What’s on in August… Futon Company presents ideas from across the UK


Summer’s in full swing with the added bonus of a Bank Holiday – what’s not to love about August!  If you’re stuck for something to do in your free time don’t worry – we have plenty of ideas to inspire you – from across the UK.  If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our Blog and see what’s happening in August 2016 where you live with Futon Company


Caribbean Carnival of Manchester
Manchester Carnival has brought Caribbean culture to the forefront, annually, for over 40 years, and is the North West’s largest celebration of Caribbean music and carnival arts.  A vibrant celebration of Caribbean music, dance, theatre and costume.  Enjoy the infectious rhythms of song and dance as the carnival procession winds its way through the crowds with steel bands, floats with DJs, dance troupes with carnival queens and princesses, elaborate costumes and folklore characters.  Carnival highlights will include the parade with over 45 troupes, a main stage featuring the best of calypso, soca and reggae music, mouth-watering food and much more.  13th-14th August 2016.

Manchester Pride
The Big Weekend is held over four days where Manchester’s Gray Village becomes the focus for thousands of visitors to enjoy one of the best parties in the UK.  The multi-award winning Manchester Pride greets the city from 26th-29th August 2016 for its annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life.  This year Pride will be led by Sir Ian McKellen.  There are four elements to Manchester Pride, beginning with Pride Fringe which runs throughout August and promises a vast array of events across the city ranging from theatre and performance to art and culture.

Fashion & Freedom Exhibition
This exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, running from now until 27th November 2016, sees some of today’s leading female fashion designers explore the impact the First World War had on the changing role of women and fashion.  Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Manchester Art Gallery, with support from the British Fashion Council, the exhibition will include contemporary pieces by Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda, Holly Fulton, Emilia Wickstead, J JS Lee and Sadie Williams.


Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The world’s largest arts festival transforms Scotland’s capital every August, when thousands of performers take to hundreds of stages all over the city to present shows for every taste.  From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is something special.  What sets the Festival apart?  It’s a magnet for creative producers, the industry and media making it the biggest and most dynamic international arts market in the world; here you can experience theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, physical theatre, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events in one city; and it’s totally open-access, including anyone in the programme with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them.  5th-29th August 2016.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo
From 5th-27th August 2016 Edinburgh hosts the spectacular Military Tattoo, set against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.  Hailed as one of the most spectacular shows in the world, and watched by a TV audience of millions worldwide, this is an event not to be missed.

Edinburgh International Book Festival
Running from 13th-29th August 2016, the Book Festival is the world’s largest public celebration of the written word in the world.  Every August the organisers bring together over 800 writers and thinkers from across the planet to rub shoulders with the audience.  Themes for the 2016 festival include:  a changing society, literary legends, migrant stories, music and learning, redrawing the Middle East and much more.


Luna Cinema
The Luna Cinema returns to Chiswick House and Gardens on August 2nd-4th 2016 – the ultimate setting for three nights of classic cinema under the stars.  Bring a picnic or enjoy the fantastic hot food and full on-site bar.  2nd August The Great Gatsby; 3rd August Spectre; 4th August Grease.

Chiswick Car Book Sale
Sunday 7th August 2016 at Chiswick School, W4 3UN.  This is one of the most successful car boot sales in the South East and for both sellers and buyers it is very lucrative.  All money raised from the entrance fees goes to the school.  An early start!

Chiswick Food Market
Open every Sunday come rain or shine from 10am to 4pm, the market is a social enterprise and proceeds made from running it are used to improve and maintain both the local meadows and the surrounding riverside area.  Features around 25 top producers from around the country.

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Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
The 38th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will take place from 11th-14th August 2016 offering four fantastic days of free family fun.

Museum of the Moon at Bristol International Balloon Festival
Luke Jerram’s latest artwork will see a new ‘moon’ rising over the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in Ashton Court.  The Bristol artists, whose Park Street water slide, street pianos and fleet of abandoned boats in Leigh Woods became massive draws for visitors to the city, has created a work called Museum of the Moon, which will be seen in public for the first time this year at the Balloon Fiesta.  Measuring seven metres in diameter, Luke Jerram’s moon will feature detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

Redfest 2016 at St George Park
On 6th August, in St George Park, arts festival Redfest returns with four music stages, with headliners RSVP Bhangra and a focus on dance as an art form.  RSVP, who grew up in St George, are pioneers of Bhangra music.  Blending traditional Punjabi music with electronic dance, they are renowned for getting a crowd dancing and bring a superb fun finish to the festival.  As well as activities for families, massage taster sessions, local food stalls and a bustling market area, this year’s festival includes a dedicated dance workshop and performance space for the first time.

