We Love Golf

Round & About


The We Love Golf campaign is encouraging more women to take part in the game and enjoy the social side too

If you thought golf wasn’t for you, then think again, there has been a real swing over the past year towards making the game more accessible and appealing to women.

We Love Golf is all about encouraging more women to get involved and as much as it’s about picking up the clubs it’s also about ensuring women feel part of a ‘club’ – a social club that is, where they can make friends and be part of a community coming together to enjoy themselves through the game.

The PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) is helping this drive with the use of social media encouraging women to share their experiences and success stories.

We Love Golf is about friendship, health and fitness and providing support for women to develop, stimulate interest in the game, connect to others and offering basic information so don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between an iron and a wood or don’t know your eagle from your albatross – none of that matters.

The campaign will help find a PGA Professional who can help you learn to play and teach you the finer points of the game. Starting with an often free taster session you don’t need any equipment or the ‘right clothes’, all that’s needed is a sense of fun and enthusiasm to learn.

After the initial session, many women go on to join a group coaching session and will then progress further to take advantage of offers for reduced priced rounds and relaxed memberships.

We want women to view it as a leisure activity they do with friends

Two pilot schemes were launched last year, one at Reigate Heath attracted 10 women who then all signed up to group coaching and have since signed up to the next programme. Head pro Cliff Gough was so pleased with the success of that he now’s running a new programme in tandem with the first one.

This year the campaign plans to expand the scheme and host events all over the country, creating a real sense of community, including a campaign around the Women’s British Open at the beginning of  August.

Nicole Wheatley, is helping to tee off the We Love Golf campaign and hopes the social aspect of it will help its appeal. She says: “We want women to view it as a leisure activity they do with friends, come along and enjoy the game and have a good chat and laugh at the same time.

“We’ve found the women who have come along so far have celebrated the small successes such as getting out of a bunker and have been very encouraging towards each other, often through social media and this is what we are trying to promote.”

  Details of the pros involved and We Love Golf events are on www.facebook.com/WeLoveGolfPGA and follow them on Twitter and Instagram

Wildlife survey

Round & About


People’s Trust for Endangered Species needs your help to record Britain’s ‘big five’

Help wildlife this spring by recording sightings of Britain’s big five and others for the annual Living with Mammals survey. 

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is asking volunteers to record sightings of all mammals they see to help future conservation efforts. 

Last year the top five recorded were: grey squirrels, foxes, mice, hedgehogs and bats. 

Volunteers can take part from 1st April to 30th June, recording mammals they see or signs of them in any local green space – gardens, allotments, parks etc in an urban, suburban or rural location – within 200 metres of a building. 

Surveys officer at PTES, David Wembridge urges people to join in stressing the importance of green spaces and our wildlife. He says: “They provide food, clean air and water, and make us healthier and happier. Counting our wild neighbours, and knowing how their populations are changing, is a health-check on our towns and cities. 

“As our weather warms up, we hope people will get out and see lots of wildlife – and the signs they leave behind, such as footprints or droppings.” 

Volunteers can spend anything from 10 minutes a week at their chosen site to several hours and can do so either individually or as part of a team. 

David adds: “The results allow us to understand how populations of each species are changing – for better or worse. This lets us identify where conservation work is needed most.” 

  For more information on how to spot mammals and to register to take part go to www.ptes.org/LWM and upload any images you can snap to social media using the hashtag #livingwithmammals 

Easter egg-stravaganza

Round & About


Shell out on some family fun at these cracking Easter egg hunts.

Who doesn’t love an Easter egg hunt? You may pretend you’re helping your children or grandchildren around the trail looking for chocolate treats but in reality you can’t wait to join in the eggcellent fun yourself – chocolate doesn’t care how old you are. Here’s our round-up of some of the many hunts you can get cracking on during the Easter holidays.

Unless stated booking is not necessary for events


Talking Point: Ben Fogle

Round & About


Liz Nicholls asks Ben Fogle about life, love and adventure ahead of his new children’s book – Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit – hitting bookshop shelves.

