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The Grand Tour returns across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

Linder Untitled, 2017 Courtesy the artist and Stuart Shave_Modern Art. Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth

The Grand Tour returns across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with a celebration of artistic process and industrial influences, past and present

24 March – 17 June 2018

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are set to become cultural tourism destinations once again this spring, as season three of The Grand Tour opens on 24 March.

Four of the UK’s most respected cultural institutions unite again to host a varied programme of exhibitions – Nottingham Contemporary, Chatsworth, Derby Museums and The Harley Gallery Welbeck – the collaborative programme will give visitors the opportunity to view the existing classic art collections as well as exciting new work by leading contemporary artists, explore the rich architectural heritage of the area and enjoy the stunning landscapes, gardens, cities and towns of both counties.

The third season of The Grand Tour focuses on creation and discovery, exploring the region’s strong industrial heritage and legacy. The programme’s leading exhibitions invite visitors to use their senses to explore time, discovery and progress.

Chatsworth has been home to influential British artist Linder Sterling as its first artist-in-residence. During her six-month residency, Linder has immersed herself in estate life of today and of days gone by. An exhibition, ‘Linder, An Artist in Residency’ (24 March – 21 October) showcasing new pieces created during her stay, will invite visitors to use their senses to explore the past and present of Chatsworth, featuring incense created from the estate, images on textiles as well as recorded oral histories and musical compositions.

Linder’s residency has also informed a major new artist-curated exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary (24 March – 17 June) called ‘The House of Fame’. Linder’s largest retrospective in the UK sees some of her iconic photomontages and performances from over the last 40 years, accompanied by a collection of her influences and wide-ranging collaborators, collating art and architecture, fashion and theatre, music and design.

The Harley Gallery’s exhibition ‘Half in Shadow: Half in Light’ (24 March – 30 June), is a collaboration with the British artist Clare Twomey, exploring life on the historic Welbeck estate through a series of lithophanes. The lithophanes, inspired by a tea cup that the artist saw in the V&A Museum, will be lit from behind to reveal contemporary life on the estate, through the lens of the past, present and future.

Derby Museum & Art Gallery’s exhibition ‘The Art of Industry: From Joseph Wright to the 21st Century’ (24 March – 30 June) will look back at the region’s industrial history and manufacturing landscape through both historic artefacts and contemporary artistic interpretation. Derby-born artist Joseph Wright’s ‘An Iron Forge’, painted in 1772 and now in the Tate collection, will return to the city for the first time since the 18th century to be displayed alongside works by Ford Madox Brown, L. S. Lowry, Graham Sutherland and Sir Edwardo Paolozzi.

As in previous seasons, the Grand Tour will extend beyond these four venues with a host of fringe venues providing endless opportunities for the culture tourist to experience a broad range of art.

Djanogly Gallery_an is that isn't always. Richard T Walker small
An Is That Isn’t Always, Credit Richard T Walker. Djanogly Gallery

Nottingham’s Backlit Gallery presents ‘Mirrors for Princes’ (26 May – 9 July) where contemporary artists blur the lines across the West and East. ‘Scaling the Sublime: Art at the Limits of Landscape’ (23 March – 17 June) at Djanogly Gallery at Nottingham Lakeside Arts interrogates the artistic fascination of the landscape sublime whilst reflecting on our relationship with the unimaginable forces of nature.

Nottingham City Museums & Gallery’sLace Unravelled’ (15 – 16 March) reflects on a variety of perspectives regarding lace as a product, an industry and as inspiration for contemporary creativity continuing with an exhibition at Newstead Abbey featuring work by contemporary artists. University of Nottingham, Manuscripts & Special Collections offer a behind-the-scenes experience in ‘Hosiery & Lace: Exploring the Archives’ (16 May) giving the opportunity to explore their rich collection of hosiery, lace and textiles.

For a more participatory experience, the School of Artisan Food will run courses that hark back to the gastronomic experiences that were an essential part of the historic Grand Tours. Whereas Syson Gallery will host live talks in their take on 18th century coffee houses – often referred to as ‘Penny Universities’ – creating the ‘Penny Podcasts’ (22 March – 31 May). Joined by Ottar chocolates of Welbeck, the sessions will investigate free access to education, debate and creative exchange.

