What’s on this April

Gary Jefferies

Here’s our round-up of events taking place this month…

Friday April 27
Local & Live music night at The Spa Hotel
Head to The Spa Hotel for live music in Zagatos from the talented Local & Live artist Kyla Stroud. Taking place from 8pm to 10pm, admission is free and you can also order food while you watch.

Saturday April 28
The Mind, Body & Spirit Festival at The Hop Farm
This two day mind body & spirit festival brings together ancient wisdom, and practices combined with innovative modern ideas, products, services and insights allowing you the seeker space to relax, unwind and expand their knowledge. Tickets are available for either Saturday 28 10am-5pm or Sunday 29 10am-4pm and cost £5.

Sunday April 29
Bluebell Walk for ellenor
Support a good cause this spring by joining ellenor’s charity bluebell walk, starting at the village hall in the picturesque village of Stansted. Participants are asked to raise sponsorship or make a personal donation before taking part, with all profits going to support the organisation’s valuable work in helping local families face terminal illness. Commencing at 10am, the annual Swanley and North Downs Lion Bluebell Walk covers six miles in total. www.ellenor.org

April events you may have missed…

Sunday April 1
Hole Park Gardens reopen
Hole Park Gardens, the well-deserved winner of Kent’s Garden of the Year award in 2016, are re-opening just in time for Easter. With 16 glorious acres of garden and magical parkland, be sure to bring the whole family along to enjoy the carpets of bluebells, daffodils and wisteria, as well as the newly planted trees. Admission for adults is £7.50, and £1 for children aged five to 16 years old. www.holepark.com

Sunday April 1
Goulash Festival at The Hop Farm
During the run-up to summer, satisfy those cravings for international cuisine with the Hop Farm’s Goulash Festival. On top of the fantastic goulash made in traditional cauldrons, the festival boasts Hungarian food and drink, including deep-fried flatbread, chimney cakes and a Palinka fruit spirit. There will be folk music, handmade crafts and puppet shows throughout the day to keep everyone entertained. Entry is £5, and free for children under 12 years.

Sunday April 1
Fairy Hunt at King John’s Nursery
This annual event returns until April 15, when fairies will be back, emerging from their winter slumber. As well as the trail, which costs £2.50 per child, there’s also display all about fairies in the shop including an incredibly rare letter from the mid-1700s, written by someone who saw fairies in their local wood.

Monday April 2
Easter Kids’ Camps at Bewl Water
The kids won’t want to miss the Easter Kids’ Camps at Bewl Water. A range of exciting activities are on offer, including Ultimate Frisbee, laser tag and rounders, plus youngsters can even practise their driving skills in mini ranger cars. It’s the perfect way to put all of that school holiday energy to use. Sessions run until April 13 on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, priced from £19.50. For more information, visit www.bewlwater.co.uk

Tuesday April 3
National Fruit Show event at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park
Meet the National Fruit Show organisation in the hub, where they will be providing free apple tastings of British apples. You’ll also have the chance to make your own apple juice to try and take part in apple based crafts.
Free event, suitable for all ages, no booking required, children must be accompanied.

Wednesday April 4
Singin’ in the Rain at the EM Forster Theatre
Feed your inner culture vulture by checking out LAMPS’ adaptation of the famous Hollywood film, Singin’ in the Rain, at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge, marking their 110th production. This delightful production is packed full of all the charm and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and is suitable for the whole family. Running until April 7, tickets are priced at £15. Full show times and ticket options are available at  https://www.emftheatre.com/

The Tempest at the Oast Theatre
Shakespeare’s beloved tale of magic and shipwrecks is brought to life by the Oast Youth Theatre in a beautiful new production of the Bard’s classic. Directed by Sandra Barfield and Jason Lower, the play tells the story of a boat’s crew lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems. Performances run until April 7, with tickets priced at £10 for general admission, and £7.50 for members or students.

