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


With temperatures soaring (we can always dream!) and with summer finally here, it’s time to set your focus firmly on the great outdoors.  There’s plenty happening across the country so if you’re looking for inspiration, check out our Blog and see what’s happening in July 2016 where you live with Futon Company…

Acoustic Thursdays Open Mic Night
The Northern Quarter’s shiniest new night of acoustic talent every Thursday from 8.30pm.  Artists of all kind welcome!  The venue, Hold Fast, is a hidden gem, just off Stevenson Square in Manchester’s Northern Quarter boasting a free hair and beard barber, indoor smoking area, free board games and a sweet sweet PA to play through XD.  The venue is attached to the Hatters Hostel, so attracts a pretty mixed international crowd of all ages so it’s a great place to play.  Minimum age 18.

Sounds of the City – James Bay
James Bay is an artist who possesses that untarnished strain of talent that many newcomers lose as they develop over time.  His raw expressions and gravelled voice work in a magical unison that captivates audiences and strips pop melodies back to a skeletal efficiency.  James Bay appears at Castlefield Bowl for Sounds of the City 2016 on Wednesday 6th July 2016 from 7-11pm.

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 International Magic Festival
Be amazed and lose yourself in magic at events across the city from 1st-8th July 2016. Sleight of hand magic that challenges your senses, grand illusionists that combine technology, trickery and timing to create beautiful moments of ‘how?’  From world leading and stylistically glittering performances from Korean magicians at the grand Gala Show, Festival Theatre, to the multi-room MagicFair at Summerhall featuring over 20 performances for audiences of 20-120, you’ll find a show that will rock your socks off.  And you won’t even have to take off your shoes.  Edinburgh International Magic Festivals will take place at venues across the city.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
Now in its 38th year, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival is the longest running jazz festival in the UK.  From the beginning, the festival’s artistic policy has been to celebrate musical excellence and to encourage spontaneity and creativity.  Initially focusing on jazz, the festival has grown to include blues music.  Moving into the 21st century, artists from all over the world now take part, making it a truly international event.  The festival prides itself on offering a huge range of music events at affordable prices.  Friday 15th to Sunday 24th July 2016 at various venues across Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Food Festival
Assembly’s Edinburgh Food Festival is back to tease and tantalise your taste buds after its successful inaugural launch last year which attracted over 20,000 visitors.  Located in Edinburgh’s George Square Gardens, the festival is run by Assembly, and is sure to whet appetites for the famous Fringe Festival starting the following week.  With the iconic Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete at its centrepiece, join in and celebrate the finest Scottish produce from 27th to 31st July 2016.


Giffords Circus 2016 Tour
Giffords Circus 2016 Tour, The Painted Wagon, rolls into Chiswick House and Gardens until July 18th 2016.  The Painted Wagon is a whip-crackin’ horse-wranglin’ Hell-raisin Giffords Circus Show.  Featuring the Giffords Circus gang, this is a wild extravaganza of eye-catching acrobatics and aerialists from far and distant lands, dancing horses, bounty hunting and gold panning, all to the beat of the ‘Dodge City’ Giffords Circus salon band.

House Festival
House Festival is gearing up for another brilliant summer afternoon of food, drinks and live music, all in support of charity partners English Heritage and War Child.  This is the Festival’s 10th year – so July 7th will be an exciting day!  The 2016 line-up includes Kylie, Tinie Tempah, Jess Glynne, John Newman, DJ Fresh and more.  The House Festival will take place in the gardens surrounding Chiswick House. 

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.


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.

Bristol Shakespeare Festival
The freshest, most exciting productions of Shakespeare’s plays in Bristol’s most beautiful and unusual spaces.  From now until 29th July 2016.

King Lear at Bristol Old Vic
British theatre legend Timothy West plays Lear in Tom Morris’ production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy with Stephanie Cole and David Hargreaves alongside the stars of tomorrow from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  From now until 10th July 2016.

Bristol Pride
Bristol Pride 2016 will take place across the city from 1st-10th July 2016.  Expect the return of the award-winning film festival Comedy Night, Dog Show and a specially curated theatre evening.  The Pride Day Festival will take place on Saturday 9th July in Bristol Pride’s new home on the harbourside.


Splendour Festival
The organisers are thrilled to reveal an amazing line-up of musical talent for this year’s Splendour Festival at Nottingham’s Wallaton Park on Saturday 23rd July 2016.  The Human League and UB40 – two legendary bands with an outstanding back catalogue stretching back more than 40 years – join the bill on the main stage headlined by Jess Glynne.  Across the park, The Darkness will headline the Confetti stage along with The Fratellis, The Rifles, Stiff Little Fingers, Louis Berry, These Your Children and Eyre Llew.

