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What's on this month in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 13:36 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:38 16 May 2019

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival

Gloucester Tall Ships Festival


If you're looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Radioactive Boglach, New Brewery Arts in Cirencester

Until June 2

An exhibition of the fascinating and beautiful alien forms created by Aimee Lax, inspired by an imagined radiation leakage near Loch Long in Scotland.


Painting Childhood: From Holbein to Freud, Compton Verney

Until June 17

An exhibition of masterpieces by artists including Jan Steen, Judith Leyster, Johan Zoffany, Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds. For the first time iconic works will be paired with the preparatory sketches that informed the final paintings.


Be Inspired, Shakespeare and Me, Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon

Until December 31

This exhibition tells the story of leading 18th-century actor David Garrick's Shakespeare Jubilee, which was held in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769, the first celebration of Shakespeare anywhere in the world.


Viewpoint, Bristol Guild Gallery

April 27-May 18

In their latest exhibition, Gordano Textile Artists interpret the theme 'Viewpoint' through contemporary textile art: hand & machine embroidery, print, mixed media, dry needle felt, quilt art and weaving, resulting in a diverse and stimulating exhibition.


William Simmonds: The Silent Heart of the Arts and Crafts Movement¸ Court Barn in Chipping Campden

April 27-July 21

This show provides the first opportunity since 1980 to see many pieces from private collections of sculptor, carver and puppet master William Simmonds, the central figure in the renewal of the Arts and Crafts movement in Gloucestershire after WW1.


Women in aviation, Jet Age Museum in Staverton

Throughout May

The Jet Age Museum will be celebrating the huge contribution that women have made to the world of aviation and aerospace from the days of the pioneers to present day space exploration. On every weekend of May, there will be a permanent display around the museum as well as special events on selected dates. Free entry.


Badminton Horse Trials

May 1-5

The Cotswolds' world famous sporting event, the Badminton Horse Trials, celebrates its 70th anniversary in the 28th and final year of Cirencester-based Mitsubishi Motors sponsorship. In 2018 a record 185,000 enthusiasts descended on the 12th Duke of Beaufort's Gloucestershire Park to watch four days of competition featuring 80 of the very best all-round human and equine athletes in this multi-discipline sport. The victorious British World Champion squad are expected to be among the entries this year along with the international cream of the sport, many of whom are based in the UK. Click here to book your tickets.


Cheltenham Jazz Festival

May 1-6

Returning to Cheltenham with its trademark broad-appeal mix of the very best classic and contemporary jazz, soul, blues and pop, including Gregory Porter, Jamie Cullum, Katie Melua, Sergio Mendes, Abdullah Ibrahim, Curtis Stigers, James Morrison, Nubya Garcia, and Swing Out Sister.


Big Book Weekend, Tetbury

May 1-3

Tetbury Goods Shed, on conjunction with the Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, is hosting a mini book festival over the early May Bank Holiday, with nearly two dozen writers, critics and academics coming to the town to celebrate and explore new writing.


Spring/Summer Bazaar, Asthall Manor near Burford

May 1 & 2

Following a successful trip to Jaipur, Tania Llewellyn returns with her new Spring/Summer collection. Wednesday, May 1, 10am-7pm and Thursday, May 2.


Confessions of a Menopausal Woman, Chipping Norton Theatre

Thursday, May 2

Following the success of her best-selling book, author and presenter Andrea McLean will embark on her debut tour of the UK, discussing stories of menopausal meltdowns and supplying take-away tit-bits that every woman needs to hear. Tickets from ticketmaster.co.uk.


Giffords Circus - Xanadu

May 3-September 29

Picture the scene: its 1973 in Hyde Park, London and the flower power movement is at its height. Hippies, hipsters, rock stars, musicians, wild women and global nomads with shamanic horses gather to play, sing, dance, protest and perform. Yes, Giffords is back with its brand new show. Woohoo! Click here to book tickets.


Race Night at Cheltenham Racecourse

Friday, May 3

Start your May bank holiday weekend at Cheltenham Racecourse for the last raceday of the season, as racegoers and party lovers alike can enjoy an after party in The Centaur with BBC Radio 1 DJ Greg James. Gates 3.30pm; first race at 5.30pm.

Tel: 0344 579 3003 or visit cheltenham.co.uk.


