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Ellie Muir

Ellie Muir

Contributing writer

Ellie Muir has been a freelance writer for Time Out London and Time Out UK since the start of 2022. She writes news and features covering culture, food, travel, lifestyle trends and city life.

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Articles (27)

10 chocolate-box villages in easy reach of London

10 chocolate-box villages in easy reach of London

As much fun as London is, sometimes it’s refreshing to get out of the capital and into one of the many picturesque villages within easy reach of the city. Swap cramming onto the tube for relaxing country walks, plunging into London’s lidos for a dip at a seaside town, and city parks for fields of outstanding natural beauty – you won’t regret it. The UK’s countryside offers up a wealth of worthwhile day trips year-round, but where should you head on your next venture into the great outdoors? We’ve collected ten of the prettiest villages you can easily visit, taken from the book ‘Escape London’ by Yolanda Zappaterra. You may have experienced their period charm in a film or TV show, but nothing beats a leisurely stroll through their winding streets, followed by a well-earned pint by a roaring pub fire.This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Where to watch the London Marathon: the best places along the route map

Where to watch the London Marathon: the best places along the route map

Running 26.2 miles (twenty six point two!) dressed as Po from ‘Teletubbies’ is something that the majority of us Londoners will probably never be brave enough to attempt. Running a marathon is a truly gruelling feat requiring countless hours of training, so the 50,000 brave souls who are taking part London Marathon on Sunday April 21 2024 very much deserve our support.  Check out our route guide below to find the best spectating spots and track down nearby pubs and bars for when all that whooping and clapping leaves you feeling nearly as thirsty as the runners. Remember: your presence at this monumental sporting occasion makes it absolutely fine to drink lager or rosé in the street at 10am on a Sunday.  It’s worth bearing in mind, too, that everyone taking part laces up pretty early. There will be a series of starts between 10am and 11.30am, with short gaps in between to allow the course ahead to clear. And if watching the runners pushing through the pain barrier leaves you inspired, check out our guide on how to enter the London Marathon. And here’s our winning guide to this year’s marathon. What landmarks can I spot on the London Marathon route? If you hadn’t noticed, the marathon route is loooooong. Starting in Greenwich Park in south-east London and finishing right by Buckingham Palace, there are loads of famous things to see along the way, especially when you’re a spectator. Here are some of the things to look out for: Mile 6: Cutty Sark Mile 12: Tower Bridge Mile 18: C

The best massages in London

The best massages in London

Life can be pretty tense for the average Londoner. Several times a week we’ll embark on an overcrowded commute, contorting into unlikely gaps on the tube. We’ll spend hours a day hunched over laptops, sitting through stressful meetings or chained to our desks late into the evening, before slumping over our phones to scroll through TikToks for several hours. Even if we find time in our days for an hour or two of proper fun, mindful quiet or the endorphin hit of a sweaty exercise class, we still have tired feet, tight muscles and shoulders in need of soothing. Enter these amazing London spas and studios dedicated to massaging the city back to health. Permit yourself a break, put your slippered feet up and let these amazing treatments work their magic.   RECOMMENDED: Check out the best spas in London for more top treatments Want to save money on your massages? Loads of great deals at Time Out Offers

The best yoga in London

The best yoga in London

Need to de-stress, stretch out or get zen? In London you are never far from a yoga studio and classes with brilliant instructors ready to show you how to perfect your technique, build strength and get even more flexible. Whether you’re a sun salutation newbie or an experienced yogi, fancy sweating it out in a powerful bikram class or laying on your back in a candlelit studio, London’s yoga scene has got you. Here are some of the best studios around London to help you unlock those endorphins. We’ll see you in shavasana.  Fancy something a bit different? Check out hot yoga or rooftop yoga. If intensity is more your thing, take a look at our top picks for outdoor exercise classes or best boxing classes. RECOMMENDED: More ways to be active in London.

The 18 best couples cooking classes in NYC

The 18 best couples cooking classes in NYC

More often than not, date night involves food. With so many amazing restaurants in NYC (not to mention romantic restaurants), it’s not hard to find a new spot to take the love in your life for a meal. But if you’re a foodie in search of unique date ideas to shake things up a little bit, a cooking class might be right up your alley. More specifically, check out the best couples' cooking classes in NYC to brush up on your culinary skills while having a fun night out. We’ve tried them and boy are they good. There’s a lot there, too. From basic culinary skills to cooking with wine, rolling sushi, or cooking authentic Thai food of exceptional quality, these couples' cooking classes aim to entertain and educate. And the best bit? You’re sure to grow even closer as you mix ingredients with your special someone. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a kitchen competition — these classes contain knives! And peelers. Peelers can be dangerous, too.  Whatever the focus of the cooking class you decide to book, you’ll learn something new and taste something delicious. Plus, you’ll have the skills you need to cook a delicious meal for a stay-at-home date night or to impress your pals a-deux. And if you’re looking for more ways to develop skills while kindling a romance, consider one of NYC’s best pottery classes — fun, functional, and you might even get to recreate that scene from Ghost. Here’s hoping, huh? RECOMMENDED: Full guide to date ideas in NYCRECOMMENDED: The best hotels in NYCRECOMME

