Father’s Day Gifts and Days Out in Shakespeare’s England

Are you looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift or a special treat for Dad? There are plenty of exciting things to do and unique presents to find in Shakespeare’s England.

If your dad’s sock collection is getting out of hand and you are in search of a Father’s Day gift with a difference, our useful guide to celebrating Father’s Day in Shakespeare’s England is here to help.

With unforgettable days out, personalised gifts, and gastronomic treats, you can discover something to show your dad just how much he is appreciated.

Father’s Day Gifts for Car Crazy Dads 

The British Motor Museum has plenty of ideas for Father’s Day, whether you are looking for a special day out or a unique gift. Treat Dad to a visit on Sunday 19th June and he can experience the spectacle of 500 vintage and veteran motorcycles at the annual Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Banbury Run. This event is the biggest gathering of motorcycles and three-wheelers produced before 1931 and is guaranteed to incite a bit of nostalgia! 

For a gift that keeps on giving, why not present Dad with an annual membership to the British Motor Museum? He can admire their collection of over 400 British classic cars whenever he likes for a whole year, as well as attend all their popular motoring shows. Membership starts from £42 a year and includes access to special ‘Member only’ events including ‘Museum on the Move’ where you get to ride in a selection of the Museum’s cars. Find out more on the museum website. 

For Dads with a need for speed, head to Bicester Village from 18th-29th June to discover the sound of motorsport and experience iconic and historical moments from the Williams Racing team. Try your luck with the racing simulator at the Bang & Olufsen boutique and be entered into the chance to win daily prizes, with one overall entry winning a ‘money can’t buy’ motorsport experience. Click here to book your space . 

A speeding racing car

Bicester Village is also the perfect place to shop for a special gift for Dad, with more than 160 boutiques of the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands offering exceptional savings, all year round.  

Father’s Day Gifts for Foodies

For the dad who loves a treat for the taste buds, there are endless options for a Father’s Day foodie experience in Shakespeare’s England!  

The Cross, Kenilworth’s only Michelin starred restaurant will be serving its usual a la carte and tasting menus on Sunday 19th June as well as a delicious Sunday roast – featuring Chateaubriand roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, vegetables and roasting juices. This delectable treat is priced at £50.00 as a main course or with a £5 supplement if ordered as part of a set lunch. 

Spring shot of the Cross Kenilworth


If you want your dad to be treated like royalty, why not indulge him in an Afternoon Tea that is fit for a monarch? At Billesley Manor he can enjoy a delicious feast in the stately surroundings of the 16th century manor house before taking a stroll around the stunning topiary gardens. What a way to spend some cherished moments with the main man in your life!  The Queen’s Afternoon Tea at Billesley Manor is available throughout June from £20, booking is essential on 01789 279955. 

Boutique four-star sister hotels Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington Spa and The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, have a range of Father’s Day gift vouchers including Midweek Afternoon Tea for Two or a Tasting Menu for two, including a glass of Champagne at Mallory Court Hotel’s 3 AA Rosette Dining Room; and Afternoon Tea for Two or a three-course Dinner for Two at the award-winning Arden Hotel from £59.00. Bookings can be made direct with each hotel.

At Coombe Abbey Hotel, he can experience a Knights Afternoon Tea! This cream tea with a twist is ideal for a dad who loves his historical dramas!  Served on a rustic bench, guests will be treated to hot small plates such as pigs in blankets, cottage pie, and salmon finger sandwiches. But not to fear – nobody’s jumping on a horse after this! Instead, you can amble around Coombe Abbey’s Old Deer Park or sneak in a beer before home time.  

Knight’s Afternoon Tea is served from Tuesday to Sunday, between 12.15pm and 2.30pm. Click here to purchase a voucher to book in advance.  

If dad needs a way to work off his Father’s Day treats, a trip to Coombe Abbey’s on-site Go Ape offers a hair-raising Father’s Day gift experience to get him moving! Leap off treetop platforms, wind through rope nets, and balance to reach a show stopping zip wire at the end. This gift is ideal for families, couples, and friends alike. More ambitious climbers can try the Treetop Challenge, while smaller adventurers should opt for the Treetop Adventure. Book online here 

A Personalised Gift Just for Dad

Is Dad a gin connoisseur? Or would he like to be? Buy him his own personalised bottle of Shakespeare Distillery gin and he will certainly feel like one!  You can choose from a Stratford Dry Gin, Rhubarb Gin, Mulberry Gin Liqueur or Elderflower & Quince and customise the label with a special message just for Dad. 

Extend his gin journey even further and arrange for him to visit the distillery just outside Stratford-upon-Avon to sample their artisan spirits on an entertaining tour, or why not send him back to the classroom on one of their popular Gin Schools so he can create and bottle his very own own gin recipe! If you just can’t decide, gift vouchers are available from the Shakespeare Distillery website. 

A perfect way to treat Dad to a day in the great outdoors, while he indulges in some good food and drink is to book him onto a Go Cotswolds ‘Brewery, Pub Lunch, and The Cotswolds’ tour!  This full day experience includes a 90-minute tour and tasting session at the award-winning rural craft beer brewery, Purity Brewing Co., a traditional pub lunch and a drink at The Fleece Inn, a historic country pub dating back to the 15th Century, free time to explore in the wonderful Cotswolds ‘wool’ town of Chipping Campden, and a visit to another, pretty, ‘secret’ Cotswolds village!  Tours run on the first Saturday of the month between July and December 2022 and cost 75 per person (strictly over 18’s only).  Book online here. 

Arrange a Magical Family Day Out with Dad

Perhaps all Dad wants to do for Father’s Day is enjoy a day out with his loved ones, and there are plenty of great attractions to choose from in Shakespeare’s England!  With majestic castles, historic houses, vibrant theatres and cultural venues interspersed with glorious countryside and charming towns and villages just waiting to be explored. 

Dads and father figures with younger families looking for a way to entertain the kids (and themselves!) for a few hours can enjoy a free Father’s Day visit to Wonderland at Magic Alley! Magic Alley’s brand new Wonderland themed experience in Stratford-upon-Avon!  Inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass but with a Steampunk Twist. This event is a ‘Who Dunnit?’ and involves solving the crime of who stole the tarts from the Queen of Heart’s Diamond Jubilee Party! Anyone who identifies as a dad can use the code “BONKERS” for a discount of £8 (one full ticket price) off the booking as a whole. A minimum of 2 tickets must be purchased. 

