What’s on July 2017

It’s official – summer is well and truly here!
While the weather might not be able to make a decision about what it wants to do, our minds are made up – it’s summer and we want to have fun!
From festivals to exhibitions, family outings to creative pursuits – there’s plenty to do up and down the country, wherever you live. For inspiration on where to find the action, check out our Futon Company What’s On Guide and see what’s happening across the UK in July 2017…


Fancy a festival?  Hop on the train and head to nearby Glasgow.  With T in the Park on a break, Trnsmt has been launched to fill the gap for rock-loving Scots.  Headliners include Radiohead, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Kasabian and the 1975.  July 7-9th at Glasgow Green.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival
The biggest of its kind in Britain, the Jazz & Blues Festival, from 14th-23rd July, gets festival season off to a swinging start, making sure everyone’s in the mood before its larger festival cousins hit town.

The Tomb@ Ancient Egyptian Burial
The Tomb is at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Old Town, from now until 3rd September 2017.  It was constructed in the great city of Thebes shortly after the reign of Tutankhamen for the Chief of Police and his wife.  It was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras.  These are on display at the exhibition alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time.  The tomb’s final use occurred shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt, when it was sealed intact with the remarkable burials of an entire family.


Giffords Circus
The critically acclaimed Giffords Circus will once again return to Chiswick House & Gardens from now until 10th July with an all-new show Any Port in a Storm.  Another great international team including a Cuban troupe, a Hungarian Csikos rider and a Ukrainian flyer.  Household favourite Tweedy returns to run amok alongside the fabulous Giffords Circus band.  A roaring tempest of a show!

Chiswick Food Market
Open every Sunday come rain or shine from 10am to midday at Dukes Meadows Trust Pavilion Car Park W4 2RX, 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.


MC Comic Con
The UK’s biggest modern pop culture event returns to Manchester on July 27th-29th.  Indulge your inner geek with a blockbuster line-up of sci-fi games, comics, movies and anime goodness.  At Manchester Central.

Tatton Park Foodies Festival
The K’s biggest foodie festival returns to Tatton Park on July 14th-16th.  Watch Bake Off winner Candice Browns, feast in the Street Food Avenue, taste wine, champagne and craft beer and much, much more.

Manchester International Festival
MIF is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events.  The Festival is staged every two years in Manchester and the next edition will take place from now until 16th July at venues all over the city.


Reach for your embroidered linen hankie!  After 14 years, this Cotswolds bash for the well-heeled bows out with Bryan Adams, Chrissie Hynde and Jack Savoretti.  July 7th and 8th at Great Tew Park.

Nadiya Hussain
Loved for her warmth and charisma as well as her unique approach to flavours, Britain’s favourite Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has captured the heart of the nation.  In A Conversation with Nadiya at Oxford Playhouse, Barney Desmazery, Senior Food Editor at BBC Good Food Magazine, will ask about her love of life, family, food and fun.  19th July.

Ashmolean Museum
Contained in a gorgeous building across from the Randolph Hotel, the Ashmolean has paintings, coins, musical instruments and antiques, statues of deities and a must see Egyptian exhibition.  Open every day.  Free admission.


Shakespeare Festival
Running from 1st-31st July, Bristol’s annual Shakespeare Festival brings the freshest, most exciting productions of Shakespeare’s plays to some of Bristol’s most beautiful and unusual spaces.  Those taking part include some of the very best touring companies, schools, youth groups, special educational needs and disability arts groups.

Skeletons:  Our Buried Bones at M Shed
Twelve human skeletons from Bristol and London, each with a unique story to tell.  A young man buried without ceremony in South Gloucestershire 3,500 years ago.  A Roman couple found in a single stone coffin and a child from a Victorian burial ground.  They reflect society’s rich and varied past and the changing face of the places we live and work in today.  The exhibition is a collaboration between Wellcome Collection and The Museum of London, showing at Bristol’s M Shed from now until 3rd September.

Lace in Fashion
Designer pieces and those worn by royalty rub shoulders at Bath Fashion Museum – just a 15 minute train journey from Bristol.  On show from now until January 2018.


Y Not
Pikeshire, Derbyshire, is not a million miles away from Nottingham and is definitely worth the car journey.  Think Happy Monday, locally brewed cider, Deaf Havana, Lethal Bizzle and Declan McKenna and you have a glimpse into the festival line-up.  From 27th-30th July.