Saturday April 7
The Lydian Orchestra’s Spring Concert at the Parish of St Peter and St Paul, Tonbridge
If you enjoy listening to classical music being performed you have a treat in store courtesy of the Lydian Orchestra who will be performing their spring concert on Saturday evening at St Peter and St Paul’s church in Tonbridge. On the bill will be Strauss’ Serenade for Winds, Brahms’ Serenade No 1 and Finizi’s clarinet concerto.
With a performance by clarinet soloist Nelson Sinclair-Strong and conductor Alec Frank-Gemmil holding the baton this promises to be a wonderful evening of talented musicians performing some sublime music. Starts at 7.30pm
Tickets cost £15 adult, £6 student, £1 u16s and are available on the door

Monday April 9
Springtime baking activity at Bore Place
Suitable for children aged 7 years and over there will be the chance to make some sweet honey bee cookies and also a beeswax candle, sourced from Bore Place’s own bees. The event will also give visitors the opportunity to see who bees have such an important role to play in our food production and there will also be a chance to visit the onsite dairy farm. From 10am to 1pm.

Tuesday April 10
Ladybird at Trinity Theatre
Here’s another chance to see this award-winning film in all its glory. Showing at 11am, 2pm and 8pm, this funny coming of age drama is about an outspoken teen, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Ronan), who must navigate a loving but turbulent relationship with her equally strong willed mother (Metcalf) over the course of an eventful and poignant senior year of high school.

Wednesday April 11
Button Bracelet workshops at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens
From April 11 to 15, visit Riverhill Gardens near Sevenoaks and have a go at making beautiful bracelets of your choice, using buttons of all colours and sizes. After the workshop explore the beautiful gardens in all their spring glory.

Thursday April 12
Alice in Wonderland at Chiddingstone Castle
Grab your maddest hat and head to Chiddingstone Castle for a fantastic tea party at Alice in Wonderland. There are prizes for ‘Best Dressed Guest’ and ‘Craziest Newcomer to Wonderland’, so don’t be shy! Prepare for adventure, as guests must meet and impress characters by completing a number of themed activities. This event is devised for children aged six to 10, and prices start from £14.56 (including fees). To book, visit www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/

Tunbridge Wells in Bloom
Roll up your sleeves and celebrate the 2018 launch of Tunbridge Wells in Bloom, serving as an opportunity to unite the community and make the town sparkle. Together with the Love Where We Live initiative, participants work hard to create a cleaner and greener environment. There are many ways to get involved; replant containers, hang more street flower baskets and barrier troughs, to name but a couple. For more information, visit www.royaltunbridgewellsinbloom.org.uk

Saturday April 14
A Day out with Thomas at the Spa Valley Railway
On April 14, 15, 21 & 22, visit the Spa Valley Railway and have a day of fun with Thomas the Tank Engine. Experience a ride behind a real steam engine, shake hands with the Fat Controller, take part in Thomas themed activities in the Imagination Station and Meet Rusty & Dusty. Attractions at Tunbridge Wells West include the Imagination Station, Face Painting/Temporary Tattoos, Thomas films and vintage penny machines.

Saturday April 14
Spring open day at Silcock’s Farm, Tenterden
Visit the farm, meet the animals and the people who work on the farm. See the tractors and farm animals up close, see the dairy cows being milked and take home a bottle of milk afterwards from the shop for your Sunday breakfast. There will also be a free children’s seasonal craft corner along with free parking and entry.
From 10am. www.silcocksfarm-organics.co.uk

Sunday April 15
Spring Fling at Great Comp Garden
Great Comp Garden’s first event of the open season; the ‘Spring Fling’, will see the garden turn from snowdrop white to magnolia pink. The event is a wonderful chance to walk among the magnolias and also buy rare and unusual plants from the assembled independent plant nurseries on site.
This year, the exhibitors will come from the South East and number many RHS medal-winning specialists such as Iris of Sissinghurst, Dyson’s Nurseries and Madrona Nursery.� The Plant Heritage Kent Group will be onsite along with the RSPB and the Hardy Plant Society Kent Group.� Other exhibitors include Rapkyns Nursery, Pineview Plants, Southon Plants, Platt’s very own Potash Farm, Usual and Unusual Plants, Invicta Herbs, Rose Cottage Plants and Kevin Hughes.

Wednesday April 18
Grasp The Nettle at The Forum
Composer, writer and suffragette Dame Ethel Smyth was the living embodiment of the passion with which Victorian women challenged the ‘male machine’. Performed by Lucy Stevens with musical accompaniment, Grasp the Nettle is a celebration of a talented icon, commemorating the centenary of the Representation of the People Act in 1918. It’s at The Forum for one night only, so make sure you book in advance. Tickets are £10, excluding fees.

