66 fabulous things to do locally this June
It's officially summer – and we've got a jam-packed June to celebrate! From Jubilee shindigs and jaw-dropping theatre to funky festivals, it's all happening in Berkshire.
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
Eduardo Paolozzi: General Dynamic F.U.N, The Base Greenham, 11 June – 24 July
So bright you’ve gotta wear shades. Wake up your eyes with 50 works by Pop Art master, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. One of the pioneers of the pop art movement in the UK, Paolozzi was a compulsive collector and a jumbler of icons. He was the first to appropriate images from advertisements to create work representative of the shinier, happier lifestyles that were touted in American magazines. Don’t miss this Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition at The Base.
Jubilee Party in the Park, Long Walk Windsor, 4-5 Jun
Pack your Coronation chicken sarnies, Victoria Sponge and lashing of fizz for a totally free event. Jubilee Party in the Park will take place down the Long Walk where there will be cars, music and sport from across the decades of Her Majesty’s reign. Bring your own picnic, find your spot or grab a bite to eat and make sure your Union Jack flag waving game is strong. On Sunday 5 June, is Big Lunch day in Windsor. The aim is to create the longest picnic table ever – one very long table running from Cambridge Gate, down the Long Walk towards the Copper Horse.
Jubilee Farm Festival, Bucklebury Farm, 2-5 June
Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.at a four-day festival of fun at the Farm. From circus performers, musicians, arts and crafts, lots of delicious food and drinks. Not forgetting all the usual faves including tractor rides to feed the deer, play areas and more! Pre-Booking online is essential as spaces are limited for each day. Tickets Children £13.95, Adults £15.45.
Platinum Jubilee Windsor Town Walk, Windsor Guildhall, 28 and 29 May 2022
Walk in the footsteps of the Queen on a very special Platinum Jubilee Walk. Windsor has always been Her Maj’s home. She grew up in Windsor Great Park at Royal Lodge, was an evacuee at Windsor Castle during WWII and the castle has been her official residence throughout her reign. More recently it has been a place of refuge during the global pandemic.
Jubilee Proms, The Lexicon, Bracknell, 1 June
Who needs the Royal Albert Hall when you have The Lexicon’s Jubilee Proms. Pack up the hampers and champers, drape yourself in a Union Jack and party in Bond Square to music by the D-Day Darlings, Chelsea Pensioner and BGT winner Colin Thackery and more.
A Right Royal Jubilee Party, Beale Park Lower Basildon,
Cuteness overload. Beale Park is hosting a four-day party to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including Berkshire’s biggest ever teddy bears’ picnic. Bring a your best teddy, a picnic go wild at Beale Park with an inflatable slide, stilt walkers, bubbleologist and all the animals.
Platinum Jubilee Beacon Lighting and Fireworks, The Long Walk Windsor, 2 June
Light ’em up! The Windsor Beacon is one of over 2,022 being lit in the UK and the Commonwealth, and you’ll find at Cambridge Gate. The Mayor of the Royal Borough and Admiral Sir James Perowne, Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle will do the honours before the oohs and aahs of the firework display over the Castle.
The Jubilee Tribute Show, Abbey Ruins, Reading, 3 June
Reading’s Biggest Platinum Jubilee Celebration- and Queen is headlining. Not Her Maj, but a tribute act. Sound-a-likey acts joining Faux Freddies and pals include The Beatles, George Michael and Ed Sheeran. The Abbey Ruins will also be rocking with live DJs, entertainers and street food.
Jubilee Jousting, Stonor Park Henley, 3-5 June
Fun that’s also “educational” — instant smug parenting. At Stonor Park’s Jubilee Jousting you and the kids will be whisked back to the days of chivalry and entertainingly dangerous sport. The knights throw in slapstick humour, encourage the audience to take sides and to boo and hiss aplenty, and there’s all sort of japes with swords and balls and chains. Oh, and a dress-up competition, judged by the real knights themselves, so the littlies should raid the fancy dress box for their finest knight, dragon, princess, royal regalia. See our full breakdown of the weekend here.
Lovely Jub(i)lee Come Together, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 4 June
A free outdoor extravaganza of music, dancing, market stalls, food and drink. There’s also free Kite Making Workshops from Community Kite Project. Spaces are limited and can be pre booked on the Norden Farm website here.
