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This week

MON 2 TO SUN 8 APRIL

Easter Eggspress, GWR, Winchcombe, Mon 2 April

If you can forgive the pun, this steam railway ride is eggsellent fun (sorry). Climb aboard at either Toddington Station or Cheltenham Racecourse and enjoy a retro journey to Winchcombe Station where the Easter Bunny will be waiting to greet you and there’ll be loads of Easter-type activities, including egg and spoon races, egg rolling, craft activities and an Easter egg hunt.
gwsr.com

 

Where Is Mrs Christie?, Everyman Studio, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 3 to Wed 4 April, 7.45pm

elderly lady in sitting room rug chair desk

A one-woman show investigating the ‘disappearance’ of the queen of crime Agatha Christie, who in 1926 sparked one of the biggest and most extensive police hunts in history when her crashed car was discovered in Surrey and she was – da, da, dah – missing presumed dead for 11 days. When she was eventually found at a luxury hotel in Harrogate, she claimed to remember nothing about it. Was she really suffering from amnesia? Or was it a publicity stunt or something darker? Actor Liz Grand (of The Second Best Bed fame) picks up the tale. everymantheatre.org.uk

 

Kids’ Easter Drama Workshop, Cheltenham Playhouse, Cheltenham, Tue 3 to Fri 6 April

If you’ve got a budding actor of primary school age and are wondering how to stimulate their genius (or, er, just entertain them over Easter), can I recommend this fab-sounding workshop! No auditions required (phew), kids will be put through their dramatic paces playing theatre games, telling stories, creating characters and learning songs, which will culminate in a performance on the Friday on the main stage in full costume with song and dance in front of an audience! It’s first come first served, so get yourself a place quick. Here’s the link.

 

The Handmade Tour, Bowood House and Gardens, Wed 4 April
Ahead of The Handmade Fair with Kirstie Allsopp coming to Bowood for the first time this summer, a one-of-a-kind crafting caravan will be drawing up at Bowood this April. All you arty lot can take part in free drop-in craft workshops and demonstrations. bowood.org

Gangsta Granny, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Wed 4 to Sat 7 April

A great kids’ Easter holiday outing whether it’s raining or not (and it looks like the former I’m sorry to report), David Walliams’ novel has been adapted for the stage by The Horrible Histories gang who have form when it comes to slick and hilarious shows that keep adults entertained too. Walliams himself says it’s “so much better than the book”, so what are you waiting for, get yourself tickets before they all sell out! everymantheatre.org.uk

 

International Film Festival at Swindon Fringe, Wed 4 to Fri 6 April

A 3-day exhibition of Feature Films, Short Movies, Documentaries, Quick Clips and Arthouse from local, national and international filmmakers, with audience members voting on the best films throughout. A definite for film buffs. swindonfringe

 

Swindon Fringe 2018, Wed 4 to Sun 15 April

‘The Swinge’ is back and this year there are even more fabulous comedians, fun family shows, exciting workshops, and live music courtesy of The Groovy Pig Music Festival. Catch a slick modern drama, a semi-autobiographical account of one woman’s struggles with PTSD, a look at money troubles in the modern world, even a play about Alzheimer’s. They’ll chuck a couple of clowns and magicians in to lighten the mood cos, y’know, you might just need it. Plus live music, spoken word and drama and improv workshops. swindonfringe

 

So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs, City Hall, Salisbury, Thu 5 April

The hit stage show starring dinosaur aficionado Dr Ben Garrod. Get ready to go on an exciting pre-historic adventure as Ben talks you through the deadliest predators that ever roamed the planet. Yes dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus and Spinosaurus would have walked or swam right where you are now! cityhallsalisbury

 

Membership Open Day, Aquarias Spa, Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Fri 6 April

outdoor hydrotherapy pool woman

Fancy some pampering and general ‘me’ time? Uh, obviously. Join the fabulous team at Whatley Manor’s Aquarias Spa at 4-7pm to snoop around the impressive facilities and see what is on offer, plus Ollie will be there to tell you all about their new Spa Membership. It’s a very exclusive club, so you’ll want to be in it! whatleymanor.com
Chocolate Tasting Workshop, Salisbury, Fri 6 April
Learn all about chocolate and how it is made in this workshop by local chocolatier Alexander Chocolates. goodfayre.co.uk
West of England Youth Orchestra, Bradford on Avon, Fri 6 April
A dazzling Easter programme with Wiltshire Music Centre Artist in Residence Joanna MacGregor taking centre stage in a concert performed by outstanding young musicians from the region. wiltshiremusic.org.uk
‘Chef’s Table’ in the Green Room,Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Fri 6 & Fri 20 April

We’ve been lucky enough to have a snoop around the brand new Green Room at Whatley – and it’s pretty special. Take a seat at the ‘Chef’s Table’ and the super-talented chef will chop, fry and cook up some culinary magic right in front of you. First up is Thai Night, hosted by chef Craig Lunn, followed by a Taste of India with talented chef Nikesh Patel who will whip up six-courses of curried loveliness followed by a screening of The Lion with Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman in Whatley’s very own cinema. The chef’ll bring you desserts there, too. whatleymanor.com

