With summer around the corner now is a great time to plan a break to Shakespeare’s England.
Watch Britain’s premier women’s cycle race, see outdoor concerts performed by Tom Jones, Madness & Il Divo at Ragley Hall, experience the new Dragon Slayer show at Warwick Castle, go camel trekking or take part in one of many exciting Festivals & Shows!
Watch the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, Britain’s premier women’s cycle race which will return to Warwickshire for a record breaking 3rd year on 15 June. The tour will take riders across beautiful landscapes throughout the entire county.
Last year 95,000 spectators watched the event. Starting in Atherstone it will weave its way in a 151k route ending in Royal Leamington Spa – making the Warwickshire stage the longest of the 2018 event.
Have a go at camel trekking with Joseph’s Amazing Camels. The 3 hour experience starts with refreshments followed by grooming and tacking up the camels. The trek lasts just over an hour and finishes with a drink and strawberries. Minimum booking is 2 people. Cost is £95 a head for up to 4 people. Treks take place throughout the year weather permitting.
Hilltop Farm near Leamington Spa will host their 5th annual Beer & Cider festival on 8 & 9 June celebrating the Midlands’ finest beers, ciders and locally sourced food. The family friendly festival will feature plenty of entertainment including music from local bands and Tractor Ted activities. Camping is available both nights.
Visit Ragley Hall for their Summer House Sounds Concerts from 12 – 14 July with 3 outdoor concerts from Tom Jones, Madness & Il Divo. The popular Game Fair returns from 27 – 29 July whilst the Battle Proms Picnic Concert takes place on 11 August. Camper Calling festival returns on the August Bank Holiday weekend from 24 – 27 August and will be headlined by Mel C, Scouting for Girls, Feeder and The Coral.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust have many summer highlights including the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival (17 – 24 June) which returns for the 65th year with a diverse programme commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War, with poetry and readings reflecting the on-going need for peace and reconciliation.
Midsummer Madness at Mary Arden’s Farm takes place on 23 & 24 June and the annual Big Picnic at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage on 22 July, plus a whole programme of outdoor theatre performances and their Summer Arts Project – a crowd-curated installation based on Romeo & Juliet.
Watch Dragon Slayer, the new evening show at Warwick Castle this August. Showcasing the journey of Guy of Warwick as he battles beasts to win the heart of Princess Felice, the Earl of Warwick’s daughter, Dragon Slayer is the first night-time spectacular created exclusively by the Castle.
Combining fire jousts, equestrian acrobatics, stunts and performances, the show includes an interactive procession through the grounds to the Courtyard. The final battle comes to life through a projection and light show and concludes with an epic battle of man versus dragon featuring real flames and dazzling pyrotechnics.
Feel the heat of the contest as knights on horseback clash at the Grand Medieval Joust at Kenilworth Castle on 23 & 24 June. Soak up the medieval way of life in the colourful encampments and be entertained by the court jester while budding young knights can have their strength and skills tested.
On 26 & 27 August the Castle will re-create the 1266 Siege of Kenilworth Castle. Expect thrilling re-enactments and one almighty attack as the castle is besieged. Cost is £14.30 for adults and £8.60 for children.
See a performance of Miss Littlewood by the Royal Shakespeare Company which runs from 22 June – 4 August at the Swan Theatre. With book, music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon and directed by Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, Miss Littlewood tells the story of Joan Littlewood, the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre.
Wander through the Maize Maze which returns from 21 July for the summer holidays at Cotswold Farm Park. Venture down the rabbit hole into the Wonderland themed maze and find the White Rabbit. If you find your way to the middle there will be a delightful Tea Party plus you may spot The Mad Hatter. There will also be various games and puzzles.
Step back in time to the 13th Century when the Battle of Evesham is re-enacted on the 4 & 5 August. The free to attend event, takes place in the Heart of Evesham, featuring a mediaeval festival and camp with life-demonstrations of cookery, weapons and medicine, plus the main battle re-enactment.
The award winning 10th Stratford River Festival returns to the banks of the River Avon on the 30 June & 1 July. It is the largest family friendly free event held in Stratford with over 70,000 visitors expected to enjoy events on and off the river, market stalls, entertainment and fireworks display.
The Stratford Town Centre Food Festival will take place on 22 & 23 September with over 100 stalls spread throughout the historic streets.
Warwick Folk Festival takes place from 26 – 29 July bringing together leading names from around the world including Show of Hands, Jon Boden & Remnant Kings, Korrontzi, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys and Granny’s Attic. There are also ceilidhs, plenty for families with circus skills, storytelling, theatre and crafts.
Enjoy Midsummer Jazz at Hill Close Gardens on 23 June with the Roy Forbes Quintet playing from 7pm. Tickets: Adults £13.50. On 11 August, Kenilworth folk group Romany Pie present a First World War anthology of songs, readings and poems. Plus there’s the opportunity to see an exhibition about life on the home front in Warwick. Tickets: £11.
The Kenilworth Show takes place on 9 June featuring a fun filled, action packed day out for the whole family.
Escape Arts will be hosting FabFest on 22 and 23 July and taking their Art and Media bus to the Old Tramway in Stratford upon Avon from 12noon – 5pm.
Escape at Art in the Park takes place at Jephson Gardens in Royal Leamington Spa on 5 & 6 August. Entry is free and there are lots of stalls selling art, plus live music, food and art activities.
Visit Chedhams Yard on 11 August and learn all about Bees, Honey and Hives with local beekeepers. On 25 August the Yard will host its Flower Festival with Elizabeth’s Flowers showing what can be done with flowers from your garden or the local florist store.
Visitors can see hundreds of Metro’s & Mini’s when the British Motor Museum hosts the National Metro & Mini Show on Sunday 3 June. Or wander around the new exhibition featuring cars from National Geographic’s popular motoring TV show Car S.O.S which runs until the end of February 2019.
Visit NAEC Stoneleigh for the 4×4 & Pick-Up Show which takes place on 15 & 16 June. The show is the only event of its kind in the UK to target the 4×4 and pick-up trade as well as the general public. Organisers expect over 4000 visitors each day over the two days.
Enjoy a £99 summer spa break at Ardencote with use of the Spa facilities, a 3-course dinner, Lime & Lemongrass Back Wrap (25min), overnight accommodation, full English breakfast, free-flow refreshments and 10% off additional pre-booked Spa treatments. Valid Sun – Fri from 1 June to 31 July. Based on 2 adults sharing a twin/double bedroom.
Visit The Almanack on 7 July for an evening celebrating rubs, meats and all that is slow ‘n’ low. Bourbon and craft beer meet smoked meats, chops and BBQ glazes. Plus, don’t miss their Bank Holiday Party on 26 August for rum cocktails, jerk chicken plus reggae music to get the Caribbean vibes going!
Elmfest takes place on 11 August from 12pm – late at The One Elm with live music all day, streetfood, outside bars, plus face painting for the kids.
A Gin & Rose Party is hosted by The Rose & Crown on 26 August with guest gins, rosé wine, ice cream, cones of fish and chips and live music from Thom Kirkpatrick late afternoon.
For more suggestions on things to do plus recommended accommodation and restaurants in the area see: www.shakespeares-england.co.uk.