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What’s On May

Going out is BACK baby! And so is our unmissable What's On guide. Head in right now to see what cracking events are happening in May, from brilliant Bank Holiday garden parties to family festivals, live music and much more.

Read on for 27 unmissable, the unmatchable and downright brilliant events you’ll want to get on your radar this month.

Let’s go fun seekers …

Living Crafts Show, Cirencester Park, 29 – 31 May

Living Crafts at Cirencester Park is the place to head for a brilliant even that champion contemporary, British craft and design. Showcasing some of the most talented and skilled craftspeople from across the UK visitors will be able to try their own hand at dozens of inspirational workshops from simple, fun activities to challenges that will get you hooked. Pre-book whatever you have a passion for via this website or drop-in and watch a fascinating demo at the event. There’ll be live music and entertainment so join your friends in a bubble for a bubble – a glass of Pimms or Prosecco, or afternoon tea in the vintage tea tent and wood fired pizza.

Cirencester Lido, Cirencester from 20 May & Sandford Park Lido, Cheltenham, from 01 May

Open from 21 May (join the queue we’ll be there at dawn!) this wonderful open air pool in the heat of Cirencester is spring-fed and heated to a balmy 27 degrees. Purchase a season ticket or turn up for one of the great pool-ercise classes (check the website for details). Or head over to the lovely Sandford Lido in Cheltenham which opens even earlier on 01 May.

Yoga in the Garden, Miserden in Stroud, from 8th May

This restorative zen workout is the perfect way to get some fresh air and exercise in the loveliest of outdoor settings. Taking place on Saturday 8th May between 9am and 10am, with the brilliant Sam Bullingham, yoga teacher and wellbeing facilitator. Cost is £15 which gives you access to the spectacular Miserden Gardens too. Have a lovely wander around to cool down after your class.

The Hooley, Daylesford Organic Farm, 6 – 17 May

The Hooley is here! Postponed from last year’s cancelled show, it will be the biggest celebration of circus you’ve ever seen. Touring all over the Cotswolds and Glos from Stroud and Chippenham to Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace, find this spectacular show at Daylesford Organic Farm from 6 – 17 May.

Alfresco Pizza Feasts, Tewkesbury Park Hotel, Tewkesbury

How does a freshly prepared, wood-fired pizza on the terrace at the elegant Tewkesbury Park sound? Rather good we say! We’re thrilled to welcome this luxury spa and golfing hotel to our exclusive Little Black Book directory. Until they reopen fully on 17 May the terrace is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Monday, it’s kid friendly too, with half-price pizzas for little ones. Bag your spot now.

Alfresco FIlm Company, Glos & Worcs, from 20 May to 16 September

This cool and retro way to catch a movie (and consume your bodyweight in popcorn) is go for 2021. Catch an all time classic flick in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Lechlade, Bristol, Gloucester, Abberley and Redditch. We can’t wait to settle into one of the deckchairs for a showing of Dirty Dancing, Hot Fuzz and Grease amongst other big hitters. This car-free cinema fest is perfect for Spring and Summer nights, book your deckie now.

Sparkling Afternoon Tea and Walkies amongst the vines, Woodchester Valley Vineyard, from 3 May

The fabulous Woodchester Vineyard has teamed up with treat-makers Le T’artistry to bring you Sparkling Afternoon Tea Tastings! ✨🥂 🧁 Book in for one on a Sunday and start off with a sparkling wine tasting, trying the range of sparkling wines, then choose your favourite to enjoy a glass with the afternoon tea. Enjoy a selection of sandwiches, cakes, tarts and scones (with jam and clotted cream of course), tea, coffee and more fizz should you fancy adding some more sparkle to the afternoon. Available on select Sundays throughout the summer.

AND if you fancy a wander around the vines (it’s like Tuscany without the travel) … head here on every third Tuesday of the month for their Vineyard Doggy Walks. You get a cup of tea, coffee, and biscuits (both dog and human friendly) then explore the vineyards where you’ll learn about these fantastic vines. Then return to the tasting room where you’ll be welcomed with a flight of 3 tasty wines. Takes place on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, £12 per person (doggy goes free!)

