The Lost World, Bedgebury Pinetum, Sat 15 July
Join the brilliant Illyria theatre company again (the ones that put on Danny The Champion of the World last summer) for more outdoor theatre frolics. This year it’s this Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic (starts at 2.30pm) so expect lots of prehistoric thrills, monster laughs and life-size dinosaurs (apparently) all in the beautiful Bedgebury setting. A must for all mini intrepid explorers.
Summer Jousting Tournament, Hever Castle, July Sat 15 – Sun 16
Witness brave knights display spectacular jousting skills in an authentic arena – took my 8 year-old son last year to watch his first joust and he loved it. Each tournament begins with a procession from the Castle forecourt when Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn lead visitors across the grounds to the Jousting Arena complete with a Royal Box and professional compere.
Vicar’s Picnic, Yalding, Fri 14 – Sat 15 July
Glasgow indie-rock band the Fratellis will headline this year at Kent’s biggest little music festival, which launched for the first time last year. The triple platinum-selling band will headline the main stage on the Saturday night, following a Friday night appearance from Bruce Foxton and From the Jam. This is a great event, organised entirely by enthusiastic volunteers. The festival will be held on The Lees with two stages and a DJ tent, plus overnight camping for families.
Walled Garden Music Fest, Fri 14 – Sun 16 July
With music from ABC to Toploader and Howard Jones to Beverley Craven there’s some fairly well known names here at this picturesque venue set in within the 550 acre picturesque Brightling Park, East Sussex.
Wealden Literary Festival, Boldshaves Garden, Woodchurch, Nr Tenterden, 15 – 16 July
The Wealden Literary Festival is a celebration of the outdoors, the natural world and the earth beneath our feet and this is the second year for this two-day event. At heart, it is a chance to unearth some of the magic of the natural world and celebrate our relationship with place through literature, arts/crafts and food as well as practical courses, activities and workshops. The festival provides an opportunity to pause and explore the living world around us; a moment’s respite from the hustle and bustle of modern living – in the beautiful surroundings of Boldshaves Garden.
Eridge Horse Trials and Country Market, Sat 15 & Sun 16 July
Competitions range from Novice to Open and local riders will be going head-to-head with top international competitors, including the likes of olympian and former three times Badminton winner Pippa Funnell as well as many other names in the sport promising to set the scene for some great spectator action. Along side the superb range of over 50 Country Market exhibitors, food stalls and mini fun fair the event includes the new ‘Cars in the Park’, on the Saturday for the classic car enthusiast. Sunday offers the very popular ‘Dogs in the Park’ which will incorporate a fun dog show, dog agility, scurries and distraction alley. This year also sees falconry displays and terrier racing.
Cherry Fair, Brogdale Collections, 16 July 2017
With over 400 varieties of Cherry in the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale this is the place if your nuts about fruit (or just like the fun and quirky). The Cherry Fair at Brogdale is packed with all possible forms of cherry entertainment – including a cherry pip spit challenges (niiiiice), the messy cherry pie eating competition, live music, local producers, craft demonstrations alongside yummy cooking demonstrations and special subject talks plus displays of cherries. Good wholesome fun.
Opera in the Castle: Il Matrimonio Segreto, Leeds Castle, Tues 18 – Wed 19 July
A perfect summer pop-up opera filled with humour, sparkle and fun. Il Matrimonio Segreto is an 18th-century Italian comic opera by Domenico Cimarosa featuring music influenced by Mozart. Filled with comic intrigues and confusions, the story is about following your heart. Doors open at 6.30pm and performance starts at 7.30pm.