Lone Wolf of the Skies
Lone World of the Skies – The Life of Albert Ball VC, DSO & Two Bard, MC remembers the life of Captain Albert Ball.  Born and bred in Nottingham, Albert joined the Sherwood Foresters when war broke out in 1914 and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.  One of Nottingham’s most decorated servicemen and flying ace of the First World War, he was just 20 years old when he was killed in action on May 7th 1917.  The exhibition explores his life from start to finish though the objects that he owned.  The exhibition seeks to commemorate the Centenary of Albert’s death and pay homage to him and examine the legacy which he left behind.  Open until 17th July at Nottingham Castle.

Cave Tours
Take a tour to experience the caves at Nottingham Castle for yourself, learning on the way the gruesome tales of Roger Mortimer, King David II of Scotland, or you may be able to take a tour with Robin Hood himself…With some of the caves dating back to medieval times, the tour is strenuous with LOTS of steep steps.  However, for those who wish to descend through hundreds of years the tour is a must.  Tours last approximately 30-40 minutes.  Costs £5 per person plus normal castle entry.  Tours run all year round.


Julius Ceaser at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
In an age of political uncertainty and controversial leaders, Shakespeare’s immortal thriller is given new reverence and a contemporary twist.  Loyalty collides with ambition in the ultimate tale of popular leadership, rise to power and winning over the people.  Tickets from £19.50.  Until 27th August.

Moonlight Flicks
Outdoor film season Moonlight Flicks returns for 2017 – join a host of Hollywood greats and have yourself a magical night of movies under the stars at Roman Gardens.  La La Land showing 4th, 12th, 20th and 28th July.

Chester Ghost Tour
Explore Chester’s haunted history on a walking tour led by the Guild of Chester Tour Guides.  To book go to Visitor Information Centre, Town Hall Square or  21st-22nd July.


British Summer Time
Imagine Justin Bieber and Phil Collins on the same bill.  Sadly, they’re on different days at this city event, which also offers the Killers, Kings of Leon and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  From now until July 9th at Hyde Park.  From £59.90 a night.

Fancy another London-based festival?  Hop on the bus to the east end for the infamous Lovebox.  Dig out your most hipster outfit and prepare to be wowed by a super cool bill including Frank Ocean, Solange, Sampha, Kano, Mac Miller and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man.  July 14-15th at Victoria Park E15.

Hokusai Beyond the Great Wave
Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is widely regarded as one of Japan’s most famous and influential artists.  He produced works of astonishing quality right up until his death at the age of 90.  This new exhibition will lead you on an artistic journey through the last 30 years of his life- at a time when he produced some of his most memorable masterpieces.  Showing at The British Museum from now until 13th August.


Jazz on the Pantiles
Live jazz at the Bandstand every Thursday from 7pm throughout summer in 2017.

Live Expression Festival at Colebrook Lakes
Boasting a lake and wooded area, this exclusive venue is the perfect compliment for our summer feel-good tunes.  Featuring your favourite Live Expression artists, DJs and performers, plus children’s area and a 3am licence.  7th-9th July.

Collector’s Fair
Monthly Tunbridge Wells Collector’s Fair at King Charles Church Hall on 8th July featuring a wide range of antiques and collectibles.

Guided Walking Tour
Meet every Saturday and Thursday from now until September 2017 at the Tourist Information Centre in the Corn Exchange and learn all about the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in a one hour guided stroll through the Pantiles and the historic heart of the town.  Visit King Charles and the Martyr Church, paid for by public subscription, and see the original lodging houses in the village area of the town.  Discover the town’s 400 year history and hear about the famous visitors – from Queen Anne to Samuel Pepys – who made Tunbridge Wells the place in which to see and be seen.


Maritime Heritage Talk:  A Worthy View of Plymouth’s Waterfront
As part of the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre series of Maritime Heritage Talks, Bob Cook, an occasional explorer of local history will give a talk on A Worthy View of Plymouth’s Waterfront: an armchair tour from Jenny cliff to Cremyll in historic photographs.  6th July at Derriford Army Reserve Centre.

MTV Crashes Plymouth
MTV Crashes Plymouth returns for its fourth year on 27th and 28h July and is set to see thousands of people enjoy two more nights of chart-topping acts on Plymouth Hoe.

