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This weekend

FRI 23 – SUN 25 AUG


FAMILY  FUN: Wellington Country Fair and Horse Trials, Highfield Farm Heckfield, Sat 24 – Mon 26 Aug

Wellington Country Fair and Horse Trials Pimms Buss

If you love things that are a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, then we reckon this is going to be right up your street. It’s a country fair with family fun front and centre. No experience of horses, Hunter wellies or Barbor jackets necessary, it’s just an awesome day out, with live music, brilliant food and drinks stalls, shopping and our four-legged friends competing for best in show. Kids go FREE and we have we quote MUDDYB2019 for buy one get one free adult tickets.


FASHION: Basildon Park En Vogue, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, now – Mon 18 Nov

Christian Dior label Basildon Park En Vogue exhibition

Strike a pose there’s nothing to it and saunter up to Basildon Park for a fabulous fashion exhibition. Lady Iliffe graced the glossy pages of Vogue in 1966, with the mansion as the backdrop to Henry Clarke’s stylish portraits. Bringing that shoot to life, you can rifle through her wardrobe and drool over the Dior, Valentino and Chanel. If you missed out on the V&A’s Dior exhibition, this will scratch that fashion itch.

EXHIBITION: 200 Faces, The Photographic Exhibition Bray House Maidenhead, Sat 24 Aug

black and white photo little by with dreadlocked hair and painted face

200 portrait photographs by 191 photographers, 200 Faces is the latest exhibition from The Photographic Angle. I’m not sure my crap selfies or iPhone snaps of the kids will cut it. See how the pros capture perfect moments and marvel in their ability to take a portrait in focus whether they’re sitting still or moving.


OUTDOOR CINEMA: Green Book, Abbey Ruins Reading, Fri 23 Aug

Green book turquoise car white man driving black man sat on backseat

Still catching up on the Oscar-winning films? Me too, Green Book snagged the top honours, and has been massively criticised for the win. It tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between racist white driver Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) and black pianist Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali). It’s accused of sugar-coating racism, so is it a worthy winner? You decide. Doors open at 7pm, film starts at 8.30pm.


OUTDOOR THEATRE: Savill Garden Windsor, Thu 22 – Sun 25 Aug

Savill Garden is probably the prettiest backdrops to stage the Jane Austen classic Pride & Prejudice – plenty of places for Elizabeth Bennett to roam and a lake (should it be required)  for a Colin Firth-style wet shirt (Thu 22 Aug). If you fancy a belter from the Bard, Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on Fri 23 Aug, followed by Treasure Island on Sat 24 Aug and The Secret Garden on Sun 25 Aug. You might want to take antihistamine, it’s gonna play havoc with your hay fever.

THEATRE: Kiss Me Kate, The Watermill Newbury, now – Sat 21 Sep

Kiss me Kate Watermill Newbury Berkshire musicians on stage woman violin man double bass trumpets flute and sax

From the BBC ballroom to the Watermill rehearsal studio, the talented Oti Mabuse is shaking her sequinned dance skills as choreographer of The Watermill’s latest production, Kiss Me Kate. Expect this Cole Porter classic to have all the razzle dazzle when its stars Olivier award-winner Rebecca Trehearn and David Ricardo take to stage this week.


EXHIBITIONS: Brick City, The Base Greenham Common, now – Sun 8 Sep

Don’t want to fork out £100 on Legoland tickets? Muddy Award-winning The Base in Greenham Common is putting on some brilliant exhibitions, the latest is Brick City, a mini collection of iconic Lego brink buildings by artist Warren Elsmore, from New York’s skyscrapers and gondolas in Venice to medieval Japanese castles and Las Vegas. Pop to the Brick Den afterwards to to the Brick Den and create your own masterpiece.


EXHIBITION: Bears, Rivers and Rowing Museum Henley On Thames

The lovely River and Rowing Museum, in Henley, has a new children’s exhibition Bears! where kids can learn about history’s favourite teddies – Rupert, Winnie the Pooh and friends – as well as explore original artwork and manuscripts from We’re Going on a Bear HuntThe Bear and The Piano and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Every Fri during the hols there’ll be bear-themed games and crafts in the galleries, and on 8 Aug, there’ll be a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.


