Find new ways to enjoy England and discover hidden gems with VisitEngland’s new iPhone app. Available free of charge, the Enjoy England app brings users travel inspiration and up-to-the-minute ideas for a great day out or holiday. 

The new app offers users exploring England a new way to stay connected with EnjoyEngland.com while on the move. Users can browse over a 1000 ideas including places to visit and activities to entertain and inspire them on their trip.

The app is simple to use and all users need to do is download and let GPS pinpoint your location or enter the name of their chosen destination. Users can personalise their search according to indoor or outdoor activities, or the most popular ‘must-see’ things to do, and those sticking to a budget can be inspired by hundreds of free ideas. Each result comes complete with a Google Map location. Alternatively, users can browse the gallery of beautiful iconic England images for inspiration.

Even when users are offline they can still access over a1000 fresh ideas and information on unmmissable places and attractions to visit in England.

The Enjoy England iPhone app also includes free access to travel content and readers’ tips from The Guardian newspaper and great ideas from enjoyengland.com. Users are encouraged to share their experiences and upload suggestions to the interactive map. The Enjoy England app is the ideal tool for organising that perfect day out or holiday in England!

The EnjoyEngland App offers new, innovative content and features including:

“Our goal was to build an app that allows users to enjoy England and find the hidden gems and great experiences that make a memorable day out. The iPhone provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase what England has to offer; amazing days out, a rich heritage and a variety of ways to enjoy every minute of your time.” Said Tim Holt, Senior Marketing Manager for VisitEngland.

The new iPhone app will be introduced in several phases as VE continues to develop capabilities of the tool, including Picture Postcard capability.

Technical:

Users can find out more information and download the application for free from www.enjoyengland.com/smartphones and the Apple app store.


  • Planning a trip? Simply type in the name of the place and discover a taste of what is on offer.
  • 1,000s of great ideas and attractions to help you make the most of your trip.
  • Access to Enjoy England’s Guardian travel content, reader tips and the Guardian’s ‘Twitrips’ to help you make the most of your holiday time.
  • Search for thousands of attractions throughout England.
  • Attraction information includes telephone numbers, email and opening times.
  • Maps and directions for attractions and great ideas.
  • Personalise settings for must-see, free, indoor or outdoor things to do, perfect for sunny (or rainy) days.
  • Detailed information on the whole of England available offline.
  • Find Tourist Information Centre’s to get the ‘insider’ knowledge about places.
  • Upload your own suggestions to the app so you can share great places in England with like-minded folk.
  • Connect to Facebook and Twitter to share your whereabouts instantly with friends and family, followers and fans.
  • Save any attractions or great ideas to your favourites.

The application is compatible with iPhone.  

 

 

Ten Top Ideas from the EnjoyEngland App

Bushcrafting in the Lake District

Literally learning to live off the land

Say the word ‘bushcraft’ and people think of dining out on freaky-looking bugs and having to make your bed in a leech-infested puddle. But there’s more to it than extreme survival – it’s never really necessary to eat raw goat testicles, now is it?

Deep within the Lake District National Park, Woodsmoke offer courses that teach fundamental bushcraft skills, helping you live in harmony with nature rather than biting its head off. Through a variety of programmes, from a weekend taster to a six day immersion in survival techniques, Woodsmoke’s experts will help you identify and make the most of plants and trees, build shelters and make fires.

You can also learn how to skin, prepare and cook game or forage for berries, nuts and fungi depending on how squeamish you are. There are plenty of hands on experiences to reinforce the theory. A bushcraft course is certainly a twist on a traditional holiday and your tales of outdoor adventure will impress the water-cooler crowd no end. Most people return from their holidays wanting nothing more than their own bed; chances are you won’t be able to resist heading straight for the woods and going feral all over again.

 

Stonehenge Helicopter Tour

Ancient burial mounds or something stranger?

The hippies will tell you just how important it is to soak up the vibes at Stonehenge, man, to let Mother Earth’s energies wash around you high on Salisbury Plain. There’s no denying that Stonehenge is an incredible monument, but forget sitting cross-legged on the grass, we want to experience it with white-knuckles and a grin stretching from ear-to-ear. Give us a helicopter ride every time.

If you can recover from the mind-blowing buzz of whizzing around in a helicopter at 100 mph for just a few seconds then you’ll be treated to unbelievable views down onto the mighty Neolithic Stonehenge and the numerous burial mounds dotted around the ancient Salisbury Plain. Who knows, from this unique vantage point you might even shed light on why Stonehenge was built.