Q. Which of your many adventures rank as your most thrilling..? And scariest? “Climbing Everest was the most exciting. There’s nothing as thrilling as being in the mountains; it’s humbling and terrifying in equal measure. The scariest moment was scuba diving with crocodiles – I went diving with wild Nile crocodiles in Botswana.”

Q. What was your favourite book as a child? “I loved books as a child. Dr Seuss was a favourite; he had such an irreverent, eccentric style and I love his lyricism. The Cat In The Hat is still a firm favourite. I don’t even need my children around as an excuse to read them again.
It’s like escaping back to my childhood.”

Q. You met your wife while walking your dog which is lovely! You love dogs don’t you? “I’ve always loved dogs. I grew up with two golden retrievers and a couple of parrots. We lived above my father’s veterinary clinic and our house was always filled with dogs. If any animals needed to stay overnight, they’d often come up to our house. Dogs are loyal, kind and forgiving. They love us unconditionally.”

Q. Would you say you’re romantic? “I’m romantic-ish. Marina and I like to have date nights.”

Q. How do you relax? Do you watch television? “I love walking with the dogs – it doesn’t matter where: London, Cornwall, Scotland. I like to listen to the sounds of nature, the bird life. I watch television during long journeys around the world – a lot of box sets. You name it and I’ve probably watched it. I loved Peaky Blinders and Vietnam.”

Q. You seem healthy and full of beans – what do you eat..? And do you have any bad habits that might make us all feel better? “I eat whatever I want. I try not to abstain nor diet but stick to meal times and not snack. Lots of fruit. Salt and vinegar crisps and dry white wine are my two vices.”

Q. Where are your favourite places in the UK for a staycation? “Too many. We spend lots of time in Cornwall and Devon. St Mawes is a perfect family place. We recently went to Heckfield House which was amazing, in Holkham, north Norfolk.”

Q. Is there anywhere in the world you’d still love to go? “Of course, so many places! I’ve never been to Madagascar. I’d also like to visit Jamaica.”

Q. Which four people (living or dead) would you invite to a dinner party? “Captain Scott, Che Guevara, Attenborough and Michael Palin.”

Q. What wish would you make to change the world in one way? “Evidence to impeach Trump.”

Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit is out now – there’s also an audio version

English Tourism Week

Round & About


Forget Brexit, get out and explore England with English Tourism Week

There is so much to be enjoyed in our green and pleasant land and to celebrate this, English Tourism Week  which starts on Saturday, 30th March and runs until Sunday, 7th April has some great ideas.

The annual celebration of English tourism showcases a wide range of visitor experiences with fabulous ways to mark the beginning of England’s summer season whether it’s a short trip, day out or mini break.

There are so many places and experiences to enjoy in the Round & About area that we couldn’t possibly start to choose one over another but why not venture further afield into Surrey if you live in Oxfordshire or how about travelling from Berkshire to Gloucestershire – you may just be surprised by what you find there.

Visit Surrey to enjoy everything from theme parks and fast cars to take your breath away to the tranquillity of the Surrey countryside.
Oxford and Oxfordshire is about so much more than just dreaming spires and history, wander through covered markets, manor houses and designer outlets to satisfy your retail needs.

There’s something for the whole family in Berkshire from royal castles to music festivals and exciting sporting events while Gloucestershire boasts elegant spa and picturesque market towns to relax in.

England’s heritage is at the fore in Buckinghamshire which has more than it’s fair share of manor houses and stately homes set in rolling countryside while Hampshire can boast the enchanting New Forest and the chance to taste the sea air.

Perhaps fairytale castles are your thing – how about a visit to West Sussex for country house estates and coastal towns or Wiltshire for iron age forts or those standing stones, better known as Stonehenge.
And lest we forget, there’s London too…

For more great things than you’ll have time to do in one trip, go to visitengland.com

Dive into fundraising with Swimathon

Round & About


Make a splash with Swimathon this weekend and help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. 

