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Things to do in Berkshire this September

PUBLISHED: 15:03 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 03 September 2019

All the fun of the fair

All the fun of the fair


We round up some of the best events and things to do across Berkshire this month

Discover weekly events and photography in the links above

The Royal County of Berkshire Show

The Royal County of Berkshire Show returns on 21 and 22 September at Newbury Showground, Thatcham, in spectacular style, showcasing a new layout, with new activities and attractions topping the Main Arena bill.

There will be a revamped Food Hall, which has a new location in the Food & Farming Zone. The Flower & Wedding Marquee can be found alongside the Craft Marquee on Avenue A, and the Dog Zone returns, where you can enjoy fun competitions and activities.

Headlining in the arena are the fantastic Extreme Bike Battle, the UK's biggest premier stunt show. Guards Polo Club will also be showcasing their skills with their courageous ponies. And a spectacular Forage Pageant will take place, showing viewers the 'grass to glass' process, with large mowers, combine, feeder wagons, trailers and more.

There will be an Artisan Gin Marquee, plus the new Bee & Honey Tent, sponsored by Rowse, promises to be a hive of activity.

In the Taste of Japan Marquee you can experience the Tea Ceremony, try some sushi and have a cuddle with an Akita dog.

To coincide with this, two large screens will show live coverage of the Rugby World Cup taking place in Japan. This will be located on the Village Green and beside the Main Arena.

The core of the showground features 600 stands selling everything from fine arts to children's toys, to country clothing and fire pits. Around

the edges, vast marquees are devoted to food, drink and crafts.

Livestock owners appreciate the end-of-season event for the show circuit and it attracts entrants from across Britain, with over 2,000 animals competing.

The fresh, new look equine line-up includes lots of new classes that cater for all levels of equine competitors, from Shetlands to Shires, and internet sensations Wocket Woy and the Pwoducers will be commentating on the Retraining of Racehorses classes on the Saturday.

The Vintage Area will be offering more vintage vehicles, displays and demonstrations, as well as a tractor-trailer ride, and there will also be a classic car collection.

The organisers have frozen the prices for adult and concession entry to the show, and children can come for just £1. A weekend ticket has also been introduced for those who want to make the most of this action-packed show.


Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days - England's largest festival of history and culture - welcomed over 3 million visitors to more than 5,500 events in 2018.

Every September, visitors are offered the chance to take special walks, talks and tours, peek backstage at theatres and galleries, discover tunnels and climb towers. Hundreds of private buildings are unlocked, and there's free entry to iconic venues and medieval cellars, gardens, country houses and archives.

It's the perfect way for everyone to explore places not normally open to the public, enjoy family days out and learn more about the heritage on their doorstep. Here is just a taste of what's on offer.


- 14 September (11am and 2pm), West Berkshire Museum, West Berkshire Heritage, Newbury - Discover the county's archaeological treasures. Led by an archaeologist, visitors on these free guided tours of the museum's 'Lives and Landscapes' exhibition will learn what found artefacts can tell us about the history and development of West Berkshire and the people who once lived here.

- 14 September (10.30am-3.30pm), National Lacemaking Day, The North Downs Lacemakers, Wokingham - Ever fancied making lace? The North Downs Lacemakers will be celebrating National Lacemaking Day with a display of the intricate fabrics they've made at Wokingham Library. Visitors can also watch a demonstration of the process in action, and they'll also get the chance to have a go themselves.

- 14-15 September (11am-4pm), Shaw House, West Berkshire Council, Newbury - Explore this Elizabethan House on a tour including historic rooms not normally open to the public. Starting in the Great Hall, visitors will wander through some of the most significant areas of the building, while learning about its history, including its previous flamboyant owners and even royal visitors.

- 15 September (10.30am-1.30pm), Reading Synagogue, Reading - Visit this traditional synagogue in a Moorish style. In use as a place of worship since 1900, visitors will get to look around the interesting building, hear about the recent restoration of the roof and cupola, see the exhibition 'Jews of the South East of England' and learn about the items of Judaica on display.

