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What’s on this month


Polo Experience, Beaufort Polo Club / Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, dates in May
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa has teamed up with iconic Beauford Polo club to offer guests the chance to stay at the hotel and enjoy a hands-on Polo Experience. As well as being a renowned training centre offering lessons to players of all ages and experiences, it is a great way to celebrate a special event or just have a go at the ‘sport of kings’. The half-day Beaufort Polo Club ‘Polo Experience’ package offers the chance to work with HPA-accredited coaches – you’ll start on a wooden horse before graduating to actually hitting balls and playing in a chukka. Top it off with lunch in the Clubhouse and watching the pros play in the afternoon. I might just stick to that bit…
 The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Everyman Theatre, Tue 1 to Sat 5 May

man woman embrace green background

The 19th century’s power art couple Marc Chagall and his muse Bella Rosenfeld are the subject of this moving play by Daniel Jamieson which traces the young lovers as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution and each other.


Woodland Garden, Bowood House and Garden, nr Calne, throughout May

Don’t miss the short 6-week season of Bowood’s 30-acre Woodland Garden. It’s display of rhododendendrons, magnolias and azaleas is unique to Wiltshire – originally laid out in 1854 by the 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne, the Woodland Garden features some of the earliest known hybrids in the UK.
Luke Daniels, Folk in the Bar, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Tue 1 May

Join BBC award-winning musician Luke Daniels – who’s a bit of a genius when it comes to combining 19th-century music technology with acoustic and digital sounds – for a night of classic contemporary folk.


Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, Salisbury, Tue 1 May

Ed says: I originally intended to call the show, “I’ll Millennial You in a Minute”, but my promoter considered the title, “off-puttingly baffling”. That’s my own chainsaw in the photo, by the way. Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? Come and watch as Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Go on, spoil yourself. cityhallsalisbury


Joe McElderry, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Wed 2 May

X Factor winner Joe McElderry is embarking on his own concert tour following the success of his 5th album Saturday Night at the Movies.


Cheltenham Jazz Festival, various locations, Wed 2 to Mon 7 May

Quite a line-up this year, not least Van the Man, Randy Crawford and Courtney Pine – it’s like the Neopolitan ice cream of live music – delicious! And the rest of the bill is looking might fine too. And as well as musical feasts, The Lucky Onion will also be hosting its famous supper clubs and house parties at No 131. This festival just gets better every year.


Eastern Mediterranean Cookery Class, Natural Cookery School at Woodruffs Organic Café, Stroud, Wed 2 May

blue bowl tomatoes salad

The bold flavours of the Levantine region are on the menu at this cookery session helmed by the always wonderful Erin of the Natural Cookery School. Spend an evening exploring the flavours of Iran, Syria, Palestine and surrounding countries and then tuck in to Iranian vegetable stew with dried lime and freekah with pomegranate and pistachios.


Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Badminton Estate, Wed 2 to Sun 6 May

horse jockey jumping fence

Get your fill of the gee-gees at this three-day event beloved by HRH Princess Anne, a former competitor who this year is presenting the awards. Dressage, cross country and a whole load of shopping, equestrian and otherwise to fill your (riding) boots with.


Five Valleys Session, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Thu 3 May

A free-for-all of local musicians playing traditional folk music from all over the country in Stroud’s inimitable Stroud Brewery. What’s not to like?


Badminton Horse Trials BBQ, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, 3-5 May

Join Whatley during Badminton Horse Trials for a relaxed BBQ supper, the perfect way to unwind after the excitement of the day. Their chefs will be firing up the BBQ, cooking up some chunky steaks, tasty kebabs and homemade burgers.


Look Back in Anger, AdHoc Theatre Company, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Thurs 3 May to Sat 5 May

AdHoc Theatre Company return to stage with 1950’s realist classic which focuses on the struggles between a working-class man and his upper-class wife.