Belshazzar's Feast, Ruskin Mill College in Nailsworth

Friday, May 3, 8pm

One of the most popular duos in English folk music.


Leamington Music Festival, Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa

May 3-10

Featuring 35 musicians, 27 composers, seven evening concerts, four lunchtime concerts and three afternoon events.


Glorious Gloucestershire Maps, Gloucestershire Archives

Saturday, May 4

A look at some of our county's historic maps and how to use the free local maps website 'Know Your Place - West of England'. A chance to try your hand at old-time surveying and map making.


Seann Walsh, Chipping Norton Theatre

Saturday, May 4, 7.45pm

Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and the self-dubbed 'Lie-In King', Seann Walsh is "unquestionably the best observational comic of his generation" (The Guardian).

Tickets £15.50.


Children's Workshop with Boss Morris, Hilles Art Studio in Stroud

Saturday, May 4 (two sessions: 10am-1pm and 1.30-4.30pm)

Join Karen and Alice from Let's Make Art and the folk dancing queens, Boss Morris, at Hilles Studio for a day of costume making and dancing. Everything will be provided to create high quality, wearable accessories, including hand-painted scarves, lametta fringed capes, pom-pom and flower headdresses, feather masks and ribbon tassel wristbands. Early bird tickets cost £28 and are available via hoop.co.uk. Refreshments are included.


Amberley Cow Hunt

May 4 & 5

Once again the village of Amberley and parts of the surrounding common will see the first stampede of cows as the 'moo-valous' Amberley Parochial School Cow Hunt returns for the 11th year. Quiz sheets and trail maps are available from the start of the trail outside Amberley School.


Meadow and Shore, Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Oxford

May 4-25

A solo exhibition of new prints by Angie Lewin. Featuring brand-new prints, this will be Angie's second solo exhibition at Sarah Wiseman Gallery.


Spring Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, Bowood House

Sunday, May 5, 10am-4pm

A great day out, to include autojumble and children's adventure playground.


Martin and Eliza Carthy, Chipping Norton Theatre

Sunday, May 5, 7.45pm

Martin is a legendary ballad singer and guitarist who has influenced a generations of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, while Eliza has been twice-nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and a multiple-award winner at the BBC Radio Two Folk awards. Tickets £18.


Faringdon Folly Open, Folly Tower & Woodland in Faringdon

May 5 & 19

Visit the 100-foot Folly Tower built by Lord Berners in 1935, then explore the woodlands and discover the sculptures. Entry to the tower is £3 adults; £1 11-16; under 11s free. Open first and third Sundays of the month.


May Day Festival, Hawkwood College in Stroud

Monday, May 6, 10am-5pm

A free day for trying out Hawkwood's free taster workshops and enjoying music all day long. Suggested donation to support charity of £5.


Chipping Campden Literature Festival

May 7-11

With this year's theme being 'News', expect events on royalty, spying, fraud, history, politics, celebrity, journalism, nature, rural life, mental health, cycling, religion, gardening, music, arts and crafts, and photography.


Select Art Trail, various venues

May 8-26

The Select Art Trail is full of stimulating and inspiring artist-led exhibitions and Open Studios, taking place in venues across the glorious Stroud Valleys with exhibitions, workshops, talks and the annual World Textile Fair in Bisley. Studio weekends: May 11, 12, 18 and 19.


Westonbirt 10K

Thursday May 9, 7pm

The popular Westonbirt 10K is returning to one of the most beautiful running routes in the UK at the National Arboretum, as part of the Forestry Commission Active Forests programme. Sign up and raise funds for the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum, with every penny going back into supporting the nation's woods and forests.


Prosecco Tasting with Neil Phillips - The Wine Tipster at Oxford English Centre

Friday May 10, 7pm

A must for Prosecco fans, the evening will be hosted by special guest Neil Phillips - The Wine Tipster who'll be talking to the audiences about the history of the drink, the wine-producing regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, and the terroir and winemaking techniques. There'll also be several high quality Proseccos to try.


Cello and piano recital: The Art of Transcription, Beaudesert Park School in Minchinhampton

Friday, May 10, 7.30pm

London-based cellist Patrick Johnson and pianist-composer Louis Mander will together perform a broad range of music from baroque times through to the 21st century in their exploration of 'The Art of Transcription'. This is the second in a new concert series set in the impressive performing arts centre at this historic independent school. Tickets £8.45 via Eventbrite.


