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The best of the UK's travel news

A new way to get to the Isles of Scilly, London's Roman Dead and rock past, two new summer festivals and discovering law and order in Dorset

St Mary's (Photo: Pixabay)
St Mary's (Photo: Pixabay)

For years, travellers to the laid-back Isles of Scilly have had a choice of ferry from Land’s End or small planes travelling from Newquay and Exeter to St Mary’s.

But now there’s not one, but two new helicopter options on the horizon for anyone tempted to discover the warmest place in the UK.

Island Helicopters, operated by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services (SAS), is starting a new service from May with up to eight flights a day, six days a week from Land’s End airport to St Mary’s all year round.

Fares will start from £215 for a return ticket, with a park and ride service from Penzance train station, and are now on sale from islesofscilly-travel.co.uk

And from Spring 2019, Penzance Heliport and Sloane Helicopters will partner to provide flights to both St Mary’s and Tresco, the only service to fly to both islands, with up to 17 return flights per day and a limited Sunday schedule.

London's Roman Dead

A new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands is delving into the city’s Roman cemeteries to discover more about religion, family, wealth and diversity in the capital when it was known as Londinium.

Roman Dead, which runs from May 25 to October 28, is aimed at children aged eight and above, and adults, with family-friendly workshops, storytelling and craft activities during the summer holidays and October half-term, as well as the exhibition centred around the rare Roman sarcophagus excavated in Southwark last summer.

A total of 200 objects from burial sites around London, all on the boundaries of the ancient city, will also be on display at the museum, from jewellery and glassware to remains of food.

(Photo: Shire Hall)
(Photo: Shire Hall)

Law and order in Dorset

A new interactive museum is opening in the historic town of Dorchester, aiming to bring the history of the country’s law and order to life.

Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, which will open its doors to the public on May 1, is the spot where the Tolpuddle Martyrs were brought to trial, sparking the Trade Union movement, and also has  connections to Thomas Hardy who served as a magistrate and Justice of the Peace here.

Visitors will also be able to walk in the footsteps of people who were tried and sentenced in the court over two centuries from 1797, as well as discovering their eventual fate — travelling from the cells here to the dock, some eventually transported for asking for fair pay.

The hall’s first exhibition will also look at the history of protest in the UK, as well as the Civil Rights Movement in the US, including Dorset’s own history of rebellion.

Glam Rock Afternoon Tea (Photo: K West Hotel & Spa)
Glam Rock Afternoon Tea (Photo: K West Hotel & Spa)

London Rock Tour

Rock fans can discover the capital’s music history in style with a new package from K West Hotel & Spa and Rock Cab Tours.

The Rock Tour + Tea starts with a black cab ride around London to locations including Abbey Road’s famous zebra crossing, Freddie Mercury and Jimi Hendrix’s former homes, and the location of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album cover, all with a guide who’s a veteran of the music industry.

To finish, there’s a Glam Rock afternoon tea at the hotel, the former BBC Recording Studio “Kensington House” which has played host to Bob Marley, The Kinks and Roxy Music among others, with electric blue and pink teapots, and vintage record covers adorning the tables.

The tour is available without an overnight stay at £211 for four people, or £315 based on two sharing including a stay in an Executive Guestroom with breakfast.

(Photo: Timber festival)
(Photo: Timber festival)

New summer festivals

Two new festivals are joining this summer’s line-up, focused on activities for families. Timber, launched by the company producing the Just So Festival, will be taking place in the heart of the National Forest in Derbyshire from July 6-8.

The weekend camping festival at Feanedock, Swadlincote, will focus on music, art, theatre and wellbeing activities, looking at the way natural surroundings can impact our lives, as well as woodland adventures.

And in Blackpool, Party on the Prom will finish the new Blackpool Festival, also from July 6-8, with a day of family favourites including Peppa Pig and Peter Rabbit, as well as CBeebies presenters.

Taking place at the Tower Festival Headland, it will follow on from two days of dance legends including Faithless, Paul Oakenfold and Judge Jules. 
 

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