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Blog Archive for June, 2014

Summer events in the city

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A weekend break is great, and provides plenty of time for relaxing and taking in the culture of your city of choice. If you’re heading to Leeds, Manchester or Newcastle this July, here is our guide to summer events in the city.

Newcastle

Cats

If you’re in Newcastle for a weekend city break over the coming month and need an evening event to help fill your time, then the Theatre Royal in the heart of the city is playing host to two big name performances this month. First up, with a two week stint running from 1st July to the 12th,  Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s extraordinary record-breaking, smash-hit musical Cats returns to Newcastle Theatre Royal.

Originally adapted from TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Lloyd-Webber’s famed dramatisation of the story offers an enjoyable blend of fantasy, drama and romance set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball in a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse. With an amazing musical score that includes the timeless Memory, spectacular set designs, stunning costumes and breathtaking choreography, this show is one not to be missed if you’re visiting throughout the show’s two week run. One of the longest-running shows in West End and Broadway history, Cats has enchanted audiences in over 300 cities around the world. With such a successful and famed history, the show is sure to prove popular in the Toon, so plan early to enjoy this feline focused phenomenon of the stage.

Grease

If you’re after another well known and highly popular tale to enjoy on the stage, then between the 22nd and 26th of July the Newcastle upon Tyne Musical Theatre Company don their Pink Lady and T-Bird Leather jackets for their 2014 production of Grease.

In the well known tale of teen love, it’s 1959 and Rydell High is filled with rebellious, thrill-loving students. In the midst of this scene, Sandy Dumbrowski enters as the new girl in school and, well…we all know how it plays out.

Manchester

Star Wars Festival

It’s one of the biggest film franchises of all time, and with a diehard following and a reputation of producing one of the greatest ever films, Star Wars is heading to Manchester on Sunday 6th July as The Printworks will play host to Greater Manchester’s only Star Wars themed day. If you’re a fan of the film, then this free event is a great place to head for an hour if you’re in the area for a weekend break. With film star signings, numerous exhibitions, cosplay competitions, live music, merchandise stalls and much more, it’s a more diverse way to spend an hour whilst visiting the city.

Beer ‘n’ Blues Weekend

After something musical this month but not a fan of the mud and camping culture that comes with a traditional festival. The Beer ‘n’ Blues Weekend hits Manchester on the 12th and 13th of July in what is a perfect way to spend an evening whilst enjoying the luxury of the city. This year, Band on the Wall present the finest artists the UK’s blues scene has to offer together with a 20 pump bar featuring brews from local breweries Green Mill, Hornbeam, Brightside, First Chop and many more. With a great line-up, it’s well worth heading to if you’re planning to spend some time in the city.

Leeds

The biggest event of July for Leeds is undoubtedly the huge sporting event that is the Tour de France Grand Depart, which launches over the weekend of the 5th July. For a full rundown of the weekend events, check here. Other than this, Leeds has a number of other events worth checking out.

Waterfront Festival

What better way to enjoy the summer sun than to bask in the warm weather on the Leeds waterfront. It might not be the landmark event that the Tour launch is, but if you’re enjoying a sun soaked weekend in the city, it’s an idyllic way to spend the day. With the festival boasting a fantastic eclectic mix of music, performance and art, you’re free to trawl up and down the Leeds waterfront and enjoy creative workshops including knitting, jewellery making and fun family activities from crazy golf to face painting and boat trips stretching across 4 miles of Leeds waterfront.

If you’re heading to Leeds, Manchester of Newcastle to sample some big city culture this July, make sure you check in to Roomzzz, to allow you to truly enjoy your weekend break in comfort.

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Heading for the Tour de France in Leeds

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With just over a week left until the world’s best cyclists head to Leeds for the commencement of the biggest event in the cycling calendar, the UK and the streets of Yorkshire in particular have been whipped into a Tour frenzy. With spectators expected to travel from all corners of the UK to see the 2014 Grand Depart, it’s time to start planning your trip, if you want to see British yellow jersey contender Chris Froome launch his bid for back to back successes in the French sportive.

The Tour de France in Leeds

It might seem confusing that the Tour de France is commencing its 2014 run outside of the host country, however it’s a standard practice with the competition that every two years ‘Le Tour’ launches in a nearby European location. After hard work from Welcome to Yorkshire, and all the relevant authorities within the Yorkshire area, the big launch takes place on Thursday 3rd July at Leeds Arena, with racing commencing on Saturday 5th . Racing between Leeds and Harrogate on day one, the 190km ride will see the peloton leave from The Headrow stating line, before heading along city streets and heading out of the centre and through to other areas of West Yorkshire. The vast open countryside of ‘gods own country’ will host the first two days of cycling’s flagship event, with day two boasting a 201km route from York to Sheffield. Day three sees the event head down south to Cambridge and London on day three, before then shifting back across the Channel for the rest of the 23 day race.