For a truly special gift for Dad, take him on an authentic steam express train experience with Vintage Trains, who have just launched a new summer and autumn tour programme. Father’s Day gift vouchers are available via their website for The Shakespeare Express which will be running ‘Summer Sundays’ between 17th – 24th July from Birmingham Snow Hill, Moor Street and Tyseley to Stratford-upon-Avon with dining options and five hours to explore this historic market town.

Treat Dad to a Weekend Away 

If you are planning a Father’s Day weekend treat, there are plenty of wonderful places to stay in Shakespeare’s England, visit the Stay page on our website to browse luxury country retreats, boutique town centre hotels, or charming guest houses and self-catering accommodation. 

However and whenever you plan to spoil Dad for Father’s Day, you can find plenty of inspiration on our website. Make sure to share your memories with us on social media using #MyShakespearesEngland, we love to see your adventures!

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Shakespeare’s England

This year Her Majesty the Queen celebrates an iconic 70 years on the throne.  She is the first ever British Monarch to achieve this milestone, and the country will come together for an exciting four-day weekend of festivities to mark the occasion.

Across Shakespeare’s England, our towns, villages, hotels and visitor attractions are staging a series of exciting events in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.  Whether you are local to the area, or you are visiting for a short break, you can join in with the fun!

Here is our guide to Platinum Jubilee celebrations across Shakespeare’s England:

The Stratford-upon-Avon Platinum Jubilee Festival

Stratford upon Avon Jubilee logo


Join the festive atmosphere as Stratford upon Avon celebrates the Platinum Jubilee with a host of street parties, music and live performances across the town.

Amongst the partying will be a huge Royal Artisan Market and Street Food Court boasting over 100 traders that will span across the town on Bridge Street, Bancroft Basin, Waterside, Wood Street and High Street.  The market will run Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th June from 10am-9pm and on Sunday 5th June from 10am-5pm.

Other highlights of the Jubilee weekend in Stratford include:

Family Workshops with the Royal Shakespeare Company

The Dell Theatre Garden, Wednesday 1st – Thursday 2nd June, 2pm-4pm
Take part in environmentally friendly crafts, writing activities, and Citizen Science, hosted by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Jubilee Poetry Trail

Explore Stratford on foot and discover the Stratford Jubilee Poem!  Lines of the poem (Written by Coventry City of Culture Poet Laureate Emilie Lauren Jones) will be displayed at various locations around the centre of the town. Piece them together to discover the key word to be in with a chance to win a prize.

Poetry trail maps and entry forms are free and will be available from the Escape Arts’ family activity stall during the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June.

Jubilee Picnic in the Park

On Saturday 4th June between 2pm-6pm visitors can soak up the party atmosphere on Bancroft Gardens at a giant picnic in the park.  The Picnic in the Park will include fun and creative activities with the Royal Shakespeare Company including flag making, and memory making crafts.  Indulge in a bit of nostalgia with an outdoor temporary display that will give people the chance to find out more about Her Majesty The Queen’s visits to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Stratford-upon- Avon.

Memories of Her Majesty Exhibition

On Friday 3rd June, head to Stratford Town Hall for ‘Memories of Her Majesty’ (10am–4pm). This is a colourful and evocative one-day exhibition in partnership with Stratford community groups and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It shows how the Queen’s reign has brought families, friends and the people of Stratford-upon-Avon together, with photographs from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Royal Shakespeare Company collections on display for the first time. An online gallery will also be launching on Thursday 2nd June.

For a full programme of Jubilee weekend events in Stratford-upon-Avon click here.

Hymns and Crowns for the Queen at Holy Trinity Church

On Sunday 5th June at 5pm, Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon will host a very special service for the local community to mark the Platinum Jubilee. During the service, crowns decorated by local community groups will be presented to the Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon. The service will also include singing of the Queen’s favourite hymns and a thanks giving for her many years of service to the nation.  More information can be found here.

Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon – Stratford-upon-Avon

Head to The Obelisk, Monument Field on Stratford’s Welcombe Hills on Thursday 2nd June for the ceremonial lighting of the Queen’s Jubilee Beacon at 9.45pm. This will be followed by a Firework Display at 9.50pm – a wonderful way to kick off a weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon!

Travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon for the Jubilee Bank Holiday

Road closures will be in place across Stratford-upon-Avon for the Jubilee weekend so make sure to allow extra time if you are travelling by car.  You can find a list of local road closures in Stratford District here.

Stratford Park & Ride will be operating during the following times throughout the bank holiday weekend:

Thursday 2nd June – 10am – 6.45pm

Friday 3rd June – 10am – 6.45pm

Saturday 4th June – 10am – 10pm

Sunday 5th June – 10am – 7pm

The Park and Ride service offers a great opportunity to avoid the traffic, and explore Stratford on foot.

Jubilee Celebrations in Warwick

On Thursday 2nd June from 12pm until 7pm, Warwick town will celebrate the Jubilee in style with a fun-filled Jubilee event in Warwick Market Place. Families and friends are invited to bring a picnic to the event which will include live music and fun for families! Find more information here.

Children can also join in with the Jubilee fun by following a trail around Warwick town centre to find the hidden Corgis!  Corgis sponsored by individual retailers and businesses will be visible in windows across the town from Friday 27th May 2022 and throughout the Jubilee weekend. The trail is free to enjoy, trail sheets can be downloaded for free here.

Join the Jubilee Beacon Lighting in Royal Leamington Spa

A flaming jubilee beacon

Royal Leamington Spa will be joining in with the national celebrations in the lighting of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons with a traditional ceremony set to take place in the Pump Room Gardens on Thursday 2nd June.

Warwick District’s Beacon will be one of thousands to be lit across the UK to mark the start of the Jubilee celebrations. The event which will take place from 9pm will feature bagpipes and a bugler ahead of the official lighting at 9.45pm by the Chair of Warwick District Council, Mini Mangat and Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa, Nick Wilkins.

In line with a long-held tradition the Warwick Town Crier will make a public proclamation to announce the event at 2pm.

There will also be an all day Jubilee celebration with a Right Royal Picnic at the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa, on Saturday 4th June from 11am to 6pm.  The event will include a Bake Off Competition, a Best-Dressed Competition, A Jubilee Colouring Competition, and a Jubilee Crochet Corgi Show.  There will be live entertainment, food stalls, and fairground rides.  Entry is free and all details are listed on the event website here.