Honk! The Musical, Chipping Norton Theatre

May 10 & 11

HONK! is making its way to the Chipping Norton Theatre following a critically-acclaimed, award-nominated run in London. The musical egg-stravaganza is bursting with puppetry, magic and illusions... and water guns!


Savills Open Houses Event 2019

Saturday May 11, 10am-4pm

Hundreds of properties up and down the country will open their doors to prospective buyers at the Savills Open Houses event, allowing buyers the opportunity to view multiple properties in one day, at their own time and pace. This includes properties in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire. Click here to register your attendance.


The Adam Riches Experience, Warwick Arts Centre

Saturday, May 11

From spoof narratives to edge of your seat audience participation to masterful character creations, no two shows from Edinburgh Comedy Award winner, Adam Riches are alike. Tickets from £13.


Plant & Home Produce Sale, Brailes Village Hall

Saturday, May 11, 10am-12 noon

Plants, jams, chutneys, cakes, biscuits, marmalades, pickles, pies, garden produce and more! Free entry.


Tea Party, The Cotswold Home in Burford

Saturday, May 11, 2pm

Enjoy a charming afternoon of tea, sweet treats and fizz at the Turn2us charity tea party. You'll be greeted with a glass of prosecco, then sit down to a spread of sandwiches and cakes paired with a choice of tea and coffee. This special afternoon will raise funds for Turn2us to help fight poverty. Buy tickets here.


Sudeley Castle Joust, Sudeley Castle

May 11 & 12

Join The Knights of Royal England for a weekend of epic joust tournaments. Expect spectacular action, stunts, fights and galloping horses.


Gaydon Land Rover Show, British Motor Museum

May 11 & 12

In its fifth year, this dedicated weekend event will showcase a huge selection of models from 1948 to the present day.


Chipping Campden International Music Festival

May 11-25

Welcoming some of the world's greatest musicians to the intimate setting of St James' Church.


Dragonboat Regatta, Gloucester Docks

Sunday, May 12

30 teams will battle it out in 40ft Dragonboats while raisings thousands of pounds for the Rotary Club of Gloucester Severn's worthy charities, including Pied Piper Appeal. Call 01452 741144 or email markhamsc@aol.com.


Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, Princess Elizabeth Hall at Cheltenham Ladies' College

Sunday, May 12, 7pm

On a mission to share the joy, power and soulful groove of live contemporary gospel music. Tickets £14 (students £5) from christianartsfestival.org.


The Decorative and Textiles Fair, The Malthouse Collective in Stroud

Sunday, May 12, 10am-4pm

Discover a carefully curated collection of decorative furnishings, antiques and gardenalia, alongside a beautiful range of vintage fabric and textiles.


Jon Buck: Time of Our Lives. Gallery Pangolin in Chalford

May 13-June 28

The sculptor who has pushed the boundaries and possibilities of colouring bronze will be exhibiting a new body of work celebrating the beauty of biodiversity with an exciting combination of timeless forms and intricate surface motifs.


The Edit, Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham

May 16-18

Wiltshire-based Folio Theatre Company bring the world premiere of their new play The Edit to Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre this month. It's a gripping new play about forgiveness, love and self-preservation - and about discovering who we really are…all over again. Set in real time, an ex-couple what went wrong in their relationship and whether they could - or should - take another chance on each other. Tickets are available via everymantheatre.org.uk.


Dr John Cooper Clarke: Luckiest Guy Alive, Bingham Hall in Cirencester

Friday, May 17, 7.30pm

A mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat - a chance to witness a living legend at the top of his game. Tickets from £22.50. Ages 16+ only.


Fraser Graham Piano Recital, Cheltenham College

Friday, May 17, 8pm

Performing Chopin Polonaise Fantasy. Tickets £15/£10.


Gloucester Beer Festival, Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester

May 17-18

Organised by CAMRA in Gloucester, with around 100 beers and over 30 ciders and perries on offer, plus an artisan cheese bar offering a wide range of Gloucestershire cheese. Tickets £6, to include a souvenir glass and festival programme.


