‘We’re Good To Go’ get global ‘Safe Travels’ stamp

UK businesses registered ‘We’re Good To Go’ get global ‘Safe Travels’ stamp

VisitBritain has today announced that tourism businesses in the UK registered to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard scheme can now be automatically issued with the international ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Please read more here. 

 

Update to restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services guidance (England)

The guidance has been updated with some information for Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May) of the roadmap and contains steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers during coronavirus. In addition to the info below, businesses should make sure that they are familiar with the UK government guidance to ensure that they make their business safe during coronavirus.

Following the move to Step 3, businesses will be able to:

  • Reopen indoor areas of their venues.
  • Serve customers in groups of up to 6 or 2 households indoors, or in groups of up to 30 outdoors.
  • There will also be some relaxation of rules around live performances, business events and soft play areas.

Businesses may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered ‘outdoors’, shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use.

Table service will be required for venues that serve alcohol, even if no alcohol is ordered, this means customers must order, be served and eat/drink while seated. If a venue does not serve alcohol, customers can order and collect food and drink from a counter. But they must consume food and drink while seated at a table.

Entertainment within or outside restaurants, pubs, bars

At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, more types of socially distanced indoor and outdoor events are allowed. Some types of events, including live performance events and business events, should have a cap on attendance of:

  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower – indoors
  • 4,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower – outdoors

These events should be ticketed. Read the organised events guidance for more information on the types of event subject to these requirements.

If businesses are organising a performance event, they also should read the performing arts guidance. If they’re organising a business event, they should also read the visitor economy guidance.

Any events should be held in a separate room from regular food and drink customers to prevent mixing with event attendees.

Businesses can continue to provide other types of entertainment to food and drink customers. The following guidance should be followed:

  • Determine the viability of entertainment and maximum audience numbers. Make this consistent with social distancing outside and within venues, and with other safety considerations.
  • Prevent entertainment, that is likely to encourage audience behaviours with increased transmission risk. For example, loud background music, communal dancing, group singing or chanting.
  • Reconfigure your entertainment spaces to ensure customers are seated rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.
  • Communicate clearly to customers your arrangements for entertainment. Clearly supervise them with extra staff if appropriate.

Changes to shops and branches guidance (England)

At Step 3, customers may attend shops in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households of any size indoors; or in groups of no more than 30 people outdoors.

Limit on mourners at funerals to be removed (England)

Legal limit on numbers of mourners at funerals to be removed in England at Step 3 of the roadmap. Venues such as places of worship are to set limits based on individual capacity. All organisers must continue to be COVID secure and follow social distancing rules

 

The Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses has been updated and includes information for:

Operators of road, rail, tramway and water passenger services (e.g. coach, bus and tour operators, heritage railway and boat trips)-These are defined as Public Transport Services under the Coronavirus Regulations – the Welsh Government has issued Guidance on public transport(updated as of 12 April).

 

All tourism and hospitality businesses in Wales should also refer to section 7 of the Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses (specificallygroup visits and organised activities) in respect of limits on the numbers of people that can gather in respective environments (including considerations around household mixing and organised activities).

If you’re itching to get out but want the reassurance that the venues you visit are safe to explore, look for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ logo. When you spot this handy green tick you’ll know that the teams looking after you are following all the appropriate government and industry COVID-19 guidance.

The ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme has been created by VisitEngland and helps you to have a worry-free experience in South Warwickshire.

Here are our tips for getting out and about again:

  • Know before you go – check the websites and information from the places you’d like to visit. There could be restrictions and you might have to pre-book.
  • Follow guidance – the measures in place are to protect you and the teams working here.
  • Take plenty of photos – share them with us on social media using #MyShakespearesEngland.
  • Share your favourite places with friends –  they’ll thank you for it and might recommend a new place for you to try, too!
As different areas of the UK are at different stages of reopening, the We’re Good to Go map and the Know Before You Go map shows visitors the local restriction and which businesses have been awarded the We’re Good to Go industry standard.
Check out Shakespeare’s England’ Know Before You Go guides.
Here are some of the Shakespeare’s England members are ‘Good to Go’:

The Belgrade Theatre

Royal Shakespeare Company – opening up July 2021

Culture Coventry

Coventry Transport Museum – Culture Coventry

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Coombe Abbey Hotel – open

Go Ape Coventry

Warwick Visitor Information Centre

PEACH PUBS

The Rose and Crown

Park Cottage Guest House

British Motor Museum – opens on May 17th

Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel & Spa

Compton Verney House Trust – open

The Howard Arms Ilmington

Daisy Lodge in Stratford upon Avon…

Hathaway Tea Rooms

Mercure Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Hotel

Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon – open

Hotel du Vin Stratford

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the childhood home of William Shakespeare will reopen on Monday, 17 May

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s New Place will reopen to visitors on Monday, 14 June

Crowne Plaza Stratford Upon Avon

Avon Boating Ltd – open

Shakespeare Distillery – open from May 17th

Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa

Orangemabel

Go Cotswolds Ltd

Bicester Village

Lord Leycester Hospital – open form 21st May

 

Crunchy autumn leaves, hot chocolates and pumpkins galore!

Crunchy autumn leaves, hot chocolates and pumpkins galore! This time of year is filled with spectacular colour and spooky treats. There are no tricks, we really do have a whole host of Halloween and Half term treats for you here in Shakespeare’s England.

From ghostly trails to treetop adventures after dark and new shows there is magic in the air this autumn with so much to enjoy at the region’s top cultural and tourism destinations.

Halloween, the October half term break and Bonfire Night are just around the corner with spine-chilling events and comforting autumnal staycations on offer to all to mark the changing of seasons.

Members of Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management Organisation for South Warwickshire and the surrounding areas, are inviting everyone to an array of activities and events including a cosy Cotswolds pub and local brewery tour, Halloween family brunch bingo and Gunpowder Gala feast with fireworks.

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, said: “It is fantastic to see the return of so many Halloween and autumnal events across our region this year – for the first time since March 2020 for some businesses.

“There are a really varied range of festivities on offer ensuring the whole family can get into the spooky spirit and enjoy the October half term break.

“2021 continues to be a challenge for tourism and hospitality businesses, which were hugely affected by the pandemic. I would urge people across the region to show their support and enjoy the brilliant events on offer.”

The full list of events includes:

Kenilworth Castle

The Wizards of Once Halloween Quest, October 23-31

Head to Kenilworth Castle for a fantastical day out this Halloween half-term. Explore the grounds on a brand-new adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s bestselling Wizards of Once series. Children can also get up close to a host of real-life ‘beasts’ with Zoolab and meet some amazing animals – including snakes, spiders, and more – and learn all about these creepy crawly creatures. Find out more: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/Kenilworth-castle-halloween-quest/

Ghost Tours, October 28-31

Do you dare explore Kenilworth Castle in the dark this Halloween? Join storytellers as they guide you on a bone-chilling journey through history. With tales of ghosts, supernatural sightings, and horrors from history, this is not a night for the faint-hearted. Suitable for ages 16+. Find out more: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/kenilworth-castle-ghost-tour-28—31-october/

 

Warwick Castle – The Haunted Castle – October 23-31

Join ghosts, ghouls, wizards and witches and prepare for a Halloween adventure brimming with spooky tales, scary fun, and daytime themed attractions for all ages, including Upscares Down Scares, witches, wizards and troll hunter schools and The Dead Centre Stage packed with brand new live performances. Returning favourites include the Haunted Hollows, The Witches Tower, and Wizards Schools, https://www.warwick-castle.com/explore/events/halloween/

The Castle After Dark – October 24, 29, 30 and 31 – Two new Halloween-y attractions at this festival-themed evening event include Hunted and the Massacre-ade Ball – with jump scares and surprises they are not for the faint-hearted! Among other thrills there will also be the Haunted Hallows, the Castle Dungeon, live music and entertainment along with street food from local vendors at The Open Arms, https://www.warwick-castle.com/explore/events/castle-after-dark/

 

Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-AvonThe Magician’s Elephant, October 18 – January 1 2022

A brand-new family-friendly musical production for ages six+ adapted from Kate DiCamillo’s prize-winning children’s novel, directed by Sarah Tipple (Associate Director of The Boy in the Dress) and designed by Colin Richmond (Wendy & Peter Pan). This production, postponed due to Covid, marks the re-opening of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the return of audiences to indoor performances at the RSC for the first time since March 2020. Find out more: https://www.rsc.org.uk/the-magicians-elephant

 