Have a Royally Good Time in Kenilworth

On Friday 3rd June, Kenilworth will celebrate the Jubilee in royal style with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Street Party on Warwick Road from 11am – 4pm.  Anyone attending this free event is invited to bring their own picnic, or enjoy a bite to eat from one of the fantastic vendors and local businesses.  During the festivities will be an opportunity to relax and enjoy live music from popular local artists.  More information is available here, or by emailing kentc@kenilworth.org.

Jubilee Street Parties in Warwick District

A group of people celebrating the Queen's Jubilee at a street party in Lillington, Warwickshire

New memories of traditional Jubilee street parties are set to be made for the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday across Warwick District with a whole host of street parties in the area.  Communities can come together to celebrate in true British style with a delicious picnic, traditional games, competitions and plenty of fun!  A full list of street parties and road closures in Warwick District can be found here.

Jubilee Events in Bidford on Avon

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Bidford on Avon from Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June, with a whole host of activities for everyone to enjoy!

The fun festivities include: A Torch relay around Bidford, a decorate your house and garden competition, a fancy dress competition, a Queen’s Jubilee concert and Bidford Show of Talent.  There will also be a lighting of the Queen’s Jubilee beacon on the evening of Thursday 2nd June, and a Street party on Bidford High Street on Sunday 5th June from 3-6pm.  Find the full programme of Jubilee events in Bidford here.

Jubilee Events in Alcester

festive red white and blue bunting to celebrate the platinum jubilee in Alcester high street

The Roman town of Alcester knows how to hold a great party, and the Platinum Jubilee is no exception!  Alcester Town Council is hosting a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Lighting on Thursday 2nd June. Picnics are welcome on Centenary Field, Alcester, from 6pm. Entertainment on the evening includes a fancy-dress competition and parade, complimentary Jubilee cake, Alcester Victoria Silver Band and Alcester town choirs performing the Jubilee Anthem, the beacon will be ceremoniously lit at 9.15pm.

On Sunday 5th June there will be a Jubilee Street Party on Alcester high street between 1pm–4pm. Residents are invited to bring their own tables, chairs and picnic, with entertainment provided.  More information on Alcester’s festivities can be found here.

Enjoy a Jubilee Themed Day Out in Shakespeare’s England

falconers quest display at Warwick Castle


To really get into the Royal spirit of the Jubilee, we recommend a visit to a real-life Castle, and Shakespeare’s England boasts two of them!

At Warwick Castle there are endless activities to enjoy, from the new Zog live show which launches during May half-term holidays, and the new Zog Playland and trail, to being awed by the falconry displays at the UK’s biggest bird of prey show.  You can also take on the Horrible Histories Maze, meet the resident bowman and visit the Princess Tower.  Not forgetting the 64 acres of stunning grounds and gardens to explore. You can truly pretend to be a Royal for the day!

Meanwhile, at Kenilworth Castle, families can immerse themselves in memorable moments from English Royal history with tales of Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to Kenilworth Castle, and stories about young monarchs through history. There is also a chance to take part in sword-fighting lessons at Sword School! Find out more here.

Take the family along to a ‘Right Royal Day Out’ at the British Motor Museum which is celebrating the royal cars in its collection. A number of vehicles from the Royal household are on display including the first bespoke royal Land Rover state review car, one of the fleet of vehicles used for Queen Elizabeth II’s first Commonwealth Tour and a 1971 Rover P5B, the personal property of HM the Queen but on long-term loan to the museum.

A free Family Tour of the museum takes place each day from Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June at 1.30pm, where children can help ‘royal reporters’ Jim and Claire find the next scoop on their tour around the royal cars.  The kids can also get creative and will be able to make a ‘royal car’ to take home from their visit!

Buzz along to Compton Verney for their Queen’s Ju-Bee-Lee Family Fun Days with bee-themed activities celebrating the Platinum Jubilee on Tuesday 31st May and Wednesday 1st June. Inspired by the Queen’s Green Canopy – a unique tree planting initiative – the gallery will celebrate the pollinators who help to keep the planet green, with drop-in sessions across two days. Learn more here.

Dine like a Royal for the Platinum Jubilee

Jubilee afternoon tea at the rsc rooftop restaurant

With all of this excitement you will need lots of delicious food and drink to restore your energy levels, and in Shakespeare’s England you will be spoiled for choice when looking for amazing places to eat and drink!  Here is just a selection of those who have pulled out all the stops for the Platinum Jubilee!

At The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon you can celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a delicious picnic hamper  while listening to live acoustic music from Bird & The Badman on Sunday 5th June ( performances are 1pm – 1.45pm and 2.30pm – 3.15pm). Picnics will be available from 12pm to 4pm, charged from £30 per person. Details are available here.

You might prefer to take a Platinum Afternoon Tea  which includes extra fabulousness with a glass of Veuve Cliquot Champagne for £42 per person! Book your bubbly afternoon tea treat here.

At Mallory Court Hotel and Spa, Leamington Spa you can truly dine like royalty for the Jubilee with a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea experience which includes a glass of Champagne and canapes on arrival served in the hotel’s stunning gardens, followed by delicious traditional afternoon tea and a glass of fizz in a private dining room! The experience is charged at £60 per person and you can book here.

Alternatively, you can opt for a Platinum Picnic Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass of fizz for two, traditional afternoon tea, picnic blanket to use outdoors and a game of croquet on the lawn for two. This quintessentially British experience costs £75 for two people and can be booked here.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will be offering a special Jubilee Afternoon Tea in its Rooftop Restaurant on Sunday 5th June between 12.15pm – 3.30pm featuring a range of seasonal savoury and sweet delicacies for £24.95 per head,  £29.95 (with a glass of Prosecco) or £34.95 (with a glass of Champagne). Bookings can be made via www.rsc.org.uk/rooftop-restaurant or by calling 01789 40344.

The Coach House, Stratford-upon-Avon have a great programme of free, live entertainment taking place throughout the Jubilee Bank holiday weekend. With Swing Jazz on the evening of Thursday 2nd June (8-10pm), Live Motown from 9pm on Friday 3rd June, local singer/songwriter Matty Coles on Saturday 4th June (9pm), and live music from 5pm on Sunday 5th June. Great food from their recently launched summer menu and a wide selection of drinks are just another reason to visit! Find them on Rother Street.

Throughout June, you can also take a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the quintessentially English Billesley Manor whilst enjoying the tranquil surroundings of their topiary gardens.