Jubilee Party in the Paddock, Holme Grange Craft Village Wokingham, 5 June
Picnic, Pimm and a party in the paddock. Holme Grange Craft Village will be firing up the barbie for a day of fun with the whole family. Free games, face painting, balloon modelling, bubble and snow machines. Plus, a sweet petting farm.
Pimms Regal Garden Party Race Night, Windsor Racecourse, 6 June
Why not make four days of Jubilee fun, five. Head to Windsor Racecourse for Monday night racing, with a Pimms Regal Garden Party vibe. Expect vintage rock and pop music, Jubilee themed food and lashings of Pimms.
Head In the Clouds Festival, South Street Arts Reading, now – 4 June
An exciting new festival for families and kids. Head In The Clouds, supported by Arts Council England, will feature work by several nationally acclaimed theatre companies. From musical comedy for new parents and their babies, to a family-friendly drag cabaret party, there’s dynamic and inclusive shows for all ages. Plus FREE taster sessions to sample South Street’s Youth Theatre for School Years 1-13. Grab your tickets here.
Sonning Festival, Sonning, now – 5 June
Fancy messing about by the river? After a long absence, the Sonning Festival is back with nine days of events including some special Queen’s jubilee celebrations. The Sonning Regatta is the main event and there are races for all ages and paddling abilities, pond dipping, football and tennis for kids. Plus a posh picnic, a street party and more.
Reading Children’s Festival, Various locations, now – 5 Jun
Now in its 33rd year, Reading Children’s Festival is a fun packed few weeks of events and activities for children. There are free arts and crafts sessions, free boat rides, steel drum taster workshops and more, closing with the Jubilee Children’s Concert from the Trinity Concert Band on Sunday 5 June. Check out the full programme here.
Water Fest, Forbury Gardens Reading, 4 June
WaterFest stretches from Reading’s Abbey Ruins, Forbury Gardens, Chestnut Walk and Riverside Walk. Expect a party atmosphere in Reading that day with entertainment, fun for the kids, waters activities, boats and craft stalls more more.
Festival of Food and Music, South Hill Park Bracknell, 3 June
Festival season is about to swing into action. Any excuse to squeeze into your Daisy Dukes and stagger around with a pear cider. South Hill Park is hosting a family-friendly Food and Music Festival (with a special Platinum Jubilee twist) and –it’s totally free to enter. So there’s no excuse not to go and sample the international street food, kids entertainment and chilled atmosphere in the beautiful grounds of South Hill Park. Sunshine’s been ordered, but take a Pac-A-Mac just in case.
The Little Welly Go Wild, Henley Showground, 11-12 Jun
Release the children! Little Welly specialises in obstacle courses for kids and returns for its sixth year in Henley with a new location at the Showground, new obstacles, entertainment and a longer course. The course is a hop, skip, jump and dash through loads of challenges, taking in streams, trails, mud and woodland. Oh, and did I mention it’s the biggest obstacle course for kids in the UK? If that doesn’t tire out the little blighters, what will? Then there’s the accompanying festival with – deep breath – kart racing, rope climbing, circus skills workshops, live music, helter skelter, laser tag, climbing wall, pony rides and loads of family activities.
Hobby Horse Championships, Hurst Show & Country Fayre, 25-26 June
Fancy horsing around? This year you could be a record breaker. Grab your hobby horse and get down to Hurst Fayre. In addition to the famous Hobby Horse Championship, there will be an attemp to break the world record for the Largest Stick Horse Parade (currently 250 people long) There’s also music, a fun dog show, animal petting and more. Don’t forget your trusted steed (husband or hobby horse).
Classic Vehicle Day, Yattendon, 26 June
A slick of red lipstick, retro shades and embrace the vintage vibes for Yattendon’s annual Classic Vehicle Day. See the coolest cars, check out the vintage stalls and hit the cream teas hard. I can only pray for a French Fancy or a slice of Battenberg.
English Wine & Food Festival, Cobbs Farm Shop Hungerford, 25-26 June
Pop that cork for a celebration of English wine and food. Cobbs Farm Shop – which just happens to also have its own vineyard, will bringing together the best local winemakers for two day event of tastings, displays, street food and entertainment. A little slice of foodie heaven. Not to be missed.