And Wiltshire being Wiltshire, there’s no shortage of other interesting sites to take in on your journey. From Salisbury Cathedral’s mighty spire to a summer crop circle or two – once you’ve seen these complex patterns from above, it’s hard to believe that they are the handy work of high-spirited students and not some higher being.

Combining James Bond adventure and the most exhilarating sight-seeing tour imaginable, it certainly beats the bananas out of meditating in the mud.

 

Forage for Wild Food

Tasty treats on the forest floor

Anyone that’s seen Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall diving into hedgerows or Ray Mears rummaging for a forest-floor snack may by intrigued by the weird world of wild food.

Step up Fergus the Forager, a man on a mission to entertain and educate about the tasty treats to be found on your doorstop.

Over half of what Fergus Drennan eats is wild food which means he’s got a good idea as to what’s hot and what’s rot in nature’s bountiful larder. Not everyone can knock-up a winter salad out of Navelwort, hoary cress, and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage or make plant stems like Bristly ox-tongue and Hogweed edible.

Throughout the year, Fergus takes small groups on a twelve hour foraging course across woodland, field, river, and seashore habitats around Canterbury and the surrounding coast. The self-titled wild man will tell you just where to find ingredients, how to harvest them sustainably and then cook them. In the spring, you might tap a native birch for its syrupy sap or warm your cockles in the winter with a spicy sea buckthorn and carrot soup.

Fergus is bursting with enthusiasm, driven by the desire to show people another way to eat which doesn’t rely on mass-produced foods as well as unlocking the healing potential of wild food.

The day comes to an end with a three course meal of foraged food cooked on an open fire and washed down with a glass of Dandelion and Gorse wine - now that is what we call wild.

 

Yoga on Bournemouth Beach

Deep breathes, listen to the waves

There’s no better way to ease into a day in the bustling seaside town of Bournemouth than with a spot of yoga on the beach.

Before the crowds of holidaymakers have stumbled out of bed and made their way down to the yellow sands, you have the chance to soak up the scenery and revitalise your mind and body to the sound of bird song.

Under the expert tuition of Frank (not the most spiritual-sounding names admittedly), you’ll work your body into a number of poses called asanas. As your muscles stretch into each asana, your head will empty itself of all worries.

The fresh sea air and the wide-open skies provide a healthy dollop of nature’s energy, perfect for the ancient practice to work its magic. After your session you may feel calm enough to brave the seas for a revitalising early-morning swim.

If the morning sessions are a bit too early, you are on holiday after all, then hold out for Holistic Body Training's evening meeting.

There’s no better way to unwind after a busy day of shopping and sightseeing than by entering the lotus position, slowing your breathing, and losing yourself in the sound of the waves gently lapping against the sure. In just an hour, you’ll achieve a whole holiday’s worth of relaxation.

 

Medieval Banquet at the Tower

Time to discover your inner royal

This is one place where you won’t be tutted at for using your fingers. After all Henry VIII wasn’t exactly renowned for his restraint, so feel free to pick up a chicken leg and get stuck in.

It’s a right royal laugh with serving wenches, sword fighting knights, dancers, contortionists, magicians, jugglers – even the ‘king’ and ‘queen’ themselves.

Apparently audience participation is welcomed, so you might want a couple of glasses of mead (or beer – it’s unlimited) to loosen the joints before busting out those Medieval dance moves.

Four courses can include anything from chicken in a traditional medieval sauce to a more modern tomato and mozzarella salad.

At the end of it all you could probably do with a good walk, so why not take a leisurely wander from St Katherine's Dock to Tower Bridge, where you can marvel at London in all its nocturnal glory?

 

Lessons in Mixology – Rock Bar in Leeds

Learn the tricks of the trade

Anyone that’s ever watched a cocktail being made by an expert will tell you how mesmerising the process is – a seductive dance of shiny shakers, diamonds of crushed ice, fresh fruit and lovely, lovely liquor. And the taste is something else. Well, now you can learn the tricks of the trade at Leed’s Rock Bar cocktail course, the finesse though may come later.

There’s no better place to learn how to mix up some magic than at the ultra-hip Rock Bar in Leeds. A trained professional, the mixologist, will teach you to combine spirits with flair and shake like Tom Cruise in his prime.

But be warned, there is no slap-dash element, no winging it, cocktail making is a science. If you’re going to make a martini fit for James Bond then it comes down to the ability to stir the vermouth and gin while ensuring the ice doesn’t make a sound – easier said than done.

As well as the martini, you will learn to make a cosmopolitan, beloved of the Sex in the City girls, and perfect the tricky balancing act that goes into the delightful daiquiri. By the end of the evening, you will be equipped with the basic skills to get creative with the booze cupboard and wow your friends.

It may take years to perfect brave new fusions, but my golly it will be fun trying.