Coombe Abbey Hotel, Coventry – Gunpowder Gala Banquet, November 5

Following a sell-out Haunted Halloween Banquet, the hotel is hosting a four-course feast with wine and mead, while actors reveal the story of The Gunpowder Treason, and the danger it presented to Coombe Abbey. After dinner look forward to a firework display over the lake followed by a post-banquet disco. For more information visit https://www.coombeabbey.com/product/gunpowder-gala-banquet/

Go Ape, Coventry – Sundown Sessions

For a spooky adrenalin rush turn up the thrills this autumn with after dark adventures in the grounds of Coombe Abbey Park at one of 20 selected Go Ape’s UK locations. Limited sessions will be available for the Treetop Challenge Xpress, Treetop Adventure – traversing wobbly crossings before a spine-tingling thrill as you zip through the crisp autumn evening; Treetop Adventure Plus – providing all the fun of the Treetop Adventure at a higher level and longer and solo zip wire along; plus, Axe Throwing in the twilight. For more information visit www.goape.co.uk/sundown

 

Eden Hotels

Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa, Leamington Spa – enjoy a comforting Autumn Pamper Espa Break https://www.mallory.co.uk/news-and-offers/one-night-espa-break/ or an Autumn Staycation https://www.mallory.co.uk/news-and-offers/autumn-staycation/

The Arden Hotel, Stratford – book an overnight boutique stay and be one of the first to see The Magician’s Elephant, the first new production inside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre since the pandemic started, with exclusive RSC Theatre package – https://www.theardenhotelstratford.com/news-and-offers/rsc-theatre-package/

Or spend a few days with the family exploring historic Stratford-upon-Avon and beyond this October half term. Kids stay free/half price when sharing a room with two adults (valid until October 31):https://www.theardenhotelstratford.com/news-and-offers/uk-october-half-term-break/

 

 

Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park

Grinling Gibbons: Centuries in the Making, until January 30 2022 – A critically-acclaimed exhibition marking the 300th anniversary of woodcarver Grinling Gibbons death which first opened at Bonham, London this summer. The Dutch-born sculptors decorative work is usually only seen in situ in Britain’s royal palaces, including Windsor and Hampton Court, its most important churches, including St Paul’s Cathedral and York Minster, and the grandest of stately homes, but now, fine examples can be seen together, including items rarely on public display, curated from national, international, and private collection. https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/

Half term family events – Celebrating the spookiest time of the year Compton Verney sees the return of the Pumpkin Trail in the grounds, October 16-31; a half term holiday club with Warts and All Theatre Company on October 26, 27 and 28 and Wild Wednesday: CSI Nature Detectives on October 27 with Warwickshire Badger Group. For more information visit https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/thing-to-do/autumn-family-activities/

 

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry – The Turner Prize 2021

For the first time The Turner Prize 2021 lands in the West Midlands exhibition showcasing the work of a shortlist consisting entirely of artist collectives and artist-run projects: Array Collective, Black Obsidian Sound System, Cooking Sections Gentle/Radical and Project Art Works. The winner will be announced on December 1 at a ceremony at Coventry Cathedral and be awarded £25,000 with £10,000 given to each of the others shortlisted.Entry is free and ticketed. For more information visit https://www.theherbert.org/

 

Go Cotswolds

Brewery, Pub Lunch & The Cotswolds tour – the day includes a tour and tasting at Purity Brewing Co, lunch, a drink at the cosy Fleece Inn in Bretforton, plus visits to Chipping Campden, and Ebrington, home of the multi-award-winning Ebrington Arms. The tour has just resumed following the reopening of Warwickshire’s award-winning Purity Brewery and take place every Saturday.

Led by a designated driver-guide in an executive minibus, pick-ups from Stratford-upon-Avon, Moreton-in-Marsh or Chipping Campden make it ideal for a car-free autumnal adults’ day out particularly if are travelling from Birmingham, Oxford or London. £75 pp. Find out more: https://www.gocotswolds.co.uk/product/brewery-pub-lunch-the-cotswolds-pub-tour/

 

The Belgrade Theatre, CoventryDirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage, arrives in Coventry from Tues November 2 – Saturday November 6 with a new production. Book now to get the best seats at the best prices.

The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe, November 3 – Lizzie Wort (RSC’s The Magician’s Daughter, Animal Farm) stars in a one woman show, which picks up on August 5 1962, the day after Marilyn’s death. It tells us the story of Hollywood’s biggest icon as we’ve never heard it before.

First Time, November 6 – Nathaniel Hall, star of Channel 4’s hit show It’s a Sin, comes to the Belgrade with his play. This critically-acclaimed piece is autobiographical exploration into growing up HIV positive in a negative world. Written and performed by Nathaniel Hall and directed by Chris Hoyle.

SeaView, screenings of the new digital TV series from Belgrade Film and Digital for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, November 11 – 13, following a red-carpet premiere on the Belgrade’s Main Stage on Wednesday November 10.

Created by the Belgrade’s newly appointed Creative Director, Corey Campbell, SeaView is a ground-breaking family drama with a supernatural twist, centring on the working-class Black communities of the West Midlands.

For more information and to book tickets visit www.belgrade.co.uk

 

FarGo Village, Coventry – Halloween and half term are covered with events including a Halloween Makers Market (October 23), Dabbers Halloween Family Brunch Bingo (October 24), Trash Film Club’s 2006 remake of The Wicker Man (October 31) for over 16s and Fargo Lates on October 29 with late night shopping, DJs, performances and food. Children aged 7+ can also make their own Halloween-themed LEGO Brick stop frame animation book here or animated clay monster film from plasticine book here at the Let’s Animate studio.

For a full line up of events this autumn/winter visit https://www.fargovillage.co.uk/whats-on

 

Stratford Butterfly Farm – During half term families can also see plenty of creepy crawlies and pumpkins from October 23–31 including the Pumpkin Patch Spider from Colombia. A new space has been created for the birds living at the Farm and several new Crested Pigeons will be released in time for Halloween. On October 30 and 31 October staff will be dressing up in Halloween costumes and encouraging visitors to do the same.

Tickets must be booked online at www.butterflyfarm.co.uk

 

Magic Alley Halloween Spooktacular, Bell Court, Stratford-upon-Avon – Nightmare! A spine-tingling family-friendly quest for ages 6+ around the haunted Enchanted Manor. It includes sound and lighting effects and a magician performing age-appropriate magic. During October half term week there will be a 45-minute Nightmare! quest for those over 8 performed with an actor. One group per session, as social distancing in operation.

 

Magic After Dark, October 9 – Jester Styles, a delightfully dark magician sought after across the UK, will be infusing street magic and mind reading in a thrilling concoction. Tarot cards, voodoo dolls and witchcraft will be the topics of the evening. He will be joined by a second magician, Sylvia Spectre, in her parlour of paranormality for ghost stories laced with magic and mirth. Suitable for anyone 13+. Small group entry from 10.30am.

 

 

Talking to the Dead: A Séance, October 22 & October 26 – Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Griffin and Jones intend to find out. Face your fears, and join them for an intimate, fully immersive 45-minute experience as they use techniques from Victorian séance rooms to peer into the ‘great beyond’, and ask the question ‘Is anybody there?’ Sceptics and believers’ welcome. Suitable for anyone 18+. Timed entry from 7pm to 9pm.

 

Nightmare – After Dark, October 28 – Take a terrifying journey into the unknown as you make your way through Magic Alley’s Halloween scare attraction after dark. Sound and lighting effects will be used and there will be actors in the experience. Expect the unexpected and there is a glass of prosecco or equivalent soft drink included if you make it out alive. Suitable for over 18s only at 7.30 and 9pm.

Timed Entry and socially distanced groups.

 

Teaser Video Links:

For more information visit: https://www.magicalleystratford.com/halloween

 

 

The British Motor Museum, Gaydon – Spotlight on Science, October 23-31

This half term the Mad Scientists will be shining a light on headlamps and the science behind them. There will be illuminating hands-on sessions with the amazing Lucas Collection, one of the world’s largest collections of historic lamps. A Spotlight on Science Show will run from October 26 – 28 with a 30-minute live spectacular full of cool interactive demonstrations and light inspired science.

 

Object handling, October 23-25; 29-31 – Professor Pickle or Doctor Pumpkin will share stories and the science behind the fascinating lights and mirrors in the Lucas Collection. Children will learn how they work, how they were made and what powered them. Every day children can go on the Museum Black Cat Trail looking for hidden black cats and, with a torch, to discover the colour of each cat’s eyes. In a take home activity – Make Your Own Optical Illusion – children can make their own Phenakistoscope, an early animation device.

 

Great British Model Railway Show, October 30 & 31 – Dedicated to model trains and layouts, this family-friendly show is one of the biggest model railway shows in the Midlands and will feature more than 30 top-quality railway layouts.

