Things to do in Berkshire

Reading Festival Thousands of people will be taking part in Reading Festival this weekend

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


Reading Festival 2011 will take place in Little John's Farm on Richfield Avenue, Reading from 26 - 28 August and will feature My Chemical Romance, The Strokes and Muse as headlining bands.

Wokingham Food & Drink Festival 2011 aims to be three festivals at one time in one location. It will include a food festival, a music festival and a beer festival. The festival will be held on Friday 26 August from 17:30 BST, Saturday 27 August from 09:00 and Sunday 28 August 10:00 until 17:00 in Elms Field, Elms Road, Wokingham, RG40 2LD.

James Bourne, former member of boy band Busted and Son Of Dork, has joined forces with Youth Music Theatre UK to write a new musical Out There which is coming to South Hill Park in Bracknell on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August. The musical will be performed at the Wilde Theatre, Bracknell from 20:00. For tickets call 01344 484 123.

Kids and family

Make lavender bags, using lavender from the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL)'s garden, with artist Caroline Rackham on Wednesday, 24 August. Suitable for families with children aged 3+. The museum is located at University of Reading in Redlands Road, Reading.

Take your children to free cycling lessons. There are 240 places left in Reading with Cycle Confident running from 22 August to 26 August. To book a place for your child, email stating your location and how many children you want to enter onto the lesson. You will then be emailed a code so that you can book a specific time slot directly with Cycle Confident. Registration is essential. Each lesson will last two hours, and there will be four lessons a day running for five days from 22 August. Lessons will be held at Thameside Primary School, Reading, RG4 8DB.

Enjoy a free athletics taster session for children aged between eight-15-years-old. Each child will be able to try their hand at running, jumping and throwing in a safe secure location with fully qualified athletics coaches. Visit the UK Athletics website to find your local venue and register your child's place. The sessions will be held on Thursday 25 August between 13:00 - 16:00. All athletes must register online prior to the event. The sessions will be held at Crookham Common Athletics Track, Thornford Road, Thatcham, RG19 8ET.

Fun On The Broadway has returned to provide free activities for children and families as we near the end of the summer Holidays. On Friday 26 August from 10:00 to 15:00 join Cyril the Squirrel on The Broadway Green where you can have your face painted, play on the bouncy castle and try out your circus skills. For more information go to Thatcham Town Council.

Arts and Culture

The next meeting of Newbury Crafters will be held on August 27 at Speen Parish Hall, Newbury from 14:00 - 17:00. At this meeting Linda Moss will show how to make Dorset Buttons. You will need to bring scissors, needle and thread. For more information contact 01635 43846. Cost is £2.50.

Find out about the history of the 100 Club Punk Special, in the year of its 35th Anniversary. The original two-day event was held at the 100 Club, a jazz-oriented venue in Oxford Street, London, on 20 and 21 September in 1976. The gig showcased eight punk rock bands including The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Sex Pistols, The Damned and the Buzzcocks. The Reading event will feature two bands undertaking the challenge of covering a song from one of the bands who played the original event. The event will be held at South Street Arts Centre in South Street, Reading on Thursday 25th August. Doors open at 19:30.

Gary Wilmot is performing at The Watermill Theatre in Newbury Theatre in the play, Radio Times. Performances will be held Monday to Saturday at 19:30, Thursday and Saturday matinées at 14:30.

Nature and Outdoors

Twelve gardens will be opened to view as part of South Stoke's Flower festival on Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August. The church of St Andrew's will also be displaying its annual flower festival on Sunday afternoon (with teas & cakes) from Sunday at 17:00 and also on Monday in line with the open gardens. On the Monday the WI will be providing teas and cakes in the village hall.

Go Batty is a bat watching event at the Nature Discovery Centre in Muddy Lane, Lower Way, Thatcham. Venture out at 20:00 with bat detectors and torches to discovery what bats are in the evening sky. The event costs £4.50 per person. Booking essential, call 01635 874381 for more information.

Take part in the Englefield 10k Run on Sunday 28 August, a run through the grounds of Englefield House, the estate home of the Benyon family. The Englefield estate is near Theale in Berkshire just south of Junction 12 of the M4. The first race starts at 11:00 am, but all roads on the site will be closed by 10:30. The house is located in Oak Lodge, Shortheath Lane, Ufton Nervet.

Look around the The UK Wolf Conservation Trust at an Open Day and ask experts about wolves. Take part in children's activities with a nature trail quiz and pond dipping, birds of prey, hug a husky, other animal exhibits and bouncy castle. Refreshments available. The day will run from 11:00 - 17:00 on Monday 29 August. Entrance costs £7 for adults, and £5 for children aged three to 12. Children under three can go free. Tickets can be pre booked on 0118 971 3330 or purchased on the gate. No dogs allowed on site. The UK Wolf Conservation Trust is based at Butlers Farm, Beenham, Reading, RG7 5NT.

Something Different

The Chapel Row Fayre will feature sheep and duck racing at the fair near Bucklebury in West Berkshire on Saturday 27 August. The fair will start at 13:00. A full 2011 programme will also include a dog show, craft tent, fun fair, bouncy castles, Graham's fabulous hog roast, tombolas, raffles and many more displays and stalls.

The Highclere Horse Trials will be held from Saturday 27 August to Monday 29 August 2011 during which the final stage of the Stately Homes Challenge will take place. The trials, which take place in the grounds of Highclere Castle, new Newbury, the film location for Downton Abbey. The trials also includes a trade fair, along with a variety of activities and interests for all of the family. On Sunday 28 August supporters of ABF The Soldiers' Charity have the opportunity to attend the trials, as well as an ABF The Soldiers' Charity Reception, including drinks and canapes, in the VIP area followed by a concert by the Band of the Adjutant General's Corps. For more information contact Peter Walker: or 01635 204433.

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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