SHOPPING: The Henley Country Craft Show, Stonor Park, Henley, Fri 23 – Mon 26 Aug

Stonor Park red brick country estate Henley on Thames Oxfordshire

Ready to get crafty? Stonor Park’s gorgeous grounds host this family friendly craft show with outdoor marquees filled with up to 200 stalls selling handmade jewellery, homewares, clothing and more. Snaffle a bargain, then head over to the artisan food and drink stalls to stuff your face. There’ll also be live music, a vintage fair and new for 2019, a pop-up petting zoo, clay pigeon shooting, candle making and weaving workshops.


FESTIVAL:  The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm nr Kingham, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Aug

This posh nosh extravaganza from cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James hosts top chefs including Prue Leith, Raymond Blanc, Mark Hix, Daniel Clifford, and music from Elbow, Jess Glynn, Lewis Capaldi, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Nina Nesbitt and The Zutons. There’s various camping options with glamping bolt-ons and lots of fun for the kiddos too, including appearances by PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig & George and Justin Fletcher (Mr Tuuuumbleee).


FESTIVAL: Reading Festival 2019, Richfield Avenue Reading, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Aug

Rock band The Foo Fighters

Are you ready to rock? Music fans will be swarming into the Richfield Avenue site to see headliners Foo Fighters, Post Malone and The 1975 at Reading Festival. Plus a strong of comedians like Josh Widdicombe, Russell Kane and Shappi Khorsandi. There will be mosh pits, warm beer, overpriced dirty burgers and the likelihood of being struck by a bottle of wee is pretty high. Music and mayhem guaranteed.


THEATRE: Grimm Tales, South Hill Park Bracknell, Fri 23 Aug – Sun 1 Sep

Grimm Tales South Hill park Bracknell old hand holding an apple

First produced at the Young Vic Theatre in 1994 to critical acclaim, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of the Grimm brothers’ famous fairytales comes to life on stage at South Hill Park in Bracknell. From the family drama of Hansel and Gretel, to the touching tale of Cinderella, and other magical stories, Grimm Tales is one to see this summer suitable for ages 7+).


OUTDOOR CINEMA: Top Gun, Douai Pavilion Woolhampton, Sat 24 Aug

I feel the need, the need for speed! Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan star in this 1986 classic. Great soundtrack, gratuitous volleyball scene. Hmmm. Don’t deny yourself a night with Mav and Goose – they’ve got that loving feeling. If Tom before he had his teeth done and discovered Scientology, floats your boat, book up. It’s a fab family day out with food, fully loaded bar and the perfect film night. Tickets on sale now.


MUSIC: Rita Ora – Live After Racing, Windsor Racecourse, Sat 24 Aug

British singer Rota Ora bobbed hair black top arms stretched above her head on pink background

Singing sauce pot Rita Ora will play Live After The Racing at Windsor Racecourse this month. With a staggering 7 million singles sold, Rita has produced 13 top 10 singles and a no.1 platinum-selling debut album. It’s safe to say she’s all set for her gig on Sat 24 Aug.


FAMILY FUN: Bouncy Summer Fun, Saddleback Farm Shop Brightwalton, Sat 24– Mon 26 Aug

Footprints in sand on beach

One more week, people. Breathe deep, and panic not. Saddleback Farm Shop will help them burn off some energy, and bounce into the summer holidays with a fun weekend. Set in beautiful open countryside, there will be bouncy castles, giant sandpit, face painting and a Jude’s ice cream stand. Perfect for end to the summer hols. You get to sit in rural splendour and enjoy the view.


EXHIBITION: Counterpoint, Stanley Spencer Gallery Cookham, now – 28 Nov

Stanley Spencer – At the Chest of Drawers, 1936. Oil on canvas, 657 x 810 mm © Estate Stanley Spencer. Bridgeman Images, London. Courtesy of the Stanley Spencer Gallery

Stanley Spencer – At the Chest of Drawers, 1936. Oil on canvas, 657 x 810 mm © Estate Stanley Spencer. Bridgeman Images, London. Courtesy of the Stanley Spencer Gallery

A celebration of British creativity and originality, Counterpoint is a collection of works by legendary local artist Stanley Spencer and his contemporaries. Amongst those represented are: Barnett Freedman, C.R.W. Nevinson, Edward Burra, Mark Gertler, William Roberts, Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.


