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

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.

Days out Cirencester & Wiltshire: 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…

We’ve been taking a tour of the area and have a few ideas for you but there are so many ways to entertain your children whatever their age that you really shouldn’t hear cries of “I’m bored, what can I do…”

Let’s start with fingers crossed for good weather and some outdoor fun and exercise. Both are promised in the Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester at The Adventure Zone. Suitable for children aged 9 and upwards you can enjoy a full day of sailing, canoeing, kayaking, bushcraft and survival, archery, windsurfing, raft building and much more – find out what at www.adventure-zone.co.uk

The daring among your children may like to try out Head 4 Heights, also in Cirencester, a lakeside outdoor aerial adventure park with challenges suitable for ages 4-18. Aerial-based activities to try out include a variety of pole climbs with names such as Sun and Sea, The Fruit Bowl, Big Ears and the daunting Flesh Eater. You can also try out a free fall, a simulated parachute jump and single and double trapeze jumps for the really brave. Head 4 Heights really does reach new heights of fun, www.head4heights.net

For those who like to keep their feet more firmly on the ground but still want some adventure, how about becoming James Bond for the day by getting on the Cirencester Spy Mission Trail? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will take you through the ancient streets, abbey grounds and the ruins of the Roman wall in search of the professor who has uncovered a plot to destroy artefacts in vaults below the town. Is it mission impossible or can you solve the clues before its too late? The two-mile loop trail takes about two hours to complete and if you solve the crime you’ll be entered into a £100 monthly draw. Find out more at www.treasuretrails.co.uk/things-to-do/gloucestershire/cirecencester

Animal lovers out there won’t be able to resist what will probably be another visit to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens and the chance to get on the Cotswold Explorer endangered animals activity trail, learn about the endangered species at the park as you follow the trail. On many summer weekends until the beginning of September 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. Visit www.cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk

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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 to take part in. For information on opening times and prices visit www.sal.org.uk/kelmscott-manor/

Get on the trail of Roman soldiers this summer and search for them hidden around Corinium Museum in Cirencester. Younger children can hunt them down while older ones can answer questions to find out what life was like as a Roman soldier and there’s a prize at the end of your trail. Learn about archaeological techniques by trying your hand in one of the dig pits. Complete your own mini excavation report, measure objects you unearth, identify them and try drawing them. Find out more at www.coriniummuseum.org.uk

There’s a whole world of adventure awaiting you at Longleat, www.longleat.co.uk, the main question will be where will you start? For most people it’s on the drive through safari, wind up your windows and drive through elephants, wolves, monkeys, the big cats and white rhino. You can roam free in the Main Square and get to know the primates, koalas, crocodiles and meerkets among others, et lost in the maze, ride the miniature railway and even brave the bat cave! And make sure you leave time to visit the house and landscaped grounds.

For the sportier out there, a game of footgolf at Basset Down Golf Complex is a must. There are 18 holes to get the better of and lots of natural obstacles – trees, water and bunkers to do battle with. The idea is to kick a football into a large cup in as few shots as possible and it’s suitable for ages 4-18 so is a great family activity. Check out www.swindonfamilygolf.com

Spend a day with animals at Roves Farm Visitor Centre in Swindon and you’ll enjoy non-stop fun and activity come rain or shine. In addition to the sheep, donkeys, Shetland ponies, cattle, goats and pigs there’s fun to be had in the summer holidays with a bear hunt, the Jurassic farm and in the enchanted forest. Take a tractor ride, climb, swing and slide in the Treehouse and enjoy an activity walk.
To book and for details about daily activities visit www.rovesfarm.co.uk

Discover the story of the ancient landscape at Avebury Stone Circle, a world heritage site and the largest prehistoric stone circle in the world. A museum bears the name of the archaeologist who excavated the site near Marlborough, Alexander Keiller, and is divided into two parts, the Stables which contains treasures from the site and the Barn which houses interactive displays including dressing up as a Bronze Age child and lots to learn about those who built the circle, not to mention 5,500 year-old animal skeletons! Bone up on the history in advance at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury

Savernake Forest has lots to explore and is a great way to get outdoors and have a great time for free. The forest is more than 1,000 years old and features one of the country’s oldest trees, the Big Bellied Oak. It’s the perfect place for following the walking trails, taking your dog out and to enjoy a picnic while getting back to nature.