The cosiest places to visit in London

The cosiest places to visit in London

Yes, the temperature in London has now well and truly dropped. And yes, alfresco evening drinks are only for the bravest of punters, but winter in the capital is also the perfect opportunity to curl up at one of these cockle-warming indoor spots.  We’re swapping bustling rooftop bars for intimate, wood-clad, pubs, and beer gardens for the low hum of underground whisky bars, and we couldn't be happier about it. We’re continually surprised and delighted by how many quiet places there are to curl up and get cosy, and these are a selection of our favourites.  Think infinitely squishy sofas, open fires, blankets and fairy lights aplenty. Feeling more positive about winter yet? We certainly are.  RECOMMENDED: London’s most cosy pubs 

The best winter walks in London for a frosty stroll

The best winter walks in London for a frosty stroll

It's tempting to hibernate when the thermometer dips, but what a waste that would be when London's blessed with so many gigantic, historic parks to explore. As winter arrives, walking among the sculptural trees, frozen lakes and peaceful pathways is a must for anyone who wants to blow the cobwebs away. Whether you're a Royal Parks stan, a fiend for Hampstead Heath on a chilly day or a Greenwich Park fanatic, there are so many winter walks to choose from in London. So, get out there and enjoy a bracing tramp around this city's prettiest green spaces - if you're lucky, there might even be a dusting of snow to make your winter walk even more magical.  RECOMMENDED: Seven of London's prettiest walks

The best Halloween parties in London

The best Halloween parties in London

If the only thing you want to hear going bump in the night is a thudding soundsystem, then Halloween in London won’t disappoint. This year the day of spooks and scares falls on Tuesday October 31 2023. And while mid-week shindigs aren’t known for being the best nights out, that hasn’t stopped London’s party starters from throwing massive events, many of which are taking place over the ‘Halloweekend’ prior to the big night itself. There are scary club nights aplenty, but also gothic cabaret shows, frightful live music, spooky museum lates and scary movie screenings. If you go out on actual Halloween, be prepared to spend the following days like a zombie at work. It’ll be so worth it, though... RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Halloween in London.

Halloween Cinema in London 2023: Spooky Halloween Movie Screenings & Scary Film Events

Halloween Cinema in London 2023: Spooky Halloween Movie Screenings & Scary Film Events

Some people like to watch scary movies from the safety of their sofa with a cushion in front of their eyes. We prefer the communal experience: sitting in a huge, dark space with loads of fellow thrillseekers, all reacting to every collective gasp and shriek. If you’re with us, then you need to get your brave self to one of these Halloween film screenings. And when we say scary movies, we don’t just mean genuinely terrifying horror classics like ‘The Shining’ and ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. Many classics of the Halloween movie season range from camp as Christmas (‘Hocus Pocus’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’) to...actually low-key Christmassy (‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’).  Whether you like to be chilled to the bone or raucously entertained while wearing drag, London has a Halloween movie screening for you. Recommended: 🎃 Our guide to Halloween in London👹 The 66 greatest movie monsters of all time

The saucy history of Pizza Express: how one restaurant chain stole the hearts of a nation

The saucy history of Pizza Express: how one restaurant chain stole the hearts of a nation

If you grew up in London in the nineties or noughties, you’ll know there ain’t no party like a Pizza Express party. The striped chef hats, frigid marble tables and waiters holding that obnoxiously large pepper grinder made for an epic birthday celebration – but also, somehow, an appropriate place for a business dinner, family meal or date night. It was the stylish bourgeois meeting point that served up ‘Italian’ food with a clumsy British charm. It was Peterborough entrepreneur Peter Boizot who first shipped over an authentic pizza oven from Rome to London, after deciding that the cheesy, doughy Italian creation was the most delicious thing he’d ever eaten. In 1965, Pizza Express served their first slices out of a window hatch on 29 Wardour Street, Soho, with plastic cutlery that melted in the cheese. With pizza at two shillings (10p) a slice, the takings were only £3. But once the menu had been finalised, actual chairs installed and metal cutlery brought in, London’s casual dining scene had been revolutionised. Photograph: Courtesy of Pizza ExpressPeter Boizot First, a disclaimer. I’m a Pizza Express (or PX) superfan. Cut me and I bleed dough ball garlic butter. One of my earliest memories is standing in a stockroom at the back of Pizza Express Beckenham, as my parents made a shady deal with a waiter to buy a set of Peroni Nastro Azzurro pint glasses. I was high on life (and knickerbocker glory), stuffed with margarita pizza in a state of pure, carbed-up bliss. I spent man

