From the dark skies of Northumberland to the musical heart of Liverpool, there are lots of reasons to explore Britain in 2023.
2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Britain, as the coronation of King Charles III marks a fresh start for the united countries of England, Wales and Scotland after a turbulent few years.
“We've not only got the coronation and an extra Bank Holiday, but we’ve got Eurovision too,” says Patricia Yates, CEO of Visit Britain.
“So in a week we’re going from the seriousness and pomp and pageantry of the coronation to the music and all round silliness that is Eurovision. What an opportunity to tell the story of Britain.”
When is the Coronation of King Charles III?
The King’s coronation will take place on Saturday 6 May at Westminster Abbey, London, with Eurovision the following Saturday 13 May in Liverpool. This offers tourists an excellent opportunity to visit some of the regions outside of London, explains Yates.
“More than half of our international visitors don't go outside London. So getting anyone outside of London is the win,” she says.
Yates wants to encourage tourists to explore the rest of Britain to help prevent overtourism too. “We’re looking to promote places that aren’t the hotspots, so you don't get that overcrowding, and we’re looking to extend the tourism season too.”
Which city is hosting Eurovision 2023?
Although the UK’s entrant, Sam Ryder, came second later year, it’s hosting the contest in the place of winners Ukraine, who are unable to because of the Russian invasion.
Taking place in Liverpool, the home of the Beatles and the mighty Liverpool FC, the song contest will be a huge event for a city that is going from strength to strength.
To learn more about the city’s musical history, make sure to check out the Liverpool Beatles Museum and the Beatles’ Story, two museums which tell the tale of this world-famous band.
“One of the ideas we're looking at is music cities,” says Yates.
“Because so many cities have very strong links to bands, if you think of the Commonwealth Games In Birmingham in 2022, they had Ozzy Osbourne from Black Sabbath, so most cities have that musical link.”
If you’re looking to learn more about Britain’s rich musical history, be sure to check out some of Britain’s other musical museums, including the Coventry Music Museum and the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, which explores the history of bagpiping in Scotland.
If you want to learn more about the royal family though, where should you go?
Where can I learn about the British Royal Family?
“We had the Queen’s Jubilee this year, so that means a lot of the museums and places that already had a link to the Queen have already got exhibitions on, which, because of the Queen’s death, they’re extending,” explains Yates.
“So those places like Holyrood House in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk, and Windsor Castle, they are open to the public and have special exhibitions on at the moment, so it’s a great time to come.”
If you visit Sandringham, the royal estate where the Queen spent much of her time, during 2023, make sure to book yourself in for a Land Rover Safari Tour so you can explore the huge grounds of this beautiful estate. Each tour ends with a classic afternoon tea and places are limited to six people per safari.
What other events are happening in Britain in 2023?
If the Royals and Eurovision aren’t starry enough for you, then Northumberland Dark Sky Park is also celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023.
“There’s very dark countryside there, which makes it a really great place for space telescopes and looking at dark skies. So that is a great tourist offer, because the best time to go is when it’s darkest, so that’s in winter,” says Yates.
The atmospheric autumn and winter months are also the perfect time to drive the North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to Route 66. Combining 500 miles of coast, the route takes you through the North Highlands, past castles, stark beaches and weather-worn mountains.
“They’ve been very canny there, because it is essentially a driving route, but what they’ve done is put electric car chargers along the roads and really made it sustainable.”