Goodbye Lockdown! Jax Nightclub, Gloucester

Damn right you must! Celebrate lockdown going down with this super fun event, it is a seated ticketed show, so book your table in advance and settle in with a glass of bubbles, great company and a night of the happiest, cheesiest pop and old skool tunes from the 80s and 90s. Happiness spike! Starts at 7pm and ends at 2am (if you remember how to stay up that long).

Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham, 1-2 May

Jazz hands aloft … this fabulous musical montage is set to return in 2021 with a free-to-view, two-day digital event taking place across the May Bank Holiday weekend, followed by a series of ticketed in-person concerts at Cheltenham Town Hall over three nights in July (government guidance permitting). Expect an array of world-class shows from heritage legends to emerging talent from across the jazz, pop and soul spectrum. The weekend will be hosted by BBC6 Music presenter Cerys Matthews and the Festival’s Artistic Curator Gregory Porter.

Spanish guitar n’ pizza night, Burleigh Court Hotel, Stroud

One of Muddy’s favourite alfresco hang outs is open again, be the first to lounge on newly landscaped terraces at Burleigh Court near Stroud, complete with lovely fire pits. Plus, whatever you do don’t miss the fireside dinner and Spanish guitar nights on 7th and 14th May. You’ll be serenaded by live Spanish guitar as you tuck into freshly cooked pizza, what could be better?

Forage & Feast, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, 20 and 23 May.

Got a passion for foraged food? Then this lovely course is a winner. During this class you will be taken on a forage, by self taught foraging guide, with over 20 years experience, Rob Gould, The Cotswold Forager. You will explore the hedgerows, woods and fields around Harts Barn Cookery School and find wild garlic, nuts, berries and more. Return to the cookery school to sort through your treasures and create a feast to dine on with a range of drinks and dishes such as infused tea, bread, savoury dishes and something sweet to finish. Experience lasts 5 hours and costs £95.

Scenic Suppers, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos, throughout May

This year the Scenic Supper (essentially the best food you’ll ever eat in a greenhouse with gin) is putting down roots at its new home – in the pastures of Todenham Manor Farm near Moreton-in-Marsh. There will be seven brand new sustainably built glasshouses and a brand new King Stone Gin bar too, serving craft cocktails, English sparkling wine, and local booze. Expect locally sourced food and a signature 5-course menu.The glasshouses host parties of two and four through this 6 months’ residency

Cotswold Baking Workshop, Sunday throughout May

susie whitfield

Hop on to this live interactive, online baking class with the wonderfully enigmatic Susie Whitfield! Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate Biscuit Cake are the recipes you’ll be making in this great class, from 4pm to 6pm. She’s running brilliant classes throughout May and beyond – in real life too now! – so check out her website for what’s on. You’ll be sent an email confirmation before the class starts containing a link to the live class and instructions.

Woodchester Mansion, Stroud, from 21 May

This fantastic Gothic revival mansion has had a makeover during lockdown and reopens to the public from 21 May on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and Bank Holiday Mondays, until Sunday 31st October. Visitors can see how the house was built, admire the carvings and even look at the bats on CCTV. A 19th Century Victorian masterpiece the house was mysteriously abandoned mid-construction in 1873. Hidden in a secluded Cotswold valley, it’s a rather magical day out. There will be snacks and drinks on tap, perfect for exploring the surrounding National Trust land. Children under 14 go free.

Oti Mabuse: I am Here, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 12 – 14 May

Catch the Strictly Come DAncing star Oti Mabuse as she comes to Chelt on her first ever tour, Oti Mabuse: I Am Here. Rescheduled from April 2021 an extra show has also been added.

