The UK’s tallest Christmas tree has been unveiled today just in time for the festive season, and it is under an hour’s drive from Manchester.
Standing at a staggering 100 feet tall, boasting 100,000 baubles and five miles of sparkling fairy lights, the Christmas tree at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks isn’t one to be missed.
The baubles, some of which are as large as footballs, are accompanied by 20,000 red bulbs to accompany the fairy lights, not only giving the tree that truly traditional festive look and feel, but putting all of our own Christmas tree efforts to shame.
Kenny Murray, general manager at Cheshire Oaks, said on the festive new addition: “Our Christmas tree has become a symbol of the spirit of the region and given the events of last year, we’re thrilled to be back with a tree which really makes a statement.”
And that isn’t all that’s on the bill at the designer outlet this Christmas; Cheshire Oaks is also playing home to a winter village complete with magical VIP Christmas huts, each of which will offer festive food and drink platters for groups of up to six people.
The restaurants and cafes on site will also be getting into the festive spirit with a range of new menus boasting some tasty winter warmers, such as mulled wine, steaming hot chocolates and freshly baked mince pies.
A number of the designer stores will also be offering promotional deals – up to 60% off in some places – throughout the next month, including top brands like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger , Hugo Boss, and Michael Kors.
The Christmas tree and winter market has been unveiled today, and will be open for shoppers and members of the public alike to view and enjoy throughout the build up to Christmas.
For more information, head over to the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks website.
Free festivals coming to Freight Island for ‘most electrifying season yet’
Get ready for a festival season of great food, drink and music at Freight Island!
Freight Island is gearing up for an epic free festival series throughout the spring and summer months, which promises to be its ‘most electrifying season yet’.
Back open in full swing on Easter weekend, Freight Island is set to re-open fully on Friday, March 29th featuring world-renowned DJs and the city’s finest talents to present top tier entertainment.
All free to attend, this year’s epic series is set to welcome some of the music scene’s most revered talents such as David Rodigan, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay, Luke Una and his special É Soul Cultura, Crazy P (DJ Set), Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, and many more.
Supporting acts include some of Manchester’s most celebrated DJs and collectives, including the likes of Sit N Bun, Supernature Disco, SK1 Records, Me Gusta Collective, Semi Skimmed Edits, Ghosts of Garage, and more.
In addition to the sensational spring/summer programming, Freight Island also hosts regular events including the famous pop club night Cherrybomb, mass karaoke, creative workshops, and more.
Continuing to champion independent traders from the North West, Freight Island will see a new addition to this year’s festival season with Liverpool institution Pattersons.
Guests can tuck into the North West spot’s famous mouth-watering fried chicken, which is brined for over 24 hours in Pattersons’ special mix of herbs and spices and dusted in secret recipe flour.
Hungry guests can also expect all of Freight Island’s amazing traders to be back open, including the premium smashed burgers from Burgerism, giant 22” pizza and slices from Voodoo Ray’s, slab shack from Lazy Tony’s Lasagnaria, and Indian and Nepalese street food from Payal.
As well as Greek street food from Mega Gyros, Venezuelan cuisine from Mia’s Arepas, pan-Asian cuisine from Fuku, open fire cooking from Smoking Coal, and cheesecake on a stick from Oh My Cheesecake.
Foodie programme resumes with Seconds carvery every Sunday, featuring quality roast meats and unlimited access to all the trimmings.
To book your FREE tickets for the Freight Island festivals, click HERE.
Freight Island opens for its epic spring/summer festival from Friday March 29th. Opening hours are Thursday from 4pm until 11pm, Friday from 4pm until 12am, Saturday from 12pm until 12am, and Sunday from 12pm until 10pm.
Chester Zoo letting school children visit for FREE to ‘inspire new generation of conservationists’
More than 35,000 of the free educational visit tickets are up for grabs
Chester Zoo is inviting children in education to visit for free as part of its aim to inspire a new generation of conservationists.
Pupils from nurseries, primary, secondary schools, and colleges can take advantage of the free places, which gives them the chance to explore conservation up close at the charity’s 128-acre zoological gardens.
Running since 2017, the zoo’s free ticket scheme has already seen more than 100,000 children and young people experience the wonders the zoo has to offer. This year, more than 35,000 of the free educational visit tickets are up for grabs.
This time round, the zoo is also opening the initiative to nurseries, schools and colleges that haven’t benefited from the scheme within the last three years.
Every school participating in the programme will receive a free resource pack to help maximise the educational impact of their zoo visit.
Charlotte Smith, director of conservation education and engagement at Chester Zoo, said: “Every one of us is a custodian of our natural world but it’s the next generation of conservationists – children and young people today – who are fundamentally important to overcoming the environmental and biodiversity challenges our planet is facing.
“They are inspiring and they give us hope, which is why we’re so keen to connect them with the awe and wonder of nature and help to nurture their passion and desire to make a difference.
“It’s proven that a visit to the zoo can significantly enhance people’s understanding of the huge efforts that go into conserving highly threatened species, while also bringing physical and mental health benefits, too.
“That’s why we particularly want to reach youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds and ensure they are the primary beneficiaries of the initiative – so we can provide them with the skills and know-how to go on and make a real, positive difference to wildlife in their everyday lives.”
Chester Zoo’s free educational visits are for between November 2024 and February 2025.
To apply you will need to fill out an application form and submit it online. The deadline is March 22nd.
To apply for a free educational visit to Chester Zoo, click HERE.
LS Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon painting to go on public display for first time in 57 years
It will go on display for the first time in 57 years before it goes to auction
LS Lowry’s painting Sunday Afternoon is to go on public display for the first time in 57 years.
The painting, worth more than £4 million will go on display in Christie’s London on March 13th before it goes to auction on March 20th.
Lowry, who was born in Stretford in 1887, painted industrial districts in Greater Manchester and around the North West. He mainly depicted Salford in his works.
Laurence Stephen Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon illustrates a densely populated industrial landscape, which shows what Lowry described as the ‘battle of life’.
Before his death in 1976 at the age of 88, Lowry produced more than 1,000 artworks.
Auctioneers expect the painting to go for between £4 million and £6 million at the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale on March 20th.
The artwork was previously sold at the Christies in 1967 for a ‘record price’ and was obtained from the collection of Keith Showering, who was a former chief executive of Europe’s biggest drinks business Allied Breweries.
Phillip Harley, senior director at Christie’s, said: “Sunday Afternoon by LS Lowry will return to the public eye at Christie’s for the first time since it was last seen here 57 years ago.
“This important painting has remained in the collection of Sir Keith and Lady Showering since 1967, offering a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a work of this magnitude and scale.
“The composition represents the wonder the artist felt as he recorded his many observations of the evolving society around him.
“We are thrilled to bring Sunday Afternoon back to auction in the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale. We look forward to welcoming our clients and visitors alike to view the painting when it goes on free display in London on 13 March.”
LS Lowry’s Sunday Afternoon will go on public display at the Christie’s London from March 13th to 20th.
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