However you spend your summer hols have fun!

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

Days out Berkshire: 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 the area and have a few ideas for you. There are so many ways to entertain your children whatever their age that you shouldn’t hear cries of “I’m bored, what can I do…”

Let’s start with something for the inquisitive among you… If you get a kick out of solving puzzles or love to know how things work then a visit to The Look Out Discovery Centre in Bracknell is a must. The hands-on science and nature exhibition has more than 90 activities suitable for children of all ages, spread over five zones. Launch a rocket or set off a hot air balloon; learn the mysteries of the human body and brain by testing speed and reflex; play with laser beams; step outside to discover local wildlife and join the Look Out construction crew – with so much to do where will you start? Visit www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/leisure-services

More puzzles to solve can be enjoyed on a treasure trail. There are 14 trails to with clues to solve along the way on spy missions and murder mysteries in Hungerford,

Lambourn and Newbury among other places. To track down the full range of trails on offer go to www.treasuretrails.co.uk

If your holiday time is all about enjoying the great outdoors the Wellington Country Park is a must. There’s so much to do you might want to think about staying over at the campsite to ensure you pack it all in! The adventure play areas and toddler play area have age-appropriate activities such as zip wires, balancing beams, slides, swings and climbing frames. Bounce on the giant, colourful jumping pillow and play on the full-size snakes and ladders and make you bring a bucket and space to play with in the sand pits. Visit www.wellington-country-park.co.uk

Active kids will want to head to the Adventure Dolphin Centre in Pangbourne, which has loads of ideas for expending energy ranging from kayaking, canoeing, kayak surfing, rock climbing, abseiling, hill walking, mountaineering, gorge scrambling and off-road cycling. Suitable for kids aged 13-19 but there are plenty suitable for those aged eight or older too, check them out at www.adventuredolphin.co.uk

An ever-popular choice for a great family day out is Beale Park at Pangbourne. Enjoy the wildlife park and gardens, home to more than 20 species – who can’t resist heading straight to the meerkats? From the adventure playground, aerial cableway and sand pit to the amazing Little Tikes Outdoor Village, perfect for younger ones with police cars, trikes, traffic lights and even a zebra crossing – there’s so much to enjoy, take a picnic and tuck in! Visit www.bealepark.org.uk

More animals, 77 acres worth to be precise, can be watched and petted at Bucklebury Farm Park where you can get up close to deer, llamas, 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! Visit www.buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

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Energetic kids listen up! If the idea of jumping, spinning and cycling for an entire day is for you then put Extreme Motion in Windsor on your “to do” list, www.extrememotion.com. But it has so much more than swings and roundabouts to try out. For starters bounce higher than ever before bungee trampolining and enjoy mastering spins, tucks and dips. Children are encouraged to run and crash into each other, but only if they’re zorbing. Mums and dads, you can get involved too!

Not had enough wildness and daredevilling yet? Go Ape in Bracknell will cure you of that! Get ready for high-altitude obstacles with three fantastic high rope adventures. Climb 13m into the skyline for two to three hours of monkey madness. Speed down a 160m zip or take on the Pendulum Pass. There are 35 crossings with rope ladders, wiggly bridges and one of the only double Tarzan swings in the UK! Mini-monkeys can even swing into action on the Tree Top Adventure course, for kids 1m and over. www.goape.co.uk