THEATRE: Shakespearean Rose Theatre, Blenheim Palace now – Sat 7 Sep

Blenheim Palace Shakespeare rose theatre

There’s Europe’s first pop-up Shakespearean theatre at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock above – the 13-sided theatre, with three tiers of covered seating and open courtyard for ‘groundlings’ is showing MacbethA Midsummer Night’s DreamRichard III and Romeo & Juliet (until 7 Sept) and will be accompanied by a Shakespearean Village selling local ales, ice cream and side shows.


SPORT: Englefield 10K, Englefield Estate, Sun 25 Aug

Englefield House West Berkshire Richard Benyon 10k multi terrain run

Ugh! After an almighty all-inclusive holiday blow out, I’m trying to run again. This weekend is the Englefield 10k – in the beautiful setting of Englefield Estate near Theale– and the organisers are celebrating 10 years with, er, some sections of the course run in reverse. As if the multi-terrain course is not hard enough. Gates open at 9.15am, races starts at 11am. £14 in advance, £18 on the day. Under 15s can do 3.5k. Shall we? I will, if you will (maybe next year).


KIDS: Bouncy Castles In The Park, Wellington Country Park Riseley, Sat 24 –Mon 26 Aug

Inflatable obstacle course wellington country park reading

It’s A Knockout, Total Wipeout – the use of giant inflatables, water and general clowning around is the making of TV gold. Take your kids (or borrow someone else) and head straight for Wellington Country Park’s Bouncy Castle In The Park. Get into teams, make it competitive and see who comes out with their dignity in tact and incident free. Too much? OK, alternatively, grab a cuppa, enjoy the rays and let the kids go wild. Spoil sports.


KIDS: T Rex Encounter, The Lexicon Bracknell, Fri 2 –  Sun 26 Aug

Huge T Rex animatronic dinosaur outside M&S and H&M The Lexicon Bracknell

Get set for a rooooooaaarsome August. The Lexicon Bracknell will become Berkshire’s answer to Jurassic Park, as the UK’s largest animatronic dinosaur (18m long and 8m tall) comes to life. Turn back time and head out on a Dino Hunt, attend Dino School, storytelling, there’s special screenings of the Steven Spielberg pre-historic classics and more.


MUSIC: The Big Berkshire Beach Gig, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 24 Aug

Papa Truck band Norden Farm Maidenhead The Big Berkshire Beach Gig

Say goodbye to summer with the sand between your toes, wearing a sweater, probably a raincoat and a party at Norden Farm. The Big Berkshire Beach Gig is back with six local bands, serenading you while you relax in a hammock at Norden Farm’s Goan inspired beach. Load up an cocktails and you won’t even notice the drop in temperature.


FAMILY FUN: Kite Workshop, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 24 August

Fish kits on a boat mast flying in blue skies

Parent like your Mary Poppins and get involved in kite making. Should keep the mudlets busy for a bit. The Community Kite Project is running a drop in workshop at Norden Farm so you and your kids can create a Patang Kite – the Indian Fighter Kite – or a classic Trapezoid Kite. Make it, decorate and fly it at the Kite Festival in Boyn Grove Park on Sun 1 Sep. Altogether now… Let’s go fly a kite, up to highest heights… Too much?



POP-UP: The Modist, Bicester Village, Bicester, now – 24 Sept 

Dubai-based luxury online brand The Modest pops up in Bicester Village this summer with its first European boutique (I need that pink dress, like, immediately). The brand will have pieces from contemporary labels as well as from its own brand LAYEUR.


THEATRE: War Horse, New Theatre, Oxford, Thurs 22 Aug – Sat 7 Sept

Giddy up for the return of the brilliant War Horse to Muddy Award-winning New Theatre Oxford this week. Set in WW1, this spectacular production is theatre at its best with the puppetry so clever that after a while you forget about the operators and models, trust me, it’s a must see.


ANIMALS: Rihno Month, Cotswold Wildlife Park, nr Burford, throughout Aug

Cotswold Wildlife Park, nr Burford, is a guaranteed hit with kids who love all things furry, creepy and crawly. It has the little fellas – penguins, lemurs and reptiles – as well as the big guns, including lions, rhinos (FYI Aug is Rhino month with daily talks) and giraffes (try out the Giraffe Walkway where you can stroll up to eye-level with the animals). There’s also a cute railway, adventure playground and children’s farmyard.


SPORT: Summer of Sport, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Wed 24 Jul – Fri 30 Aug (Wed – Sun)

Waddesdon’s gorgeous grounds above will play host to a variety of sporting activities over the summer break including three sporty-themed trails, workouts, orienteering, football, badminton, table tennis and the National Trust venue is even putting on its own  Tour de Waddesdon. Follow it up with a trip to artisan ice cream from local supplier Oliphant and Pomeroy who’ll be on site for the summer.