Sister Act
Sing Hallelujah for the all new production of Sister Act staring Alexandra Burke.  An all new production of the Broadway and West End smash hit musical comedy comes to Theatre Royal Plymouth, starring Alexandra Burke.  3rd-15th July.


Fling Festival
Hylands House and Estate presents its annual Fling Festival on Saturday 1st July.  Exclusively for adults, it features music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, immersive crafts and more.

Chelmsford Race for Life
Come along to Hylands Park on 23rd July 11am-4pm as women come together to support life saving research.  A 5k, a 10k or a Pretty Muddy, there’s a race for everywoman.

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.


Cambridge Folk Festival
A chilled vibe is this veteran festival’s calling card – there’s a ceilidh, a play area for kids and workshops.  July 27th-30th at Cherry Hinton Hall.

Secret Garden Party
An almighty send-off is in order as the UK’s most eccentric festival bows out after 15 years on the festival scene.  Headlines include Wild Beasts, Crystal Fighters and Metronomy.  July20th-23rd at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

From Kabal to Kolkaya:  Highlights of Indian painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam’s second exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence showcases a selection of Indian miniature paintings and drawings, ranging in date from the 16th to 19th century.  The exhibition will include works produced under the patronage of the Mughai dynasty and other princely rulers, as well as several acquired by early British patrons and collectors in India.  The exhibition forms part of the University of Cambridge Museums’ India Unboxed programme.  Open now until 3rd September.


King’s Lynn Festival
The annual two-week festival of classical, choral, jazz and folk music plus talks exhibitions and films.  Events feature internationally renowned performers in beautiful historic venues around King’s Lynn.  16th-29th July.

Holkham Country Fair at Holkham Hall
Enjoy two days of countryside pursuits, rural crafts, displays, performances and great fun for all the family at this hugely popular event which returns to Holkham Hall on 22nd and 23rd July.  There’s fishing, gundogs, clay pigeon shooting, a vintage fairground, military displays, dog agility, vintage cars and machinery, archery and more.  Enjoy delicious local produce at the Fine Food Village and shop ‘till you drop at over 100 trade stands.

Summer Fireworks
Every Wednesday evening from 19th July, the skies over Great Yarmouth are set to be illuminated with the fantastic summer firework spectacular.  The evening starts off with fun and music entertainment from 8pm followed by the display at 10pm.


Shaping the Body
This major exhibition looks at how body shape has changed over the past 500 years through diet, culture, fashion and lifestyle.  From 18th century bum rolls, through to the Victorian hour glass figure, the punks of the 70s and the perms of the 80s, see how our bodies have been shaped and designed through choices we make and the consequences of our lifestyle.  York Castle Museum’s extensive collection of costume, social history, archaeology and art will highlight how the perfect height and weight have fluctuated in different periods, and how economic circumstances and cultural ideas impact on fashion.  Meet the people who have pushed their bodies to the limits to gain the look they crave and find out about the dangerous fashions such as extra tight corsets, high heels and even poisonous dresses!  This thought-provoking and fascinating exhibition will challenge the notion of the perfect body.  From now until 25th January 2018.

National Railway Museum
A new exhibition trail by Geraldine Pilgrim Performance.  From Agatha Christie’s The Girl on the Train, the railways have provided us with the perfect setting for a thrilling crime story.  Come along for a brand new Mystery on the Rails Season between now and 3rd September to uncover the special place railways have in mystery and detective fiction, solve the mystery of The Missing Passenger and discover a wealth of real-life tales of audacious robberies, petty thefts and notorious criminals.

York Famers Market
York’s monthly Famers Market celebrates the best of local produce, including meat, 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.


Robots Exhibition
The Science Museum’s new Robots exhibition tells the evolution of our little metal friends, from 16th century mechanical monks to R2-D2 and beyond.  1010020101212 (says ES Magazine 3rd March) – apparently that’s robot for “come down”…Tickets £15.  From now until 3rd September.

