What’s On in August
It's back baby! ... Want to know where to head this month? We don't know about you but we're positively itching to get out the front door and have some fun.
Read on for 22 of the coolest things to do in Glos, Worcs and beyond this month.
The brilliant Soul Circus Festival has landed in Montpellier Gardens. Take part in its daily wellness schedule of yoga, meditation, healing and more, plus special events such as comedy, theatre and live music. This year also features street food, a bar, kids activities, art clubs and other events. All aimed at improving mental health and lifting spirits. And, on Sat 01 Aug don’t miss a fantastic night of comedy, tickets are £20 to see a handpicked line up of the UK’s finest comedians.
BALLOONS Bristol International Balloon Fiesta: Nightglow, Sat 8 August
The real event may be cancelled this year (it will be back on 12 to 15 August at Ashton Court in 2021) but giant balloon fans will love the event taking place on Sat 8 August. BIBF has teamed up with BBC Radio Bristol to bring you a virtual nightglow, staged with extra special additions and a soundtrack. Head over to the social media pages to watch at 9pm – up up and away!
POOLS Lidos, open throughout August
Dive into your cozzies and head to one of Glos & Worc’s glorious lidos. The heated Cirencester Open Air Pool is now open for for pre-booked swims or head to Cheltenham’s Sandford Lido to book in for one of the hour long sessions. Over in Worcs the lovely 40m long Droitwich Lido is opening from 01 August and pre-booked tickets can be found here. Take a hop over the border to go to Chippy’s art deco 25m Lido, like all the others, it’s open for pre-booking only.
SHOW Wind in the Willows, Miserden Estate, Stroud, Sun 02 August
Can you think of a nicer setting for alfresco theatre this summer? The Gardens at Miserden near Stroud are the lush backdrop for Wind in the Willows, a children’s open air theatre performance taking place at 2.30pm on Sunday 2nd August. There will be social distancing measures to keep everyone safe so book your tickets pronto. Tickets to visit the blooming gardens are also now available through a pre-booking system. Open Thurs to Saturday, with children under 16 going free of charge.
KIDS Summer Wild Play, Rodborough, until 27 August
Wrestle them away from their screens for a summer of fun hosted by All Seasons Forest School. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the hols, from 9am – 3.15pm there will be brilliant free range drop-in play sessions for ages 5 – 11 in the woods near Rodborough Scout Activity Field. Costs £25 for the day and covers loads of fun stuff from den making to whittling wood.
THEATRE Outdoor Theatre Festival, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, until 05 Sept
The ever-innovative Barn Theatre is turning its outside spaceat Ingleside House into a pop-up alfresco festival between 25 July and 05 September. Among the luminaries treading the boards are Rosie Day (Outlander, Living the Dream), Aaron Sidwell (EastEnders, Wicked) and our own Tweedy The Clown. Check out the bill, there’s something for all ages from The Adventures of Dr Dolittle to Funny Gals.
TRAIN RIDE Dean Forest Railway, The Forest of Dean, Glos, throughout August
Ready for a Railway Children nostalgia-fest? The Dean Forest Railway reopens on 01 August and will be whisking people through 5 miles of lush woodland and countryside. With five stations along the way you can get on and off to explore the local area, taking in woodland walks and country pubs or venture down to the Severn estuary to explore Lydney Harbour with its 360 views across the Severn. You can just rock up but it’s safer to book online to be sure of a seat (don’t forget your masks). Groups of up to eight people are allowed.
CRAFTS Summer Craft Fun, Hartlebury Castle, Worcs, Tue 04 August Fri 08 August
Stunning Hartlebury Castle is the grand backdrop to getting crafty this summer. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays throughout August, from 11am – 4pm they can get their hands mucky with great craft activities with a different theme each week. From 04 – 07 August there’s a super fun super-heroes theme and from 07 – 11 August it’s Messy Science. Better than the kitchen for sure.
BOATING Californian Pontoon Boating, Tewkesbury, from August onwards
Squint a bit … hello Venice Beach! We love these new Californian pontoon boats available to take out now on the River Avon in Tewkesbury. These fun crafts can be hired privately and are ideal for families, small groups, families or even a romantic cruise for two (why not). Sail down the waterway for 1, 2 or 3 hours at a time between 9am and 9pm. Hire includes your own skipper and you can bring along bubbles and a picnic basket to enjoy on board. Hire is priced from £120 for an hour.
DJ POP-UP, The Royal Oak, Tetbury, throughout August
This popular Tetbury watering hole is hosting brilliant Balearic-feel Saturday afternoons with the Tofty Club spinning Ibiza sounds whilst you relax on socially distanced tables. Something different from the norm on a lazy Cotswold afternoon, and we love it! The perfect recipe for a chilled lunch in the sun with family or friends and some classic anthems.
SHOPPING: Late Night Market Opening, Five Valleys, Stroud, Fri 28 August
The best new retail and street food hang-out in Glos is opening late on Friday 28 August for it first ever Five Valleys Night Market. Stalls will be open until 8pm and the cream of Stroud’s street food vendors will be there, along with live music and a great atmosphere. Watch this space for more details and pencil it in your diary pronto. Plus – head down on 14 August as Falafel Mama is opening – serving up some of the best vegan pittas we’ve ever had.
CASTLES Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Glos
The battlements of Berkeley Castle are open again so head down for a dip into some fascinating history. The castle, near Stroud, has 850 years worth of treasures to explore, a children’s Dragon Trail and Woodland Play Area as well as gardens and lakes teaming with colour. With a safe one way system in place around the castle and takeaway food and drinks available, it will be open from Sun to Weds until the end of October 2020, with a limited number of visitor slots available each day so book ahead now.
ANIMALS Cotswold Farm Park, open to pre-booking, Bourton on the Water
If you need a fix of furry animals then you must swing by the Cotswold Farm Park. As well as an impossibly cute new baby Highland cow there are baby chicks, guinea pig pups and many more to coo over. There’s so much to do at this great day out, from practising your acrobatic skills on the giant Bouncy Pillows to the Muddy Kitchen and Woodland Walk. The Park is staggering entry times to keep everyone safe so make sure to pre-book tickets before you go.
GARDENS Painswick Rococo Garden Summer Trail, throughout August, Stroud
Head to pretty Painswick Rococo Garden to walk its Summer Trail – on until 30 August. Illustrated by local children’s author, Hannah Shaw, the new trail is free to anyone visiting the Garden. Kids will love solving the clues dotted around the lush flower beds, plants and trees, then swing by the café which is open for coffee and cake.
If a retro cinemas are your bag then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Drive-ins have been super popular throughout July, and it seems August is all about the socially distanced deckchair experience! Book tickets for the Alfresco Film Company showing Jurassic Park in Gloucester (01 Aug), Dirty Dancing, Bristol (28 Aug) and Rocketman, Cowley Manor (30 Aug) and The Lion King in Newent, Glos on 29 Aug. Over in Worcs, there’s Dirty Dancing at Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in Worcester on 21 Aug.
NATURE Treasure Trails around the Malvern Hills, Malvern, Worcs
A super way to soak up the fresh air with a frisson of fun still. Pick up a Spy Mission Treasure Trail (downloadable as a PDF) for a quirky way to explore the stunning Malvern Hills. Trails can be done entirely at your own pace, involves a circular route of one mile of walking and 10 miles of driving. Suitable for ages 6 upwards. There’s even a chance to win a monthly £100 prize draw for correct answers. Get those walking boots on pronto.
CHARITY SWIM Clevedon Marine Lake, 15 – 16 August, Clevedon
It’s one of the closest things we have to seaside, just half an hour from Glos. And Clevedon Marine lake is holding a free swimming event on 15 – 16 August. Chose your goal – 2km, 5km, or 10km (oo you daring lot!) – get fundraising (via justgving), then turn up on the day and get a free swimming cap and badge plus the chance to swim your way to some amazing prizes. Or of course just head down to spectate and do the beautiful coastal walk here. All in aid of Level Water – a charity that gives 1:1 swimming lessons to kids with disabilities. Tip: Raise just £50 and you’ll get a free waterproof phone bag too. Good luck.
ART Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 30 August
This is art but not as you know it. There’s some incredible stuff on display at this brilliantly innovative gallery and East End stalwart. This cool exhibition features 10 artists including work by Tala Madani, Christina Quarles and Dana Schutz. Expect bobbly tree bark canvases, nude bodies and Francis Bacon-esque figures. Great for lovers of contemporary art. Tickets from £7.50.
Bristol Zoo is now reopen, and there’s loads to see and do. Make sure to pre-purchase tickets however as entry is on this basis. The Wild Place Project, a 50 acre Conservation Park is also open for pre-booking. You’ll find animals from around the world including giraffes, cheetahs and lemurs, plus miles of woodland to explore and the award-winning Bear Wood. Wander along raised woodland walkways through the branches, looking out for animals roaming below (see if you can spot a Wolverine!).
MUSEUM The V & A Museum, London, from 06 August
Rejoice!! The V&A is reopening. If you have missed it as much as we have, head to the website to pre-book tickets pronto. Admission is still free but entries are timed. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk will be running from 27 August or take a wander around the fascinating Korea, Beatrix Potter or Wallpaper collections.
MUSEUM National History Museum, London, from 05 August
Whale helllooo again! (sorry). Huge levels of excitement that this fantastic day out is open again. Head down from 05 August. As you’d expect to keep everyone safe there’s a timed entry system with only a limited number of people allowed in the galleries at one time so make sure to pre-book your tickets online.
VIRTUAL FESTIVAL Notting Hill Carnival, London, 30 – 31 August
The real-time Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled for the first time in its history, but fear not revellers, because the organisers have some some great things up their sequined sleeves. An alternative schedule of events and entertainment will be held online celebrating the arts and culture of the carnival. Keep your eyes peeled on their channels and crank it up in commiseration.