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Family Days Out

MON 11 - SUN 17 SEP 2017

Kop Hill Climb, Princes Risborough, Bucks, Sat 16 & Sun 17 Sep

vintage car child passenger kop hill race

Calling all Penelope Pitstops! Get yourselves down to Bucks’ answer to Wacky Races, featuring 800 vintage, classic cars and motorbikes – and, um, a sofa. Yes, some lunatic will be driving a motorized sofa. More sexily, we’re also promised a cavalcade of Ferraris to celebrate the iconic sportscar’s 70th birthday. You can check out the vehicles – once they’ve come to a stop of course, health & safety fans – and chat to their owners, test your own driving skills or hang out at the retro funfair in the kids’ zone.


Marlow Carnival, Sat 16 Sep

little girl with white face paint red heart lips

It’s carnival time! Head down to Marlow’s Higginson Park for pony rides, classic cars, mini go-karts, fair rides, live music, BBQ food, lashings of booze and a tea tent. What’s more, gym bunnies can test their mettle on an Immortal Fitness obstacle course (*immediately hides in the bar*).


Big Adventure Family Camp Out, Haddon’s Mouth, Heddon Valley, Fri 15 – Sun 17 Sept

campfire stove and pans

So, we’re all in favour of an Indian summer, yeah? In which case, you might want to take a punt and book in for this little family camping adventure.  Set your camp, cook your dinner and enjoy a communal campfire, storytelling, and a night walk. Ideal for first time campers, you can choose to pitch up for one or both nights. Imagine those starry skies…

Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) £30, additional adults £10 /children £5,


Bathscape Walking Festival, around Bath, Sat 16–Sun 24 Sept

From a short stroll to a 20-miler: 27 walks – all free and all with leaders – around Bath and surrounding countryside, focusing on history, wildlife, creative stuff, well-being….As well as discovering interesting stuff about the city and its environs, you could find yourself coming over all poetic and scribbling down a line or two.


Early Years Forest School, Compton Verney,  every Thurs in term-time 

Adventurous pre-schoolers can enjoy a terrific two hours of play and discovery in the beautiful woods. All sessions are run by a qualified Forest School Leader and allow children to develop new skills and creative thinking through outdoor activities. Included in collections and park admission.


Giffords Circus, to Sun 24 Sept

This year the inimitable Giffords Circus is recreating a 17th-century Spanish court and putting on a candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. It kicks off on Friday 12 May at the circus’s home ground of Fennells Farm near Stroud, then tours Gloucs, Oxon and London until landing bang smack in Wilts from 24 August for 2 weeks. Worth booking early, this one.


Family Fiesta, Salisbury Arts Centre, 16 Sept

A giant whale with surprises and stories in his tummy is on his way to Salisbury for Family Fiesta. Enclosed in a lobster-net fence and guarded by a nosy Fish Wife, brave swashbucklers will encounter a shipwrecked Pirate with a treasure tale to tell and a real live mermaid with a haunting siren’s song and an intriguing secret. Get stuck into workshops and enjoy free performances throughout the day.


The Gog Sundowner Session, The Gog Farmshop, Gog Magog Hills, Fri 15 Sept

The Gog Farmshop

The legendary Gog Sundowner Sessions returns this September. A perfect way to round off a busy week and welcome the weekend –  there’ll be chill-out tunes from the DJ, acousitic music, food from the amazing Provenance Kitchen, and (fingers crossed) a glorious sunset! Children are welcome at the first supper sitting between 5 and 7pm ( there are no specific facilities or entertainment for children, think traditional pub garden). Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead and you’ll need to bring yuor warm clothes. If you can’t make this date then don’t panic the next is planned for Fri 15 Sept.

The Gog Farmshop, Heath Farm, Shelford Bottom, Cambridge, CB22 3AD,


The Harry Potter Manor Farm Film Festival, Bourn, Fri 15 Sept – Sun 17 Sept

Star & Mouse

Six films. Three days.  Two screens – simply epic!! The Sat & Mouse are heading over to Manor Farm in Bourn for a meadow-take-over and it’s all about Harry Potter, apart fromTop Gun, Lion and Les Mis thrown in for good measure. Expect to find beautiful craft beers and wines at the bars, delicious food, fabulous live music on the stages, enormous fun in the games areana and a deckchair or two ready for you to snuggle up and watch something on your favourit screen.  Don’t let the Indian Summer (*cough cough*) put you off – there are fire pits and hot water bottles to keep you warm, but you can always bring a blanket to snuggle under.

Manor Farm,  Manor Farm,14 Alms Hill, Bourn, Cambridge, CB23 2SH,


Grill ‘n’ Chill, The Hop Farm, 15 – 17 Sept

Grill ‘n’ Chill is back with a fun-filled weekend featuring classic VW’s, held at The Hop Farm. Bringing you all the best things you enjoy from a traditional car show but with a family-friendly, chilled-out vibe, – giving it a reputation for being the most laid back classic car show. The event has its roots in the VW scene, but offers a warm welcome to Rods, Customs, Yanks, Classics – (to me it’s all a foreign language!) – but basically they welcome anything interesting on wheels. The promise is a darn fine weekend in the country among a diverse array of cars and also, importantly, the people who build, restore and drive them. After all the four-wheeled fun, comes the chilling bit – camping with friends and chowing down on the selection of food.


Sky Safari – Hot Air Balloon Festival, Longleat, 15-17 Sept

Following the huge success of last year’s event, Longleat will be once again playing host to over 50 hot air balloons in every conceivable shape, size and colour which will be making a series of spectacular mass launches and taking part in magical night glows throughout the three-day festival (weather permitting).

Find more ideas here

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon