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Tap into your adventurous side to kick off 2020 with an inspirational talk from Britain's greatest living explorer – Sir Ranulph Fiennes. He's travelled to both poles, crossed the Antarctic and Arctic oceans and he has the frostbitten extremities to prove it. Here the great man tells spellbinding tales of his childhood, school life, army experiences and the expeditions, which brought him close to mortality as well as fame across the world. Warning: this may make your New Year's resolution seem a little tame...
Drag out those festive feels just a little longer with the rock ‘n’ roll panto extravaganza Sleeping Beauty at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre. Performances run until midway through January and there are inclusive shows tailored for a range of audiences, including an autism-friendly show on 13 January, a British Sign Language performance on 6 January, plus captioned and audio described events. Talking of sleeping beauties – has anyone given Uncle Gerry a shake since he fell asleep at nan’s on New Year’s Eve?
Right next door to Newcastle’s Central Station you’ll discover Times Square. There’s no giant ball drop a la New York, but every winter a chunk of the forum is converted into an outdoor ice rink so you can enjoy the traditional festive pastime of falling on your backside while pretending to skate. Bonus: the rink is attached to the International Centre For Life, a superb, family science attraction.
Turn over a new leaf in 2020 at the UK’s biggest one-day book fair. Over 120 sellers flogging more than 40,000 books descend on the city’s racecourse this January. What are the odds on that? Second-hand fiction and non-fiction titles are up for grabs, as well as rare books and exceptional antique tomes. When you arrive by TransPennine Express, take a free bus from the memorial gardens – they run every 30 minutes. You’ll be glad of the lift when you’ve bagged the 27-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica (extended edition).
What’s your New Year’s resolution going to be for 2020? Lay off the chocolate? Less sparkling grape juice? Hit the road and get a body like an Olympian? Test your early resolve with the Carlisle resolution runs, each starting at the town’s racecourse. The routes are gently undulated and mostly flat so you won’t have to feel too much burn as you shed those Christmas calories.
Scotland’s bard and the lyrical gangster behind Auld Lang Syne, Robert Burns left a cultural and political legacy celebrated in style north of the border – not least at the Burns and Beyond festival. This rhyming jamboree features free and ticketed events spilled across the nation’s capital. The centrepiece is the Burns and Beyond Festival club, which will be opened on 23 January by another notable Scot – Edwyn Collins. Traditionalists can raise a toast at Burns Night suppers, ceilidhs and spoken word celebrations. To friends: absent or otherwise.
Kick off 2020 in style with must-see events across the North and Scotland – book an Advance ticket now and don't miss a thing.