Exhibition:  20 Years of the RIBA Stirling Prize
1996 saw the birth of two important architecture institutions:  The RIBA Stirling Prize and the Architecture Centre, Bristol.  This summer, the two come together in a look back at two decades of architecture in an exhibition of models, photographs, films and drawings.  From High-Tech to Futurism, Modernism to Po-Mo, discover the buildings and projects that have influenced British architectural debate from 1996 to 2015.  At The Architecture Centre, Bristol, from now until August 21st 2016.


Nottingham Riverside Festival
Nottingham’s biggest and most popular free festival weekend offering three days of entertainment for all ages.  A unique and fun festival covering one mile along the banks of the River Trent, at Victoria Embankment, adjacent to Trent Bridge.  Both old and new attractions, from steam engines and organs to a large street fun fair and craft fair, plus a variety of food and drink stalls.  Four music stages offer a range of music styles throughout the weekend including jazz, folk, world music and a showcase of the best local talent.

The World of Wizardry
Dear Wizards, witches, giants, werewolves, goblins and non magic folk – there are a limited number of tickets available for certain activities like the House Games, the Big Quiz and the evening ball, and lots of free things to do like having your picture taken with a replica of the Ford Anglia, attending potions workshops, entering the colouring competitions and browsing the Wizarding Marketplace.  There will be some fantastic guests in attendance such as Zoe Wanamaker and Jimmy Vee.  6th August at Nottingham Conference Centre.

Picnic in the Park
Community fun day at Clifton Playing Fields with lots of information stalls and activities including bouncy castle, inflatable slide, bungee run, stilt walkers, climbing wall and sports.  This year’s event is themed ‘Rio – The Games.’  From 11am on 9th August.  Free.

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Moonlight Flicks
Cheshire’s most magical moonlit movie season is back from now until 27th August 2016.  Grab a deckchair and enjoy some of the best films out, wirelessly under the stars, in the shadow of the city’s Roman ruins, with your friends.  Bring your own drink, and order pizzas to be delivered during the show.  August films include Thelma & Louise, Mad Max: Fury Road, Willy Wonka, Birdman, The Artists, Jurassic World, Brooklyn, Inside Out, The Philadelphia Story, Matilda and Dirty Dancing.

Celebrating World Elephant Day
Visit Chester Zoo on Friday 12th August 2016 to celebrate these amazing animals and their future conservation!  Look out for the Zoo Ranger team on the boardwalk next to the elephant enclosure where they’ll be talking all things elephant!  Asian elephants are endangered in the wild, so the work Chester’s team do to conserve them is vital.  Join the team from 10-11.30am.

Dinosaurs!  The Next Adventure
After four years away, Chester Zoo’s award-winning dinosaurs have returned and are in situ from now until 4th September 2016.  Take an exhilarating journey back to the Jurassic age when these gigantic creatures roamed and ruled the earth.  You’ll walk amongst the predators and their prey, not knowing what is lurking around the next corner…

Mindfulness Meditation
Relax every Monday for our Mindfulness Meditation classes 6.45pm at Beehive Healthcare, Chester.  Meet like-minded people in comfortable surroundings.  Minimum age 14.  Entry price £7.  6.45pm for one hour.  Every Monday.


Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House
Catch a movie on London’s largest outdoor screen set against the spectacular Somerset House between August 4th to 17th.  Watch modern and classic movies under the starry summer skies.  This year’s festival features a mixed programme of UK premieres, old favourites and Cannes award-winning films, including rom-coms, musicals, sci-fis and more.  Bring a blanket and picnic and join us from 6.30pm.  Rugs, picnic hampers, food and drink are also available to buy on site.  Enjoy DJ sets inspired by the films and special guest introductions before settling down to enjoy the open air screening in full surround sound at 9pm.

Dutch Flowers at the National Gallery
If the appearance of sunshine has given you flower fever, head to The National Gallery’s ‘Dutch Flowers’ exhibitions, which Elle Decoration (July 2016) heralds ‘the must see exhibition’.  It’s a display of majestic floral still-life paintings by Masters of the 17th and 18th centuries, a time when The Netherlands’ infatuation with exotic flowers led to ‘tulip mania,’ which at its peak saw prices for a single bulb spiral to ten times the annual salary of a skilled craftsman.  Exhibition on now until August 29th.