Royal Henley Regatta, Henley, 29 Jun – 4 Jul
Straw boaters on, eyes on the lunch box (sarnies or Lycra bulges… they’re not mutually exclusive) and watch the rowing brawn from the riverbank. There’s over 200 races to watch the smoking–hot rowers and enjoy your Champagne picnic.
STAGE & SCREEN
Cobbs Farm Hungerford, 18 June and 23 July
Cobbs Farm’s blissfully rural location is a lush spot for outdoor cinema cinema action. On the movie reel this summer is Moulin Rouge (18 June) followed by Mamma Mia (23 July). But I can promise you a legendary Cobbs barbecue menu. All the delicious drinks snacks, ice-cream, and popcorn you can consume or BYO. Doors open 7pm, film starts at 9.15pm.
Dominoes, 101 Outdoors, Newbury Town Centre, 25 June
Hours putting them up, minutes to knock them down. Dominoes is a free, outdoor spectacle that will see thousands of concrete blocks installed by hundreds of volunteers through Newbury, traversing roads, pavements, waterways and parks. Once the first block falls, knocking over the second, the third and the fourth – gaining momentum until the toppling blocks surge through the streets, climbing steps, crossing bridges and teetering from high places. Prepare to be amazed.
A Right Royal Evening of Burlesque, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 3 June
Burlesque is going red, white and a bit of blue for Queen and country. The fabulous guys and gals from the Hundred Watt Club return to Norden Farm with a glittering and Champagne soaked evening of saucy entertainment. Starring sparkling, elegant showgirl Serafina Hart and featuring comedian Elliot Mason. Plus stunning Bollywood inspired burlesque artist Pat Elle with mind boggling circus stunts from human pretzel Bella Diosa. Hosted by mouthy North Eastern prize export Cheryl Coal.
Harry Hill: Work In Progress, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 15 June
More…Join Harry Hill as he test drives his latest idea of what a joke is. Laugh with him as he succeeds, distance yourself from him as he fails, track him down in the bar and get a selfie, ask him if…Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 4PFWed 15 Jun
An Evening of Burlesque, Corn Exchange Newbury, 10 June
If you like your nights bawdy and a little bit naughty, this is for you! The UK’s longest-running burlesque show is back touring the nation – and, it’s bigger than ever. Expect fun, feathers, fabulous costumes and flexibility. Keep taking the Cod Liver oil.
The Screen Cinema, The Old Court Windsor, throughout June
Ooh, a cinematic experience with an arthouse vibe, The Old Court in Windsor is the place to be. On the movie reel this month you can see The Bad Guys (19 June). The third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise –The Secrets of Dumbledore can bee seen on (1, 10, 12 June). True spy story Operation Mincemeat, starring Colin Firth is on the movie reel on 14-16 and 21 June). And finally, Downton Abbey: A New Era will be whisking us off to the South of France from 22-29 June.
Rock n roll on the riverside. The Swan at Streatley will be popping Rocketman on the movie reel on 2 June. A film about Sting… only joking, Elton John obviously, with Brit star Taron Egerton (above) donning the silly specs. Lush location, brilliant film and you can sing-a-long – no-one will hear you as you’ll all be wearing headphones. Drinks and snacks available. Bring a blanket to stay warm. Gates open at 7.45pm. Film starts as soon as it gets dark from 9.15pm, and finishes at 11.15pm.
Old McDonald & the Three Pigs Plus, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 4 June
Featuring a 5m wide book with 2m pop ups, bright colourful pages and lots of silly animal props. Old McDonald and the Three Pigs Plus weaves the well known story of the Three Pigs with the easy to learn rhyme Old McDonald Had A Farm. A fun, interactive show, for ages 4-7.
Alan Carr, The Hexagon Reading, 17-18 Jun
Alan Carr’s finally back on the road with his new show Regional Trinket. A lot has changed since his last tour five years ago, from the highs of his wedding day to the lows of spending lockdown stuck on a farm. Are you ready to activate your comedy release valve? Carr will cause a Mexican wave of belly laughter. Bring it on.