A bottle of Shakespeare Distillery Jubilee Gin

If you are searching for the perfect way to raise a toast to Her Majesty, look no further than the limited edition Jubilee Gin from Stratford based Shakespeare Distillery.  It has a striking royal blue colour, created with Butterfly Pea flowers, and is described as a beautifully delicate and well-balanced gin that takes inspiration from a summer’s garden. We can’t wait to have a taste! The Jubilee Gin can be purchased online, from the Distillery shop, or from their shop at No.1 High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The perfect place to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

Whether you live locally to Shakespeare’s England, or you plan to visit for the Jubilee bank holiday there is a Jubilee event to entertain the whole family.  If you decide to extend your stay, you can choose from a wide selection of places to stay across South Warwickshire.

You can visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, you can also to subscribe to our mailing list below for updates.

Enjoy a visit fit for a monarch in Shakespeare’s England for the Platinum Jubilee!  We would love you to share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.


Spring into Summer: May Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

Another school holiday is upon us and it’s going to be a busy week! As the weather brightens up (hopefully), and the UK prepares to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee there is no better time to visit Shakespeare’s England.

Whether you are visiting for the day, or spending a few nights in beautiful South Warwickshire, our helpful guide to May half term events and activities in Shakespeare’s England will help you plan your visit.

What’s On in Shakespeare’s England for May Half Term?

With Jubilee themed picnics, wonderful wildlife adventures, family friendly festivals, and arty activity days, there is something to do for everyone.

Children in mediaeval attire entering Warwick Castle
Half term fun at Warwick Castle

Visit Warwick Castle for a fun-filled day out! NEW for May Half Term is the Zog Live Show!  With theatrical puppetry, and interactive routines that will enthral all mini-dragon fans.  Explore the new Zog Playland with its winged zip rope, and train to become a fully-fledged dragon in the Quest for the Golden Star Interactive Trail.

Elsewhere at Warwick Castle you can see history come alive as you uncover the interactive Horrible Histories Maze, or delve into Warwick’s dark past in the Castle Dungeon (if you dare!).  Marvel at over 60 high-flying birds in the UK’s biggest Birds of Prey Show or enjoy a taste of Royal entertainment from years gone by with a tour of the State Rooms.  Visit the Warwick Castle website for details of all half term activities, and how to book your tickets.

Uncover the fascinating history of the world’s greatest playwright at the Shakespeare family homes.  Revisit the very place where his story began at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and be inspired by a site that was his family home for 19 years at Shakespeare’s New Place.  Enjoy a wander through the beautiful gardens of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the childhood home of his wife Anne, and see where their romance first blossomed.  Booking is recommended when visiting the homes, visit their website for details.

Knights and Princesses Kenilworth Castle
Kids Rule this Half term at Kenilworth Castle

Make like royalty with a visit to Kenilworth Castle, where Kids Rule this Half Term! Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in the great outdoors with a range of interactive activities, try your hand at sword fighting in Sword School, and hear tales of Elizabeth I and her visit to Kenilworth Castle.  Activities run from 10am-5pm daily between Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June.  Book in advance to save on your entry via their website.

Enjoy Jubilee Themed Half Term Fun

From Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June the UK will come together to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Shakespeare’s England is gearing up to commemorate this memorable occasion in true royal style.

Here are some of the Jubilee events taking place over May half term.

A Royal Day Out at British Motor Museum
A Royal Day Out at the British Motor Museum

Take the family on A Royal Day Out at the British Motor Museum! Between Saturday 28th May and Sunday 5th June The British Motor Museum will take on a royal theme with costumed characters, the chance to create a ‘royal car’ to take home, and of course, there will be an opportunity to view some special vehicles from the museum collection which have royal links – including the first bespoke royal Land Rover state review car – one of the fleet of vehicles used for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s first Commonwealth Tour. Book your tickets via the museum website here.

Us Brits just love to take a risk with our weather so it wouldn’t be a proper British royal celebration without a garden party or picnic!

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon has five days of special family events culminating in a Picnic in the Park in Bancroft Gardens on Saturday 4th June between 2pm and 6pm, with family activities including flag making and memory making crafts. Families who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere can join an accessible picnic in The Dell Forest Gardens.

Other highlights include family workshops, a Jubilee Afternoon Tea in its Rooftop Restaurant and Memories of Her Majesty exhibition at Stratford Town Hall with an online gallery. The RSC’s iconic Theatre Tower will also be lit red, white and blue from Thursday 2nd June – Saturday 4th June.

Join Compton Verney for their Jubilee Weekend Picnic in the Park. Get your friends and family together between Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June, order one of their fabulous hampers filled with gorgeous goodies and relax in the beautiful parkland. Bookings are essential via the Compton Verney website.

Enjoy a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon tea at the Arden Hotel

On Sunday 5th June, why not join Karma Salford Hall for their Queen’s Jubilee Garden Party?

Another Great British past time is a traditional afternoon tea and our hotels have pulled out all the stops to create special Platinum Jubilee themed feasts for their guests!  Throughout June, you can take a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the quintessentially English Billesley Manor.

At the Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon you can join the celebrations at their Platinum Jubilee Picnic on Sunday 5th June from 12pm until 4pm with a delicious hamper and live music to enjoy.  You can also take Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the Arden Hotel until 30th June – details to book both options are available via their website here.

Mallory Court Country Hotel and Spa are offering two special Afternoon Tea experiences for the Jubilee.  A picnic Afternoon Tea for 2, to include a picnic and a game of croquet. OR a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea to include Champagne and canapes in the stunning private dining room.  More details on both options are available here.

Crafty Half Term Events in Shakespeare’s England

A selection of art and craft materials on a table at Coventry Transport Museum
Arts and Crafts at Coventry Transport Museum

Get creative this half term with a choice of excellent art workshops in Shakespeare’s England.  Learn how to paint a Spectacular Self Portrait at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday 28th, Monday 30th & Tuesday 31st May,

Budding designers will love Compton Verney’s Print Makers Holiday Camp on Tuesday 31st May, or they can get creative while learning about re-fashioning and upcycling clothes at the Re-Fashion Makers Camp on Wednesday 1st June.

Coventry Transport Museum is inviting little learners to get hands on with two car and engineering themed craft sessions, This Makes That with These, and Make & Play Engineers – Crazy Colourful Experiments on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st June respectively.

Get Back to Nature in Shakespeare’s England for Half Term

Boy with butterfly
Mini-Beast Handling Sessions Stratford Butterfly Farm

Rediscover our natural world with several nature themed events during half term. From Saturday 28th May – Wednesday 1st June, the Stratford Butterfly Farm will host its popular Meet the Mini-Beast handling sessions as well as Snake demonstrations and Butterfly & Beetle Life Cycle demonstrations daily in the Discovery Zone.

