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September is the month we feel summer’s hand slip lightly from our grasp, but while the weather might be on the turn there’s usually a last blast of sun to give you a fair old dappling. So grab a lightish jacket and book yourself a train journey today, you could be going to Glasgow, heading off to brilliant Blackpool or tripping away to Newcastle and the Great North Run.
These are just a few of the events we think you should be taking a trip to across the TransPennine Express network this month.
A fair few of you may have memories of being gently nudged awake as a child and told to try and make sense of the dazzling spectacle all around you on the North West coast. If that stirs a memory then it’s unsurprising the memory hasn’t faded. Blackpool Illuminations is easily one of the biggest and best free light shows in the world and this year there are 3D projections plastered all over the Tower too. If you’re coming along to show the kids, why not make a day of it? You can get in early and take in all the fun of the fair and then hang around for the switch-on with the tang of salty chips on your tongue. It’s perfect for families and incredibly romantic for couples too – go on, go and see the light.
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This 13.1 mile jaunt from Newcastle city centre to the coast in South Shields is live on the BBC but it’s always more fun to cheer everybody on from the roadside. Even better than that is taking part - but better get training first rather than just switch off the Internet and grab a pair of trainers. This year’s event features… well, a lot of people in vest tops eating ‘food’ in tiny sachets, as well as 1,000s of cheery well-wishers lining the route. To help you on your way we’ve knocked 10% off our regular Advance ticket savings for a trip to the Run.
The run also marks the end of the Great Exhibition of the North: the incredible expo that’s been celebrating the significance of this place we know and love as The North. So if you’re heading to the Great North Run consider checking what events or exhibitions you can get into before the spectacular closing ceremony. There’s more on their website.
Leeds, Liverpool, Blackpool, Sheffield and Manchester are all hosting the League of Gentlemen’s return to their stage roots this September. Back in the day the gang were wrapping their faces in sellotape and elastic bands and creating a cast of grotesques that were so compelling they stole a nation’s heart. And then did unspeakable things to it. Whichever venue you choose it promises to be an evening of the blackest comedy. And you’ll need grim humour when you find out that the Arctic Monkeys are playing the north again and yet again they’ve sold out.
Glasgow is awash with great events this September. For example, tennis fans can see the UK take on Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup on the 14-16 of the month and Kylie is performing at the SSE Hydro on 30 September. Can’t get you out of my head... What’s stirring our spirits though is a punchy classical concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Rhapsody in Blue features all the big hitters from American classical music. The evening kicks off with Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, then it’s Brio, a European premiere for Augusta Read Thomas’s new work. After that, you’ve got Rhapsody in Blue and the evening ends with Songfest the piece Leonard Bernstein wrote for the American Bicentennial celebrations featuring 6 singers and 12 American poems by writers such as Walt Whitman, “E.E.” Cummings and Edgar Allan Poe.
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We all like jazz, right? Well… Not as much as Scarborians do. Every year the town hosts an internationally renowned jazz festival bringing together brilliant performers from around the globe. In addition to the main show there are tons of fringe events and the festival covers every aspect of jazz from big bands to modern practitioners and a performance of Billie Holiday. The main event is held in Scarborough Spa’s Great Hall and there’s a full programme online.
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September also hosts Ask a Stupid Question Day so feel free to make an ill-advised enquiry such as ‘How on Earth will I get to these fantastic and various events?’ To which, of course, the answer is: book yourself an advance train ticket today!