Un­miss­able events

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Book fair May 12–14 Boswell Book Fes­ti­val, Dum­fries House, Ayr­shire. Fes­ti­val of bi­og­ra­phy and mem­oir with Nigel Havers, Alexan­dra Shul­man and COUN­TRY LIFE con­trib­u­tor Jeremy Mus­son. Adult tick­ets £8 per event, see web­site for pro­gramme (www.boswell­book­fes­ti­val.co.uk; 01563 554900)

Eques­trian May 10–14 Royal Wind­sor Horse Show, Wind­sor Cas­tle, Berk­shire. The UK’S largest out­door horse show, with in­ter­na­tional showjump­ing, dres­sage and driv­ing, plus mounted games, show­ing and The King’s Troop and House­hold Cav­alry mu­si­cal rides. Adult tick­ets from £14 (0844 581 4960; www.rwhs.co.uk)

May 12–14 Dod­son & Hor­rell Chatsworth In­ter­na­tional Horse Tri­als, Bakewell, Der­byshire. Cross­coun­try in a beau­ti­ful set­ting, plus fam­ily en­ter­tain­ments and more than 100 trade stands. Adult en­try from £12 (www.chatsworth.org; 01246 565300)

Tour and talk May 18 Lives of the Great Gar­den­ers with Stephen An­der­ton, Bowood House & Gar­dens, Calne, Wilt­shire. A guided tour of Ca­pa­bil­ity Brown’s park­land will be fol­lowed by a two-course lunch and a talk by The Times’s gar­den writer about his new book. 11am–4pm, £55 (01249 812102; www.bowood.org)

Spring fes­ti­val May 14 Songs My Fa­ther Taught Me, Combe Manor Barn, Hunger­ford, Berk­shire. So­prano Su­san Bul­lock ex­plores the Great Amer­i­can Song­book as part of the New­bury Spring Fes­ti­val. Grounds open at 6pm, 7.30pm start. Tick­ets £45 (www.new­buryspringfes­ti­val.org.uk; 0845 521 8218)

Ex­hi­bi­tion Un­til May 19 Si­mon Palmer at Port­land Gallery (be­low), Bennet Street, Lon­don SW1. More than 30 charm­ing land­scapes by the York­shire artist (020–7493 1888; www. port­landgallery.com)

Art fair May 12–14 Fresh: Art Fair (above), Chel­tenham Race­course, Prest­bury, Glouces­ter­shire. Pieces from 45 con­tem­po­rary gal­leries, plus free val­u­a­tions by Bon­hams. Tick­ets from £6 (01242 224734; www.fre­shart­fair.net) Ar­bori­cul­tural show May 12–13 The ARB Show, We­ston­birt, The Na­tional Ar­bore­tum, Tet­bury, Glouces­ter­shire. The Ar­bori­cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual show will in­clude demon­stra­tions, com­pe­ti­tions and talks, plus the UK tree-climb­ing cham­pi­onships. 9am– 5pm, adult tick­ets £10, in­clud­ing en­try to the ar­bore­tum (01242 522152; www.trees.org.uk

Thorn­ton Hall, Dar­ling­ton, Co Durham DL2 2NB May 14, 1.30pm–5pm. £6, chil­dren £1 Two walled gar­dens per­fectly com­ple­ment this ven­er­a­ble Grade I-listed El­iz­a­bethan house (not open), where au­ric­u­las and lux­u­ri­ant com­bi­na­tions of roses and clema­tis are spe­cial­i­ties. With a se­ries of bor­ders planted for metic­u­lous plant as­so­ci­a­tion and colour plan­ning, the over­all ef­fect is quite spec­tac­u­lar. Nat­u­ral ponds and a veg­etable gar­den add va­ri­ety.

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