Education, Education, Education, Wardrobe Ensemble, Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury, Thurs 3 May to Sat 5 May


This production is highly praised and won First Winner at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017. Set in a secondary school in the 90s exploring the love for British education and those who teach us. salisburyplayhouse


Prince Albert May Beer Festival, The Prince Albert, Rodborough Hill Stroud, Thur 3 to Mon 7 May

This annual beer festival has been going for 11 years now and is always something of a beery treat for locals. Well timed for Bank Holiday, as well as specially selected beers, there will also be live music and pop-up food from Jamaica Inn Kitchen.


Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Stroud, Fri 4 to Mon 14 May

two women red velvet hats and jackets

Photography by Gemma Hall

The annual outing of England’s most glamorous and wonderfully quirky circus has come round again, kicking off at its Stroud home – where a spanking new big top has already gone up with Giffords in lights and sumptuous red velvet and chandelier interiors. The theme this year is My Beautiful Circus to celebrate 250 years since the very first circus near Westminster Bridge in London started the magic in 1768. After Stroud, the troupe head to Sudeley Castle from Thu 17 to Mon 21 May and Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham from Thu 24 May to Mon 4 June. See full list of dates here.


Learn to Bake Bread, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 4 May, 10am-3pm

There’s nothing like the smell and taste of freshly baked bread and if you’ve baked it yourself, how satisfying is that! But if you’re anything like me and your bread-making skills are a bit hit and miss (er, mainly miss), this day-long course will see you rising (see what I did there) to the next level as you master making a sandwich loaf, seeded rolls, soda bread, tear and share bread, pittas and pizza bases.


The Ragdolls, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 4 May

The Ragdolls recreate the iconic sound of the Four Seasons, taking you on a journey through their biggest hits including Sherry and Walk Like a


The Clay Loft Studio view, Nailsworth, Private View, Fri 4 May, 7-9.30pm, Open Studio Sat 5 to Sun 6 May, Sat 12 to Sun 13 May

ceramic pots, pottery workshop

A kind of coworking space and workshop setting for potters, The Clay Loft Studio is a hive of ceramics activity led by owner Tom Knowles-Jackson who was a finalist in the BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down. His work will be just some of the pots on show over the two weekends of the Sit Select Festival 2018.


Chris Dunn, Parsley Rabbit and the Treehouse Content, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Sat 5 May to Sat 9 June

Get the chance to meet former studio artist Chris Dunn at the opening of his exhibition. He is showing 33 original pieces following a rabbit going against all the odds to build a magnificent treehouse.


Danadra, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Sat 5 May

acoustic guitar fret strings

Fun, funky and free! Stroud Brewery’s Saturday night gigs are always a knockout and Danadra’s semi-acoustic guitar and percussion promises to be a winner their bluesy, Latin, jazz and indie sounds.


The Close Up Show, In the Place, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Sat 5 May

Be ready to have your eyes tricked and your mind blown in this close up magic show. The evening will be filled with close-up magic, trickery and sleight of hand. Experience magic in an intimate setting and you may even get the chance to be part of the act.


Olympigs, Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham, Sat 5 May to Mon 7 May

Don’t let him win!!

Do you think you’re in with a chance of becoming an Olympigs champion? With loads of farmyard sporting events, including hobby horse racing, egg and spoon and, my favourite, welly wanging, this family sports day sounds like a Bank Holiday Weekend blast.


May Day Lunch with Live Music, The Greenway Hotel & Spa, Cheltenham, Mon 7 May

A real bargain this – a four-course meal cooked by the fabulous kitchen at The Greenway, served in the to-die-for surroundings of the country house hotel, with some atmospheric music served up by Steve Street and his band. And it’s only £35 per person! And if you can’t make it on May Day bank holiday, can I recommend the hotel’s special May Asparagus Suppers that run throughout the month from Sunday to Thursday?


