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What’s on – August

No plans? Muddy's monthly what's on guide is back, baby, with loads of local stuff to keep you entertained

Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon

Muddy favourite Woolley Grange are running a (social distanced) Woolley Country Festival for hotel residents this August. Make garden pesto with the chef, create flower crowns, learn how to willow weave, design your own mocktail recipe (and then drink the results), have a go at soft archery, toast marshmallows in the copse, or try a kids’ yoga class. It’s the perfect place for a summer staycation with luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tip top restaurant and divine Kids’ Club. You can also now visit Longleat and go on safari, or Canadian Canoes can be hired from the Lock Inn in Bradford on Avon. Woolley We have also teamed up with the award winning adventure company Original Wild to offer paddle boarding, kayaking and climbing guided tours. Woolley is only open for hotel residents at this time.

Longleat, Warminster

In addition to the Safari Drive-Through, Longleat has now opened many of its other Main Square attractions and areas to guests. These include Jungle Kingdom, Monkey Temple, Animal Adventure (animal handling remains unavailable), Koala Creek, Family Farmyard, Hedge Maze, Longleat Railway, Rockin Rhino, Adventure Castle, Jungle Cruise, Little Explorers and the Gardens. There is still a limit on the number of visitors Longleat are able to welcome each day, and everyone must pre-book online, with morning and afternoon slots available for entry to the Safari Park. Day Tickets may be booked here.

Bowood House, Calne

Discovery waits around every corner at the gorgeous Bowood estate, with 100 acres of beautifully landscaped ‘Capability’ Brown Parkland and, especially for Mudlets, an adrenaline-fuelled Adventure Playground featuring a life size pirate ship plus a soft play area for the younger children. Day Visitors are now able to visit Bowood House & Gardens by purchasing a ticket online in advance. Access will be controlled using a timed, wristband system – wristbands will be allocated at admissions on arrival, giving each family the chance to access the Adventure Playground for two hours during the course of their visit.

River Bourne Community Farm, Laverstock

Wiltshire’s only FREE to visit community farm (just what we like to hear), it sits prettily on the edge of Salisbury by the River Bourne, overlooking stunning water meadows. They are reopening on 10th August for limited hours each day of 10am to 1pm. Go to their website and book a slot. The café and farm shop will be open for drinks, cakes and ice-creams from 10am to 1pm.

Eat out at the Dog and Gun, Netheravon

Book now to make the most of their Eat Out to Help Out scheme! They also have an amazing competition running on their Facebook page to win a £50 gift voucher (winner being drawn 16th August). Plus, a loyalty card has been launched, allowing you to stamp your way through to win discounts and freebies, all the way to their 10th stamp where you will win a free main meal and a bottle of wine. Book in one of their five wonderful rooms above the pub (if you can – they are busier than ever!). The Dog and Gun

Splash of Colour, Salisbury

Holiday painting for all age groups at this gorgeous pottery painting stop.

The Cooking School, Warminster

Even a total non-cook like me loves a cooking course (actually, I need a cooking course), and you’ve certainly come to the right place. The Cooking School runs a great range of cooking lessons and courses, in a relaxed, fun atmosphere (no culinary snobs here). Whether you are a kitchen novice or a Master Chef hopeful, there’s a lesson or a course to help you finesse those skills in the kitchen. Book now for Piri Piri and Portuguese Tarts on 5 August, Thai Food Experience on 6 Aug, Best of Italy or Indian Street Food on 12 Aug.

Eat out at The White Horse Inn, Compton Bassett

The White Horse Inn at Compton Bassett is signed up to the Eat out to Help out scheme, so throughout August diners can receive up to £10 off per person on food and soft drinks Mondays-Wednesdays. They are also offering a special Dinner, Bed & Breakfast package, starting off with a glass of prosecco each, followed by 3 courses from our 2 AA rosette winning menu. No taxi required as you have a nights stay with a fabulous hot breakfast in the morning, all for £145 based on 2 people sharing a room.

Treat yourself at Equilibrium Clinic, Pewsey

One of our favourite beauty salons is open again for all treatments, welcoming new and existing clients for their full range of treatments and therapies. Go on, you deserve it!

Vaughan’s Kitchen, Devizes

Book now for Vaughan’s fabulous courses in their friendly professional kitchen on the outskirts of the historic town of Devizes. Choose from Pasta Cookery Class With Peter Vaughan on August 5, Knife Skills Cookery Class With Peter Vaughan on August 6, amongst others.

Pure Punjabi, Salisbury

Book now for full day workshops, including The Indian Experience Cookery Workshop. They also have a completely new online offering – free cook-alongs with them on purchase of most of their Indian dinner kits (under £6). Check it out!

Cotswold Drive-In Cinema, Ascott-under-Wychwood

A brand new drive-in for the ‘Wolds – yippee. Cotswold Drive-In Cinema lends you in-car bluetooth speakers and has wood-fired pizza, popcorn, ice-cream and drinks on demand – all served through your window. There are ‘luxury loos’ (no idea, but sound good). And prior to the movie you can even stretch your legs and go to the bar to get yourself a drink from the ‘specialist’ gin bar (socially distanced of course). And the best bit? Err, only a pre-movie live set from Ibiza DJ Gary Mack to get you in the mood, and fireworks to top off the night. Book here, and watch this space as more new dates and films are due to be announced very soon.

