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Things to Do: August Bank Holiday Weekend

Fri Aug 25-Mon Aug 28

Down on the Close – A Festival in a Night,  Rugby School, Sat Aug 26

Singer Imelda May

There’s no need to bring a tent as you’ll see Imelda May, Wilko Johnson, Toploader and the Roving Crows perform live at the historic venue on the same night. Festival organiser, Lee Martin, founder of Lakefest in Ledbury, said: “Rugby was the ideal spot to host this magical night. The venue itself is just beautiful and I’ve hand-picked acts that will put on a great live show for a family audience.” Local food traders will be catering within the grounds & guests are also welcome to bring picnics.  VIP packages include a private Gin Bar, with access to the side of the stage and a backstage seating area.

Make a Scene, Shakespeare Family Homes, Aug Bank Hol Weekend

Shakespeare’s New Place: The Sunken Knot Garden © Megan Taylor & The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Help artists design 5 scenes for 5 different Shakespeare performances at Shakespeare’s Family homes – a South Asian inspired performance space with artists from the Sonia Sabri Company for The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Birthplace (Sat Aug 26 – 10am, 12pm, 2pm). Join Russian artist Evgenia Golubia in making a scene for Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s New Place (Sun Aug 27 11am & 2pm). Unleash your inner Michelangelo and become an architect of the stage  for Shakespeare’s Aloud’s Twelfth Night performance at Hall’s Croft on (Sun Aug 27 – 12pm &4pm). Help resident artist Lisa Yardley transform the woodland stage into a Japanese wonderland at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (Mon Aug 28 -10am & 12pm) & prepare for a Moorish-style As You Like It at Mary Arden’s Farm (Mon Aug 28 – 2pm & 4pm).

Fairytale acrobatic theatre company, Nicole & Martin, Kenilworth Castle, Thurs Aug 24-Sat Aug 26 

This award-winning travelling circus theatre company Nicole & Martin will be pitching up their magical White Tent at Kenilworth Castle for 3 days, and telling tales by Grimm – Iron John, The Musicians of Bremen and The Girl Without Hands. Their 70-min shows combine theatre, music, song, dance, juggling, acrobatics and laughter. For the whole family, adults and teenagers too! Oh and they’ll serve you French crêpes, brownies, and Italian coffee. You’ll need to book as limited seating available. Suitable for ages 6+. Shows start at 6pm.

Tel: 0370 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 5pm),

Camper Calling, Ragley Hall, Alcester, Fri Aug 25-Mon Aug 28

Cast, Reef, The Lightning Seeds, Musical Youth, Lucy Spraggan, Space, The Ordinary Boys, Lakuta and Betsy are among the artists performing on a Lakeside stage at the family-friendly boutique festival Camper Calling, now in its second year at Ragley. Attractions include free water sports on the lake for campers, Woodland Walks & House Tours, a Ukulele workshop, fairground, a family circus and graffiti artist tuition.

Shakespaw’s Day & Life’s a Chore, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, Sat Aug Aug 26-Mon Aug 28

Find out what life was like for Anne before she was swept off her feet by William every hour over the Bank Holiday Weekend from 11am-4pm. And if you’re a dog lover celebrate National Dog Day in the gardens on Sat Aug 26. Bring your dog, a picnic and join in the fun with plenty of activities for your furry friend, plus enjoy 20% off admission.

Illmington Village Show & Live Music at The Howard Arms,  Ilmington, nr Shipton-on-Stour Sun Aug 27 Aug & Mon Aug 28

There’ll be live music with Matt Bates from 3.30pm-5.30pm on Sunday and the annual  Ilmington Village and Horticultural Show on Bank Holiday Monday with plenty to entertain the children and judging of home-made drinks, plus the pub’s Pimms and Fizz Bar.

English Heritage’s Clash of Knights tournament, Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Gardens, Sun Aug 27-Mon 28 Aug

The warring age of medieval history will be recreated within the grounds of the castle as knights battle it out for victory armed only with clubs and shields, strength and skill. In this adrenalin-fuelled combat only one team will triumph. Soak up the atmosphere in the medieval encampment as musicians play, while budding knights can test their skills in battle drills, 11am-5pm.

Harry Potter Films Series, Warwick Arts Centre, every Sun, ends with a Bank Holiday Double-bill, Sat Aug 27 & Aug 28

Relive the magic on the big screen and join us for special screenings of all eight Harry Potter films this summer. Featuring a film every week and culminating in a double bill on the August Bank Holiday weekend. It will be followed by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Sun Aug 13) and Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Sun Aug 20); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (Aug 27) & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Aug 28).

Live music, The Bell at Alderminster on Sun Aug 27

Listen to Corrine Lucy at this award-winning gastro pub on the Alderminster Estate who will play from 5pm – 7.30pm, and grab a bit to eat.

Twelfth Night and The Tempest, The Dell, Stratford-upon-Avon, Saturday Aug 26 & Sun Aug 27 

This is the last performance of free theatre at the RSC’s open air performance space The Dell, this summer. The same company of actors present two one-hour versions of Shakespeare’s most famous seafaring plays.
Expect shipwrecks, magic, monsters and mistaken identities with live music, puppetry, dancing and more. BMH are a fresh, fun and vibrant theatre company from Oxford that have been running for over 10 years.

Garden Open Day, Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, Mon Aug 28

The gem of this 500-year-old garden is open from 10am – 5pm. The Hospital is an historic group of medieval timber-framed buildings on Warwick High Street dating mainly from the late 14th Century.  In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the buildings became, under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a place of retirement for old warriors who had fought in the Elizabethan era wars. Free admittance if you live in Warwick while normal entry is £2. Enjoy cream teas served on the lawn.

Family Trivia Trails, Stratford & Warwick, Sat Aug 26-Mon Aug 28 A fun and informative walk round these lovely old market towns. 90min & 60 min quiz trails available with a mix of historical, observational and fun questions in Stratford-upon-Avon on 26 August (2pm) and 28 August (12noon);  and in Warwick on 27 August (2pm).

Adults cost £10; Child aged 9-16: £3, Child aged 0-8 is free,


The Big Feastival, Alex James’s Farm, The Cotswolds, Fri 25 -Sun 27 Aug

This three day festival with Jamie Oliver and Alex James is a middle-class foodie fest, awash with live music performances from Olly Murs, Madness and Haçienda Classical, plus top chefs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, DJ BBQ, Gizzie Erskine and Carluccio. It’s immensely family friendly so there’s a Neff Little Kitchen for small cooks, Justin Fletcher (surely the richest children’s entertainer in the UK by now?) has his own spot, there’s tree-climbing, crayons and crafts and a kids’ den.

Churchill Heath Farm, Kingham, Chipping Norton,

End Of The Road, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, Thu 31 August to Sun 3 September

Hopefully it won’t be the end of the road for us as we hurtle into festival season with a new pair of Le Chameau (I wish, how much?), but it is worth checking out this alternative music festival. It’s not a biggie – 11,000 bods tops – and if you like folk, Ameriana and alt country (can anyone tell me what that is? Not Taylor Swift, then?), this one is for you. They get some good headliners here, we’re talking Bat for Lashes and the like, and this year Jesus and Mary Chain (cue mega flashback to sixth form) are playing. Four stages, secret sets, loads of stuff for kids and plenty of peacocks strutting around, it’s got it all.

Find more ideas here

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Warwickshire