Swimathon takes place from Friday, 29th March to Sunday, 31st March and with distances from 400m to 5k, there’s a challenge for everyone.  

If you haven’t swum for a while or just starting out on a fitness programme then 400m or 16 lengths of the pool is a good place to start; if you feel you’re up to a bit more then how about 1.5k (60 lengths) or go for the landmark 100 lengths, covering 2.5k? The ultimate Swimathon challenge is the 200 length 5k, the most popular distance, you’ll need to have put in some training but you will be rewarded with a 5k medal at the end. 

New to 2019 and the mother of all challenges is the Triple 5k – yes you guessed it, that’s three times 5k but fear not it’s not all in one go – you’ll swim 5k three times on three occasions, it’s not for the faint hearted and should only be attempted if you’ve got enough training under your cap. 

If you can’t take part in an organised Swimathon session, try a session at a time and place which works for you with MySwimathon. 

There are both individual and team challenges over the three days at participating pools – there are more than 600 across the UK registered so the chances are there’s one near you – but if you can’t make one of these sessions, then why not try MySwimathon. 

You can choose to swim any time up to Sunday, 7th April  at a location that suits you. Full details about this and how you can still raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie are on the website. 

Swimathon began in 1986 in London encouraging people to take up regular exercise and for swimmers to use their local pools. It has gone on to raise more than £48million over the years helping a variety of charities through the efforts and hard work of more than 700,000 swimmers.

To find out more and register to take part in either Swimathon or MySwimathon visit swimathon.org 

A mini marvel

Round & About


Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008

A new exhibition at the V&A showcases the fashion revolution launched by Mary Quant.

Miniskirts put Mary Quant on the map, it became a fashion icon and came to symbolise a new era for women.

The little skirt which made a big difference will no doubt be a stand out attraction in a new exhibition at London’s V&A showcasing the work and influence of the designer.

Examples of her famous designs from across the 1960s and 1970s will highlight the way in which she launched a fashion revolution on the high street. More than 200 items of clothing and accessories, including unseen pieces from Quant’s personal archive will form part of the exhibition.

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive-WEB

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive

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Model holding a Bazaar bag c.1959 © Mary Quant Archive

Born and brought up in Blackheath, her Welsh schoolteacher parents refused to let the young Mary attend a fashion course so she studied illustration instead at Goldsmiths where she met her future husband Alexander Plunket Greene. After graduating in 1953 she began an apprenticeship at a high-end milliner.

Together with Plunket Greene and a friend, the three opened a restaurant in the basement of a house Plunket Greene bought in King’s Road, Chelsea, by this time fast becoming “the place to be”. But it was the boutique she opened on the ground floor, Bazaar, that was to pave the way for Quant’s career and change in fashions.

Starting with clothes bought wholesale, she soon switched it up a gear after the success of a pair of lounge pyjamas she had designed for the opening and began stocking the boutique with her own designs.

Working overnight to produce new stock for the shop, which continually offered new lines, customers came in search of the unique items at competitive prices.

Bazaar was making a name across London as one of the few shops selling an alternative to the more “mature” designs of traditional high fashion. And it wasn’t just the clothing that brought about the different approach – the boutique offered loud music, free drinks, extravagant window displays and extended opening hours that all helped to attract shoppers.

She drew her influences from the musicians, dancers and street chic as well as the Mods who were shaping London’s youth culture. Quant’s initial collections were modern, simple and wearable, she wanted “relaxed clothes suited to the actions of normal life” as epitomised by the miniskirt, named after her favourite make of car, the mini.

Bright colours were a feature of her designs too drawing on clothing she’d worn as a child at school and dance classes and soon coloured tights were seen all over the capital, often with one of her high-hemline skirts.

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Kellie Wilson wearing tie dress by Mary Quant’s Ginger Group. Photograph by Gunnar Larsen, 1966. © Gunnar Larsen 

Mary Quant (1934-), British fashion designer and fashion icon. Ca. 1970. (Photo by adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images)

Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. (C) adoc-photos/Corbis Premium Historical/Getty Images

By 1957, the popularity of her clothing led to the opening of a second Bazaar in the King’s Road designed by another design icon Terence Conran.

