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Packing For A Cracking Holiday

Wallace & Gromit

Wallace and Gromit

Today a new TV advertisement hits our screens fronted by Aardman double-act Wallace and Gromit, encouraging Brits to take a holiday at home this summer.

Here, the national tourist board looks at just some of the top Wallace and Gromit inspired days out, short breaks and holidays across England.

A Grand Day Out – “Eeeeeeeeee, these bank holidays – it’s a problem to decide…”
Blackpool certainly holds a special place in Wallace and Gromit’s hearts, set in their home county of Lancashire, famous for its namesake cheese and Wallace’s favourite hotpot.

New this spring, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has launched the world’s only Wallace & Gromit ride, Thrill-O-Matic. Take a trip through Wallace & Gromit’s adventures, have A Grand Day Out, try out The Wrong Trousers, and experience A Close Shave before dealing with A Matter of Loaf and Death and tackling The Curse of the Were Rabbit. It wouldn’t be Wallace & Gromit without the duo’s cracking contraptions making an appearance throughout, along with some friendly and not-so friendly characters. Up to four riders can step inside Wallace’s slippers at a time for an adventure of a lifetime.

Wallace & Gromit feel right at home in Bristol, the home of their creators, Aardman Animations. There’ll be plenty of dog days in the city this summer, as Gromit takes over as part of a sculpture trail: Gromit Unleashed. Bristol has teamed up with Aardman Animations in aid of the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, to put together a trail of 80 one-of-a-kind Gromits stretching right across the city centre and out into Bristol’s leafy pockets, from 1 July.

Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park is designing one of the Gromit sculptures himself, which will be joined by a long list of national and international artists, illustrators and fashion designers all creating their own take on our favourite pooch. Look out for a vintage-inspired Cath Kidson Gromit, an ultra-modern Paul Smith design and another illustrated by prolific children’s author and illustrator Sir Quentin Blake. Other Gromits will be transformed by Axel Scheffler, who drew children’s favourite The Gruffalo, creator of the global Where’s Wally phenomenon Martin Handford and Sir Peter Blake, who designed the Beatles album cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band.

Once you’ve explored the city and snapped all the Gromits, stop by Aardman Studios for a behind-the-scenes tour to discover how the ‘magic’ happens.

Cracking Cheese, Gromit – “Cheese! We’ll go somewhere where there’s cheese!”
Wallace and Gromit might have headed for the moon in A Grand Day Out, but there are plenty of cheese-filled activities to be had right here in England. A Cracking Day Out is guaranteed for all at the Wensleydale Visitor Centre, Creamery and Museum, where you can discover the delicious cheese so loved by Wallace. Real Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese is made by hand, as it always has been, by a devoted team of master cheese-makers. See the cheese-makers in action, sample the different delicious varieties and see why Wensleydale has won so many prestigious cheese awards.

Just how far would you go for a nice hunk of cheese? Each year on the last weekend of May, a group of bold cheese enthusiasts hurl themselves down the steep Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire in pursuit of a large Double Gloucester. The centuries-old tradition of Cheese Rolling is rooted in a pagan ritual celebrating the arrival of spring. The first cheese is rolled at midday and each race (there are three men’s races and one ladies’ races) lasts just 30 seconds, as hundreds of competitors roll, bounce and slide down the 200-metre, 1:2 gradient slope hot on the heels of the cheese. Not for the feint hearted – most, like us, prefer to sit back and watch.

Short Breaks – ‘Tally Ho!’
Wallace wouldn’t dream of taking a holiday without his beloved Gromit. Forget the kennel fees, and load your lucky dog into the car with the rest of the family – he’ll be barking mad if he gets left behind!

Take your pampered pooch to five-star Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire and stay in a room with direct access to the extensive grounds. The hotel has mapped out walks and jogging trails for you and you four-legged friend to trot along. While you recharge in the hotel spa and refuel on the hotel’s exquisite cuisine, a chef will prepare your pet’s regular meal in time for their usual feeding time. Wags all round! Doubles from £189.

The majority of guests might be of the human variety, but Newcastle’s ‘Mal’ takes its canine visitors very seriously indeed. While you’re luxuriating in the basement spa or supping cocktails and drinking in the stunning river views, they’re snuggled in their own special bed in your room. It’s exhausting, this holiday lark! Doubles from £115

Cliveden House loves mutts so much they’ve created a doggy menu! Meanwhile you can indulge in one of the fine dining rooms or tuck into a traditional afternoon tea. Pampered pooches of a civilised age are welcome in every bedroom, and there are 250 acres of designated woodland paths roaming through National Trust grounds right outside, just begging to be explored. Doubles start from £385 including breakfast .

Top Walking Spots – “Morning Gromit… Time for Walkies”

England is home to no less than ten national parks, and countless dog-friendly beaches and trails. The Trans Pennine Trail links the North and the Irish seas and can be joined and exited at any time, so you and your dog can have as long or short a walkies as you want. With 70% of the trail traffic-free, it’s a chance for you both to let loose.

Your furry friend will be spoilt for choice when visiting the Dartmoor National Park. There’s a range of marked-out dog-friendly routes snaking through some of the most idyllic parts of this huge swath of luscious land that sits in the south of Devon.

Stretching almost a mile out into the sea Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ statues are sure to draw the attention of a curious canine. The 100 life-size cast-iron figures stand in the midst of the large dog-friendly Crosby beach, giving you both plenty of space to run about in after he’s finished nipping at those iron ankles.

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