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Events and things to do in Berkshire - April 2017

PUBLISHED: 14:50 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:42 29 March 2017

Rooksnest at Lambourn is a fine traditional English garden

Rooksnest at Lambourn is a fine traditional English garden


April arrives and we’re all encouraged to enjoy the great outdoors - and fine entertainment indoors, as well

Spectacular Spring Gardens Await you

The gardens of one of our favourite places, Stubbings House near Maidenhead, will open to the public over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. The house was the home of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands during the Second World War. The parkland garden is set around the 18th century house and features a large lawn with ha ha, woodland walks and historic cedars.

Stubbings has a retail nursery for plant lovers, and other attractions within the 80 acre estate include an 18th Century icehouse and access to adjacent National Trust woodland. It’s opening as part of the National Gardens Scheme which last year donated over £2.6m to charities including Marie Curie, Macmillan Cancer Support, Hospice UK, and Carers Trust.

NGS opening hours for the gardens (not the house) are Saturday, 29 April, from 10 am to 4.30pm, Sunday, 30 April from 10am to 4pm and Monday, 1 May, 10am to 4.30pm. £3.50 adults, children free. See Dogs on leads are welcome.

You could spend the whole weekend enjoying some spectacular gardens. Another of our favourites, Rookwood Farm House at Stockcross, west of Newbury, opens for the NGS on Sunday, 30 April. ‘A work in progress’, it has a rose covered pergola, fabulous tulips, giant alliums, a kitchen garden featuring a parterre of raised beds, as well as bog gardens and colour themed herbaceous planting. Opening times on 20 April are 1 to 5pm, admission £5, children free, and home-made cakes and teas will be available.

Malverleys, Fullers Lane, East End, Newbury, open Sunday, 30 April from 2 to 5pm, offers visitors 10 acres of dynamic gardens including magnificent mixed borders, contrasting yew hedged rooms hosting flame borders, a cool garden and a pond garden. For this garden, pre-booking is essential, visit or phone 01483 211535. Admission is £10, children free, tea and cake and tour with Head Gardener included.

And two gardens in Lambourn will open together on Wednesday, 26 April, Inholmes at Woodlands St Mary (includes a large walled garden and walk to lake) and Rooksnest at Ermin Street, Lambourn Woodlands, a fine traditional English garden of approximately 10 acres.

Opening times are 11am to 4pm, £4.50 per garden or combined admission to both £6.50, children free.

For more info and to find gardens opening near you, see

Away Day

An outing to Blenheim Palace, Woodstock between Thursday, 30 March and Sunday, 2 April is our recommendation, when the sixth annual Cotswolds Art & Antiques Dealers’ Association (CADA) Fair takes place. It’s the only antiques fair held at Blenheim Palace, home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, in the beautiful Colonnade, Orangery and Campaign Rooms, overlooking the Italian Gardens. Patron of the Association and Fair – and a CADA member – is Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, sister of the present Duke.

The 2017 theme is The Menagerie, so the focus is on how animals have been portrayed in all forms of art throughout history. This year’s chosen charity is the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Some 30 dealers will display furniture, pictures, silver, early needlework and antique boxes, sculpture, bronze, clocks and barometers, carpets and textiles, glass, jewellery, English and Oriental ceramics, garden ornaments and statuary, and other decorative items. All works are for sale, with prices ranging from £100 to over £100,000. Download a complimentary invitation at, admitting two to the Fair and Blenheim House grounds.

She’s An Animal

Sara Pascoe arrives at The Firestation in Windsor on 8 April as a part of a very funny tour following her debut book, Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body, released to critical acclaim last year.

With previous appearances on the likes of Mock the Week, Have I Got News for You? and QI, in this show she follows on from Animal to considers further issues, such as if humans are naturally bad, whether we really have to die, and should she have a baby.

See, tel 01753 866865.

Out and about

• 2 April, Fun Dog Show and Barn Sale, National Animal Welfare Trust, Trindledown Farm, Wantage Road, Great Shefford, tel: 01488 638584

• 2 April, Spring Food and Craft Fair, Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, tel: 01635 279279

• 7, 14, 21, 28 April, Wildlife Walk, Basildon Park, Lower Basildon

• 9 April, Walk for Parkinson’s, Welford Park, Welford, tel: 03442 253750

• 11 April, Wild About Plants; Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, tel: 01635 279279

• 12 April, Family Activity Day, Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, tel: 01635 279279

• 14-17 April, Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Basildon Park, tel: 01491 672920


The Hexagon, tel: 01189 606060

1 April, Somewhere in time: Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe; 5 April, Yamato: The Drummers of Japan; 6 April, Bye Bye Baby; 7-8 April, Mr Bloom’s Nursery Live; 10-11 April, The Wizard of Oz; 19-22 April, Legally Blonde; 27 April, Richard Herring; 28 April, Echoes of Our Times: Shakin’ Stevens

Rivermead, Richfield Avenue, book via

13 April, Paul Weller

The Mill at Sonning, Sonning Eye, tel: 01189 698000

Until 6 May, Improbable Fiction; 2 April, The Bourne Again Shadows with Cliff; 9 April, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller at Carnegie Hall; 23 April, The Rubettes

Town Hall, Blagrave Street, tel: 01189 606060

20 April, Vienna Piano Trio

Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch, tel: 0118 384 2195

Until 1 April, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and adapted by Nicholas Wright; 24-29 April, Progress Premieres


The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044

Until 1 April, Ann Veronica; 1 April, A Dragon’s Tale; 6 April – 22 July, Twelfth Night

Corn Exchange Newbury & New Greenham Arts, tel: 0845 5218218

3 April, Milton Jones; 5 April, Joel Dommett; 8 April, Barb Jungr; 9 April, Bolshoi Live; 11 April, ROH Live; 12 April, Jurassic Adventures; 20 April, Sam Kelly & Jamie Francis; 20 April, Someone Like You; 22 April, Brainiac Live!; 23-24 April, The First Hippo on The Moon; 26 April, An Audience with Ian Waite & Natalie Lowe; 27-28 April, The Empty Nesters’ Club


Theatre Royal Windsor, tel: 01753 853888

Until 1 April, Father Brown; 2 April, Ultimate Elton and The Rocket Band; 4-8 April, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels The Musical; 11-15 April, Fame the Musical; 16 April, The Dreamers; 17-22 April, The Hound of The Baskervilles; 23 April, The Beach Boys Story; 24-29 April, Gabriel


Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660

1 April, The Bon Jovi Experience; 4 April, Frozen Sing-A-Long; 4-5 April, Wow! Said the Owl; 5-8 April, Landfill Harmonic; 9 April, Duende Jazz Trio; 13 April, Norman Lovett; 15 April, The Jigantics; 17 April, The Amazing Bubble Man; 21 April, Marks Nightingale; 21 April, Myra Dubois; 26 April, RSC Live: Julius Caesar; 27 April, The Consone String Quartet; 27 April, Delphine; 28 April, Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffell; 28 April, Pride and Prejudice


South Hill Park, tel: 01344 484123

13-17 April, Seussical; 14 April, Geoff Simkins – Bracknell Jazz; 19 April, James Akers – Bracknell Jazz Young Musicians; 19 April, Joel Dommett; 20 April, The R ‘N’ Beatles; 22 April, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra; 23 April, West Forest Chamber Ensemble; 26-29 April, The Drowned World; 26-27 April, Jasmin Vardimon – Pinocchio; 29-30 April, Linda Butler School of Dance


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