Not going anywhere exotic this holiday? Visit the Living Rainforest near Newbury (www.livingrainforest.org) for a taste of the tropical right on your doorstep. There are all manner of plants and animals you wouldn’t normally encounter in Berkshire and how about making your visit even more memorable by getting up close and personal with the animals at a keeper experience – go behind the scenes, step into the enclosures to feed the animals. National Trust property Cliveden boasts glorious gardens and woodlands overlooking the Thames near Maidenhead, during the summer you can enjoy the children’s nature trail. Pack your tent and join the family camping event in the woods on selected dates in July (early booking essential). There’s also outdoor theatre to enjoy including The Wind in the Willows and Gangsta Granny. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden

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

For something different how about racing at Windsor Racecourse? There’s the perfect introduction at the Ice Cream Festival Raceday on 11th August when the kids can not only enjoy loads of entertainment including a bouncy castle but can also go free. To book and take advantage of the family package visit www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk. Nearby Newbury Racecourse has a great programme over the summer; www.newburyracecourse.co.uk

Journey through the countryside aboard the Dartmouth Express or the West Somerset Steam Express, board at Reading or Newbury and travel to the west country enjoying one of three classes with different dining options on the trips. Selected dates in June, July and August. For more visit www.railwaytouring.net or call 01553 661500.

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… Visit www.marwell.org.uk

Berkshire has a wealth of entertainment and activities for you to choose from you may want to add in a visit to Windsor Castle, Laserquest in Wokingham, Coral Reef in Bracknell, go bowling or skating, visit Basildon Park or drop in on one of the huge variety of museums across the county.

However you spend your hols, have fun!

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

Oh what a night…!

Liz Nicholls

Round and About

As the ten of us representing the Round & About team sit at the table in the Grand Ballroom of the Park Lane Hilton, it’s fair to say that we already feel like winners…

Here we are at this black-tie industry awards giant, rubbing shoulders with the “big guns” of media, alongside tables of people from the likes of Google and Channel 4. Being part of a small team, we at Round & About have always punched above our weight when it comes to ambitions, results and success, but dare we dream that we could actually win..?

And, as we sit poised and happy, event host Colin Murray announces the results and we’re all reflected in golden glory. Round & About has scooped gold for Regional Commercial Team of the Year and Regional Media Brand of the Year as well as bronze for Regional Editorial Content Team of the Year…

The rest of the evening is a joyful whirl of congratulations, clinking of glasses, cigars and dancing well into the early hours.

“Standing with the R&A team, amongst some of the biggest names in the uk media, having just won two gold and a bronze award was a perfect 25th anniversary celebration,” says Peter Savage, our founding editor.

Indeed, this family business has grown from humble beginnings to a heavyweight industry contender, thanks to our team’s dedication to serving our customers and readers with a well-loved magazine that delivers every month. With sales and editorial teams working together, Round & About has earned the respect of the British Media Awards judges by increasing sales year on year, expanding the magazine into new areas, developing new projects and maintaining a high level of quality in print and production.

In April Round & About was 25 years old – and in that quarter century the team have seen huge changes in the media industry. All the hard work that it’s taken to build upon our successes and find a way to serve our communities and customers gave us a precious milestone to celebrate earlier this year… And Wednesday’s wins have given us golden memories to treasure going forward into the next phase.

Speaking of which, back to the grindstone to prepare our best-ever July editions!

Read more about the Round & About team

Interiors: Really wild

Round & About

Round and About

Animal motifs, themes & prints can add some real personality to your home. Liz Nicholls rounds up a flock of favourites… What are yours?

With style it really is a case of different strokes for different folks… and fans of the minimal, declutterd home aesthetic imight want to look away now.