Street Art Festival
This summer, Surface Gallery welcomes back the hottest show in town:  the Nottingham Street Art Festival.  This hugely popular exhibition supports and promotes Nottingham’s vibrant alternative art scene by showcasing some of today’s best local talent.  The Street Art Festival launches with a J+DJ set from Gallery Sounds, breakdancing, and live painting in the alley from Pete the Painter, Irek, SEGA, Mr Wed NYC and TFD Crew.  You’ll also be able to enjoy some nicely spiced cooking from Uncle Wayne’s Jerk Station.  This is a great opportunity to pick up some terrific art at affordable prices.  9th-30th July 2016 with Launch Party on Friday 8th July 6-10pm at 16 Southwell Road. 

Sherlock Holmes at Nottingham Castle
On the lonely wasteland of the desolate Devon moors, something evil is afoot.  When death stalks the Baskerville family, legend and superstition collide with the most heinous of crimes.  On the moor nobody is safe, not even the bravest of men.  Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company at Nottingham Castle to meet the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes himself, as he is called upon to solve the greatest mystery of all time…that of the Hound of the Baskervilles.  Bring a picnic and your best detective skills for an unforgettable evening of mystery, suspense and theatre under the stars.  July 3rd 7-10.30pm.


Blue Dot
Jodrell Bank – best known for Brian Cox – is playing host to a brand new ‘festival of discovery.’  Dull science lesson it ain’t.  Guests can expect music from the likes of Underworld, along with workshops, stargazing, great food and camping under the stars.

Clitheroe Castle
Fancy a day out that’s not a million miles from Chester?  Then head over to Clitheroe Castle foodie festival in Lancashire.  Running from 6th-9th July 2016, this is one not to be missed.  If your kind of summer festival involves eating well, sipping cava elegantly out of the glasses you cleverly packed (rather than straight out of the bottle) and listening to a few laid-back tunes, you need to be at this new boutique food and music festival.  Music-wise, there’s some golden oldies like Simply Red and Jools Holland.  And you get to feast on an array of local food and drink.

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.


Just For Laughs
Originating in Montreal, where it’s in its 33rd year, this iconic comedy festival helped launch the careers of Rowan Atkinson and Jim Carrey.  Now, it’s crossing the pond for the first time.  The main focal point will be Russell Square, where dancers will mingle with magicians, but other venues will host improve shows and silent discos.  Don’t miss Australian comic Jim Jefferies, one of the most talked-about and controversial names in comedy.  July 14th-24th 2016.  Tickets from £20.

Looking for a London festival not a million miles from Tottenham Court Road?  Then head over to Victoria Park E3, just a bus ride away.  An annual favourite, Lovebox is always a good time with party animals flocking in.  The line-up includes LCD Soundsystem, Jack Garratt, Major Lazer and Stormzy, plus Fabric nightclub’s exclusive festival debut.

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) herald ‘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.


Curiosity’s Vintage Fair
Two dates for your calendar – 30th and 31st July 2016 – when Curiosity will be showcasing at The Pantiles.  Whether you have just moved, extended, are revamping or just wish to treat yourself, Curiosity is here to help.  We do all the hunting for you and will be bringing a gorgeous array of furniture, home accessories, curios, collectibles and antiques.

Jazz on the Pantiles
Jazz on the Pantiles will run every Thursday evening and the occasional weekend throughout the summer of 2016.  Key diary dates for July include Thursday 7th Matt Skelton Quartet, Saturday 9th Big G’s, Thursday 14th Jive Aces, Thursday 21st Unit 7, Saturday 23rd Soul Avenue, Thursday 28th Quinto.

Teddy Bear Doctors ‘Pop-Up’ Clinic
Bring your teddy bear along for free advice on identification, age or ‘clinical’ needs.  Some treatments such as eye replacements and claw stitching will be available for a small charge on the day.  Other more complex repairs or restoration can be taken back to the studio workshop to be carried out.  Demonstrations of traditional bear-making techniques throughout the day.  Venue Woods Restaurant, Pantiles, 23rd July 10am-4pm.

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.