And her originality didn’t end there – in 1966 as the nation was celebrating England’s World Cup glory, she invented hotpants, a garment even shorter than the miniskirt. The designer was also honoured with an OBE in this year.

She went on to sign a contract with American retailer JC Penney and expanded into the UK mass market with a cheaper line, Ginger Group.

By the end of the sixties, it is thought as many as seven million women had at least one Quant in their wardrobe while her cosmetic range was worn by thousands more.

The beginning of the next decade saw her empire grow to include homewares, swimwear and jewellery and even a skincare range for men.

In 1990 she was awarded the Hall of Fame Award by the British Fashion Council and in 2015 became Dame Mary Quant in the New Year’s Honours.

Co-curator Jenny Lister received an overwhelming response to the request for items for the exhibition. She said: “Quant is a fashion icon and one of the UK’s most well-known designers, so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to fully celebrate her contribution to global style.”

• The Mary Quant exhibition, sponsored by King’s Road, runs at the V&A from 6th April until 16th February 2020.

Tickets £12. To book and for more details visit www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/mary-quant

Get away!

Round & About


Fancy a night away? Refresh yourself (and perhaps your plus one) with an overnight break right here in the UK, writes Liz Nicholls.

What with all the political hokey cokey over the past couple of years (Brexit), we thought we’d turn our sights to staycation options close to home.

After all, amid all the frustrating / upsetting (delete as appropriate) wranglings over backstops and borders, surely now is a good time to celebrate the best quirky, wonderful resources Blighty has to offer?

Well, our eccentric island nation of “Marmite, village fetes and country lanes” (to quote Bill Bryson) certainly has plenty to offer so you’re sure of a great break to suit any budget, without having to get your passport out.

Two Hoots Glamping near Alresford has some beautifully British shepherd’s huts and camping pods where you’re sure of cosy, comforting TLC right in the heart of gorgeous Hampshire countryside. The eco-friendly pods and huts feature king-size beds are perfectly located for visiting Jane Austen territory and you can travel there by steam train, thanks to the idyllic Watercress Line. For full details visit www.twohootscampsite.co.uk or call 01962 772242.

Are you a lady of a certain age who’d relish time away from the male of the species? If so, I hear you! Slipper Camps in Tenterden, Kent, specialise in ladies-only uplifting getaways, full-board, in a boutique country hotel, featuring creative workshops so you can share new experiences and laughter with other like-minded ladies. Visit www.slippercamps.co.uk or contact 07774 294309.


The Chilterns View in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside is the ideal choice for a romantic rendezvous. Book into one of the south-facing lodges, which each boasts a floor-to-ceiling glass front and raised veranda, elevated to give you unrivalled views across the Chiltern Hills. Two of the five lodges are open-plan and each comes with its own private side balcony and a 24-hour heated hot tub for two. Visit www.thechilternsview.co.uk or call 01491 836 353. 

If you’re looking for a gorgeous group or family staycation you’re sure of lovely accommodation with character, stunning light and scenery to die for with Coronet Cottages. The family business has a holiday home on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and another in Cotswold Water Park each offering a breath of fresh air. www.coronetcottages.co.uk

Just to prove how much the UK does offer, there is even a super safari option – courtesy of Port Lympne in Kent. As featured on ITV’s This Morning, this 600-acre reserve and luxury hotel is run by the award-winning Aspinall Foundation and is home to more than 760 animals and 90 species. Book a rhino or tiger lodge for a once-in-a-lifetime experience while helping conservation. Visit

If camping is more your jam, Wigwam Holidays has loads of comfy glamping options which can incorporate your passion too, be it hiking, photography, surfing, climbing, archery, fishing or water sports; visit www.wigwamholidays.com

And Henry’s Campsite, right on the tip of the The Lizard in Cornwall, offers pitches with sea views, sunsets to die for and a location boasting coastal and inland paths (careful if you’ve partaken of a few rosies!). Visit www.henryscampsite.co.uk or call 01326 290596.


