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

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It’s June and there’s plenty of activity afoot! If you’re looking for outdoor action in your area check out our blog and see what’s happening in June 2016 where you live with Futon Company…

 

MANCHESTER

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.

Manchester Day
A day for families, residents and visitors to get together and celebrate all things Mancunian.  Manchester Day is an annual event that celebrates everything great about the city.  It celebrates all things Mancunian that have made Manchester into one of the world’s most iconic cities.  Manchester Day 2016 promises to be even bigger and better than ever!  As well as an amazing parade through the heart of the city, Manchester’s city centre squares will feature a dazzling array of performances, decorations and mouth watering food and drink throughout the day.  This year’s theme is Eureka! Representing Manchester as a pioneering city that’s still at the forefront of modern discovery, European City of Science for 2016 and home of the National Graphene Institute, as well as Archimedes, the Ancient Greek mathematician, moments of sudden inspiration in everyday life and a celebration of Manchester as the first industrial city and its history of pioneering spirit, from vegetarianism, atomic theory, competitive football to British dance music.

The Stone Roses & Special Guests
The Stone Roses, Ian Brown, John Squire, Mani and Reni, will play two concerts at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on 15th, 17th, 18th and 19th June 2016.

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EDINBURGH

Meadows Festival
Edinburgh’s free volunteer-run music and community festival returns to the city on 4th and 5th June 2016 offering a wide range of activities for all ages including live music, a popular Kids’ Area, general merchandise stalls, food stalls to suit every taste and appetite, performance area with local artists showcasing their work including theatre, classes and dance and much, much more.

Royal Highland Show
The largest outdoor event in Scotland, the annual Royal Highland Show, is set to take place at Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh from June 23rd-26th 2016.  Attractions include equestrian, livestock and produce competitions, and the Sunday finale of massed brands beating the retreat.  The event is also the largest showcase for food and drink in Scotland.  It is attended annually by over 160,000 people.

The Moonwalk Scotland
Walking the Walk can save lives, raise awareness and get you fit, so what an opportunity to do something for yourself that will also benefit many cancer patients in Scotland.  Walk the Walk is a grant-making charity that raises money for vital breast cancer causes.  All you have to do is commit to getting a little bit fitter, and to raising just £100…and with four distances there is a challenge for every ability.  11th June 2016 in Edinburgh.  www.walkthewalk.org to register

One Night of Queen
In 2000, Gary Mullen won ITV’s ‘Stars in their Eyes’ Live Grand Final with the largest number of votes ever received in the show’s history.  He began touring on his own and in 2002 formed The Works, to pay tribute to rock legends Queen.  Since May 2002, Gary and The Works have performed across the world to sell-out audiences.  One Night of Queen is a spectacular live concert, recreating the look, sound, pomp and showmanship of arguably the greatest rock band of all time.  Coming to Edinburgh Playhouse on Saturday 11th June.

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CHISWICK

Giffords Circus 2016 Tour
Giffords Circus 2016 Tour, The Painted Wagon, rolls into Chiswick House and Gardens on June 30th 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.

Chiswick House Summer Sessions
Summer Sessions is a magnificent multi-day music and entertainment event, featuring a variety of styles and genres for all the family to enjoy.  From 15-19th June Chiswick House & Gardens will play host to a series of outdoor performances all set over several days.  From opera to rock-pop, jazz to family fun, Summer Sessions has something for everyone!  Sit back, relax and experience fantastic entertainment in Chiswick’s stunning grounds and gardens, with delicious refreshments on hand and the setting sun overhead.  Includes Puccini’s Tosca, All Saints, Peppa Pig & George story time and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Evening.

