Scrubs help

Round & About

Round and About

Ready, steady, sew!

Volunteers are using their love of sewing to help make scrubs for health care workers

There’s no end of people putting their skills to use during the coronavirus crisis and that includes those handy with a sewing machine who have been making scrubs for health care workers.

Madeleine Steele, pictured, is just one who has been helping. She set up the South Oxfordshire and Berkshire Scrub Hub from her home in Crowmarsh making garments and masks for the NHS and people working in social care.

She said: “It was a Facebook post on Easter Monday that I saw about people making scrubs and I thought that’s a great idea, I’ll see if I can join in. There weren’t any other ScrubHubs in our area so I called my old school friend and asked her if she wanted to set it up with me.”

The South Oxfordshire and Berkshire Scrub Hub is a network of volunteers operating in Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford, Henley, Reading, Caversham, Woodley, Earley, Winnersh, Wokingham and Tilehurst.

Their aim is to plug the gap as an emergency helping hand by supporting our health care professionals without scrubs during the current crisis.
The volunteer network ‘who love to sew’ is operating all over the country answering calls from workers through their networks and communities. The scrubs are made to order by experienced volunteers, working safely within the guidelines of the lock down, often with donated materials.

To find out more visit scrubhub.org.uk/south-oxfordshire-berkshire

If you are member of the public and you’d like to sponsor their efforts visit the GoFundMe page.

Donations will help support the NHS Practitioners health service who care for and support the mental well being of NHS workers, who are doing such a selfless job during this time.

Facing the challenge

Local schools are supporting NHS frontline workers in the battle against coronavirus
with the production of face shields and protective screens

PPE – before the coronavirus most of us would not have heard of this or indeed be aware of its importance – now we hear of the need for it on a daily basis.

Schools across Berkshire have been working to produce face shields and screens for use in GP practices and hospitals.

One project was the brainchild of Leighton Park School’s Head of Design and Technology, Mark Smith who began making the protective wear in the Reading school’s workshop with an original target of 200.

Mark said: “We are fortunate at Leighton Park to have access to tools and resources that can make a difference and keep our keyworkers safe: I just had to do something.”

Using the laser cutter to create re-usable plastic headbands he then attached disposable A4 PVC sheets donated by Reading-based stationery suppliers Frasers Office Supplies.

A plea for additional laser cutters was met by other schools in the area and there is now a network of manufacturers involved including the University of Reading, Neal’s Export Packaging Ltd, in Silchester, and rLAB, a community workshop space.

School partners include Denefield School, Edgbarrow School, Prospect School, Reading Blue Coats, Shiplake College, Holme Grange School, The Forest School, Brackenhale School, Waingels College, The Bulmershe School, Luckley House, Warriner School, Little Heath, Ranelagh and St Joseph’s College.

Since starting production on April 2nd they have supplied more than 80 organisations with shields.

The Oratory school near Woodcote has also risen to the challenge to help the local community after it was approached by Dr Amanda Gemmill, a GP and the school’s Head of PSHE. She asked the Design LabOratory to construct protective screens for the Goring and Woodcote surgeries to offer protection to reception staff.

The Design LabOratory began with three polycarbonate screens which were installed on a Saturday to ensure the surgery was not disrupted.

Word of the screens spread and Strawberry Hill Medical Centre in Newbury put in a request which required more material and a more robust construction. They have since made screens for surgeries in Woodcote, Goring, Newbury, Henley, Wokingham and Abingdon with orders from two practices in Oxford.

The Design LabOratory is now producing face shields with the use of 3D printers and has delivered to medical practices in Woodcote and Goring, to Marcham Road Surgery in Abingdon, Sue Ryder in Nettlebed and Townlands Hospital in Henley.

Working together

Buckinghamshire schools come together to make PPE for healthcare workers

Schools and colleges across the county have been playing their part to support the NHS and other local health services to help keep frontline staff safe. Using their 3D printers they have created safety visors for the NHS and donated PPE equipment to support healthcare staff.

Thanks to the fantastic work of schools from all parts of the county, hundreds of visors have been produced and distributed to frontline healthcare professionals. Many local businesses played their part too, donating items such as lab coats, goggles and gloves, after hearing about the work schools were doing from parents or teachers.

Many schools across the county, including Buckingham School, Stowe School, Westbury School, Sir Thomas Fremantle School, Holmer Green School, Sir William Borlase’s School, Wycombe Grammar School, Wycombe High School, Highworth Combined School and Sir William Ramsay School have also produced (using their 3D printers) or donated essential PPE equipment such as goggles and lab coats.

Buckinghamshire UTC has also donated 30 protective goggles and their Principal Sarah Valentine personally bought six lab coats from Amazon for delivery to Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Cllr Anita Cranmer, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I’m hugely impressed by the time, effort and heart that our education community has put into creating and donating PPE for our healthcare workers.

“This is a fantastic example of how Buckinghamshire is coming together and a tribute to our hardworking and dedicated healthcare workers who are helping to keep us all safe during these challenging times. Another amazing initiative that shows just how #ProudofBucks we are.”

In addition, Aylesbury High School, The Grange School in Aylesbury, Beachborough School at Westbury, and the University of Buckingham have also got involved in the production and donation of PPE to local NHS trusts.

Vince Murray, Headteacher of The Grange School, said: “As a school we were more than willing to respond to the call for PPE equipment through the collection of goggles and laboratory coats. It was also lovely to see some of our students making ‘scrub bags’ for the NHS, alongside their teacher (Miss Friend) while they were in school.

“We see ourselves as a community school. We were only too happy to contribute, in a small way, to maintaining the safety of other key workers looking after those in our hospitals, and providing essential care for others at a time when they need it most.”

Scrubs help

Round & About

Round and About

Sew essential

Mel Downing is one of a consortium of local curtain makers who came together to make scrubs for healthcare workers

At the end of March we were aware there was a real shortage of scrubs – all healthcare workers were going to need them and due to the contagious nature of Covid-19 would need several sets each and wash bags for them to be put in once taken off and laundered.

A consortium of local curtain makers set up a Justgiving page to raise money to buy rolls of washable polycotton, within days we had raised a few thousand. The total now is more than £15,000.

I have run Melanie Downing Interiors, a busy curtain design company for 25 years and one of my blind makers Julie Knaggs had trained as a pattern cutter. We decided the best way forward was to bulk cut the fabric and then hand out kits for people to sew depending on their skills.

This saved us so much time and also very little wasted fabric. It was really important we sent out beautifully made scrubs that were made to last. We created a Facebook page and very quickly had an army of more than 80 volunteers from curtain makers, dress makers, costume makers, and even a tutu maker.

Local hubs were established in Farnham, Guildford, Haslemere, Petersfield, Petworth and Godalming to try and reduce journeys and volunteer drivers co-ordinated delivery and collection.

Realising the phenomenal demand we also enlisted the help of Mint Velvet who delivered 800 sets to Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, for us.
We have supplied more than 2,500 sets to The Royal Surrey, Frimley Park, Basingstoke Hospital and Hospice, Haslemere, Petworth, Milford and Alton Community Hospitals, Phyllis Tuckwell, Marie Curie, Macmillan, Meath Home, Ticehurst Care Home, Aldershot Community team and numerous GP surgeries as well as several private requests.

It has been an incredible logistical challenge to achieve so much in such a short space of time but worth it to know it is being used.

There are so many talented people in the area and the team spirit has just been such a positive experience. I feel lucky to have been able to use my business experience and skills to co-ordinate such an important project with the help of so many really amazing people.

We are now starting to make masks which will be distributed primarily via local food banks and hope these will be sent out with a wash bag and soap stressing the importance of continued hand washing.

Most of the professional seamstresses in the team are currently unable to work due to restrictions re visiting people’s homes but hoping we can soon get back to work!

Contact Mel Downing – www.melaniedowning.co.uk 01428 713868; Coleen Smart – www.honeybeehandmade.co.uk 01483 577168; Caroline Lockie – Sewn – 01483 425577; Jo Martin – www.josephineellen.co.uk; Julie Knaggs – www.montaguesadles.co.uk

Stitches in time

A teacher has set up a volunteer sewing group to make scrubs for health care workers

Sewing enthusiasts have been taking to their machines to answer the call for scrubs, masks, scrub bags and gowns to help support front line workers.

Head of Design & Technology at Glebelands School in Cranleigh, Tamsin Mitchell (pictured), heard local frontline workers were faced with a drastic shortage of scrubs, masks, and similar equipment, and decided to pitch in.

