Enjoy a spectacular summer in Shakespeare’s England!

Fun for all the family
EH Kenilworth May 098 _ RobertSmith 2015

Enjoy a spectacular summer in Shakespeare’s England with a host of special activities and events for all the family. Visit Shakespeare’s New Place, explore the new trail at Warwick Castle, pack up a picnic and listen to live jazz at Hill Close Gardens, watch an outdoor theatre performance or take part in one of many exciting Festivals throughout the region.

On 1 July Shakespeare’s New Place opens and visitors will be invited to follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps in a new contemporary landscape setting. Commissioned artworks and displays will evoke a sense of his genius and his family life. Next door Nash’s House will house a major new exhibition casting fresh light on the man behind the great works. Enjoy outdoor theatre performances in the gardens of Shakespeare’s family homes. At Mary Arden’s Farm, see Much Ado About Nothing (15, 16 & 29 July), and Macbeth (30 July). Festival Players present Hamlet performed in the garden at Hall’s Croft (21 August) and over at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage catch the Wizard of Oz (13 August).

Celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary this summer with a trip to see his classic title Hamlet, playing in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre until 13 August. Come and explore the brand new Royal Shakespeare Company venue in Stratford ‘The Other Place’ and take the new ‘Page to Stage’ guided tour to learn about the history of the RSC.

Discover where the world’s greatest playwright was educated and inspired by his first theatrical experiences at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall. Take your place in a live Tudor lesson sitting where he would have learned Latin and other subjects.

Explore the British Motor Museum by becoming a reporter with their family newspaper trail. Take part in workshops and build a car from LEGO, balloons or card. The Family Festival takes place on 31 July featuring art and science activities based around the British car.

Experience Warwick Castle’s new Devile Warwicke ‘trail’ which takes in the 14th century towers and ramparts, standing at more than 40 metres in some areas. Also new is the UK’s first ever Horrible Histories Maze! The aim is not to reach the centre, but to reorder the muddle that mischievous Rattus Rattus has made of time, and find the way out!

Visit Hill Close Gardens in Warwick for ‘Midsummer Jazz in the Gardens’ from 7:30pm on the 18 June. On 9 & 10 July ‘Lost & Found’ shows how the gardens were nearly lost for-ever and the story of how they were saved. Watch Heartbreak productions perform ‘The Tempest’ on 26 July at 7pm.

See the knights take on the medieval contest at the Knights’ Tournament at Kenilworth Castle. To mark the 750th anniversary of the Siege of Kenilworth, see attacking troops and entertainment in this re-enactment, the biggest battle the castle has seen since 1266! The Kenilworth 750 Town Commemoration takes place on 27 August at Abbey Fields.

Stage two of the Aviva Women’s Tour Cycling Race visits Kenilworth and Warwick on 16 June! Experience the spectacle of professional bike racing and enjoy themed entertainment.

Visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Home & Garden Show from 15 – 17 July at The Recreation Ground organised by Blooming Marvellous Events Ltd. The show will host a Shakespearean ‘Globe Theatre’ Charity Show Garden, a tribute to Shakespeare.

Enroll in art camp at The Old Slaughterhouse Arts & Heritage Studio in Stratford- upon-Avon. Every Monday and Tuesday enjoy arts, crafts and model making.

The MAD Museum celebrates the 25th anniversary of Jean Tinguely, a.k.a ‘The Godfather of Kinetic Art’s’ death by hosting a design competition. Invent a crazy contraption which just needs to be eccentric!

Visit the free annual Stratford River Festival on 2 & 3 July and enjoy a craft market, family and charity zone, climbing wall and entertainment. See dozens of brightly painted barges and on the Saturday evening enjoy a firework finale. The Stratford Town Centre Food Festival takes place from 23 – 25 September with demonstrations, workshops, taste trails, entertainment and hundreds of stalls along with a very tasty celebrity chef.

The Leamington Food & Drink Festival is on the 10 & 11 September at the Pump Room Gardens. Experience the best of Leamington’s food and drink in this immensely popular event. Visit the Royal Spa Centre to see Spoken Word with Blofeld & Baxter: Rogues on the Road, bastions of the beloved Test Match Special.

Enjoy a guided day tour of the Cotswolds with Go Cotswolds on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Tours depart from Stratford at approx. 9.15am, returning around 4.30pm.

Warwickshire Open Studios is on from 18 June – 3 July. Visit hundreds of colourful homes, studios and gardens, filled with the finest quality ceramics, sculptures, jewellery, textiles, glass and furniture. Chat to artists and watch demonstrations.

The popular ‘Ukefest’ comes to Warwick Racecourse on 9 July with entertainment, stalls, food and drink! The Warwick Beer, Cider & Music Festival takes place on 15 & 16 July and promises to be bigger and better than ever before. The Thai Festival also returns to Warwick on 31 July, an event not to be missed!

Visit Batsford Arboretum for a production of Robin Hood on 27 July. The Big Batsford Bug Hunt takes place from 1 – 31 August. Find the creepy crawlies and mark their locations to win a prize! Join moth expert Bob Cox to discover more about moths on 3 August.

Ragley Hall will play host to a number of events. The Game Fair takes place from 29 – 31 July featuring over 900 exhibits. Battle Proms returns on 13 August with classical music, choreographed Spitfire and cavalry displays, cannon fire and a firework finale. Camper Calling is a new festival from 26 – 28 August featuring craft workshops, campfire tales, lake activities, tea dances, music street food, AüguztFest with a live Oomph Band and a fun fair!

Family entertainment at Warwick Folk Festival which takes place from 21 – 24 July, includes circus workshops, Wyld Thyngz forest school, children’s Morris dance workshops, lantern making and the chance to join the procession on Sunday.

Enjoy concerts from Orchestra of the Swan at Stratford Artshouse. Thomas Nickell Plays Bach takes place on 10 July and Last Night of the Shakespeare Proms is on 30 July.

Bicester Village celebrates British culture this summer. Live music starts on 30 May on Thursday/Friday evenings. With food, a champagne pop-up and the largest collection of designers, shopping has never looked so good. Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare, the Village will host Shakespeare performances on Fridays from 10 June.

‘Fish N Frolics’ in Shipston on Stour hosts its annual Festival from 29 – 31 July. Part of National Fishing Month, the festival encourages juniors to take up angling plus there will be live bands, stands, stalls, displays and entertainment.

Take part in the Compton Verney Festival on 2 & 3 July with fairground rides, food including BBQ, pulled pork, paella, ice cream and crepes and music, all in the setting of the park. Learn a new skill at the circus skills area or try out hula hooping. Be entertained by stilt walkers and balloon modellers. There is the option to camp over the weekend.

See Ladies in Lavender at the Bear Pit Theatre from 17– 25 June which tells of two sisters who live in a Cornish fishing village in 1936. When a young Polish violinist is washed ashore, the sisters nurse him back to health. However, the young man disrupts their lives.

For more suggestions on things to do plus recommended accommodation and restaurants in the area see www.shakespeares-england.co.uk