Show Boat
Daniel Evans’s buoyant, shipshape Sheffield Crucible production of Show Boat has steamed into the West End, riding on the tremendous tide of Jerome Kern’s intense score – a magnificent mix of love songs, soaring show tunes, soulful ballads – and Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics.  And, above all, a boatload of outstandingly creative talent.  Written in 1927, Show Boat was a musical game-changer, a provocative play tackling real issues – what it is to be a free and independent spirit, man or woman, black or white, young or old – pushed along and enriched by numbers that make you feel in your soul and make your heart sing even while tears are running down your cheeks.  Showing at New London Theatre, London from now until January 7th 2017.


Fairfax Gallery 21st Summer Exhibition on The Pantiles
The Fairfax Gallery holds its 21st Summer Exhibition at its Tunbridge Wells gallery on The Pantiles.  The exhibition features over 100 contemporary paintings and sculpture from established, award-winning and emerging talent.  The exhibition has coincided with the Fairfax Gallery winning the Best Gallery category in the Muddy Stilettos Kent Awards.  Open from now until 8th September 2016.

Summer Sundays
Discover centuries of Garden History, as each Sunday in August Penshurst Place & Gardens celebrates a different era of history, with falconry from the Hawking Centre, storytelling by Aardvark productions, and wonderful crafts in The Old Coach House.

Jazz on The Pantiles
Live jazz on the bandstand on The Pantiles from 7pm every Thursday night from now until 29th September 2016.  There is no admission charge but the Pantiles traders will invite listeners to make a donation.  Your generosity is vital for these events to continue.

Pantiles Market & Tunbridge Wells Famers Market
Combining hot food and local produce with a selection of crafts, clothing and accessories, the Royal Tunbridge Wells Pantiles Market is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike.  Held on the first and third weekends of each month.  Meanwhile the Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market takes place outside the Town Hall, centrally in the heart of the town, providing a good source of local fresh food.  Visit on the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 9am-2pm.


Rio Olympic FanZone
Come on down to the Official Team GB FanZone in Plymouth this summer to watch live coverage of the Olympic Games from Rio on the big screen and participate in some of the sports that our Team GB stars will be competing in.  The Official Team GB FanZone will be a fabulous place to experience all of the action and atmosphere of the Rio Olympic Games whilst supporting Team GB athletes in their quest for Olympic glory.  The FanZone will show live coverage of the Games at selected times, offering the chance to share memorable and historic sporting moments as well as the opportunity to participate in some Olympic sports.  Events include Tennis 1st August, Athletics 2nd August and Hockey 4th August.

Plymouth Pride
Pride in Plymouth is a non-profit Community Interest Company that brings people and groups together to celebrate and promote the diversity and talent that exists within the LGBT communities in Plymouth.  The Pride Festival will take place at Plymouth Hoe on 13th August 201 and this family friendly event is free to all.  The main event will be preceded by a colourful parade through the city centre departing from the Jigsaw Garden at 12pm.

Jazz and Ale Festival
The Jazz and Ale Festival returns to Boringdon Hall in Plymouth on Bank Holiday Sunday, 28th August 2016, with an impressive mix of outdoor delights.  The all-day stomping hot event will celebrate all things jazz while local ales and liquors, a hog roast and selection of food stalls will be available alongside lawn activities for adults and children.


BBC Countryfile Live
Hosted within the spectacular grounds of Blenheim Palace, BBC Countryfile live will showcase the very best of our countryside.  These exciting new events will combine the tradition of the UK’s best country fairs with the quality editorial and presentation of one of the BBC’s flagship programmes.  From 4th-7th August 2016.

Wilderness Festival
Wilderness is the multi award-winning 4-day festival combining live music, contemporary arts and an array of theatre, craftsmanship and dining experiences.  It’s a rich tapestry of musicians, chefs, thinkers, actors, outdoor experts and teachers.  4th-7th August 2016 at Cornbury Park.

The Big Feastival
Jamie Oliver and Alex James present The Big Feastival, a unique weekend celebration of food, music, and fun for all the family, set on Alex’s idyllic Cotswolds farm.  Mark Ronson will headline the main stage on Friday night, kicking off the feastival in true party style.  Foxes, Norman JAY MBE, Stereo MCs and Dike also appear in the epic line-up.  The Big Feastival is all about great food and the chefs will be there to prove it, including Jamie Oliver, Raymond Blanc and Tom Kerridge.