The magnificent cemeteries of London

The magnificent cemeteries of London

Suggesting a trip to a graveyard as a day out in London might get you the odd funny look. Your friends will instantly assume you’re going through a goth phase. The truth, however, is that our city’s cemeteries are some of the most astonishing in the whole world. Not only are these historic places of rest the permanent homes of some of London’s most famous residents, but the on-site architecture is also often spectacular. Little wonder some of the capital’s writers have traditionally used them as places to walk and think. So why not swap an afternoon in a London park for a peaceful wander through one of these grand and picturesque cemeteries?  RECOMMENDED: The 50 best attractions in London.  

The most bewitching places to go in London

The most bewitching places to go in London

Though its streets might be grey and polluted, London is actually a very magical place. Whether it's the slew of mystic shops in Soho or the immersive witchcraft walking tours, Londoners are obsessed with the city’s witchy legacy.  In hidden corners of this city, 21st century witches are working their magic, and it's more likely to involve crystals and shrines than the black cat and broomstick cliches. There are tonnes of places to embrace magik in the city to channel your inner witch, plus loads of shops to stock up on potions, spells and occult accessories. Read on to find the best places to get in touch with your witchy side. Recommended: Find spooky atmosphere galore at London's most haunted pubs.

Listings and reviews (25)

Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead

Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead

Peruse 1000s of handpicked paintings, sculpture, photography and prints from 200 galleries at this springtime edition of the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead Heath. With a mission to democratise art, works are priced between £50 and £7,500. Hampstead Heath visitors will get the opportunity to view Jackson’s Painting Prize finalists' work up close, whilst families can bring a buggy and get creative between 11am and noon. This year, highlights include a new installation by Belgian artist Jules Wittock that’s described as “labyrinthine”, a dog photobooth (because why should humans have all the fun?), outdoor art classes, and much more. 

New Year’s Eve at Somerset House

New Year’s Eve at Somerset House

Kicking off at 7pm on New Year’s eve, and running all the way until 2am, Somerset House has partnered with cabaret collective The Cocoa Butter Club to ring in 2023 with a bang. There will be, of course, amazing views of the world-famous fireworks, from Somerset House’s Terrace, plus the ice rink will be open to all. On the music front, DJ Bushbby will be gracing the decks, to welcome 2024 with some Latin American style sounds. And for the grub? Delicious food and drinks packages from Chalet Suisse by Jimmy Garcia in partnership with Switzerland Tourism will be on offer. 

The Pelham - Starhotels Collezione

The Pelham - Starhotels Collezione

5 out of 5 stars

The Pelham is the sort of hotel you’d see in an American Christmas rom-com when the main character visits England during winter vacation. The hotel itself is comprised of two townhouses, developed together to create an intimate home away from home. Common areas for guests include the library room and drawing room; both dimly lit and wood-laden with traditional twentieth-century furnishings, toasty enough to curl up under a blanket next to the fire. All of the rooms are an acceptable size, with the junior suite being bigger than most flats in London. The decor is slightly kitsch, at times, given that each room has a bright colour scheme. That’s all forgiven by the sweet, festive feeling of the place (we’d recommend going during the holiday season for the real cosy experience). And while The Pelham is definitely upmarket, evident in its plush, tranquilising beds and beautiful bathrooms in each room, it still has a clumsy English charm; the floors in the hallway creek as you walk and the lift is absolutely tiny. Yet, it all adds to the undeniable, comforting appeal of the place. The Neighbourhood: Situated in the heart of South Kensington, opposite the Tube station and up the road from Exhibition Road, where you’ll find the V&A, Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and rows of boutique restaurants and cafes on the way. It’s convenient for people looking to explore the city’s cultural, upmarket side. There are also direct connections to central London via the Underground an

