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20 things to do locally this bank holiday

Three day weekend incoming! Find the fun with our curated guide to the coolest local events from festivals, outdoor theatre, cool-up comedy and live music.

FESTIVAL: Festival of Food and Music, South Hill Park Bracknell, 29 – 30 Aug

street food sandwich with seafood and salad wrapped in paper and served in a wire basket

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 and –it’s totally free to enter. 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 I’d slap on the fake tan and grab your waterproofs just in case.

COMEDY: Stand-up comedy, The Old Court Windsor, 28 Aug

helen bauer COMEDIAN

Looking for LOLs in one of Windsor’s coolest cultural hangouts? Of course you are. We have just the thing a night of stand up comedy at The Old Court in Windsor with regular Stuart Laws (BBC and Amazon Prime) and his gag guest Helen Bauer (The Stand Up Sketch Show, Celebability) – and there’s more to be announced!

THEATRE: Hamlet, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – 25 Sep


Sir Ian McKellan is lighting up the Theatre Royal stage in Windsor in this electrifying production of Hamlet. At the age of 82, McKellen is the oldest Prince of Denmark the UK has ever seen. It is also a production that is age, colour and gender blind, with Francesca Annis, once McKellen’s Juliet, now cast as the ghost of Hamlet’s father and an Ophelia in the shape 20-something Alis Wyn Davies. Intriguing, non?

KIDS: Bouncy Castles In The Park, Wellington Country Park Riseley, 28 – 30 Aug

Inflatable obstacle course wellington country park reading

Sack the digital nanny and head outdoors to the biggest outdoor play in Berkshire. Wellington Country Park Is 350 glorious acres of fresh air and freedom. This weekend the Big Bouncy Castles return (28-30 Aug) for Bouncy Castles In The Park. That’s on top of the regular activities – the swashbuckling pirates ship, the HMS Duke of Wellington, adventure play area, splash zone, miniature railway, animal farm, mini golf and dinosaurs roaming (ok not roaming) the grounds. If that doesn’t tire them out, reading the list of activities should do it.

EVENT: Changing of the Guard, Windsor Castle, 28 Aug


The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle was put on hold during lockdown, but it’s back and you can see this very British tradition every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11am. The new guard set off from Victoria Barracks on Sheet Street and march through the Town Centre to the Queen’s des res. The Changing the Guard ceremony takes place at 11am inside the castle and the old guard head back to barracks at 11.25am. Always a fabulous site that brings this royal town to a standstill.

FESTIVAL: Fi-Fest, Maidenhead, 29 Aug

Fi.Fest Maidenhead Lightening Seeds

Fi Fest has announced it will go ahead on 29 Aug and tickets are available now, from £25pp. 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 with a kids zone to keep the whole family entertained Channel Kate Moss festival fashion and out you go.

KIDS: Sparkle Bright Festival of Fun, Stonor Park, Henley, now – 2 Sep

Little ones won’t want to miss this sweet festival at Stonor Park‘s Tumblestone Hollow. The giant Sparkle Bright Flowers will be blooming, so to celebrate there will be activities like face paint, bubble-blowing, and storytelling galore.

EXHIBITION: Game Plan – Board Games Rediscovered, The Base Greenham Common, now – 5 Sep

Ah, remember when gaming required more than one player and came out of a box? Take a screen break and head to The Base’s new exhibition – Game Plan – Board Games Rediscovered – on load from London’s V&A. It’s not a look and don’t touch exhibition, there’s plenty on display that you can try out and a nice reminder how much fun (and competitive) getting friends and family round a game can be.

KIDS: Bucklebury Farm, Bucklebury

Bucklebury Farm adventure play grounds

Polish your parental halo and head to Bucklebury Farm for fresh air, an abundance of furry cuteness and a heavy dose of wholesome fun. Feed the animals, head out on the deer safari and then grab a cuppa while your kids run wild. There’s a new woodland adventure playground, as well as the zip line, bouncy pillow, slides, obstacle course and storytelling cottage.

FILM: Outdoor cinema, Dinton Pastures Country Park, Wokingham, 27 – 28 Aug

Mean girls film

Bit of a festival vibe at this one, with music, street food and drink stands at Dinton Pastures Country Park, but the added bonus of a an outdoor cinema to entertain. Coming up on the movie reel: 10 Things I Hate About You and Mean Girls (both 27 Aug) and Grease (28 Aug).

