Summer of festivals and events starts here

The team from Corker Outdoor, Award sponsor Jason Varney (Thomson, Snell & Passmore) & Eamonn Holmes

Spring into action with the South of England Agricultural show

THIS month sees the start an action-packed year of events. Kicking off at the showground in Ardingly in East Sussex on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April, Spring Live is set to return.

The two-day event, will run from 9am to 5pm each day and is crammed with animals, activities, experiences, and entertainment for all the family.

The South of England Agricultural Society is a registered charity, and the weekend is also an opportunity to find out about how they fund local projects and support education and countryside learning.

The weekend event is set to feature live and interactive entertainment and thanks to the easing of Covid restrictions, this year will see the welcome return of ‘have a go’ activities such as archery and axe throwing.

There will also be a multitude of shopping stalls and a food hall jam-packed with mouth-watering artisan treats from local and independent producers.

Younger visitors can learn directly from the owners about a range of animals from farmyard favourites to reptiles and amphibians.

There will also be opportunities for kids to participate in chocolate workshops and wand making sessions, encounter the thrill of the funfair and much more.

The whole family can experience activities such as Morris Dancing, circus skills workshops, a fun dog show for four legged visitors, the ever-popular sheep show, and even clog dancing.

For the green fingered there will be nursery and garden equipment stands, and a new format Gardener’s Q&A session to get some top tips from the experts.

Furthermore, breeders from across the country will be competing and showcasing their Huacaya and Suri alpacas, the Countryside Hub will be on hand to provide information on the Countryside Code, there’s a ‘Giant Petal Globe’ for photo opportunities, flower arranging workshops and plenty more!

Corrie Ince, Show Director at The South of England Agricultural Society, said: “Spring Live! is an ideal way to get outside and celebrate the arrival of spring.

“Although the pandemic halted many things in the past two years, it did give people the chance to appreciate the countryside.

“For those who haven’t been to one of our shows before, they will be able to learn more about the countryside and its industries. It also enables us to bring together producers and independent businesses who work tirelessly to produce high-quality goods.

“The safety of our visitors to Spring Live! remains paramount. We will be continuing to adhere to any Covid-19 regulations and restricting numbers of people attending our venue which has been deemed as ‘Good to Go’ by Visit England.

“On behalf of the Society, we truly look forward to welcoming new and seasoned visitors to the showground and bringing people together for a shared love of the English springtime.”

For the protection of everyone at the event, tickets to Spring Live! 2022 will be limited and should be booked before arrival to guarantee entry.

Tickets are available from and cost £12.60 for adults, £10.80 for senior citizens/students (inclusive of 10% online discount until 15.04.21) – under 16s go free (suggested donation of £2 for children aged 5-15).

Dogs are welcome although they will not be admitted to indoor areas.


Bookworms spoilt for choice as another literary festival takes place next month

Hot on the heels of the announcement earlier this year that Tunbridge Wells is to host its first literary festival to coincide with the opening of the town’s Amelia cultural centre at the end of this month, another literary festival is taking place at the same time.

The Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival in Edenbridge, takes place during the first May Bank Holiday Weekend from Saturday April 30 to Tuesday, May 3.

Internationally acclaimed as well as local authors and illustrators will be joined by hundreds of happy guests at the historic and stunning setting of Chiddingstone Castle.

Kicking off with a Festival Drinks Party at Stonewall Park, Chiddingstone Hoath by kind invitation of Rupert and Catherine Fleming on the Saturday evening, offering a unique opportunity to meet some of the authors over a glass of wine and canapés, followed by an unrivalled two-day programme of authors including two very special family events taking place on the Sunday.

Guests are encouraged to tour the Castle’s collections, explore the grounds, visit the tearoom and picnic in the garden between events at no extra cost, making this the perfect bank holiday plan for families and bibliophiles.

On Tuesday, May 3, the festival organisers have curated a wonderful programme of children’s authors and performers specifically for local schools (Reception to Year 7) with tickets already on sale.

Lions roar into action with its Tonbridge fete and dog show

The Tonbridge Lions Club is organising a Community Fete and Fun Dog Show later this year.

The charity has the support of Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council for the event that takes place at Tonbridge Castle on June 12.

Unlike previous fetes organised by the Lions, there will be no procession through the High Street this year.

But the Community Fete and Fun Dog Show will start at 12 noon on the Castle Lawn and along Castle Walk providing an array of activities for the whole of the afternoon.

There will be usual stalls and sideshows including a Kiddies Corner with a magician and a children’s entertainer. In the main arena an entertaining selection of acts will perform throughout the afternoon.

This year for the first time there will be a Fun Dog Show along Castle Walk with four classes, pay on the day £2 per class.

If you are interested in having a 3m x 3m stall for your business, charity or association or have an attraction that would suit a family event there are still a few spaces available please email

All proceeds from the Community Fete and Fun Dog Show will benefit local charities and organisations.

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