 

For further information visit https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on

 

 

Contemporary Arts Fair, Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall, November 6 & 7

 

More than 40 artists will be exhibiting more than 500 pieces of original art, offering an exciting and eclectic mix of paintings, illustrations, ceramics, jewellery, woodwork, glasswork, textiles, collage, sculpture, and book binding at the first live Arts Fair Discover:Gather:Give #Cafdgg in 18 months.

The Arts Fair also hosts the Golden Cup Café, where tea and Monsoon Estate coffee are served in gold vintage china in the chandelier lit ballroom, with handmade cakes. Entry is free with donations to local charity LifeSpace, supporting young people. Times: Saturday November 6, 10.30am to 5pm, Sunday November 7, 10.30am to 4pm, at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall, 1 Sheep Street, CV37 6EF. For further information visit: www.discovergathergive.co.uk

 

For further information about Shakespeare’s England and its members visit www.shakespeares-england.co.uk

Enjoy family-friendly summer holidays in Warwickshire

FAMILY-FRIENDLY SUMMER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES & DAYS OUT TO BOOK ACROSS COVENTRY & WARWICKSHIRE

Travel through time this summer holiday with Shakespeare’s England – from a medieval joust to a 1940s tearoom and 2 Tone music scene, right through to discovering how Our Future Moves in a new City of Culture exhibition at Coventry Transport Museum.

The school summer holidays are almost here and with a government announcement expected to lift all Covid restrictions on July 19, it will mean arts, culture, hospitality can resume a near normal service as possible.

Members of Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management organisation (DMO) for South Warwickshire and the surrounding area have created a host of special events and outdoor fun for the whole family in July, August and early September from futuristic exhibitions, to a teddy bear’s picnic, immersive theatre and an RSC Costume Day.

Chief executive Helen Peters said: “Anybody still feeling disappointed at changes to their original plans this summer should look no further than South Warwickshire, Shakespeare’s England really does have something to offer everyone, young, old, active, sedentary, indoors, outdoors, families, couples, singles. This really is the perfect time to visit us for the first time or #DiscoverYourDoorstep.”

The full list of events includes:

New high wire show Caelum et Terram (Mother Earth and Father Sky), Compton Verney, July 16, 17 and 18 – Coventry’s UK City of Culture’s second big spectacular, following the Midsummer Fire Gardens, co-produced by Remarkable Productions, the Coventry City of Culture Trust and Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, is a breath-taking performance from a world-leading high wire artist.

Chris Bullzini, one of only a handful of people from across the world who can claim the title of a funambulist – a 19th Century term for a high wire walker, will traverse the Upper Lake in the Compton Verney Park on a 100-metre wire.

The event also includes performances from aerialist Eloise Currie, fire performance from Flame Oz plus pyrotechnics, spectacular lighting, specially commissioned live music and pre-show entertainment from Rimsky and Handkerchief.

Gates open 8pm with licensed bars and street food on offer, with the main performance taking place at around 9.30pm as the light starts to fade. Tickets for the show, which is part of Coventry 2021’s Summer of Surprises, are priced £8 and are available from the coventry2021.co.uk website.

Coventry Transport Museum Our Future Moves – Explore the immersive world of futuristic technology in this new must-see City of Culture exhibition, from driverless flying drones and AI facial recognition cars to exciting space technology and hydrogen cars. Adventure through six experimental themes and unearth a glimpse into the future of transport, technology and a sustainable environment. From July 17.

Book your visit at www.transport-museum.com Free admission for GoCV card holders

 

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, CoventryUnNatural History exhibition – More than 20 international artists and naturalists explore the role of the artist as an intrinsic part of the science of natural history – enabling our modern understanding of ecology, climate change, extinction, and threats to biodiversity. It includes four newly commissioned works responding to the gallery’s own natural sciences collection. Until August 22, theherbert.org 

2 Tone: Lives & Legacies – The first ever major UK exhibition devoted solely to the 2 Tone music scene of the 1970s as part of the City of Culture. Until September 12, theherbert.org 

Family Activities: masterclasses – from oil painting to clay sculptures and screen printing taught by the Learning Team inspired by the gallery’s collections. July 29, August 12 & August 26, theherbert.org 

Summer holiday workshops: Crafting Coventry’s History – Kids can learn about the city’s thriving past and pioneering figures in these popular 90-minute creative family workshops including Lady Godiva, Medieval Coventry, the Tudor Times, the Victorians, World War II and 2 Tone during its year as UK City of Culture year. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, theherbert.org 

 

 

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Stratford-upon-AvonThe Comedy of Errors directed by Phillip Breen (The Hypocrite, The Provoked Wife, The Merry Wives of Windsor) will be performed outdoors this summer in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre, located in the Swan Theatre Gardens, flanked by the River Avon and overlooked by the Swan Theatre.  Tuesday July 13 – September 26. Book here for the play: https://www.rsc.org.uk/the-comedy-of-errors/

 

Another highlight is the reopening of the Rooftop Restaurant on Tuesday July 13 (more information, including the new menu, available here).

 

The RSC’s summer families programme – featuring free pop-up performances, interactive workshops and outdoor performances will culminate in a Costume Day on Friday August 20 – a festival style take-over of the Stratford-upon-Avon town centre, celebrating the company’s costume-making heritage, following the reveal of the new Costume Workshop). Tuesday July 27 – Friday August 20. Link for events here.

 

 

Warwickshire County Council’s HAF, Holiday Activities & Food (Twitter and Facebook) – Through the HAF Programme, Warwickshire County Council is working with families to provide children/young people who gain benefits-related Free School Meals & free activities during the summer holiday. Click here to find out if your family is eligible for FSM and apply today – http://ow.ly/xdEn50FfGXu

 

Playful Summer at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum – July 20 – September 4 Prebooking is essential, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Most activities are FREE but donations are welcome to help with staffing and materials. The gallery will be closed to the public on August 7 and August 21 10-11am for relaxed sessions. Booking online www.ragm.co.uk

 

Mallory Court Hotel, Leamington Spa

 

 

 

The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

 

The Arden Hotel, Stratford

 

Warwick Castle

  • Terry Deary, of the Horrible Histories series is being invited to launch the all-new Vile Victorian section of the ‘Lost in Time’ Horrible Histories maze on July 24 ready for the school summer holidays. Book a visit https://www.warwick-castle.com/

 

 

Fusilier Museum Warwick, At John’s House, Warwick

  • Bringing History to Life – a free outdoor family fun event in the garden with live music from Ruby Ann Sings, Saturday July 17 from 11am – 3pm.

Discover what it was like for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the Boer War, First World War and Second World War – meet knowledgeable re-enactors, local bee keepers with an observation hive, honey sales and candle-rolling for children.

Refreshments available – drinks and cakes – plus children’s trail and activities. Come in military themed outfit with a prize for the best dressed child. Tel 01926 491653, www.warwickfusiliers.co.uk

 

The Game Fair, Ragley Hall, July 23- 25 – Ex-cricketer Lord Ian Botham, farmer and TV presenter Adam Henson and chef James Martin will be guests at this annual event celebrating countryside pursuits, the Great British Countryside and the British summer. Other attractions include camping and glamping, open air cinema, stage, archery, fishing, 4x4s and a main events stage. For further details visit https://thegamefair.org/

 

Coombe Abbey Hotel – a host of summer and autumn entertainment includes Mediaeval Banquets, Murder Mystery, Speakeasy Blinders, plus look out for further details of another outdoor cinema event in September. For further details visit https://www.coombeabbey.com/product-category/events/

 

 

Belgrade Theatre, CoventryRoundabout – part of the Belgrade Theatre’s Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 programme. Four Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Paines Plough productions will be taking place in a pop-up performance tent in the grounds of Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre, 2 Winston Avenue, Wood End, Coventry, CV2 1EA. Tues July 27 – Sun August 8. They include:

  • Really Big and Really Loud by Phoebe Eclair-Powell – a show featuring ‘a rageful rhino, a very helpful fly called Stephen and some really good songs about chips’ for all the family from award-winning playwright Phoebe Eclair-Powell. Age guidance: 5+. Dates: Tues July 27, Sat July 31 & Sun Aug 1, Tues Aug 3, Wed Aug 4, Thurs Aug 5, Sat Aug 7 and Sun Aug 8
  • Black Love by Chinonyerem Odimba – Roundabout’s first ever musical. A sister and brother look after each other in their small London flat, filled with the memories of their parents’ Black Love. Black Love is an explosion of form busting storytelling, an ode to Black music, and those real stories we rarely hear. Age Guidance: 12+ Dates: Wed July 28, Sat July 31, Wed Aug 4, Fri Aug 6, Sat Aug 7 and Sun Aug 8
  • May Queen by Frankie Meredith, directed by Balisha Karra – May Day in Coventry, 2022. Sixteen-year-old Leigh has been chosen as May Queen. She’s buzzin, as is the rest of the city. The cider is flowing and St George’s flag is flying – but during the day’s festivities something happens. Something disturbing, but maybe… unsurprising. Age Guidance: 12+ Dates: Thurs July 29, Sat July 31 and Tues Aug 3, Thurs Aug 5, Sat Aug 7 and Sun Aug 8
  • Hungry by Chris Bush. Hungry is a new play about food, love, class and grief in a world where there’s little left to savour. Age Guidance: 12+. Dates: Fri July 30 and Sun Aug 1, Wed Aug 4, Fri Aug 6 and Sun Aug 8.
  • To book tickets visit https://www.belgrade.co.uk/

 

Belgrade Summer School: Play in a Week

Aimed for young people aged eight to 16. This year’s theme is Play in a Week, and challenges participants to create and perform their own brand-new piece of theatre using skills they develop during the week.