Storywalk, Stable Block Lydiard Park, Swindon, Monday 7 May

Join international storyteller Cat Weatherill for a walk-through nature as you get to hear some of her best stories. Grab a piece of cake (or two) while you are there and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.


Jo Pavey, Lydiard Conference Centre, Lydiard Park, Swindon, Monday 7 May

Olympic runner Jo Pavey gives insight on her experience as runner; she will delve into the lows and highs of being an Olympian and what it’s like to be one of the ‘mums who run’.


Chipping Campden Literature Festival, Tue 8 to Sat 12 May

Lots to enjoy at this bijou lit fest, including award-winning poet and writer Fiona Sampson talking about her latest book In Search of Mary Shelley, which I listened to serialised on Radio 4 and was shocked by what she endured – as Sampson says, her story couldn’t be more relevant to the #MeToo generation. Also worth marking your pocketbook for is Sue Cook’s Big Book Group with author Carol Drinkwater discussing her novel The Lost Girl, the matinee screening of Picnic at Hanging Rock and the Letterpress Book Jacket Workshop.


Great Expectations, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 8 to Sat 12 May


Charles Dickens’ timeless classic is brought to life on the stage starring Olivier award-winner Nichola McAuliffe as Miss Havisham. And people, two tickets for the price of one on opening night.


Gill Sims, Why Mummy Drinks, Arts Centre, Swindon, Tue 8 May

This is for the women who aren’t part of the ‘mummy’ crowd. You aren’t an arts and craft goddess; your life spans further than your kids and your favourite thing may be a glass – or bottle – of wine at the end of the day.


A Brave Face, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Thu 10 May

Vamos Theatre brings its trademark wordless, full-mask style to tackle post-traumatic stress caused by the impact of war. Expect humanity and humour.


A Taste of Spain Cookery Course, Devizes, 10 May

Off to Spain and want to get in the mood or just fascinated with Spanish cuisine and culture? This class is perfect.

Crimes Under the Sun, New Old Friends, Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury, Thu 10 to Sat 12 May

You have been invited on a funny yet murderous retreat to the English Riviera. In the cluedo-esque production, all the guests are suspects, can you figure out who committed the crime?


A Song to Sing, Salisbury Art Centre, Salisbury, Thu 10 to Sat 12 May

Musical Theatre Salisbury are putting on a musical with all the best bits from the countries favourite musicals including Chicago, Sister Act, Les Miserable, West Side Story and many more. Get your voice ready because you are in for a night of hits.


Edith Hall, Aristotle’s Way, Art Centre, Swindon, Thu 10 May

Edith’s book discusses the impact Aristotle has had on modern society and how his teachings could impact your life for the better.


Soushi Pop-Up Restaurant, The Garden Café, Miserden, Fri 11 May

soushi rice green

Good looks and great tastes collide at the Soushi Miserden pop-ups. Expect another night of super fresh seafood inspired by classical Thai cooking in Gloucestershire’s most magical supper club setting, the 1920s greenhouse at Miserden.


Parisian Night, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Fri 11 May

Join the Whatley chefs as they bring a taste of summer in Paris to The Green Room. This will be a relaxed evening showcasing elegant Parisian dishes cooked in the central island while you watch and interact with the Chef’s.


Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 12 May

linocut print people in Tube

Gail Brodholt’s London Bridge Underground (linocut)

This looks rather special – along with Bankside in London, Cheltenham’s own Chapel Arts is showing 52 selected prints and drawings to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the founder and first president of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Francis Seymour Haden. Members of the society will be visiting the gallery to walk people round the exhibition, explaining the different techniques and processes being used. Don’t miss!


You’ve Got Dragons, Taking Flight, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Sat 12 May

Families will love this tale of a child learning to love their dragon in Taking Flights original show. With live music and a highly visual production its guaranteed to keep the little one’s attention.