Winchcombe Cotswolds Walking Festival

May 17-19

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in style, with an abundance of footpaths and history, 24 walks to suit all abilities, plus two evening events.


Carducci Festival

May 17-19

Featuring The Carducci Quartet plus pianists Daniel Tong, Clare Hammond and Huw Watkins; accordionist Milos Milivojevic; and oboist Nicholas Daniel. Venues: Highnam Court and Church.


The Bath Festival

May 17-26

A celebration of music and literature, with a diverse programme of more than 120 events over ten days, including Sir Michael Parkinson, Kate Williams and Dame Darcey Bussell.

Tel: 01225 463362 or visit thebathfestival.org.uk.


Barnsley Village 31st Garden Festival

Saturday, May 18, 10am-5pm

Spend the day in one of the loveliest Cotswold villages, made famous for its gardens by the late garden designer and author Rosemary Verey who lived at Barnsley House for 50 years. Ten other gardens in the village will be open on the day, plus there will be delicious teas in the Village Hall, a barbecue, jazz band, Morris dancers, clowns, a tour of Herbs for Healing garden, and an organ recital and choral singing in the church. A passport, giving admission to all gardens, is £7.


Collegiate AC Charity Gala & Auction, Barton House in Oxfordshire

Saturday, May 18

This high-profile event will be hosted by actor and BBC Radio 1 DJ, Cel Spellman. Guests will be welcomed with a Veuve Clicquot champagne reception, followed by a five-course meal prepared by Tom Sherry, who trained under Michelin star chef Jason Atherton. The event will be held in conjunction with Student Minds, the UK's leading student mental health charity.


Nailsworth Duck Race, Mortimer Gardens

Saturday, May 18, 10am-3pm

A really fun family event: watch the ducks whizz down the stream, with fabulous prizes to be won, cakes, and craft activities. Raising funds for St Dominic's Primary School's new outdoor classroom.


Spring Concert: Cirencester Philharmonia orchestra, Bingham Hall in Cirencester

Saturday May 18, 7.30pm

Cirencester Philharmonia orchestra, conducted by Ian Higginson, will play a great range of music from classical composers such as Mozart and Mendelssohn and will feature one of Joseph Haydn's energetic symphonies written especially for his 18th century London audience. Email enquiries@cirencesterphil.co.uk for more information. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Cirencester Visitor Information Centre or on the door.


Open Gardens for the Red Cross, The Old Rectory in Quenington

Sunday May 19, 2-5pm

The expansive organic gardens of The Old Rectory in Quenington, Gloucestershire will open to the public with all proceeds going to the British Red Cross. As well as admiring the five acres of beautiful organic gardens, there's also the opportunity to take a sneak peek of the Fresh Air Sculpture 2019 (June 16-July 7).


Meg Mathews: 'Invigorate' Menopause Expo, John Lewis & Partners Cheltenham

Sunday May 19, 10.30am-5pm

Bringing together Gloucestershire experts specialising in the menopause, as well as VIP guest and menopause spokesperson Meg Mathews, the store will host the town's first 'Invigorate' Menopause Expo. There will also be series of talks and John Lewis & Partner' style and beauty brands on hand. The event is free - register your place here.


Winchcombe Festival of Music and Arts

May 20-27

This year's festival will feature a record number of artists on the ever-popular Art Trail plus workshops, poetry, talks, a gin tutorial, storytelling for youngsters…all ending with a street fair on Bank Holiday Monday. There's to be a Tudor link this year, with Sudeley Castle recently discovering its long-lost Tudor garden. Find out more from brochures strategically placed around the Cotswolds, or visit winchcombefestival.co.uk.


Lechlade Festival

May 24-26

Now in its ninth year, the festival is jam-packed with over 100 performers, including Ivor Novello award-winning, Brit Award-nominated band The Feeling as headliners, plus comedy, camping, boutique glamping, free music, dance and craft workshops, circus skills tent, burlesque, food, real ales, and more. Children 16 and under go free, whether camping or visiting for the day.


Transcendence, The Paragon Gallery in Cheltenham

May 24-June 8

The third solo exhibition of original paintings by acclaimed French artist Corine Ko, featuring more than 20 recent original works on canvas.