Summer Garden Afternoon Tea, The Queens Hotel, Cheltenham, throughout May and beyond

Fabulous alfresco opening alert! The iconic Queens Hotel in the heart of Montpellier in Cheltenham has reopened its doors after months of renovation (a gorgeous facelift will be unveiled in May!) with a wondrous new summer garden to eat out in or enjoy some bubbles with a buddy. You can dine out from 10am to 8pm and guests can choose from the sheltered marquee or out in the open, beautifully landscaped garden. Opt for brunch, lunch or one if its famous Afternoon Teas, all made with local artisan products. Top tip – finish your visit with a signature cocktail or gin and tonic made from the hotel’s very own Queens gin.

Worcs

Moreton Hall Tulip Festival, 1 -3 May, Redditch

Explore seven magical gardens around a Georgian country house with spectacular views at this gorgeous, flowery day out in Worcs! Catch the second ever tulip festival on the Bank Holiday weekend, make sure to pre-book to secure your spot. The event, jointly hosted with the Royal Shakespeare Company, will feature 4,000 tulip bulbs on a detailed ‘map’ you can follow. How do they stop them being eaten by the squirrels you ask?! They are sprinkled with chilli powder to deter them! There will be a weather proof Garden Café in a large marquee, with a display of a selection of original RSC costumes too to see.

Broadway Ferrari Day, Broadway, Sun 23 May

Fix a date with a supercar at this quirky car meet in idyllic Broadway. Taking place on Sunday 23rd May 2021, this annual display is a popular village event. Members of the Cotswold Ferrari Owners Club will be on the high street from 10am, followed by a parade along. Pretend one’s yours – for a few brief but beautiful minutes.

Botanical Treasures: Inspiration from Nature in Porcelain and on Paper, Royal Museum of Worcester, Worcester, from 27 May to October.

Visit the brand new Botanical Treasures exhibition at this interesting museum – the collab between the Museum of Royal Worcester and the Gloucestershire Society for Botanical Illustration (GSBI) features artworks by the GSBI’s talented members, many of whom are RHS medal winners, displayed alongside the museum’s beautiful collections of porcelain and original archives. Included in the exhibition will be a celebration of the life and work of Stuart Lafford, who worked at Royal Worcester potteries in the 1980s as a painter. Under 16s go free – a top Spring vibe exhibition.

Contemporary Craft Fair, Elmslie House, Malvern, 01 – 02 May

This craft fair is a real cracker – packed with artisans, designers and makers. Join more than 30 craft experts for a garden party-inspired weekend over the Bank Holiday. There will be live music, homemade cake and Pimms on the lawn. Children go free and adults are just £3. On from 10.30am to 5pm.

Further Afield

May Bank Holiday Celebration, Eastnor Castle, near Ledbury, Herefordshire, 01 – 03 May

Make the most of the spring bank holiday with a trip to Eastnor Castle, to big up May Day Weekend in style. Grab a hot dog from the gazebo and look out for the resident entertainer, who will be making appearances around the grounds to amuse visitors of all ages. The castle is closed for now, but there’s loads to do in the grounds, from the obstacle course, super slide, and more. If you’re still hungry after hot dogs, there’s an onsite tea room for takeaway drinks and snacks or bring your own picnic. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults and £5.50 for children aged three to 15. Children aged two and under go free.

Gilbert and George New Normal Pictures, White Cube, London, until 08 May

One exhibition you can see now is on at White Cube in Bermondsey and Mason’s Yard. At Mason’s Yard Gilbert and George will present their New Normal Pictures, a series of 26 images they have been working on for the past two years. And at the Bermondsey Gallery go see Park Seo Bo’s minimalist paintings and Jessica Rankin’s colourful abstracts. Oh art, we missed you!

Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Bankside, London, from 19 May.

We can’t wait for theatre to be back and where better to get the full experience than at Shakey’s world famous Globe Theatre – the Soho of Elizabethan London. From 19 May live performances will recommence, with socially distanced seating you can book in advance. Catch this visually modern rendition of a magical summer show until October, and As You like it from 08 June – 29 August.

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