- 13-15 September (2pm), Architectural and Historical Walks, Sonning & Sonning Eye Society, Sonning - Take a walk around the picturesque village of Sonning. Participants on this two-hour tour will learn about the area's architectural heritage and history through the stories of key buildings, from the medieval Bishop's Palace, through to the break-up of the main estate in the 20th century.

- 18-19 September (11am-4pm), Parish and Pilgrimage, Church of St Michael & St Mary Magdalene, Easthampstead - Arts and crafts or Pre-Raphaelite enthusiasts won't want to miss a tour of this church's extraordinary artistic connections. Visitors can admire stained glass by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, opus sectile work - a type of inlay technique - on the altar by Powells of London, and memorial poetry by Ruskin and Pope.

- 21-22 September (10am-5pm), Basildon park, National Trust, Lower Basildon - Celebrate Basildon Park's Indian heritage with this Festival of Light. Outside, visitors will be led by fairy lights through the woodland walk, then enter the house filled with colour and scent from an artist creating a Rangoli - artwork made with dyed rice and spices. Curator talks on the building's connections with India and Indian-inspired treats in the tearoom will complete this immersive experience.

Italian Tourist Board Festival of Food & Wine Racing Weekend - 6-7 September


A real feast for the senses, with fantastic racing accompanying a host of culinary attractions across two wonderful days at Ascot, held in association with the Italian Tourist Board.


Down At The Abbey Festival - 7 September

Reading Abbey Ruins

Down At The Abbey is a brand new independent music festival by Heavy Pop Promotions. See some fantastic music acts, plus enjoy craft beer by Siren Craft and delicious street food.


Family Fun Day for SAFE - 7 September

Cantley Park, Wokingham

Pop along to local horse charity SAFE's (Saving Abandoned Fly Grazing Equines) family fun day.


Costumes and Cocktails - 7-8 September

Highclere Castle, Newbury

A week before the Downton Abbey film is released, The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will host a weekend party, 'Costumes and Cocktails'. Tickets include castle tours and entry to the exhibition.


Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail 14-15 September

A community event in houses and venues within a five-mile radius around Cookham and Maidenhead. The venues are numbered according to the suggested route of the trail. There will be a group exhibition in the Gallery at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts from 3-22 September.


Windsor Festival - 16-29 September

The festival begins with Evensong, sung by The Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Other events include LMN Lunchtime Concert at The Old Court on 17th, Sadie Jones at Cumberland Lodge on 18th and Tim O'Donovan at Cumberland Lodge on 19th, various Philharmonia Orchestra concerts, a pub walk with Debbie Keenan on 20th, an Eton College Museum and Galleries Trail on 22nd, ghost walks, a Victoria and Albert 200th Anniversary Walk with Barbara Askew on 27th, and children's concerts, artists' open houses, and much, much, more.


The Night Watch - 18 September

The Hexagon Theatre, Reading

Sarah Waters' (OBE) The Night Watch, adapted by Hattie Naylor, is set in the 1940s and follows the lives and loves of ordinary people as they are recovering from the chaos of war.


Mushy: Lyrically Speaking - 18-22 September

The Curve, Slough

A play inspired by Educating Yorkshire star Mushy's journey from school boy stammerer to celebrity.


The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists - 20 September-15 December

The Base, Greenham

This exhibition explores the nostalgic world of Ladybird Books and the stories told through original artwork.


10th Wokingham Arts Trail - 21-22 September

Follow the trail exploring 11 venues showcasing the work of 29 artists.


Annual Clay Shoot - 26 September

Royal Berkshire Shooting School in Pangbourne

Whether you are a seasoned shot or complete novice you'll enjoy this day out at RBSS, one of the most expansive shooting grounds in the country.

rbss.co.uk; combatstress.org.uk

Cliveden Literary Festival - 28-29 September

Panel topics and sessions include: global power, conflict and conspiracy, the art of the novel, Victoria's legacy, the secrets of the universe and of the mind.


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