 

World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, Lechlade, Fri 6 April

Come on, you know you want to, you competitive old thing, you! lechladeonthames.co.uk

 

Dead Dog Cider, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, near Stroud, Sat 7 April, 7.30-10pm

Loving the name of this two-piece made up of Bodhran impressario Pru and Mark, who regularly entertain Stroud Brewery punters with their lively mix of English, Celtic and American song. stroudbrewery.co.uk

 

Spring Action Day, Castle Combe, Chippenham, Sat 7 April

steering wheel vintage car

The official kick-start to the performance car season – surely that’s got to tickle any zoned-out taste buds? Expect countless modified motors, non-stop track action, thrilling drift demos, impressive club displays…Maybe enough to keep the kids busy so I can disappear off to the bar for a few hours? castlecombecircuit.co.uk springactionday

 

Knights Jousting, Berkeley Castle, Sun 8 April

two men knights armour swords boy toy shield knight's helmut

The puntastic Dressed To Kill will be rocking up at Berkeley Castle this Sunday to impart their expert battling skills, where you can learn the ancient skill of sword fighting, get up close and personal with authentic steel armour and make like a 15th-century knight. berkeley-castle.com

 

Second World War Operational Base Afternoon, Buscot and Coleshill Estates, Coleshill, Sun 8 April & Sun 13 May

Descend into darkness and imagine life as a sabateur exploring the secret underground replica bunker on this family-friendly open afternoon. Learn all about Churchill’s Secret Army, which was based at Coleshill. See the displays and quiz the volunteers about the lives of the Auxiliers, their training and bravery. nationaltrust

 

The Dinosaur Disco, AquaVitae, Cheltenham, Sun 8 April, 2-4pm

A genius idea, this kids’ disco with Dinosaur Elno is just what the grown-ups ordered! Throw some moves with Elno, get your face painted, jump in a ball pit, pop bubbles, balloons and glow sticks and maybe have a cheeky drink or two. And the kids will love it too! eventbrite.co.uk

 

Flow: Yin Yang Yoga, The Yoga Glow, Stroud Yoga Space, Stroud, Sun 8 April, 10.30am-12.30pm

two women yoga

Get back in balance for the week ahead with this cleansing, nourishing and energising sequence combining the stillness of yin with dynamic and strengthening yang. Jay from The Yoga Flow will get your body moving, wringing out stresses both mentally and physically. A Sunday saviour, but be quick, tickets are selling fast. stroudyogaspace.com

 

Spring Festival, Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, until Sun 15 April

two cute bunnies rabbits

Your Easter holiday saviour is here! Everyone’s favourite farm is getting into the spirit of spring over the school holidays with a special ‘hopstacle’ course and a treasure hunt around the park with a prize for every child. There will also be craft activities and a puppet show, as well as all of the usual Farm Park fun – stroking bunnies and holding chicks, bottle feeding the lambs twice daily, lambing and the opportunity to feed the greedy goats. cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk

 

Easter at Roves Farm, Sevenhampton, until Sun 15 April

Get stuck into daily activities including bottle feeding super-cute and cuddly critters, egg collecting, animal racing, hand feeding and generally hanging out with kids and chicks of the pygmy varieties. There’s craft and tractor rides too. rovesfarm.co.uk

 

Easter Holiday Fun at STEAM Museum, Swindon, until Sun 15 April

Loads of activities to keep the Mudlets busy this holiday, plus there are two news exhibitions opening, ‘The Art of Publicity’ and ‘The GWR Publicity Machine’steam-museum.org.uk
Living with Nature’s Design, The Guild at 51, Cheltenham, until Sun 15 April

handmade chest of drawers

If you’re on the prowl for one-off, original interiors finds, then this is your mecca. Among the goodies will be furniture designer-makers Kristian Pettifor and David Ian Smith’s table, chest of drawers and lighting, and sheer linen textile panels printed and painted with patterns inspired by ripples and reflections in nature by the very talented Jenny Bicât. guildcrafts.org.uk

 

Coastal Perspectives, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 21 April

oil painting chalk cliff and sea

Former fishing boat skipper turned artist Robert Jones and Gloucestershire-based artist Chris Hardman both bring Cornish inspiration to their stunning seascape oil painting, with work by Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen members Graham Ikin, Derek Elliott and Colin Chetwood among others. thechapelarts-com

 

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

garden

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

 

BOOK AHEAD:

Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, Salisbury, 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

 

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. hartsbarncookeryschool.co.uk

 

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.

 

Lechlade Festival, Highworth, Fri 25 to Sun 27 May

With Scouting for Girls, glam-rock band Doctor and the Medics and punk-rock outfit From the Jam headlining, this May Bank Holiday music fest is NOT TO BE MISSED! There are even more things to do for kids this year, a bigger and better comedy stage and so many amazing acts across loads of genres, I could write an essay. Which I won’t do, but will just mention that Hendrix-esque duo The Roscoes Wild Child are flying in from LA again this year and The Missy Malone and Burlesque Review will also be returning. Tickets are selling fast with live-in vehicle pitches nearly sold out, so get your tickets NOW. lechladefestival.co.uk

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