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This week


Springtime Discovery Trail, Mompesson House, Salisbury, Mon 30 April


Spot the signs of spring around the house and garden. mompessonhouse


The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Everyman Theatre, Tue 1 to Sat 5 May

man woman embrace green background

The 19th century’s power art couple Marc Chagall and his muse Bella Rosenfeld are the subject of this moving play by Daniel Jamieson which traces the young lovers as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution and each other.


Luke Daniels, Folk in the Bar, The Roses, Tewkesbury, Tue 1 May

Join BBC award-winning musician Luke Daniels – who’s a bit of a genius when it comes to combining 19th-century music technology with acoustic and digital sounds – for a night of classic contemporary folk.


Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, Salisbury, Tue 1 May

Ed says: I originally intended to call the show, “I’ll Millennial You in a Minute”, but my promoter considered the title, “off-puttingly baffling”. That’s my own chainsaw in the photo, by the way. Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? Come and watch as Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Go on, spoil yourself. cityhallsalisbury


Cheltenham Jazz Festival, various locations, Wed 2 to Mon 7 May

Quite a line-up this year, not least Van the Man, Randy Crawford and Courtney Pine – it’s like the Neopolitan ice cream of live music – delicious! And the rest of the bill is looking might fine too. And as well as musical feasts, The Lucky Onion will also be hosting its famous supper clubs and house parties at No 131. This festival just gets better every year.


Eastern Mediterranean Cookery Class, Natural Cookery School at Woodruffs Organic Café, Stroud, Wed 2 May

blue bowl tomatoes salad

The bold flavours of the Levantine region are on the menu at this cookery session helmed by the always wonderful Erin of the Natural Cookery School. Spend an evening exploring the flavours of Iran, Syria, Palestine and surrounding countries and then tuck in to Iranian vegetable stew with dried lime and freekah with pomegranate and pistachios.


Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, Badminton Estate, Wed 2 to Sun 6 May

horse jockey jumping fence

Get your fill of the gee-gees at this three-day event beloved by HRH Princess Anne, a former competitor who this year is presenting the awards. Dressage, cross country and a whole load of shopping, equestrian and otherwise to fill your (riding) boots with.


Five Valleys Session, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Thu 3 May

A free-for-all of local musicians playing traditional folk music from all over the country in Stroud’s inimitable Stroud Brewery. What’s not to like?


Prince Albert May Beer Festival, The Prince Albert, Rodborough Hill Stroud, Thur 3 to Mon 7 May

This annual beer festival has been going for 11 years now and is always something of a beery treat for locals. Well timed for Bank Holiday, as well as specially selected beers, there will also be live music and pop-up food from Jamaica Inn Kitchen.


Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Stroud, Fri 4 to Mon 14 May

two women red velvet hats and jackets

Photography by Gemma Hall

The annual outing of England’s most glamorous and wonderfully quirky circus has come round again, kicking off at its Stroud home – where a spanking new big top has already gone up with Giffords in lights and sumptuous red velvet and chandelier interiors. The theme this year is My Beautiful Circus to celebrate 250 years since the very first circus near Westminster Bridge in London started the magic in 1768. After Stroud, the troupe head to Sudeley Castle from Thu 17 to Mon 21 May and Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham from Thu 24 May to Mon 4 June. See full list of dates here.


Learn to Bake Bread, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 4 May, 10am-3pm

There’s nothing like the smell and taste of freshly baked bread and if you’ve baked it yourself, how satisfying is that! But if you’re anything like me and your bread-making skills are a bit hit and miss (er, mainly miss), this day-long course will see you rising (see what I did there) to the next level as you master making a sandwich loaf, seeded rolls, soda bread, tear and share bread, pittas and pizza bases.


Moonfleet, Salisbury, Fri 4 & Sat 5 May

Haunted by the ghost of the marauding pirate, Blackbeard, Moonfleet is a village of intrigue and drama where shadowy smugglers lurk. Against this backdrop, young orphan John Trenchard dreams of Blackbeard’s treasure and the wealth and happiness it could bring.


The Ragdolls, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 4 May

The Ragdolls recreate the iconic sound of the Four Seasons, taking you on a journey through their biggest hits including Sherry and Walk Like a


The Clay Loft Studio view, Nailsworth, Private View, Fri 4 May, 7-9.30pm, Open Studio Sat 5 to Sun 6 May, Sat 12 to Sun 13 May

ceramic pots, pottery workshop

A kind of coworking space and workshop setting for potters, The Clay Loft Studio is a hive of ceramics activity led by owner Tom Knowles-Jackson who was a finalist in the BBC’s The Great Pottery Throw Down. His work will be just some of the pots on show over the two weekends of the Sit Select Festival 2018.


Danadra, Stroud Brewery, Stroud, Sat 5 May

acoustic guitar fret strings

Fun, funky and free! Stroud Brewery’s Saturday night gigs are always a knockout and Danadra’s semi-acoustic guitar and percussion promises to be a winner their bluesy, Latin, jazz and indie sounds.


Olympigs, Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham, Sat 5 May to Mon 7 May

Don’t let him win!!

Do you think you’re in with a chance of becoming an Olympigs champion? With loads of farmyard sporting events, including hobby horse racing, egg and spoon and, my favourite, welly wanging, this family sports day sounds like a Bank Holiday Weekend blast.


Victorian May Day, Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Mon 7 May, 10am-4pm

Spend the Bank Holiday travelling back to the Victorian era at the always bewitching Sudeley Castle. There’ll be Punch and Judy, a Wheel of Fortune, Balloon Burst games and a Victorian juggler who will dance along to music from an organ grinder. The castle’s huge new fun fort will also be open in the adventure playground.


May Day Lunch with Live Music, The Greenway Hotel & Spa, Cheltenham, Mon 7 May

A real bargain this – a four-course meal cooked by the fabulous kitchen at The Greenway, served in the to-die-for surroundings of the country house hotel, with some atmospheric music served up by Steve Street and his band. And it’s only £35 per person! And if you can’t make it on May Day bank holiday, can I recommend the hotel’s special May Asparagus Suppers that run throughout the month from Sunday to Thursday?

Find more ideas here

Things to doThis week

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Gloucestershire