What’s on this May

Heron open meeting

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

Tuesday May 15 to Saturday May 19
TWODS perform Grease at The Assembly Hall Theatre

TWODS Grease

With chart-topping songs like You’re The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You, TWODS’ production of Grease at the Assembly Hall captures the show’s relentless energy in an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of relationships, rock ‘n’ roll and really fast cars. Tickets from £18. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Friday May 18 and Saturday May 19
The Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park

Decorative Living Fair

Discover one of the best-loved decorative antiques and vintage fairs at Eridge Park. Featuring over 60 exhibitors, The Decorative Living Fair boasts beautifully designed stands laid out among the gorgeous house, garden and grounds, purveying English and continental antiques, French brocante and more. Tickets from £7.50. www.decorativelivingfair.co.uk

Friday May 18 to Sunday May 20
Three French Hens Brocante at Silcock’s Farm

Running over three days, this is the biggest brocante fair the Three French Hens have put on – and it’ll be filled with fantastic finds from vintage pieces to gorgeous homewares and even items for the garden. Visit from 9am to 4.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. www.thethreefrenchhens.co.uk

Friday May 18 to Sunday May 20
Roots Gathering festival at Hole Park

Roots Gathering

A cross between a traditional village fair and an alternative micro lifestyle festival, this family-focused event supports local arts, crafts and musicians, with a strong focus on sustainable living skills through a variety of different workshops. www.rootsgathering.co.uk

Saturday May 19
Royal Afternoon Tea at One Warwick Park Hotel

Join in with the celebration of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding at one Warwick Park. Watch the royal wedding on a TV screen whilst enjoying afternoon tea which has been given a royal twist! Why not add a glass of prosecco, for just £6, to toast the royal couple? From £18 per person. www.onewarwickpark.co.uk

Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20
1940s Weekend at the Kent & East Sussex Railway

1940S weekend at Kent and East Sussex Railway

Magnificent steam trains will be joined by a Spitfire flying display, vintage military vehicles and even an appearance by Winston Churchill at this year’s Kent & East Sussex Railway 1940s weekend. Visitors will be given their own identity cards and can enjoy unlimited travel for the day, with steam trains running every 45 minutes between Tenterden and Bodiam. There is a packed programme of events at both stations and parking is free at Tenterden and Northiam. This popular event gets very busy so pre-booking tickets for collection on the day is strongly recommended. To book, visit www.kesr.org.uk

Sunday May 20
Wedding Fair at the Mercure Hotel, Tunbridge Wells

Mercure wedding fair

Packed with unique ideas, inspiration and tricks to dazzle you, everything and everyone you need to help you arrange a fantastic wedding will be on hand under one roof at the Mercure Hotel. Just imagine the time that this great free-entry day out will save you! www.mercuretunbridgewells.co.uk

Friday May 25
Bat Walk at Bore Place

Embark on a nocturnal quest to see bats and their amazing aerial acrobatics at Bore Place near Sevenoaks. After a short introduction, you’ll be guided on a night walk around the farm, using bat detectors to listen out for these fascinating nocturnal creatures. Tickets from £4.  www.boreplace.org

Friday May 25 to Sunday May 27
The Big Brocante at The Hop Farm


A handpicked selection of brilliant quality traders, decorative homewares, vintage and antiques will be available at The Hop Farm for The Big Brocante until May 27. There’s also artisan food and swing jazz aplenty over the three-day fair, with tickets priced from £3.50 (under-10s go free). www.thebigbrocante.co.uk

Friday May 25 to Monday May 28
Unfest festival, Tunbridge Wells


This year’s Unfest sees the free music and arts fringe festival collaborate with BBC’s Biggest Weekend Fringe event, which celebrates music scenes across the UK, sharing the town’s passion and enthusiasm for new and emerging music. www.unfest.org

Friday May 25 to Sunday May 27
Alfresco Festival at The Hop Farm

More than 100 artists will perform over seven stages for Alfresco Festival at The Hop Farm. Alongside camping and family entertainment, there are circus entertainers, cocktails, street food and more to look forward to.