Also in Cornwall, Carbis Bay Holidays offer a five-star collection of cottages in St Ives, from penthouse apartments overlooking the white-sand beaches to designer country homes a pebble’s throw from the coast; call 01736 630015 or visit www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

Luxury Lodges offer stunning stays in Cornwall, the Lake District & Wales; www.luxurylodges.com.

For a healthy break, you’d be hard-pushed to beat the pampering packages at Grayshott Health Spa near Hindhead, 2018 winner of the World Spa Awards, no less; visit www.grayshottspa.com or call 01428 602020. Or top up your sunshine levels by booking in for a stay at Donnington Valley Hotel in Newbury where the new Aqua Sun package will massage your cares away, bathing you in low-level UV canopy light. The privately owned hotel and golf club is set in stunning parkland. Visit www.donningtonvalley.co.uk or call 01635 551199.

Spectacular splendour is the name of the game at Great Fosters in Egham, voted AA Hotel Of the Year England. It’s a wedding venue to die for & Michelin-starred foodie mecca; visit www.greatfosters.co.uk or call 01784 433822.

Whether you favour the voluptuous Yorkshire Dales or cute Cotswolds, Together Travel have superb luxe glass-fronted eco-lodges. Visit www.togethertravel.co.uk or call 01386 897179. And Cool Stays has incredible treehouse, cabin and “boatel” break ideas for groups and couples at www.coolstays.com

For bucolic country cottages in some of the UK’s most heart-stoppingly beautiful landscapes check out Home Away (there are also cute continental options if you do want to travel beyond the white cliffs…). Visit www.homeaway.co.uk

De Vere Cotswold Water Park, GL7 5FP, is a tranquil spa haven sure to rejuvenate you; www.devere.co.uk. Top up on sunshine with a stay at Donnington Valley Hotel in Newbury where the new Aqua Sun package will massage cares away, bathing you in low-level UV light. The privately owned hotel and golf club is set in stunning parkland. Visit www.donningtonvalley.co.uk or call 01635 551199.

I just had a houseful of Canadian friends to stay… It’s amazing how playing tour guide in your home city (mine’s Oxford) opens your eyes. For the perfect Dreaming Spires stay try The Porterhouse, OX2 0AL, just a hop from the station, for the best steak in Christendom and hip, comfy rooms; 01865 248546 or www.theporterhouse-oxford.com. Another quirky choice is Malmaison’s reincarnation of the old prison in the castle quarter; www.malmaison.com. And if, like me, you’re a fan of that 1950s American vibe, you’ll love Mollie’s Motel & Diner near Faringdon, SN7 8PY. I can’t wait to try this celeb honeypot (brainchild of Soho House founder Nick Jones) for a milkshake and adult sleepover! www.molliesmotel.com


One thing we do best in the whole world is a great pub! The Fat Fox Inn in pretty Watlington, OX49 5BU, is a foodie’s dream with gorgeous rooms too; www.thefatfoxinn.co.uk or 01491 613 040. The Bear & Ragged Staff in Cumnor, OX2 9QH, is an original Tudor beauty lavished in TLC serving award-winning food; 01865 862329 or www.bearandraggedstaff.com. Also find cosy charm at The Fleece in Witney, OX28 4AZ; 01993 892270 or www.fleecewitney.co.uk and I had one of the best dinner dates/stays ever at The Lion at Wendlebury, OX25 2PW; www.thelionwendlebury.co.uk or 01869 388228. Oh, and just up the road in Bicester, OX26 1UE, The Chesterton Hotel offers truly fabulous cream teas and dinners, with rooms to match; 01869 326 550 or www.thechestertonhotel.com

There’s even a safari option on this sceptred isle! Port Lympne in Kent, featured on ITV’s This Morning, a 600-acre reserve and luxury hotel, run by the Aspinall Foundation, is home to 760 animals; www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne

For bucolic country cottages in heart-stoppingly beautiful British landscapes check out Home Away (there are also sweet continental options if you do want to travel beyond those white cliffs…). Visit www.homeaway.co.uk

Enjoy your stay!

