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Chelsea Flower Show

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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show (22 - 26 May 2012)

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the event of the year for all garden and flower enthusiasts. Exhibiting for five days in May, this iconic event showcases the latest trends in gardening. The world’s leading garden designers all come together to display their innovation, knowledge and passion towards garden design.

Chelsea Flower Show entry

At the heart of Chelsea is the Great Pavilion, a covered space the size of two football pitches, where specialist growers exhibit everything from the familiar to the exotic, making it the main attraction for most Chelsea visitors.The 2012 Chelsea Flower Show will host many new features including ‘Fresh’ - a brand new area that includes modern, inventive gardens, offering ingenious new products. The newly extended food court will ensure you are kept refreshed and relaxed all day long. Be sure to visit the ‘RHS Environment’ area, which displays clever, innovative solutions to tackle problem areas head on.

Visitors will see the cutting edge technology in the latest garden design, in addition to enjoying over 100 floral displays from all over the world – making the Chelsea Flower Show the best in the world.

Amateur gardeners flock to the Chelsea flow show for inspiration and leave with new dreams firmly planted in the mind of each visitor. In 2011, Diarmuid Garvin’s Irish Sky Garden was the first garden to be suspended in the air – one can only guess what the 2012 event will have in store!

Chelsea Flower Show website

Edinburgh Marathon

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Edinburgh Marathon Festival (26 - 27 May 2012)

Not every festival in Edinburgh revolves around parties, bars and late nights. The Edinburgh Marathon has grown over the past ten years to become a mini-festival in its own right, with 26,000 runners turning up for a total of eight races.

Edinburgh Marathon runners - Rebecca Lee Photography

© Rebecca Lee Photography

The marathon itself is the main event: 26.2 miles running eastwards from the city centre to the finish in Musselburgh, dropping 40 metres in altitude on the way. 40 metres may not sound like much, but it's part of the reason that a recent study by Runner's World found this to be the fastest marathon in the UK.

The fast course attracts competitive runners but it's also a little kinder to everyone else. Many of the runners will undergo this ordeal to raise money for good causes: so far it has raised £30 million for hundreds of charities.

It's not just about the marathon, though: there's a half marathon, 10k, 5k, junior races and even a mascot race. Edinburgh has a compact city centre, so the sudden arrival of thousands of runners means there's a real sense of being part of a major event.

Here are some tips which might help as the big day approaches:

  • If you've fallen behind your training schedule, don't try to catch up by cramming in extra mileage near the end of your training. You want to get to the start line carrying no injuries. It's tempting, but it's not worth the risk and won't gain you much anyway.
  • Make sure you'll be running in kit you know you'll be comfortable in. Don't make any rash last minute changes of footwear or clothing if you can help it.
  • A related tip: if you know where to expect blisters and chaffing, do something about it. Consider (and try in advance) vaseline on your feet, plasters over your nipples or even pre-applying blister plasters over likely hotspots. It can make all the difference to your enjoyment of the race!
  • Pack sun block! Even on a mediocre day you will be exposed for a long time. On a sunny day it will be essential. Recent years in Edinburgh have seen some very hot days - consider a hat!
  • Find out what the drinks stations on the course will offer. If it doesn't work for you, you'll need to carry an alternative. It's also worth memorizing where to expect them.
  • The first section is a long, steady, gentle, descent - but don't be tempted to go off too fast or you'll pay for it later.
  • Don't panic! Let the atmosphere carry you along - you'll be amazed what a difference it can make.

The marathon expo is a great source of last minute nutrition, hydration and kit bargains. However, if you can't make it, Edinburgh has several excellent running shops with really knowledgable and enthusiastic staff:

More information

Ignite 2012 Dundee

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Ignite 2012 (17 - 27 May 2012)

Building on the success of last year’s ‘Ignite Your Weekend’ programme, which attracted over 15,000 people to events in Dundee - this year’s 'Ignite 2012' festival brings ten days of events celebrating creativity in Tayside and Fife.

                 3 DJCAD degree show

Events have been organised by a group of cultural organisations, from universities to major arts establishments. Highlights will include:

  • Degree Show 2012 at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
  • Creative Dundee’s Pecha Kucha Volume 3
  • Museum of the University of St Andrews Murder Mystery Night
  • V&A at Dundee’s keynote annual lecture

The festival is supported by the V&A at Dundee, an exciting new design museum planned to open in Dundee in 2015.

"The forthcoming arrival of V&A at Dundee has shone a spotlight on cultural activity in and around Dundee and Ignite is a great way of celebrating and highlighting the region’s thriving creative sector. There is a genuine culture of collaboration and support across the cultural sector here, and V&A at Dundee is proud to be a part of this". Philip Long, Director of V&A at Dundee.

The programme of events will be published soon on the V&A at Dundee website.

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Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the event of the year for all garden and flower enthusiasts.

View blog

Edinburgh Marathon

The Edinburgh Marathon has grown to become a mini-festival, with 26,000 people running a total of 8 races.

View blog

Ignite 2012 Dundee

This year’s 'Ignite 2012' festival brings ten days of events celebrating creativity in Tayside and Fife.

View blog
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