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The Bumper What’s On Guide!

What a feeling! Sara Cox has so far raised £1,071,264 after completing her epic 24 hour Sounds of the 80s Danceathon for Red Nose Day. Congratulations Cox-y. It’s a busy week; not only is it Comic Relief on Friday but Mother’s Day on Sunday and OMG we can all celebrate as the clocks go forward too…summers on the way. Yay!

Comic Relief 2017: Red Nose African Convoy, BBC 1, Thurs March 23

Ahead of the main Red Nose shenanigans on Fri March 24, this film aims to show the serious side of fundraising but it remains true to its comic roots by sending a road crew – Michaela Coel, David Baddiel, Russell Kane, Hugh Dennis, Katy Brand and Reggie Yates – to join a Comic Relief convoy from Kenya, to Uganda delivering crucial supplies and negotiating heavy terrain with a light touch, 9pm. This year renowned British photographer, Rankin who has shot famous faces from Kate Moss and David Bowie to the Queen, has designed 9 different quirky animal design t-shirts for the Red Nose Day campaign at TK Maxx, of which £5 will go to the charity.


The Diary of a Hounslow Girl, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Fri March 24 & Sat March 25

Rising young actress Nyla Levy takes on the lead role in Ambreen Razia’s witty debut about the typical life of a 16-year-old ‘Hounslow Girl’ – young Muslim women who wear big hooped earrings along with their headscarves to challenge stereotypes of young British Muslim women. Playwright and actor Ambreen Razia offers an astute take on negotiating the hurdles of conservative family values alongside the challenges of teenage life in West London, through her experiences from traditional Pakistani weddings to teenage romance. Ambreen was recently featured in BBC 3’s very moving Murdered by my Father and was awarded Best newcomer 2016 in the Asian Media Awards. Suitable for age 14+

Mother’s Day Paper Cranes, Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Sun March 26 

Children can learn how to make an origami paper crane – a lovely gift for Mother’s Day. Free, drop in and join in. Suitable for children aged 7+. 2-4pm

Royal Pump Rooms, Leamington

Re-opening of Ragley Hall, Alcester, from Wed March 22

Warwickshire’s stunning stately home has just re-opened this week and has a new season of exciting events for us to look forward to including Kirsty Allsop’s Vintage Handmade Fair (May 12-14), a new Fantastic Food Festival (June 17-18), the Battle Proms Concert (Aug12), and a new family-friendly summer festival, Camper Calling with headliners Reef, (August 25-28). Enjoy guided tours, regular garden open days, bluebell walks, Mad Science activities for children and open air theatre productions from The Taming of the Shrew to David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy. Sporting events will also be taking place such as the avenger triathlon, open water swimming and extreme cross country running. Make the most of the summer sun with Family Friday’s – half price entry from 3pm and the park will stay open until 7pm.

Free entry for mums, Twycross Zoo, Atherstone, Sat March 25 & Sun March 26

Kristen and her two lively Amur leopard cubs, girls Kira and Samara Photo: Lucy Ray

Twycross Zoo is celebrating Mother’s Day by giving every mum free entry when accompanied by another full paying adult or child. You can also learn about animal mothers and their babies at this weekend’s special series of keepers’ talks. Twycross Zoo is the proud home to many successful animal mothers from first time bonobo mum Kianga, who just celebrated her son Móko’s first birthday to Ozala, who produced a healthy and strong gorilla baby in September last year and Kristen, who gave birth to her second pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs last year., Tel 0844 474 1777. Now open from 10am-6pm over the summer. 

Bridget Jones’s Baby, Weston-under-Wetherley Cinema night, Village Hall, Sat March 25

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

If you live near this picturesque rural Warwickshire village, outside Leamington, and fancy having a laugh, head over to the Village Hall and catch-up on the latest chapter in Helen Fielding’s novels. Bridget Jones’s Baby follows 40-something Bridget as she finds herself single again and unexpectedly expecting – and stars Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey. It came out in the cinemas last September but if you haven’t seen it, now’s your chance! 8pm.

Lee Holmes, Fast Your Way to Wellness food-demo & book-signing, Oken’s Kitchen, Warwick, Sat March 25

Australian author Lee Holmes will be demonstrating how to make her nutritious fasting day recipes including Veggie Nori Wraps and Aromatic Zucchini Curry at a 2-hour book-signing and demo at 3pm. It costs £20, including a signed copy of the book. Oken’s Kitchen is the second premises run by the mother-and-daughter team who also have Thomas Oken Tea Rooms in Castle Street, Warwick.  Book there or at Warwick Books.

Oken’s Kitchen, Coten End, Warwick,, Tel: 07449 985943

Pitter patter of Rare Arapawa goats’ hooves, Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote, now open

The childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother has now re-opened.  Experience the sights, sounds and smells of an organic working Tudor farm. Meet the Tudors who run the farm, watch falconry and craft demonstrations and explore this award-winning historical farmyard that’s full of very cuuute fluffy new arrivals this spring! The farm is also home to one of the rarest breeds of goat in the world  – three very special Arapawa Maestral, Davina and Patrick. And in April, the pitter patter of tiny hooves will be joining the farm, as Davina and Patrick are expecting their first kid. As well as Arapawa goats, the farm is expecting more spring arrivals including rare breeds of Norfolk Horns, Cotswold and Portland lambs and new calves. They’ve already welcomed a gaggle of goslings and a brand new menu at the Farm’s café.