Wherever in the UK you choose to stay, we hope you have a lovely time and please share your experiences with us on social media @randamag

And they’re off…

Round & About


The next couple of months are a great time to enjoy a day at the races

Cheltenham Racecourse,     

GL50 4SH

Cheltenham began life as a flat meeting in 1815 and steeplechasing became established in nearby Andoversford in 1834, moving to the present course in 1898. The jewel in the course’s crown now is the Cheltenham Festival which takes place over four days in March.

The April Meeting, Easter fun over the two days, children under 18 free, Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th April, first race 2.05pm, last 5.30pm, tickets from £8

Race Night, amateur riders and trainers get the chance to shine, Radio 1’s Greg James will take centre stage in The Centaur to entertain race goers into the evening with live music. For more information check out the Centaur Party Packages, Friday, 3rd May, tickets from £8

Dress code: as many meetings take place during the colder months, race goers are encouraged to dress accordingly but there is no specific race day style at Cheltenham

• For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit www.jockeyclub.co.uk

Windsor Racecourse,      


Set on its own island in the shadow of Windsor Castle, racing at Datchet Ferry was recorded as early as 1682. Steeplechasing began in the mid-19th century and flat racing on the current site at Rays Meadow in 1866. Windsor was one of the few courses allowed to continue racing during the two world wars despite a bomb falling during racing. Jump racing ended at the track in 1998 to preserve the ground for flat racing.

2019 Season Opener, Monday, 8th April, tickets from £18

Celebrate the start of the season with seven races on a spring afternoon

Easter Eggstravaganza, Monday, 15th April, tickets from £14

Enjoy a great afternoon of Easter family fun including an egg hunt, all entertainment and children under 18 free.

Free racenight, Monday, 29th April

To kick off the start of the evening racing season, this first night is FREE, but you must register in advance by the day before.

Family fun day with free funfair, Monday 6th and 27th May and regular night racing (13th & 20th), ticket prices vary

Dress code: Club Enclosure & Grandstand Enclosure – dress smart including jeans and shorts, no trainers or sportswear. Men should wear a collared shirt. No flip flops. There is no dress code in the Silver Ring Enclosure.

• For more information about other events during the season, visit www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk

Ascot Racecourse,                 


The potential for a course was first seen by Queen Anne in 1711 when she wanted a place for her “horses to gallop at full stretch”. By 1752, Ascot’s popularity had already spread and in 1807, Ascot’s oldest surviving race The Gold Cup was run for the first time. Six years later the Royal Enclosure was launched and is still strictly by invitation only. Gallop forward nearly 200 years and a major facelift was carried out in 2006 with the Royal Meeting that year at York.

Sagaro Stakes Raceday, Wednesday, 1st May, gates open 11am, first race 2pm, last race 4.55pm, tickets from £16

The first fixture of the 2019 flat season

May Racing Weekend, Friday 10th May, timings as above, tickets from £12

A fun Friday atmosphere with street food pop ups and eclectic bars

Victoria Cup Raceday, Saturday, 11th May, first race 2.15pm, last race 5.10pm, tickets from £20

Ahead of Royal Ascot in June, this day features entertainment from tribute acts and great food to be enjoyed.

Dress code: King Edward VII and Winning Post enclosures – ladies should dress smart and hats are encouraged, men are required to wear a jacket and tie, tailored shorts are allowed, no trainers. Queen Anne Enclosure – there is no formal dress code but smart dress is encouraged.

• For more information about other events during the season including Royal Ascot, visit www.ascot.co.uk

Newbury Racecourse,           

RG14 7NZ

The first recorded racing took place in Newbury in 1805 but the racecourse itself didn’t come into being for another 90 years with the first ever meeting in September 1905. It started as a flat racing course but soon began National Hunt meetings. Today the course combines heritage with a host of events including popular music nights. Newbury Racecourse has just finished a £21million development programme so why not go along and see it for yourself!