For a few glorious seasons, animal print has spotted on fashion fans from head to toe… We love a bit of leopard print here at Round & About Towers (and not just the ladies!). The maximalist aesthetic has been a roaring success on the home front, too. A seismic shift away from the greige and modular home designs we might have seen everywhere in the Noughties and onwards, clashing prints, bold colours and tropical treats have earned their style stripes. Be assured: a few well-chosen animal and safari-themed pieces can add a lot of personality to any room, without being overwhelming. Here are some creature comfort suggestions as a starting point. Join me on Pinterest for more prints inspo @LizxNic

1. Vases, Melody Maison; 2.Lemur lampshade, Red Candy. 3.Print, £5, Abstract House. 4. Zebra & animal print cushion, £21, Gisela Graham. 5. Tea tray, Raj Tent Club. 6. & 9. Tigers wallpaper and Oiseau cushion, Santorus. 7. & 8. Contemporary fabrics and home accessories, visit www.sarahfortescue.com 10. Chair, Out There Interiors     

Enter our competition to win this ‘Arrivée’ Velvet Scatter Cushion from Santorvs

Surrey: All together now…

Round & About

Round and About

Whatever your age, taste or background there are a whole
host of festivals to get your musical juices flowing, writes Liz Nicholls

Festival season is upon us – which is great news for us here at Round & About (we’re big fans of a bash). Perhaps you are one of the supremely dedicated / lucky few to have bagged yourself a Glastonbury ticket..? Yes the Mother Of All Festivals is back at the end of June but if, like me, you’ll be enjoying it from the comfort of your sofa there are loads more to get fully immersed in…

“I’ve been going to festivals with my wife and festival buddy Josie since the early ’90s and made some halcyon trips to Glastonbury and Reading,” Rob de Bank, Bestival curator tells me. “I’ve slept in a collapsed tent partially underwater, canoed down a Glastonbury thoroughfare, got emotional watching Stevie Wonder and Elton John at Bestival and tried Fuji Rocks in Japan and Coachella in the American desert for a change… but the festival I’ll always come back to is our very own Camp Bestival. We created the show for our kids and their kids and future generations so it’s very close to our heart but it’s also so much fun. And the ultimate way to have some fantastic family time away from screens and technology. I can’t wait to see Chic, Annie Mac and The Human League here this year.” This summer’s dance-deluxe Camp Bestival at Dorset’s Lulworth Castle, 25th to 28th July, has a heroes and superheroes theme and also offers bangers in the form of Jess Glynne, Sister Sledge, Goldie and others including Omid Djalili and Mr Motivator. Visit www.campbestival.net

Quirky beauty Boomtown returns to Matterley Estate in the South Downs from Wednesday 7th to Monday, 12th August, featuring a stonking line-up including Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, The Streets, Chronixx, Chase & Status, Groove Armada, Slaves and Salt-N-Pepa to name just a few. District AREA 404 is the new home for techno, headlined by Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Fourtet and more, www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Don’t go thinking it’s all about raving, though…. Guildford International Music Festival, 10th to 25th May, showcases impressive classical recitals, specialist guitar and cello days, experimental electronica and more; www.surrey.ac.uk/arts

Down in Brighton, The Great Escape, 9th to 11th May, is the place to go for fresh new music; www.greatescapefestival.com. Foodies will love family-friendly Althorp Food & Drink Festival on 11th & 12th May in Norfolk, with demos from Jean-Christophe Novelli and Ken Hom OBE. www.spencerofalthorp.com. And raise a glass to the family-friendly Elstead Royal British Legion Beer Festival, 24th to 26th May, with a Surrey Blues Society Summer Bash on the Sunday from 2pm in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell.

Dogstival, hosted by Chris Packham in the New Forest on 18th and 19th May, has fields, woodlands and its own beach for you and your canine pals to enjoy; www.dogstival.co.uk. This is not to be confused, pet-lovers, with local Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick’s DogFest at Knebworth House this month; www.dog-fest.co.uk. Foodies will flock to Alresford Watercress Festival on Sunday, 19th May, and Alresford Music Festival is on Saturday, 8th June. Visit www.alresfordmusicfestival.com while the Southampton Mela Festival returns to Hoglands Park on Saturday, 13th July; visit www.southamptonmela.com

Family-friendly Winchestival returns on 15th June with The Magic Numbers, Cassia and Lauran Hibberd, comedy from Milton Jones, Zoe Lyons, Jonny Auwsum, street food and more; www.winchestival.co.uk. Half a century on from the Summer Of Love, the Isle Of Wight Festival is still pulsing, 13th to 16th June, with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Fatboy Slim and more; www.isleofwightfestival.com. Once again, Hampton Court Palace is the stunning backdrop for Jools Holland, The Jacksons, Nile Rogers & Chic, Kylie and Michael Bublé during June; www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com.