Henson's Bar & Social

Henson's Bar & Social

3 out of 5 stars

Comb your way through the wash of Simmons and Be at One chain bars scattered across Soho, you’ll find the best cocktails in London’s buzzy hub lie in more understated spots. Henson’s Bar and Social, on the ground floor of Mimi’s Hotel, is just that. With its oak-panelled lounge, fuzzy red velvet curtains and low ceilings, it has an old boys’ club vibe, but thankfully minus the stuffy men. There’s nothing OTT about Henson’s, but it still maintains a sense of grand, classic bougieness. It’s the sort of place you’d take someone if you wanted to impress them, but also show that you’re both down-to-earth and refined. The atmosphere was pleasant, but not as bustle-y as I was hoping for on a Thursday night in Soho. The generic, swish bar music was also a bit dull and could have done with more consideration.  The menu, however, was exacted with painstaking precision, because the drinks were absolutely delicious. Henson’s extensive offering showcases a range of classics done absolutely right. It’s a blend of drinks you know and more rogue blockbuster concoctions, such as the exuberant Truffle in Paradise, but nothing ridiculous or overdone. The cocktails – all £13 – are broken down into four categories: Signature, Aperitivo, Classic and Forgotten Classics. The Mezcal Negroni was a smoky delight, strong and fragrant and topped off with a shaving of orange over the top of a gigantic ice cube. The Daiquiri was crispy, zesty and fresh.  Next up was the show-stopping Joy of Life – a delic

New Year's Eve at the Natural History Museum

New Year's Eve at the Natural History Museum

Ring in 2023 with an unforgettable prehistoric celebration at the Natural History Museum's dino-disco. Get ready to throw some shapes alongside Diplodocus and his mates, let out a roar at the silent disco and take in the Jurassic-themed performers. There will be a live band, dino-themed activities and a chance to explore many of the Natural History Museum’s galleries (like the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition) after dark. You’ll even get a complimentary beer, wine or soft drink. FYI: Jurassic-themed fancy dress is strongly encouraged and there will be a prize for the best costume, so get your glad rags on and party dino-style.

Vintage New Year’s Eve at the Southbank Centre

Vintage New Year’s Eve at the Southbank Centre

Now in its tenth year, Southbank Centre is returning with its nostalgic through the decades party. Across its five floors, each of which is themed around a different decade from the 1920s to the present day, the venue will be transformed with six themed nightclubs and dance classes, plus performances from live acts, orchestras and specialist DJs. Once the countdown to midnight begins, the outdoor spaces and terraces will be the ultimate viewing point for the iconic New Year’s Eve fireworks display. New Year's Eve ticket prices come as package bands, from 'Party Only' to 'Roof Garden Spectacular' to 'Golden Dining', ranging from £130 to £345.

081 Pizzeria

081 Pizzeria

4 out of 5 stars

Unless you’ve been living under a massive arancini ball, you’ll know that sourdough, neapolitan pizza is all the rage these days. And with good reason: it’s proper, authentic Italian comfort food, which 081 Pizzeria serves up to near perfection. Its original branch is a street-food set up in Peckham Levels. Now, it’s added a cosy new spot in Fitzrovia (inside Smuggler’s Tavern on Warren Street), which moves it into more refined terrain, offering a selection of hand-crafted Neapolitan pizzas and Napoli-inspired tapas dishes. A red neon sign on the wall reads: ‘Pizza is a very serious thing.’ I couldn’t agree more. And 081 wasn’t lying when they drilled that sign into the wall. The menu expertly delivers on honest, Italian comfort food, brimming with small plates and inventive pizzas served up in cosy surroundings that make you feel like you’re having dinner at a talented neighbour’s house. For starters, the courgette flower was a mouthwatering, crispy delight, stuffed with ricotta and smoked mozzarella cased in a deep fried tempura shell, served on a bed of asparagus cream — a tasty, textural dream. But the aubergine parmigiana was the showstopper of the antipasti. Made with slices of velvety, slow-cooked, melt-in-the-mouth aubergine, smothered with cheese and tomato sauce sandwiched in a delicious salty, deep fried Sicilian dough, it was a delectable warmup. Now for the pizza, which we know by now is serious business. The composition of the house pizza — the 081 — was almost

Halloween at KidZania

Halloween at KidZania

KidZania is kicking off Halloween with its ‘Festival of Fright’ for those between the ages of four to 14 to unleash their inner Zombie or ghoul. If you haven’t heard of KidZania, the main thing to know is that it’s a mini-city for the little’uns. The cobbles of KidZania’s inner-city streets will be filled with spooky characters and clever clues for the children to interact with, like investigating paranormal activity for the city’s Metro newsroom. On the city trial, the kids can work their way through different spooky spots to find material to write a best-selling ghost story, or they can show off their most monstrous moves on the Halloween stage at the KidZania theatre. And don't fret, there will be terrifying (and tasty) snacks for both kids and grownups.