Wimbledon on the Lawn
A match made in heaven!  Look forward to an ace summer and get involved in the Great British Summer of Wimbledon from The Lawn, Royal William Yard, Plymouth.  Here, a big screen will show the matches, alongside other tennis-based activities on the lawn.  Pull up a deckchair, a few friends, some sunscreen and head to the lawn.  From now until 10th July 2016.

La Rochelle Revival Race
Plymouth will welcome another international sailing event this summer when the historic waterfront quarter of Sutton Harbour hosts the Plymouth to La Rochelle Revival Race.  Following the success of world-class sailing event The Transat bakerly, this popular international race from England to France is held every other year, last hosted in Plymouth in 2014.  The event is organised by the Yacht Club Classique in France in association with the Royal Western Yacht Club of England and will see 48 French and British classic boats berthed in Sutton Harbour from Sunday 10th July until they depart Plymouth on Tuesday 12th July for the 600km race to La Rochelle.

Culture Fest
In aid of MacMillan, Culture Fest Against Cancer in Central Park, Plymouth, will be working with Make Music for MacMillan to bring a full day and evening of music, food and fun to support the wonderful work Macmillan do.  17th July 2016 from 10am-4pm.

MTV ‘Crashes’ Plymouth
The spectacular live music event, being organised by MTV in collaboration with Plymouth City Council, will take place on Plymouth Hoe on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th July 2016.


Cornbury Festival
The 13th Cornbury Music Festival will be held on 8-10th July at Great Tew Park, Chipping Norton.  Festival goers can expect another ‘something for everyone’ line-up for 2016, with the Festival’s tried and tested mix of legendary artists and new stars including Jamie Cullum, Wilko Johnson and Soul II Soul.  Tickets available from

Battle Proms Picnic Concert
Every summer thousands of concert goers pack up a picnic, stock up on the fizz and join the party in the stunning grounds of Blenheim Palace for the Battle Proms Concert.  Taking place 16th July 2016.

Wytham Woods
Only three miles from the bustling centre of the university city of Oxford lie these ancient woods, unchanged for thousands of years.  You might recognise the woods even if you’ve never been here before.  They were regularly used for scenes of dastardly murder in the Inspector Morse series.  But you’re very unlikely to come across any trouble in the wild, remote corners of this mixed woodland.  You’re much more likely to spot scientists from Oxford University, which has owned the woods since 1942.  The University prizes the ecology of such a rare chunk of ancient forest, with its 500 butterfly species of plant and 800 species of butterflies and moths.  You can see why Inspector Morse, that cultured old loner, would have loved Wytham, even when it wasn’t full of fictional murder victims.  You must get a free walking permit in advance. 

Waterperry Gardens
Walk under the wisteria tunnel in the formal garden of Waterperry when it’s in full bloom and you’ll be overwhelmed by purple and white flowers surrounding you.  Planted in the mid-eighties, the wisteria cascades gracefully over a long arch, and the bench at the far end is the perfect place to admire the dense canopy of trailing, pea-like booms.  Also on view:  the eight-acre gardens are known for their magnificent herbaceous borders; the charming rose gardens; and riverside walk.  They even produce their own apple juice from the extensive orchards.  Waterperry Gardens near Wheatley, Oxon, open daily 10am-5.30pm.  Entry £7.20.


Essex Pride
Essex Pride is an annual celebration of lesbian, gay and bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people in Essex and beyond.  Taking place this year on July 9th at Central Park, Chelmsford, this is an event for the whole community, and it’s more than just a huge party.  Pride inspires everyone to embrace equality, and demonstrates that organisations and business, and people from all walks of life can join together and celebrate diversity.

Katherine Jenkins – Summer Nights
Chelmsford Race Course’s Summer Nights music continues with the spectacular Open Air Festival over three nights.  Thursday 21st July sees classical superstar Katherine Jenkins OBE performing a selection of famous show tunes, backed by the National Symphony Orchestra.

Brownstock Festival
A boutique style Music & Arts Festival, Brownstock has caused many a party lover to reconsider the extortionate amount charged for the various ‘uber festivals’ in exchange for a more personal experience with quirky interactive arts and extreme sports areas, not to mention a list of headliners of superstar status close enough to cuddle.  A big festival line up without the big festival price.  Taking place at Morris Farm, Chelmsford from 8th-10th July 2016.

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 specialists 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

Essex pride

Cambridge Folk Festival
Now in its 52nd year, the Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the oldest in the country, with an emphasis on self-improvement and new experiences.  Expect everything from story-telling to art classes and juggling tuition.  Give tai chi a go or learn to play the Northumbrian pipes.  There’s other music, too, courtesy of Christy Moore and Imelda May.  Don’t miss the chance to indulge your inner pop star at the singing and song-writing workshops.  Next stop The X Factor.  July 28th-31st.  Day tickets from £26.50.