Led by an experienced DBS checked practitioner, young people will work towards a pre-recorded sharing of their work, which will be released on the Friday for participants and their families to watch together. No previous drama experience is necessary. Early booking recommended as places are limited.

 

Dragons and Mythical Beasts, August 5-7 – Enter into a magical world of myths and legends in this fantastical new show for all the family from the creators of the West End smash hit Dinosaur World Live.Book tickets: https://www.belgrade.co.uk/events/dragons-and-mythical-beasts/

 

Two new café bars: The Belgrade Café and Nineteen 58 Bar – Designed to reflect the original 1950s glamour of the theatre, the new space has a modern yet classic feel. With a great new offering of locally sourced food, the café and bar are open all week. As a charity, every penny you spend with the Belgrade goes towards supporting their work with and for Coventry’s communities.

 

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, Stratford-upon-Avon

  • A Child o’ th’ Time: Tudor Childhood in Shakespeare’s Time exhibition – will run this summer marking 450 years since a seven-year-old William Shakespeare began his education at his local grammar school, the King’s New School – now King Edward VI School – in Stratford upon Avon. This family-friendly exhibition, curated by Suzanne Lithgo, will explore childhood during the Tudor period inside and outside the classroom.
  • Visitors can take part in a live Tudor lesson with Master Thomas Jenkins, dress up in authentic Tudor clothes, learn to write with a quill and soak up the atmosphere of the late medieval Priest’s Chapel and marvel at the wall paintings, plus learn about William’s father John and hear many stories about the building from knowledgeable guides.

Tickets can be purchased at www.ShakespearesSchoolroom.org. Email info@shakespearesschoolroom.org

 

 

Art Exhibition: Life behind the Landscape, RAGM, Rugby – July 17 – September 4 – Celebrating art, travel and communication find out why artists are inspired by a particular place, and what makes them repeatedly return. Drawn from Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s renowned collection, this exhibition explores why artists are captivated by the spirit of a place and includes paintings by Prunella Clough, L.S. Lowry, John Minton, and Graham Sutherland. Book your visit online www.ragm.co.uk

 

The Fourteas, Stratford-upon-AvonThe café’s standard 1940s theme continues after sundown with a brand-new selection of cocktails, each containing a vintage twist and food platters. Dress up smartly, swing and sway to jazz music and enjoy live performances. July features Kitten Von Mew at 8pm on Fridays and guest star Charlotte on Saturdays, also at 8pm. Tel: 01789 293 908 to make a booking.

 

Hill Close Gardens, Warwick, https://hillclosegardens.com/

  • Heartbreak Productions open-air theatre The Great Gatsby. Picnic in the Gardens from 5pm. Drama starts 6.30pm. Tuesday July 13.
  • Head Gardener’s Walk. July 16 & August 20.
  • Teddy Bear’s Picnic, £4 per child, pre-booking essential. Thursday August 5
  • Summer Pruning Workshop, £25 HCGT/RHS members £20. Tuesday August 10
  • Arts Festival – summer exhibition of arts and craft around the gardens, artist workshops and music. Family arts & crafts workshops, plus children’s activities. Saturday August 21.

hill-close-gardens-summerhouse 

 

Kenilworth Castle – Experience the exhilarating spectacle of speed and skill of the Grand Medieval Joust on August 7 and 8. There’s fun for all the family with a medieval encampment, cookery, crafts, music and the jester’s jokes. Book here: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/whats-on/kenilworth-castle-legendary-joust-1-8-august/

 

 

The British Motor Museum, Gaydon

  • Families are invited to explore nature in their car collection this summer from July 22 – September 2 with the help of enthusiastic costumed explainers. Many car designers and engineers have taken inspiration from nature. Families can explore these fun facts with a ‘nature trail’ to seek out all that blooms, squawks and roars in the museum.
  • A new exhibition, Factor us in, also opens on the 22 July uncovering the fascinating stories behind the motor industry and of the people who worked and lived around it. Pre-booking is essential for all visitors – 10am, 11am, 12noon and 1pm arrival slots available and once at the museum visitors can stay as long as they wish until closing.
  • To find out more about the British Motor Museum Tel: 01926 641188 or visit britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on

 

 

Rugby Beach – August 10 & 11 – Pop-up beach in Rugby’s Market Place, complete with deck chairs, bucket and spades and the sound of the sea/seagulls. Booking (TBC) available online at www.therugbytown.co.uk

 

Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park – two new exhibitions continue in the summer holidays:

  • Mary Newcomb: Nature’s Canvas (until September 5) featuring 50 works of the British natural scientist, farmer and artist whose life and art were rooted in everyday observation and the natural world.
  • Rebecca Louise Law: Seasons (until August 30) is a new commission composed of thousands of preserved seasonal flowers and plants, collected by contemporary artist Law throughout 2019 and 2020.
  • Visit comptonverney.org.uk

 

 

The Riverside Glasshouse, Leamington Spa – set on the river bank in Jephson Gardens, this riverside restaurant has been inundated with bookings since it launched Sunday Lunch dining earlier this summer.Their pop-up kitchen returns on September 4. For further information visit www.just-inspire.com

 

Stratford Butterfly Farm

  • See some of the world’s most stunning and colourful butterflies in a tropical rainforest setting. During the butterfly farm’s closure, the team replanted the outdoor and indoor tropical gardens and gave Minibeast Metropolis a stunning new look featuring a 1000 litre aquarium full of shimmering tropical fish and more.                                                                              For further information and to book advance tickets visit butterflyfarm.co.uk

 

 

Warwick Racecourse – Family-friendly events this summer include:

  • Open Air Film & Chill – Thursday August 19, 7.30pm start
  • Warwickshire Family Festival, Thursday August 26 – Sunday August 29.
  • The Warwick Thai Festival, Saturday September 4 and Sunday September 5.
  • Warwick Racecourse’s season starts with a two-day meeting: Monday September 20 and Tuesday September 21
  • For further details visit https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/warwick/

 

 

Rugby Outdoor Cinema – August 23 – 26 Pop-up cinema in Caldecott Park, Rugby showing 12 different films across four days. Booking (TBC) available online at www.therugbytown.co.uk

 

Magic Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon – has been transformed into The Enchanted Treasure Trail – an interactive quest for young adventurers involving solving magical riddles and puzzles as in different themed rooms. Tickets can be booked in advance at http://www.magicalleystratford.com/events Pre-booking is needed for weekends and school holidays.

 

 

Shakespeare Hospice – Looking for an individual or a team fundraising challenge?

  • Bare it for the Bard is the charity’s new Open Water Swim event at Spot-On Wake, Wootton Park, near Henley-in-Arden on September 12. A 250-metre loop around the lake offers the choice to swim a variety of distances and entry is £10, with a pledge to raise a minimum of £20. For more details and to sign up visit https://bit.ly/3qPYvGA
  • Teams of 12-17 people are invited to take part battling it out to be the champions in the Dragon Boat Race 2021 – a firm favourite on the Stratford calendar on Sunday September 19. No experience is necessary, as full training will be given and all procedures have been reviewed in line with Covid guidelines. Sign up here: https://bit.ly/3crPe0W
  • For cyclists looking for something different, the hospice’s Tour de Shakespeare offers a unique way to cycle around Europe and beyond, while staying close to home…The specially-designed route of 6,657 miles links many of the places where Shakespeare’s plays were set.

