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What’s on this week in Berkshire

Hot happenings this week in your 'hood… panto season is go go go, there's a whopping Christmas fair, cold therapy workshop, super-posh afternoon tea and house snoop and more


Cinderella, South Hill Park Bracknell, 26 Nov – 3 Jan 2022


You shall go to the ball… or failing that the panto. There’s a reason why families return year after year to South Hill Park in Bracknell. Expect all the cheesy one liners, toe tapping songs and a jaw-dropping set.

Wim Hof Method Fundamentals Workshop, The Good Life Hub Hampstead Norreys, 27 Nov

Wim hof method

This workshop is cooler than a polar bear’s paw… literally. Cold Therapy has a ton of health benefits: reduces stress, increased energy, better sleep, heightened focus and more more more. What do you have to do to achieve it? Embrace nature, the cold, commit and breathe. The Wim Hof Method gives you the tools for a happier healthier life. The ice bath is optional. Eek.

Tree Festival, Stanlake Meadow Twyford, 28 Nov

Wellies? Check. Enormous scarf? Check. Then you’re good to go to Twyford’s Tree Festival. Not a festive fir sacrifice ceremony but a chance for kids and grown ups to enjoy working with wood and getting in touch with our woodland wonderlands. There will be willow stripping workshops, fruit tree pruning demos, a mobile refill hub, Forest School activities, woodcraft stalls and more. Don’t panic, a toasty truck will be on site after all that wood whittling. Free entry.

Christmas Tour and Afternoon Tea, Highclere Castle Newbury, 26 Nov

Highclere castle in snow with iron gates

Pinkies poised for a posh afternoon tea and festive snoop around Highclere Castle. Gather around the Christmas Tree, admire the family silver, nose around the bedrooms, head into the cellar for the Egyptian Exhibition (not the wine… darn it), before Carson and the below stairs team bring out the precision pastries and soldier sarnies. Adult £95, Child/ carer, £50.

Wokingham Winter Carnival, Wokingham Town Centre, 28 Nov

A free event held in Wokingham town centre from 11am. It is massive, with fun fair rides, over 80 food and craft stalls, non-stop free entertainment from magic shows to jugglers and clowns. Santa’s Grotto in the library from 11am to 3pm.

Windsor Great Park Illuminated, Windsor, now – 9 Jan 2022


Permission to mention the C Word… Christmas is coming and Windsor Great Park’s inaugural illuminated trail is one to book now. The trail, produced by guys behind Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, will feature a field of lights that will extend more than 1,400 sqm, fountains of projected flowers and holograms of woodland creatures. Prepare to be dazzled. Open from 4.30pm-10pm. Tickets: Adults £21.45, Child, £13.20 and Family £74.80.

Gin & Rum Festival, The Great Hall Reading, 26 – 26 Nov

Has gin had its day? (Not judging by Muddy consumption) Is rum the next big thing? Hedge your bets and head for the UK’s largest Gin and Rum Festival. With over 120 gins and rums to sample in an amazing venue, plus DJ, boozy masterclasses and a goodie bag, a taxi is essential and a hangover almost certainly guaranteed. Hic. Tickets £15pp

Henley Christmas Fair, Stonor Park Henley, 25 – 28 Nov

Henley Christmas Fair at Stonor Park, Henley is a surefire way to sort out your Crimbo shopping. Lots of boutique brands to help you find the perfect gift for your friends and family or yourself. I’ll be at the mulled wine stand from 25-28 Nov (with small sleep breaks, obvs).

Legoland at Christmas, Legoland Windsor, from 27 Nov

Lego brick father christmas throwing a snow ball in avenue of christmas trees

Legoland is all twinkly lights and snow-dusted Christmas magic. Entry price for the Christmas season includes a visit to LEGO Santa in his magic grotto for kids who’ll receive a LEGO gift to take home. There are Lego Make and Take activities a DUPLO puppet pantomime and Santa flying through the resort on his sleigh. Think of your children’s faces lighting up and the enormous gin you’ll need the  you get home.

Jack And The Beanstalk, Theatre Royal Windsor, 27 Nov – 14 Jan


Filed under ‘classic cheesefest’, this year the Theatre Royal’s panto is Jack And The Beanstalk. Windsor’s favourite comedy duo, Kevin Cruise and Steven Blakeley have been dusting off the panto patter and old pros Anita Harris and Basil Brush add a dash of nostalgia. It’s a great panto in a beautiful theatre. Booooom booooooom!

