Things to do in Berkshire

Loddon Lily See the Loddon Lily this weekend in Berkshire

A few suggestions to help you plan your week...

Nature and Outdoors

Head to Withymead Nature Reserve, a small 23 acre wetland site with a large area of Loddon Lily (Summer Snowflake) which blooms between April and May.

Over 137 species of birds have been recorded in the grounds and on the water meadows in the past 30 years, of which 74 of these species have bred at the nature reserve. Many species of bat frequent the riverside woodlands with at least five species having been recorded.

The reserve is open on every Sunday and entrance is free.

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The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) in Reading, is celebrating its 60th anniversary along with the radio drama The Archers. The new exhibition at the museum in Redlands Road, Reading will open on Sunday, 1 May until Thursday 30 June. Admission is free and the museum is open Wednesday to Friday 0900 BST to 1700 BST. At weekends it will be open from 1400 BST to 1630 BST. The museum is closed bank holidays. For more information email or phone 0118 378 8660.

Get out on the water for a taster session with the Burghfield Sailing Club on Saturday 14 May from 1100 to 1600 BST. Burghfield Sailing Club is located in Hangar Road, Theale, Reading, West Berkshire RG7 4AP.

Enjoy a riverboat cruise at Cliveden in Taplow, Berkshire. The boats run on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1110 BST until 1630BST between 9 April - 1 July and then up to seven days a week until early September. All boats run subject to daily river and weather conditions. For times and further details please contact the Cliveden Information Centre on 01628 605069.

Enjoy a nature walk around Basildon, Lower Basildon on Friday, 13 May, led by a National Trust warden or a member of the Reading and District Natural History Society. Contact the property administrator on 0118 984 3040 from 1030 BST to midday. Booking not needed.

Family fun

A huge day for youngsters is being organised for Saturday 14 May at Christchurch Meadows, George Street, in Reading as part of the Children's Festival. Meadow Madness will have activities including circus shows and workshops, a climbing wall, inflatables, free face-painting, live music and dance sessions. Parking available at Hills Meadow, George Street, next to Reading Bridge. The free event is on from 1100 to 1600 BST.

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Join a glamorous tea party at Cliveden, near Maidenhead, for Nancy Astor day on Sunday 15 May from 1000 to 1700 BST. The event takes Cliveden back to the glamorous era of the 1930s and visitors are encouraged to dress in costumes from the period, from feather boas and straw boaters, to flapper dresses and flannels. The grounds will be transformed with live music, vintage motor vehicles lining the Grand Avenue, colourful bunting decorating the Piazza, and activities in the nearby Captain's Field. Everyone is welcome to bring their own picnics but refreshments are also available, including slices of Nancy Astor's famous Tennis Cake.

Come along to a charity football match on Sunday 15 May in aid of the Newbury & District Cancer Care Trust. The match between Hungerford Juniors 'Old Boys' v Hungerford Town Veterans XI is being held at Hungerford Town FC, Bulpit Lane, with a 1400 BST kick off.Afterwards there will be an auction of sports memorabilia with items including signed Reading and QPR football shirts, hospitality tickets for Reading FC's home play-off match, a signed Arsenal team photo and Liverpool FC stadium tour vouchers.

Arts and Culture

A recital of organ music on the historic "Father Willis" organ will be held at Reading Town Hall, played by Mark Venning. The concert will include music by Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Nicholson and Guilmant and will be held from 1300 to 1350 BST. Tickets cost £4, and are available on the door or in advance from Reading Arts 0118 960 6060.

The Berkshire Organists concert will take place at the Concert Hall, Reading Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading Berkshire RG1 1QH on Wednesday 11 May

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Head to Reading Contemporary Art Fair to see over 80 artists, photographers, printmakers, sculptors and galleries exhibiting and selling their work, all under one roof. Free workshops and cafe from 1000 - 1800 BST on Saturday 14 May and 1000 - 1700 BST Sunday 15 May. Adults £6, Concessions £4, under 12's free. The fair will be held at Rivermead Leisure Complex, Richfield Ave, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8EQ.

See Tæppa's Tump NW Morris dancers at Windsor Royal Station opposite the castle from 1300 BST to 1400 BST on Saturday 14 May

Sing the choruses from Handel's Messiah in the splendid setting of Eton College Chapel with Ralph Allwood conductor of Windsor & Eton Choral Society and director of music at Eton College. All profits from this event will go to charity and this year the charity to benefit is the Voices Foundation.

Doors open at 1900 BST, and the rehearsal begins 2010 BST. The performance will start at 2130 BST. Tickets cost £14 for singers and £7 for listeners, contact Katie Lumb on 01628 669770. Singers are asked to provide their own music - Watkins edition preferred. Some hire copies may be available on the day at Eton College School Chapel, Berkshire on Tuesday 10 May.

The Original Eastside Stompers are bringing their trombone-led jazz to Eton on Friday 13 May from 2030 to 2300 BST. Head to Eton Jazz Club, The Clubroom, Thames Valley Athletics Centre, Pococks Lane. Contact Dennis Daly on 01753 686169 for more information.

A 24-hour 'Organ-athon' is happening at Bearwood College in Wokingham on Friday 13 May. Five musicians will attempt to play the college chapel organ in a relay from 1600 BST. All money raised will go to the £70,000 restoration of the organ. All are welcome.

Woodley library in Headley Road is celebrating its 25 anniversary with a range of events from Monday 9 May to Sunday 15 May. The week kicks off on Monday with a memory-sharing day from 1400 BST called Reminiscences Of Woodley. A quiz night takes place on Tuesday from 1930 BST and other events include author Jane Fallon visiting the library on Thursday at 1930 BST. All events are ticketed. More information available at Wokingham Borough Council Libraries and arts.

Riotous comedy and psychological thriller are combined in a new play called The Summer House on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 May at 2000 at New Greenham Arts Centre in New Greenham Park, Thatcham.

The off-beat comedy is about three men on a stag party in a remote house in the middle of Iceland: a gin soaked journey through Norse mythology, suspicion and masculinity. Tickets are £10 and are available from the box office of the The Corn Exchange in Newbury on 01635 5227333.

Join comedian Rob Rouse as he recalls the trials and tribulations of his 'Great Escape' at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Altwood Road, Maidenhead. The performance will take place on Norden Farm arts centre on Wednesday 11 May at 2000 BST. Tickets are £12 and the night, recounting his 'escape' from London to the countryside, is suitable for ages 16 plus.

Something different

Enjoy a day out at the RISC Roof Garden in London Street, Reading. All plants in the garden have an economic use for food, clothing or medicine and come from all over the world. See demonstrations of renewable energy, water harvesting and irrigation systems.

Further Inspiration

What's On: Ents 24

All Gigs


Visit Berkshire

Visit West Berkshire

Heritage Britain

Visit South East

Trip Advisor

BBC Berkshire


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