For full details and to register a team visit https://bit.ly/3tbQUBH

 

Rugby Bikefest – September 26 10am – 4pm Rugby town centre is set to welcome back the annual Bikefest. The free family festival includes a ‘ride-in’, bike displays, stalls, live music, children’s activities, funfair, and food – something to keep everyone entertained, bike enthusiast or not. More information available online at www.rugbyfirst.org

VidiGuides – Stratford-upon-Avon Tour – Vidi Guides, in partnership with Shakespeare’s England, has created a Self-Guided Podcast Tour to take visitors around Stratford, see the key places of William Shakespeare’s life, and learn more about one of history’s most important writers.

 

 

The tour can be downloaded at any time and takes the listener on points of interest around the town – www.shakespeares-england.co.uk/vidi-guides

For further information about Shakespeare’s England and its members visit www.shakespeares-england.co.uk/events

 

 

SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND FATHER’S DAY 2021 EVENTS IN COVENTRY & WARWICKSHIRE

Venues across Coventry and Warwickshire are hosting a mix of indoor, al fresco and at-home events to celebrate Father’s Day 2021 now indoor hospitality and visitor attractions have reopened.

Shakespeare’s England members are planning a wide range of activities and events from brewery tours and a pub lunch for beer-loving dads to live theatre, takeaway afternoon teas or picnics and gift vouchers to use at a later date – with something for everyone.

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, said: “I am delighted our members are now able to host a variety of indoor and outdoor Father’s Day events for families to celebrate this occasion on the actual weekend or afterwards, as all restrictions are currently due to end after June 21.

“I would encourage everyone to take a look and see what they have on as it is a great way to support our hospitality, tourism and culture industries which have been hugely hit by this pandemic.”

The full list includes:

The Belgrade Theatre, CoventryAbsurd Person Singular, June 23-26. Alan Ayckbourn’s comic masterpiece of social climbing in 1970s suburbia fuses a potent mix of farce and black comedy. Part of London Classic Theatre’s UK tour directed by Michael Cabot. For further details click here.

Bonds Lifestyle, Stratford-upon-Avon – the lifestyle and furniture store is throwing open its doors during the evening for Bonds Summer Celebration, to say a special thank you to all of their loyal customers, new customers and friends on June 24, 6pm – 10pm. Prosecco and canapes will be served on arrival, with entertainment in the evening. Check out their social media for further details.

Coombe Abbey Hotel – Afternoon tea isn’t just for mums. The Knight’s Afternoon Tea is perfect for dads of all ages as it offers a freshly-made savoury selection including smoked ham croque Monsieur, mini-Merguez chipolatas sausage & mustard mash, a Malt Kiln pork pie and buttermilk fried chicken & chipotle slider. Pre-book in advance. Details here. 

The Abbot’s Afternoon Tea is more traditional with feature finger sandwiches, mini cakes, scone and freshly-brewed loose-leaf tea. Pre-book in advance. Details here

 

Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon – this 4-star hotel has a selection of online gift vouchers to stay or to dine at the hotel if you are looking to treat your dad to a meal, overnighter or weekend break in Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

View gift vouchers here.

The Cross at Kenilworth – Looking for a special foodie Father’s Day gift? The Michelin starred restaurant is already fully booked with families treating their dads on the weekend of June 20, but this year you can rely on the chefs at Antona at Home for a delicious dine in three-course meal delivered to your door or summer BBQ Feast Box.

For the Father’s Day weekend highlights include lobster and red pepper soup, rump of Cornish lamb and treacle tart. For vegetarian dads there is cauliflower soup, a main of aubergine, baby artichoke, red pepper, black olive and balsamic vinegar sauce and treacle tart. The three-course menus are priced at £45 per person. The ever-popular beef wellington three course menu for two is also available for a special treat priced at £110.

For further information click here. 

Antona at Home’s BBQ Feast Box for four contains everything outdoorsy dads need for the ultimate garden party, including nibbles, salads, home-made dips, carefully sourced meat options such as satay chicken kebabs, beef burgers, lamb koftas, and 28-day British sirloins. A bottle of Corzetti Prosecco is also included. This impressive box is priced at £185.

For further information click here.

Antona at Home has also teamed up with Warwickshire’s award-winning brewery, Purity Brewing Co. by offering three of its delicious beers to accompany the meals: Pure Gold, a refreshing, crisp and zesty golden ale, Lawless, an unfiltered lager with a smooth flavour and refreshing citrus kick and Jimbo, a best bitter brewed in memory of Purity’s co-founder.

Eden Hotel Collection – Takeaway Afternoon Tea at Home or Takeaway picnic options are available, plus a range of gift vouchers to use later in the year.

 

Mallory Court, Leamington SpaTakeaway Afternoon Tea at Home

 

 

The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon Takeaway Afternoon Tea at Home or Takeaway Picnic Afternoon Tea

Alternatively, gift vouchers valid for 12 months can be purchased for Mallory Court (here ) and The Arden Hotel (here )

 

 

Go Cotswolds has a Cotswolds Trails & Villages tour on Sunday June 20 (and every Wednesday and Sunday). For the beer-loving dad, their Brewery, Pub Lunch & The Cotswolds tours will resume from Sunday July 3 – gift vouchers are available for this and all tours.

 

Magic Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon – Looking for a Father’s Day family outing? In May half term Magic Alley launched their new interactive quest, The Enchanted Treasure, exploring a magical world of dragons, fairies, wizards, time travel and pirates. Visitors will also meet the newest member of the Magic Alley family – Willow, a pony-sized unicorn.

Sam Jenkins, Head of Events, said: “Willow is definitely a great addition to the Magic Alley family. We have no doubt that children or all ages will be enchanted by her.

“The Enchanted Treasure Trail involves solving magical riddles and puzzles as you move through all the different themed rooms finding treasure as you explore- there will be video clues and some invisible symbols to find – with the help of a UV torch of course!”

The event is suitable for anyone over five-years-old. Children who successfully completes the quest will each receive a prize and a certificate. Tickets can be booked in advance at http://www.magicalleystratford.com/eventsand pre booking is vital for weekends and school holidays.

 

A teaser video for The Enchanted Treasure Trail can be viewed here https://youtu.be/_vJuB40VVc0

 

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, Stratford-upon-Avon – reopens to the public on Monday June 28. Visitors will be able to step into William Shakespeare’s shoes and enjoy a Latin lesson, quill writing, Tudor games and a family trail. Advance tickets can be booked here with daily opening from 11am to 5pm.

Heritage lovers can now purchase the venue’s newly launched Scholars of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall membership as a Father’s Day (June 20) gift this year. Membership gives the opportunity to both discover and support this Tudor treasure, which has stood at the heart of Stratford for more than 600 years. Last it was forced to close just ahead of its 600th birthday.

Lindsey Armstrong, General Manager of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall, said: “Our newly launched membership scheme is the ideal way to support an independent heritage attraction at a vital time in its recovery.

“We are guardians of one of the world’s most important locations in the story of William Shakespeare, but we are also a small team and rely upon our supporters, visitors and volunteers.  With Father’s Day falling just ahead of our reopening, we hope the gift of membership proves to be a popular idea.”

 

 

Membership includes unlimited visits and discounts in the gift shop and on events when they are able to restart including a programme of talks and activities. Adults £25; concessions £20; children (5-16) £15; families (2 adults and 2 children) £60. Further details here: shakespearesschoolroom.org/become-a-member.

For further information on Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall visit shakespearesschoolroom.org

 

For further information on what to do in Shakespeare’s England click here. 

Family-friendly half-term events & activities

Attractions across Coventry and Warwickshire are getting ready to host exciting holiday activities.

The half term break is set to take place from Monday, May 31 and Shakespeare’s England members are gearing up to welcome people in.

With attractions now able to open once again under strict Coronavirus measures, they are all preparing a whole host of events for all the family to enjoy.

There will be everything from digital festivals, a literary festival, interesting exhibitions and a whole lot more to keep young people entertained.

Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England, is pleased that there is so much for families to take part in and enjoy during the school break.

“It has been so long since people have been able to enjoy events in person and at attractions, so I am thrilled that members are welcoming people back,” said Helen.

“There is so much on offer across the region and I would urge people to stay safe, but to go out and enjoy themselves.

“After months of being closed, we need to make sure we are supporting these businesses and that there is something to cater for everyone.”

The full list of events includes:

British Motor Museum – Join the British Motor Museum this May half-term as it celebrates the 60th Birthday of the ‘Most Beautiful Car in the World!’ – the Jaguar E-type.

Meet Dotty or Dougie the costumed characters from the swinging 60s and explore the new Jaguar E-type exhibition.

People can even take home their own E-type – that is, a cardboard cut-out for youngsters to make and decorate at home!

Those not able to visit the Museum can still join in the Birthday celebrations with the online activities. For more information click here. 