Dubai Duty Free spring trials & beer festival, Friday 12th & Saturday, 13th April, gates open 12pm, first race 2pm, last race 5.20pm, tickets from £18

As well as two great days of racing to kick off the flat season, there are more than 690 beers and ciders to sample from local producers

The Peter O’Sullevan Lambourn Open Day, Friday, 19th April, tickets from £12

Starlight Charity Raceday, Friday 17th May, times TBC, tickets from £18

Event in aid of Starlight which grants the wishes of terminally ill children

Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, 18th May, times TBC, tickets from £26

The richest race day at the course and Ladies Day (dress to impress) as well as live music throughout the day and the after party to enjoy.

Dress code: Premier Enclosure – racegoers are encouraged to dress smart, men should wear a collared shirt, smart denim and tailored shorts are accepted. No trainers or sportswear. Grandstand enclosure – more relaxed but with same restrictions on denim and inappropriate clothing.

• For more information about other events during the season including Tom Jones (20th July) and Madness (17th August), visit www.newburyracecourse.co.uk

Epsom Downs Racecourse,         

Epsom, KT18 5LQ

The first recorded race meeting in the country took place at Epsom on 7th March 1661 and became a regular feature from 1730. The Derby started in 1780 and viewed as the greatest flat race in the world. The 1913 Derby produced one of the most sensational events in history when protesting suffragette Emily Davison brought down the King’s horse after running onto the course – she died four days later from her injuries. There have been many famous Derby winners over the years but none shrouded in more mystery than Shergar who was kidnapped in 1983 for a ransom of £2million. He has never been found but is thought to have died shortly afterwards, although the IRA kept up the pretence he was alive.

Investec spring meeting, Wednesday, 24th April, gates open 12, first race 2pm, last race 5.50pm, tickets from £5

Investec Derby Festival, Friday, 31st May-Saturday, 1st June, times TBC, tickets from £10 (Friday), £15 (Saturday)

Dress code: Grandstand – Smart dress encouraged, no sportswear, smart denim only, no trainers. Queen’s Stand – men jacket, collar & tie; ladies hat or fascinator, no jeans, denim or trainers. Derby day code: Grandstand – as above. Queen’s Stand – black or grey morning dress inc top hat, service dress or full national costume for men, ladies formal day wear – formal day dress or tailored trouser suit inc hat or substantial fascinator

Epsom is also holding a series of Summer Nights Rewind concerts (70s, 80s, 90s and 00s) in July and August.

For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit www.jockeyclub.co.uk

Sandown Park Racecourse,       

Esher, KT10 9AJ

Sandown Park was the first purpose-built racecourse with enclosures and is now one of the most modern and accessible racing venues in the country. Arkle and Desert Orchid are some of the most well-known runners to have competed here.

Bet365 Classic Trial Day, first flat race of the season, Friday, 26th April, tickets from £16

Bet365 Jump Finale, Saturday, 27th April, tickets from £17.50

Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Evening, Thursday, 23rd May, tickets from £5

Evening Flat Racing, Thursday, 30th May, tickets from £15, all times TBC

Dress code: Premier enclosure – men, collared shirt, polo short or polo neck jumper, jackets & ties not compulsory, smart jeans ; ladies, dress for a special occasion, hats & fascinators welcome, not essential. Shorts, sportswear, trainers are not permitted

Grandstand: relaxed dress code, smart shorts, smart jeans & trainers acceptable

Sandown is also holding its popular live music and summer evening racing events with Madness on 24th July, Pete Tong on 31st July and Jess Glynne on 8th August

For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit www.jockeyclub.co.uk

Kempton Park,                             

Sunbury, TW16 5AQ

Kempton held its first race in July 1878 and has played its part in history over the years since. During the First World War it was used as a transit depot for military vehicles and racing moved elsewhere until 1919. In 1932, fire caused major damage to the Grandstand, restaurant, Member’s Stand and bar area. The Second World War saw the racecourse play a major role in accommodating prisoners of war, at the end of which major reparation work took place before racing started again in 1947. In the 21st century, an all-weather floodlit course was completed.