DAYS OUT: Legoland Windsor

Brave enough to hit Legoland? There’s newness in the shape of its latest attraction, Mythica – featuring three new rides where LEGO creatures come to life – think dragons, unicorns and a flying lion. Plus all the old favourites Ninjago World, DUPLO Dino Coaster, Haunted House Monster Pasty, Lego Miniland (which took three years to complete). If you want to beat the queues, you’ll need to throw money at the problem. Fast passes are the only way to get on more than a handful of rides.

OUTDOORS: National Garden Scheme, various locations, 27-30 Aug

Rookwood Farm Gardens red bricks farm house trees flowers National Garden Scheme Berkshire

The National Garden Scheme sees over 3,500 private gardens in England and Wales open for charity – adults pay but children go free. This is brilliant for two reasons: firstly, you can indulge in a bit of real-life garden porn (begone Right Move), and you can pick up clever border design ideas while sending a few quid (normally around £5) to highly worthy charities such as MacMillan. We’re keen to pop along to Rookwood Farm House (30 Aug) and Stockcross House (29 Aug) in Berks.

OUTDOORS: Pick Your Own, various locations, 27-30 Aug

A child with strawberries in the hands. Selective focus.

Gray’s Farm in Wokingham is the biggie for hand picked punnets (eyes peeled for the giant strawberry). It’s free to go and you only pay for what you pick which will, no doubt, be less than what you eat as you do the rounds. In season at the moment are strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, broad beans, blackberries, plus it’s a great way to coax the kids into eating something healthy (mwa-ha-ha!). Other PYO hotspots include Copas Farm in Cookham.

EXHIBITION: Prince Philip: A Celebration, Windsor Castle, Windsor

Windsor Castle Windsor

The Queen’s home from home, Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Inside, A portrait of The Duke of Edinburgh by Ralph Heimans is the centrepiece of a new 120-piece exhibition at Windsor Castle celebrating his life. Prince Philip: A Celebration has been curated by the Royal Collection Trust and features items marking key moments during his official duties for the Queen. From the coronation robe and coronet he wore during the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and his personal desk to a giant grasshopper wine cooler, it’s a moving tribute to the UK’s longest serving consort. Adult tickets £23.50, child £13.50, under 5s go FREE.

FESTIVAL: The Big Feastival, Kingham, 27 – 29 Aug

A posh nosh extravaganza, and an unbeatable excuse to eat yourself silly. Hosted on the farm of cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James, The Big Feastival promises top notch chefs, family fun and chart-topping artists: good food, and great music. The line-up this year includes DJ Sigala, Rag’n’Bone Man, Zara Larsson, and Tom Walker plus others. Adult day tickets from £82.

EVENT: Henley Country Craft Show, Stonor Park, Henley, 27 – 30 Aug

Marquees and stalls bursting with handmade jewellery, homewares, clothes, and more, as well as a wide selection of artisan food and drink, all in picturesque landscaped surroundings. Sounds like a pretty solid day out to us.

THEATRE: Just So, The Watermill, Bagnor, now – 4 Sep

Just So The Watermill Theatre Newbury Berkshire

As usual, there’s loads of treats on at The Watermill Theatre. This bijou theatre takes it outside during the summer – making the most of the gardens and the theatre’s stunning riverside location. Don’t miss the grand garden finale – a semi-staged concert performance of Just So (now – 4 Sep) – showcasing five of Rudyard Kipling’s stories.

MUSIC: Ladies Day feat Jess Glynne – Live after Racing, Royal Windsor Racecourse, 28 Aug

I don’t know much about the gee-gees, but partying in the paddock is something I can do. Get your glad rags on for a full day of racing then shuffle and sway to the stunning vocals of Jess Glynne – a Grammy-award-winning singer/songwriter taking to the stage on 28 Aug at Royal Windsor Racecourse this summer. Book your spot.

THEATRE: The Three Musketeers, The Triangle Field Car Park Hungerford, 27-28 Aug

Culture in a car park, you say? We’re in. New Era Theatre will be performing an outdoor performance of The Three Musketeers – and if it rains the show will go on. So waterproof up laydee. It’s a fun, swashbuckling show with some fairly unconvincing French accents. Sounds right up our street. Tickets £10. All for one and one for all. Suitable for 12+.


LAST CHANCE: Lavender Field, Mayfield Lavender Farm Banstead, now – 31 Aug

Lavender season is coming to an end, but there is still time to see the seas of proud purple. Head to Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead, Surrey before then (adults cost £4 but children under 16 go free), and you will be rewarded with glorious acres of headily scented flowers – plus there’s a gift shop selling the farm’s organic lavender wares. A wonderful assault on the senses, and absolute gold (well, purple) for Instagram.

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