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This weekend

Chalk Valley History Festival, Broad Chalke, near Salisbury, Wilts, until Sun 1 July

See history, hear history, even feel history at this extraordinary festival dedicated entirely to – you guessed it – history. Talks, workshops and debates bring alive an incredible living past on these rolling plains in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside – check out the stunning air displays, through-the-ages encampment, interactive events, plus sign up now for a mega-impressive list of speakers from Charlie Higson to Robert Peston, with a jaunt through Kate Mosse, Peter Snow and Simon Schama in between. Early ticket sales are available now.


Whisky Galore, Salisbury Playhouse Main House, Salisbury, until Sat 30 June

Whisky Galore is an original production set in 1955. It was created to honour fearless all-female theatre companies of the post-war years. Food is short, whiskey is shorter. Could this mean the end of the world? salisburyplayhouse



The Full Monty The Musical, The Barn Theatre, Cirencester, Wed 27 to Sat 30 June 

Always a great mix of tears and laughter, The Full Monty The Musical is a proper girls’ night out I reckon. And as well as being there to help and support the guys as they expose themselves you’ll be raising money for cancer too.



Totally Tina, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 29 June

Do not miss this sell-out tribute show to the inimitable Tina Turner because, you know, it’s simply the best (sorry). 


Kids Fashion Pop Up, Kids Arcade, No 38 the Park, Cheltenham, Fri 29 June

rail of kids' designer clothes

I went to the last Kids Arcade pop up in Fairford – and it was AMAZING. There were so many cool kids’ brands my credit card was having a panic attack. Five Boys, Outside the Lines, Wildchild London – you need to get up close and personal with these faberoo labels.


Minety Music Festival, Minety, near Malmesbury, Wilts, Fri 29 June to Mon 2 July

Love Chesney Hawkes? Is he your ‘one and only’? Well, get yourself tickets for this not-for-profit, community festival then – and be transported back to 1991. He’s still cute people!


Stroud & Gloucester Vinyl Collection, The Prince Albert, Stroud, Sat 30 June

Vinyl nerds everywhere this is your moment – bring your favourite records to share with other vinyl lovers and get spinning them on the decks. All genres welcome.


Bread Making, Kids Cookery, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Sat 30 June

Is there anything better than the smell of baked bread? And imagine if your offspring have cooked it for you?! Ship them off to this course where they’ll learn to make pitta bread, bread rolls and flatbread – and then let them loose in your kitchen.


Polo ExperienceBeaufort Polo Club / Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, nr Malmesbury, dates in June
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa has teamed up with iconic Beauford Polo club to offer guests the chance to stay at the hotel and enjoy a hands-on Polo Experience. As well as being a renowned training centre offering lessons to players of all ages and experiences, it is a great way to celebrate a special event or just have a go at the ‘sport of kings’. The half-day Beaufort Polo Club ‘Polo Experience’ package offers the chance to work with HPA-accredited coaches – you’ll start on a wooden horse before graduating to actually hitting balls and playing in a chukka. Top it off with lunch in the Clubhouse and watching the pros play in the afternoon. I might just stick to that bit…

Mining Perceptions, Sally Fawkes & Alex Ho, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 30 June


Glass artist Sally Fawkes and compose, Alex Ho have come together to create a multi-sensory exhibition to explore the relationship between human kind and nature. Yes, it’s cerebral, but it’s good for you.


Sallie Taylor, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Sat 30 June                         

Sallie Taylor’s series of etchings, oil paintings and pencil drawings, all from special moments that have stuck in her head, are enchanting.


Summer Garden Party to celebrate National Democracy Week, The Museum in the Park, Stroud, Sun 1 July

 This July marks 100 years since women got the vote. Celebrate the people who were brave enough to fight for equal rights. Speaking to local councillors while taking part in a mock election and getting crafty in all the activities. If watching from the side lines is more your gig, then enjoy a tea and cake at the pop-up café.


Reggae Roast, The Prince Albert, Stroud, Sun 1 July

Jamaican Inn Kitchen has added a Caribbean twist to the traditional Sunday roast. Instead of roast beef this Sunday, why not try some jerk chicken or curry goat?


Introduction to Nordic Walking, Westonbirt Arboretum, Sun 1 July

Enjoy beautiful sights and sounds of nature while learning the basics behind Nordic walking.


La Traviati, The Longborough Festicval Opera, Moreton-in-Marsh, until Tue 3 July

woman on stairs evening gown

Considered by Verdi to be his greatest work, this extraordinary, heart-wrenching love story features some of the best-known music in operatic repertoire.


A Franks or 2, Alex & Adrian Franks Exhibition, Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, until Sat 14 July

Father and son Alex and Adrian come together to exhibit their artistic abilities. Newcomer Alex uses traditional print techniques in combination with darkly comic themes discussing the relationship between reality and dreams, while Adrian, veteran exhibitionist at Fisherton Mill, shows a collection of work inspired by line and shape.



Larmer Tree Festival, Larmer Tree Gardens, Salisbury, Thu 19 July to Sun 22 July    

Larmer Tree Fest returns to its beautiful surroundings for its 27th year running. The ultimate party for the whole family as the gardens transform into a sensory utopia, presenting top national music artists, a brilliant comedy stage and a huge selection of children’s stars and presenters. It’s no wonder Larmer Tree won Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards. larmertreefestival


The Cotswold Decorative, Antiques and Art Fair, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Fri 10 to Sun 12 Aug

Fabulous, eye-catching, unusual and even bizarre antiques go on sale at The Cotswolds Decorative, Antiques & Art Fair at Westonbirt School this August. Splash your hard-earned on vintage fashion and costume jewellery, traditional antique pieces and the latest in decorative chic style. This is your chance to snoop out some real gems, whether you’re a collector (I wish), interior designer or just on the hunt for unusual accessories for your cool rural boudoir (that’s more like it.) A cut above other vintage fairs, dealers from all over the UK and Europe will be selling Mid-Century Modern, eye-catching Art Deco, contemporary sculpture, industrial chic, painted furniture, portraits and glamorous jewellery…need I go on? They’ve got some pretty cool retro arm candy too. Now you’re talking… Tickets to the Fair are £5 but you can get a FREE TICKET HERE. Open Friday – Sunday 11am-5pm.


Theatre Studio Summer School, Cheltenham Playhouse, Cheltenham, Mon 20 to Fri 24 Aug 

red curtains

Performing arts is a great way for kids to build confidence and develop creatively and the Theatre Studio’s courses are fab. And it’ll fill a week of the summer holidays! For young performers between the ages of four and 19, it’s a great way for kids to mix with all ages too. And you’ll get to watch a performance at the end of the week.


Words by Amy Ballantyne

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