 

 

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry – The Belgrade Theatre is one of six regional theatres hosting the first ever MTFestUK digital tour from May 31 to June 6.

MTFestUK is a celebration of new musical theatre. The festival sets out to promote quality artistry with a view to showcasing and elevating projects to full production, giving audiences an insight into the process of creating new work and the art of collaboration.

This year’s festival was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but the show must go on! The eight brand-new musicals selected to feature in this year’s festival will be embarking on a digital tour with Belgrade Theatre audiences able to view from Mon 31 May to Sun 6 June.

The lineup this year features musicals by Harry Hill, Andrew Lippa, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Tasha Taylor Johnson to name a few. Over half of the musicals are by first time writers.

 

 

Chesford Grange Hotel – The hotel has a Warwick Castle package with dinner, bed and breakfast and one day castle entry as well.

Warwick Castle Tents on East Front

 

 

Kenilworth Castle – The castle is running its Medieval Kenilworth event taking place from May 29 to May 31 and then Kids Rule from June 1 to June 6.

 

 

Stratford Literary Festival – Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell is just one of the leading names in the Stratford Literary Festival’s programme of events for young people this year. The creator of worldwide success, How to Train Your Dragon, will be discussing the conclusion to her best-selling series, The Wizards of Once, in a live online event on May 16.

In fact, May 16 will be entirely devoted to children’s events and a number of big names will be providing quality entertainment for all ages. The nation’s storyteller and award-winning author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, Sir Michael Morpurgo, will be sharing insights into two of his latest books for both young and older readers.

Although much of the Festival will take place online this year, several in-person workshops will be running for young people under Covid-compliant conditions. On May 16 Playbox Theatre will be running two workshops at Stratford Primary School focusing on story-telling through drama for ages 8-11 and 12+.

The following week, May 22 Stratford Primary School will also be hosting hands-on craft events with the brilliant Aardman modellers, returning to Stratford to show participants of all ages how to create much loved characters Shaun the Sheep, Feathers McGraw and Morph.

 

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry – Two new exhibitions will be opening at the museum from May 28 – 2 Tone: Lives & Legacies and UnNatural History.

The half-term programme will also include Wildlife Wonder & Nature and Art Masterclass: Wet Felting Art

Coventry Transport Museum – Events that will be taking place at the museum include This Makes That With These: Star Inventions and Make and Play Engineers: Playing with the Stars

Lunt Roman Fort – The fort will be hosting The Romans Return.

Go CotswoldsGo Cotswolds will be reopening on May 17. As well as the signature ‘Cotswolds in a Day’ tour running four times per week this year, the team are also launching the new ‘Cotswolds Trails & Villages’ tour on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Children over the age of three are welcome on the Cotswolds in a Day tour, and children over eight on the Cotswolds Trails & Villages tour, so either tour can make a great family day out for half term.

 

 

Fairytale Farm – located just outside Chipping Norton – will open for May Half Term with its ever popular ‘Once upon a Unicorn’ event.

Fairytale Farm will host this popular event every day from May 29 to June 6

 

Gardens at Fairytale Farm

 

For further information about Shakespeare’s England and its members visit www.shakespeares-england.co.uk

 

 

 

Mothering Sunday – some ideas to help you plan for a very special day

With Mothering Sunday on the horizon, we’ve some ideas to help you plan for a very special day. If you know a mum who has been home-schooling, you’ll know they deserve some stress-free fuss. Maybe you’ve not seen your mum due to recent lockdown restrictions and you want her to know how much you care.

 

Time and treats

 

Present mum with an IOU and a promise to spend time together. There are a whole host of vouchers you can give this Mother’s Day.

Mallory Court Hotel have Afternoon Tea for Two or Spa Day vouchers and their sister site in Stratford, The Arden Hotel also have Afternoon Tea or Dinner vouchers.

 

 

If you want to spoil her with a longer break, beat the crowds and book a fun family break or couples escape with Stay Play Explore Warwickshire. From as little as £189 for a family of four (two adults & two children) or £159 for two adults, you can enjoy a one-night stay and entry into the very best Warwickshire attractions.

 

 

Perhaps a few hours getting to know the places nearby. Go Cotswolds will be able to pick you up in their comfortable minibusses from Stratford-upon-Avon, Moreton-in-Marsh or Chipping Campden (plus Leamington Spa on Sundays only) and their friendly local driver will take you on a day trip to see all the sights. Go Cotswolds Gift Vouchers. 

Raise a glass!

 

Gin was once referred to as ‘Mother’s Ruin’ but we’re confident she’ll appreciate a tipple or two. Buy a special tasting kit or a big bottle of her favourite gin from Shakespeare Distillery.

 

 

Make it memorable with music and song

 

You can pick up an Afternoon Tea from Coombe Abbey then join their video-streamed entertainment from The D Day Darlings. Three stunning vocalists will perform a collection of the most nostalgic songs of a bygone era at Coombe Abbey for you to watch from home.

 

Handmade with love

 

Show your mum she’s truly unique with the gift of something handmade, one of a kind and made with love. Browse online from the comfort of your own home, and you can get your perfect gift delivered to her door when you shop with FarGo Village. They’re hosting an online Mother’s Day Mini Market, Friday 5th – Sunday 7th March.

 

 

Read and relax

 

Buy your Mum a book to enjoy with her feet up. Maggie O’Farrell’s award winning ‘Hamnet’ is set in Tudor Stratford-upon-Avon and will whet your appetite for a visit when you can. You could always give the book along with a download of our VidiGuides audio tour so she can learn more of the stories from this historic market town.

 

We’ll share more ideas on our social media pages in the lead up to Mother’s Day, just follow #MothersDayInWarwickshire. You can also show us how you’re celebrating the day by using the hashtag on your posts.

 

“And all my mother came into mine eyes. And gave me up to tears.”
William Shakespeare, Henry V

 

 

 

 

HALF TERM EVENTS FOR ALL THE FAMILY

Holiday fun and activities will be on offer to provide a whole host of entertainment during a half term in lockdown.

Families will be enjoying a break from online learning and homeschooling during the February holidays.

Members of Shakespeare’s England, the Destination Management Organisation for South Warwickshire and the surrounding areas, are inviting everyone along to an array of activities including walks, online markets, streams of classic plays and much more.

The full list includes:

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust – Shakespeare Week, the annual national celebration of Shakespeare in primary schools, will be presented entirely online this year with a fresh and exciting programme to support teachers, families and children with their home schooling adventures.

Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, this year’s Shakespeare Week runs from 15 – 21 March and carries the theme of wellbeing. Joining the virtual celebrations are some of the country’s best-loved children’s authors, artists and celebrities, including CBeebies presenter Ben Cajee and CBBC’s Nikki Lilly, providing a wealth of activities and workshops to bring Shakespeare to life.

All of the resources are available free of charge at www.shakespeareweek.org.uk

 

 

British Motor Museum – Online activities to keep your mini motorists and budding engineers entertained – https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on

 

VidiGuides – Stratford-upon-Avon Tour – Vidi Guides, in partnership with Shakespeare’s England, has created a ‘Self-Guided Podcast Tour’ to take visitors around Stratford, see the key places of William Shakespeare’s life, and learn more about one of history’s most important writers.

The tour can be downloaded at any time and takes the listener on points of interest around the town – www.shakespeares-england.co.uk/vidi-guides

 

The Farm – The team are offering bookable virtual slots for families called Flourish at the Farm – www.flourishatthefarm.co.uk/covid-19

 

Royal Shakespeare Company – The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2018 production of Romeo and Juliet will be broadcast on BBC Two at 2pm on February 9 as part of the BBC’s Lockdown Learning’s Shakespeare Week. The production will then be available on BBC iPlayer for 60 days.

The BBC will also run two episodes of Shakespeare Unlocked, a much-loved collaboration between the RSC and BBC Teach where actors from previous RSC productions explore language and characters in key scenes from Macbeth (February 8, 2pm, BBC Two) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (February 11, 2.15pm, BBC Two). There will also be Shakespeare focussed episodes of Bitesize Daily featuring readings from RSC alumni such as Niamh Cusack, Natalie Simpson and Jamie Wilkes.

 

 

Warwick District Council – In partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and Warwickshire County Council, the district council is hosting Interactive Futures 2021.

It is aimed at the gaming industry, people wanting a career in the games industry, students, school children and parents and it is a virtual event this year.

Running from February 16 to 20. Attendance is free and is being managed by an app through Whova to enable virtual networking – https://interactive-futures.com/

 

Kenilworth Castle – The castle grounds will be open for local people to get out and about and enjoy some exercise.

