WHAT’S ON: Thurs 19 – Weds 25 March
As ever in Oxon and Bucks, loads of cool stuff going on this week if you feel like going out. Have fun!
Marks of Genius, Weston Library, Oxford, opens 21 March (until 20 Sept)
A whole weekend of exhibitions and tours to celebrate the opening of this incredible new library in Oxford, the latest extension of the Bodleian. It is exhibiting frankly jaw-dropping collections such as Shakespeare’s first folios, manuscripts by Mendelssohn (above) and Handel, the Magna Carta of 1217, pages from the orignal draft of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein amongst many more. The tour is open to the public for this weekend only, so if it floats your boat, book quickly. The tour also includes seeing the original King George VI ceremonial door, a new roof terrace with magnificent views (it says here – I haven’t seen it myself yet), and a gallery above Blackwell Hall.
Tours run every 30 minutes for roughly 45 mins, £10. Online bookings close at midnight tonight. 11+ only and not suitable for wheelchairs.
House reopens, Waddesdon Manor, Weds 25 March
If you’ve never ventured into the house at Waddesdon Manor, you’re missing a major treat. The house is always closed in January and February for conservation and cleaning, but it reopens to the public next week with several exhibitions including The Riches of the Earth trail, focusing on objects in the house made of precious materials: hardstones, minerals, silver and gold; Renaissance Museum, treasures from the Smoking Room at Waddesdon and Beyond All Price, an evocative study of mourning jewellery and the cult of commemoration in Victorian society, curated by Jane Wildgoose.
Oxford Literary Festival, various locations, Oxford, 21-29 March
The OLF starts on Saturday and there are still tickets for some events, including quite a few brilliant offerings for kids. I love the sound of Sherlock Holmes v James Bond with Young Bond author Steve Cole battling it out with Young Sherlock’s Andrew Lane about who’s the coolest British hero (Sat 28 March) for kids 10+. Cue entirely gratuitous photos of Daniel Craig – because I can!! For adults, there are creative writing talks, wine and food tastings and loads more. Definitely worth a gander at the schedule.
Open House & Garden, Kingston Bagpuize House, from 22-24 March
The lovely Kingston Bagpuize House, a privately owned Restoration jewel, reopens to the public on Sunday to Tuesday afternoons (2-5pm) at limited times throughout the spring/summer, with the garden, park and ground floor of the house all at your disposal.
Open on 22-24 March, 23-24, 19-21 April, 10-12 May, 1-2, 21-23 June, 12-14 July, 2-4, 23-25 August and 6-8, and 14-15 September 2015.
Lambing Weekends, Earth Trust, Abingdon, 21 – 29 March
The Earth Trust’s annual lambing weekends looks like kiddie-heaven Enjoy a day out on a working farm, visiting the new spring lambs, with a variety of craft activities and food on offer at Poem Tree Cafe (including, er, lamb burgers – I’m not kidding!). Don’t forget your wellies.
Held over two weekends: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March, and Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March 10am-4pm. Earth Trust Centre, Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QZ.
Art on the Hill, Brill, Sat 21- Sun 22 March
A well run local art event in the lovely mid-Bucks village of Brill (complete with windmill – see painting by Tabitha Roblou above) that includes a painting night for adults, the opportunity to bid for a portrait by the award-winning artist Peter Keegan, and extensive kids workshops (lantern making, clay modelling, cartoon illustration, bug box making, a morning with Harvey Drew author Cas Lester). There’s a good pub in Brill too – The Pointer – if you want to make a day of it.