The Greatest Story Never Told, Arts Centre, Swindon, Sat 12 May

Join Gareth P Jones and Steve May on stage to create the best story that has never been told. This event will fun, creative and full of audience interaction. At the end of it all, you will have played a part in writing a book!


Flavours of the Mediterranean Cookery Class, Natural Cookery School at Asparagasm, Nailsworth, Sat 12 May

aubergine red pepper stew

Get ready for your summer dinner parties with this veggie take on Med cuisine using nuts, beans, pulses and, of course, olive oil. Starter: Caponata Siciliana with soft polenta. Main: Socca pizza with roasted veg and green olive tapenade with pine nuts. Pudding: chocolate, orange and date cake with pistachio crumble and cardamom cream. Yum!


Molly-Anne, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Sat 12 May

Gloucestershire’s own Taylor Swift, Molly-Anne is holding her debut live performance as part of a duo. Expect soulful, country-inspired sounds with elements of indie rock.


Cinema Under The Stars, Forestry Commission Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean, Fri 11 & Sat 12 May

The best date night – watching a film al fresco in the magical Forest of Dean – IT on Friday, Forrest Gump on Saturday. Thank you Alfresco Film Company.


The Carole King and James Taylor Story, Wharf Theatre, Devizes, Sat 12 May

This show is a crossover between documentary and musical, taking you on a journey through the career of Grammy award winners Carole King and James Taylor. Giving you an insight of what their careers would have been like behind the glitz and glamour of fame.


The Mayor’s Well Fit Morning, Sandford Park Lido, Cheltenham, Sun 13 May, 9am-1pm

Cheltenham’s indomitable mayor Klara Sudbury’s fundraiser is a virtuous morning of wellbeing with local studios, including One Grove holding yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes. And after you’ve given your body a workout, you can treat your mind to a transformational meditation. And then jump in the heated pool and relax!


Pam Ayres, The Last Hedgehog, Arts Centre, Swindon, Mon 14 May

Pam Ayres is one of the most popular poets in Britain, with her work being the most borrowed poetry library book in 2016. To raise awareness during National Hedgehog Week she has written a poem in support of the endangered species.


Cheltenham Cocktail Week, various locations Cheltenham, Mon 14 to Sat 19 May

three men at bar cocktails

In the door at Door 4: (left to right) Liam Dunn, general manager of Coco, Tom Noori, owner of Door 4 and Simon, bar manager from The Clarence Social. Photography by Mikal Ludlow

From the opening party sponsored by Absolut Vodka at AquaVitae to the closing shindig at The Clarence Social‘s speakeasy bar Croft & Jones with Jameson Irish Whiskey front and centre, this cocktail week might just rival Race Week for let-your-hair-down revelry. You can book tickets here – but be quick, there are a lot of cocktail-thirsty punters out there!


Gareth Ward Pop-up, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Mon 14 May

Book now for Gareth Ward of Ynyshir Hall fame, who descends on Wiltshire with his Michelin star to feed a few lucky peeps. Places are limited so book now for the foodie experience of a lifetime.


My Fair Lady, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 15 May to Sat 19 May  

The Cotswold Savoyards are back with their rendition of six-time Tony award-winning My Fair Lady which takes in the flower markets of London, the racecourses of ascot and the refined embassy ball. Absolutely Bloomin’ Loverly!


Harriet Harman, A Woman’s Work, Arts Centre, Swindon, Tue 15 May

Feminism has made leaps and bounds in recent years and that’s thanks to the women who played pivotal roles in fighting oppression. Britain’s longest serving female MP, Harriet Harman, looks at her life and how far we’ve come and what the next steps should be.


Bordeaux en Primeur Tasting, Avery’s, Bristol, Tue 15 May, 6-8pm

An in-depth look at the new vintage from Bordeaux in the atmospheric cellars of Bristol’s most venerable wine merchants, with some of the producers on hand to discuss the tipples. Spit or swallow, you’re in for a tasty evening either way.