CULTURE: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Fri 2 – Mon 26 Aug 

Singer Songwriter Jarvis Cocker tweed jacket black speccs

Edinburgh’s cultural fandango kicks off this month and is well worth the trip way (way, way) up north with the whole city buzzing with creativity, comedy, theatre, arts, crafts and street performances. Far too many shows to list in detail (over 1,200 groups perform across the city each day!) but highlights include Ian Stirling (of Love Island voiceover fame), Russell Howard, Frank Skinner and Jarvis Cocker, plus loads more familiar faces. Full programme here.


NEW EXHIBITION: Sweet Harmony: Rave exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, West London, until 14 Sept 

Photo by Dave Swindells

Rave on! This new photo exhibition explores the new world that emerged from the acid house movement in the ’80s and ’90s and the beginnings of rave culture. Photographers Tom Hunter, Vinca Petersen and Dave Swindells will be on hand at the Saatchi Gallery to explain the stories behind their iconic shots.



Exhibitions still on the go this month include a collection of Manolo Blahnik‘s work curated by the iconic shoe designer himself at The Wallace Collection (until Sun 1 Sept). Also on the fashion front is the Mary Quant retrospective at the V&A (Muddy’s been, it’s really cool), featuring over 200 of the seminal ’60s designer’s pieces (until 16 Feb). Or, also at the V&A is the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, a handful of tickets for evening slots have been added so snaffle quick if you want to go as it’s super popular (until 1 Sept).

Keith Haring Other exhibitions include the family-friendly Beasts of London, at the Museum of London, a fully immersive, digital installation exploring the role animals have played in the shaping of London with the likes of Kate Moss, Brian Blessed and Pam Ferris voicing the animals which are brought to life using video projection mapping; the major Van Gogh show at Tate Britain with over 45 of the artist’s famous works including Starry Night on the Rhône and Sunflowers; if you’re heading up north, check out the  Keith Haring exhibition at Tate Liverpool, a legend on the ’80s graffiti, pop art and underground club culture scene, the exhibit features 85 works including large-scale paintings, posters, photos and video. Very cool.


DAY TRIP: Dragon Slayer, Warwick Castle, various dates in Aug

Looking for something to entertain kids aged 8+? This is Warwick Castle’s first night-time experience telling the tale of 10th century warrior Guy as he battles monsters and dragons in a bid to gain a knighthood and win the heart of his one true love Princess Felice, daughter of the Earl of Warwick. It’s an explosive epic tale depicted over the course of an evening using live action, animation, equestrian acrobatics, fire and pyrotechnics. Boom! There’s also the regular birds of prey demos, the mighty trebuchet, archery and ramparts to rampage for day time fun.


FAMILY FUN: Zip Now London, Archbishops Park, Lambeth, until Sun 15 Sep

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft (9 double decker buses!) above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube any day of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. Suitable from 8+.


OUTDOOR CINEMA: Film4 Summer screen, Somerset House, London, throughout Aug

If you can make it into London, head for the popular Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. Featuring a mixture of premiers, old classics and recent hits, the venue’s fountain courtyard is a corker of a setting on a balmy summers evening in the capital. This year’s highlights include The Matrix on 12 Aug, 7pm (who saw Hollywood hottie Keanu Reeves in the latest YSL campaign?), horror/sci-fi back to back of Get Out & They Live (17 Aug, 7pm), cult classic Clueless (18 Aug, 7pm) and Film4Summer’s 200th screening which will be celebrated with Ryan Coogler’s Oscar-winning, superhero spectacular Black Panther (9 Aug, 7pm).



CULTURE: Henley Literary Festival – featuring Muddy Stilettos Book Club Live, Phyllis Court, Henley, Sat 5 Oct 

It’s back, baby! We’re returning to Henley Lit Fest (28 Sept – 6 Oct) this year with lashings of wine, plenty of pizzazz and a panel of brilliant authors: actor, Celebrity Master Chef winner and Meant to Be author Lisa Faulkner, former deputy editor of ELLE and How to be a Gentlewoman author Lotte Jeffs, and Five Steps to Happy debut novelist Ella Dove. More info here. Get your tickets pronto, last year was a sell out.

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