Having seen a Facebook post from a nurse who works for Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, she contacted her to see if there was anything she could sew to help.

“She wanted scrubs bags, so people can change at hospital and take their uniform home in the bag and pop it straight in the wash. I went online to see if I could get more people on board, and I found a national group called For the Love of Scrubs. They had subpages for local areas, and there wasn’t one for Cranleigh. So I volunteered.”

Tamsin formed NHS Sewing Cranleigh and Dorking to mobilise local sewing enthusiasts including Glebelands pupils. The group already has more than 65 members, who have together produced items for St Joseph’s Specialist School and College and more than half a dozen other local organisations, including care homes and medical practices.

Tamsin said: “It’s a real community effort. Everyone is stepping up to the plate and helping each other. In a time of need, it’s the practical and creative skills that make a difference.”

Anyone in need of items or wanting to join the group should contact Tamsin through the NHS Sewing Cranleigh and Dorking group on Facebook.

Supporting Surrey SAR

The science department at King Edward’s Witley donates PPE to Surrey Search & Rescue

In 2010, relies solely on donations to purchase vital lifesaving equipment and provide training for its team.King Edward’s Witley has delivered much-needed supplies of personal protective equipment in response to an urgent appeal from Surrey Search & Rescue.

Woking-based charity, Surrey SAR – a voluntary specialist search team – posted a request on Facebook for vital supplies of PPE to protect their responders as they help Surrey Police and the county council at this time, checking on the welfare of vulnerable members of the community.

King Edward’s science department technician, Alison Hill sourced, sterilised and packed boxes of protective goggles and disposable gloves which were given to the charity.

Head of Science, Jim Culbert said they were delighted to be able to support Surrey SAR: “This is an amazing organisation. During the current coronavirus pandemic, Surrey Search & Rescue is playing a pivotal role in checking on the welfare of those who are deemed particularly susceptible to the virus, ensuring they remain well and lending a caring and sympathetic ear when people need it most.”

Surrey SAR assists the emergency services in the search for missing vulnerable adults and children. Volunteers, assisted by search dogs and drones, deliver an on-call response service 24 hours a day across Surrey and surrounding areas, when the emergency services need their specialist skills.

On average 2,100 people go missing in Surrey each year and as such Surrey SAR is one of the busiest search & rescue teams in the UK. The charity, which was formed in 2010, relies solely on donations to purchase vital lifesaving equipment and provide training for its team.

You can donate or read more about Surrey Search and Rescue here.

Happy bunnies…

Round & About

Round and About

You’re never too old to enjoy an Easter egg hunt which is lucky for you as there are some cracking ones to enjoy!

You could take part in the egg-stravaganza at more than one spot – it just depends how many you want to shell out on!

SURRREY

RHS Garden Wisley, GU23 6QB

Celebrate the launch of The Secret Garden starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters (in cinemas from Friday, 10th April), by visiting the garden trail experience and many other family activities.

Albury Vineyard, Silent Pool, GU5 9BW

Visit Albury vineyard for a family-friendly open day with self-guided tours of the vineyard and a glass or two of bubbly. Entertain the little ones with a vineyard ‘bunny run’ toy trail and craft activities.

Hatchlands Park, Guildford, GU4 7RT

Visit Hatchlands Park in the first flushes of springtime for the popular Cadbury Egg Hunt which can be enjoyed throughout the school holidays. There’s also the natural play area with a tree house and bug burrow to explore.

Runnymede, SL4 2JL (SatNav: TW20 0AE)

This picturesque open landscape beside the Thames was witness to King John’s historic sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215. Follow the Cadbury Egg Hunt for hidden clues across the meadows and along the slopes of Runnymede.

Gilbert White’s House, Selborne, GU34 3JH

Visit this beautiful historical site for an Easter Egg hunt with a difference between 4th & 19th April. Hunt for the painted eggs which are all based on the eggs of the birds which nest in the grounds. Learn about where different species of birds nest as you explore the gardens and meadow. Find them all and claim a chocolate egg! This costs just £3 on top of the general admission price.

Dapdune Wharf, Guildford, GU1 4RR

Stroll along the River Wey tow path and admire the barges, or why not take a boat tour? On Good Friday you can also try the Easter trail with Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger and enjoy sports day races and craft on Friday 10th, 11am-5pm.

Painshill, Cobham KT11 1JE

Over the Easter holidays follow the trail to find
big statues of eggs, in colourful and crazy designs, around Painshill Park. See if you can spot the unicorn egg or the one that is painted like a pirate.

Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming, GU8 4AD

Put your adventurer’s hat on and explore 149 acres of woodland following a rainbow of clues on two different routes. At the end of either return to the kiosk with your completed trail sheet for a delicious prize. Saturday, 28th March to Monday, 13th April. Usual admission applies + £3.50 per trail. Put your super senses to work and see what you can discover from 28th March to 13th April.

HANTS

Hindhead Commons, GU26 6AG

Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are home to abundant wildlife and a great place to explore the natural world. Pick up the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt trail as you explore the countryside and claim your choccy treat at the finish.

Swan Barn Farm, Haslemere, GU27 2HU

Escape the bustle of Haslemere’s high street this Easter at Swan Barn Farm. On Easter Saturday 11th, explore the woodlands and meadows, while solving nature clues to receive your chocolate prize.

Gilbert White’s House, Selborne, GU34 3JH

Join an Easter Egg hunt with a difference – can you find the painted eggs all based on the eggs of the birds which nest in the grounds? Learn where different species of birds nest as you explore the gardens and meadow. Can you spot the odd one out among the species featured? Find them to claim a chocolate egg!

Petworth House and park, Petworth, GU28 9LR

Join in the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, every day of the school holidays and look out for clues in the Pleasure Ground left by Sir Percy the Petworth Bunny and earn your chocolate reward.

Hinton Ampner, Alresford, SO24 0LA

Hinton Ampner’s Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt will have little ones exploring the nooks and crannies of the grounds for signs of nature. With flowers blooming and birds singing, there’s lots to tick off as they use their senses to find the clues on the trail, in return for a chocolate reward.

Uppark House & Garden, Petersfield, GU31 5QR

Complete the nature-themed Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt around the grounds of 17th century Uppark to collect a yummy chocolate treat.

The Vyne, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL

Uncover some of the spots that animals call ‘home’ on The Vyne’s Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, and claim your prize. Kids can find out about wildlife homes to have in their own gardens too, such as bug hotels and bird boxes. Join the Ranger Rabbit trail to find out how the busy rangers protect wildlife, try the ideas at home, from log piles to bat boxes.

Winchester City Mill, SO23 9BH

The gardener has lost all the spring plants he needs to put in the mill’s garden. On this new spring trail, kids can turn ‘plant hunters’ as they help seek out plants hidden around the mill. Join the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt over the Easter weekend.

BERKS

Beale Park, Pangbourne, RG8 9NW

Find out more about the resident birds thanks to the Egg-stravaganza family trail from 4th to 19th April. Workshops on offer this month include learning how to make a bug box and insect sessions. Call 0118 976 7480 or visitbealepark.org.uk

Marwell Zoo, Colden Common, SO21 1JH

Always a brilliant day out for animal lovers, plan in an Easter visit to admire the snow leopards, giraffes, hippos and more or book a sunset safari. Call 01962 777407 or visit marwell.org.uk

Highclere Castle, Newbury, RG20 9RN

Enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt and Bonnet Parade on Saturday, 18th April (11am-3pm) in aid of The Murray Parish Trust. Enjoy a spring walk, too. Call 01635 253204 or visit highclerecastle.co.uk

Dinton Pastures, Hurst, RG10 0TH

Follow the Easter Eggstravaganza orienteering trail on foot or bike around the country park to find the clues on Sunday, 12th April. No need to book, just find the instructors behind the café garden. Call 0118 974 6343 or visit dinton-pastures.co.uk

The Vyne, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL

Uncover resident animals’ homes on the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt or create a bug hotel or bird box. Or join the Ranger Rabbit trail to find out how the busy rangers protect wildlife. Call 01256 883858.