 

Climbing St Werburghs Church

Don't look down. No, really...

When the architects set about creating St Werburgh’s Church back in the fifteenth century, it is pretty unlikely they envisaged their handiwork eventually being used by intrepid climbers rather than rapturous worshippers.

But that’s exactly what happened. Today, the church’s tower (yes, even the gargoyles) has been transformed into the Bristol Climbing Centre, (www.undercover-rock.com) an innovative climbing space.

Don’t worry though, you won’t have to clamber up the side like King King. All climbing is done indoors on a 12-metre wall and a 250 square-metre dedicated bouldering area.

First timers will probably be a little daunted, but a taster session spent learning the basics should allay those fears. Experts, meanwhile, we be like harness-clad pigs in ordure when they clock the 150 routes available. It can be tricky, with certain sections of the wall requiring you to tackle ultra-tricky pillars, fins, overhangs and arches. So be prepared to unleash your inner-Spiderman.

The key to success? Stay calm, look for your hold, and maintain those three points of contact. The thrill of reaching the top is unrivalled but even if you fail there’s something satisfying about falling to the matting below.

Afterwards, pop into the Duke of York for an ale and a spot of skittles. And if you don’t have the strength to raise the glass to your lips, there’s no shame in asking for a straw.

 

Norfolk Broads Sailing

Miles of lock-free waterway

Is there a better way to wile away a week than by quietly sluicing your way through the Norfolk Broads on a sailing boat?

If peace and tranquillity are your thing, and you have a yen for areas of natural untouched beauty, the answer is a hearty, seafaring ‘no’.

The waterways of the Norfolk Broads offer endless miles of lock-free cruising on shallow lakes and rivers, making them perfect for first time sailors. A week on board means slowing down to the rhythms of the tides and charting a holiday course to match your rested heartbeat.

You can fill in your days by simply watching the huge variety of wildlife float past. Be it a bird or a butterfly, you won’t wait long. Or, instead, jump ship and visit the market towns and traditional boat building villages that line the banks.

Add access to nature reserves, micro-breweries, historic churches, panoramic views, cathedral cities, woodlands, marshes and some of the freshest, tastiest local produce in the UK and you have an experience that is more than a holiday.

It’s a glimpse into a whole new way of life. And once you’ve had a taste, you’ll keep coming back for more and more.

 

Bathing Beauty Beach Huts

And catch a movie at the Kinema in the Woods...

Think of the north Lincolnshire coast, and images of bizarrely-shaped beach huts nestled amongst the dunes are unlikely to come to mind. But as you’ll soon discover, Mablethorpe is full of surprises.

There are over 300 huts situated between Mablethorpe and its neighbour Sutton-on-Sea, but the ones you’ll really notice are the Bathing Beauties. The artist Michael Trainor launched a competition back in 2007 for designers to reinvent the beach hut for the twenty-first century, and these bad boys were the result.

With names as playful as the hut’s designs, you can rent ‘Jabba the Hut’ which is shaped like a garlic bulb, or ‘Eye Wide sHut’ whose main feature is a one-way viewing mirror. There’s even a hut with its own Camera Obscura. After you’ve picked your unique hut, all that’s left to do is kick back and enjoy the sea-views and 10 miles of blue flag beach.

After enjoying a day in a Bathing Beauty, it’s time to turn your back on the sea and head into the woods. Just fifteen miles from Mablethorpe in a verdant corner of the Woodhall Spa, you’ll discover the incredible Kinema.

With an organ and back projection system, there’s plenty of old school charm on display. With its ability to play around with history, Mablethorpe will open your eyes to a whole new side of Lincolnshire.

 

Roman dig at Vindolanda

Take part in a Roman dig

Do you look on enviously as Tony Robinson and his Time Team uncover yet another ancient treasure? Now’s your chance to get your finger nails dirty and be in with a chance of unearthing an historic relic buried for thousands of years at the Roman dig at Vindolanda.

For six months each year, hundreds of volunteers descend on the Roman forts, which were occupied as far back as AD 85, to continue the archaeological excavation.

And you don’t have to be Indiana Jones or a grade-A archaeology student to take part as long as you’re fit, interested and willing to get stuck in.

Over the course of a week or two, you’ll develop a whole range of excavation and post excavation skills, receiving as much guidance as you need. You could find yourself wielding anything from a shovel to a fine brush as you delve deeper into the past.

Back in 2009, the team uncovered an impressive religious shrine dedicated to a Roman god. For your chance to experience that rare buzz of discovering some age-old artifact then visit the website and get signed up.

And don’t worry if you can’t make it this year, current estimates predict that it will take another 150 to complete the examination of Vindolanda.

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