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This month

March

How the RSC brings plays to life virtual tour: Backstage at Matilda the musical. Photo by Helen Maybanks, c RSC

· Royal Shakespeare Company – Working with Marquee TV, the RSC is offering a free 30-day trial, meaning people can watch 18 of the Shakespeare productions for free. This will include a ‘premiere’ of Christopher Luscombe’s 2017 production of Twelfth Night on 11 April. People can sign up here: marquee.tv. There’s also the Shakespeare Learning Zone, which has a large range of fun and educational information about Shakespeare’s plays and themes for children and students, or watch scenes from plays and short films about making theatre on their YouTube Channel. Take a virtual tour of how the RSC bring plays to life ·

· Hill Close Gardens – Enjoy these historic restored Victorian gardens as for now admission is free (normally £4.50) observing social distancing when in the gardens. Donate towards the upkeep if you can.

· the National Trust – With most people WFH and school closing, it’s more important than ever to get a healthy dose of fresh air when you can to avoid going stir crazy and getting the kids out. Luckily our good old chum is giving totally free access to open parklands and gardens (houses, shops and cafes are closed) for those needing to stretch their legs – a good distance apart from any other person, of course. See our post on where you can roam locally in Warwickshire here.

· The Wildlife Trusts run 2,300 nature reserves in the UK, which also remain open although some visitor centres are now closed. Check out Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s sites here.

· Wootton Park – Looking for a safe UK getaway somewhere remote and beautiful? Stay in a self-contained en-suite glamping or tree pod, in the countryside nr Henley-in-Arden. Pods are in isolation from each other and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guests. Features include Double bed and bedding, underfloor, heating, TV & WIFI and countryside views. Tel: 01564 793151.

· £10 golf sessions at Ardencote, Claverdon nr Warwick – with plenty of social distancing, a game of golf could give you the perfect combination of both exercise and time in the great outdoors. To help people access exercise in a safe way, the hotel and spa i offering week day golf for £10 per person and weekend golf at £20 per person. Tel: 01926 843111.

Mallory Court Hotel and Spa, Leamington Spa – Extending its vouchers so that they are now valid for 18 months across all hotels at the Eden Hotel Collective, the perfect gift idea.

· Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon – Live streaming of the Mothering Sunday service on Facebook as this will not be open to the public.

·Tune into ‘Lamb Cam’ – Moreton Morrell College’s Lambing Weekend was cancelled but the event will now take place online where people can watch videos of lambs being born this week and see the new-born lambs getting used to life on the farm.

· Kenilworth Castle – Although the Castle is currently closed, English heritage’s free-to-enter sites are also remaining open – many are large open spaces where visitors can maintain social distancing, plus they’re often located in quieter spots away from crowds. For the full list see here. The best stories from England’s history will also be shared on the English Heritage Facebook page.

· Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust – While the five Shakespeare family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon are temporarily closed, its virtual doors are wide open and there are lots of ways to encounter and enjoy Shakespeare’s wonderful works, life and times on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s digital platforms including the new Shakespeare XR* visitor experience (*additional charge applies). . Enjoy a video tour of the five historic sites, discover fascinating online exhibitions which reveal treasures from the Trust’s world-class collections, educational resources for learners of all ages including over 300 free Shakespeare Week resources for primary school children, and of course Shakespedia for a glimpse into the life of the man behind the works.

· Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery – Will be sharing highlights of their latest new exhibition (which was due to open on Friday) on their social media channels including Facebook.

· Market Hall Museum – Will be sharing images of the museum’s collections, archives and stories online along with online packs for families to download here.

· Stratford Butterfly Farm – closed – Is offering advance discounted gift tickets to use in the future and will be posting a variety of vlogs on social media so you can see all the insects and animals up close.

· Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall – Despite being closed, the team is continuing to work on plans to mark the 600th anniversary of this remarkable building in 2020. In the meantime, extracts from its unique story will be shared on social media using the #ShakespearesSchoolroom600.

· Royal Fusiliers Museum, Warwick – Online videos of a performance piece about the remarkable story of Hannah Snell, a female soldier, are available and some PSHE educational pages are available for students.

· Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick – The stunning gardens are free and open for those looking to get outside and exercise, open 10.00am-4.00pm Tuesday-Sunday through the side entrance.

· Go Cotswolds – Gift vouchers for its award-winning Cotswolds Day Tours and Brewery & Pub tours are available for up to two years, which will allow you to book a 2021-2022 tour at 2020 prices. These are also a great idea for Mother’s Day or birthday presents.

· Stratford-upon-Avon College – offers a range of free distance learning courses to help you progress and up-skill in a variety of roles. These courses can be studied flexibly at home around work and family life to suit you. ·

· National Trust owned pub The Fleece Inn, Evesham, Worcs – A virtual pub is being built, which will expand “Tales from the Fleece” series of videos, include Asparagus recipes, live streaming of gigs and interactive folk sessions. There’s also a Community Mutual Aid group with other villagers and staff are doing some volunteer shifts in the village Community Shop and hosting the Bretforton Community Helpline.

· Warwick Visitor Information Centre – is temporarily closed but can still be contacted via email info@visitwarwick.co.uk

· Leamington Spa Visitor Information Centre – is temporarily closed but can be contacted by email visitleamingtonspa@warwickdc.gov.uk or vic@warwickdc.gov.uk

· Stratford Visitor Information Centre – Will be temporarily closed but if you have any questions, the team can be reached via 01789 264293 or welcometosua@gmail.com

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