Bucklebury Farm Park , RG7 6RR

There’s always lots of fun on down on this charming farm, especially over the school holidays. Hunt for the Giant Easter Eggs, feed the orphan lambs, book in for a deer safari and much more on this stunning 77-acre site. Call 0118 971 4002 or visit buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

Cliveden, Taplow, SL6 0JF

This National Trust beauty has teamed up with Cadbury again to host another Easter Egg Hunt every day from 3rd to 20th April. Call 01628 668561 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden

LEGOLAND® , Windsor, SL4 4AY

Hop on the world’s first DUPLO rollercoaster and meet Dexter the Dog. Over the weekend (10th-13th April), enjoy Easter fun & build your own LEGO daffodil. Join a Where’s Ollie? badge hunt and try the LEGO® City Deep Sea Adventure. Call 01753 626 416 or visit legoland.co.uk

Wellington Park, Riseley, RG7 1SP

Enjoy Easter crafts and a circus spectacular over Easter weekend, 10th-13th. Call 01189 326 444 or visit wellingtoncountrypark.co.uk

BUCKS

Odds Farm, Wooburn Green, HP10 0LX

Newly hatched Chicken World invites you to enjoy the feathery friends. Take your wellies for the newly reopened H2Odds Water Play and, between 4th & 19th April enjoy the Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt . Call 01628 520188 or visit oddsfarm.co.uk

Cliveden, Taplow, SL6 0JF

This National Trust beauty has teamed up with Cadbury again to host another Easter Egg Hunt every day from 3rd to 20th April. Call 01628 668561 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden

Windsor Great Park, SL4 2HT

Enjoy Easter fun for all the family between 4th & 13th April thanks to James Horton’s vintage fair and Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust’s puzzling nature trail. Call 01753 860222 or visit windsorgreatpark.co.uk

LEGOLAND® , Windsor, SL4 4AY

Hop aboard the world’s first DUPLO rollercoaster and be among the first to meet Dexter the Dog. Plus, over the Easter weekend (10th-13th April), enjoy Easter fun with the chance to build and take home your own LEGO daffodils. Join a Where’s Ollie? badge hunt and try the revamped LEGO® City Deep Sea Adventure Call 01753 626 416
or visit legoland.co.uk

JC Farming, Little Kingshill, HP16

Watch live chicks hatching, cuddle and bottle feed little lambs and enjoy cuddles with the animals with a handling session. Have a go on a tractor-and-trailer ride, hunt bugs in the woodland walk. Visit jcfarming.co.uk

Runnymede, Egham, TW20 0AE

This picturesque open landscape beside the Thames was witness to the Magna Carta in 1215. Follow the Cadbury Egg Hunt for clues across the meadows, 10th-13th April. Call 01784 432891.

Bekonscot, Beaconsfield, HP9 2PL

The world’s oldest original model village, opening for the first time in 1929, is a great and timeless day out for grandparents & their brood. Call 01494 672919 or visit bekonscot.co.uk

Wellington Park, Riseley, RG7 1S

Enjoy Easter crafts and a circus spectacular over Easter weekend, 10th-13th. Call 01189 326 444 or visit wellingtoncountrypark.co.uk

Beale Park, Pangbourne, RG8 9NW

Enjoy the Egg-stravaganza family trail from 4th to 19th April. Workshops on offer this month include building a bug box and insect sessions. Call 0118 976 7480 or visit bealepark.org.uk

OXON

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, OX20 1PP

From 10th to 13th April the Pleasure Gardens will transform into an Easter wonderland with a traditional fairground, dressing-up tent, princess meet & greet, Punch and Judy, fairy stilt walkers.Embark on an Easter Bunny Walkabout, take part in a circus skills workshop, have a go at archery and test bouncy castle or bungee trampoline! Call 01993 810530 or visit blenheimpalace.com

Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford, OX18 4JP

Always a glorious day out, over Easter weekend (10th-13th April), you can also take in a birds of prey display at 1pm & 3.30pm. Oh, and World Penguin Day is on Friday 24th, FYI! Call 01993 823 006 or visit cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

Farmer Gows, Longcot, Faringdon, SN7 7PR

Enjoy all the fun of this friendly farm, which hosts handling sessions at 11am & 2pm daily when you can bottle feed lambs, kid sand wriggly pigs and stroke the fluffy chicks and chirpy chickens.
Call 01793 780555 or visit farmergows.co.uk

Waterperry Gardens, OX33 1LA

Until 21st April, join the Big Easter Bunny Hunt around the ornamental gardens to claim your prize (£2.50 per child, who must be accompanied). Call 01844 339226 or visit waterperrygardens.co.uk

Bucklebury Farm Park , RG7 6RR

There’s always lots of fun on down on this charming farm, especially over the school holidays. Hunt for the Giant Easter Eggs, feed the orphan lambs, book in for a deer safari and much more on this stunning 77-acre site where you can go on a tractor ride to feed the deer and hoppy bunnies will love the jumping pillow! Call 0118 971 4002 or visit buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

Story Museum, Oxford, OX1 1BP

From 4th April visit to enjoy the final wonderful chapter. This month you can also develop your comic-making skills with artist Neill Cameron. Call 01865 790050 or visit storymuseum.org.uk

Cogges Farm, Witney, OX28 3LA

Always a family favourite, with lots of animal fun, on Wednesday, 8th April, enjoy an Egg Drop challenge with Science Oxford. cogges.org.uk

Millets Farm, OX13 5HB

Mingle with the goats, rheas, sheep, cows, horses and alpacas. Over the holidays, try your hand at egg decorating, get puzzled in Farmer Carter’s Courtyard, burn off some steam at Sprouts Play Barn, go wild at the Falconry Centre and gallop on the magnificent Victorian Carousel. Call 01865 392 200 or visit milletsfarmcentre.com

WILTS

Crofton Beam Engines, Marlborough, SN8 3DN

Step into our industrial and social heyday when steam was king at the beautiful Crofton pumping station next to the Kennet & Avon Canal. Over Easter weekend, 11th-13th April, enjoy cracking fun including an Easter trail, craft fun including stained-glass window making and games, followed by a pit stop at the Engineman’s Rest Café fun for all the …

Cobbs Farm Play Barn, Hungerford, RG17 0SP

This bespoke wooden indoor play barn offers lots of fun without weather worries. Farms 2 Ewe will return on Easter Monday, 13th April, 11am-3pm, with some cute fluffy friends. There are also chocolate Easter egg decorating workshops (£14; crack on as these are selling out fast!) – booking essential on 01488 686770. Visit cobbsplaybarn.co.uk for more information.

Great Lydiard Park, Swindon, SN5 3PA

Hop into Easter with a great trail starting at the Coach House activity centre and hunt the clues around the lakes, woodlands and lawns to claim your (non-food) prize. Drop in any time between 10am & 4pm on Easter Sunday, 12th April. Call 01793 466664 or visit www.lydiardpark.org.uk

Highclere Castle, Newbury, RG20 9RN

Enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt and Bonnet Parade on Saturday, 18th April (11am-3pm) in aid of The Murray Parish Trust. Enjoy a spring walk, too. Call 01635 253204 or visit highclerecastle.co.uk

Bucklebury Farm Park , RG7 6RR

There’s always lots of fun on this charming farm, especially over the holidays. Over Easter, you can hunt for the Giant Easter Eggs or feed the orphan lambs on this lovely deer park. Call 0118 971 4002 or visit buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

Marwell Zoo, Colden Common, SO21 1JH

Always a brilliant day out for animal lovers, plan in an Easter visit to admire the snow leopards, giraffes, hippos and more or book a sunset safari. Call 01962 777407 or visit www.marwell.org.uk

Farmer Gow’s, Longcot, Faringdon, SN7 7PR

Enjoy all the fun of this friendly farm, which hosts handling sessions at 11am & 2pm daily when you can bottle feed lambs, kid sand wriggly pigs and stroke the fluffy chicks and chirpy chickens.
Call 01793 780555 or visit farmergows.co.uk

The Vyne, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL

Uncover resident animals’ homes on the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt or create a bug hotel or bird box. Or join the Ranger Rabbit trail to find out how the busy rangers protect wildlife. Call 01256 883858.

Gorgeous gardens: Surrey & Hants

Round & About

Round and About

What better way can there be to mark spring than to get out in the garden? Karen Neville gathers some inspiring gardens worth visiting.

Surrey

Whether it’s your own garden in need of a little TLC or a visit to a stunning garden lovingly cultivated, there is nothing like getting out and enjoying one. In recent years, much has been placed on the physical and mental health benefits of gardening too, so get out there and be inspired…

• Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Windsor Road, SL4 2JL (satnav TW20 0AE)

The ideal place to relax outdoors, the river scenery is home to rolling hills, open meadows and wildlife. Why not enjoy one of the most inspiring sights at Runnymede in spring: the swathe of bluebells lit up by the sun as it flickers through the native woodland trees. Join a guided tour of Coopers Hill Woods on Sunday, 26th April, 11am-12.30pm, to discover hidden places where bluebells form a carpet in the undergrowth. Learn and observe how the trees and flora acclimatise to the changing of the seasons.

