Indoor activities are still top of the menu as the cold snap continues to bite. And while the nights remain drawn in, anything that’s done better after dark is top of the list. This week’s top picks for things to do include spooky goings-on at Kensington Palace and the London Eye at dusk.
Kensington Palace, the State Apartments to the Royal Family, is opening its doors at night for some Eerie Evening Tours. Dates run from this weekend until the end of February, and places on the tour are limited. Guests will hear what happens behind closed doors, and what has happened in the past, as expert guides take them around the spooky shadowed corridors of the Palace at night. Expect creepy stories of unexplained occurrences, and plenty of Royal storytelling.
With the View from the Shard opening next weekend (more on that next week), this is the last weekend when the London Eye is going to be offering the highest show in the city. Always better at dusk, the ride is now over a decade old and still going strong – and it offers a number of packages for families visiting not just the Eye but the other “big four” attractions – Madame Tussaud’s; the London Dungeons; and the Sea Life London Aquarium.
Winter’s also a time for warming the cockles – and the National Winter Ale Festival could hardly present a better opportunity to do just that! Held at the Sheridan Suite in Manchester, the NWAF is a CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) stalwart; which, like many other CAMRA festivals, also gives some space to traditionally produced ciders and perries (be warned – this is not your supermarket stuff!). It’ll be packed with regional beer, and the organisers reckon the average price for a pint will be £2.90. Not bad for Manchester City Centre! Beer is served in third, half or pint measures, and food is available all day long: including a fixed price English and Indian buffet.
If you like a good thriller (with lashings of camp), you might be interested to know that Agatha Christie’s legendary play The Mousetrap is entering its Diamond Anniversary Year. That’s right – the world’s longest running show of any kind has been established on its throne for nearly as long as the Queen. It’s still at St Martin’s Theatre in the West End – and it’s also about to hit the road for its first ever UK tour (with a second cast), starting in February.
If you’re still in comfort food mode after the excesses of Christmas and New Year (i.e. if you’re eating lots of chocolate!) then a visit to the legendary Cadbury World might tide you over. A fun day out for all the family, Cadbury World (in Bourneville, near Birmingham) has plenty of indoor activities to keep out of the cold – and of course there’s lots of lovely chocolate to munch on too. Discover the history of the humble cocoa bean and get a peek inside the magical world of the chocolatier.