 

 

Stratford-on-Avon District Online Business Course – A Pop-up Business School is running 15-19 Feb for budding entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Under 18s are also welcome, very informal and attendees can dip in and out of online sessions as fits – www.popupbusinessschool.co.uk

 

Shakespeare Distillery – The distiller doing a Valentines Date Night G(In) with their own Home Gin Tasting Kit and live Zoom virtual tour and tasting on February 13 at 7.30pm from the distillery.

 

 

Orchestra of the Swan – The orchestra has a number of concerts to stream including Luna – https://orchestraoftheswan.org/shop/luna/ and Wind, Sand & Stars – https://orchestraoftheswan.org/shop/wind-sand-stars/ which are both available now and Doubles – https://orchestraoftheswan.org/shop/doubles/ which launches on February 12.

 

Compton Verney – The grounds of Compton Verney will be open to local visitors and a Wellie Walk has been introduced. Each week placing a new set of decorated wellies in various locations throughout the Park for people to spot, and revealing them on our social media. There are 11 so far which will stay in place and more will go out over the next few weeks. I’ve attached a few photos.

The team has also launched a new digital campaign this month called Love Compton Verney. Each week they are releasing a new short film (there will be 12 in total) and encouraging people to share photos on social media using #LoveComptonVerney – www.comptonverney.org.uk/love-compton-verney

People are being reminded that if they visit the grounds, they need to have an annual Membership (Local Pass or Access All Areas Pass) and they must pre-book an admission slot in advance – www.comptonverney.org.uk

Compton Verney

Fargo Village – Online Valentine’s Market, February 5 – February 7 – The perfect opportunity to treat that someone special in your life. Browse a selection of the best makers, artists, and designers around.

Visit www.facebook.com/events/214392593750918 for more information about the event and vendors and access the online market at https://www.fargovillage.co.uk/vendors

 

For further information about Shakespeare’s England and upcoming events click here.

 

Valentine’s Day inspiration from Shakespeare’s England

With Valentine’s Day approaching and lockdown restrictions lingering, we thought we’d share just a few ways you can celebrate the day with your loved ones at home.

‘If music be the food of love…

Good food is often thought to be the way to someone’s heart, but not everyone is blessed with culinary cleverness. If you could do with some support, many of our Warwickshire based businesses are on hand to help.

  • Coombe Abbey are continuing to serve their take home Abbots Afternoon Tea for those who live nearby. The menu has been specially crafted to include the colour of romance, freshly baked aromas and an assortment of delicacies to engage with all your senses. You can even order the rose from them! Find out more. 

 

  • We are living through testing times but The Four Teas, Tea Room Stratford are urging us to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. They’re taking the panic away by providing their own special edition Valentine’s Hamper and Cream Tea Box. And you’ll be glad to hear, there’s no rationing going on here: click here.

 

  • If you really want to push the boat out, go for a Michelin star menu. The Cross Kenilworth have created an exquisite five-course meal for two with Antona At Home. Vegetarian options are available along with wines chosen by their sommelier team and Champagne from Laurent-Perrier to take your meal to the next level: find out more.

 

  • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE: WINE & DINE YOUR OTHER HALF ON VALENTINE’S DAY
    The new cool for Lockdowners is the ‘Makeaway’ – dishes you order from your favourite restaurant which delivers all the pre-prepped ingredients for you to add the finishing touches at home, at a time to suit you.
    Oakman Inns, which owns three pubs in Warwickshire and West Midlands (Four Alls Welford on Avon, The Globe Warwick and Beech House Solihull), has, with their usual flair, launched their‘Oakman At Home’ kits, initially featuring a brace of their most popular dishes, with plans to expand the service in the next few weeks. They’ve added a sumptuous ‘Romantic Valentine’s Feast for Two’
  • For those who enjoy cooking and have the expertise to pull together a delicious menu for two, The Farm Stratford Upon Avon can provide you with ingredients that not only tastes amazing but support local producers. They offer contactless collection or delivery to those who live nearby: click here.

 

  • If you’re wanting to spend time with your loved one trying something new, how about a gin tasting? You can stay at home and sip the finest Stratford gin. Shakespeare Distillery have put together a gin tasting kit that includes gins, mixers, and cute tasting glasses. You’ll also have a video tutorial from their mixologist to make sure you’re doing it right, click here.

 

‘…play on’

  • Then relax and unwind watching an RSC production. Marquee TV have a whole host of shows for you to choose from so if you fancy a comedy, tragedy or classic tale, you’re sure to find something that fits the bill: Click here. 

 

If you’re not based locally but would love to visit some of the places and businesses mentioned, we can help you plan your next trip to Warwickshire once travel restrictions are lifted. Take a look at our suggested romantic places to visit at any time of year, click here.

 

 

What you need to know about Brexit

VisitBritain Brexit consumer sentiment research
VisitBritain’s report on the latest wave of Brexit consumer sentiment research is now live. Please note that at the time fieldwork was conducted (22 February – 9 March 2021), the UK had left the EU, the transition period had ended, and the conditions agreed in the deal between the UK and the EU applied from 1 January 2021. At the same time the COVID-19 pandemic affected the ability to travel to Britain for non-essential reasons from all markets surveyed.  Read the full document here.

 

Nearly 2 months since the trade deal was signed, it’s time for the second instalment of ClearSight® on Businesses and Brexit. In this report we provide the ‘post deal’ counterpoint to the first edition, examining business sentiment in January and February 2021 in comparison to December 2020 when trade negotiations hung in the balance and ‘no deal’ remained a distinct possibility.

Read the latest report from ClearSight® on Businesses and Brexit 

 

Q & A Session

Business Events Brexit Questions by VisitBritain. Please download the Q&A here.

 

As of 1 January, there are changes to how we must conduct business with our partners on the continent. This page is designed to help you access the information and support that is available to help you and your business adjust.

ClearSight™ latest report on Businesses and Brexit.

There are some significant and positive elements to the deal. For instance:

  • There will be no taxes on goods (tariffs) or limits on the amount that can be traded (quotas) between the UK and the EU from 1 January.
  • New Rules of Origin allow for self-certification of goods as well as a 12-month grace period to allow time for manufacturers to adjust. Securing flexibility from the EU regarding Rules of Origin is obviously of significant benefit to the region’s export manufacturers, not least our automotive sector and those in the supply chain. For more detail see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-of-origin-for-goods-moving-between-the-uk-and-eu
  • The UK is no longer obliged to comply with EU standards of data protection, but data will continue to be exchanged in the same way for at least four months, providing the UK makes no changes to existing data protection rules.
  • The UK will continue to have access to a number of EU funding programmes, for example UK science and research will be eligible for funding from the new Horizon Europe scheme.

However, there are also some challenges that we will now face together as a region – and other areas where we will be seeking clarification on the detail from government:

  • Businesses offering services, such as banking, architecture and accounting, will lose their automatic right of access to EU markets and will face some restrictions.
  • There will no longer be automatic recognition of new professional qualifications for people such as doctors, chefs and architects.
  • Many of the rules about storing and processing data still need be decided and will be negotiated in the months ahead.

 

Whilst there is still a lot of detailed information to be worked through, we wanted to alert you to a range of free resources that can help you and your business adapt to our new trading relationship with the European Union.

Many businesses are most likely to see change through their people (such as the EU nationals that make up a valued part of their workforce), trading relationships (direct imports or exports of goods or services from or to the EU, purchasing or selling goods from or to the EU via a distributor) and legal protections and regulations (such as safeguarding intellectual property or product labelling requirements).

You can complete a free ‘Brexit checker, and access an extensive range of UK Government advice, by visiting www.gov.uk/transition.

 

In addition, the West Midlands Combined Authority has been working with our region’s business guidance organisations to deliver a range of FREE support and resources.

Having received further funding from the Government to help businesses prepare, the West Midlands’ Growth Hubs have joined forces to establish a single point of information. 

The site is designed to act as one central resource where businesses will be able to access tailored support and advice and a calendar of upcoming events. And through the site there is an opportunity to access 1-2-1 guidance from a local expert.

I would strongly encourage you to access this local, tailored support by visiting https://bit.ly/EUTransitionGrowthHubSupport

You can also call your local Growth Hub using the numbers below:

  • Coventry & Warwickshire: 0300 060 3747
  • Birmingham & Solihull: 0800 032 3488
  • Black Country: 01902 322 995

 

 

VISITING THE UK

Guidance regarding what visitors will need to enter the UK, school travellers entering the UK, what visitors can bring into the UK, healthcare in the UK for overseas visitors, and requirements for driving in the UK, can all be found here.

Brexit and Tourism 

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and is now in a transition period until 31 December 2020.