Stacey Kent in Concert, Sailsbury Playhouse, Sailsbury, Wed 16 May

Talented jazz singer Stacey Kent is performing her new album ‘I know I dream’ in concert for one night only, this is not one to be missed.


Madame Butterfly, North Cotswold u3a Opera Group, Stanton Village Hall, Stanton, Wed 16 May, 2pm

woman in kimono man in uniform

Fancy a mid-week blast of opera? It’s good for you, you know, and Puccini’s tale of unrequited love will definitely give you a bit of a hump-day fillip. You don’t have to be a member of the u3a opera group to come along for free.  And then if you do like it, why not join up? Members pay just £20 a year to hear 11 operas, each with a short talk and coffee break. No snobbery here, just enthusiasm and curiosity. Email: 


The Devils Violin: Stolen, Salisbury Art Centre, Salisbury, Thu 17 May


Daniel Morden captivating story telling ability, with Sarah Moody’s and Oliver Wilson-Dickson’s spellbinding string accompaniment, transforms traditional stories into captivating tale of three characters facing enormous challenges.


Fine Wine Tasting Evening, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Thu 17 May

Inspired the famous Paris Wine Tasting, ‘The Judgement of Paris’, sommelier Daniel Davis hosts this fine wine tasting, accompanied by small tasting dishes of American and British origin.


Right Royal Toast Party, The Porch House and Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold, Fri 18 May

pub pulling pints Prince Harry Meghan Markle

On the eve of the Royal wedding, these two Stow-on-the-Wold stalwarts are hosting ‘Right Royal Toast’ parties, offering a selection of British and American themed nibbles and live music to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot. They are also inviting couples who are getting married on the same day (Sat 19 May) to come and toast their nuptials with a free bottle of prosecco.


Moscow Drug Club, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Fri 18 May

 If you are itching for a musical with a little edge and less frills, Moscow Drug Club could be right up your alley. Based in a darkly comic world representing a fantasy place where exotic musical genres merge together in a weird and wonderful way.


Dara O Brian ‘Voice of Reason’, Centaur Centre, Cheltenham, Fri 18 May

Photography by Brian Ritchie

Fancy a bit of intelligent, no-frills comedy, shouting included? Funny man Dara O’Brian is coming to Cheltenham race course with his eagerly awaited new stand-up show ‘Voice of Reason’. Reckon this one will sell out fast, so book up now.


Jonathon Richardson Pop-Up Restauarant, The Garden Café, Miserden, Fri 18 May to Sat 19 May

chef preparing food

Another weekend, another chef dishing up superlatively good food at the out-of-this-world Miserden Café pop-up supper club. Jonathon Richardson knows his way around the kitchen having trained at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons with Raymond Blanc. I know! Get yourself a ticket!


Wedding Breakfast, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Sat 19 May

Be part of the celebrations and enjoy your own very special Wedding Brunch, watch the BBC coverage of the Royal wedding and raise a toast to Harry and Meghan.


Curries of the World Cookery Class, Natural Cookery School at The Organic Farm Shop, Cirencester, Sat 19 May

lemon grass coriander root ginger

Learn how to make spice blends, curry pastes and curries from around the world, including the likes of Jamaican squash curry, Thai green curry, Ethiopian red lentil curry, Indian jalfrazi and Malaysian noodle curry. All veggie – and you get to eat them at the end.


Meet the Machinery, Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham, Sat 19 to Sun 20 May


This is the sort of weekend activity that will get the heart pumping of any small (or large) person who likes gadgets and machines. It’ll be a proper tractor fest as you get up close and personal with the big guns and snap a selfie of yourself in the driver’s seat.


