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Room, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat May 6- Sat June 24

A new exhibition of installations, sculptures and photographs by 13 international women artists exploring ideas around architecture and the domestic environment from the 1970s to present day opens this weekend. Artworks include Nan Goldin’s photographic series, Empty Rooms, Berlin/Hamburg (1983-96), taken in brothels, hotels and gay bars, and Brit artist Sarah Lucas’s installation Chuffing Away to Oblivion (1996) – a flimsy cabin made from a timber frame and brown paper, lined on the inside with tabloid newspapers. She has constructed a nicotine-stained smoking den papered with tabloid soft porn – a masculine environment made by a woman artist. It’s been curated by Laura Lord from Sadie Coles HQ, London. Free.

Shakespeare Marathon & Half Marathon, Stratford, Sun May 7

Shakespeare Marathon 2016

Run among some of the most historic buildings in the country and through miles of beautiful Warwickshire countryside starting in the centre of town opposite Shakespeare’s Schoolroom taking in the River Avon, Holy Trinity Church and the RSC. Last year 3,200 took part in the event which is organised by Stratford from aged 18 to 76 from 9am.

Action 21 Eco Fun Day, Warwick & Leamington, Sun May 7

Join in a family walk or bike-ride along the refurbished Riverside Walk between Warwick and Leamington. 11am – 4pm starting at the cafe in St Nicholas Park at 11am and finishing at Leamington’s Pump Rooms. The walk is 2.5 miles, and will take up to 1hr 30mins, uneven in parts and may be difficult for pushchairs or wheelchair users. Well behaved dogs on leads welcome. The cycle route is 3 miles. This will be a guided ride. Local environmental groups and sustainability charities are holding a free exhibition in the Pump Rooms. (11am – 4pm) Free to join in. To register go here

Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France, Ashmolean, Oxford, ends Sun 7 May

Your last chance to see this nationally lauded exhibition in neighbouring Muddy Oxon. After the success of last year’s Andy Warhol exhibition, the fabulous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford spools back to 19th century bohemian Paris where Manet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Degas and Picasso were collectively whipping up era-defining paintings and dreaming up the Modernist movement. It promises to be a doozy. And for a post-culture coffee or bite, don’t miss the chic Ashmolean Dining Rooms on the top floor, with its cute outdoor terrace for when things get a bit warmer.

‘Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France’ continues until 7 May. Tickets: £10, £9 concessions, children under 12 go free.

Bring on the Bollywood & Bollywood Dance Classes, B2, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sat May 6-Sat May 13

Created by Samir Bhamra, the master of authentic Bollywood inspired work this exuberant dance-theatre production interweaves real stories of love infused with the works of Oliver Goldsmith and William Shakespeare, plus classic Indian cinema. To coincide Sneha Singh, a dance performer and teacher is running Bollywood Dance Classes on Saturdays until June 24. A limited number of places are available for beginners from 2-3pm and advanced from 4- 5.30pm., Tel 024 7655 3055

Althorp Food & Drink Festival, Sat May 6-Sun May 7

Another food fest, this time a hop over the border into Muddy Northants country. The Althorp Food and Drink Festival is a whopper gastro experience with talks, tastings, demonstrations, masterclasses, and live music. Notable local chefs include Joe Buckley from the Tollemache Arms, James Claydon from Shires Cookery School and Nathan Russell, founder of My Health Hut.

The Althorp Estate, Northampton NN7 4HQ

Warwick Masterclass: Chocolate Making, Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun May 7

Spend the day with Yorkshire-based award winning chocolatier David Greenwood-Haigh learning how to make a variety of delicious truffles and filled chocolates. For ages 16+,10am-5pm

The Leamington Spa RETROFEST, All Saints Parish Church, Leamington, Sat May 6

A retro, antiques, collectables, handmade crafts, art & gifts fair with a pop-up vintage salon, Chez Titine Salon for those eye flicks and Betty bangs, a vintage tea room, vintage games hub and live entertainment from local vintage songstress Titine Lavoix in aid of Cancer Research.

Young ‘Stars’ of BBC Countryfile at Hedgehog Awareness Day, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, nr Stratford, Sat May 6

Did anyone catch Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Head Gardener Glyn Jones on Countryfile this week (April 30)? He was showing how the garden at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage has become a safe haven for rescued hedgehogs.  Throughout the day there will be hedgehog craft activities in the on-site Family Activity Marquee, designed by local artist Lisa Yardley, 12-4pm. (Also on May 7). The three schoolgirl founders of ‘Hedgehog Friendly Town’  – Kyra Barboutis, Eve Green and Sophie Smith – also seen on Countryfile will be giving regular family-friendly interactive talks on their work at 11am, 2pm, 3pm & 4pm. There’s a fun fact hedgehog trail too, as well as free woodland creature face-painting, 10am-4pm.

May Day @Hill Close Gardens, Warwick, May 6

Celebrate May Day and Springtime with a traditional Maypole Dancing display by the children of Hampton Lucy School, at 2.30pm & 3.30pm. Enjoy spring flowers and blossoms, early photos of Warwickshire May Day festivities, and Maypole history, £4 (children £1), 11am – 4pm., Tel 01926 493339

International Dawn Chorus Walk @ Bubbenhall Wood & Meadow, Sun May 7

I don’t think I could physically get up this early but if you enjoy getting up with the lark, why not join bird lovers from 5am-6.30am – for the World’s Favourite Birdwatch. Warwickshire Wildlife Trust will be conducting a bird survey but you don’t have to be an expert. It first began in the ’80s when broadcaster and environmentalist Chris Baines asked everyone to attend his birthday party at 4am so they could enjoy the dawn chorus with him. Since then it’s grown from a small event in Birmingham to an annual international celebration as far afield as the Caribbean and Antarctica. More than 80 countries have participated.

To top it all off, the Bubbenhall Bluebells should be in full bloom. Due to access and parking limitations, booking is essential, Tel 02476 302912. One family ticket will also act as your car parking ticket. Enquiries:

My Wild Life: Bats, Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, Brandon Lane, Cv3 3GW, Sat May 6

Discover the secret world of the bat. An indoor talk about bats followed by an after dark walk around the reserve with bat detectors to see/hear them. These sessions are always very popular so make sure you book your place! £5


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Warwickshire