Halloween at Camden Markets

Halloween at Camden Markets

Camden Market isn’t just for foodies and vintage clothing connoisseurs. It’s also a great family day out, especially this Halloween, when its indoor funscape Babylon Park will be transformed into an alien lair for a series of spooktastic family-friendly featuring live acts, themed food and sweet treats and even a ghoulish ghost train choo-chooing around Hawley Wharf. And the horrorsome fun doesn’t end there — Camden market store Josiah Amari will be hosting witchy-themed cupcake decorating workshops, while families can book a brunch with a twist at To Home From London, which is serving up a menu of delicious ghoulish pancakes over spooky season. Because there’s truly no sight more terrifying than a bunch of toddlers on a sugar rush. Find out more about Camden Market’s Halloween activities here.   

Loanhood Clothes Swap Shop

Loanhood Clothes Swap Shop

Loanhood(the fashion rental app with a mission of slowing down consumption) is hosting a clothes swap supported by Hackney council. Bring along your pre-loved clothes and receive tokens in return and swap your preloved woolly jumper for somebody else’s disco pants. Remember to bring five items to trade for tokens, which will then be assessed by the trusty Swap Shop Assistants on arrival. The number of tokens you get will depend on the quality of the clothes you bring, so leave your old rags at home and donate them to a textile recycling centre instead.

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea

The fair features a variety of work from around 120 galleries, and covers paintings, sculpture, photography and prints. All art is priced between £40 and £4,000, and there are also workshops and activities for both adults and kids.

Gymbox Bar Crawl

Gymbox Bar Crawl

Keen to stay fit while also eschewing the pressure to go dry in January? This exercise class is perfect for you. Every Monday throughout the first month of the year, Gymbox is putting on an anti-dry January, bar crawl-inspired class, where you leave with the best kind of six-pack: a six-pack of beer that is. Taking inspiration from the pub, the circuit class replaces regular equipment with kegs and includes keg lifts, squats, bunny hops and rope pulls, with beer pong challenges at the drinking game rest station (with a forfeit for ten burpees if you lose). Once you’ve sweated your way around the circuit, you’ll leave with a six-pack of Tiny Rebel low-cal beers to take home as a reward, which you can sink guilt-free in the knowledge that you burned off all the calories beforehand! That’s our kind of workout!

News (223)

Here’s how to (legally) get into Glastonbury without a ticket

Here’s how to (legally) get into Glastonbury without a ticket

So, you’re probably here right now because you forgot all about Glastonbury tickets going on sale back in November and are now feeling extremely sorry for yourself. You might have also missed out on this year’s resale, which took place in April. Or maybe you’re among the hundreds of thousands who went to eye-watering lengths to get their mitts on a ticket, but missed out when they sold out in under an hour. But fear not – if you’re still desperate to trudge through the mud and enter the gates at Worthy Farm, there are several other ways you could (legally) get into Glasto this year, without even having to stump up the hefty ticket price. Here are your options. RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Glastonbury 2024. Volunteer with a partner charity Every year, more than 2,000 people volunteer at the festival. WaterAid and Oxfam are among the charities that partner with the festival every year. Each organisation needs volunteers. Typically, you’re expected to commit to working three to four eight-hour shifts over the five days. This could include anything from cleaning the loos to litter picking, checking tickets or being a steward. The rest of the time is yours to enjoy the festival. And there are apparently a lot of other benefits (other than getting free entry to the biggest music festival in the UK). If you volunteer with Oxfam, for example, you get access to a communal marquee for volunteers, free boiling water, tea and coffee supplies, free phone-charging, access

Thorpe Park is planning to build the UK’s tallest roller coaster

Thorpe Park is planning to build the UK’s tallest roller coaster

As far as theme parks go, the UK has a pretty great offering. Chessington, Alton Towers, Legoland... not to mention the GOAT that is Thorpe Park, notorious for its ‘Fright Night’ at Halloween and extreme rides like ‘Saw’. And now the park has upped its game, announcing plans to open a brand-new roller coaster that will be 72 metres high – making it the tallest in the UK. Eeeeek. Though the new ride is yet to be given a name (it’s only been referred to as ‘Project Exodus’ in planning documents), it will be partly positioned over water and tower ten metres above the park’s infamous ‘Stealth’ ride. At 72 metres high, it would be just a tiny bit taller than The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The attraction is expected to create a huge 89 jobs during the construction period, along with 31 full-time and 123 part-time seasonal jobs. This is the first new roller coaster since ‘Swarm’ opened in 2012, and will lead to several other major changes, with other rides being removed to make space for the roller coaster.   It’s not yet clear when the new ride will drop, but it’s just been given the green light by planning authorities, so it’s probably only a matter of time before the mega-coaster opens. Find out more here. ICYMI: this hotel chain has just been named the worst in the UK. Plus: you can bag cheap tickets to Paris and Amsterdam in the Eurostar flash sale.