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

Let’s Rock Bristol! The RETRO Festival
Following a hugely successful first three years, Let’s Rock Bristol! will return to the Ashton Court Estate on the weekend of 3rd-5th June 2016.  With a fabulous line-up of artists to bring you the very best of the 80s, and an action-packed weekend of general 80s madness, there’s plenty to do for everyone at this Family Friendly Festival.  The line-up so far includes:  Holly Johnson, UB40, Shalamar, The Earth, Wind & Fire Experience, Jason Donovan, Soul II Soul, Paul Young, Midge Ure, Jimmy Somerville, Hue & Cry, Sinitta and much more.  Friday/ Saturday night campsite available for those wanting to spend the whole weekend in 80s splendour at Ashton Court.  Otherwise open 12pm-10.30pm.

Festival of Nature
Get set for another round of hands-on, wildlife-filled fun in June 2016 as the Festival returns, bigger, better and wilder than ever.  The Festival of Nature gives wildlife-lovers of all ages a unique opportunity to discover and enjoy the natural world, featuring a line-up of amazing river art and performance, workshop, celebrity talks, live entertainment, local market stalls and much more.  The programme starts with a Bristol celebration on the weekend of 11-12th June at Bristol Harbourside, continuing for two weeks.  Go  wild with a host of interactive exhibits and activities from the giants of the natural history world including the BBC Natural History Unit, Bristol Zoo and RSPB.  All events are free of charge.

Bristol Volksfest
Bristol Volksfest is a top quality festival weekend.  It has been running for 24 years and gives you all the best of the VW lifestyle and a large sprinkling of the Bristol culture and music scene.  This year’s event features a vintage beetle display 1946-2016 – 70 years.  There’s also a festival village with everything from clothing, jewellery, car spares and memorabilia on sale, an international food court, onsite bars and top quality entertainment.  9am-6pm 18-19th June 2016.

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NOTTINGHAM

The Gold Teeth Summer Carnival
Sun’s out.  Dissertations bound, essays submitted and exams finished.  It’s done.  Finito.  Reward yourself.  It’s time for the Gold Teeth Summer Carnival and the Bodega is being transformed into a tropical den.  Expect palm trees, inflatables, whistles, giant beach balls and air horns…all set to a beach-side soundtrack of carnival anthems, hip-hop and more.  Music genres include dancehall, grime, hip hop, R&B, UK Garage.  June 8th at The Bodega from 11pm.  Minimum age 18.

Hothouse Theatre’s Nottingham Film Festival
Saturday 11th June features home-grown short films of no more than 10 minutes in duration.  The day will play films from up to four finalists from each of eight categories shown to audiences, who will vote for their favourites.  Categories include best fictional film, best factual film, best young person’s film, best music film, best animated film, best advert or trailer, best artistic film, best foreign language film.  Trophies will be presented to each category winner and will be made individually by local artists Paul Matosic.

Sherwood Forest
Moments after the sun sets, the heath land comes alive with a strange and mechanic whirring.  Is it aliens?  Electrical interference?  Then a soft silhouette of a bird twists its way across the clear sky, floating low over the vegetation.  This, the nightjar, is one of Britain’s strangest birds, and it is hawking for moths, then occasionally clapping its wings together both to chase away intruders and to attract females.  Crepuscular wildlife – animals mostly active at twilight – has a mystery and magic to it and the nightjar embodies this fully.  Just seeing one is special but it is their sound that stirs the soul.  They favour heath land or regenerating woodland and Sherwood Forest, particularly around Clipstone Heath and Sherwood Pines, is a pretty good place to watch this most peculiar of creatures.

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CHESTER

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.

Minis and More Exhibition
Minis and More:  Female Fashion from the Swinging Sixties is a small exhibition which shows day and evening dresses, holiday and wedding dresses by, among others, Christian Dior of London and Nola Gowns of Chester, Susan Small and the boutique labels Dollyrockers and Kweens.  Ranging from seriously short minis to full-length creations, in fabrics varying between understated elegance and psychedelic exuberance, we celebrate the extraordinary diversity of female fashion in the 1960s.  From now until July 1st 2017 at Grosvenor Museum, Chester.

