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Britain in 2013: where and when to go

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Travel in Britian in 2013

With stunning mountains, music events, food festivals and world class culture right here in the UK, there’s really no need to jet off to foreign climes for a great holiday.

But staycations don’t mean shivering as you eat your cold, soggy chips and try to shelter from the rain. There’s so much to see and do in 2013, and all the action’s just a hop, skip and a short train ride away…

Celebrate all things Jane Austen at Bath

The weddings, the scandal, the heartache, the brooding Mr Darcy taking a dip in a lake at Pemberley…Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular novels in the world, and 2013 marks its 200th anniversary.

Why not celebrate by taking in Georgian terraces and having afternoon tea at the Regency Tea Room at the epicentre of all things Jane Austen: Bath.

When to go: Every September, Jane Austen fans come together for the Jane Austen Festival, dressing up in traditional garb for dances and teas. If you’ve ever wanted to fall right into a Jane Austen novel, it’s the perfect time of year to visit.

City break: London

It seems that London is still basking in its post Olympics and Jubilee year glow: a study by easyJet found that 49% of UK staycationers are planning on making it their city break destination of choice in 2013. And with so much to see and do, why not hop on a train to London? Here are just a few picks:

• London Fashion Week (15 – 19 February) will be a must for couture fans and celebrity spotters

• London Cocktail Week (7-13 October) should be a week-long party

• One for die-hard Doctor Who fans: events are being staged throughout 2013 to celebrate the good doctor’s 50th anniversary at the British Film Institute

• Centre court action at Wimbledon (24 June – 7 July) will be as fierce as ever as Britain watches, hands over eyes, to see if Andy Murray can follow up his Olympics performance by winning Wimbledon. Come on Murray…

• Aston Martin, the car of choice for 007 himself, celebrates its 100th anniversary with week-long events from 15-21 July

• French wine takes over London’s restaurants and bars in January, as a host of events and tastings are held in the capital in January

Wrap up for the Cairngorms

Get your cagoules out: the stunning Cairngorms National Park celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2013, and Wilderness Scotland are planning on offering visitors guided walking tours to help newbies get the most from their trip.

You won’t fail to leave in total awe from the Scottish countryside. And once you’ve done a full day’s walking, you can reward yourself with a wee ale or two at the local ale brewery.

When to go: If you visit on Sunday, 6 October, you’ll catch on of the highlights of the year: the strangely compelling Golden Spurtle Porridge Making Championships.

Visit Derry-Londonderry

Having been chosen as the City of Culture for 2013, this will be the year that Derry claims its rightful spot on the UK’s cultural map. Visitors from all over the wold are expected to flock to the city to catch one of the 140 events already planned, including the Turner Prize, the Royal National Ballet and Lumiere.

Hurrah: the return of Glastonbury

Having taken a break in 2012, Glastonbury (26 – 30 June) is set to return in 2013 with a bang. There’s talk of Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones and the Stone Roses playing, plus whispers that the Smiths might play a reunion gig. And why muddy your car with those wellies when you could jump on a train to Glastonbury instead?

Other gigs to catch: Veterans like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen will be on the road, as will The Killers, Robbie Williams, Bruce Springsteen and Girls Aloud (who will have a month-long tour in Liverpool in February).

Eat your way around Britain
Gone are the days when other countries sniffed at the UK’S food scene. With fantastic produce, talented chefs and a growing number of food festivals, there is something to please every kind of foodie in 2013:

• Gorge yourself on the freshest oysters at the hallowed Whitstable Oyster Festival (20 – 26 July)

• The Nantwich International Cheese Show (31 July) is billed as ‘the greatest cheese show on earth’ and features a staggering variety of cheese

• Remember to pack your mouthwash for the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival (17 – 18 August)

• The Abergavenny Food Festival brings together over 200 specialist food producers and is one for serious food obsessives (21 – 22 September)

The best news? All these destinations are easy to get to on the train, so start planning your holidays now.

What are your holiday plans for 2013? Are you staying in the UK, or going further afield? We want to hear all about it, so please leave us a comment…

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