Events and things to do in Berkshire - May 2016

PUBLISHED: 14:33 29 April 2016

Highclere Country Show © Mark Ridley

Highclere Country Show © Mark Ridley


Enjoyable days out, trips to Berkshire’s theatres and arts centres: take your pick of some great events

Highclere Country Show

For the 20th consecutive year, Highclere Country Show is returning to historic Highclere Castle in Berkshire on Sunday, 29 and Monday, 30 May. As the county’s largest countryside-themed outdoor event, the two-day show is set to welcome more than 32,000 visitors and boasts a comprehensive have-a-go itinerary for the whole family including gundog handling, clay shooting, survival camp, terrier racing, field archery, airguns, falconry and ferreting. The jam-packed show also offers more than 200 exhibition stands, picnic areas, a crammed Main Arena schedule, children’s entertainment, food festival, craft and antiques fairs and live folk music.

There will also be two spectacular aerial Spitfire demonstrations on each day. Plus Countryman Fairs is giving one lucky winner the chance to fly in a Spitfire TR9 over the English Channel – visit the website for details on how to enter.

Advance tickets are available from just £12 per day. Tickets bought on the day cost £15 each. Accompanied children aged 15 and under can visit for free. 

Great gardens to visit

From estate gardens to those attached to private homes, some beautiful landscapes and features can be viewed in May, courtesy of The National Gardens Scheme. They include Sunningdale Park on 31 May, with more than 20 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in Capability Brown style, a terrace garden and Victorian rockery designed by Pulham.

Visitors are welcome to join a free garden history tour at 3pm. In addition, a wonderful spread of homemade cakes and teas will be offered by the local Ascot fundraising group in aid of Thames Hospice. Other choices include Rookwood Farm House and Springfield Cottage, both in Stockcross, on 29 May and 19 June; the Sustainable Roof Garden at Reading International Solidarity Centre on 21 May; and Glenmere and Oak Cottages in Wokingham on 8 May.

Run locally by volunteers, the National Gardens Scheme will be donating over £2.7 million in 2016 through entrance fees and donations to charities which include Marie Curie, Macmillan Cancer Support, Hospice UK, and Carers Trust. For details and many other choices see

Henley Arts Trail

Here’s a great choice for a day out during the May Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday, 30 April to Monday, 2 May. Visit artists’ studios across the Henley and Twyford area at your leisure, meet the makers and perhaps pick up one or two unique items to take home.

As this is a lovely area you’ll find plenty of options for food and drink breaks along the way. Many of the artists are within walking distance one another, so plan a route taking in your picks, using the downloadable leaflet and details at The leaflet helps with timings, including when artists will be in their studios, and details of what you will find there.

So whether your interest is paintings, ceramics, sculptures, jewellery or something else altogether, there’s something for everyone in this year’s trail. Actually, we said it makes a great day out, but you could enjoy the whole holiday weekend by planning more than one visit.

Other events

• Until 27 May, Horse Drawn Carriage Tours, Windsor, tel: 07803-720084

• 1 May, Tilehurst Festival, Prospect Farm, Liebenrood Road, Reading, tel: 07525 810751

• 1 May, Bluebells and Wonders of the Woodland Guided Walk, North Lodge, Windsor Road, Old Windsor, tel: 01784 432891

• 2 May, Charity Dog Show & Family Fun Day, Bird in Hand, Bath Road, Knowl Hill, tel: 01628 826622

• 2 May, Flower & Gardening Day, Woodley Town Centre, tel: 07506 741591

• 14-31 May, The Great Ball Run, Basildon Lower Park, Lower Basildon

• 18 May, Spring Garden and Gift Fair, Taplow Court, tel: 01189 358221

• 21 May, Let’s Rock The Moor!, Marsh Meadow, Cookham,

• 22 May, The Binfield 10k, Foxley Fields, tel: 07798 725432

• 28 May – 4 June, Burghfield Common Scarecrow Trail

• 30 May, Yattendon & Frilsham Fete, tel: 01635 200538


The Hexagon, Queens Walk, 01189 606060

1 May, RPO and Khatia Buniatishvili; 3 May, Shadowlands; 6 May, The King is Back; 7 May, Graeme of Thrones; 8 May, A Naked Truth; 10-14 May, Gangsta Granny; 15 May, Mirror Mirror; 18-19 May, Sarah Millican; 27-28 May, Hot Mikado

Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch, 0118 384 2195

7 May, Sara Pascoe; 13 May, Trevor Pinock, Harpsicord and Friends; 19 May, Organ Recital: Anne Page; 22 May, An Audience with Lucy Worsley

Concert Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, 01189 606060; 16-21 May, Suddenly Last Summer

The Mill at Sonning, 01189 698000

Until 7 May, Last of the Red Hot Lovers; 12 May – 2 July, It Runs in The Family

The Milestone Centre, Caversham, 01189 481377

12-14 May, Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters – adapted by Stephen Briggs

St Peter’s, Church Road, Earley, 07946 620560

21 May, Concert by Erleigh Cantors


Corn Exchange Newbury, Market Place, tel: 0845 5218218

5 May, Menopause The Musical; 6 May, Jay Raymer; 7 May, Clare Teal; 8 May, Benjamin Grosvenor; 9 May, Marcel Rubin Quartet; 10 May, Ballet Central; 11 May, Royal Academy Cello Ensemble; 12 May, Kieran Goss; 12 May, John Etheridge’s Sweet Chorus; 13 May, Alexander Bone Trio; 13 May, Budapest Café Orchestra; 14 May, Thumbelina; 14 May, National Youth Jazz Orchestra; 15 May, Sing Your Heart Out; 16 May, The Sheepdrove Piano Competition Winner; 18 May, Savitri Grier; 20 May, Anoushka Shankar: Indian Classical Ragas; 20 May, Palisander; 21 May, Flights of Fancy

The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044

5 May – 11 June, Untold Stories


Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, 01753 853888

3-7 May, That’s Entertainment; 9-14 May, Jekyll and Hyde; 15 May, An Audience with Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe; 16-21 May, Lotty’s War; 22 May, Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers; 24-28 May, Laila – The Musical; 30 May – 4 June, The Railway Children


Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, 01628 682555

5-7 May, G&S & Co; 6 May, Colin Stone and Mayumi Lida – Sonata or Fantasy?; 7-8 May, Einen Eveningen mit das Henning When; 13 May, U2Baby; 13 May, The Croft and Pearce Show; 14 May, Police Dog Hogan; 20 May, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman; 21 May, St John’s Chamber Orchestra Summer Concert; 25 May, Woody Mann; 28 May, Richard Herring


South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, 01344 484123

1-2 May, Around the World in 80 Minutes; 5 May, Counterfeit Stones; 6 May, Jimmy Hastings; 10-14 May, Little Shop of Horrors; 14 May, Artree Live Special – Gilmore & Roberts; 15 May, Swan Lake; 17 May, What Would Spock Do?; 18-21 May, Stig of The Dump; 24 May, Vuelos; 24 May, Corinne West; 26 May, An Audience with Anne Reid; 26 May, Shakespeare Rattle’an’Roll; 29 May, La Boehme; 30 May, Shout! The Mod Musical; 31 May – 3 June, One for the Road

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