The future of reciprocal arrangements between the UK and European Union are ongoing and subject to negotiations. Please ensure you check the official UK Government website for updates prior to travelling.

 

Updated guidance for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens on crossing the UK border and visiting the UK from 1 January 2021.

Guidance has been updated on the ‘Visiting the UK from 1 January 2021’ section on gov.uk. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to travel to the UK for holidays or short trips without needing a visa. They will be able to cross the UK border using a valid passport which should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK. They will not be able to use an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021 unless they:

  • have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • have an EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • have a frontier worker permit
  • are an S2 Healthcare Visitor
  • are a Swiss Service Provider

 

UK and US sign Customs agreement

The UK and US governments agreed a deal to continue Customs cooperation following EU Exit. Further details are available on gov.uk.  

 

EU Transition – Data Protection Partnership Pack – please download here. 

This document has been updated, please see attached.

 

Can EU citizens come to live and work in the UK after the Brexit transition has ended?

Please visit gov.uk for advice for EU citizens interested in living and working in the UK.

School children visiting the UK – Will collective visas for school groups still apply?

For the latest updates on collective visas, please check government guidance for school children entering the UK as part of a school group. This explains the steps leaders of school parties must take before bringing school children to the UK as part of a school group from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, if they would normally need a visa to enter the UK.

 

What will EU citizens visiting the UK need to bring?

If you’re an EU citizen visiting the UK make sure you:

  • bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you
  • have travel insurance that covers the duration of your trip – an EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance because it does not cover everything
  • EEA and Swiss citizens visiting the UK should check the guidance on healthcare for the latest information on access to NHS healthcare.

 

Will European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) be phased out?

There will be no changes to healthcare access for residents of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who visit the UK before the end of 2020. You can continue to use your EHIC until the end of 2020 as you do now.

Please check healthcare for EU citizens visiting the UK for updates on changes following 1 January 2021.

Do EU citizens need travel insurance when they visit the UK?

The government advises visitors to the UK to take out travel insurance. This means that you can reclaim any healthcare costs you are required to pay from your insurer.

For further details, please ensure you check for updates on healthcare for EU citizens visiting the UK before you travel.

 

TOURISM JOBS AND SKILLS

The UK tourism industry employs 3.1 million people, making it the UK’s third largest employer. However, the seasonal nature of many tourism businesses means that employers often struggle to attract and retain sufficiently skilled staff, and the industry can be overlooked for its successful, long-term career prospects.

With over two thirds of the UK’s international visitors coming from the EU, many of our members rely heavily on employees from the EU primarily for their language skills and understanding.

Unfortunately, UKInbound members are reporting that their EU employees are starting to return home and they are finding it difficult to recruit staff from within the UK. UKInbound therefore urging Government during the Brexit negotiations to ensure that there will be an immigration system in place to allow businesses to access EU workers after the UK leaves the EU, and to ensure that there is visa-free access for our EU visitors. Read more.

 

Bringing goods into the UK – What can visitors bring into the UK?

What you can bring into the UK varies depending on whether you are visiting from an EU country or from outside the EU. Visit the official government website for further details on bringing goods into the UK.

 

Can visitors with a non-UK driving licence still drive in the UK?

If you have a non-UK driving licence you are able to drive in the UK. You do not need an international driving permit (IDP).

 

Can visitors from the EU use their mobile phone in the UK?

You’ll pay the same for calls, texts and mobile data in the UK and the EU if you have a SIM card issued by a mobile phone network from an EU or EEA country.

Eat out to Help out

Dining out in Warwickshire is always a treat but it is even more tempting thanks to the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. During August you’ll get a big bite out of the bill with 50% off*.
Try a variety of dishes and take a culinary tour of the region. We’ve an impressive list to whet your appetite. From a Michellin-star menu at The Cross at Kenilworth, Shakespaw cat café – a purr-fect place for afternoon tea, the enchanting Fairytale Farm and an award-winning pub, The Howard Arms.
There’s no need to take a voucher or download a code, and you take advantage of the offer as much as you like up to the end of August. Just be sure to check ahead with venues as you may need to pre-book.
*Up to £10 per head.

The Destination Management Organisation has a number of members who are also taking part in the scheme these include:

Diners are advised to check with individual venues to see when the offer is available.

 

Know Before You Go

WHAT IS KNOW BEFORE YOU GO?

Know Before You Go is a simple and memorable phrase designed to encourage people to check details around their destination prior to travelling, in recognition that access to services and facilities could be restricted.

As an organisation, our aim is to embolden people and businesses to take responsibility for their travel in England. This will ensure that their experience is as enjoyable as possible, while avoiding placing unnecessary pressure on regional attractions, services and health systems. To communicate this message effectively, we will take a cross-channel approach so that checking before travelling becomes the suggested norm for everybody.

The message will be supported by the “We’re Good To Go” Industry Standard with businesses displaying a mark to signal to visitors that businesses have taken a number of steps in line with government guidance to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

Know Before you Go more information on VisitEngland website.

 

Find out more about the Shakespeare’s England region and places with “Good To Go” standard.

 

Review: Glamping at Wootton Park

If the arrival of summer isn’t a good enough excuse for camping here in Warwickshire then we don’t know what is. But for those who prefer a bit of luxury, it’s time to forget muddy tents and soggy wellies and get glamping instead!

We went to stay at the new Aquarius SuperPod at Wootton Park in Henley-in-Arden to try out the ultimate glamping experience.

© Anneka Nicholls

Glamping Holidays at Wootton Park, Warwickshire

Set in 360 acres of beautiful countryside, Wootton Park is the ideal place to get away from it all and get back to nature.

Once a dairy farm, this family run business now offers luxury accomodation, weddings, events, office lettings and a whole host of outdoor activities including wakeboarding, paddleboarding and horse riding. The estate is also home to a variety of farm animals and local wildlife.

The Aquarius is the latest luxury camping pod to open at Wootton Park. It is the ideal spot for a romantic couples break or family holiday.

Although it may look small, this boutique space has two bedrooms (one king and one bunkbed) and can sleep up to four people. The best part is that it has everything you need to experience the great outdoors in comfort. Aquarius SuperPod includes:

  • Large hot tub
  • Kitchenette with fridge, electric hob, toaster, kettle and microwave
  • Spacious lounge area with sofa and TV
  • Underfloor heating
  • WIFI
  • Ensuite with hot running water
  • Gas BBQ and firepit

© Anneka Nicholls

Glamping Pod at Wootton Park - Interior© Anneka Nicholls

“A Home Away From Home”

Upon arriving, we received the warmest of welcomes from the Wootton Park team. It was clear that they had gone the extra mile with attention to detail.

The pod was well equipped with everything we could possibly need from towels and fluffy robes, to cooking utensils, cutlery and firewood. Great for those who would usually pack the kitchen sink!

Everything had been designed with space-saving in mind but it didn’t impact on the experience. We were in a home away from home.

The bright green accessories and wooden interior added a rustic yet contemporary charm throughout. The crisp bed linen and soft blankets were the perfect cosy touches.

There was also plenty of space in the lounge/kitchenette to cook and relax with ease. It was a world away from traditional camping and we loved it.

Come rain or shine, you wouldn’t find yourself bored here.

© Anneka Nicholls

© Anneka Nicholls

© Anneka Nicholls

“The best of both worlds”

Outside was a table and chairs, hammock and hot tub – all with an unspoiled view of the countryside. We also had optional use of the BBQ and firepit.

For us, the hot tub really did offer the best of both worlds. It was more than big enough for four people, easy to use and kept us warm long into the evening. Meanwhile the hammock made for a lovely place to unwind and listen to the birdsong.

© Anneka Nicholls

Local attractions and things to do in the area

Wootton Park is a fantastic base from which to explore the history and beauty of Warwickshire. There’s plenty of family-friendly activities and experiences to try during your stay. Why not give wakeboarding a go just next door at Spot-On Wake?

Located just 7 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and 10 miles from Warwick, Wootton Park is within easy reach of the local attractions and historic market towns. Cadbury World and Hatton Country World are also not far away.

Don’t miss a visit to nearby Henley-in-Arden, one of the oldest market towns in the region with its character pubs, shops and ice cream parlour.

The Aquarius SuperPod is self-catering and now joins six other glamping pods, two of which are TreePods with Hot Tubs, set on stilts amongst the trees.

Prices: 1 week stay in high season £950. Prices vary and reduce to £700 in low season.

Book online and find out more at www.woottonparkpods.co.uk or email stay@woottonpark.co.uk 

For more suggestions on places to stay, take a look at our blog post on Alternative and Quirky Accommodation in Shakespeare’s England.

Review by Anneka Nicholls.