Don’t Be Late – You’ve Got a Very Important Date with VisitEngland
To celebrate the release of the much-anticipated Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, National Tourism body VisitEngland has created a dedicated website to showcase various locations associated with the great English children’s tale, as originally penned by Lewis Carroll more than 140 years ago. There is no longer a need to be curiouser and curiouser about what inspired the adventures down the rabbit hole, as all is revealed at www.visitengland.com/alice
Disney’s latest adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, released March 4, brings a wealth of comedic talent to the big screen and depicts the essence of wry English wit, with renowned actors such as Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen, Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Stephen Fry as The Cheshire Cat and Alan Rickman as the Blue Caterpillar. Not forgetting of course, Johnny Depp as the ultimate English eccentric, the Mad Hatter and Australian newcomer, Mia Wasikowska playing Alice - see www.disney.com.au/disneyfilms/aliceinwonderland
The National Trust’s Antony House, a classic, 18th century mansion in Cornwall, was the main ‘real’ site for the filming of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. To commemorate this, the National Trust is transforming Antony into the fantasy land envisioned by Lewis Carroll, comprising a rabbit hole entrance into a magical garden (where everyone will feel smaller than usual!), giant caterpillars, croquet on the lawn and Mad Hatter tea parties, from now until end the end of October.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, or Lewis Carroll as he became known once published, is said to have based his fictional colourful characters both on people he knew, as well as experiences he had during his time living in Cheshire, Yorkshire and Oxford. His legacy lives on throughout all corners of England.
Take a trip to Daresbury, Cheshire, to the birthplace of Carroll and the church where he was christened, which houses a stained glass window of Alice in Wonderland characters, including the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter. The nearby Hat Works Museum is a shrine to fancy headwear – no need to be as mad as a hatter to enjoy a visit there! It’s claimed, however, that the cat with the incredibly large grin was not from Cheshire, but from Yorkshire, where a carved face of a smiling feline can be seen in St Peter’s Church in Croft on Tees, where the author spent the latter years of his childhood.
A very important date for Carroll was his move to Oxford, where he met Dean Liddell, whose daughter Alice was to become the protagonist in the enchanted tale, after a memorable river trip. After messing about on the water, why not stop off at ChristChurch College, where Carroll studied and lectured, for an Alice tour (by appointment) and view the original rabbit hole? Make time to visit the Oxford Museum and see the White Rabbit’s fob watch and the famous drink me bottle on display. And be sure to pop in to Alice’s Shop, to discover an emporium of curiosities, see where Alice Liddell used to buy barley sugar sweets and view original artwork illustrations on the Alice in Wonderland theme.
Elsewhere, Alice fans can shop ‘til they drop at Selfridges in London, where a magical pop-up shop has transformed the Wonder Room into a Wonderland, selling such desirables as Stella McCartney specially-designed Alice jewellery and a host of other memorabilia to coincide with the launch of the Tim Burton re-make of the film.
And finally, what better way to end the adventure, than with the great English tradition of afternoon tea? Head to The Langham London’s prestigious Palm Court, a spectacular setting for the Wonderland Afternoon Tea, which absolutely screams eat me!
For further information see www.visitengland.com/alice