The Big Weekend
Starting with a cascade of dazzling fireworks on Friday 8th July, The Big Weekend attracts record numbers of people to the city and features performances from show-stopping artists, delighting crowds throughout the weekend.  The Big Weekend is run by Cambridge Live in partnership with Cambridge City Council.  The Big Weekend runs from 8th-10th July 2016. 

Cambridge Mela- A celebration of Asian culture
Traditionally Cambridge’s Big Weekend is brought to a close with a day of world music and dance celebrating ethnic diversity with the hugely popular Cambridge Mela.  This year is not different.  The Cambridge Mela is a celebration of Asian culture including music and dance from top national and local acts, Asian arts and crafts, fashion and delicious food, workshops and performances from the local community.  Sunday 10th July from midday-8pm.

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Shakespeare Festival
In the year that marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we invite you to join us for the sparkling battle-of-the-sexes comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, at this summer’s Shakespeare Festival.  The play will be performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men amidst the beautiful open air surroundings of the Norwich Cathedral Cloisters on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th July 2016 at 7pm.

Wymondham Music Festival 2016
Wymondham is a pretty, historic market town just 9 miles south west of Norwich, the venue for the award-winning Wymondham Music Festival – Festival Fortnight.  This annual feel-good celebration of music and performers – from near and far – presents music in all its forms such as classical, folk, world, jazz and dance.  The Festival excels in events such as the Midsummer Jazz Picnic, Town Busking Day and the Festival Finale.  Iconic venues for performance include the 17th Century Market Cross and Wymondham Abbey, gigs at Central Hall and so much more.  1st-16th July 2016.

Grime’s Graves
An eerie, dimpled, lunar landscape marks the site of the only Neolithic flint mine in Britain that’s open to the public.  Five thousand years ago, Grime’s Graves was a hive of activity and, still today, you can see the depressions in the landscape created by the 400 pits.  Grime’s Graves were worked for more than 1,000 years, from 300BC to 1900BC.  Visitors can climb 30 feet down through the chalk surface into one mine, to see the jet-black flint that was so crucial for making axes, and for starting fires.  It’s a fascinating glimpse into the sophisticated lives of these early Britons, who sliced their way through two hard upper seams of flint to reach a deep third layer, where better quality flint was found.  Open daily 10am-6pm at Thetford, Norfolk.

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.

Sandringham Flower Show
Local nurseries, arena events, talks by TV’s Chris Beardshaw and Barnsdale Garden’s Nick Hamilton in a beautiful setting.  Taking place on Sandringham Estate on July 27th.  Tickets on sale now.  Adults £10, free to under-16s.


St Mary’s Church
St Mary’s Church, Whitby, is Dracula’s church, teetering on the edge of the cliff in the North Yorkshire fishing town.  Next to it is the ruined skeleton of Whitby Abbey, torn apart in the Reformation.  It’s so close to the cliff that the graveyard has fallen victim to landslides, unearthing ancient graves.  And it is in this graveyard that Bram Stoker’s supernatural creation Dracula makes landfall in the 1896 Gothic horror novel.  Stoker describes Dracula moving through the graveyard.  On a bracing spring day, as the wind whips ashore, you don’t need much imagination to picture Dracula striding through the graveyard today.  Open during daylight hours except during services.

Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues
They say that good things come in small packages.  This may be one of the summer’s smallest gatherings, but it’s also one of the most sophisticated, taking over a stately manor in East Yorkshire for a weekend of award-winning jazz.  It offers a musical buffet, including famed violinist Matt Holborn and eastern rock and folk music from the Blind Monk Trio band.  Don’t miss a performance from Elaine Delmar, one of the most celebrated British jazz artists of all time.  July 1st-3rd.

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.


Looking for a London festival not a million miles from Battersea?  Then hop on a bus and head to Brockwell Park, SE24 on 9th July for the Sunfall Festival.  Brand new for this year, Sunfall is a day festival from the guys behind Dimensions.  Reflecting the eclectic sounds of London, festival goers can anticipate a big ole musical mix.  Come nightfall the party continues and the crowd splits to a handful of different venues.