Elsewhere, prepare to go apiary at Compton Verney for their brilliant, Ju-Bee-Lee family fun days from Monday 30th May to Wednesday 1st June.  And on Thursday 2nd June, there is a Boggling Bugs Family Workshop at Hill Close Gardens in Warwick.

In Kenilworth, mini nature lovers can join the Kenilworth Nature Watch Week!  A week long series of outdoor activities for children and families to celebrate and learn about the nature and wildlife in Kenilworth and the local area. Activities include a Children’s Bat Walk, Mini Beast Hunt, and Stream Dipping. Find the full programme of events here.

Half Term Family Festivals in Shakespeare’s England

A dog enjoying Dogfest at Ragley Hall
Dogfest is coming to Ragley Hall

Festivals have returned for 2022 and there are some great events to enjoy in Shakespeare’s England! Dog Fest at Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens is a must for all canine fans, and the much-loved Midlands Air Festival returns to Ragley over the Jubilee weekend from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th June.

At Coombe Abbey, why not jump back in time and enjoy one of three nostalgic film classics at their Open Air Cinema weekend?  Dirty Dancing, Sing-a-Long Grease, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be showing respectively from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th May.

Fantastic Fairy Tales for Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

Alice in Wonderland attraction at Magic alley
Wonderland at Magic Alley!

Step Through the Looking Glass into the fantastical new Wonderland event at Magic Alley in Stratford-upon-Avon to find out Who Stole the Tarts?!  Or treat your little ones to the mystical Once upon a Unicorn event at Fairytale Farm from Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June (there’s a prize for anyone who visits in anything unicorn related!)

Places to Stay for Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

How can you possibly fit all of this excitement into one day?  Why not escape for an extended stay and spend a few days here in Shakespeare’s England for the half term holidays?  You can find a whole host of accommodation on our website here.

How to keep up to date with half term events in Shakespeare’s England?

There is so much happening in Shakespeare’s England for this very special half term holiday that it is impossible to include everything in one place!  Visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to our mailing list below for updates.

Have a royally exciting time in Shakespeare’s England this Half Term!  Don’t forget to your share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations 2022: What’s On in Stratford-upon-Avon

This April, the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations will be taking place ‘live’ in Stratford-upon-Avon for the first time since 2019.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the birthday celebrations were cancelled in 2020 and held online in 2021 so this year there is much excitement around their planned return to the town!

Below is a round up of the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations that will be taking place at various locations around the town, along with links to book tickets for some events and access information to help you plan your visit.

The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations and Parade


Friday 22nd April

A particular highlight of this year’s celebration will take place on Friday 22nd April when the recently restored statue of William Shakespeare, which was presented to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769 by David Garrick will be formally unveiled by RSC favourites Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh outside Stratford Town Hall!

Saturday 23rd April

The annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Parade will take place around the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, and will include the traditional and flag unfurling ceremony.

The parade will begin at 10.30am from Bancroft Gardens on Waterside and take in Sheep Street, High Street and Bridge Street.  The flag unfurling ceremony will take place at 11am.  The flag poles are positioned at various locations on High Street, Henley Street and Bridge Street.

At 11.05am the formal parade will move off from Bridge Street via High Street to Holy Trinity Church.  Other spectators wishing to lay flowers at Shakespeare’s Grave are invited to join the rear of the Civic Parade.

The parade will conclude at 11.50am at Holy Trinity Church.

Sunday 24th April

Following an invitation only Civic Reception at the Town Hall at 10am, there will be a traditional procession and church service as follows:

Mr Shakespeare will arrive at the Town Hall to ceremoniously offer the Quill to the King Edward VI School Head Boy.  From 10.50am, a Procession will lead from the Town Hall to Holy Trinity Church via Chapel Street, Church Street, Old Town, led by the ATC Band.

From 11.15am, the annual Shakespeare Service will take place in Holy Trinity Church, where the Quill will be received and placed in the hand of Shakespeare above his grave.  The service will conclude at 12.30pm.

You can find a full, detailed programme of the Birthday parades and ceremonies on 23rd and 24th April (with full timings) here.

Access information for visitors and viewing the parade can be found here.

Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

To mark the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s 458th birthday, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has planned a special weekend of celebrations in honour of Stratford’s most famous son and the world’s greatest playwright, with a vibrant mix of performances and workshops. The free, family-friendly programme will take place on Henley Street, right in front of the very house where Shakespeare was born (Shakespeare’s Birthplace) and at New Place, his final home.

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2022, 10am – 5pm
Free entry to Shakespeare’s Family Homes for CV37 residents
In celebration of Shakespeare’s 458th birthday, Stratford-upon-Avon (CV37) residents can enjoy free entry to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s New Place during the weekend 23 and 24 April, 10am – 5pm. Simply present your proof of address at the ticket desk.

Friday 22 April 2022, 4.30pm
Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture – Shakespeare in a Changing Climate
Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE, Professor of Environmental Humanities (Literature), Arizona State University, presents this year’s Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture on the subject of Shakespeare in a Changing Climate.

Living through the Little Ice Age, Shakespeare knew all about what he called “rough weather.” From the Forest of Arden to the storms of King Lear and The Tempest, the elements play a major role in several of his plays. And he inherited a series of ancient beliefs about the relationship between climate and national character, geographic origin and human behaviour. How, then, does Shakespeare speak to our own age of climate crisis? Co-hosted by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, this year’s lecture will take place online. Tickets £10.

Book Signing:
On Friday 22 April, Professor Sir Jonathan Bate will be signing copies of his new memoir Mad About Shakespeare: From Classroom to Theatre to Emergency Room in the Shakespeare Bookshop, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon from 2.30- 3pm. Signed copies of the book will also be available to order online from shop.shakespeare.org.uk.

Saturday 23 April 2022
Musical performance by K’antu Ensemble
Throughout the morning, K’antu Ensemble will perform an eclectic musical performance outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street. This versatile, intriguing and multi-talented vocal/instrumental ensemble are known for the uniqueness of their sound, combining elements of folk and world music with historically-informed techniques.

K’antu Ensemble will also deliver free interactive performances and workshops during the afternoon in the garden of Shakespeare’s New Place. Free entry for CV37 residents.