Enjoy the Windsormania Family Music Festival on Sunday, 30th June and Rita Ora will play at Royal Windsor racecourse on Saturday, 24th August; www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk

Latitude at gorgeous Henham Park near Southwold, 18th to 21st July, offers Primal Scream, EverythingEverything, Underworld, George Ezra, Slaves, Lana Del Rey and more; www.latitudefestival.com. Giddy up for some Jockey Club Live musical highlights at UK racecourses, including Madness (24th July), Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra (31st July) and Jess Glynne (8th August); www.thejockeyclublive.co.uk

Staycation Live returns to Godalming’s Phillips Memorial Park on August 2nd, 3rd & 4th offering a broad range of music, local food and entertainment. www.staycationlivefestival.co.uk. The same weekend, Frimley Lodge Live will dazzle you with some superb cover bands and more; call 01276 707600 for details.

Wild wonderland Wilderness Festival returns to dazzle high society festivalgoers in Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Park, 1st-4th August. You’ll find banquets and feasting, plenty of celeb-spotting opportunities, lakeside hot tubs, yoga and intellectual and cultural brain food and lectures as well as Robyn, Groove Armada and Freya Ridings. Visit www.wildernessfestival.com

Held in Tilford every August since 2007, Weyfest has built a great festival reputation (think a polite party with posh loos). This year’s shindig at the Rural Life Centre, 16th-18th August, features our cover star Gabrielle, The Lightning Seeds, Reef & The Brand New Heavies. www.weyfest.co.uk

Reading Festival rocks the August bank holiday weekend (23rd to 25th August). This year’s stars are The 1975, Foo Fighters, Blossoms, plus Fredo, Billie Eilish, Stefflon Don and Camelphat; visit www.readingfestival.com. Over the same weekend Victorious returns to Southsea Common starring Rudimental, Plan B, All Saints and more; www.victoriousfestival.co.uk

Love kitesurfing, watersports and live music? Kitesurfing Armada, 21st to 23rd June on Hayling Island is the biggest event of its kind in Europe  and is free to attend; www.armadaevents.co.uk/kitesurfing-armada. Supporting children’s charities, Chris Evans’ Car-Fest heads to Hampshire’s Laverstoke Park, RG25 3DR, from 23rd to 25th August; www.carfest.org

The UK’s longest running outdoor arts festival, Winchester Hat Fair, 5th to 7th July has free fun for all ages; www.hatfair.co.uk. And Hampshire Food Festival takes place 1st to 30th July with fun for all tastes; www.hampshirefare.co.uk

A dazzling black-tie party in a stunning riverside location, Henley Festival, 10th to 14th July, has another great line-up this year including Boy George, Jessie J, Bjorn Again and Jo Wiley with her ’90s anthems as well as comedy from Ed Byrne, Andy Hamilton, Julian Clary and more; 
www.henley-festival.co.uk

Curated by the mighty Nile Rogers, Meltdown Festival is a series of gigs at the Southbank Centre, 1st to 13th August; visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk

British Summertime brings global superstars to Hyde Park for your aural pleasure. On Friday, 5th July it’s Celine Dion, Saturday is a celebration of Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand is Sunday 7th, Florence + The Machine and The National on Saturday 13th, and Robbie Williams, Texas, Feeder and Black Eyed Peas are on Sunday 14th. There’s also the BST open house with free fun, 8th to 11th July; www.bst-hydepark.com

Groove Armada will headline Greenwich Music Time on Friday, 5th July, against the backdrop of the city at the Old Royal Naval College. This is one of a series of concerts, 1st to 7th July, also including Paul Weller and Cliff Richard. www.greenwichmusictime.co.uk

Further afield, Y Not? festival in Derbyshire will star Elbow, Wolf Alice, Reverend and the Makers and more, 25th to 28th July; visit www.ynotfestival.com

Enjoy your summer!