• Hatchlands, East Clandon, GU4 7RT

2020 is a celebratory year for Hatchlands Park, as it marks the 75th anniversary of this Georgian house, rolling parkland and ancient woodland coming in to the care of the National Trust. From this month stroll through the parkland and visit the Celebration Station – a tented structure which will move during the year – to the meadow, ancient woodland and by the banks of the pond. Discover the stories of the natural beauty and diversity of wildlife with photos, displays and fun nature activities. Find out how the families in the past enjoyed Hatchlands as well as leaving your own memories and thoughts about the future.

• Winkworth, Goldaming, GU8 4AD

Nestled in the heart of Surrey, Winkworth Arboretum is a beautiful green oasis, the perfect place for family adventures. Spring arrives at Winkworth with first a pop, then an explosion of colour: rhododendrons and daffodils appear first and then bluebells spread glorious purple flowers across the woodland floor. There are two play areas – a small natural play area for little ones and a larger Tree Adventure for older children, complete with a rope tunnel and fireman’s pole! With seasonal family events throughout the year and something to see whatever the weather, it’s the ideal weekend escape.

• Ramster Garden, Chiddingfold, GU8 4SN

The beautiful historic garden at Ramster opens this week, 28th, for the new season until 28th June when visitors will be able to enjoy the wildflowers, orchids, climbing roses, hydrangeas and summer flowering shrubs. Spring brings a bird watching camera where you can watch birds nesting or feeding as you take in the bright yellow daffodils and vibrant bluebells before the azaleas and rhododendrons burst into life in May.

• The Savill Garden, Egham, TW20 0UJ

The Savill Garden has earned its reputation as one of the finest woodland gardens in the country – not because it is the biggest woodland garden or that it has the largest collection of plants, but for a combination of all of these elements. Visit throughout the seasons and you will see there is always something new to discover. In exceptional years spring can begin as early as late February with the appearance of breathtaking magnolias, or it might be as late as April before we see the drifts of crocus followed by thousands of dwarf daffodils in the Alpine Meadow. Visit from mid-March onwards and you will be rewarded with a host of floral interest.

• RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, GU23 6QB

If you’re not inspired by the wonder of Wisley then nothing will inspire you – there are 240 acres of gardens to explore here in this home to some of the largest plant collections in the world. A spring must see is the carpet of crocus and highlights throughout the seasons including The Glasshouse, Rock Garden, The Mixed Borders and newly-created Exotic Garden.

• Loseley Park, Guildford, GU3 1HS

Wander through two and a half acres in the Walled Garden, divided into rooms, each has its own unique planting scheme and style. There are more than 1,000 rose bushes – count them if you can, while the flower garden has a maze of pathways and hidden corners and in among all the colour the White Garden has subtle silver and grey foliage.

• Painshill, Cobham KT11 1JE

Painshill, the beautiful landscape garden in Cobham, is a walk in a work of art. Follow the winding pathways and discover simply stunning views and beautiful follies as they unfold before you. There is a flat and even path around the Serpentine Lake for those with accessibility needs or buggies. Complete your day with a visit to the Tea Room for lunch or a homemade scone.

• The Surrey Hills Artisan Trail

You can really appreciate the great outdoors with The Surrey Hills Artisan Trail, launching on Saturday, 2nd May at Silent Pool. Join a free self-guided trail around the Surrey Hills to meet a wide range of artisans, taste local food and drink, take part in workshops and experience traditional craft skills.The launch will be followed by The Surrey Hills Artisan Festival on 16th and 17th May, celebrating local artisans in partnership with Denbies Wine Estate and Surrey Artists’ Open Studios. Enjoy delicious local food and drink and demonstrations and talks from artists sharing their skills, knowledge and passion. Visit www.surreyhills.org/events/surrey-hills-artisan-festival-2020/

Hants

• Hinton Ampner, Alresford, SO24 0LA

This masterpiece of 20th century garden design mixes formal and informal planting with splendid views throughout. The highly distinctive gardens feature manicured lawns surrounded by sculptured topiary sure to leave you drooling with envy over the state of your own unclipped bushes and shrubs. The summer months yield borders full of gloriously-scented roses. There’s an extra treat in store at Hinton Ampner too as the pop-up choir performs on Saturday, 16th May, as part of the celebration of 125 years of the National Trust.

• The Vyne, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL

Two lakes, a walled garden, formal garden and meadow along with lawns and a herbaceous border sit neatly inside The Vyne. Rest and relax in the sprawling gardens and woodlands and if it’s an invigorating walk you’re after there are plenty of paths to choose from which at this time of year will likely be coloured in a tapestry of bluebells. The Summerhouse Garden combines beautiful blooms with history including the 600-year-old oak tree which has enjoyed the company of Henry VIII, Jane Austen and Second World war evacuees. Sunny yellow daffodils will be beaming from the borders in the walled garden in spring to be replaced by dahlias in late summer.

• Woolbeding, Midhurst, GU29 9RR

“A horticultural haven bursting with colourful planting, sensational views and a whole host of surprises” is how Woolbeding is described and you can see for yourself when the West Sussex gardens reopen for the new season later this month. Once you’re there you’ll be spoilt for choice – the formal garden rooms feature an entrance garden, the west borders, well, herb and fountain gardens, the orangery, new greenhouse garden and vegetable garden. The Long Walk, by contrast, takes you to a ruined abbey and gardens filled with follies. There’s so much to see and do here you’ll need to go back to appreciate it all.

• Petworth House and Park, GU28 9LR

Petworth House is known for its fine art collection and the landscape is of equally fine quality, giving the impression of being natural, it was in fact transformed in the mid-1700s by Capability Brown.

• Gilbert White’s House & Garden, Selborne, GU34 3JH

The natural history hero was inspired by the surrounding landscape with much of the garden recreated using the notes he kept in his “garden kalendar”. The Six Quarters contains six large flowerbeds and today’s garden is a reconstruction of what his garden may have looked like and planted with many species White grew in the 18th century. Enjoy the aroma of the herb garden, the naturalists garden with pond, the main meadow, kitchen garden and orchard are all true to the original ideals and many of the historic features of the garden can still be seen including the haha, sundial and fruit wall.

• Jane Austen House Museum, Alton, GU34 1SD

She may have written about splendid gardens at grand houses but the gardens at Jane Austen’s own house are no less splendid for all their understated elegance. A wide variety of plants and wild flowers are featured in a beautiful setting beside the village green.
From the entrance courtyard you can enjoy the herb garden, many of which were used for medicinal and culinary purposes. Rose beds, the shrubbery and boundary border all feature blooms you can imagine the Bennets tending to in Pride and Prejudice.

• Chawton House, Alton, GU34 1SJ

If you’re visiting Jane Austen’s house in Alton then make sure this is your next stop. The grounds of the home of Jane’s brother Edward were restored to the English landscape style in the late 18th century with an informal lawn and open views across the estate. The gardens feature two terraces and at the highest point of the grounds you can find the Walled Garden which now features the Elizabeth Blackwell Herb Garden. Imagine yourself in Austen’s time as you walk in the shrubbery where ladies of the house would have taken their exercise.

• National Garden Scheme

This great initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. But more than that they are passionate about promoting the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. Gardens and health week runs from 9th to 16th May and is dedicated to the positive impact gardens can have on health but throughout the year, they will be championing gardens as places of solace, recuperation and relaxation.

Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’re sure to find some inspiration – choose from family-friendly or dog-friendly gardens, cottage or town gardens or if you fancy making a weekend of it, how about one with bed and breakfast on offer too?

• To find one near you, opening dates and times vary, visit www.ngs.org.uk

Gorgeous gardens: Thames Valley

Round & About

Round and About

Spring is here and now is the perfect time to see patches great & small in full boom. Liz Nicholls suggests some local favourites worth a visit…

Berks

Of all pleasures in life (and I’ve dabbled in a few), gardening has to be the most rewarding. I agree with my man-crush and fellow depressive Monty Don who says: “Being outside in every weather and every season connects you to something bigger than yourself; it connects you to a rhythm of life.” We’re surrounded by so many glorious outdoor spaces which are fertile breeding ground for inspiration. Whatever size plot you have to tend, get out and enjoy any or all of the following…

• Cliveden, Taplow, SL1 8NS

A magnificent formal garden overlooking the River Thames, Cliveden boasts stunning seasonal floral displays, a six-acre parterre, a 2m yew maze, an oriental style water garden and a play area. Follow the wondrous woodland & riverside walk for fabulous views. Call 01628 605069.