Derby Cathedral’sDeveloping & Redeveloping’ (6 April – 25 May) traces the history of the cathedral building through a series of photographs from Derby’s W W Winter’s archives, one of the oldest photographic studio businesses in the UK. The historic negatives have been developed as high-quality prints by The Photo Parlour, Nottingham. Whilst in Derbyshire, Renishaw Hall & Gardens exhibits ‘Brothers in Arts- The Sitwell Passion and Patronage’ (April – July) showcasing artworks by the brothers of the influential Sitwell ‘Trio’, Osbert and Sacheverell.

Brendan Moffett, Chief Executive of Marketing NG, the official place marketing organisation for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said:

“With its return for a third season, The Grand Tour perfectly demonstrates how the cultural sector in the region can collaborate to create outstanding experiences that attract visitors in their thousands.

“We are delighted to welcome Internationally renowned artist Linder Sterling to Nottingham Contemporary; whose calibre re-affirms Nottinghamshire, and the wider region, as a leading destination for culture in 2018. We look forward to welcoming culture lovers and those new to culture, to come and explore all that the counties of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have to offer.”

Whilst on The Grand Tour, there are many opportunities to experience Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, take an overnight stay at the stylish Hart’s Hotel with its stunning views over Nottingham or the Igloo Hybrid Hostel, an independent and quirky hostel in the heart of the city. Alternatively, stay in Sherwood Forest at Forest Holidays in a luxury, cosy log cabins ideal for a countryside break.

Forest Holidays Sherwood Pines 2015 - credit Visit Nottinghamshire (36) small
Forest Holidays Sherwood Pines, Credit Visit Nottinghamshire 

The flourishing culinary scene in the city and county can be encountered at Forest Lodge Restaurant, situated in the heart of Sherwood Forest which offers a seasonal menu with a French twist. Alternatively, for something the kids will love, try George’s Great British Kitchen with its beach huts and award-winning fish and chips. Nottingham is also home to the oldest pub in England, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, whilst Belgo’s Hop-Tails offer a twist on the traditional cocktail using the finest Belgian beers.

Trip to Jerusalem 2015 - credit Experience Nottinghamshire (2) small
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Credit Visit Nottinghamshire

As well as the remarkable visual arts offer from the Grand Tour, Nottingham has a wonderful array of things to do. Plan a literary themed break to this UNESCO City of Literature, and visit the former home of author DH Lawrence, or the beautiful Bromley House Library. Extend your adventure with a visit to the City of Caves, to explore part of a hidden network of over 500 original sandstone caves underneath the streets of Nottingham dating back to the dark ages or visit Creswell Crags in Nottinghamshire, home to a limestone gorge which is interspersed with caves giving evidence of Ice Age life.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director, Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, said:

“The Grand Tour offers staying visitors the ideal opportunity to discover Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire’s wealth of classical and contemporary culture, built heritage and beautiful landscapes during short breaks to experience the best of both counties.

“Previous seasons have demonstrated that, when key venues collaborate, art and culture can be used as an effective catalyst to bring in more tourists and heighten both areas’ profiles as vibrant visitor destinations for the benefit of both the local and regional economy.”

Comfortable hotels abound in both city and country in the Peak District and Derbyshire. The Cathedral Quarter Hotel offers a four star boutique stay in Derby, while The Devonshire Arms Beeley or the Devonshire Arms Pilsley  are both situated in peaceful and picturesque villages on the Chatsworth estate. Experience the true spirit of The Grand Tour at The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow,
also on the Chatsworth estate, which has a unique collection of more than 300 artworks from the Devonshire collection, from fine art to 20th century graffiti. All its luxuriously-appointed bedrooms have magnificent views over Chatsworth’s parkland.

Dining out is a gourmet delight. Highlights in Derby include Terroir Bistro, which won the accolade of Restaurant of the Year in the Derby Food and Drink Awards 2017, and The Old Bell Hotel, Derby’s oldest hotel, bar and restaurant. Further north is award-winning Fischer’s Baslow Hall at Baslow, on the fringe of the Chatsworth estate, famous for its Michelin-starred fine dining experience. Luxurious and stylish with impeccable service, the restaurant is renowned for head chef Rupert Rowley’s inventive modern British cuisine.

Wider tourist attractions in the Peak District and Derbyshire include historic houses such as Haddon Hall, Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield and Kedleston Hall near Derby, fascinating underground caverns in Castleton and Buxton and family attractions such as exhilarating cable car rides and much more at The Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath and the pioneering industrial history of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Garden lovers should make a date in their diaries for the second annual RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (June 6 – 10).

More information is available on The Grand Tour website – www.thegrandtour.uk.com

Posted on 15 March 2018

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