Chester Cathedral at Height Tour
Take on the Chester Cathedral at Height Tour and experience public access levels like never before.  On the tour you will go behind the scenes of 1000s of years of history within the walls of the Cathedral.  You’ll explore the bell-ringing chamber, get up close to the images on the stained glass windows, peer down the fourteenth century quire stalls and Victorian organ and stroll along the galleries.   What’s more, you’ll climb the 200 plus steps up the tower and take in the panoramic view of the city and beyond.  A truly memorable experience.  Tours are 60 or 30 minutes.

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TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD

Open Garden Squares Weekend
Over 200 London gardens, most of them private, will open their gates to the public for two days in June.  And it’s not just garden squares – there are rooftop terraces, plots cultivated on the tops of canal boats, indoor flower installations and pop-up orchards, many tucked away behind some of the capital’s busiest streets.  Make a beeline for tours of the River Cafe’s kitchen garden and the newly restored courtyard behind Rococo Chocolates’ Belgravia headquarters, which is filled with the scent of Moroccan kaffir-lime and jasmine.  18-19th June, tickets £14 (tickets include access to all participating gardens).

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.

Russell Kane: Right Man Wrong Age
Comedian Russell Kane has just become a Dad for the first time.  [Sharp intake of breath].  Mercifully, he spares us an hour on the wonder of fatherhood and uses the unlikely event to examine how he went from a self-obsessed workaholic comic to parent.  Having never grown up, ‘it’ suddenly happened.  He met a chilled-out Northern lass, threw out his skinny jeans and eyeliner, got engaged, married and became a dad, all in a space of a couple of years.  Kane is the lesser known of the ‘the comedy Russels’, behind Brand and Howard in the pecking order, but easily the sharpest.  His story tumbles out at breakneck speed as ideas fight for space.  The splendidly manic Kane offers a beacon of hope for parents.  Your child will ‘achieve adulthood’ in spite of you.  But bear in mind it might take rather longer than you hoped.  On tour now until June 11th at Leicester Square Theatre.

‘Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers’
At the Barbican Art Gallery until 19th June, this exhibition is curated by wry documenter of British daily life Martin Parr.  The show features shots that capture the social and political landscape of modern Britain.

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS

National Croquet Day
Help celebrate National Croquet Day on Sunday 5th June and enjoy fun, games and light refreshments from 10am-4pm at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club located at the top of Calverley grounds in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.  A participatory event.

Summer Vintage Fair at Chiddingstone Castle
Over 40 stalls on the castle lawns selling vintage wares and refreshments, with dancing and entertainment from days goneby.  Lots to do and see, including a vintage photobooth, hair and makeup professionals, a cocktail bar, plus Punch & Judy for the children.  19th June 2016.

Jazz on the Pantiles
Live jazz at the Bandstand on the Pantiles from 7pm on 19th May 2016.

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.

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PLYMOUTH

Flavour Fest
The largest food and drink festival in the South West comes to Plymouth City Centre from 3rd-5th June 2016.  Over 120 food and drink traders will line the city centre’s streets with produce ranging from local, homemade delicacies, to international favourites.  The free event is located on the Piazza on Armada way.

Armed Forces Weekend
Plymouth Armed Forces Weekend is an annual event held in support of the national Armed Forces Day initiative.  With 50,000 attending last year, this year’s event promises to be more spectacular than ever.  Held 25th-26th June 2016 new events include The Rifles freedom of the City parade, 29 CDO Royal Artillery’s Feu de Joie, the Devonport Field Gun’s Assoc new junior field gun competition and a brand new afternoon airshow.

