2012 is definitely shaping up to be one of the most exciting years for the UK with a variety of events taking place. With that in mind, it’s never been a better time to consider coach holidays
so you can be a part of the celebrations. It’s another important year for the Royal Family, last year we had the Royal Wedding, and in 2012 we will be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. There’s also a major sporting event in London and it's a great year in the literary world when we get to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens in addition to going behind the scenes of a magical film with the launch of an exciting new tour in Spring 2012. It’s fair to say that the UK is where it’s at in 2012, just take a look at this…
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations
The UK is planning a whole host of events to mark this rather special Diamond year for The Queen. It all kicks off in
May with a pageant in Windsor Castle featuring performers from across the world representing the countries that the Queen has been to during 250 state visits. There will also be a Big Jubilee Lunch, a pageant on the River Thames, a concert at Buckingham Palace and the lighting of 2012 beacons throughout the UK. The Queen and other members of The Royal Family will also attend a service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. A variety of exhibitions at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse will also be launched by the Royal Collection to mark the Jubilee. There will also be a special Bank Holiday weekend for the Diamond Jubilee so we can all enjoy the celebrations.
200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens
will be an international celebration of the life and work of Charles Dickens. The celebrations will take place to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth which falls on 07 Feb 2012. Although a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens work transcends time and continues to inspire film, TV, art and literature even today. A major exhibition in London opening in December 2011 will explore the author’s links to the English capital which inspired much of his writing. There is also the Dickens Christmas Market at Rochester Castle
where visitors can explore the various stalls & purchase gifts as well as taking in the sights of the picture-postcard Victorian High Street and enjoy the Dickensian atmosphere with a visit to Charles Dickens home.
The Torch Relay
The Torch and Relay were important elements of the cultural festivals surrounding the Olympic Games of Ancient
Greece. During the Games, a sacred flame burned continually on the altar of the goddess, Hera. In addition, heralds were summoned to travel throughout Greece to announce the Games, declaring a sacred truce for the duration. In 2012, the torch will be lit in Greece
and will arrive in the UK on 18 May 2012 where approx. 8,000 inspirational people from across the UK will take it in turns to carry the torch through more than 1000 cities, towns and villages. Find out if the Torch Relay will be coming to you by checking the route
. Not only will we get to enjoy the magnificent Torch Relay but across the country people are being invited to ring thousands of bells at the same time for 3 minutes to mark the Games.
Think it’s fair to say that this will be one of the major sporting events to hit the shores of the UK
in 2012 and with the Olympic Park
already taking shape, everyone is now eagerly awaiting the Opening Ceremonies. During the event, competitors from across the world will take part in a variety of 26 sports, ranging from archery to canoe slalom and more, which break down into 39 different disciplines. Were you lucky enough to get your hands on tickets through the ballot? If so, what events will you be watching?
Competitors in the Paralympics will participate in a range of 20 sports which are broken down into two disciplines: road and track. Sports available to compete in range from Goalball to Sitting Volleyball, Wheelchair Fencing, Boccia and many more. Were you successful in your ticket application for the Paralympics? If so, which sports will you be watching?
Paralympic Torch Relay
The Relay helps to build excitement for the Games before the Opening Ceremonies. The first Paralympic Torch Relay
took place at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games. There has been a Torch Relay at every Paralympic Games since. The Relay will take place between 24-29 August 2012 where four separate flames will be lit in London
before they are united to create the Paralympic Flame at Stoke Mandeville. Everyone is encouraged to join in through flame festivals, lantern processions and the final 24-hour Torch Relay to London.
100th Anniversary of Titanic’s Maiden Voyage
There will be a host of events taking place across the UK with the majority being held in Belfast to mark the 100th anniversary of RMS Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage. Titanic was launched in Belfast Lough on 31 May 1911 by Harland & Wolff and to commemorate the event a religious service will be held at the docks and a flare will be set off at 12.13 BST – the exact time of the launch a century on. It took three years to build the RMS Titanic and just 62 seconds to complete the launch. The passenger liner sank after hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912. Recently approx. £7 billion has been invested in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and an interactive Visitor Centre is due to open in 2012. An exhibition about the Titanic will run at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum until 31 August. Those who want to can take part in a memorial cruise
which will follow the same route as the Titanic, leaving Southampton in early April 2012 before docking at Cobh where the Titanic made its final call on April 11, 1912. The food served on-board will be as sumptuous as it was back then and guests will be entertained through the same style of music & dancing. The cruise will then continue to follow the route of Titanic until 14 April 2012 when it will arrive at the exact location where the ship sank some 100 years before. There will be a special memorial ceremony between 11.40pm (when the ship hit the iceberg) and 2.20am on April 15 (when the ship sank).
Warner Bros. London Studio Tour – The Making Of Harry Potter
From spring 2012, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden opens its doors for a magical behind-the-scenes walking tour
featuring sets, props, artefacts and costumes from the Harry Potter film series. It’s an absolute ‘must-see, must-do’ for Harry Potter fans everywhere! You’ll be immersed into the world of film making as the unforgettable three hour walking tour takes you behind the scenes and inside the magical world of the most successful film series ever made. Step in to some of the films’ most memorable and most recognisable sets – the Hogwarts Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, Hagrid’s hut and many more - and discover how the true magic of special effects brought the stories to life at a Creature Effects animatronics workshop. Here you’ll come face to face with Buckbeak the Hippogriff, Aragog the giant spider, Fawkes the phoenix and the enormous head of the Basilisk. Travel with Newmarket, one of the preferred Tour Operators for Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
and have a truly magical weekend!
Check out our Events Calendar for more ideas on what to do during 2012 but if you know of any others that we may have missed, get in touch and we'll update our Calendar!