Mama Mia, Marlowe Theatre, Tues 11 ‐ Sat 29 July
If you’ve been stuck under a rock and don’t yet know the plot of this one, it’s set on a Greek island paradise, and tells a story of love, friendship and identity through the medium of ABBA songs. Sophie’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings her mother face to face with three men from her distant romantic past on the eve of a wedding they’ll never forget. This irresistibly funny show has thrilled audiences all around the world. Whatever age you are, you will find yourself ‘having the time of your life‘…
Hever Festival Theatre, 18 July – 27 Aug
The Festival Theatre is an open air venue set in the gardens of Hever Castle in a stunning location on the Two Sisters Lawn adjacent to Anne Boleyn Walk. The stage is fully covered and the seating is tiered with the vast majority of seats under new seating canopies, which means if the sun doesn’t shine, the audience can still enjoy the spectacular setting with protection from the weather. There’s loads and loads of brilliant things to see – from The Rat Pack to opera and Shakespeare to comedy. There really is something for everyone here – so don’t miss this great summer experience.
The Tiger That Came To Tea, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 21 – Sun 23 July
Direct from a smash-hit West End season this musical play based on the much-loved children’s book by Judith Kerr is beautifully adapted and put together. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door was … Can you guess?
Photography Workshop, Betteshanger Country Park, Sat 22 July
A very special opportunity to meet and photograph some extraordinary birds of prey – up close and in flight. On this specially designed ‘Wild Weekend’ workshop participants will get expert advice from leading local wildlife photographer and TV presenter Richard Taylor-Jones (BBC Countryfile, The One Show, Springwatch). Richard has been working in the field for almost 20 years and has in-depth knowledge of both natural history and all forms of camerawork. The small group size means you will get lots of one to one time with Richard. Early booking recommend due to limited availability.
Romeo & Juliet Open Air Theatre, Leeds Castle, Sat 22 July
Leeds Castle’s wonderful timetable of open-air theatre and cinema kicks off this month, and includes gems like one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays: Romeo and Juliet. With the Castle as a backdrop, the Pavilion Lawn will offer a romantic yet relaxed setting to this well-loved, tragic love story. This is definitely one not to be missed.
Movies Under The Stars, Tonbridge Castle, 16 July
There is something strange in the neighborhood…. It’s a huge pop up cinema at Tonbridge Castle showing a classic… And this time it’s… Ghostbusters!
Whistable Oyster Festival, Sat 22 – Mon 24 July
Taking place at its new home on the Tankerton Slopes there’ll be the usual historic Landing of the Oysters, Seafront Procession and Grotters (little piles of oyster shells built on the beach and lit up at night) – accumulating with the Family Festival Finale on Monday 24 July. This is a wonderful festival – and something everyone should try and get to at least once…
The War and Peace Revival, Hop Farm, 25 – 29 July
Love all things vintage? Then you will want to hot foot it down to the Hop Farm for this celebration of military history and vintage lifestyle – featuring tanks and heavy armour, WW2 motorcycles, battle enactments, classic cars, vintage tractors, vintage dining, home front and animal farm, vintage clothing, fair ground, music and camping – to name but a few! Entertainment act, The Jive Aces, (above) will be amongst the many acts performing.
Vintage Fair on the Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, Sat 29 July
Enjoy the beautiful setting of The Pantiles while riffling through loads of quirky finds and goodies at the vintage fair. Takes place at The Bandstand.
Ramblin’ Man Fair, Maidstone, Fri 28 – Sun 30 July
Saxon, Extreme, ZZ Top… no this is not an insight to ‘My Fave 80s Classic Rock Bands’ playlist, its just some of the acts headlining at this proper rock festival. No idea how some of these guys are still going (where *do* they find the energy?) – if rock if your thang, go on and let your hair down (literally).The Ramblin’ Man Fair will be held over three days for its third year in Maidstone’s Mote Park.
Lovefit Festival, Clare Park Estate, Sevenoaks, 28 – 31 july
The UK’s first boutique Music & Fitness Festival will be bustling with fitness classes (everything from yoga and hip hop to spin) led by industry experts, health workshops, competitions and tournaments. By night, the forest is set to transform into a majestic music festival that blends the UK’s hottest DJ’s and dance acts. Taking place over 3 days and 3 nights of adrenaline inducing fitness & boutique after parties.