The Alfresco Film Company, Bristol, and Wiltshire College Lackham, nr Chippenham

A selection of great films in stunning settings, Alfresco’s rescehduled late summer dates are still going ahead (subject to any changes – stay tuned), but rumours are film goers will get socially distanced deckchairs and all the 2-metre apart snack and food services, along with a giant LED HD screen of course. If you want your own private, pop-up experience you can even hire Alfresco to come to your own back garden and set up a 13ft screen (from £400+ VAT) – the ultimate non-drive, drive-in. Book here. Your friends will love you forever.

The Lost Cinema at Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, 28-31 Aug

One of England’s most beautiful cathedrals and grounds, how perfect is Salisbury for an alfresco cinema outing?! There’s an on-site bar and catering, or you could bring a picnic if you can be bothered. (Nah…) Book now for Rocketman, Grease or Harry Potter.


The Early Early Christmas Fair

Mark your diary for the very first The Early, Early Christmas VIRTUAL Fair. The Fair has been a very successful event held annually for the last 28 years in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and this year due to Covid 19 they are doing it differently. This year is not just about the Charity but about looking after the small, hard-working businesses that are the key enablers of the event and all our supporters. SAVE THE DATES: Monday 21st September – Thursday 1st October 2020 for more details. Check out this ten day, exclusive, online shopping extravaganza for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Their loyal stallholders have all come together and offered discounts many of which include free delivery, plus 10% of everything you buy is being donated to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. You’ll find wonderful small businesses, brimming over with fabulous, new inspiring gifts and treats for everyone, including delicious food items, fashion, personalised stationery, books, beauty products, pictures, stocking fillers; beautiful things for your home and garden; gifts for men, women, children and babies, and much more. Why not join them for a fabulous Virtual Pinkster Gin tasting evening with over 200 virtual parties taking place? Pull up a chair, grab some glasses and kick back for a half hour as ginmeister Stephen (founder of Pinkster Gin) teases your senses and tickles your taste buds. Be sure to order a Home Gin Tasting Kit for Two before the Virtual Gin Tasting Event (25th September @1900hrs), or enter our fabulous Reader Treat for the chance to WIN one!

Wedding Fair at Alexandra House, Swindon

Book now for the fabulous Wedding Fair on 25 October.


THEATRE: Alice: A Virtual Themepark, Creation Theatre, 1 – 30 Aug

The brilliant Creation Theatre deserves a medal for keeping us entertained in lockdown with its inventive Zoom shows. This week you can watch its quirky interpretation of Alice in Wonderland led by award-winning writer and director Zoe Seaton. The new online show, in partnership with Big Telly and Charisma A.I., is digital theatre at it’s finest with A.I. characters, magic and mind-blowing virtual tricks. The shows run at 4pm and 7pm, Wednesdays to Sundays. Book your ticket here.

MUSIC: Making Tracks Digital Tour, The North Wall, Oxford, until 10 Sept

Making Tracks brings together early career artists from the UK and around the world to showcase diverse music. Events will be streamed on Facebook Live from Tuesday to Thursday (7pm) and on the Making Tracks website.

THEATRE: Loss and Hope: A trilogy of Audio Plays, The North Wall, 27 Jul – 30 Sept

Inspired by The North Wall’s annual Alchymy Festival these three mini-plays explore the themes of creativity and connection. Listen to The Gift, about a chance meeting, This is a Man, a powerful investigation of masculinity and grief, We Have Sinned, about the relationships of a Catholic school girl.

EXHIBITION: Young Rembrandt, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

If you didn’t get the chance to scope out the Ashmolean’s major newYoung Rembrandt exhibition before lockdown hit, you can access the exhibit online – there’s an introductory video by the museum’s curator, plus a step-by-step visual tour. But still hankering to see the exhibition in person? Good news: the Ashmolean will be open from 10 August.

THEATRE: The Contagion Cabaret, The Theatre Chipping Norton

Three cheers for Chippy’s brilliant local theatre for giving us a few laughs during this stressful time! A collaboration between The Theatre Chipping Norton and the Diseases of Modern Life team at University of Oxford, this pre-recorded show is an irreverent historical look at lockdowns, plagues and pandemics featuring extracts from plays, poems, journalism and music throughout history. You can also watch a Q&A with the creative team here.

MUSIC: Garsington Opera online

The bucolic Wormsley Estate (home to Garsington Opera) may be closed for now but you can still get your opera fix online with three of the iconic opera company’s full length shows: Les nozze di Figaro, The Turn of the Screw (above) and opera on ice (yep, really!), The Skating Rink. There’s also a brand new documentary series on YouTube which explores opera’s connection to art and literature, presented by Garsington’s Johnny Langridge and art historian Dr Imogen Tedbury.

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