Sunday 24 April 2022
Welcombe Hills Walk – Shakespeare and Wildlife
Join a guided walk across the Welcombe Hills led by guides from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Sustainable Shakespeare programme, the walk offers an opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s connection to this landscape and the role it played as a likely source of inspiration for his works. Learn about the site’s rich history, and the current conservation efforts that seek to protect and preserve the varied wildlife and habitats of this special place.

The walk starts at Rowley Fields and lasts around 2hrs. Tickets cost £10 and available soon at www.shakespeare.org.uk/whatson.

Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations with the RSC

Saturday 23 April

Join the RSC for free activities and performances to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday.

  • Join actors and members of the creative team for Unwrapped in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
    (10.15-11.15am, tickets £5 – £8, Suitable for ages 12 years up, book online here.)
  • A free performance of Out of the Deep Blue, by Autin Dance Theatre featuring a 13-foot-tall puppet (4-4.30pm, no booking required)
  • Room for the Soul, an art installation in the RSC’s new Dell Forest Garden. (12-3.30pm, next to the Holy Trinity Church, no booking required)
  • See the final two parts of Henry VI trilogy, Henry VI: Rebellion (1.15pm) and Wars of the Roses (7.15pm)
  • Be part of the live audience for an edition of the popular podcast, The Guilty Feminist on Sunday 24 April. (Tickets from £12.50, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Sunday 24 April 2022, 7:30pm, book tickets here.)

Some roads in Stratford-upon-Avon will be closed from 8am to 12.30pm – please allow extra time for your journey.

Shakespeare Birthday Lunch 2022 with the RSC

Saturday 23 April, 2022

Pragnell is delighted to have the honour of organising Shakespeare’s 458th Birthday Lunch.

Hosted by actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong, attendees will enjoy a three-course luncheon, accompanied by fine wine and the event will feature performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company, a newly commissioned spoken word piece, along with special guests.

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award, which will be given at the luncheon, celebrates individuals who have significantly furthered society’s understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Bard’s work. The illustrious roster of winners includes Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh.

For more information, please contact ShakespeareBirthdayLuncheon@Pragnell.co.uk

Tickets for the lunch can be booked here.

Road Closures in Stratford-upon-Avon, 23rd and 24th April

Saturday 23rd April

Roads in Stratford-upon-Avon will be closed from 7am to 1.30pm on Saturday 23rd April – please allow extra time for your journey.

The roads which are subject to the Road Closures are as follows:

  • Bridge Street
  • Waterside
  • Sheep Street
  • Union Street
  • High Street
  • Chapel Street
  • Church Street
  • Old Town
  • Southern Lane
  • Wood Street
  • Henley Street
  • Meer Street
  • Chestnut Walk

The road closures are designed to keep traffic away from the main parade route, but individual street closures will be lifted as soon as possible after the Parade has passed.

Sunday 24th April

Waterside will be closed on Sunday 24 April for the regular up market

The following roads will be closed between 10:00am and 1:00pm to allow the Civic procession to march safely from the Town Hall to and from Holy Trinity Church:

  • Sheep Street
  • Chapel Street
  • Church Street
  • Old Town
  • High Street

Other roads leading into the parade route may be affected for a short time, but disruption will be kept to a minimum.  The most likely roads to be affected are:

  • Chapel Lane
  • Chestnut Walk
  • Bull Street
  • College Street
  • Southern Lane
  • Scholars Lane
  • Ely Street

All affected roads throughout Stratford town centre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will re-open as soon as possible, and when safe to do so; During the early part of the morning of Sunday 24 April, much of the town centre will be closed to accommodate those running in the Shakespeare Rotary Marathon.


Have an eggs-cellent Easter in Shakespeare’s England

Spring has arrived and there’s a long bank holiday weekend to look forward to!  Whether you are travelling with family, friends, or seeking a romantic escape this Easter, there is something in Shakespeare’s England for you to enjoy.

What’s on in Shakespeare’s England this Easter?

You can eggs-pect Easter trails, guided tours, historic houses, delicious seasonal menus, breakfast with the Easter Bunny and much more!

Use this helpful guide to help you decide what to do and where to stay when you visit Shakespeare’s England this Easter (for eggs-tra fun, count how many egg-related puns we have managed to squeeze in!)

Easter Family Fun

Visit the brand-new Zog Playland at Warwick Castle! Whizz down the zip wire and slides, wriggle your fingers in the sand pit, embark on a Golden Star quest and meet everyone’s favourite dragon. Plus, the biggest bird of prey show is back and lots more family entertainment too. Visit the Warwick Castle website for information on how to book.

Embark on an Easter Adventure Quest at Kenilworth Castle (2-24 April). Families can eggs-plore the historic site for clues and challenges, discover traditional Easter games like egg rolling and the egg and spoon race and track down the Easter eggs to win a chocolate treat and an adventurer’s certificate. Find more details here.

children hunting for Easter eggs in front of a Mini car

It wouldn’t be Easter without an egg hunt, and if you visit the British Motor Museum over the Easter weekend (15-18 April)  you will find an egg hunt with a bit of a Mini twist! Collect the eggs around the museum to claim your reward!

From 9-24 April, the British Motor Museum is also hosting a ‘Mini Madness’ event with a ‘Road Map’ family trail, a family tour with the museum’s own Mini factory costumed characters and you can even design your very own Mini with air-drying clay!  For information on all of their Easter holiday activities click here.

Compton Verney has a cracking programme of Easter holiday activities. Play detective on the Easter Trail that roams inside the galleries and around the stunning parkland, or book the kids onto one of the unique all-day holiday camps which include an Adventure Art Camp (12 April) and a four day Animation Camp (19-22 April, 9.30am-4pm).

Visit Shakespeare this Easter

On 23 April, Shakespeare’s England will celebrate the birthday of the world-renowned playwright William Shakespeare, and in the run up to this over the Easter break, there are plenty of places to visit and learn more about Shakespeare’s life in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace will be open seven days a week this Easter with an introductory exhibition, Famous Beyond Words, which shines a spotlight on Shakespeare’s early life in the town as costumed guides show visitors around the house. Book here.

At Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens – marvel at some of the original features and furniture of the 500-year-old Hathaway family home where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be, and wander around the pretty spring gardens. Booking is recommended here.

At Shakespeare’s New Place, you can walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and be inspired at the site that was his grand family home from 1597 – 1616. Explore the beautifully restored gardens and sculptures inspired by Shakespeare’s family life and works. The House Next Door exhibition brings to life the story of the building and the personal life of Shakespeare himself. Book your visit here.