Jools Holland at Chelmsford City Racecourse
The Racecourse’s Summer Nights Music concerts come to a stunning end with the legendary musician Jools Holland performing live at the Racecourse on Saturday 20th August 2016.  Rounding off the summer in style, Britain’s favourite front man will entertain with a mix of jazz and blues classics, alongside his own hits.

RHS Garden Flower Show
The Hyde Hall Flower Show from 4th-7th August 2016 is packed with all the plants and inspiration you need.  Browse, buy and obtain advice from around 60 specialist nurseries and trade stands, including many RHS Chelsea Flower Show winners.  Exhibitors will also have stunning floral displays to delight and inspire you, including 16 suppliers and nurseries that have never been at the show before.

Garden Sculpture Trail
See and buy sculpture from emerging and professional artists from now until August 14th at Hyde Hall.  One of the most renowned regional arts organisations in the country, the Surrey Sculpture Society, is brining the works of its talented emerging and professional sculptures to Hyde Hall.  Discover a range of sculptures in diverse garden settings including the Hilltop, Dry and Woodland Gardens, with all sculptures for sale.  Open 10am-5pm daily.

Farmers & Crafts Market
Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Stables Visitor Centre at Hylands House, the wonderful Farmers & Crafts Market features a growing number of craft stalls and local farmers who are passionate about food.  They sell a range of specialist foods including organic, locally grown seasonal vegetables, fine sausages and bacon, homemade cakes, fudge and pastries, pies and fantastic cheeses, homemade Indian foods and spices, locally grown plants and sweets and candyfloss for children.  Held the first Sunday of every month from now until December, from 10am-4pm.

Boot Camp
Essex Boot Camp provides outdoor fitness in parks across Essex and Chelmsford, offering motivation and fitness outdoors 52 weeks of the year.  Come to Beaulieu Park on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Hylands Park on Saturday and Admirals Park Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  For full details and events taking place in April go to


Cambridge Shakespeare Festival
“No knee-bending to trendy revisionism…but rather a tour de force of Elizabethan drama” is how The Times describes the UK’s best loved open-air Shakespeare Festival.  It has become a significant cultural event in the region and can expect to attract upwards of 25,000 visitors for the productions which run during the eight weeks of the festival.  This year’s programme includes Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Henry V, The Winter’s Tale and As You Like It.

Cambridge Thai Festival
Cambridge Thai Festival will be held for the first time at Parkers Piece on 6th and 7th August 2016.  This is a two day event where you can enjoy yourselves, taste Thai food and experience Thai traditional dance.  There will be several performances featuring “I’m British get me out of here” eating competition, Miss Thailand of Great Britain competition and more….

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Slow Food Anglia and Norwich Festival
Slow Food Anglia and Norwich together with the Norwich City Council and Bite the Bullitt will host a Slow Food Festival from 18th-20th August at St Margaret’s Church in Norwich.  Here there will be a market, workshops, talks and demonstrations from 11am-6pm.

Norwich Radical Film Festival
The inaugural film festival will take place in Norwich from 26th-28th August 2016.  Alongside the festival, the organisers hold regular film screenings, workshops and events to share and discuss Radical Film.  The Festival seeks to promote and support film makers locally, nationally and internationally who produce works that are politically subversive and/ or unique in form and that challenge the status quo.

Peter Pan at Holkham Hall
Chapterhouse Theatre Company are delighted to present the unforgettable story of Peter Pan, the boy who didn’t want to grow up.  Join, Wendy, Michael and John Darling on their adventures with Peter, far away on the magical island of Neverland.  There they encounter the enchanting mermaids, magical fairies and the cruellest of pirates of them all, Captain Hook.  Wednesday 10th August from 18.15. or

Houghton Hall
A towering silver rock [Zhan Wang’s Scholar Rock], a fountain of fire, a concrete gamekeeper’s hut – the current Lord Cholmondeley commissioned these, and other sculptures as modern equivalents to the temples and gazebos that decorated gardens like Houghton’s in the 18th century.  A new work for 2016 is Dunstable Reel by Philip King, a painted steel sculpture in which shapes rhythmically unfold.  Permanent collection, open Wed, Thur, Sun and Bank Holidays until September 25th.

