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What’s On: Thurs 27 Aug – Weds 2 Sept

Children’s Outdoor Theatre,  Cliveden, Thurs 27- Sat 29 Aug


Feeling optimistic about the weather? Wrap your kids in, er, waterproofs, head out to see child-friendly matinee perormances of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the lovely gardens of Cliveden (nr Marlow) on Thursday 27th (Friday is already sold out) or The Three Musketeers on Saturday 29th for 17th century French swordfights, comedy and funny moustaches. You need to bring your own chairs, rugs and umbrellas (just saying), and you can bring your own picnic to eat before or during the show. Gates open an hour before the start of the performance for picnics.

Adult £14, child (3-16 years) £10. ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’,Thurs 27 & Fri 28 Aug, 1.30pm picnicking for 2.30pm start. ‘The Three Musketeers’, Sat 29 Aug, 6pm picnic for a 7pm start. Meet in the Water Garden.

The Water Garden, Cliveden, Taplow, Berks,

Pride and Prejudice, open air theatre, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 29 Aug


The Pantaloons return to Waddesdon Manor after their very funny adaptation of Treasure Island last month with Pride & Prejudice which I sense will be even more amusing, particularly for adults brought up on Colin Firth’s wet shirt and Jennifer Ehle’s heaving bosom. Questions posed by this production – Will Mrs Bennet manage to offload her  daughters in record time? Will creepy Mr Collins just go away please? Will Colin Firth make a surprise entry stage left wearing his leather boots and riding crop (oh, just me?). Usual rules apply – low seats, picnics and a stoic attitude to rain.

Suitable for all ages. Gates open 5.30pm, Performance 6pm. Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Bucks

Chilterns Craft and Design Show, Stonor Park, Fri 28 – Sat 29 Aug

Picture © Daniel Graves Photography 2014.

I’m defo going to this. The Chilterns Craft & Design Show returns to the beautiful grounds of Stonor Park showcasing the work of over 200 arts and crafts people from all over the UK. There are workshops, demos live music and stuff to buy, and loads to keep kids entertained, from bouncy castles, children’s play area, craft workshops and face painting. Sounds fun.

£5 adults, kids under 16 free. Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames,

Blenheim Palace Festival of Transport,  Sun 30- Mon 31 Aug

I can’t get excited about motor-racing or anything to do with carburetors or ….zzzzzzzzzz, sorry, did I drop off?…. but I am partial to a vintage car or two, and Blenheim Palace is a beautiful spot from which to admire them. On Sunday 30, it’s holding a Classic Car Show, joined on the Monday by motorbikes, Mini’s and VWs, Customs, Hot Rods and American, kit and sports cars. I will of course be arriving in my imaginary Aston Martin.

Normal ticket prices apply but is free for Annual Pass Holders. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire,

Towersey Music Festival,  Fri 28 – Mon 31 Aug


I always know when Summer is ending when I see the Towersey music festival signs around Thame. This well-established family-friendly festival offers four days and nights of acoustic, folk, blues, world and Americana music, with camping, arts, crafts, theatre, workshops and film on hand too at a new more central venue at Thame Showground. Bellowhead are headliner, along with Joan Armatrading.

Thame Showground, Oxon,

Lots of local things…


No soggy bottoms at Hazlemere Fete on Bank Holiday Monday when Mary Berry opens the festival at 1pm. Apparently she’s desperate to get on the go-carts and and alpaca walking. The Beetle and Wedge Boathouse in Moulsford (read my review) is holding a market day on Saturday 29 Aug (9.30 -2pm) offering fresh seasonal producers from expert suppliers plus hard to find deli items, PLUS its own freshly homemade goodies. Dig your wellies out for the nineth Beaconsfield Country Fayre (31 Aug), with events including a dog show, a great balloon race and a fancy dress ‘stretcher’ race (four stretcher bearers carrying a fifth) around a ‘gruelling’ course of seven pubs. Also expect giant inflatable slide, climbing wall, a fire eater, birds of prey display and go-carting. Blimey.

More you say?! Well, the lovely Longridge (so much fun I’ve been twice this summer) is putting on a Bank Holiday Monday Open Day if you fancy being active on the climbing wall, leap of faith, kayaking, canoeing and all that jazz. The Winslow Show is waving the rural flag on Monday 31 Aug with a gymkana, livestock displays, novelt and pedigree dog shows, tug of war and lashing and lashings of ginger ale. The Chester Arms in East Oxford is holding its second beer festival (the last one sold out) from Friday 28 – Mon 31 Aug featuring 12 different Craft Breweries from Oxon, Bucks and Berks (including XT Brewing, The Loose Cannon Brewery, The Rebellion Brewery in Marlow since you asked so nicely). Free entry.

 Cycle Sportive – Chiltern Cycling festival, Penn Street, Mon 31 Aug


Love your biking? The Chenies Velo Classique takes place in and around the magnificent Chenies Manor on Monday, with a choice of 100,60 and 30 mile routes PLUS the option to ride sections of the Chilterns very own “Strada Bianca” chalk roads. After you’ve hammered it with your lycra, have a relaxed afternoon at the Manor with a complimentary glass of bubbly, plus food and wine stalls, velo market and cream teas. Online entries have closed so if you want to take part, there are limited on-the-day- entries.

Chenies Manor, Bucks,

Last Chance to Catch: Great British Drawings, Ashmolean, ends Mon 31 Aug


Haven’t managed to find a spare moment to see Great British Drawings yet? Five days left, peeps! Great British Drawings showcases more than one hundred of the very best British drawings and watercolours by some of Britain’s greatest artists exhibited together for the first time – famous watercolours by Gainsborough and Turner, drawings by Rossetti, Millais and Holman Hunt and 20th-century works by David Hockney. Don’t miss it.

Extended evening opening hours until 8pm on Fri 28 & Sat 29 Aug. Ashmolean, Oxford,

4X4  Ephemeral Architectures, Oxford Playhouse, Weds 29 Aug


This sounds plain bonkers, which is always a good sign. Direct from Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 4×4 is a collaboration between the two seemingly different worlds of ballet and juggling. There’s a lot of guffy talk about it being a ‘unique dialogue’ between jugglers and dancers, but I think it’s more likely it’ll be, shall we say, visually arresting, directed as it by world renowned juggler Sean Gandini and choreographed by Royal Ballet dancer Ludovic Ondiviela.

Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont St, Oxford ,



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