25 things to do in Buckinghamshire this summer
PUBLISHED: 14:48 04 July 2016 | UPDATED: 14:48 04 July 2016
Get out and about to enjoy a grand mix of countryside and great experiences in Buckinghamshire this summer
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
The Beacon Villages are hosting their fourth festival of books and writing on Saturday, 2 July at Brookmead School, Ivinghoe. There will be author panels, talks and book signings from award-winning authors including crime, historical, young adult, romance and performance poetry. You also have to put up with an appearance by our editor, but it’s a small price to pay!
Get tickets in advance at beaconlit.co.uk, all proceeds go to Ivinghoe’s community library.
Magic of MK
The city makes the most of summer, starting with MK International Festival from 15 to 24 July. The line up includes music, comedy and dramatic art, see ifmiltonkeynes.org. And on 24 July Campbell Park will be the setting for World Picnic with entertainment from 1pm to 6pm, just bring a picnic… and sunshine. Campbell Park is also the venue for Proms in the Park on 19 August with music by the Milton Keynes City Orchestra before a firework finale.
Garsington Opera at The Wormsley Estate, Stokenchurch, has a summer programme including Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Mozart’s Idomeneo and Haydn’s The Creation. See garsingtonopera.org.
Winslow Hall Opera will stage performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni from 13 to 24 July, see winslowhallopera.co.uk.
This weekend event at The Big Park is on 22 and 23 July. Friday night’s line up includes Ocean Colour Scene and Fun Lovin’ Criminals, while Dizzee Rascal, The Lightning Seeds, Toploader, Ash and even Chas & Dave are on the Saturday bill.
Jordans Music Club Summer Festival has been celebrating chamber music for over 70 years. This summer’s concerts include the Elias Quartet (strings) on 3 July and Trio Isimsiz (piano) on 17 July.
GREAT DAYS OUT
Explore by bike, car or guided tour the Chilterns spots featured in episodes of the popular TV drama. These include Beaconsfield, The Lee, Amersham, Chesham, Little Missenden, Bledlow, and adjoining parts of Oxfordshire.
Follow The Chilterns Heritage Trail or enjoy a £5 guided walk to Midsomer locations in Henley, which run every Saturday at 10.30am from the Argyll pub. For a luxury treat see humphreysofhenley.co.uk, starting from £370 per person, which can even include a helicopter ride.
Cheer on Charley
We have high hopes for Britain’s No1, 20 years old Charley Hull when she plays at her home course, Woburn, in the Ricoh Women’s British Open from 28 to 21 July. One of just five Major Championships during the season, it’s the only one in the UK, so this is a superb chance to watch the world’s best women golfers in action.
Classic Car Show
Take along a picnic (refreshments and licensed bar available) to the show in the grounds beside Gerrards Cross Memorial Centre on 10 August. The event from midday is run by Abbeyfield Gerrards Cross Society, the Gerrards Cross & Chalfont St Peter Rotary Club and the Gerrards Cross Community. Funds raised go to local charities.
Head to Henley
The Royal Regatta runs from 29 June to 3 July, followed by Henley Festival from 6 July where stars include Elton John, Elvis Costello, Bryn Terfel and the WNO Orchestra, Blake with guest Dame Shirley Bassey, and Will Young.
On 24 July the tempo changes with Henley Sheepdog Trial alongside a spinning and weaving display, sheep hurdle demonstration and food and trade stands, from 9am to 5pm at Henley Showground, Greenlands Farm, Hambleden.
GARDENS & SCENERY
Walk on the wild side
The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), bbowt.org.uk, has events for all ages throughout summer. We’ve picked the summer wildlife walk at Coombe Hill and Bacombe Hill in conjunction with the National Trust. Enjoy stunning views as you head for the high life on 23 July.
Outdoors at Cliveden
Summertime garden tours here are a treat and from July the parterre is a sight to behold, courtesy of some 30,000 bedding plants. And then there are the 10,000 begonias in the Long Garden. NT admission prices apply and guided tours (no booking needed) run from 2pm on 5, 12, 19 and 26 July.