War Games
War Games (from now until 19th June 2016), a V&A Museum of Childhood Touring Exhibition, explores the fascinating relationship between conflict and children’s play, providing an insight into the ways toys have been influenced by warfare from 1800 to the present day.  With toys and games including Risk, GI Joe and classic Britain’s toy soldiers, as well as photographs and archive documents, War Games represents differing sides of conflicts from around the world.  This thought-provoking exhibition reveals the sometimes surprising links between play, and wider attitudes towards warfare, and delves into the secret history of toys as tools of propaganda and espionage.  Plymouth City Museum & Gallery.

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OXFORD

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.

Salvo Fair
The world’s largest architectural antiques and salvage fair at Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.  Wares range from decorative light switches to the balustrade of a London bridge – and everything is up for sale.  18-19th June 2016.  Free admission.

Iffley Meadows
The best way to appreciate snake’s head fritillaries is to get down on your hands and knees to see the delicate chequer board pattern on the nodding heads of these purple or white flowers – once common across the UK, but now almost extinct in the wild.  About 90,000 can be seen here in May, making it one of the best displays in the country.  Also on display:  orange tip butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.  Iffley Meadows is open at all times, and is two miles from the city centre, off Meadow Lane.

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.

Oxfordshire Treasures in 3D
An exciting new display of treasures acquired through the portable antiquities scheme has been installed in the Introduction Gallery of The Oxfordshire Museum.  The objects are small and intricate, so innovative technology has been used to help the museum appreciate the objects in amazing details – including a 3D film.  The 19 items include:  a post-medieval shoe buckle, a medieval dress hook, a Roman finger ring, a post-medieval finger ring, a gold coin and a medieval brooch. A permanent display, on view from now.

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CHELMSFORD

Chelmsford Photo Marathon
This is a Photo competition, run by Baddow Camera Club, with a twist.  Over six hours you have to take 12 pictures on 12 given topics.  It’s not your physical condition but your sense of creativity and eye for a good photo that will get you through the day.  The topics are kept secret until the start of the events.  Start and finish at Chelmsford Library on Saturday 18th June 2016 10am-6pm.  £5 entry fee.

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

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CAMBRIDGE

Strawberries & Cream Festival
A music festival arising in the heart of tranquil Cambridge, combing the refined traditions with a new wave of grime and roots music.  At Haggis Farm on Saturday 11th June 2016 from midday-11pm.  VIP final release £75, day ticket £40 and car park ticket £40.

Charity Black Tie Rat Pack Event
Royal Cambridge Hotel presents Charity Black Tie Rat Pack Evening on Friday 17th June 2016 from 7pm.  Ticket price £40 per person including Royal Cambridge Kit Royale, 3-course dinner in the Hobson suite, live entertainment from Rat Pack entertainer Johnny Stephens and resident DJ to dance the night away.

Ben Folds
Ben Folds is an American singer-songwriter.  He is widely known for his prowess as a pianist.  His music career started to get off the ground in the late 80s, as a bassist for band Majosha.  Today, he is best known for his classical artist performances with the uMusic Ensemble.  Ben comes to Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday 23rd June 2016 from 7.30pm.

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NORWICH

Norwich 100/50/25 Bike Ride
Starting and finishing in the beautiful City of Norwich, this ride takes you through a perfect cycling country of quiet roads and picturesque villages.  From the start, all routes head north to Reepham, with the 25 miles route heading east to Horstead.  The 50 mile route then loops back past Blickling Hall while the 100-milers head up the coast at Holkham and east to the halfway point at Sheringham, touching on the Broads before returning to the finish.  Sunday 5th June 2016.  Start times 6.30-8.30am (100 mile), 8.30-9.30am (50 mile), 9.00-9.30am (25 miles).

Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios
See art, buy art and meet the artists at one of the largest and most successful open studios schemes in the country.  More than 240 of Norfolk’s visual artists throw open their doors and invite you to come and see their work at first-hand.  From Saturday 28th May to Wednesday 8th June 2016. Contact: nnopenstudios@nnfestival.org.uk

Heydon Hall and Village Open Gardens Day
A wonderful opportunity to explore the gardens of Heydon Hall – which are rarely open to the public – plus gardens of picturesque Heydon Village.  Visit one of the prettiest villages in Norfolk and take a stroll through the gardens of Heydon Hall, The Grange, The Old Rectory, The Old Cottage, Poppyland and others.  There will also be a display by North Norfolk Classic Vehicle Club, entertainment by Holt Ridge Morris dancers, a plant and produce stall, plus refreshments on the village green.  Sunday 19th June 2016 from 2-5pm.

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.

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YORK

National Garden Scheme Open Days, Nationwide
Visiting charming gardens for a small admission fee (especially when the proceeds go to charities like Macmillan) is a perfect exchange.  In North Yorkshire, the owners of Jackson’s Wold will show groups round the romantic, informal cottage garden starring a wildflower meadow and Victorian greenhouse (26th June).  The scheme’s Festival Weekend will see 407 homes across the country reveal their secrets (4-5th June).

Wharram Percy
From a distance, Wharram Percy looks like a picture postcard village, nestling in a rural idyll on the edge of the North Yorkshire Wolds.  Walk closer, though, and you find yourself in England’s most melancholy village.  The ancient church of St Martin’s is in ruins, with only half of its teetering tower still standing.  Around the village millpond, you can make out the grassed-over remains of two manor houses and 40 peasant cottages in what was once a thriving settlement.  Wharram Percy, founded by the Anglo-Saxons, had been in decline since 1349, when the Black Death hit the village.  Then in the 15th century, the soaring price of wool meant it was more profitable for the wicked landlord to farm sheep in Wharram Percy, than to keep his tenants in the village.  By 1500, all the villagers had been evicted, except for a shepherd and a few smallholders.  They too left soon after, and England’s doomed village was left to its ghosts.  Free, open any reasonable time during daylight hours.

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.

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.

The Ultimate Journey Into The Past
The world famous Jorvik Viking Centre is a must-see for visitors to the city of York.  Built on the very site where archaeologists found the remains of the original Viking City of Jorvik, the Jorvik Viking Centre offers visitors a unique opportunity to ride in a time-capsule and take a journey through the streets of AD975 Jorvik, a city as important in its day as London or Tokyo.  Everything here is based on fact, from the working craftsmen, the chattering noise of the gossiping neighbours to the smells of the cooking, the cesspit and the preserved 1000 year old Viking timber.  Opens now until 25th October 2016 10am-5pm.

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BATTERSEA

Paul Young at the Clapham Grand
The former 1980s teen idol present a mixture of classic soul tunes and his own hits on 24th June at The Clapham Grand.  Hits include Love of the Common People, Wherever I Lay my Hat and many more.  Not suitable for under 18s.  £27.50 to £275 per ticket.

Race for Life
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is the UK’s largest women only fundraising series.  It comes to the Boules Area of Battersea Park on June 8th 2016 from 7.30pm, and women of all ages and fitness levels are invited to take part in the 5k event to jog, run or walk to raise money to help beat cancer.

Friends of Battersea Park 11th Annual BBQ
The meerkats are waiting for you!  As always, the ever-popular BBQ at the Zoo has children’s activities, tombola, live music, a raffle, a bar and a silent auction.  Taking place from 6-9pm at the Zoo, tickets are £16 each until 2nd June, when the price rises to £20.  BBQ to take place on Tuesday 7th June 2016.  Children 6-16 £8 and under-6s free. Contact: info@batterseapark.org/

Brunel’s Underground
Explore the historic destination that’s being transformed beneath Londoner’s feet, says elledecoration.co.uk.  This subterranean exhibition space for the Brunel Museum is set to be the capital’s most exciting new arts venture.  Located in the Thames Tunnel, one of the first projects worked on by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the master engineer responsible for some of the 19th century’s most recognisable architecture – Paddington Station and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, to name just two of his projects.  Originally designed for horse-drawn carriages, the structure was the first underwater tunnel in the world, and later became part of the London Underground rail system that we know today.  Its Grade II listed Grand Entrance Hall, however, has remained hidden until now.  East London-based architectural practice Tate Harmer plans to completely transform the space, adding a freestanding cantilevered staircase.  The firm has likened the new design to a ‘ship in a bottle,’ with the stairs being the modern gem enclosed in the original Victorian setting.  Open now.