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Clare Haley:  Light of Yorkshire
York Fine Arts will host an exciting solo exhibition of original paintings by British landscape artist  Clare Haley.  Clare Haley:  Light of Yorkshire showcases a spellbinding collection of work that magnificently articulates the raw, dramatic beauty of landscape and light.  Form placid, sunlit valleys of green to suspenseful, stormy skies, the exhibition presents a spectacular selection of Clare’s paintings that tell a comprehensive story of the multifaceted northern landscape she loves so much.  York Fine Arts in York from now until 12th August 2016.

The York Orchard Musical Theatre Company
The York Orchard Theatre Company brings Jonathan Larson’s exuberant East Village rock version of Puccini’s opera La Boheme to York in this fabulous amateur production by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd, on behalf of Music International of New York.  26th and 27th August 2016 from 19.30 at Grand Opera House in York.

York Famers Market
York’s monthly Famers Market celebrates the best of local produce, including meal, eggs, bread and oils as well as selling non-food gifts including pottery and woollen goodies.  The Farmers Market joins the city’s regular market at the Shambles on the last Friday of every month.  Fresh goods sold here are grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholders within a 40-mile radius of York.

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A live music series bringing the festival feel to Battersea.  Battersea Arts Centre and GOAT Music collaborate to present a musical spectacle celebrating the UK’s best home-grown talent and unique artists from around the globe, in the intimate and beautiful settings of the Council Chamber.  With the Rio Olympics taking place across August, Borderless will provide an alternative cross-cultural celebration.  Samba to tropical beats, dance to Afrobeat legends skank to Reggae and let the new generation of jazz taking you to another place.  Break down the borders and shuffle your feet to global rhythms to hear the biggest tunes from all over the planet.  From 2nd August-29th September 2016.

90 Years of Royal Style
If fashion’s your thing check out ‘Fashioning a Reign:  90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’ at Buckingham Palace.  Celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday year with a look at her sense of style over the decades.  Discover how she has dressed over the years in the largest ever exhibition of the outfits that have marked her private life and the official events she attended, from childhood to present day.  From now until 2nd October 2016.

Fashion Rules:  Restyled
Take a journey through four decades of fashion and see how the Royal Family’s great women set the trends with Fashion Rules:  Restyled at Kensington Palace.  Featuring a luxurious display of dresses from the wardrobes of queens and princesses, the exhibition charts major changes in taste and style over the years.  Learn more about the elegance of a young Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret’s predilection for bold colours, up to the sparkles and tailoring of the 1980s, perfectly represented by Princess Diana’s beautiful dresses.  The exhibition features signature clothing by designers including Marc Bohan, Zandra Rhodes and Bruce Oldfield.  Until 5th January 2017.


Medieval Festival 2016
Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex is a fairy-tale setting for a totally different family weekend.  Step back in time and immerse yourselves in the spectacular magic of the past.  England’s Medieval Festival is the most authentic, one-of-a-kind event in the UK with a very special blend of history and fun for the whole family.  From the moment you arrive you are surrounded by the sights, smells and excitement of medieval times.  Realistic historical battles, jousting, performers, horses, archery, music, traditional crafts, eating, drinking, shopping and day-to-day life.  27th-29th August 2016.

Glyndebourne Opera:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Peter Hall’s popular production of Shakespeare’s magical tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Conducted by Kazushi Ono and starring Tim Mead, Elizabeth DeShong, Michael Samuel and Benjamin Hulett.  Thursday 11th August at 4.20pm, Glyndebourne in Lewes.

Brighton Thai Festival
A two day event at Preston Park, Brighton, to experience the taste of Thailand on Saturday 20th August 2016.  Brought to you by Magic of Thailand.

Folklore, Magic & Mysteries
Folklore, Magic & Mysteries: Modern Witchcraft and Folk Culture in Britain is an exhibition currently showing at Preston Manor until 14th August.  A unique display of artefacts, manuscripts and documents, from the Doreen Valiente Foundation.  In 2013, Doreen made posthumous history by being the first witch to be awarded a blue plaque on her home in Brighton to commemorate her life and honour her achievements.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and is brought to the stage in an adventurous and unique production set in 1920s industrial Bradford, where the industrial elite tries to shrug off its gypsy roots.  Erstwhile small time criminal Theseus is to marry Hippolyta to end a local feud and ambitious Demetrious loves Helena, but has his eyes on a more financial prize, Hermia, who loves the more straightforwardly attractive Lysander.  24th-27th August.