Young people writing with quills in a traditional school room

Even though you are on a break from the school run, we recommend a visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall where you can sit in the 600-year-old building where a young Shakespeare would have been taught and experience a lesson by a Tudor schoolmaster. Families can try their hand at quill writing, dress up in Tudor clothing, and enjoy some traditional games.  The schoolroom is open daily throughout the holidays, and there will be a special Easter challenge from 15-18 April. Pick up the Schoolroom’s newly launched Family Trail that will take you around Stratford, picking key highlights from Shakespeare’s childhood. Find more information here.

If you prefer a guided walking tour, why not book onto a two-hour family-friendly tour with Stratford Town Walk?  It starts at 11am from Sunday to Friday, and 11am or 2pm on Saturdays.  The tour takes in all of Stratford’s well-known sites with fascinating stories of Shakespeare’s life through fire, flood and plague!  (Advance booking is necessary on 07855760377).

Easter Activities for Art Lovers

Why not unleash your creative side with a host of art-based activities in Shakespeare’s England over the Easter holidays?

The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry have three family-friendly arts workshops to choose from. You are the Art – Living Sculptures (9-23 April) is a drop-in workshop where children can transform themselves into colourful living sculptures and walk along the runway in extravagant junk modelled outfits, using recyclable materials, and make textured art pieces to take home.  Make a collaborative costume art piece with globally renowned artist Daniel Lismore and have your work displayed at the Herbert at the Art Masterclass: Living Sculptures (14 April) or bring your ideas to life through cross stitching at the Art Masterclass: Cross Stitch & Textile Art (21 April).

You are never too young to get creative, and at the Lunt Roman Fort, Baginton, near Coventry, your little ones can learn about the ancient artform of mosaic making this Easter!  They will be able to create an artwork, which will become part of a giant 4-metre-long frieze within the museum’s permanent collection.

Easter Inspired Food and Drink

Calling all G&T lovers!  Join the first River Avon Gin Tasting Cruise of the year on Easter Saturday  (16 April). A 60-minute cruise on the beautiful River Avon through Stratford-upon-Avon taking in riverside sights including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church. Enjoy a tutored tasting of the eggs-quisite craft gins produced by Shakespeare Distillery – finish with a souvenir glass of Gin & Tonic – perfect! Book your tickets here.

At the Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, indulge in delicious fish dishes for a traditional Good Friday Supper (15 April), or bring family and friends for a eggs-cellent Easter Sunday Lunch on 17 April, with an Easter egg for the whole party. Book here.

Would you like to have breakfast with the Easter Bunny? At Fairytale Farm over the Bank holiday weekend, you and your little ones can enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast with a VIP visit from the Easter Bunny which includes an Easter tale and a chocolate egg! (Places are limited, book here)  Throughout the holidays you can also visit to play Easter Egg Bingo, try your hand at some Easter-themed crafts, and enjoy a cuddle with some super-cute real-life rabbits and guinea pigs!

Where to stay in Shakespeare’s England this Easter

Mallory Court Hotel front view

With so much to see and do in Shakespeare’s England this Easter, it makes sense to extend your visit, and there is a whole host of eggs-traordinary places to stay with hotels, spa escapes, family-run guest houses, self-catered accommodation, or glamping sites to choose from.

Award-winning historic country house hotel, Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington Spa, has an Easter Escape offering four nights for the price of three on a Bed & Breakfast basis. Or ideal for visiting friends or family is their Simple Stay offer.  Stay in a standard room in the Knight’s Suite, which includes an overnight stay, Nespresso machine and continental breakfast.

Enjoy a family Easter getaway at Coombe Abbey Hotel (including bed and breakfast in a family room, child-friendly menu in the Garden Room Restaurant, Coombe choc box and Coombe crowns).

Why not eggs-tend your Easter weekend at The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon? Their Extend the Weekend offer is available for Sunday and Monday night stays and includes an overnight stay with B&B, a complimentary room upgrade, and a bottle of house wine in your room on arrival! (Available over the Easter bank holiday).

You can browse for accommodation in Shakespeare’s England here.

Plan your Easter visit to Shakespeare’s England

There is so much happening in Shakespeare’s England this Easter that it is impossible to include everything in one place!  Visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Have an eggs-citing time in Shakespeare’s England this Easter!  Don’t forget to your share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

Plan your bumper February half term in South Warwickshire

Whatever their interest, you’ll find plenty of fun activities for the whole family at places across South Warwickshire this February half term.

If you’re looking for fast lane fun…

  • It’s all about Formula 1 fun at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon from February 19 – 27 with a host of exciting racing-themed activities from designing a Lego Formula 1 car to build and race to taking part in a live Science show learning the secret science of speed.
  • Coventry Transport Museum is championing diversity with a new interactive family-friendly exhibition, Women in Motorsport, as part of Coventry City of Culture. A range of motorsport companies, individuals, organisations and heritage partners have come together to celebrate the aspirational achievements and historical perspectives on motor racing, as well as current developments such as grass-roots and pro-racing.
Coventry Transport Museum

Get Arty…

  • The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is running a range of half term art masterclasses, workshops and drop-in sessions for children and young people of all ages. Try some cartoon weaving, sensory play or see the latest exhibitions.
  • Rugby Museum & Art Gallery have a free ‘I Spy’ hunt running through the holiday as well as some play sessions for a small fee. Join Sensory Splat, Open Play or a Sculptures themed session. There’s also a special relaxed session planned.

Experience live theatre…

  • A new futuristic production of Shakespeare’s witty romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing is running throughout half term at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starring Michael Balogun and Akiya Henry as Benedick and Beatrice, it features music by Nigerian-born British guitarist and MOBO award-nominated musician Femi Temowo whose past collaborators include Amy Winehouse and The Roots. Directed by Roy Alexander Weise, joint artistic director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, the set has been designed by the award-winning Jemima Robinson with costumes by Melissa Simon-Hartman, who has designed for Beyoncé and Notting Hill Carnival.
  • Belgrade Theatre, Coventry have lots of different productions to see from David Walliam’s Billionaire Boy, to afternoon tea followed by a screening of The Lion King in the brand-new Screen Room. Older teens aged 14+ should head to B2 for Kerbs, the debut play from Michael Southan exploring taboos around sex, romance and disability (Feb 26 – March 2), and there’s a new adaptation of Dan Brown’s international best-seller The Da Vinci Code (Feb 22 – 26).