Bleak Expectations, The Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now – 2 July
A brand new stage adaptation based on ‘the gloriously daft’ BBC Radio 4 series by Mark Evans. Bleak Expectations is the story that Charles Dickens might have written after drinking too much gin. And, crucially, had lived for another 152 years!
Summer Screens, Caversham Court Gardens, Reading, 22-23 June
Caversham Courts Gardens is an under-rated riverside park and now it has the Summer Screens cinema too. Balmy evening staring at the big screen? Race you. There are eight films on Caversham movie reel this summer kicking off in June with The French Dispatch (22 June) and Tarantino’s iconic Reservoir Dogs (23 June) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie (how can that be?!).
The Circus Sonas Family Show, South Hill Park Bracknell, 1 June
Father and son, Martin and Logy, take the traditional circus double act and give it a unique and modern twist. You’ll gasp, shout, jeer and laugh at the top class circus stunts from the two best beards in the business. Two shows – a PG and one for the grown ups.
Gifford’s Circus, Blenheim Palace Woodstock, 2-6 Jun
Roll up, roll up, Gifford’s Circus is coming to town! From the imagination of the brilliant late Nell Gifford, the trope’s new show ¡Carpa! has a Mexican vibe, featuring Mexican performers alongside Gifford stalwart (and my all time favourite clown) Tweedy. Adult tickets from £20, Kids from £10.
Ballet Black, Corn Exchange Newbury, 22 June
Celebrating 20 years, Ballet Black are delighted to present two new works in 2022. Black Sun by acclaimed South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma and Say It Loud, choreographed and directed by Ballet Black’s Founder and Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho.
DAYS AT THE RACES
Pub in the Paddock, Newbury Racecourse, from 4 June
It’s baaaack! Newbury Racecourse has re-opened Pub In The Paddock – a pop up pub with big screen showing the summer’s biggest live sporting events. Trot on, there’s a cold glass of Champagne with your name on it in the parade ring.
Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse, 14-18 June
Ah, the familiar sound of hooves rumbling across Ascot Racecourse, and that’s just the women in the heels they’ve not worn for years. Royal Ascot will is back with a bang this year. Style Guide says ‘Daring’, so grab your hat, keep the hemlines long, the fake tan light and enjoy a day of celeb spotting and apparently there are few horses running too. It’s the perfect place to people watch, just don’t overdo the bubbles for fear of making it on the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame. Tickets are limited so giddy up
Ladies Evening ft. Martin Kemp LIVE, Windsor Racecourse, 20 June
Martin Kemp is pure GOLD, so don’t miss his floor-filling DJ set at Windsor Race’s Ladies Night After Party. Setting a course for the untouchable Eighties, where discos were dominated by pop’s finest pedigree, from Duran Duran to Chaka Khan, George Michael to Michael Jackson, Spandau Ballet and beyond; Martin Kemp’s DJ set will take you on a whistlestop tour through all of the era’s most electrifying pop moments… and back again. Heaven.
The Laurie Todd Foundation Charity Raceday & Gin Festival, Newbury Racecourse, 30 June
The beauty of lighter evenings (sunshine or not) is that the opportunities to put on a nice shoe and totter out for the night are seemingly endless – and Newbury Racecourse does not disappoint with gin and gee gees. To celebrate the return of Gin Thursday, head down to Gin garden with friends or family and sample local gins and live music. I’ll drink to that.
TALKS & EXHIBITIONS
The Duchess of Cambridge, Reading Museum, until 4 June
In celebration of the Duchess of Cambridge’s 40th birthday, Reading Museum is displaying a new portrait of Kate, taken by photographer Paolo Roversi in November 2021, in its Welcome Gallery. The museum was chosen due to the Middleton family’s connections to the area, having been parishioners of St James the Less Church in nearby Pangbourne for several generations. Fun fact: the Duchess was actually born in the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
Streetscapes, 2 Belgrave St Reading, 11-15 June
Temporarily displayed in an office building in central Reading, this exhibition celebrates the captivatingly candid nature of street photography. Snapshots of public spaces, these pictures show people going about their business without a consciousness of being observed. Spanning different cities across the globe, some photos focus on the delightfully mundane, while others show city streets as a political battlefield.
