13th July 2020

While COVID-19 is having a drastic impact on UK tourism, there is still some positive news to be found. We’ll do our best to keep you updated, via various means, on some of the best examples of how tourism businesses in the destinations we represent are rising to the challenge.

Stay-at-home #stokecation in The Potteries
With so many 2020 holiday plans disrupted, VisitStoke has come-up with a way of showing anyone living in-or-near Stoke-on-Trent & The Potteries that they don’t need to travel very far from their own front door to enjoy a summer of fun. #Stokecation is a campaign highlighting the activities on offer - from walking through a monkey forest, to picnics in the park.

Cathedral welcomes back visitors
Peterborough Cathedral - one of the attractions of the ‘Hidden England’ consortium ( - has re-opened to visitors, with new social distancing measures in place. The 900-years-old Cathedral is one of England's finest Norman buildings and the burial place of Katharine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. In March the Cathedral received a ‘Best Told Story’ accolade from VisitEngland for the way it welcomes visitors and tells its story.

Hampshire historic haven re-opens
Celebrate the 300th birthday of the man regarded as the world's first ecologist… Gilbert White’s historic garden at his countryside home has re-opened to the public. The 25 acres of gardens and parkland that inspired the parson naturalist – who revolutionised the way people observed nature – has opened with social distancing measures. While the House and Museum remain closed, it is hoped they will also re-open soon.

New designer outlet in Staffordshire on track for autumn opening
A new designer outlet in Cannock is on track for opening this autumn, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. Cannock's £160 million McArthurGlen Designer Outlet West Midlands is in the final stages of construction with developers confident the shopping village will be a success. The centre will offer a choice of up to 80 top designer retail brands when it opens, possibly in September, and is expected to draw in shoppers from across the region.

‘Hidden England’ holiday cottages re-open
Doddington Hall, near Lincoln, a family-owned Elizabethan hall with stunning gardens, farm shop, cafes and shopping, has opened its holiday cottages again. The historic estate - one of the attractions of the ‘Hidden England’ consortium ( - offers a total of 22 double or twin bedrooms in four separate self-catering cottages, all available for short stays. Guests will find the Hall, farm shop, cafe and gardens all on the doorstep.   

Enjoy the Derby Folk Festival at home this year
All of the Derby Folk Festival planned concerts across the city centre have had to be cancelled. But organisers have been very busy “backstage” over the last few weeks; and will be presenting a digital ‘Derby Folk Festival - At Home’ instead. This will run from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 October across four three-hour-long sessions. Each session costs £12, though you can buy all four sessions for £36. Full details can be found at

Summer screenings for Staffordshire
New drive-in movies are set to replace traditional outdoor cinema in Tamworth this year, with a new drive-in event planned for the summer. In a first of its kind for the town, a field on Castle Grounds will be transformed into a drive-in movie theatre on August 14-15. Tickets are £30 per car.

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