Wings and Wheels 2016
Two day aviation and motoring show on August 27th-28th at Dunsfold Aerodrome.  With five hours of thrilling aviation displays which have included visitor favourites:  the Red Arrows, BBMF, Apache Helicopter and Typhoon, it also includes a Wheels Zoe of supercars and classic and vintage favourites performing exciting demonstrations and stunts.

Guildford Farmers Market
Held on the first Tuesday of every month.  While the High Street Setts are being repaired, the Farmers Market will relocate to the Leapale Road Surface Car Park.  Buy high quality, fresh, local produce directly from over 50 local farmers and producers.  Try the best seasonal produce and ask questions about growing, rearing, manufacture and cooking methods.  Enjoy the freshest meat, fish, cheese, eggs, fruit and vegetables and breads.


Beautiful Days Festival
Beautiful Days is the Levellers’ family music festival which takes place at Escot Park in Devon with six stages, site art, a huge children’s area, comedy, theatre, family camping, licensed real ale bars from Otter Brewery and a great choice of food and craft stalls.  Beautiful Days won the Grass Roots Festival Award at the 2015 festival awards.  19th-21st August 2016 Nr Fairmile, Otterly St Mary.

Sidmouth Folk Week
Sidmouth Folk Week is a unique week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song taking place in the charming East Devon regency coastal resort – a must in every festival goer’s annual diary.  There has been a folk festival here in the first week of August every year since 1955, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to over 700 diverse events with a promise of ‘something for everyone’ – from major league concerts, to small, intimate sessions, from ceilidh dancing to lively root parties, from family entertainment to youth-centred master classes, from social dance to colour dance displays.  Until 5th August 2016 in Sidmouth.

Summer Theatre in Killerton’s Garden
The garden comes alive with captivating theatre performances in the summer.  Settle into a drama surrounded by blooming herbaceous borders, a Georgian house and far-reaching views.  This year’s entertaining performances include Much Ado About Nothing, The Importance of Being Earnest and Ratburger.  2nd-13th August 2016 at Killerton’s Garden.


Street Food & Craft Beer Festival
Come and experience London’s top street food traders, tons of craft beers, cocktails and more, all set against a stunning panoramic view of London.  All this plus live music and DJs all day across multiple stages, it’s the ultimate celebration of summer – and best of all, entry is free.  At Alexandra palace on 20th-21st August 2016.

Foodies Festival
Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest outdoor celebration of food and drink, returns to Alexandra Palace this summer for a taste-tickling Bank Holiday feast 27th-29th August.  From 11am-7pm for the first two days, closing at 6pm on the final day.  Under 12s free.  Adults £16 in advance.

33 Wood Vale – Open Garden for NGS
The garden opens with a view of Sedum roof atop a greenhouse.  Emphasis is on texture, shapes, contrasting foliage, colour of unusual Mediterranean, Australasian and exotic plants.  Formal planting surrounds a centrepiece foundation followed by a meandering path flanked by shrubs, trees and two 30m borders of perennials and grasses.  The garden widens onto raised beds, small rockery, bog area and Corokia hedge.  Open now until 14th August 2016.  Admission £3, children free.  Telephone 020 8883 4955.

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BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace
A three day event from 27th-20th August 2016 with cookery demonstrations, artisan product stalls and live music.  Adult tickets from £18 per person.

The Hollywood Special Effects Show
Discover how film special effects are created in this family friendly show at Kingston’s Rose Theatre from 6th-7th August 2016.  Child tickets from £12.50, adult tickets from £15.

Encounters With the Past
Immerse yourself in the stories of Hampton Court Palace and the people who have inhabited it, through a series of up-close encounters with real characters from Hampton Court’s past.  You might meet Henry VIII’s Tudor court, see Shakespeare rehearsing with his King’s Men Company, or experience life in the Baroque Palace.  From now until August 29th 2016.

The Empress & The Gardner at Hampton Court Palace
A remarkable collection of watercolour paintings and drawings once owned by the Empress Catherine the Great of Russia at Hampton Court Palace, part of the nationwide commemorations marking the 300th anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth.  Never displayed before, the collection of almost 60 intricately detailed views of the palace, park and gardens vividly captures Hampton Court during the time when Capability Brown served as Chief Gardener to George III.  From now until 4th September 2016