Printworks enters its final week

Printworks enters its final week

South London’s cathedral of electronic music Printworks is closing its doors this week, but it's not going out without a bang. Offering its biggest programming yet as a culmination of its six brilliantly successful years of operation, taking us through the final weekend is a banging line-up of dance stalwarts including Peggy Gou, Roisin Murphy, Camelphat, Sub Focus and some very special guests.  The iconic Surrey Quays venue opened in 2017 and can hold 6,000 two-stepping partygoers. It has hosted the hottest DJs across electronic music including Peggy Gou, Bicep, Defected and Aphex Twin. The venue is renowned for its humongous size and excellent programming that attracts flocks of ravers from far and wide. Just last week (April 21) Printworks was ranked the second best club in the world, beating Berghain and Ibiza heavyweights Ushuaïa and Pacha. DJ Mag also ranked it the seventh-best club in the world in 2021.  Printworks won’t be gone for ever, though. The team behind it assured its Twitter followers that discussions around the design, planning and delivery of a future Printworks continue. They confirmed in a statement that the venue will stay shut for ‘a number of years’ but remain dedicated to reopening it, hopefully in the same building, as soon as possible. In a statement, Printworks owner Broadwick Live said it was ‘delighted’ to be in discussions with developer British Land ‘about our return to the venue following the site’s redevelopment’. It added: ‘While there is s

Work has kicked off on the UK’s epic new £250 million waterpark

Work has kicked off on the UK’s epic new £250 million waterpark

The UK is already well catered for when it comes to waterparks, but there’s a new resort coming to town that’ll really put the rest to shame. Work has just kicked off on the £250 million Therme complex, which is due to open opposite the Trafford Centre in Manchester in 2025. So, what does it have that the others don’t? Well, for starters, it’s massive: there will be a ridiculous 25 pools, 35 water slides and 30 saunas. The latter will feature traditional Aufguss aromatherapy experiences where you can expect a rub down with frozen iced tea or honey. Photograph: Rule 5 / Therme Group Elsewhere, we’re talking real palm trees, constant 30C temperatures and a huge cocktail bar. The park will also have a dedicated family zone with splash parks for the little ’uns and a ‘living slide’ (aka a slide covered in plants). The original Therme opened in Bucharest, Romania, and has proved a huge success. It’s hard to imagine the Manchester one not being a hit too. Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.

A charming gorilla has arrived at London Zoo

A charming gorilla has arrived at London Zoo

A Western lowland gorilla called Kiburi made his debut at ZSL London Zoo this week after global logistics experts DHL Express flew the whopping 193kg silverback to London from Tenerife.  The 5ft 4, 18-year-old arrived as part of an international breeding programme for critically endangered species, joining females Mjukuu and Effie, and youngsters Alika and Gernot in the family’s Gorilla Kingdom home at London Zoo. There are high hopes that a match-making effort will increase the gorilla population to bring the species out of endangered status. Unsustainable logging practices, commercial hunting and fishing, and oil and gas development threaten the western lowland gorilla across its habitats. Kiburi, who travelled from Zoo Loro Parque in Tenerife, was apparently flown business class by DHL for the 1,903-mile door-to-door journey travelling in a custom-built crate supported by a team of zookeepers, cargo handlers, security teams, aircraft engineers, pilots and drivers.   Photograph: ZSL London Gorilla keeper Glynn Hennessy said: ‘Kiburi enjoyed an in-flight meal of nutritious leafy greens, snacked on leeks and a banana and had a refreshing drink of cold fruit tea during his first-class trip.’ Hennessy added: ‘We flew out to meet him last November and spent five days getting to know him and watching how he interacted with other gorillas. We found him to be a calm, friendly individual and a great fit for our own gorilla family’s dynamic.’ ‘Kirubi loves a lie-in in the mornings