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BRIGHTON

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.

Capital to Coast Bike Ride
Raising money for three fantastic charities – Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Norwood, and Down’s Syndrome Association, this is the alternative London to Brighton bike ride.  With a choice of two different routes, this event finishes in the picturesque location of Hove Lawns.  Sunday 26th June 2016.

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GUILDFORD

Strawberry Fair Food Festival
Priory Farm is warming up for a fruity pre-Wimbledon extravaganza as it celebrates its seventh annual Strawberry Fair.  The food festival will pay homage to the great sporting event’s well-known associations with strawberries and cream on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June before the Championships begin the following Monday.  This tennis theme will carry through to Priory Farm’s Discovery Walk, with extra family fun activities as well as the usual tractor rides and nature trails.  From 10am-4.30pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday.

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.

Hampton Court Palace Summer Festival
Enjoy world-class acts including Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Anastacia, Caro Emerald and Jools Holland, spectacular fireworks and delicious dining experiences at this year’s festival.  June 8th-18th 2016.

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EXETER

Contemporary Craft Festival
Over 200 designer-makers will exhibit at this Devon festival.  Highlights include Rebecca Callis’ porcelain tableware and a woodworking demonstration by Ambrose Vevers.  10-12th June, admission £9 per day.

Kinky & Quirky’s Knockout Knees Up Burlesque and Boogie
Lavish costumes, gorgeous dancing and a fierce attitude – that’s what makes a dazzling diva!  The UK’s top burlesque funsters Kinky and Quirky’s fabulously glamorous night is the summer extravaganza not to be missed.  11th June 2016 at Exeter Corn Exchange.

Elton John at Exeter Westpoint
He is one of the most recognisable, most decorated and bestselling British artists of all time, and once again Elton John will perform on British shores – including a very special show at Westpoint Exeter on June 19th 2016.  Tickets are priced from £40-£80.  Gates open at 4pm, Sir Elton performs from 7pm.

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MUSWELL HILL

Alexandra Palace Street Food & Craft Beer Festival
Now in its third year, the Festival is bigger and better than ever!  Set in the capital’s biggest beer garden, amongst a 196 acre park with stunning panoramic views of the city, expect premium street food traders offering a huge range of delicious treats for even the most discerning foodies, all washed down with a tasty craft beer or cocktail.  All this plus a line-up of live music, DJs and entertainment, guaranteed to keep the party in full swing into the evening.  18th-19th June 2016.

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 May 15th 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.  June 19th and July 17th.  Admission £3.50, children free.  020 8883 8540.

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KINGSTON

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.

Richmond Park
Hidden away behind wrought-iron gates in Richmond Park is one of the most remarkable spring sights in the capital:  an explosion of colour so bright it almost sears your eyeballs.  This is the Isabella Plantation, famous for its display of rhododendrons and azaleas.  Also on display is the bog garden, planted with primulas and irises, and boasting a rich birdlife.  Outside the gates lies the grassy expanse of Richmond Park with its herd of red and fallow deer.  Isabella Plantation in Richmond, Surrey, is open daily, dawn to dusk, entry free, just a train or bus ride from Kingston.

The Jungle Body KONGA Class
This new and exciting program from Australia is brought to you by Calasara Fitness.  Join us every Thursday from 5.45pm at The Kingfisher Leisure Centre, KT1 2PY to experience this full body work out.  Switching between all Jungle Body programs each week you will get to experience Tyga, Konga, Jagua and Vypa.  £2.50 for the first class and £5 each subsequent week.

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