Got closer to nature…

  • Anyone who visits the Stratford Butterfly Farm this half term from Feb 19 – 27 will receive a complimentary marble heart to either keep or give to a loved one. In return the Farm asks visitors make a green action promise to help protect the environment.
  • Compton Verney have a range of workshops including Wild Wednesday!

Adventures through time:

  • An Explorer Quest runs at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden from Feb 19 – 27 whereby families can roam around the grounds to find games and activities inspired by Queen Elizabeth, soldiers, and servants.
  • Heritage and Culture Warwickshire will have their resident Anglo-Saxon warrior answering questions, are hosting an exciting Escape Room experience and are calling on Arty Tots to get creative.
  • History is unleashed as a two-week Festival of Archery returns to Warwick Castle this half term. The castle’s resident archers will unleash a host of exhilarating performance for visitors, providing epic displays of talent as they tackle a range of trials before going head-to-head in a very special tournament. Guests can crown their visit with an overnight stay at one of Warwick Castle’s medieval lodges in the Knight’s Village.

Something a bit different

  • Magic Alley have a Magical Fairytale Trail running. You’ll enter a fantasy world of knights and princesses, unicorns and dragons. This event is based on a fairytale written specifically for this event. There will be puzzles and riddles to solve and things to find as well as activities such as having a sword fight (soft swords obviously)! It’s recommended age 6 but over 4s are welcome – little ones just might need extra help with the reading elements.
  • Enjoy a family day out or half term break staying in one of the family-friendly rooms at Coombe Abbey Hotel, combining a visit to Go Ape. Within the grounds there’s also the brand-new 50s-inspired Sundae Club dessert diner for a waffle, ice-cream or milkshake.
  • This half term, Go Cotswolds will be running their best-selling and family-friendly Cotswolds in a Day tours on  19,  23 and 26 Feb for anyone wishing to explore the towns, villages and hidden gems of his beautiful region. Highlights for children include running wild and spotting the sheep at Dover’s Hill, the excellent playground in Chipping Campden, and pretending to be giants at Bourton-on-the-Water’s model village (most adults secretly enjoy this too!). Reduced tickets are available as part of the National Lottery Days Out scheme, with £25 off bookings.
  • Spectacle of Light at Compton Verney (Feb 11 – March 6) will be available to book for half term. The landscaped park and woodland will be transformed by night-time light installations to music, creating a magical illuminated trail under the stars.

Phew! That’s quite a lot but we’ve even more on our events page.

Have a fantastic half term and do share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

With love from Shakespeare’s England: Valentine’s Day inspiration

With Valentine’s Day soon upon us, we’d like to share a few ways you can celebrate the day here in South Warwickshire. There are plenty of places you can wine and dine your beloved and lots of local businesses who are on hand to help with a romantic gift. Read on to discover more…

Dine ?

  • The Coach House, Stratford is planning a 3-course dinner with delicious sharing options. Pre-booking is essential at this town centre pub that oozes personality.
  • The Cross Kenilworth will be open for lunch and dinner on Monday 14th February. Menus will feature luxurious ingredients for the most romantic day of the year – think Hereford beef, scallops and caviar. Please note that there are limited spaces so reserve your table 
  • For a divine dinner, bring your valentines to Coombe Abbey for a four-course candlelit meal in the Garden Room Restaurant. With a cocktail and canapés on arrival, indulge in fine food, wine and inspiring conversation with your partner. You can always stay overnight, too.
  • The Globe, Warwick is situated on the corner of Theatre Street, between Warwick Castle and Market Place. In the early 1800s, this Grade II listed building became a theatre hosting pantomimes and plays, this Valentine’s let them play host to you, serving a mouth-watering menu. This destination venue has an extensive bar and lounge area, 87-seat restaurant, and 18 boutique-style hotel rooms.

Gifts ?


  • Have a night in with a twist! Join Shakespeare Distillery’s mixologist Sam who will guide you through a tasting session and try three of the gins at home. They’ll even send chocolates and glasses.
  • Really relax with a massage or another treatment at Mallory Court’s Elan Spa. The spa is a perfect combination of countryside chic, absolute glamour, and decadent products.
  • If you really can’t decide just head to Royal Leamington Spa or Bicester Village and let your loved one choose something they love.
  • You could always present them with The Perfect Break, we’re sure it will be something you’ll both enjoy. Choose from a fabulous collection of expertly curated, flexible, and easy to book UK holidays from just £159 for two.

Make it memorable 

  • See a brand-new production of one of Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedies at The RSC. In a futuristic world, two very different couples fall in love – but who is really pulling the strings? With dastardly plots, hilarious slapstick, and some of Shakespeare’s wittiest dialogue, Much Ado About Nothing is the perfect way to celebrate the joy of live theatre.
  • Stroll around the illuminated grounds of Compton Verney for a date night that will dazzle. As dusk gives way to the inky blue of night and stars twinkle brightly in the clear sky overhead, the Spectacle of Light trail will take you on an amazing journey together.
  • Sometimes it’s all about quality time together. Download one of the Kenilworth trails and set off on a special walk for two. You can learn more about the local area and discover special spots to pause along the way.

If you’re not based locally but would love to visit some of the places and businesses mentioned at another time of year, take a look at our suggested romantic places and add them to your itinerary.

‘We’re Good To Go’

We are thrilled that we can welcome you back
to South Warwickshire.

Our attractions, accommodation, and food & drink businesses have reopened successfully with a range of safety measures in place.

Look for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ logo which shows they are COVID-secure and ready for your return.

Each business is doing its very best to keep everyone safe, so please check individual businesses’ websites for their own enhanced safety measures and regulations.


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.
Here are some of the Shakespeare’s England members who have signed up to show they are ‘Good to Go’:

The Belgrade Theatre

The Arden Hotel

Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa

Royal Shakespeare Company

Coventry Transport Museum – Culture Coventry

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Coombe Abbey Hotel

Go Ape Coventry

Warwick Visitor Information Centre

The Almanack (Peach Pubs) 

The Rose and Crown

Park Cottage Guest House

British Motor Museum

Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel & Spa

Compton Verney Art Gallery & Museum

The Howard Arms Ilmington

Mercure Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Hotel

Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon

Hotel du Vin Stratford

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the childhood home of William Shakespeare

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s New Place

Crowne Plaza Stratford Upon Avon

Avon Boating Ltd

Shakespeare Distillery

Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa

Go Cotswolds Ltd

Bicester Village

The Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses has been updated and businesses can find more information here.

Page updated 31 January 2022

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


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.



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




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