Things to do in Berkshire

Frogmore House Frogmore House, a former residence of Queen Victoria, will open to the public on Thursday

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

History

A Queen Victoria lookalike will preside over the grand re-opening of Herschel Park in Slough on Sunday 22 May, following hard work by volunteers to rejuvenate the historic grounds. The event will run from 1100 BST to 1700 BST and will mark the completion of a £2.7m project to restore the park to its former glory. There will be a host of activities for young, old and everyone in between.

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A Bucklebury Village History Day will feature displays and photographs about the history and people of Bucklebury over the centuries. All are welcome to come to the historic kitchen of Bucklebury House, Bucklebury Village and find out more about the village on Saturday 21 May. The day will run from 1100 BST to 1600 BST and is free. Parking is available at Bucklebury Farm Park.

There will be a charity open day at Frogmore House and Gardens in Windsor on Thursday 19 May in aid of Family Friends, a local charity working with families and children who are facing difficult times. Last year the charity helped over 600 children and the demand on the charity is increasing. Frogmore House, set in the private grounds of Windsor Home Park, is renowned for its beautiful landscaped garden and 18th-century lake. A favourite royal retreat for many years, Queen Victoria was inspired to write of the house "all is peace and quiet and you only hear the hum of the bees, the singing of the birds".

There will be a Riverside Garden Open Day near Bisham Abbey to support the Air Ambulance on Sunday 22 May. The open day will give a chance to look around a small, but interesting garden with lovely views, in the Bisham Abbey Conservation area. There will be private boat trips, afternoon teas, and good parking. The day will run from 1400 BST to 1700 BST. Admission will be £3.50, with additional charges for boat trips, and afternoon teas. Bisham Abbey is signed from Bisham Roundabout on the A404, the address is Grange Cottage, Temple Lane, Bisham, near Marlow, Berkshire SL7 1RS.

Nature & Outdoors

Head along to a meeting of Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead Beekeepers' Society on Sunday 22 May. All are welcome to the meeting, which starts at 1430 BST at the apiary in Windsor Parish Hall, All Saints Church, Alexandra Road, Windsor, SL4 1HZ.

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Enjoy a nature walk around Basildon Park led by a National Trust warden or a member of the Reading and District Natural History Society. The walks will be held at 1030 BST to 1200 BST. No booking required. Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Reading Berkshire RG8 9NR.

Reading Bowling Club is holding an open day and fundraiser for the Air Ambulance on 22 May 2011 from 1030 BST to 1600 BST. There will be free secure parking in Morgan Road. Reading Bowling Club is situated at 94 Kendrick Road, Reading. The bowling club has a rich history, its green was opened in 1803 by W G Grace. There will be demonstration games from very experienced internationals and professional coaching for all who want to try it out (flat shoes only please to protect the green). There will also be refreshments, a cake stall, plant stall, raffle, 1-100 draw and book stall.

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.

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 merlevents@reading.ac.uk or phone 0118 378 8660.

Music

Dreadzone will play Sub89 Venue on Thursday 19 May. Tickets cost £15, and doors open at 1930 BST. Dreadzone are pioneers of UK bass culture, blending reggae, dub, folk and techno.

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Classical pianist Kentaro Nagai will be opening Norden Farm's classical music programme for the summer, performing a lunchtime concert at Norden Farm on Sunday 22 May at 1145 BST. Tickets are £10 (£5 under 18s). Kentaro is a post-graduate from the prestigious Royal College of Music, where he studied under many eminent pianists. The programme for the concert has a strong Spanish theme, featuring works by three Spanish composers.

The Harlem Gospel Choir returns to the UK after a six year absence with their new show. Through its dynamic performances the choir strives to create a better understanding of the music called gospel, at the Hexagon, Queen's Walk, Reading on Tuesday 17 May at 1930 BST.

Arts and Culture

The Cookham Festival 2011 is in full swing until Sunday, 22 May. It is a celebration of arts, music, drama and comedy and includes a Shakespeare play, outdoor sculpture exhibition in riverside gardens, Stanley Spencer exhibition, talk and play Stanley, Fringe Festival, Street Festival, poetry, jazz, classical music, art workshops, art trail with16 open studios, rock concert, and two retrospective art exhibitions and talks on the work of Juliette Palmer and Leslie Orriss. The Bishop of Oxford will lead an ecumenical service on Sunday 22 May as part of the festival.

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Take part in the Windsor Firestation Book Swap on Thursday 19 May at 1945 BST at the Firestation Centre in The Old Court, St Leonards Road, Windsor, SL4 3BL. Novelist Marie Phillips, author of Gods Behaving Badly and publisher Scott Pack will host an evening of conversation and banter. Don't forget to bring a book! Tickets cost £5

MOS, formerly Maidenhead Operatic Society, proudly announce their new production of the Pajama Game from 18 May - 20 May at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Altwood Road, Maidenhead.

The Wraysbury Players are looking forward to entertaining you at Wraysbury Village Hall, The Green, from Thursday 19 May to Sunday 21 May. Doors open 1930 BST every day and tickets cost £7. They will be performing Don't Dress for Dinner, a comedy written by Marc Camoletti and adapted by Robin Hawdon.

Cold Comfort Farm, a tongue in cheek novel by Stella Gibbons adapted by Paul Doust, will be performed by Caversham Park Theatre in The Recreation Wing. Milestone Centre, Caversham Park Village, RG4 6PF from Thursday 19 May to Saturday 21 May. Tickets cost £6.50 (concs £6). Call the box office on 01189 481377 for more details.

Something different

Families are being urged to sign up now for the last ever Whacky Scrap Race sessions at Denefield School in Tilehurst starting on Saturday 21 May at 1030 BST. This term the design and build family challenge has a submarine theme. The finals will take place at the indoor swimming pool at Brookfields School in Tilehurst.

A free crèche is available for under five year olds, while transport costs can be covered for those with special needs children or eligible for free school meals. Free refreshments are served and a large themed cake is shared by everyone at the final.

Further Inspiration

What's On: Ents 24

All Gigs

Josaka

Visit Berkshire

Visit West Berkshire

Heritage Britain

Visit South East

Trip Advisor

BBC Berkshire

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