South London is getting a new green space that’s bigger than Hyde Park

South London is getting a new green space that’s bigger than Hyde Park

South London has some epic parks and nature reserves. Greenwich, Crystal Palace and Brockwell Park are some of the city’s most beautiful and rightly celebrated parks. But there’s an incoming contender that might steal the crown for the best south London green space. Beddington Farmlands in Sutton (near Croydon) is set to be restored as a nature reserve and will be transformed from its former use as a landfill site and sewage works. The new greenspace will be bigger than Hyde Park (phwoar!) and will provide habitat and species resilience amid environmental worries. The restoration of the land was one of the conditions of the building of the ominous-sounding Beddington Incinerator, a rubbish-burning facility, which was granted in 2013.  It might be some time before south Londoners can run around the green space and feel the wind blow through their hair, though. The original plan was for the nature reserve to be completed by the end of 2023, but work on the site has been delayed due to management issues. Sutton Council is now considering taking legal action against Valencia Waste Management, formerly Viridor, the company in charge of the project.  At a meeting on Monday night, Councillor David Bartolucci said there had been no real progress on the farmlands since January. He said: ‘The creation of the Beddington Farmlands will create the single biggest site dedicated to nature in Sutton and will help provide habitat and species resilience in the face of the changing climate.’ Ba

A house on the site where Elton John recorded ‘Candle in the Wind’ is for sale

A house on the site where Elton John recorded ‘Candle in the Wind’ is for sale

In 1973, Elton John wrote a song about the death of Marilyn Monroe with lyrics by Bernie Taupin called ‘Candle in the Wind’. Most people know it, though, for its second incarnation, ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ (aka ‘Goodbye England’s Rose’), a new version of the song with different lyrics about Princess Diana, who tragically died on August 31 1997 in a car crash in Paris, aged just 36. Elton John performed the reworked version at Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 6 1997 (its only live performance) and released it as a single, with all sales going to the charities that Diana supported. It peaked at Number 1 in the UK, Elton John’s fourth UK Number 1 single. It then went on to be the biggest-selling physical single in chart history. Legend has it that the music megastar recorded the second version of the song at Richard Branson’s Townhouse Studios in Shepherd’s Bush almost immediately after Diana’s funeral. The studio was created in 1978 by Branson’s Virgin record label, and other stars who have laid down tracks there include Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Oasis, the Sex Pistols and Queen. The studio closed in 2008, and the building was subsequently sold off to developers and converted into residential properties. Now the site where ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ was recorded is on the market again for a deep-pocketed buyer to own a piece of London’s musical history.  Photograph: Dexters Listed with agents Dexters, the west London pad has hit the market for £1,895,0

This brand-new budget airline will link the UK with loads of top US destinations

This brand-new budget airline will link the UK with loads of top US destinations

A brand-new airline called Fly Atlantic plans to launch cheap flights to North America from the UK. There’s one catch, though: you’ll have to go to Northern Ireland first, as the airline will only operate from Belfast International Airport.  The new flights from Belfast are due to start in summer 2024, offering cheap connections between the UK various US and Canadian destinations. The airline aims to serve a whopping 35 airports overall. Belfast International is about 300 miles closer to New York than London’s airports, which might explain why Fly Atlantic plans to make Northern Ireland a hub for flights to North America. The main airline operating from Belfast International right now is EasyJet, which means there are loads of handy existing connections to airports across the UK and the rest of Europe. The new airline plans to use narrow-bodied aircraft, but it’s yet to decide on which particular model – it’s apparently between a Boeing 737 Max or Airbus A321. Initially, Fly Atlantic says it will employ 50 people at Belfast International Airport and 250 crew, with a long-term plan to create 1,000 jobs over the next five years. It hasn’t been confirmed how much the transatlantic flights will set you back, but the airline is billing itself as a budget option. Andrew Pyne, Fly Atlantic’s chief executive, said: ‘Our vision is of Belfast as a strong aviation hub linking Europe and North America.’ He claimed the airline would be a ‘game-changer’ for customers, Belfast residents an

Revealed: the most popular baby names of 2022

Revealed: the most popular baby names of 2022

It’s nearly the end of year, and that means it’s a good time to reminisce about all the trends that took off in 2022. So, what about baby names? Well, parenting site Baby Centre has just released a list of the most popular names for boys and girls – and we’ve got the results right here. This year, the most significant changes can be seen in the top names for baby girls, with Olivia knocked off the number-one spot from 2021 and replaced by Sophia in first place and also beaten by Lily in second. Tens of thousands registered their new baby names on the site this year, and experts used the data to figure out where the inspiration may have come from. The new entries are the most telling, with Maya and Ivy jumping into the top ten. BabyCentre suggested that the popularity of Maya may be down to Love Island’s recently announced celebrity presenter Maya Jama. The website also noted that parents seem to be showing their 1990s nostalgia when naming their newborns, opting for names like Gabrielle and Aaliyah – two of the decade’s biggest R&B icons.  As for the boys’ names, two fell down a huge 27 places each, with Joseph dropping to 88th place and Hugo down to 90th. Edward fell 20 places to 92nd and Ollie 22 to 76th. The top five names were Muhammad, Noah, Theo, Leo and Oliver. Here are the top ten baby girls’ names for 2022: Sophia Lily Olivia Isla Ava Amelia Freya Aria Maya Ivy And here are the top ten boys’ names: Muhammad Noah Theo Leo Oliver Jack George Luca