Monochrome, Bray House, Maidenhead, Berks, 15-19 June
Arguing that black and white photography allows us to strip an image to its fundamental basics, this collection explores the artistic impact of monochrome photography. It was, of course, the default kind of photography up until the 1970s, but has now become an art form in itself — and a very aesthetically pleasing one, at that. This exhibition will also be on display at Abbey Gardens in Reading from 21-25 June.
Supper Club: Menopause Guide with Dani Binnington, Swan at Streatley, 20 June
It’s a hot topic right now… and for some people literally. And don’t get us started about the HRT shortage. If you want to know more about perimenopause or menopause, or you’re trying to figure out if you have some of the symptoms, do not miss this Coppa Supper Club at The Swan at Streatley. Menopause expert and all-round wellbeing warrior Dani Binnington, will debunk the myths, share the facts and help us look at menopause in an open, empathetic and non-judgemental way.
The Fashion Chronicles: Style Stories of History’s Best Dressed, Shaw House Newbury, 24 June
From Eve’s fig leaf to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuit, what we wear carries layer upon layer of meaning. The talk by Amber Butchart – author of The Fashion Chronicles: Style Stories of History’s Best Dressed and presenter of BBC’s A Stitch in Time – explores how clothes have been used throughout history to signify power and status, to adorn and beautify, even to prop up or dismantle regimes. There’s a glass bubbles waiting to be thrust into your hand too.
Biscuit Town: 200 Years of Huntley & Palmer, Museum of English Rural Life Reading, now – 25 Sep
Reading is famous for the three Bs: biscuits, beers and bulbs. Before you crave a brew and a Rich Tea, head to the MERL and get the skinny on the most famous names in baking, Huntley & Palmers. The biscuit brand began life in a small bakery in London Street, Reading. Within 40 years, the company that created Nice biscuits, the Gingernut and Bath Olivers, was exporting its goods across the globe and Reading became known as Biscuit Town, home to the largest biscuit manufacturer in the world with cakes and biscuits still known today. While the company is no longer located in Reading, biscuits have left their mark on the town.
BERKS IN BLOOM
Royal Windsor Flower Show, The York Club Great Windsor Park, 11 June
Chelsea steals the limelight but the Royal Windsor Flower is just as fragrant (and a lot less crowded). The Royal Windsor Rose & Horticultural Society has had six monarchs as its patron and Her Majesty The Queen continues the tradition today. Expect a fun day out for all the family with Alan Titchmarsh opening the show, lots of fragrant celebs, kids events and Muddy’s favourite foodies Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi and cake king Mark Tilling. Under 5s Free, Kids £5, Adults £15 and Family tickets £38.
Terrarium Workshop, The Great House Sonning, 19 June
Houseplants are huge! If you’re inspired by Chelsea to flex your green fingers a Terrarium is a good starting point. Green & Wild is running a workshop at The Great House in Sonning. You’ll learn a bit of science behind Terrariums, followed by a step by step workshop showing you how to build and plant your own closed Terrarium, with aftercare advice. Ticket price includes all materials needed, specialist tools and a choice of plants.
National Garden Scheme’s Open Gardens, throughout Berkshire, from June
The flowers are out, the roses are blooming, the bees are buzzing. Where better to admire nature’s finest than Eton College Garden which is taking part in the National Garden Scheme on 1 June. (This means the gardens will open especially to raise money for the scheme’s charities). Look out for May-flowering irises, blousy June peonies and heritage roses with that oh so English summer garden scent. Throughout June you can also nose around 7 The Knapp in Reading (1 and 8 June), Stockcross House (5 June), 61 Kidmore House and Vineyard in Reading (10 June), Heckfield Place in Hook (13-14 June), Chaddleworth in Streatley (19 June), St Timothee in Maidenhead (19 June), Rooksnest in Lambourn (22 Jun) and Woolton House in Newbury (26 June).
Great Dog Walk, The Great House Sonning, 12 June
Woof! Head outdoors with your furry friend on a dog-friendly stroll, pack-style. Guided by professional dog walker and animal lover Tracey from We Love Pets, the walk is a loop along the path of the River Thames and through the surrounding countryside, with Tracey on hand to offer handy tips and insights. Ticket price includes coffee & pastries, served in The Lodge event space at The Great House. Max two dogs per owner.