Thames Valley East: All together now…

Round & About

Round and About

Whatever your age, taste or background there are a whole
host of festivals to get your musical juices flowing, writes Liz Nicholls

Festival season is upon us – which is great news for us here at Round & About Towers (we’re fans of a bash). Perhaps you are one of the supremely dedicated / lucky few to have bagged yourself a Glastonbury ticket..? Yes the Mother Of All Festivals is back at the end of June but if, like me, you’ll be enjoying it from the comfort of your sofa there are loads more to get fully immersed in…

“I’ve been going to festivals with my wife and festival buddy Josie since the early ’90s and made some halcyon trips to Glastonbury and Reading,” Rob de Bank, Bestival curator tells me. “I’ve slept in a collapsed tent partially underwater, canoed down a Glastonbury thoroughfare, got emotional watching Stevie Wonder and Elton John at Bestival and tried Fuji Rocks in Japan and Coachella in the American desert for a change… but the festival I’ll always come back to is our very own Camp Bestival. We created the show for our kids and their kids and future generations so it’s very close to our heart but it’s also so much fun. And the ultimate way to have some fantastic family time away from screens and technology. I can’t wait to see Chic, Annie Mac and The Human League here this year.” This summer’s dance-deluxe Camp Bestival at Dorset’s Lulworth Castle, 25th to 28th July, has a heroes and superheroes theme and also offers bangers in the form of Jess Glynne, Sister Sledge, Goldie and others including Omid Djalili and Mr Motivator. Visit www.campbestival.net

Small is beautiful with some local gems this year. Cookham Festival, 4th-19th May, stars Apollo Big Band and Will Greenwood with art and photo exhibitions and a community feel; www.cookhamfestival.org.uk. DJ Yoda, The Echo, Flashheart, Ryan Harman, Nearly Unsociable, The Small Strings, The Mysteries, Beatroots and more will star, for a great cause, at Around The Boundary in Gallowstree Common on Sunday, 5th May; www.aroundtheboundary.com

Let’s Rock The Moor stars all your ’80s favourites including Marc Almond, Go West, Jason Donovan, Erasure’s Andy Bell and many more on Saturday, 18th May; www.letsrockthemoor.com

Community fun aplenty will be on offer between 1st & 16th June thanks to Love Marlow Festival. Enjoy music, sport and family fun at this celebration of local kindness; www.lovemarlow.co.uk

Love your swing music? Thames Valley Balboa Festival, 31st May-2nd June, in Henley is for you!. Watlington’s Beacon Festival, 21st & 22nd is a highlight raising spirits and funds for great causes. Four stages will offer musical magic and there’s a great feelgood area and kids’ zone, all powered by volunteers; www.beaconfestival.net 

Enjoy the Windsormania Family Music Festival on Sunday, 30th June at Royal Windsor racecourse with Rita Ora playing there on Saturday, 24th August; www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk

Readipop will rock Caversham’s Christchurch Meadows, 12th-14th July, with a fantastic line-up including Sleeper, The Brand New Heavies, a greatest hits set from The Orb, Cassetteboy vs DJ Rubbish, Musical Youth, Audio Bullys and local bands for local causes; www.readipop.co.uk

A dazzling black-tie party in a stunning riverside location, Henley Festival, 10th to 14th July, has another great line-up including Boy George, Jessie J, Bjorn Again and Jo Wiley with her ’90s anthems as well as comedy from Ed Byrne, Andy Hamilton, Julian Clary and more;  www.henley-festival.co.uk

My pals and I have already booked babysitters so we can fully enjoy Pennfest in our native Bucks on 19th & 20th July (woop!) Goldie, Suede, Peter Doherty, Fabio, Craig David and more make this a bobby-dazzler! www.pennfest.net