The course holds regular evening meetings with the next being on 3rd, 10th and 12th April, tickets from £11.25

There is no strict dress code, though smart dress is preferred and encouraged for major race days.

For more details, other meetings later in the season and events visit www.jockeyclub.co.uk

Goodwood Racecourse,                      

Chichester, PO18 0PS

Horse racing has been part of Goodwood since 1802. Its popularity as a venue grew rapidly during the second half of the 20th century and in 1953, 55,000 spectators enjoyed a single day at the July meeting.

The season at Goodwood opens on Saturday, 4th May, tickets from £12

The May Festival, Thursday 23rd-Saturday, 25th May, tickets from £20

This event brings the worlds of horseracing and food together with artisan foods and hands-on activities to enjoy.

Dress code: Stylish but not stuffy, in the Richmond Enclosure ladies are advised to dress elegantly with hats welcome but stilettos are discouraged due to the terrain. Men are asked to wear a jacket with tie or cravat. No jeans, trainers, shorts or fancy dress are allowed. The other enclosures – Gordon & Lennox – are less formal but smart dressing is still encouraged.

For more information about other events during the season, visit www.goodwood.com

Learn to Play Day

Round & About


Photo credit: Indigo James

Pick up an instrument and Learn to Play this weekend for free

Feel there’s a budding Eric Clapton or Charlie Watts just trying to get out or maybe you just want to give your guitar or drumming skills an outing? This is the perfect opportunity to give it a go…

Share in the joy of music on Learn to Play Day – actually two days – Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th,  as venues all over the country encourage thousands to pick up and play a musical instrument, whether you’ve never played before or once did as a child this is your chance to have a go for free.

The event has been running for eight years and in that time music shops, teachers, venues and schools have given tens of thousands of free lessons, including 10,000 last year alone.

Learn to Play Day (or two days to be precise) is run by charity Music For All and supported by a host of big names including Jools Holland, patron of the Music For All charity.

“I’m delighted to lend my support to National Learn to Play Day on March 23rd and 24th,” says Jools. “It’s a pleasure to be able to share the joy of music and this special day allows thousands to get involved as venues all over the country offer music lessons for free.”

Jazz star Jamie Cullum is another supporting the event. He says: “National Learn to Play Day gives everyone a chance to play an instrument, even if they’ve never played before. This wonderful day introduces thousands to the magic of music making, and often reunites people with a lost passion for playing. Get involved and perhaps discover a skill you thought you didn’t have.”

Spreading the joy of playing an instrument is the key element of the two days, as Music For All CEO Paul McManus explains: “While we all may have different tastes and preferred genres, there is no doubt that music is something that is universally loved around the world.

“Our Learn to Play Day events are all about spreading the joy of playing and inspiring those of all ages to take up something that will not only have health benefits for the future, but that also brings so many people together.”

Other Music For All ambassadors include Rick Astley, Aled Jones and Gareth Malone and who knows this could be your first foray into following in their footsteps!

Photo credit: Brian Slater

Photo credit: Alan Fletcher

There are various locations where you can begin your musical journey across the region:

Hickies Music Store, Reading 0118 957 5771
Hogan Music, Newbury 01635 37868
PMT Oxford, Cowley Road 01865 725221
Langdale Hall, Market Square, Witney 07904 397603
Archway School, Stroud 01452 330300
ACM, Bridge Street, Guildford 01483 501212
The College of Richard Collyer, Horsham 07470 964369
Westmount Music, Marlow 01628 481510
Unity Centre, Balham 020 8672 8095
Musicroom London, Denmark Street 020 7632 3950
Yamaha Music London, Wardour Street 020 7432 4400
PMT Music, Clerkenwell 020 7253 3283