These are the UK airports with the longest security queues

These are the UK airports with the longest security queues

Remember the chaos at airports last summer? There were queues, delays, more queues, lost luggage and cancellations. Our travel plans were in complete disarray.  Now, a survey conducted by Which? has revealed the worst airports for security wait times between February and August this year. The researchers asked 1,300 people who travelled from a UK airport over that period how long they waited at security.  Leeds Bradford Airport has been crowned the unfortunate winner, leaving passengers waiting an average of 35 minutes to get their security checks done. The delays are apparently down to staff shortages and a spike in demand for travel after Covid restrictions were scrapped, leading to huge queues often snaking through the terminals. In August, the West Yorkshire airport installed electronic screens providing passengers with live updates on estimated wait times. Meanwhile, Bristol Airport had passengers waiting half an hour on average, and Birmingham and Manchester had queues lasting for 24 minutes. Heathrow came in fifth place, with wait times averaging at 20 minutes for security checks.  Here’s the full list of the worst airports for security queues in the UK: Leeds Bradford, 35 minutes Bristol, 30 minutes Birmingham, 24 minutes Manchester, 24 minutes Heathrow, 20 minutes Luton, 19 minutes Belfast International, 18 minutes Stansted, 18 minutes Edinburgh, 16 minutes Gatwick, 16 minutes Newcastle, 15 minutes Glasgow International, 13 minutes Belfast City, 13 minutes London Ci

Banksy is encouraging people to shoplift his designs from Guess

Banksy is encouraging people to shoplift his designs from Guess

US Fashion brand Guess has come under fire this week after its flagship store on Regent Street was the centre of viral fashion controversy. Anonymous graffiti artist Banksy has encouraged shoplifters to head to Guess on Regent Street and take whatever they want from its newly released capsule collection, which is inspired by the artist’s work. Banksy said the brand had helped themselves to his artwork ‘without asking’. He then asked: ‘How can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?’ The artist shared an image of the shop’s front windows on Instagram, showing items from the capsule collection inspired by his work. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) Behind the mannequins wearing accessories, T-shirts and coats featuring his graffiti, there is a large background image of his famous ‘Rage, the Flower Thrower’ stencil, showing a masked Palestinian throwing a bouquet of flowers. In the windows, the collection is advertised as ‘Guess x Brandalised with Graffiti by Banksy’. After the artist shared his post, Guess shut the flagship store, masked the window display and called in extra security guards to stand outside the shop, according to the BBC.  The Guess website says the clothes were created in partnership with Brandalised, a company that secures the rights to graffiti across the world. The brand says it offers customers the chance to buy ‘affordable graffiti collectables’. In a statement before the clothi

Richmond locals are not happy with a new Virginia Woolf statue

Richmond locals are not happy with a new Virginia Woolf statue

It’s rare that women’s lives are honoured in statue form. In Parliament Square, there’s only one sculpture of a woman — Millicent Fawcett — while the rest are men. And, shockingly, London has twice as many statues of animals as named women (there are about 1,500 monuments across the city, fifty depict specific women while nearly 100 are of animals).  In a history-making moment, the first, full-size bronze statue of one of London's most famous authors, Virginia Woolf, was unveiled in west London last week, overlooking the riverside at Richmond-upon-Thames, where the author set up Hogarth Press and lived for a decade. After a five-year funding campaign that raised £50,000, the sculpture sits on a bench, book in hand, smiling.  The sculptor behind the Woolf sculpture, Laury Dizengremel, hopes that it will challenge stereotypes. ‘There are so few women represented in sculpture,’ Dizengremel told the Guardian. ‘I find it quite remarkable that [Woolf] will be situated where so many people will walk past, where so many women and girls will be inspired.’ But locals have different ideas about the statue. The Richmond Society previously said putting a statue commemorating her near water felt inappropriate, since Virginia Woolf died aged 59 after she drowned herself in the River Ouse near her Sussex home in 1941. She lived in Richmond from 1914 to 1924. Charity Aurora Metro first revealed plans for the bronze statue in 2017 and won permission from Richmond Council in 2018. But campaigne