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Curry, the O2 and Banksy – the very best of England: Tourism chiefs have come up with a roster of 101 'must-do' activities


See Naples and die, goes the saying, such was the Italian city's erstwhile fame for beauty and magnificence. Taking inspiration from such sentiments, tourism bosses in England have produced a "bucket list" of 101 things to do and see before you expire – or worse, holiday abroad.

The full list, to be revealed on Tuesday to mark St George's Day, features staple favourites such as visits to Stonehenge, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. But it also contains some more unusual suggestions, such as rampaging around in the treetops of Sherwood Forest or going on a bat patrol.

Here The Independent on Sunday looks at 10 of the most surprising "must-dos" and 10 of those deemed too eccentric to make the list:

Start the day with a full English breakfast in London's East End, at E Pellicci, an Italian café in Bethnal Green that's been in the same family since it opened in 1900.

Visit John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester and see 15th-century accounts of witchcraft, the oldest piece of the New Testament, and a first edition of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Walk across the top of the O2 in Greenwich, London. The venue is 52 metres high with a diameter of 365 metres, and people can arrange to go on the top of the dome.

Go in search of damsels and dragons – the insect variety – by visiting Wicken Fen nature reserve in Cambridgeshire, home to thousands of types of plants, otters, water voles, dragonflies and birds.

Mix martinis in James Bond's spiritual home – Dukes Hotel in St James's Place, London – and follow in the footsteps of the Bond author Ian Fleming, who used to drink there.

Curry is a "national treasure", according to Visit England, who recommend visiting the Sparkhill, Balsall Heath and Moseley areas of Birmingham – Britain's curry capital.

Have a night on the toon in Newcastle – a city with some of the "friendliest folk you'll ever meet" say tourism bosses. Not to mention a "cool yet unpretentious arts scene".

Take to the treetops in Sherwood Pines, Nottingham, where you can charge around almost 10 metres above the ground, and go down a 140m-long zip line between the trees.

Trawl the back streets of Bristol in search of Banksy graffiti. Stokes Croft is home to the artist's Mild Mild West mural, and some of his earliest works can be found in Easton.

Join a bat patrol at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. With the help of an ultra-sonic bat detector, you can wander around Gough's Cave and Cox's Cave – home to endangered greater horseshoe bats.

No room in the 101

The list of 101 things to do was whittled down from more than a thousand nominations. Here are 10 of the more unusual ones which didn't make the cut.

The world gravy wrestling championships – an annual highlight in the village of Stacksteads, Lancashire; a gnome reserve in Bradworthy, Devon, home to more than 2,000 gnomes. Europe's smallest cinema – Screen 22 in Nottingham; Barter Books, Alnwick, where the "Keep Calm & Carry On" poster was re-discovered; Thrust SSC – the world's fastest car – at Coventry Transport Museum; the SkyWalk at Blackpool Tower; Chester Clock; "glamping"; Ryde Pier (the oldest in the world); the spire at the Church of St James in Dry Doddington, which leans one degree more than the Tower of Pisa; a stay in a gipsy caravan; donkey rides in Scarborough; a speed boat ride along the Thames; Affleck's, Manchester; the National Space Centre, Leicester; and the view from The Shard in London.

See the full list at: www.101thingsto doinengland.co.uk