Gloucester Tall Ships and Adventure Festival

May 25-27

Whether you're a history buff or an adrenalin junkie, there is something for everyone at the award-winning biennial Tall Ships and Adventure Festival. Visitors can sample a slice of maritime life climbing aboard the vintage vessels, you can zipwire across Gloucester Docks or enjoy a Gravity Jet Suit display, plus wakeboarding competitions, food and drink stalls, and much more. For more information, and to book tickets, visit gloucestertallships.co.uk.


La Vie en Bleu, Prescott Hill Climb in Cheltenham

May 25-26

The Bugatti Owners' Club hosts its popular annual French themed event, celebrating all things French and Italian.


Raymond Martinez exhibiton, Warwick Hall in Burford

May 25-26

Internationally renowned painter Raymond Martinez will exhibit his work in aid of Cecily's Fund.


Blenheim Palace Food Festival

May 25-27

A gastronomic weekend packed with engaging and educational demonstrations from celebrity and local chefs, as well as a multitude of interactive family-friendly activities within the stunning grounds of the palace.


Woolly Week, Mary Arden's Farm near Stratford-upon-Avon

May 25-June 2

Celebrating the longest day on June 23, plus you might even meet a unicorn!


Brought to Life: Eliot Hodgkin Rediscovered, Waddesdon Manor

May 25-October 20, 11am-5pm

The first major exhibition of the artists' work in nearly 30 years, bringing together the largest ever exhibition of Hodgkin's paintings and drawings, many of which have never been seen in public before.


Cheltenham Film Festival

May 27-June 1

Cheltenham's new festival is dedicated to screen - in competition, feature films and shorts of first- and second-time directors. The aim is to promote independent film makers early in their career, while also paying homage to the legacy of cinema by screening the early works of critically acclaimed and commercially successful directors.


Stroud Festival presents 'Revolutionary Music for Two Pianos', Holy Trinity Church in Stroud

Wednesday May 29, 7.30pm

Talented pianists Ashok Gupta and Jâms Coleman have put together a programme of music which broke the mould, caused a sensation, or was even considered 'revolutionary' on first hearing.


WW1 Prisoner of War Camps, Corinium Museum in Cirencester

Thursday, May 30, 7-8.30pm

This illustrated lecture by Dr Colin Chapman describes the background to the WW1 POW system, with particular reference to Gloucestershire, and commemorates the true ending of WW1 - the Versailles Peace Treaty of June 26, 1919. Cost: £7.25 per adult, £6.25 members.


Elgar Festival

May 30-June 2

A four-day music festival in and around Worcester, headlined by leading international cellist, Raphael Wallfisch and the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO), conducted by Kenneth Woods.


The Cotswold Olimpicks & Scuttlebrook Wake, Dover's Hill in Chipping Campden

May 31 & June 1

The home of the infamous shin-kicking championship is celebrating its 407th anniversary in 2019. Also expect torchlit procession, fireworks, live music and general Cotswold revelry.


Worcestershire Early Music Festival

May 31-June 2

Artists to include Emma Kirkby and Downland Works, the Musical and Amicable Society, Fontanella, and the Emily Askew Band. Tickets from worcsearly.eventbrite.co.uk.


Craig Ogden, Broughton Castle in Banbury

Saturday, June 1

The concert will include music from the Spanish guitar repertoire, Back and pieces from the Australian-born guitarist's Classic FM award-winning CDs. Tickets £30 each from khh.org.uk/guitar-concert, in aid of Katharine House Hospice.


Bretforton Open Gardens

Sunday June 2, 11am-5pm

Stroll around the gardens of the pretty village of Bretforton, admire the Scarecrow Competition entries, enjoy refreshments and stalls, and hear Bretforton Choir perform. The Manor Gardens will be providing the backdrop with five acres of formal and informal areas. £5 adults; children free. Call 01789 720154 or visit bretforton-gardenclub.co.uk.


Cocktails & Pampering, The Cottage in the Wood in Malvern

Wednesday, June 5

At The Cottage in the Wood's Wednesday Club event be treated to cocktails, demonstrations, canapés and pampering treatments provided by Cecily's Beauty & Wellness. Tickets cost £17.50 per Wednesday Club member and from £20 for non-members.


Contact Candia.McKormack@archant.co.uk or Elizabeth.Hartland@archant.co.uk to let us know about events happening in and around the Cotswolds.

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