Diana:  Her Fashion Story
The cultural tributes to Princess Diana have often felt overshadowed by the sound of the queen of our hearts turning in her grave (let us run swiftly past the paddling pool in Hyde Park and fast forward through the ghastly Naomi Watts biopic, says  So respect, as they say, is due, with this exhibition at Kensington Palace.  Twenty years on from her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story, walks through her wardrobe as a starting point for analysing the arresting grip the princess held on popular culture.  Few knew so instinctively how to harness the power of visual image.  Diana made stars of her wedding dress designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, then her favourite portraitist, Mario Testino, and hairdresser Sam Knight.  No one has used power dressing as quite the armour Diana did.  So an exhibition of her clothes is not really about fashion at all.  It’s about a very specific female energy and power to connect on every level, channelled through one woman.  The Exhibition is open now at Kensington Palace until 24th February 2019.


Paddle Round the Pier 2017
Paddle Round the Pier is the world’s biggest free beach and water sports festival.  It runs every year on the beautiful venue of Hove Lawns and features the very best in water, street and urban sports, live music, kids entertainment, ‘have a go’ opportunities and much more.  July 1st and 2nd.

Brighton Marina Big Screen & Pop Up Park
Brighton Marina Square plays host to the excitement of Wimbledon and films galore throughout July and August.  Enjoy strawberries and ice cream and relax in the pop up park.  Some mornings there are also kiddies clubs where Cbeebies will be screened.

The Brighton Academy of Performing Arts proudly presents its summer show – Godspell.  Working with original West End Jesus David Essex.  Rodean Theatre.  Tickets £15 and concessions £10. 14th-16th July.


The Burning Gadulka – Guildford Fringe Festival
With humour and sarcasm, the musician tells a story about his relationship with the Gadulka (a musical instrument).  By blaming the Gadulka and undermining its functionality and significance, the Gadulka player reveals the similarities between himself and the instrument.  He takes us on a journey through the mysteries and fears we all face on a daily basis.  3rd July at The Back Room of The Star Inn.

One Live Festival
One Live Festival is back for 2017, this year taking place in the heart of Guildford at Stoke Park on 8th July.  With an all new line up, The Boomtown Rats are set to perform alongside The Darkness, Toploader, Mel C and more.

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.


Exeter Craft Festival
This three-day festival of arts and crafts from 6th-8th July is a celebration of the very best artists and makers based in the South West and set in the historic area of Exeter’s picturesque Cathedral Green.

The Comedy of Errors in Rougemont Gardens
The Exeter Northcott Theatre Graduate Company are proud to present Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors – set in Rougemont Gardens in the city centre.  The comedy is fast and furious in this uproarious story of two pairs of identical twins, separated at birth.  Mayhem, mischief and mistaken identity are the order of the day.  20th-30th July 2017.

Fancy a day trip out?  Spies & Dolls is the fancy dress theme at this 5,000-capacity, not-for-profit festival, which began in a back garden and has retained its friendly vibe.  Set list includes The Shires, Soul II Soul and Skinny Lister.  July 21st-22nd.  Whiddon Down, Devon.


Summer Festival
Alexandra Palace presents its summer festival on 22nd July.  Featuring giant waterslides, musical stages, theatre to outdoor cinema and a woodland silent disco.

BP Big Screen ‘Turandot’ from the Royal Opera House
Puccini’s final masterpiece ‘Turandot’ will be broadcast live at Alexandra Palace set against the spectacular view of London’s skyline.  14th July.

Using their trademark binaural sound design Wiretapper create a new audio performance in the acres of parkland around Alexandra Palace.  Part theatre, part flash mob, part picnic.  22nd July.


International Youth Arts Festival
Now in its ninth year, the Festival will take over the town once again from 7th-16th July, showcasing the very best of youth arts, turning Kingston into an extravagant artists’ playground.  Theatre, music, dance, film, workshops, technology and other art forms will be celebrated and championed for the ten days of the festival by emerging young artists (up to the age of 26) from all over the world.

Tudor Joust
Recreating all the pomp and ceremony of a lavish court entertainment, visitors to Hampton Court Palace on 15th and 16th July will be immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the Tudor court, brought to life with dazzling displays of sword fighting, courtly games and music.  There will be a host of weird and wonderful Tudor instruments to discover, and the chance for young visitors to try out pieces of armour for size.

Encounters with the Tudors
Immerse yourself in the stories of Henry VIII’s magnificent Hampton Court Palace through a series of up-close encounters with the people who created history.  You may even see the King himself!  Thursdays-Mondays from now until 28th August.