• Basildon Park, Pangbourne, RG8 9NR

The gardens at Basildon Park were designed by JB Papworth around 1839, for owner James Morrison. He took what was parkland right up to the house and laid out a pleasure ground to the north, which included stunning views out into the park and countryside framed by a variety of trees and evergreen shrubbery beds. Call 01491 672382 / nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

• Greys Court, Nettlebed, RG9 4PG

The gardens were virtually derelict when the Brunners arrived in 1937. Lady Brunner was keen to make a haven of tranquillity. The kitchen garden has its roots in the Second World War Dig for Victory campaign and is still in good use today, thanks to volunteers. Admire the wisteria walk, rose garden and buy plants to take home. 01491 628529 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court

• Stonor Park, Henley, RG9 6HF

The lush parkland of Stonor is set in a dramatic, sweeping valley deep within the heart of the Chiltern Hills. Visitors can explore, from the ponds and fountains of the 17th century Italianate Pleasure Garden to the old kitchen garden and the eclectically treed arboretum. There’s also the ancient stone circle and the Wonder Woods; perfect for little explorers!  Visit stonor.com or call 01491 638 587.

• Runnymede and Ankerwycke, Windsor Road, SL4 2JL (satnav TW20 0AE)

The ideal place to relax outdoors, the river scenery is home to rolling hills, open meadows and wildlife. Why not enjoy one of the most inspiring sights at Runnymede in spring: the swathe of bluebells lit up by the sun as it flickers through the native woodland trees. Join a guided tour of Coopers Hill Woods on Sunday, 26th April, 11am-12.30pm, to discover hidden places where bluebells form a carpet in the undergrowth. Learn and observe how the trees and flora acclimatise to the changing of the seasons. Call 01932 425686.

• The Vyne, Basingstoke, RG24 9HL

Two lakes, a walled garden, formal garden and meadow along with lawns and a herbaceous border sit neatly inside The Vyne. Rest and relax in the sprawling gardens and woodlands or follow a path to gaze on a tapestry of bluebells. The Summerhouse Garden has beautiful blooms & a 600-year-old oak tree which has enjoyed the company of Henry VIII, Jane Austen and Second World War evacuees. Call 01256 883858.

• Buscot Park, Faringdon, SN7 8BU

The pleasure gardens surrounding the late 18th-century house are glorious, comprising the Four Seasons garden which is stunning in spring, one of Britain’s finest water gardens and lovely woodland. Call 01367 240786 or visit buscot-park.com

• The Savill Garden, Egham, TW20 0UJ

The Savill Garden has earned its reputation as one of the finest woodland gardens in the country – not because it is the biggest woodland garden or that it has the largest collection of plants, but for a combination of all of these elements. Visit throughout the seasons and you will see there is always something new to discover. In exceptional years spring can begin as early as late February with the appearance of breathtaking magnolias, or it might be as late as April before we see the drifts of crocus followed by thousands of dwarf daffodils in the Alpine Meadow. Visit from spring onwards and you will be rewarded with a host of floral interest. Call 01753 860222 or visit windsorgreatpark.co.uk/savillgarden

• The Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham, RG19 3FU

Packed full of interactive wildlife and natural history displays, there is a network of footpaths from small family-friendly toddles to longer yomps, surrounded by a mosaic of habitats. Call 01635 874381 or visit www.bbowt.org.uk

• National Garden Scheme – visiting many a garden near you!

This great initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. The team are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, too. To highlight this, Gardens and Health Week runs from 9th to 16th May. Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’re sure to find some inspiration.

• Opening dates, locations and times vary. To find one near you, please visit www.ngs.org.uk

Oxon

• Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, OX20 1PP

Sir Winston Churchill proposed to his future wife in the gardens at Blenheim Palace, which are renowned as the finest the land, from the Herb and Lavender Garden to the Marlborough Maze, started in 1705. Blenheim Lake, created by Lancelot “Capability” Brown and spanned by Vanburgh’s Grand Bridge, is the focal point of over 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland. Call 01993 810530 or visit blenheim.org

• Basildon Park, Pangbourne, RG8 9NR

The gardens at Basildon Park were designed by JB Papworth around 1839, for owner James Morrison. He took what was parkland right up to the house and laid out a pleasure ground to the north, which included stunning views out into the park and countryside framed by a variety of trees and evergreen shrubbery beds. Call 01491 672382 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/basildon-park

• Greys Court, Nettlebed, RG9 4PG

The gardens were virtually derelict when the Brunners arrived in 1937. Lady Brunner was keen to make a haven of tranquillity. The kitchen garden has its roots in the Second World War Dig for Victory campaign and is still in good use today, thanks to volunteers. Admire the wisteria walk, rose garden and buy plants to take home. Call 01491 628529 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court

• Stonor Park, Henley, RG9 6HF

The lush parkland of Stonor is set in a dramatic, sweeping valley deep within the heart of the Chiltern Hills. Visitors can explore these, from the ponds and fountains of the 17th century Italianate Pleasure Garden to the old Kitchen Garden and the eclectically treed arboretum. There’s also the ancient stone circle older and the Wonder Woods! Visit stonor.com or call 01491 638 587.

• Kingston Bagpuize, OX13 5AX

Grace Charlotte Raphael set about creating the beautiful gardens here in 1939, influenced by her travels to China, Japan, Canada and South Africa. Thanks to notable plantsman Harold Hiller (later Sir), the gardens are planted with an impressive collection of trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs giving year-round interest including magnolias in spring. Visitors can enjoy the formal garden and terrace walk, woodland garden, shrub border and adjacent copses. Visit kbhevents.uk or call 01865 820259.

• Nuffield Place, Nuffield, RG9 5RY

The gardens surrounding the former home of Sir William Morris are a sight to behold, especially for their bluebells and foxgloves at the end of April, pony paddock and vegetable garden. Book in for a garden tour with one of the volunteers. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/nuffield-place or call 01491 641224.

• Buscot Park, Faringdon, SN7 8BU

The pleasure gardens surrounding the late 18th-century house are glorious, comprising the Four Seasons garden which is stunning in spring, one of Britain’s finest water gardens and lovely woodland. Call 01367 240786 or visit buscot-park.com

• Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay, OX44 9PX

Open daily 10am-5pm from April, the university-owned arboretum boasts the county’s best collection of trees, including some of the oldest redwoods and finest conifer collections in the UK, within 130 acres of historic picturesque landscape. Look out for the peacocks, too! Call 01865 610305 or visit obga.ox.ac.uk

• University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden has probably the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. Its caretakers say there is even more biological diversity here than there is in tropical rain forests and other global biodiversity hotspots. The gardens include the glasshouses, walled garden with a water and rock garden and innovative black border. Call 01865 286 690 or visit botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk

• National Garden Scheme – visiting many a garden near you!

This great initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. But more than that, they are passionate about promoting the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, too. And to highlight this, Gardens and Health Week runs from 9th to 16th May. Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’re sure to find some inspiration.

• Opening dates and times of the thousands of gardens vary. To find one near you to enjoy in all its glory, please visit ngs.org.uk

Wilts

• Avebury Manor & Gardens, Marlborough, SN8 1RF

Parts of Avebury Manor may date back to the 12th century. It’s well worth a visit to see the ancient stone circle, museum and manor house in the heart of this world heritage site. The friendly garden team are always on hand for advise, but on the last Friday of every month March to October, enjoy dedicated gardeners’ questions time, 2-3pm in the Monk’s Garden. Call 01672 539250.