Lantern Making, 101 Arts Creation Space Greenham Business Park Newbury, 27 – 28 Nov

Octopus The Carnival of Animals lantern parade

Oooh, sparkly lights! The annual Newbury lantern parade is a really special event. Rather than ooh and ahh on the sidelines, why not make a lantern and take part in the procession on Sun 12 Dec. Work with pros to create a traditional pyramid Lantern out of willow and paper, to carry in our Festival of Light! It takes between 1- 2 hours to make, then join the fun and light up! 

Comic Con, Rivermead Reading, 27 – 28 Nov

Kerpow! Comic Con is back for the 5th year in Reading, so if you have a superhero. sci-fi, fantasy obsessed kid (big, small OR grown up) this will be right up their street. Lots of stars of the small screen in attendance, cool props, attractions, cosplay, gaming and more. Tickets from £7.

The Christmas Fair, Ascot Racecourse, 25 – 28 Nov

Giddee up to Ascot and nail your Crimbo shopping in one go. Loads of indie pop ups offering seasonal goodies not available on the high street. a staggering 150 pop-up boutiques selling gifts, homewares, toys, decs, fashion, stocking fillers, foodie treats and more. Shop hit the bubbles and relax. Well it is Christmas.

Christmas lights switch ons

Garlands of Christmas lights sparkle in the night

If the fear of empty shelves didn’t trigger a Christmas shopping frenzy, then the annual light switch on will. This weekend, Maidenhead will fire the festive starting gun 27 Nov with an all-day festive market, entertainment before the switch flick just before 6pm, followed by a firework display. You’ll also find light switch on’s in Sandhurst, Cookham Dean and Woodley on Saturday. Wokingham will do the honours on 28 Nov during the town’s Winter Carnival at about 4.30pm.

Lapland UK, Whitmoor Forest Ascot, now – 24 Dec

Lapland UK 2019 girl elf witth long blonde hair and rainbow pink and purple skirt

Good news, kids, Santa’s quit the North Pole, perpetual darkness and Northern Lights, to set up shop in the UK. Anyhoo, they’ve only gone and set up shop in Berkshire. Journey through snowy enchanted forests, to Santa’s chalet, where he and his elves need a little assistance in preparing for the 25th December. It’s a four-hour immersive experience so pack the Kendal Mint Cake.

Wokingham Winter on Ice, Cantley Park Wokingham, now – 7 Jan

Ice ice, baby! Wokingham first ever ice rink pops up this month, so we can slip and slide to the fun side in the run up to Christmas. The synthetic rink at Cantley Park opens on 12 Nov and a Christmas Market will open from 24 Nov. Booking is advised.

Windsor On Ice, Alexandra Gardens Windsor, 20 Nov – 2 Jan

Windsor in Ice

Windsor On Ice is back for the winter and whether you’re Olympic standard or a ‘cling on’ like me, they’re great for a family day out, or a fun slippy-slidey Christmas party. This year they’ll be putting up the big screen for super-cool pop up cinema, plus fun fair, food and bar. Sessions are for 45 mins. See you in A&E, I mean on the ice.

The Invisible Dress, HUMOS Caversham, now – 28 Nov

Marilyn Monroe would be seen dead in flannelette PJs, preferring the more seductive Chanel No5 at bedtime. So we’re loving the sounds of HUMOs perfumers exhibition The Invisible Dress. This innovative exhibition from perfumer E. Gabriel De Carvalho, is a sensory catwalk of dress sketches brought to life through fragrance. Call it ‘invisible couture’.

The Jungle Book, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – 31 Dec

Image: Pamela Raith/ Watermill Theatre

Be the king of the swingers (not like that, this is a family show), a jungle VIP at The Watermill Theatre’s bookish Christmas production of The Jungle Book. This is a wild and captivating musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale full of warmth, laughter and wonder.

Winter Wonderland, Hills Meadow Reading, now – 3 Jan 2022

Image: Reading Winter Wonderland

It’s back! After a mini break, Reading’s Winter Wonderland will be popping up in Hills Meadow Car Park. Expect more festive fun than a Mariah Carey video. There’s an ice rink, fun fair, Aprés bar, Santa’s grotto, German sausage and lots and lots of mulled wine. It’s free to enter, but you can buy tickets now for Santa’s Grotto, Ice Skating and an unlimited ride pass.

Hockney and Hollywood, The Base Greenham, now – 28 Nov

Hockney in Hollywood

Hockney in Berkshire? Oh yes he is and it’s your last chance to catch this show. The works of Britain’s most famous living artist is on display at The Base in Greenham – and we’re giddy. The legendary David Hockney’s major photomontage Hockney and Hollywood features an extraordinary life-sized nude photographic study of Theresa Russell, commissioned by film director Nicolas Roeg for the film Insignificance.

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