Wilmcote, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9UN,

Mother’s Day, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Sun March 26

Creating the Countryside: Anna Fox, The Village 1991, courtesy of the Hyman Collection, London

The House and gardens are now open. All mums and Grandma’s will be given free admission when visiting with their families. Treat your Mum to a day out exploring the collections, 120 acres of parkland and the new Creating the Countryside exhibition. Finish with a Sunday Roast at the new  Compton Kitchen eatery, where Mums can also enjoy a free cupcake. 10.30am-5pm.

Shakespeare Week: Shakespeare’s Family Homes, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat March 24 & Sun March 26

Draw inspiration from the gardens and make your mum a handmade flower creation in the Family Activity Marquee at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon

Celebrate Shakespeare Week – a national celebration giving primary school children a fun first encounter with Shakespeare – with hands-on family activities, outdoor performances, Renaissance Dancers, Tudor Instrument Workshops and Strictly Tudor Dancing in Shakespeare’s Family Homes. For a full timetable of What’s On see here.

Mothering Sunday, Batsford Arboretum, near Moreton-in-Marsh, Sun March 26

March is Daffodil and Early Magnolia Month at Batsford Arboretum

What better way to show Mum how much you love her than with a day-out to pretty Batsford Arboretum on the Warwickshire-Cotswolds border at the height of blowsy spring bulb colour? Mums get free entry when accompanied by a paying child. If you’re planning on making a day of it why stay for lunch or afternoon tea in the Garden Terrace Café, 10am-5pm.

Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9QB,

Say it with Flowers, Guild Chapel, Chapel Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat March 25

Drop-into make a Mother’s Day posy using flowers that were popular in Shakespeare’s day including daffodils and rosemary, among other garden herbs and spring blooms, guided by Avon Floral Arts. Children can also explore the Guild Chapel’s new Activity Trail – unlocking the secrets of the building, which dates back almost 800 years, and learn more about its hidden medieval wall paintings. Free, 11am – 1pm.

The MAD Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sun March 26

The quirky MAD (Mechanical Art & Design) Museum showcases the world’s finest pieces of Kinetic Art and Automata. Families can interact with crazy machines, build their own marble runs and get inspired to create back at home. This Mother’s Day MAD is offering 10% off a family ticket (£19.80) or 20% off an individual ticket for mum (£7.02). Just say “MAD Mum” when you arrive at the reception desk to redeem your discounts.

Leamington Comic Con, Royal Spa Centre Sat March 25

KERPOW! The award-winning Leamington Comic Con returns for a third year with an explosion of comics, cosplay, anime, memorabilia and Q&A panels. Discover some amazing independent writers and illustrators and meet some big names including the newest artist for DC’s Batgirl Christian Wildgoose, award-winning Manga creator Sonia Leong and creators of the King Legacy Comic (winners of Leam Comic Con’s Small Press Factor 2016). Fancy unleashing your superhero / villain alter ego? Show off your creative costuming skills on the cosplay catwalk and, the Kids Zone will help keep children entertained. Good for comic geeks and families looking for a fun day out. Under 13’s free accompanied by an adult ticket holder. Check out the schedule here:, Tel 01926 737154 


Jesus and Mary Chain: Damage and Joy tour, Birmingham O2 Institute, Fri March 31

JAMC: Brothers-in-arms Photo: Steve Gullick

Damage and Joy the first album in almost 20 years, by the kings of distortion and feedback Jim and William Reid, is out on Fri March 24 – and in retro cassette format as well as on digital, CD and vinyl.  A new generation discovered their classic Psychocandy thanks to Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation – as Just Like Honey was the opening track. My sister and I were massive fans in our goth/ indie days and caught their co-headlining Rollercoaster concert tour with Blur, Dinosaur Jr, and My Bloody Valentine at Manchester Apollo back in 1992. Hearing their songs still sends a shiver down my spine, and hypnotic new tracks Amputation and Also Sad don’t disappoint.

Flashback! Back-combed hair & black shades. Photo: Mick Laye

Winnie & Wilbur, Birmingham Rep, Fri March 31-Sat April 22

British playwright Mike Kenny, whose adaptation of The Railway Children won an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, this bestselling children’s picture book by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul, for Birmingham Rep. In this new family-friendly adventure, Winnie the witch and her black cat, Wilbur are getting ready for Winnie’s birthday party – sending invitations, choosing decorations, deciding upon their outfits, and planning party games. But why doesn’t Winnie want to invite cousin Cuthbert? Why does she almost call the whole thing off? And how does Wilbur help Winnie to make it the most wonderful party ever? Perfect for young children aged 3+. Expect songs, spells and slapstick fun., Box Office: 0121 236 4455


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Warwickshire