• The Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury, SN16 9AS

Once part of the Benedictine monastery founded about 666AD, the site was cultivated by monks for medicinal herbs and also as the Abbot’s garden. Since the dissolution by Henry V111 in 1539, it has been privately owned and recently developed for garden-lovers from all over the world. There are 2,000 roses and 2,000 herbs which give a great display in the summer. In the spring borders are a mass of colours with thousands of tulips and daffodils. Walk along the river including St Aldhelm’s Pool where you might be lucky to see kingfishers and yellow wagtails. Call 01666 822212 or visit www.abbeyhousegardens.co.uk

• Lydiard Park, Swindon, SN5 3PA

The 260-acre country park at Lydiard Tregoze (its formal former name) and walled garden are well worth a visit whatever the season. In the 1740s, the St John family created the latter, a rhombus-shaped garden behind the coach house and stable buildings to grow flowers and fruit and provide a pleasant place for a post-prandial stroll. Spring is great for bird watching and to admire the vibrant bluebells before the azaleas and rhododendrons burst into life in May. Jungle Parc, with its aerial adventure zone within the woodlands, is a great place for children to let off steam. Call 01793 466664 or visit www.lydiardpark.org.uk

• The Scotchel, Pewsey, SN9 5NY

This small but lovely but nature reserve is a lovely place to meander and let children or pets paddle. Seated areas in the gladed woodland for a sit down. Search “the Scotchel” on Facebook.

• Buscot Park, Faringdon, SN7 8BU

The pleasure gardens surrounding the late 18th-century house are glorious, comprising the Four Seasons garden which is stunning in spring, one of Britain’s finest water gardens and lovely woodland. Call 01367 240786 or visit buscot-park.com

• Monpesson House, Salisbury, SP1 2EL

The garden tea room is a tranquil place for a break, with the cathedral spire beyond and beautifully restored borders. there’s a family trail and Cadbury Egg Hunt from 10th to 13th April. Call 01722 335659 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mompesson-house

• Town Gardens, Swindon, SN1 4EN

This Victorian garden is set in an old quarry which was used to produce Portland stone. Sip a tea and admire English formal gardening at its best with beautiful colours in spring, borders of polyanthus, tulips and pansies among the flowering cherries. There’s a formal pond and seating near the aviary. Call 01793 490150 or visit twigs community gardens.org.uk

• Bowood House & Gardens, Calne, SN11 0LZ

Set within 100 acres of beautifully landscaped parkland designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown (some of the best preserved of its type), Bowood is also recognised for its award-winning walled gardens. These include an Italian-inspired terrace garden, ever-changing herbaceous border, gorgeous woodland gardens and arboretum, too. Open to the public from the start of April. Call 01249 812 102 or visit bowood.org

• Cricklade Fritillaries

Mid April, North Meadow, half a mile from the Cricklade town centre, erupts into a blaze of colour thanks to snakeshead fritillaries blooming on this ancient meadow. Flooding has badly affected the site this year but keep an eye on www.crickladecourtleet.org.uk for updates.

• The Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham, RG19 3FU

Packed full of interactive wildlife and natural history displays, there is a network of footpaths from small family-friendly toddles to longer yomps, surrounded by a mosaic of habitats. Call 01635 874381 or visit www.bbowt.org.uk

• National Garden Scheme

This initiative gives visitors access to more than 3,700 private gardens in England and Wales and raises thousands for charities through admissions, tea and cake. The team are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of gardens, too. Gardens and Health Week runs 9th-16th May. Whatever type of garden you favour or whatever type of gardener you are you’ll find inspiration.

• Opening dates, locations and times vary. To find one near you, please visit www.ngs.org.uk

Happy bunnies…

Round & About

Round and About

You’re never too old to enjoy an Easter egg hunt which is lucky for you as there are some cracking ones to enjoy!

You could take part in the egg-stravaganza at more than one spot – it just depends how many you want to shell out on!

BERKS

RHS Garden Wisley, GU23 6QB

Celebrate the launch of The Secret Garden starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters (in cinemas from Friday, 10th April), by visiting the garden trail experience and many other family activities.

BUCKS

Hindhead Commons, GU26 6AG

Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are home to abundant wildlife and a great place to explore the natural world. Pick up the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt trail as you explore the countryside and claim your choccy treat at the finish.

OXON

Hindhead Commons, GU26 6AG

Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are home to abundant wildlife and a great place to explore the natural world. Pick up the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt trail as you explore the countryside and claim your choccy treat at the finish.

WILTS

Hindhead Commons, GU26 6AG

Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are home to abundant wildlife and a great place to explore the natural world. Pick up the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt trail as you explore the countryside and claim your choccy treat at the finish.

Filming locations Surrey: Starring role

Round & About

Round and About

Sometimes the locations are as big as the stars in many of our favourite TV shows and films, how many do you recognise? Karen Neville goes undercover

How many times have you seen something on television and thought “that looks like that road in…”? Well, the chances are that it is indeed.

Surrey has starred countless times on the big and small screen and the county has played a wide variety of roles. With Shepperton Studios in the heart of Surrey, it’s hardly surprising that the county is a favourite for TV and film locations.

Landmarks, villages and woods are recognisable in many big and small screen productions from the use of Guildford Cathedral in the first Omen film in 1977 to various sites appearing in the Harry Potter blockbusters in recent years.

Among those locations is Bourne Woods near Farnham which can claim to be a star in its own right, having welcomed the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as well as the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood in 2010. The Australian actor is no stranger to Bourne Woods as the epic Gladiator was also filmed there, as was fantasy adventure The Golden Compass starring fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman.

Farnham itself seems a popular choice for movie makers, especially Frensham Ponds which boasts Surrey’s only beach, used in many Carry On films in the 1960s and ’70s when it doubled as both Spanish and American coastlines. When the series enjoyed a brief revival in 1992 with Carry On Columbus, the ponds again became the shoreline.

The Harry Potter show came to the county again when the team behind The Goblet of Fire chose to film scenes between the boy wizard and the Hippogriff at Virginia Water’s lake.

The county’s churches are regular features, aside from the cathedral. St Michael’s in Betchworth doubled as the church used for one of the weddings in the 1990s hit Four Weddings & A Funeral.

Another Hugh Grant-related film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was filmed in the small village of Shere at the Norman church of St James. The small village also had a starring role in the Cameron Diaz/Kate Winslet rom com The Holiday which was also filmed on location in Wonersh and Godalming.

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On the small screen, one of the most familiar locations to TV viewers is sure to be Dunsfold Aerodrome which many will recognise as the spot where Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May tested cars around the track in Top Gear. Another fast-paced show filmed in the county was spy drama Spooks which set up home in a former MoD base at Longcross, near Chertsey.

But Surrey is probably better known for welcoming the cast and crew of period dramas with Winkworth Arboretum near Godalming starring as the gardens for award-winning BBC show Cranford which was also filmed at nearby Shepperton Studios. Jane Austen classic Sense & Sensibility (2008) used Loseley Park for many scenes the author set in Devon. The house near Guildford has also appeared in ITV’s Agatha Christie as has National Trust site Polesden Lacey which welcomed 18 actors and more than 70 crew when it became a 1950s London hotel for the murder mystery At Bertram’s Hotel.

National Trust properties are often given starring roles and none more so than Clandon Park which was used for period dramas The Duchess and The Scandalous Lady W both telling the stories of notorious women from history. Hatchlands Park attracted Richard Burton in the 1971 film The Villain and older readers may remember children’s show Catweazle which was shot in the parkland there.

Back to Loseley Park which has also served time for Midsomer Murders, while most of the popular TV show was filmed in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, it became Magna Manor. Albury Park near Guildford and Royal Holloway College in Egham have also starred in episodes.

Perhaps one of the most unlikely locations though is that used for 1970s comedy classic It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. You may wonder how leafy Surrey could double for the jungle of Burma but clever make up, rubber plants and fake sweat all combined to make the woods of Farnham seem miles away.

In more recent years, the hit Netflix show The Crown was also filmed at Loseley Park which provided the setting for a dinner party with the hill which overlooks the house in the background. Another Netflix favourite, the satirical Black Mirror chose the historic grounds of Painshill in which to shoot an episode in season 4, Hang the DJ.

And it seems Hugh Grant just can’t stay away from Surrey – he played the former leader of the Liberal party, Jeremy Thorpe who in 1979 was accused of murdering his ex-lover in A Very English Scandal. Much of the filming for the BBC drama took place at Surrey County Hall, which includes the courtroom and cells with other scenes being filmed in Esher and Englefield Green.

Another great recent BBC success also made its home in the county with Suranne Jones’s Dr Foster getting revenge on her cheating husband. Huf Haus in St George’s Hill plays a key role while many other scenes were also filmed in Weybridge. It’s rumoured the property’s owners were paid £5,000 a day while the house was used for filming and location companies are always on the look out for properties of all descriptions. If you think your house could be a star why not get in touch with www.viewpointlocations.com

Have a look at our other areas for more filming locations.