It’s worth watching because

The Tour de France is one of professional cycling’s three Grand Tour events, and is arguably the one held in the highest regard within the world of cycling. The highly competitive field includes the biggest names in the sport. With previous winners Cadel Evans, Alberto Contador and Chris Froome all expected to compete.

When is it?

The tour itself runs from 5 to the 27 of July, with the first day being a 190km mile flat stage between Leeds and Harrogate, and the second day stepping up the challenge with a 201km hill stage between York and Sheffield. After the brief fling with Yorkshire, riders head down to Cambridge for a 155km run through to London before returning home to French soil. With the remainder of the tour passing through landmark French cities such as Lille, Ypres, Nancy, Saint-Etienne and Carcassonne, beautiful French architecture and countryside will take centre stage on our television screens, as we’re reduced to watching the remainder of the event from the living room.

Head to Leeds

With the eyes of the cycling world focusing squarely in on Yorkshire, and Leeds in particular, now is the time to really get your plans for the weekend set in stone.  Whether you’re a local to the area, or plan to visit from another UK location, Welcome to Yorkshire and other Yorkshire authorities are really pushing the boat out for you. Five impressive grandstands are to be erected on The Headrow, allowing huge audiences to gather and enjoy the peloton cycle out to start the world’s most famed bike race. Spectator hubs are also expected to be in place, allowing you to line the streets and await the cyclists arrival whilst not missing a minute of the race action as it is shown live on big screens. Spectator hubs outside the city are expected to be located Scott Hall playing fields, Harewood House and in Otley, along with a number of other locations.

 

If you’re a fan of cycling or just want to head to Leeds for a feel of the atmosphere surrounding the huge event in the city, head to Roomzzz Leeds for a place to stay over the landmark weekend.

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Summer City Festivals

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As the year progresses, and summer begins to roll around festival season commences. To many, festivals immediately provoke an image of mud, music and beer, however that’s no longer the case. Here are our favourite alternative festival offerings over the next month, if you’re more partial to a bit of city living, than a weekend in a field.

Newcastle

Jesterval

From the 6th to the 14th of June, Jesterval, The North East’s Premier Comedy Festival, returns to the city. Being held for the second consecutive year at one of the North’s most iconic locations, Baltic Square at Gateshead Quays, the festival offers a range of comedy performances to entertain many tastes. Playing host to some of the finest comedians touring the UK today, the festival boasts a strong line-up for its 2014 run, including the likes of Jason Manford, Tony Law, Marcus Brigstocke, Sara Pascoe, Paul Zerdin, Simon Munnery, and Terry Alderton. From household names and hotly-tipped national ‘up and comers’  to the very best local talent, theres a huge variety in comedic styles.

With over 30 comedic performances running over the week, the festival will aim to capture the diverse, cultural and spiritual zeitgeist of the day, and, because of that, Jesterval can guarantee there will be an act for everyone – even those with the most delicate of tastes.

For further information on all the line ups, start times or to buy tickets please visit the website. Tickets are all very affordably priced, and the festival provides the opportunity to see nationally renowned comic Jason Manford for under £25 per ticket.

 

Manchester

Parklife Weekender

Parklife Weekender, held at Heaton Park in Manchester is a music festival with a difference. The June offering, which is a weekend festival without the camping element, comes courtesy of the people that brought you Warehouse Project. If it’s anything like last year, it’s sure to be a thriving weekend for the city. With the likes of Snoop Dogg, Disclosure and Bastille headlining the line-up over the strong weekend, it is an event not to be missed. The line-up is jam packed with some of the most current acts and DJ’s, set to be spread across the two day affair. Unlike many of the top festivals in the UK, there is no camping at Parklife, and although this might seem like an inconvenience, the close proximity of the location to the city of Manchester means you can enjoy the best of both worlds, by heading into the vibrant city of Manchester once the  evening music comes to a close.

Leeds

Food and Drink Festival

Running from Friday 23rd May until Sunday 8th June 2014, the Leeds Food and Drink Festival is a two week celebration of the amazing food and drink available in the city. With events running daily throughout the festival, it’s the perfect time to head to one of the country’s most exciting and vibrant cities to sample what the area has to offer.

With events that are of interest to all ages, the festival offers everything from a kid’s festival at The Tetley to an exciting pop-up dining experience in Trinity Kitchen through to cocktail classes and cake making in a range of exciting and interesting venues around the city.

 

The Leeds Food and Drink Festival grand finale will be the annual three day Yorkshire Food and Drink Show in Millennium Square between the 6th – 8th June. If you’re passionate about good, well grown Yorkshire produce there’ll be a plenty of tasty food combinations to stimulate the taste senses. There’ll be live cookery demonstrations from local chefs, artisan food specialists exhibiting delicious produce, traditional real ales, Pimms and cocktail bars and some of Yorkshire’s finest restaurants serving their signature dishes. In addition there’ll be the sizzle of delicious street food dishes from around the world being cooked right in front of you.
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