What’s on in Warwickshire this August
No summer holiday booked? No problem. We've got exhibits bursting with colour, every kind of show, thumping music nights, and more right here in Warwickshire this month with our updated guide.
Castaway, Coventry, 28-29 Aug
Aerialists will tackle the hot topic of climate change in an exciting performance at Coventry’s Canal Basin. The free show by Cov-based Castaway is part of the City of Culture’s Green Futures programme and will see performers fly nine metres through the air. Yikes. Shows take place at 12.30pm and 4pm and are suitable for all ages.
Where All Paths Lead, Compton Verney, 28-29 Aug
Sit back and enjoy a weekend of outdoor dance performances at the stunning setting of Compton Verney’s meadow. The dance theatre show led by male dancers will be accompanied by Dutch artist Krijn De Koning’s sculptural artwork Green Dwelling and a soundtrack of live drums. And if you’re feeling really inspired – and a bit brave – sign up for a dance workshop.
Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Coventry, 30 Aug
Former Bellowhead front-man and multiple BBC Folk Award winner Jon Boden is bringing his new band to Coventry’s Assembly Garden. The eleven-piece line-up in Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings is who’s who of folk stars – Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron, Paul Sartin, Ben Nicholls and Richard Warren – plus a string and brass section. Hold my gin, this one might get rowdy.
Ed Sheeran, HMV Empire, Coventry, 25 Aug
So apparently this guy’s a pretty big deal… Ed Sheeran is coming to our turf this summer as part of a celebration of 100 years of HMV. It’s an absolute bunfight to get tickets (there’s only 350 free ones available), but if you want to be in with a shot to see him then you’ll need to apply online. Good luck (you’re gonna need it!)
Reggae Roast, Fargo Village, Coventry, 29 Aug
So you may not be going to Notting Hill Carnival this year but Fargo Village is bringing reggae summer vibes with a night headlined by Reggae Roast feat Natty Campbell, Mackabee Sound, and Junior Brown. These guys have played Glasto and Boomtown before so you’re in good company, and if you need something to soak up the rum punch there’s food from Caribbean favourites Esmies. Tickets start from £5.
Warwickshire Festival, Warwick, 27-30 Aug
The kids definitely won’t run out of things to do at this festival (thank god). There’s an open air cinema showing The Greatest Showman (hello Zac Efron), live music including Leamington favourites Sambassadors of Groove, street food, fun fair and it’s own beer festival. Sounds like a win to us, cheers.
Costume Day, Stratford, 20 Aug
Stratford and festivals are two words which just go. Add the RSC and you’ve pretty much got the holy trinity. The company is hosting a one-day takeover of Bancroft Terrace and Gardens to celebrate its top notch costume-making heritage. There’ll be free performances, workshops, exhibitions and activities, plus a silent disco and craft market – literally something for everyone. After your festival fill, head over to the newly reopened Riverside Café for a glass of something chilled and a slice of homemade cake.
Stratford Butterfly Farm, new exhibitions
Think spending the day with scorpions, spiders and snakes is tantamount to a bushtucker trial? Us too. Better get those big girl pants on then, because the kids will love seeing the creepy crawlies – not just butterflies – here. The Farm (which has just won the Muddy Award for Best Family Attraction, doncha’ know?) is also home to a 1,000 litre aquarium filled with tropical fish and two Capricorn beetles, which were thought to be extinct until recently.
Dinosaurs Alive, Hatton Country World, until 5 Sept
No khaki-clad Chris Pratt from Jurassic World at this lifelike dinosaur exhibition (*sigh*), but you will find expert rangers at the meet and greet sessions alongside falconry, laser combat and a tractor safari. There are no costly add-ons either, it’s all included in the standard entry ticket.
2 Tone: Lives & Legacies, The Herbert, Coventry, until 12 Sept
Love a bit of ska? Then you’ll want to don your Harrington jacket and check out the UK’s first exhibition devoted entirely to the 2 Tone music scene. Fun fact: the movement was started right here in Coventry by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. And the best bit? It’s totally FREE.
Art in the Gardens, Hill Close Gardens, Warwick, 21 Aug
While we don’t need an excuse to visit Hill Close Gardens, stick on a festival and we’re already out the door. As well as works from local artists there’ll also be your classic festival fare including music, workshops, stalls, artisan cakes and entertainment for juniors. Top tip: take a bag for life to stock up on plants propagated from the verdant gardens.
Cinema under the Stars, Compton Verney, 19 – 22 Aug
Is it about time for date night? Catch a bunch of musicals (take your pick from Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman or Dirty Dancing) at Compton Verney, on the lush green banks overlooking the lake. Bring a blanket, hip flask and rain mac because, y’know, British weather.
Rugby Open Air Cinema, Rugby, 23 – 26 August
If Rugby’s more your patch head to Rugby School where films (including Jurassic Park, and Pretty Woman) will be shown across three days. Can’t decide? Have a movie marathon and watch them all, it’s the summer holidays after all.
FOOD & DRINK
Sundown Spectacular, Warwick Castle, 26-30 Aug
Cool historic castle? Check. Live music and DJs? Check. Add in streetfood from local faves Digbeth Dining Club, pop up bars and fireworks displays and you’ve got the ultimate summer send-off at Warwick Castle. Make it extra special (and save booking that taxi home after one too many Pimms) by booking a stay in the woodland lodges or glamping retreat.
Ploughman’s and Cider tasting, Napton, 25 Aug
Did someone say cheese? And booze? We’re there! Hosted by Napton Cidery, you’ll get to taste your way through six tipples (we’re excited for the apple brandy), all served with hearty ploughman’s made fresh by Napton Village Stores using all local produce.
Hatton Country World, weekends throughout Aug
The late summer heatwave never happened (are we surprised), but dig out that dress and enjoy the stalls bursting with locally made jewellery, art and crafts, all in the picturesque 100 acres of Hatton Country World. If you’re feeling brave take the kids and make a day of it, or even better leave them at home and venture to The Hatton Arms for a sundowner.