There’s a certain panache to the way we celebrate, whether it’s re-creating battles at the Midlands History Festival in the fine setting of Ragley Hall, or filling Shipston-on-Stour’s High Street with the Wool Fair that commemorates the town’s historic sheep trade. Savour mouthwatering temptations at Alcester & Forest of Arden Food Festival, and sample top-class entertainment on the doorstep, at Leamington Music Festival Weekend or Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival.
Experience surprising shows in surprising places, thanks to this innovative programme of local, small-scale performing arts events. A Live and Local night out means quality, affordable, uplifting entertainment – anything from jazz to theatre. Check for events throughout the year, throughout the county, at the very heart of rural communities.
Credit Live and Local
Compton Verney is hosting a Country Garden Fair. Inspired by the beautifully landscaped 'Capability' Brown prakland, visitors will be able to browse and buy works by local garden and agriculture specialists. Therewill be something for everyone, from re-furbished garden tools, plants and trees, to unique gifts and prints.
Standard admission fee applies.
Image credit John Kippin
The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations have been taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon for over two centuries. The town's streets overflow with pageantry, music and drama and over the two day birthday period visitors can enjoy a packed programme of special celebratory activities, great days out at Shakespeare's historic houses, literary and music events and amazing theatre. Led by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers, international dignitaries, schoolchildren, performance artists and community groups come together in a colourful walking spectacle through the town that culminates in the laying of flowers on Shakespeare's grave at Holy Trinity Church.
The inaugural event will play host to more than 200 classic and special interest vehicles.
Expected are supercars including Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, together with less common models from Spyker, Brabus and Ultima. The British contingent will also be well represented by the likes of Aston Martin, Jaguar, Jensen, Lotus, Noble and Bentley.
Microcars will feature too and the diminutive delights on display are likely to include the Bubble Car, Bond Minicar, Goggomobil, Heinkel and Messerschmitt.
And lovers of two wheels will not be disappointed with the range of vintage and classic motorcycles on display, the likes of Matchless, AJS, BSA, Royal Enfield, Ariel, Triumph, Norton, Moto Guzzi, BMW, Suzuki and Harley Davidson.
The Test Hills Run on the Sunday will challenge entrants’ driving skills as it snakes for nearly 60 miles throughout some of the steepest Cotswold inclines.
There will also be two “runs” through Warwickshire and Gloucestershire countryside for entrants
Stratford has been synonymous with great literature ever since a certain William Shakespeare lived here! Join our festival for readings, author events, children’s events, creative writing workshops and competitions.
Credit Stratford Literary Festival
Artisan farm cheeses, juices, ciders, meats, pies, handmade chocolates and preserves – sample some or all as Alcester celebrates luscious, local food and drink. The Court Leet is on hand to maintain quality in time-honoured medieval tradition, buskers entertain and stalls fill the High Street. Browse, buy and savour our authentic local flavours.
Credit Alcester & Forest of Arden Food
Shipston – ‘sheepwash town’ – commemorates its long heritage in the wool trade in a true spirit of friendly fun. Watch sheep being sheared (guess the weight of the largest), learn about wool processing, and shop for wool-related products. Musicians and dancers entertain, and you’ll find scrumptious food and drink, too.
Credit Stephen McKay
Warwickshire Open Studios creativity has grown to become the biggest exhibition of unique and original art and craft in Warwickshire, with over 200 artists and makers in 150 venues in and around Leamington Spa, Stratford upon Avon, Kenilworth, Rugby, Warwick, Nuneaton, Shipston on Stour and Coventry.
From painting to printmaking and pottery, there is lots on offer for every taste and budget.
Entry is free to all participating venues. You can speak to the artists and makers and find out more about their craft, with many offering demonstrations and workshops.
What's more, there will be lots of unique and original art for sale. It's all commission free, so it's cheaper for you to buy.
Warwickshire Open Studios
Come and celebrate poetry in the town of the world’s greatest poet. The festival features established contemporary poets reading their own work and events with well-known actors, at different venues across town.
Credit Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The highly successful Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival brings the waterways of Stratford alive, with boatloads of family fun, on the first weekend of July. On Saturday and Sunday the banks of the River Avon play host to this free and vibrant event, which brings together boaters and the local community to enjoy a feast of entertainment.
Based on and around Stratford’s Recreation Ground, both days feature a full programme of events and activities. You’ll find there’s something for everyone, from live music to a range of interesting stalls, market traders and delicious food and drink outlets.
The CLA Game Fair has been hailed as the 'worlds biggest country sports and outdoor pursuits event' and returns to Ragley Hall in 2013. The CLA Game Fair offers a memorable day out for all the family with over 900 exhibits including falconry, country crafts, fishing, country fashion and food and drink.
Choose from concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, a weekend craft fair – or enjoy them all. Warwick School is the main location for headline concerts and intimate acoustic performances in the Bridge House Theatre, while a short walk away the town centre hosts dance tours, mumming plays and pub sessions.
Credit Warickshire County Council
With over 24 successful years behind it, The Warwickshire & West Midlands Game Fair continues to be the highlight of the show calendar. Set in front of the breathtaking Arbury Hall, here you will find plenty to see and do for country enthusiasts and families looking for a great fun-packed day out.
Credit Arbury Hall
Discover buildings and gardens not normally open to the public, or go behind the scenes of more famous venues, all for free or a charitable donation.
Warwick has some great literary connections, with Tolkien and Philip Larkin among others, plus fine venues in which to celebrate a festival of literature and the spoken word. Poetry slams, trails, storytelling and workshops, with contributions from well-known figures, have all previously featured. Check our website for news of our eleventh festival.
Credit Warwick Words Festival
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