This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Put a grin the size of the Cheshire Cat’s on your face and go down-the-rabbit-hole with these Alice-inspired events across the UK – not forgetting, of course, our own collaboration with The British Library, coinciding with their Alice exhibition later this year…
Oxford is where it all began as this is where the real Alice was from. It’s Alice’s Day this coming Saturday – a yearly celebration coordinated by the Story Museum, including workshops and music. A fun day out for families – especially if the weather is nice.
Also in Oxford is a river cruise, recreating the journey in which Lewis Carroll, Alice and her sisters took where the story was first told. You can arrange a champagne picnic, Mad Hatter’s Cruise or Dinner Cruise – lovely!
If you’re taking a trip to Brighton you have to stay at the Wonderland House (it’s probably even worth making a special trip just to stay!). This beautiful hotel can be visited any month, any year. All the rooms are themed around the story, so you can stay in Alice’s Room, The Queen of Hearts Room or The Tweedles Bedroom – or have breakfast around the Enchanted Table.
If you want something a little less novel and a bit more boutique, Wonderland’s little sister is just up the road: The Looking Glass cottage is beautifully and tasteful decorated, keeping in theme with Alice in Wonderland. It sleeps 6-8 people and it’s in the centre not far from the beach so it’s ideal for a group of friends looking for a fun getaway.
London is jam-packed with Alice wonders including operas, exhibitions, pop-up shops and afternoon tea:
- Under London Waterloo station you can be fully immersed in the Wonderland experience, an adults play time, it’s a chance to dress up and for 90 minutes see what it’s like to live in a magical story.
- There are still a few tickets left for Wonder.land in December at the Olivier Theatre on the Southbank.
- Exhibitions are running at The V&A and The British Library. This will also include a pop-up shop showcasing some great Etsy sellers following our Redesigning Alice competition.
- In July you can see Alice the opera in Holland Park.
- Or in November at the Royal Opera House you experience Alice in a different way…
- Finally, I can highly recommend the Mad Hatters afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel including rhubarb tea – delcious!
Other Alice hotspots…
- The RHS (Royal Horticulteral Society) is celebrating the anniversary of Alice with a summer of fun at all four of their gardens.
- Alice Town Trail – Llandudno, North Wales.
- Alice and Wonderland Musical – Berkshire.
- The Lewis Carroll Museum – Cheshire.
- Alice in Wonderland at the New Forest Centre – New Forest.
- Through the Looking Glass at the theatre – Suffolk.
- Mad Hatters Tea Party – York.
- Alice in Wonderland at Castle Howard outdoor theatre – York.
- You can see the manuscript at the British Library – London.
- Around the UK is touring Crocodiles In Cream – A portrait of Lewis Carroll played by Kevin Moore – Trailer here.
Five fun facts about Alice:
- The novels were banned in China in 1931, on the grounds that “animals should not use human language…”
- The tree that is said to have inspired the Cheshire Cat’s tree stands in the garden behind Alice’s home at Christ Church College, Oxford.
- Lewis Carroll suffered from a rare neurological disorder that causes strange hallucinations and affects the size of visual objects, which can make the sufferer feel bigger or smaller than they are – a huge theme of the book. The disease, first discovered by English psychiatrist John Todd in 1955, was later named Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. It is also known as Todd’s syndrome.
- Dinah (Alice’s cat) has become a popular literary cat. Not directly linked but if you like cats why not visit Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium?
- Kathryn Beaumont voices Alice in the Disney animated film. She also voices Wendy Darling in Peter Pan.
More Etsy news…