We take a look at some of the biggest new openings for groups to consider…

Drusillas Park has completed a £250k European woodland-inspired enclosure project which is now home to two Eurasian lynx - the first time the zoo has welcomed this species. The team at the park, along with industry experts, worked daily over nine months to create a habitat to ensure the new arrivals had everything they needed to settle into their home. 

The main space features an open forest area, lined with bespoke, hand-carved rock-work. The enclosure also has a freshwater, multi-level waterfall and stream. Group rates at Drusillas Park start at 15 or more people.

A Eurasian lynx inside its new European woodland-inspired enclosure at Drusillas Park in East Sussex

The zoo has welcomed Eurasian lynx for the first time, thanks to a new European woodland-inspired enclosure.

In London, the National Portrait Gallery was reopened by the Princess of Wales (pictured top) following a three-year transformation, compromising of a complete re-presentation of the collection, as well as significant refurbishment of the building which includes a new visitor entrance and more. The new layout will take visitors on a journey through history, from the Middle Ages to the present day, telling the story of the UK through portraits.

The new Blavatnik Wing has nine refurbished spaces which explores society and culture in the 19th and early 20th century, or groups can head to the History Makers display which is said to connect visitors to the ‘dynamic range of people influencing society and culture today’. Entry is free although pre-booking is essential for groups.

Elsewhere in the city, Kensington’s Science Museum has opened its huge permanent Engineers gallery which explores how the industry changes the world. Human stories are at the heart of the space, with illustrated, characterful anecdotes from more than 60 engineers working in a broad range of industries, such as farming, fashion, robotics and medicine.

One of the many spaces at the Engineers gallery at the Science Museum in South Kensington

Source: © Science Museum Group

The Engineers gallery aims to inspire visitors about the vital work of the industry.

These stories all sit within four distinct sections of the gallery: Bodies, Lives, Connections and Creating. Displays within these zones range from understanding web technologies in the industry to finding out how surgical robots can enhance precision during operations.

Nearby, the V&A has opened DIVA, the first exhibition of its kind to celebrate the power and creativity of performers who have made their voices heard from the 19th century until today. Included in the display, which runs until 7th April 2024, are five key looks worn by global artist Rihanna, as well as Whitney Houston’s floor-length black and gold dress worn to receive three Grammys for The Bodyguard soundtrack and Billie Elish’s Glastonbury ensemble. 

DIVA exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The DIVA display at the V&A includes five works worn by global star Rihanna.

Or for the younger members of the group, Young V&A in Bethnal Green is the first national museum designed with and for children. Three galleries named Play, Imagine and Design feature interactives and activities inspired by the collections, where children can have fun together expressing their creativity, with immersive optical illusions, a performance area and stage, a marble run, self-portrait maker and open design studio, plus much more. The Science Museum, Young V&A and the V&A can all be visited for free, but groups must pre-book.

For the history buffs among you, Nottingham Castle has reopened, after initially closing in November 2022. Now under different ownership, its £31m redevelopment can be enjoyed once more with a new visitor centre and café, plus on-site museum and gallery spaces. Inside groups can discover more than 1,000 years of history in the city, as well as tales of Robin Hood and rebellion.

Nottingham Castle

Discover tales of Robin Hood and rebellion at Nottingham Castle.

Mortimer’s Hole, a manmade tunnel which runs from Brewhouse Yard up to Nottingham Castle’s terrace, can also be included in the visit. It features details about the story of King Edward III, and how he used the tunnel to capture Sir Roger Mortimer and his wife, Queen Isabella of France – an event which changed the course of English history. Groups of 15 or more qualify for discounted tickets to Nottingham Castle, with a small additional charge to visit Mortimer’s Hole.

Finally in Scotland, Continuum Attractions has spent £1.5m to transform the Loch Ness Centre to engage, entertain and inform visitors about the mysterious Loch Ness Monster. Located at the old Drumnadrochit Hotel, where, 90 years ago, Mrs Aldie Mackay hotel manageress reported seeing a ‘water beast’ in Loch Ness, the centre is described as a modern immersive journey.

A family exploring the interactive exhibits inside the Loch Ness Centre in Scotland

Source: Paul Campbell

Continuum Attractions has transformed the Loch Ness Centre with interactive displays.

Throughout eight rooms, groups can delve deeper not just into history of the Loch Ness phenomenon but also the scientific research carried out by Adrian Shine and The Loch Ness Project (based on site). Afterwards, visitors can head out on the loch itself to hunt for the beast aboard the centre’s very own vessel. Group benefits include discounts for ten or more people, as well as free familiarisation visits for up to two people.

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