Indie royalty will reign at the biggest Truck Festival yet in Steventon, 25th-28th July, with Wolf Alice, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, Slaves, Nothing But Thieves, You Me At Six, Don Broco, Johnny Marr, Public Service Broadcasting and more; www.truckfestival.com

Have a great time for great causes at this year’s BrightFest in Brightwell, OX10 0SQ, on Saturday, 8th June. The family-friendly gem will feature lots of live bands, a football competition and bar (well stocked by The Red Lion team) and food; www.brightfest.org.uk. Towersey near Thame will honour the late folk singer and activist Roy Bailey with the help of Tom Robinson, 23rd-26th August. Newton Faulkner, Bruce Foxton’s From The Jam, The Selecter, Hothouse Flowers, Seth Lakeman, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Fisherman’s Friends and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are also on the bill, along with many more highlights;
www.towerseyfestival.com

Busted, The Feeling, Dodgy, Toploader and Judge Jules will bring the 90s vibe to Chilterns Live near Tring, HP23 5QY; www.chilterns-live.co.uk

Half a century on from the Summer Of Love, the Isle Of Wight Festival is still pulsing, 13th to 16th June, with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, George Ezra, Fatboy Slim and more; www.isleofwightfestival.com. Once again, Hampton Court Palace is the stunning backdrop for Jools Holland, The Jacksons, Nile Rogers & Chic, Kylie and Michael Bublé during June; www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com.

Latitude at gorgeous Henham Park near Southwold, 18th to 21st July, offers Primal Scream, EverythingEverything, Underworld, George Ezra, Slaves, Lana Del Rey and lots of theatre, comedy and family fun; www.latitudefestival.com. Giddy up for Jockey Club Live musical highlights at UK racecourses, including Madness (24th July), Pete Tong & The Heritage Orchestra (31st July) and Jess Glynne (8th August); www.thejockeyclublive.co.uk

Musicians, family fun and more will entertain you on 8th & 9th June at South Hill Park’s Festival of Food and Music and entry is free; www.southhillpark.org.uk/foodmusicfestival

Wild wonderland Wilderness Festival returns to dazzle high society festivalgoers in Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Park, 1st-4th August. You’ll find banquets and feasting, plenty of celeb-spotting opportunities, lakeside hot tubs, yoga and intellectual and cultural brain food as well as Robyn, Groove Armada and Freya Ridings;
www.wildernessfestival.com

Quirky beauty Boomtown returns to Matterley Estate in the South Downs from Wednesday 7th to Monday, 12th August, featuring a stonking line-up including Lauryn Hill, Prophets of Rage, The Streets, Chronixx, Chase & Status, Groove Armada, Slaves and Salt-N-Pepa to name just a few. District AREA 404 is the new home for techno, headlined by Carl Cox, Amelie Lens, Four Tet and more, www.boomtownfair.co.uk

Reading Festival rocks the August bank holiday weekend (23rd to 25th). This year’s stars are The 1975, Foo Fighters, Blossoms, plus Fredo, Billie Eilish, Stefflon Don and Camelphat; visit www.readingfestival.com. The same weekend, The Big Feastival returns to rock Alex James’ Cotswolds farm, 23rd-25th August. This year’s foodie/fun line-up includes Jess Glynne, Rudimental, Elbow, Jo Wiley, Prue Leith, Raymond Blanc and perennial star Justin Fletcher (AKA Mr Tumble); www.thebigfeastival.com

Curated by the mighty Nile Rogers, Meltdown Festival is a series of gigs at the Southbank Centre, 1st to 13th August; visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk

British Summertime brings global superstars to Hyde Park for your aural pleasure. On Friday, 5th July it’s Celine Dion, Saturday is a celebration of Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand is Sunday 7th, Florence + The Machine and The National on Saturday 13th, and Robbie Williams, Texas, Feeder and Black Eyed Peas are on Sunday 14th. There’s also the BST open house with free fun, 8th to 11th July; www.bst-hydepark.com

Enjoy your summer!