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Newsflash! Celebs galore in the ‘hood

Wowzers! As we take baby steps out of lockdown, we've got spring and summer fun and a constellation of celebrity news. Read all about it.

Tumblestone Hollow, Stonor Park

Tumblestone Hollow, Stonor

There’s a new adventure playground in town and not only is it as magical as Hogwarts but it comes with very necessary coffee for the spectators (in the form of the cafe at the visitor’s centre). Wholesome fun for the kids and lunch sorted – it’s a win-win. Tumblestone Hollow is on the edge of woodland in Oxfordshire’s Stonor Park and inspired by the stone circle found in the estate grounds. The wooden playground, designed for 4 to 12-year-olds, has high level walkways, climbing nets, look-out decks and bridges, all connected to a gnarled central tower. And if it couldn’t get any more magical, it comes with its own fairytale book, The Legend of Tumblestone Hollow (found at the visitor centre for £5.99).

The Stonor team have been working hard to get it open just in time for the Easter hols (first day: Fri 2 April – 10am to 5pm) and until the 18 April, tickets include a puzzle trail around Stonor’s grounds with a prize for each child. All tickets must be pre-booked online and cost depends on height: children over 105cm cost £11; 92cm – 105cm, £9, and kids under 92cm are free (although the inevitable accompanying adults for tiny children cost £8.50 too). With the two household/Rule of Six coming into place on 29 March, we reckon we’ve found the perfect family rendezvous. You’re welcome.

Kate Winslet will perform on opening night…

Kate Winslet BBC

There’s a sort of poetic justice to Reading Prison becoming an arts hub – the playwright Oscar Wilde was imprisoned there, Banksy’s just graffitied the wall and now Hollywood star and former Reading local, Kate Winslet‘s put her A lister weight behind the campaign to create a cultural space on on the historic site. She revealed she was contacted by Rabble Theatre’s Toby Davies and felt the need to back the cause, saying: “If Reading had a legacy space like that, to hand on to generation after generation, it could really be as valuable as some of those central London theatres.” And, if successful, she’ll be back for opening night. “First night, babes, I’ll be there. I’ll be performing on first night. I sign up for that now.” No pressure on Reading Borough Council then, who this week were granted permission to submit a bid to the Ministry of Justice for Reading Gaol site.

I’m A Celebrity… get me into Englefield

RUSSELL WATSON_

Opera star and I’m a Celebrity inmate Russell Watson has confirmed he will be performing an outdoor concert at Englefield House in Theale this summer (25 Jul to be exact). The Last Night Of the Heritage Proms will feature the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by David Arnold, as well as featuring composer arranger and producer Mike Moran, coloratura soprano Christina Johnston, and very special guests The NHS Choir. There will also be a Spitfire flypast and fireworks finale. Union Jack flags at the ready for a patriotic sway to Land of Hope and Glory – £1 from every ticket sold will be donated towards NHS charities.

Fun and games at Newbury Racecourse

Newbury-Racecourse

Will you make it to the winners’ enclosure? Newbury Racecourse has partnered with The Escape Games Company to launch a new immersive outdoor adventure game. Set in the woodland on the racecourse grounds, you and your mates will need to solve puzzles, dodge booby traps and use a tablet to find and scan evidence as you hunt down the mischievous jockey attempting to sabotage the race season. It opens on 15 April with a money back guarantee should Covid restrictions change. Prices start at £14 per person in a family group.

Fi-Fest, Maidenhead

THE LIGHTENING SEEDS

Woohoo! The much-longed-for festival season is stirring in its burrow, ready to delight us all with rainbow face paint, tepid cider and knee-deep mud (of course they’ll be mud!) in the latter half of the summer. Fi Fest has announced it will go ahead on 29 Aug and tickets are available now. The headliners are from our musical youth with The Lightening Seeds, The South (part of The Beautiful South) and Toploader. It’s a glorious 90s throwback. Channel Kate Moss festival fashion and out you go.

REW!ND Festival, Henley-on-Thames

Rewind Festival South

Henley’s REW!ND at Temple Island Meadows is steaming ahead for this August (20-22 Aug to be precise) and tickets are available to buy RIGHT NOW. And the headliners are an Eighties pop queen’s dream: Billy Ocean, Wet Wet Wet, Jimmy Somerville, Nik Kershaw, Soul II Soul … What are you waiting for? Dig out your polka dot scrunchy, pull on some day-glo bangles and get booking!

Henley Festival, Henley

Henley Festuval 2018 illuminated neon tree art installations

Have you been enjoying Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Discos? Well now you can see her shake her thang on stage as she’ll be gracing Henley’s floating stage with her presence, along with other headline acts – Madness, James Blunt and Kathy Sledge of the famous disco outfit Sister Sledge. The festival will take place Wed 15 – Sun 19 Sept, and there will be a new pop-up party that will take place from 8-10 Jul. Tickets can be booked here. And remember, it’s strictly Black Tie. Thankyouverymuch.

And finally…

A game of Guess the Movie? started last week when an area of Windsor Great Park was closed to the public and a number of Warner Bros film trailers spotted next to the Guards Polo Club. So which Berkshire landmark will be making it onto the silver screen? Our money is on Fantastic Beasts 3, starring Eddie Redmayne – due to be released in July 2022.

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