NOVEMBER THE WIDER EARTH
Featuring over 30 extraordinary puppets, this ambitious play tells the story of a rebellious young Charles Darwin as he sets out on an adventure of a lifetime. Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, London SW7 5BD. Until December 30. To book, visit www.thewiderearth.com.
WILFRED OWEN 100: OPEN ART EXHIBITION
Marking the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death, artists explore the legacy and creative influence of his work. Make a weekend of it and visit the recently unveiled statue of Owen in the centre of Oswestry, where he was born. Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 1LH. Until January 2019. Tel: 01743 258885.
EARLY GAINSBOROUGH: “FROM THE OBSCURITY OF A COUNTRY TOWN”
Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) owed his career to a family tragedy; the murder of his uncle saw him inherit £40 which enabled him to train as an artist. This exhibition features over 40 works from private and public collections. Gainsborough’s House, 46 Gainsborough Street, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2EU. Until February 17. Tel: 01787 372958.
ANGLO-SAXON KINGDOMS: ART, WORD, WAR
The largest-ever exhibition on the history and culture of Anglo-saxon England spans six centuries from the eclipse of Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. Until February 19, 2019. To book, tel: 01937 546546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHRISTMAS AT KEW
Kew’s after-dark, lit-up landscape needs no introduction, and this year will feature no fewer than one million glimmering lights. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE. Until 5 January 19. To book, visit www.kew.org/christmas.
THE NEWBURGH PRIORY CHRISTMAS FAIR
Standing on the site of an Augustinian priory, this fair isn’t just a chance to shop for gifts, but an opportunity to enjoy one of Yorkshire’s seldom-seen country houses. Newburgh Priory, Newburgh, York YO61 4AS. November 29 until December 1. Tel: 01347 868372.
ARTISAN FOOD FAIR
Easton Walled Gardens in Lincolnshire makes a spectacular setting to stock up on locally made Christmas treats, take tea in the tearooms and then wander in the 400-year-old, 12-acre gardens. Easton Walled Gardens, Grantham NG33 5QE. November 18. Tel: 01476 530063.
FERNAND LÉGER: NEW TIMES, NEW PLEASURES
This exhibition brings together more than 50 works by the celebrated French artist and shows his collaborations with architect Le Corbusier among other works. Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4BB. November 23 until March 2019. Tel: 0151 702 7400 or visit www.tate.org.uk.
BATH CHRISTMAS MARKET
Explore more than 170 chalets selling everything from food to fashion to homewares, with a high proportion of goods made in the UK. November 22 until December 9. Visit bathchristmasmarket.co.uk.
This blockbuster exhibition sees 150 of Burne-jones’s paintings, tapestries and stained-glass panels come to Tate Britain. Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG. Until 24 February. Visit www.tate.org.uk.
DECEMBER THE WINTERSHALL NATIVITY PLAY
Performed by the Wintershall Players, producers of the famous Passion of Jesus which plays to an audience of 20,000 people each Easter in Trafalgar Square, this critically acclaimed production involves a cast of 50. The audience is taken on foot from the chill of the open air into the atmospheric, candle-lit barn, as the story unfolds with songs and joyful carolling.
Holly Barn, Wintershall, Bramley near Guildford, Surrey GU5 0LR. December12-16. To book, tel: 01793 418299 or visit www.wintershall.org.uk.
PADSTOW CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
With food and drink ranging from the obligatory hog roast to craft beers and locally produced gin, this is the place to be if you’re serious about your festive victuals. As well as the Christmas Market with an array of crafts by artisans from all over the south-west, expect live music, a lantern parade, carol concert and fireworks display. Padstow, Cornwall. December 6-9. www.padstowchristmasfestival.co.uk.
CHRISTMAS SWAG SWING
Learn the art of swag-making at Moseley Old Hall. The house has 14 swags to make to decorate the house and other buildings, so they encourage a bit of hands-on involvement as well. Moseley Old Hall, Moseley Old Hall Lane, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton WV10 7HY. December 1. Tel: 01902 782808 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/moseley-old-hall.
DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
The picturesque village of Grassington will see shopkeepers, villagers and visitors dressed in Victorian costume. With street entertainers, mummers and morris dancing, even Scrooge would be impressed! Grassington, Yorkshire. December 1-2 and 8-9. For more details, visit www.grassingtondickensian.co.uk.
CHRISTMAS ANTIQUES FAIR
Pick up a unique gift from a choice that includes all tastes, ages and all budgets. RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington, EX38 8PH. December 1-2. Tel: 01805 624067 or visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor.
ROBIN WEAVING WORKSHOP
Willow weaver Leilah Vyner will teach the art of creating robin sculptures from willow rods. Make your own creative gift or Christmas decoration then explore the stunning house and grounds. Harewood House, Harewood, Leeds LS17 9LG. December13. To book, tel: 0113 218 1000 or email email@example.com.
Decorated in the style of the Victorian era, when the Royal family adopted many new traditions from Prince Albert’s homeland of Saxe-coburg, Gawthorpe Hall will be trimmed with greenery and decked for Christmas. There will be festive music and readings while the Friends of Gawthorpe will also be selling their handmade crafts and decorations. Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8UA. December 1-2. Tel: 01200 424 568.
NT LIVE – ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
Broadcast live from the National Theatre, Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare’s famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Look out for the live snake in the final act. Venues across the UK. December 6. For more information, tel: 0844 847 1664.
JANUARY PRIZED POSSESSIONS – DUTCH PAINTINGS FROM NATIONAL TRUST HOUSES
Curators David Taylor and Rupert Goulding have brought together Dutch 17th-century paintings by some of the finest masters of the “Golden Age”. With Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Lely and Gabriel Metsu, you’ll find yourself in fine company. Petworth House and Park, Petworth, West Sussex GU29 0AE. January 26 until March 24, 2019. To book, tel: 0344 249 1895 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth.
“RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION” GUIDED TOURS
See conservation in action and discover what it takes to maintain 300-year-old Blenheim on these new tours around the palace, be it restoring a piece of art, building or tapestry or repairing many of the precious artefacts. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP. From January 8 until February10. For further information, tel: 01993 810530 or visit, www.blenheimpalace.com.
THE SLAPSTICK FESTIVAL
This festival provides a unique opportunity to see archive film predominately from the silent era (18951930). Accompanied by live musical scores performed by world-class musicians and introduced by some of the most prominent film historians, experts and comedians inspired by the comedy legends on screen, the festival aims to celebrate and inspire continuing interest in onscreen visual and classic comedy from over the last 100 years. Various venues, Bristol. January18-20. For more information, visit www.slapstick.org.uk.
FEBRUARY THE ART OF PERSPECTIVE: J.M.W. TURNER’S EARLY ARCHITECTURAL PAINTINGS AND ENGRAVINGS
Pour over the largest collection of Turner paintings ever to visit Oxfordshire, exhibited in the opulent State Rooms. All Turner’s work will be set amongst the priceless heritage of the Palace. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP. From February 9 until April 2019. For further information, tel: 01993 810530 or visit www. blenheimpalace.com.
“LOST WORDS” MOSAIC EXHIBITION
More than 20 Yorkshire-based artists have joined together for this exhibition of modern mosaics, depicting a selection of “lost words” related to nature and the countryside which are said to be disappearing from children’s lives. RHS Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate HG3 1QB. February 9 – March 3. Tel: 01423 565418 www.rhs.org.uk/harlowcarr.
The Wider Earth performing.
Tapestry designed by Edward Burne-jones.