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A month of poetry around England, Scotland's new luxury hotels and a facelift for Bodmin Jail


Poetry is cool once more. With Kate Tempest performing to crowds at Glastonbury and sales of poetry books up by more than 50 per cent 
in four years, there’s a series of events around England to mark this year’s National Poetry Day on September 28.

UK City of Culture Hull is holding a new four-day festival from September 28 to October 1. Called Contains Strong Language, it includes performances from John Cooper Clarke.

And the Birmingham Literature Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with events running from October 7-15 around the city. 

Bristol has its own Poetry Festival too, running for several weeks from September 27 into October, while there’s a separate spoken word festival in Southampton, So: To Speak from October 20-29.

Outside the festivals, keep an eye out for some of the regular events taking place around the country. 

Manchester’s Bad Language open mic slot at Gullivers in the Northern Quarter takes place every month, along with the quarterly One Mic Stand at the Contact Theatre, while Newcastle’s Centre for the Literary Arts has regular poetry readings and pop-up events.

Go straight to jail

Cornwall’s historic Bodmin Jail is having a £30 million overhaul to transform it into a new immersive attraction.

The 18th century jail, which stopped housing prisoners in 1927, has contained a museum since the 70s with the new attraction planning to act as an introduction to the county and changing attitudes to prisons, including Cornwall’s smuggling history and individual escapes.

Once the site of hangings by notorious executioner Henry Albert Pierrepoint, the high-tech exhibition will use projections and theatrical effects to transport visitors back in time, venturing from caves and coast across the moor, dodging highwaymen and facing judges at the assizes — before being led away to rat-infested cells.

There are also plans for a restaurant and hotel, all to open in 2019.

Scotland's hotel upgrades

Visitors to Scotland can lay their heads in more luxury after refurbishment work to two hotels.

Gleddoch Golf and Spa Resort near Glasgow has unveiled its multi-million pound renovation to give the hotel’s traditional style a more modern facelift.

Creating two new luxury suites overlooking the river Clyde, along with 75 ensuite bedrooms, there have been improvements to the golf course too, with a new reception and bar for the par 72 course.

In Edinburgh, the 16-room Victorian Dunstane House has had its own million-pound overhaul, adding an all-day restaurant and cocktail bar.

Along with plenty of nods to its owners’ Orkney Island roots, the decor reflects its own 160-year history, housing merchants, musicians, doctors, distillers, bankers and newspapermen over its lifetime. 


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