcastle, GatesheadImage: craigbooth, Flickr
There aren't many places where you can stand in awe of such breath-taking public art work and tuck-in to something tasty at the same time. Standing at the feet of Anthony Gormley's Angel of the North is an inspiring experience – don’t hurry it. Pack a picnic and spend time with friends and family in the shadow of the Angel’s amazing wingspan.
Think you can do better? Upload your top Art & Culture experience in England to VisitEngland’s 101 Things to Do Before You Go Abroad app and you could win a cultural weekend break for two in Portsmouth. Stay at the central Marriott Hotel with visits included to Charles Dickens’ birthplace, the Historic Dockyard and a guided tour of Old Portsmouth.
For other cultural breaks and activities in England, visit www.visitengland.com/morecultural