Freshly Scratched
Come along to Battersea Arts Centre from 5th-9th July 2016 and be the first to discover the future of theatre.  Here, artists are invited to test out new ideas for shows.  Audiences are invited to experience these ideas and give feedback.  This is called Scratch.  Freshly Scratched features artists and companies trying out new ideas in front of a supportive audience.  Each evening features 6-8 performances by different artists.  Each is at an early stage of development and will last 10 minutes or less.  After the performances, everyone is invited to grab a bite to eat, have a drink in the Scratch Bar and discuss the evening’s events.  Audience members are also encouraged to write feedback on each performance.

Annual Summer Party
The highlight of Battersea’s social season.  Time to catch up with old friends or meet new ones and enjoy the unrivalled tension of the famous raffle.  Will you be a winner this year?  The event will be held in either the crypt or in the grounds in front of the church at St Mary’s on Battersea Church Road.  Thursday 14th July 2016 from 6.30-9.30pm, £10 per person.


Brighton’s Big Screen
Brighton’s Big Screen is back again from 10th June to 10th July 2016 with more brilliant films to see at the popular seafront cinema experience.  Organisers are promising that the 2016 programme will be bigger and better than ever before, showing live football coverage plus over 30 classic and recent box office hits on the gigantic 40sqm screen.

Take Part Festival
A celebration of community sport, dance and physical activity with events taking place across the city open to all ages and abilities with something to do for everyone.  Saturday 18th June 2016.


Hampton Court Flower Show
The world’s largest annual flower show is set to take place at Hampton Court from July 5th-10th 2016 from 10am-7.30pm.  Be prepared to enjoy spectacular summer blooms – whatever the weather!

Seaside Extravaganza
Enjoy the delights of a Seaside Extravaganza in the heart of the Surrey Hills.  Throw your coconuts for prizes, tug of war, take a ride on a donkey, croon to live music, Bouncy Castle, Punch & Judy, Magician and Pop Up Pub, Ice Cream, Brick n Brac stall and the splendour of Victorian Tearooms.  Enjoy the tasty BBQ or bring along a picnic.  Adults £3.50-£4 on the gate.  The Spike, Warren Road, Guildford.

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.


Chagstock Music Festival
An international music festival on the edge of Devon’s beautiful Dartmoor and a ‘not for profit’ organisation supporting the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and Water Aid.  Camping available with separate areas for Camper/ Caravans and a quiet camping field for Families or others who want a little less noise at night.  Taking place at Whiddon Down on 22nd-23rd July 2016.

Great Hall Classical Extravaganza
Back by popular demand, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns with their Classical Extravaganza.  The concert will feature another host of the most popular and recognisable pieces of classical music, as well as fantastic lasers and lights.  If you’re looking for a different evening out, come and experience classical music in a way you never have before!  Includes Rossini, Bach, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Wagner.

Catwalk & Cocktails
Join and Ladies Do to see the hottest summer styles on the runway.  Enjoy a welcome cocktail, canapés and also the chance to shop affordable designer clothes at your leisure before and after the show.  You will also receive a goodie bag and be entered into a prize draw to win some exciting prizes.  Wednesday 6th July at Southgate Hotel in Exeter 7-9pm.


Summer Festival at Alexandra Palace
Summer’s here and there’s no better place to celebrate it than at Alexandra Palace’s free-entry Summer Festival.  Taking place on Saturday 23rd July 2016, festival activities include live music stages, outdoor cinema, silent disco, family raves, giant waterslide, street food and craft beer.

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.

5 St Regis Close – Open Garden for NGS
Corucopia of sensual delight.  Artist’s garden famous for architectural features and delicious cakes.  Baroque temple, pagodas, oriental raku tiles mirrored wall conceals plant nursery.  American Gothic shed overlooks Liberace Terrace and stairway to heaven.  Maureen Lipman’s favourite garden, combines colour, humour and trompe loeil with wildlife friendly ponds, waterfalls, weeping willow and lawns.  Imaginative container planting, abundant borders, creating an inspirational and re-energising experience.  July 17th.  Admission £3.50, children free.  020 8883 8540.


TW12 Jazz Festival
Kate Williams’ Four Plus Three is a new collaboration between acclaimed jazz pianist/ composer Kate Williams and the Guastralla String Quartet.  The repertoire for this new project includes materials by Bill Evans, Cole Porter and A C Jobin as well as originals by Williams.  The style of writing and arranging exploits the varied sound pallet of both string quartet and jazz trio, creating contrasts between the improvised and the notated and between sustained textures and strong grooves.  23rd July at Hampton Hill Theatre.

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