Filming locations Thames Valley: Starring role

Round & About

Round and About

Sometimes the locations are as big as the stars in many of our favourite TV shows and films, how many do you recognise? Karen Neville goes undercover

How many times have you seen something on television and thought “that looks like that road in…”? Well, the chances are that it is indeed.

The Thames Valley has starred countless times on the big and small screen. And, if you didn’t know the area you’d think it was theworld’s crime capital!

When it comes to Oxfordshire, we couldn’t possibly start the locations guide any other way than with Inspector Morse and its spin-offs Lewis and Endeavour. Oxford’s very own Colin Dexter penned the books upon which the popular TV shows were based and visitors can follow in the footsteps of John Thaw and Kevin Whately et al on one of numerous walking tours; check out www.oxfordofficialwalkingtours.org for details. No tour of Morse country would be complete without a stop off at one of the city’s many watering holes.

While the dreaming spires of Oxford University have often been the focal point for Morse and his colleagues over the years, countryside villages seem to be murder hotspots for Inspectors Tom and John Barnaby and their sidekicks. Midsomer Murders, which first aired in 1997, has killed off about 250 characters, some meeting their maker in very bizarre ways, including via a drinks cabinet and vintage claret. You can’t throw a stone in Oxfordshire and our neighbouring county Buckinghamshire without coming across a village where the doctor, pub landlord or vicar has been murdered and many will have recognised Wallingford as the fictional town of Causton.

Henley (did you spot Greys Court which has featured more than once?), Dorchester, Watlington and Thame have also made regular appearances – in Thame alone there are more than 20 locations in the town centre that have been used. Have a look at www.visitmidsomer.com for your complete guide to the area and details of some of the tours you can enjoy there.

Away from crime and many of the area’s landmarks and historical sites have also featured on screen with several colleges, hosting the magical scenes from the Harry Potter movies and one of Oxford’s most famous author’s Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was filmed in its native setting. Fans can enjoy a tour of both of these taking in many of the iconic buildings; visit www.experienceoxfordshire.org

One of the most popular TV shows of all time may have its home over the border in Berkshire, but Downton Abbey was also filmed in the Cotswold village of Bampton, doubling as the setting for the cottage hospital as well as being home to St Mary the Virgin church where Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley were married. Cogges Manor Farm in Witney also has a claim to fame as Yew Tree Farm.
On the big screen both Blenheim Palace – Spectre, Cinderella and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – and Broughton Castle in Banbury – Shakespeare in Love – have taken leading roles.

Just as Oxfordshire is synonymous with Morse, Berkshire has become known as the home to period drama Downton Abbey, and not just through the use of Highclere Castle, near Newbury as the family seat. Basildon Park was transformed into the Crawley’s London home, Grantham House. Basildon Park also starred in the Keira Knightley version of 2003’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the biggest shoots the National Trust has ever taken part in.

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Not all filming locations are as glamorous as a stately home, case in point being The Office of Ricky Gervais’s company Wernham Hogg in Slough – the real-life office at Crossbow House has since been demolished. Gervais was born in nearby Reading and as well as being his home town two of its well-known features have appeared on screen – the popular Munchees café in Butter Market was used in the second series of the huge hit drama Broadchurch, the same episode also featured Jennett’s Park in Bracknell.

Fans of the classic Carry On films from the 1960s and 1970s should definitely spend some time in Berkshire – you can’t utter a double entendre without coming across a location used. Maidenhead’s Town Hall entrance doubles as the entrance of the hospital in Carry On Doctor and Carrry On Doctor Again. The town also features in Carry On Camping at what was Courts in the High Street. Carry On Matron takes fans to Ascot’s Heatherwood Hospital which becomes Finisham Maternity Hospital and when matron Hattie Jacques finally manages to get Kenneth Williams down the aisle she does so at St Mary’s Church in Denham.

A jewel in Buckinghamshire’s crown, Cliveden in Taplow near Maidenhead has been used as a location for several films including Sherlock Holmes (2009), A Little Chaos (2014), Cinderella (2015), Thunderbirds (2004), The Beatles film Help!, Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), The Ruling Class (1972) and Carrington (1995). If you’d like to stay in this star-studded, historic setting, visit www.clivedenhouse.co.uk

Further around Berkshire and Picket Post Close in Bracknell took on the guise of the Dursley’s Privet Drive home where boy wizard Harry Potter lived with his uncle and aunt in the cupboard under the stairs. More Midsomer Murders, New Tricks and Rosemary & Thyme have also used Berkshire for scenes on screen.

Who’d have thought the rural splendour of Gloucestershire could become the setting for the very Cornish scenery of Poldark? But that’s exactly what happened with Elizabethan manor house Chavenage House in Tetbury which became the Poldark family home of Trenwith House. The chapel here also doubled as the church in Sawle.
Chavenage House is no stranger to fame – it has also appeared alongside David Suchet in Poirot when the Belgian sleuth solved The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Poirot also visited the village of Castle Combe for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. And adaptations of several literary classics have also chosen to set their filming here with Lark Rise to Candleford, Tess of the d’Ubervilles and Cider with Rosie choosing to use the manor house.

Gloucester Cathedral has a string of credits – Harry Potter, Wolf Hall, Sherlock and The Spanish Princess. Snowshill was appropriately enough covered in snow for Bridget Jones’s Diary when the hapless spinster visits her parents in the Cotswold village.

A popular choice for makers of period drama and the makers of Poldark, who chose to bring the brooding good looks of heartthrob Aidan Turner to the county, this time using Corsham High Street as Truro. The National Trust village of Lacock has made numerous appearances with its cottages and inns dating from the 15th century and stunning Lacock Abbey from which many may well recognise the vaulted cloisters in the Harry Potter movies. Lacock has also hosted the stars of Pride and Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl, Wolf Hall, Dr Thorne and The White Princess.

Wiltshire’s most famous landmark – Stonehenge – has seen its famous stones appear in Tess of the d’Ubervilles, Dr Who and on the big screen in Thor and Transformers.

Think your home has what it takes to be a star of the big or small screen? Location agency JJ Media Group has all manner of properties on its books, from cottages and barns to a brewery and a theatre. If you think your home could be a star visit www.jjmedia.com/connect

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Days out Oxfordshire: Sunny delights!

Round & About

Round and About

The summer holidays are looming and no matter how much you try to organise and arrange for your little (and not-so little) ones to do, it’ll never be enough. Karen Neville serves up a few ideas…

We’ve been taking a tour of Oxfordshire and have a few ideas for you for the summer holidays. There are so many ways to entertain children whatever their age that you shouldn’t hear cries of “I’m bored, what can I do…?”

For the adventurous how about taking on the Oxford Spy Mission Treasure Trail? Your mission will take you through the city of dreaming spires, through years of history but you’ll need to be on your toes and track down the “student” who has been expelled for hatching a plan to burst the banks of the river. Can you solve the clues and shut down the machine before it’s too late? The trail is ideal for everyone aged six to 106. Solve the mission and you’ll be entered into a £100 monthly draw. There are lots of other trails, too, all around the county. Visit www.treasuretrails.co.uk. Also pit your wits against new game The Diamond Heist, by Didcot Escape Rooms; contact 07525 468924 or visit www.didcotescaperooms.co.uk

There’s more adventure to be had at the Escape Hunt Oxford in Westgate shopping centre. Step into a new world, get locked in a room, solve the clues to beat the clock and get out! There are a variety of games to choose from, each imaginative adventure takes place in a themed room designed with great attention to detail so you can lose yourself in the game. Choose from Alice in Puzzleland, Dr Who World’s Collide, Blackbeard’s Treasure, The Fourth Samurai and Escape the Wild West. Each presents a different challenge but can you find the way out? www.escapehunt.com

From the futuristic, step back in time to rural England in the 1920s and 1930s to Pendon Museum near Abingdon where scenes from the countryside are recaptured using models to explain a past era. The Vale Scene depicts the The Vale of White Horse, the Dartmoor scene recreates an imaginary Great Western branch line, The Seawall is a representation of the line from Dawlish to Teignmouth while the Madder Valley Railway is relic of early days of scenic railway modelling. With workshops, family trails and modelling sessions, it’s a great leisurely day out; www.pendonmuseum.com

For animal lovers, spend some time at the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary, Brightwell and meet some of the cute four-legged friends who are being cared for at the centre. There’s no entry fee but all donations are appreciated and staff at the sanctuary continue their vital work. For more about their work visit www.donkeyrescue.co.uk