Barnsley Village Garden Festival, Barnsley, Glos, Sat 19 May, from 10.30am


It’s the 30th year this picture-perfect village has opened its gardens up to the masses – and what gardens they are. Founded by the celebrated garden designer Rosemary Verey, you can visit the gardens she designed at Barnsley House (nice pit stop too, or even spa stop if you have a few hours!), the Dower House garden and the Herbs for Healing Garden. There will also be an exhibition dedicated to Verey, along with live music, Morris dancing, craft and food stalls, and teas served in the village hall.


Dead Dog Cider, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Sat 19 May

Duo Dead Dog Cider will be playing their usual lively mix of English, Celtic and American songs. Just add Stroud Brewery’s beer and Velo’s pizza and you’ve got Saturday night nailed.


Race for Life, Lydiard Park, Swindon, Sat 19 & Sun 20 May

Walk, jog, run or drag yourself around the park in a variety of events, all in aid of Cancer Research UK. Saturday 19 May is Pretty Muddy Kids, an obstacle course for little ones, followed by Pretty Muddy for us lot. Sun 20th is a 5k or 10k for the tougher amongst us. lydiardpark


Fun in the Forest, Dean Close Forest School, Tuckwell Amphitheatre, Sun 20 May

Family fun in the forest for pre-school children including a nature treasure hunt, mask-making, storytelling and meeting woodland animals. And all proceeds go to the Woodland Trust, so go on, it’s fun and it’s for a good cause!


One Woman Sex and the City, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, Sun 20 May

Brilliant Kerry Ipema is playing the famous four women from the beloved TV show – it’s bound to be a reminder of why the funny, outrageous plot of Sex and the City captured the hearts of women all over the country.


The Porter Trio, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Sun 20 May

Join this young professional jazz band from Bath for live tunes and a three-course lunch in Grey’s Brasserie.


Remembering Fred, Salisbury City Hall, Salisbury, Thu 24 May

Strictly come dancing couple Aljaz and Janette are back with a completely transformed look. You can also buy tickets to meet and greet the couple and grab some merch while you are there.


The Camp Kitchen’s Bank Holiday Weekend Pop-Up Restaurant, The Garden Café, Miserden, Fri 25 & Sat 26 May

table set for dining greenhouse

The pop-ups in Gloucestershire’s answer to Petersham Nurseries have been garnering something of a reputation since they kicked off – and now with the warmer, lighter evenings and the nursery in full bloom, we predict sell-out! So make sure you book for this Bank Holiday special catered by the very talented The Camp Kitchen. I’ve sampled their wares before and it’s lick-the-plate-clean stuff and only £35 per head (BYOB).


Lechlade Festival, Highworth, Fri 25 to Sun 27 May

Scouting for Girls will be headlining at Lechlade Festival

With Scouting for Girls, glam-rock band Doctor and the Medics and punk-rock outfit From the Jam headlining, this May Bank Holiday music fest is NOT TO BE MISSED! There are even more things to do for kids this year, a bigger and better comedy stage and so many amazing acts across loads of genres, I could write an essay. Which I won’t do, but will just mention that Hendrix-esque duo The Roscoes Wild Child are flying in from LA again this year and The Missy Malone and Burlesque Review will also be returning. Tickets are selling fast with live-in vehicle pitches nearly sold out, so get your tickets NOW.


Japanese Night, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, Fri 25 May

Craig Lunn, recently returned from working at Sushi Jin in Toyama, Japan, will create expertly crafted plates of fresh and delicious Japanese cuisine.


Silver Surfer, Rush Skate Park, Brimscombe, Fri 25 May

Big kid at heart? Rush Skate Park’s over thirties event is perfect for newbies and veteran riders alike.


Totes Amazing, Caroline Rudge, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Fri 25 May

Always wanted to learn how to cut and print your own fabric? Caroline Rudge is teaching fabric design to decorate a tote bag, tea towel and cushion cover, perfect for add a little homemade chic into your home.