Wednesday April 18
Jason Manford at The Assembly Hall
Don’t miss funny man Jason Manford at the Assembly Hall Theatre for Muddle Class. In his latest show, the popular comedian explores the confusion that arises when, after having growing up ‘working class’, part of him becomes ‘middle class’ over the years. Tickets to see this hilarious routine in all its amiable, charming, captivating and witty glory are priced from £27.50 for ages 13+ (under-16s should be accompanied by an adult).

Thursday April 19
Charity coffee morning at the Lime Wharf Caf�
Help raise money for Pancreatic Cancer Action by visiting the Lime Wharf Caf� in Newenden and joining in with their coffee morning. Their goal is to reach £7,000 and you can help by buying a cuppa and a cake. From 8.30am to 11am.

Thursday April 19
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Assembly Hall Theatre
Experience an evening of extraordinary short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival.
Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see amazing footage of adrenaline packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from the far flung corners of the globe. An exciting event not to be missed with free prize giveaways!
Starts at 7.30pm. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Saturday April 21
Quilt making workshop at Knole
Create a modern family heirloom and learn how to make beautiful patchwork quilts in this two-day workshop (April 21 & May 12) led by the Cowden Quilt School. An expert instructor will work through every stage of the process, starting with a unique cushion cover. Please note you must be able to attend both days and the price covers both dates. £150 per person, includes materials, lunch and refreshments.

Friday April 20
Fashion Re:boot at The Secret Manor, Tunbridge Wells
Organised by Mums the Word, this popular event returns on April 20. Fashion Re:boot is the brainchild of fashion editor Erica Davies and magazine editor Ciara Elliott. The evening will boast over 25 stalls packed with a mixture of pre-loved fashion – handpicked high street� to high end clothes as well as jewellery makers, interiors, beauty and braiding plus a licensed bar and street food vendors all in the gorgeous surroundings of The Secret Manor.

Saturday April 21
Great British Dog Walk at Ightham Mote
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People will be hosting their Great British Dog Walk at the National Trust’s Ightham Mote for the fourth year running. Attend either the 3km or 8km walk to help the charity raise vital funds and awareness for the help hearing dogs provide. Visitors can also expect a dog show, dog agility, homemade crafts and refreshments. Adult entry is £10 in advance, and children under 16 go free.�www.greatbritishdogwalk.org

Saturday April 21
Flowerpot decorating at Scotney Castle
Why not complete one of the National Trust’s 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 and choose a vegetable seed to plant, grow and eat? You can even have a go at decorating your own unique flower pot to take home. Workshops take place between 11am and 3pm and cost £2 per child.�www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle

Sunday April 22
St George’s Day at Hever Castle
Celebrate Britain this springtime at Hever Castle’s St George’s Day. Learn more about the Patron Saint of England, while enjoying the surrounding springtime blooms. Guaranteed to be both educational and fun, the whole family can travel back in time at one of the most beautiful castles in Kent, with plenty of activities to keep kids and adults busy – with not one dragon in sight! Normal entrance times and admission prices apply. www.hevercastle.co.uk

Tuesday April 24
Tulip Festival at Pashley Manor Gardens
Pashley Manor’s spectacular Tulip Festival sees this garden, on the border of Sussex and Kent, carpeted with over 40, 000 tulips, creating stunning scenes for visitors to enjoy. Follow the winding paths down to the woodland, where the Bluebell Walk is often in flower around the same time as the tulips.
With a caf� serving locally sourced and homemade cakes, scones and light lunches, which can be enjoyed on the terrace, a shop with gorgeous gifts, souvenirs and plants, and exhibitions of garden sculpture and floral art, Pashley’s Tulip Festival makes a superb day out.

Thursday April 26
A Doll’s House at Trinity Theatre
Henrik Ibsen’s literary classic A Doll’s House is brought vividly to life at Trinity Theatre. Working with leading mental health charities, Kent-based production company Theatrical Niche utilises verbatim theatre and emotive choreography to full effect to tell the story of iconic power couple the Helmers, in a modern retelling that looks at identity and the break from oppression. Performances start at 7.30pm, with tickets available from £13. Suitable for ages 12+.�www.trinitytheatre.net

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