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More animals to pet, feed and enjoy can be found at Farmer Gow’s Activity Farm near Faringdon. There’s an adventure play area for younger ones, too, with a bale climb, tractor yard and kidbine harvester. Find out more at www.farmergows.co.uk. If animals are their passion then put Millets Farm near Abingdon and Cogges Manor Farm at Witney on your list. Take a ride on the merry-go-round and enjoy loads of seasonal activities; visit www.milletsfarmcentre.co.uk

Cogges is a historic farmstead in the heart of the Cotswolds. As well as meeting the animals – the real stars of the show – enjoy the living museum at the manor house, picnic orchard, gardens and more; www.cogges.org.uk

Animals of a very different kind are on show at Crocodiles of the World near Brize Norton, discover a variety of crocs, get up close with a giant Galapagos tortoise or a Komodo dragon and perhaps even try your hand at a VIP keeper experience. It’s not all about the reptiles, there are also meerkats, otters and tamarins to meet – much cuter than some of the other inhabitants! For details about all this and animal encounters visit www.crocdilesoftheworld.co.uk

An entirely different kind of tale (tail) is on offer at The Story Museum in Oxford, exhibitions and galleries explore and celebrate stories in all forms. From June to August there are summer story walks to take you on a tour of the city. Follow Alice through Wonderland from 15th June to 8th September, fall down the rabbit hole and immerse yourself in interactive exhibitions. Saturday, 6th July, is Alice’s Day with activities to enjoy across the city all day. Summer story makers will look at Viking myths and explore the Jungle Book as never before, through hiphop, breakdancing and grafitti. Find your story at www.storymuseum.org.uk

After all that history how about letting off steam at Abingdon’s Abbey Meadows with a swim in the recently renovated outdoor heated pool – book a timed session to make the most of your visit. There’s also a free children’s water play park surrounded by a large grassy area, perfect for family picnics.  Make a day of it at the large children’s play area, hard-surface tennis courts and walk around the picturesque Abbey Gardens and grounds. Opening times & prices at www.better.org.uk

There are also stories to be uncovered at Oxford Castle and Prison too with 1,000 years of history to explore led by costumed guides. Climb the Saxon St George’s tower, one of the oldest building’s in the city and enjoy the views; go deep underground into the 900-year-old crypt; explore the confines of the Debtors’ Tower and prison; climb the mound of the motte and bailey and discover the vaulted well chamber. The castle also holds events such as the Shakespeare Festival, murder mystery evening and ghost tours. Visit www.oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk

Try something a little more relaxed after expending all that energy with a visit to Kelmscott Manor near Lechlade, the Cotswold retreat of William Morris. While the grown-ups enjoy the house and its beautiful gardens, there’s a manor house trail to follow, activities and workshops. www.sal.org.uk/kelmscott-manor/

A visit to Cotswold Wildlife Park is always a day well spent. On many summer weekends until the beginning of September take your family to enjoy the birds of prey demonstration. August is rhino month when the keepers will be giving a daily talk about the animals and the conservation work. Find out more at www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

More animals, 77 acres worth, can be watched and petted at Bucklebury Farm Park where you can get up close to deer, llamas and Shetland ponies, lambs, pigs, goats and calves in the farm and pat-a-pet area, including a new luxury guinea pig village that’s perfect for pampered pets! For details visit www.buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

We’re lucky to live close to the Thames and one family-friendly highlight next month will bring you the world’s biggest classic riverboat collection  and vintage vehicles as well as shopping, children’s fun, food and more in Henley for great causes. The Thames Traditional Boat Festival runs 19th-21st July;  visit www.tradboatfestival.com

However you end up spending your summer hols, have fun! 

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Days out Surrey & Hampshire: Sunny

Round & About

Round and About

The summer holidays are looming and no matter how much you try to organise and arrange for your little (and not-so little) ones to do, it’ll never be enough. Karen Neville serves up a few ideas…

et’s hope for good weather to get outdoors and have some fun. So we’ll start with ideas for explorers and adventurers. How about swinging from the treetops and climbing the rope bridges? Try out the Tarzan swings, zip wires and crossings at Go Ape at Alice Holt Forest, Farnham; check out www.goape.co.uk/days-out/south-east/alice-holt. In Guildford, enjoy more treetop adventures, ropes and zipwire courses at Wild Wood Adventure. There are different options for kids aged six and upwards. Find out more at www.wildwood-adventure.com. If you’ve still not had enough, pop along to Skywalk Adventure near Esher for more of the same with two courses to choose from here. Visit the website at www.skywalkadventure.co.uk

Thrill-seekers must put this on their list too – Zip Now is the fastest city-centre zip wire in the world, launching from a central London location, 35m up in the air you’ll travel at speeds of up to 50km per hour over a distance of 225metres. If this is for you, head to the website to book your ride on the biggest, fastest zip, www.zip-now.co

After all that exercise how about something more sedate and relaxed, at one of the many National Trust properties? Clandon Park is rebuilding after the fire in 2015 but its stunning grounds and the sneak peek inside the renovations offer a real treat. Explore 900 years of history at Petworth House in West Sussex, join in the wings and whiskers trail and, throughout the summer, journey around the Pleasure Ground and be a plant hunter. Nestled in a quiet corner of Midhurst is the hidden gem of Woolbeding Gardens, take time out and relax surrounded by stunning greenery, quirky follies and a 4m tall water fountain. Hatchlands Park is offering you the chance to “undress the Georgians” on 6th June, 7.30pm, and discuss taste and fashion. Booking essential. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

If things really hot up and we have another heatwave, can there be anything better than taking a dip in a swimming pool? You and yours can have a splashing time at the outdoor pool at Guildford Lido and shoot down the slides before making a splash into the cooling water.
For full details of the opening times and prices visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/centres/guildford-lido/

Jeff Moore 21/05/18
"THIS PICTURE IS FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE"
Zip Now London opened to members of the public today, returning bigger and faster than before. With views of London's skyline, including the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and the Shard, the world's fastest and biggest inner-city zip line travels over 225m in Archbishop's Park, Lambeth. An extra wire for 2018, means up to 3 people can now ride side by side.
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Entertaining teenagers can be harder. Let them get out with their mates with bowling at Guildford’s Spectrum, www.guildfordspectrum.co.uk or let go of excess energy at trampoline parks in Guildford (www.airhop-guildford.com) and Camberley (www.gravityforce.co.uk).
If your teens are speed freaks you could try a karting experience at Sandown Park or a driving experience at Mercedes Benz World in Woking; www.mercedes-benzworld.co.uk

It’s a good idea to have some indoor fun lined up. Surrey has some brilliant museums – Brooklands for motoring and aviation exhibits and The Lightbox in Woking for culture, among many more. And, if you can’t get outdoors and run around, burn off some energy at Egham Orbit. The leisure centre offers swimming, a splash zone, sporting activities and soft play areas for younger ones; visit www.achievelifestyle.co.uk/egham-orbit

Get closer to the wonders of the natural world at Marwell Zoo. There are hundreds of animals in the 140-acre park, five adventure playgrounds where you can swing like a monkey and slide like a penguin. There’s an interactive expedition with more than two million LEGO bricks in the hols and an 8m T-Rex model. Look out for Colin…

Birdworld near Farnham is one of the UK’s largest bird parks. As well as enjoying a walk around the 26 acres of aviaries and beautiful landscaped gardens, visitors can admire more than 1,000 birds and 180 species from around the world and take part in feeding sessions. Visit www.birdworld.co.uk

When is a garden centre not a garden centre? When it’s Sutton Green Garden Centre in Woking. As well as all you’d expect, fab café to refresh you, and there’s also archery tag (bet you haven’t tried that) and Nerf parties and action-packed camp days full of fun too. Find out more at
www.gardencentrewoking.co.uk

Painshill is an award-winning landscape garden, created in the 18th century as a “living work of art”, its winding paths will guide you on a beautiful walk with a series of stunning views. Take a picnic or relax in the tea room and play area to complete a great day out, www.painshill.co.uk. Another beautiful house and gardens well worth a visit is Gilbert White’s at Selborne where you’ll find fascinating collections and family activities.

Celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday, 8th June, (one for mums and dads!) at Silent Pool near Guildford – meet distillers, learn how gin is made, taste cocktails and join a free distillery tour. Tickets on the day, first come first served. Live music and local food all day too. Free entry, 10am-5pm. All welcome; visit www.silentpooldistillers.com

However you spend your summer hols, have fun!

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Brooklands Museum Kids Tours on Concordeby Jason Dodd

Have a look at our other areas if you’re thinking of going further afield.