We’re not talking roses here, but The Great Big Tree Climb on 29 July. If climbing a tree is on your ‘50 Things To Do’ list, here’s a chance to tick it off with friendly instructors who say they can help people of all ages to reach new heights.
Booking essential for this event on 29 July, call 08000 556760, see nationaltrust.org.uk/events
FOOD & DRINK TREATS
Wines of Waddesdon
A visit to Waddesdon Manor offers something for everyone. There’s the house, of course, but we recommend their summer-themed tasting on the parterre of four wines including Rothschild Champagne followed by dinner in the Manor restaurant. That’s on 30 July. Or join the summer selection tasting covering 10 wines in the cellars on 31 July.
The Chilterns Craft and Design Show at Stonor Park, Henley from 26 to 29 August features some 250 craftspeople and artists, workshops and Good Food marquees, so enjoy a cream tea, gourmet barbecue or hand-made ice creams alongside the crafts and foodie treats to buy.
Haddenham Beer Festival
Summerfest, one of the UK’s largest one-day beer festivals, is on Saturday, 2 July. The fans will love 150 barrels of real ale including those from local microbreweries, keg beers and lagers plus 40 ciders. Look out too for gin cocktails, Pimms, Prosecco and wine, plus non-alcoholic refreshments and lots of food choices, all served while live bands play from 11am to 9pm. It takes place in the grounds of Haddenham Junior School.
Billed as one of the country’s biggest rural carnivals, St Mary’s Village Carnival at Edlesborough Green takes you to beautiful countryside below Dunstable Downs. There’s a procession, dog show, music and much more from 11am to 5pm on 2 July, with a theme of monsters, myths and magic.
Chiltern Open Air Museum
There’s a feast of fun here as the Chalfont St Giles site celebrates 40 years since it was incorporated. So it all starts with a back to 1976 weekend (wear 70s clothes if you have them) on 2 and 3 July. The old buildings are joined by some old vehicles on 16 and 17 July as classic cars, lorries, fire engines, motorcycles and bicycles go on parade. Big favourites include Medieval Pageantry on 13 and 14 August when you can join knightly re-enactors in their camp, and on 20 and 21 August it’s the turn of Vicious Vikings.
Roald Dahl Festival
Here’s one for all the family on 2 July when larger-than-life puppets and artwork made by children parade through Aylesbury town centre from St Mary’s Church at 11am, accompanied by bands and street entertainers. The fun continues until 3pm with crafts, food, live music, games and storytelling.
Amersham Goes to Rio
It’s the ultimate carnival theme for Olympics Year. The 9 July event will see an explosion of colourful costumes, samba drums and steel bands… plus Amersham’s own beach at King George V Playing Field,
From noon on Saturday, 2 July the village is shut to traffic for six hours because this is Fulmer Day, the annual fête complete with all the traditional attractions plus petting zoo and music. The fête is open from 1.30pm and don’t miss out on a visit to Fulmer’s lovely pub, The Black Horse.
Running from 4 July, it all culminates in festivities in the High Street on 9 July with the street fair. This year’s theme is ’90 years – celebration the Best of Britain’ to mark HM The Queen’s birthday with stalls, food and music, fancy dress and Bake Off competition.
Go to the dogs
Stokenchurch Dog Rescue Open Day at Tower Farm, Oxford Road, runs from noon to 4pm on Sunday, 17 July. It’s an important fundraiser for the charity which has operated for over 50 years, rehoming thousands of dogs.
BY THE WATERSIDE
The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber, and his team will pass through Buckinghamshire at Marlow for the census of the Thames swan population and check on their health. Their journey starts on 18 July, finishing at Abingdon on 22 July.
The Thames Marathon
Even staying on dry land can leave you feeling exhausted watching endurance swimmers tackling the eight and half miles between Marlow and Henley bridges on 7 August. Other swims include the Henley Mile on 10 July and the Club to Pub event on 23 July.
A great family day out in the historic town on 3 July includes this event featuring duck and raft races, local bands, food and sporting games and competitions. Most events take place at Olney Recreation ground and the weir at Emberton Country Park.