Hot Fuzz & Shaun of the Dead, Open-Air Cinema Festival, Cotswold Airport, Cirencester, Fri 25 May to Sat 26 May

Pull up a luxury beanbag and munch down on mouth-watering hog roast while watching much-loved British comedy classics. Begin the ‘cornetto trilogy’ surrounded by impressive aircrafts and scenic country side at the historic Kemble aerodrome.


Men in the Kitchen, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Sat 26 May

It’s seems your not a proper man if you don’t cook these days, so I imagine this course for men – where knife skills are on the menu – will no doubt fill up fast. And then he can cook the next dinner party! Result. Mr Muddy’s got a birthday coming up so now I know what to get him!


Tristan Watson & Patsy Gamble Trio, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Sat 26 May

woman saxaphone

Two of the area’s favourite Jazz Musicians are playing in an intimate setting, also being joined by the incredibly talented double bassist James Agg, for a performance of Latin numbers and bluesy jazz.


Nature Week, Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, Sat 26 to Sun 3 June

kids and mum looking at nature

From pond dipping to woodland adventures – minibeast safari or worm charming anyone? – half term week has a wild theme at Adam Henson’s knockout farm. Nature rangers will be on hand to lead activities and raise conservation awareness and sheep shearing will be going on during that week too, which is always fun to watch.


Jamie’s Acoustic Jukebox, The Kings Hotel, Chipping Campden, Sat 26 May

You don’t really need an excuse to go to this boutique belle in one of the Cotswold’s prettiest villages, but, hey, if you’re gonna be serenaded by Jamie King on his guitar singing crowd-pleasers, well all the better. Have a meal or just hang out in the bar and enjoy.


Lou Lou’s Cheltenham Vintage Fair, Cheltenham Town Hall, Sun 27 May

Always a winner this with retro goodies galore to rifle through and the Vintage Victory Rollers Salon on hand to give you a Rita Hayworth-style updo or pin curls.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Cowley Manor, Cheltenham, Sun 27 May

1980s teen drama Ferris, popcorn, sweets and a BBQ in the chi-chi surroundings of Cowley Manor. Count me in.


The Little Mermaid, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Tue 29 May

Watch Ballet Theatre UK perform the dramatic re-telling of the Hans Christian Anderson’s family classic The Little Mermaid.


Tidy Up, Peut Être Theatre Company, Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury, Tuesday 29 May

Inspired by the inside of a child’s brain by portraying the way they see order, patterns and systems. Tidy Up has invited you to a world of mess and fantastic disorder. This dance theatre performance will guarantee entertained kiddies and will even give the parents a few giggles.


Kids Cookery Baking, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Wed 30 May

This sounds like a good way to get a morning to yourself over half-term – and the kids should enjoy it too. I mean baking cakes in a kitchen that your mother isn’t getting stressed about you making a mess in has got to be a winner. And they get to scoff the lot at the end. (And also, how about those ladybird aprons!!)


Romeo & Juliet, The HandleBards, The Pound, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wed 30 May

TheHandleBards are the world’s first cycling theatre company (yes, you read that right). The companies motto is ‘seriously silly’ which can be expected from their family friendly production of Romeo and Juliet.



Handmade Fair, Bowood House and Gardens, Bowood, Fri 22 June to Sun 24 June

Learn to make a selection of handmade goods for your friends and family, and hunt through the delightful handmade goods made with the highest quality, each with their own personal touch. This is a great family day out where everyone can find something to suit their interest. handmadefairbowood


Chalke Valley History Festival, nr Salisbury, 25 June – 1 July

See history, hear history, even feel history at this extraordinary festival dedicated entirely to – you guessed it – history. Talks, workshops and debates bring alive an incredible living past on these rolling plains in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside – check out the stunning air displays, through-the-ages encampment, interactive events, plus sign up now for a mega-impressive list of speakers from Charlie Higson to Robert Peston, with a jaunt through Kate Mosse, Peter Snow and Simon Schama in between. Early ticket sales are available now.

Additional reporting: Amy Ballantyne & Tonicha Luffman

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