Friday May 25 to Monday May 28
Elderflower Fields festival in Nutley, East Sussex

Elderflower Fields festival

A weekend of wild adventure, music, food, sports, nature and the arts is designed especially for families with children in mind at Elderflower Fields. The award-winning festival is set in beautiful Sussex countryside near Uckeld. www.elderflowerfields.co.uk

Saturday May 26 until Sunday June 3
Edwardian Life at Hever Castle

Edwardian at Hever Castle

Meet costumed characters from the Edwardian era and play traditional games of the period at Hever Castle. Until June 3, step back in time to the early 20th century when the Astor family was in residence, with prizes for the best-dressed boy and girl each day. Normal admission prices apply. www.hevercastle.co.uk

Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27
Tonbridge Food & Drink Festival

Fire up your taste buds with more than 70 stallholders at this year’s foodie fest. A delicious range of local and international food and drink includes cheeses, breads, cakes and sweet treats galore. www.facebook.com/TonbridgeFoodandDrinkFestival

Monday May 28
Jazz on the lawns at Ashdown Park Hotel

Enjoy the perfect relaxing bank holiday Monday listening to jazz in the sunshine, as Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club welcomes back its popular Jazz Afternoon Tea.
Taking place from 1pm on Monday May 28, the event offers a fun day out for all the family at the luxury country house hotel in East Sussex.
Guests can enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea with classic sandwiches, cakes and scones, accompanied by a live jazz band for a leisurely afternoon on the lawns.
To book, or for more information, call 01342 824 988, www.ashdownpark.com

May events you might have missed…

Thursday May 3
Jazz on The Pantiles

Jazz on The Pantiles

Live jazz at the Bandstand on the Pantiles starts tonight for 2018, from around 7pm onwards. This very popular live, outdoor event will run every Thursday evening from tonight until September.
The first act to launch the summer of Jazz on the Pantiles will be Lipstick & Beatniks. A five-piece band based in East Sussex, they�specialise in various forms of jazz, electro swing, boogie woogie, rockabilly, soul, Latin and blues.
There is no admission charge but you will be invited to make a donation to show your appreciation of this fabulous social event.

Friday May 4
The Gill in spring with Kent Wildlife Trust

This is a rare opportunity to visit a hidden gem in the High Weald – The Gill, near Goudhurst. See this ancient woodland in all its springtime glory. Led by Matt Hayes, Weald Warden, from 10.30am to 12.30pm you’ll walk along woodland paths and discover some spring sights. This event is free – meet at The Gill, Chequers Road. www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk

Friday May 4
SPN opens

Jaime Cooke SPN

The eagerly awaited SPN studio opens its doors today. Based on Camden Road, it offers spin, barre, boxing and HIIT classes, plus there’s a smoothie bar, pop-up shop and more. Read our latest article with SPN’s founder Jaime Cooke here. www.spn.fit

Saturday May 5 to Monday May 7
Weald of Kent Country Craft Show at Penshurst Place

Once again Penshurst Place will be the glorious backdrop to the popular Weald of Kent Country Craft Show which takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend. As well as plenty of handicraft workshops and over 150 artisans displaying their goods there will be enjoy the falconry displays, children’s arts and crafts sessions, gourmet treats and live music too. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £7 for seniors and are available from www.ichfevents.co.uk and www.thecraftshows.co.uk for more details.

Saturday May 5 to Monday May 7
Hever Castle’s May Day Exravaganza

Hever Castle

All weekend until Bank Holiday Monday Hever Castle will be hosting its marvellous May Day extravaganza. As well as a range of fun family activities to enjoy there will also be a raft of traditional games and customs to experience including Maypole dancing and a Jack in the Green procession. For further information on the weekend’s events and ticket prices please visit www.hevercastle.co.uk

Saturday May 5 to Monday May 7
Pirates and Princesses at Groombridge Place

Groombridge Place

Head to Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells and meet the naughty pirates of Groombridge! There will be story-telling, a pirate sing-a-long, crafts, bouncy castle and lots more to see and do.
Crusoe’s World, at the end of the Canal walk, offers a world of new adventures with new rope bridges and walkways and a fabulous new wooden ship for little pirates to explore. There is also a burger grill to fill hungry tummies. 10am to 4pm. www.groombridgeplace.com

Sunday May 6 to Tuesday May 8
Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival


Set in the glorious house and grounds of Chiddingstone Castle, this popular festival returns for its third year. With an eclectic mix of renowned writers; of biography, memoir, history, medicine, fiction, crime, poetry, science, politics and children’s books, there’s something for everyone. Sunday is adult day, Monday is family day and Tuesday is schools day. www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk/literary-festival/

Sunday May 6
Bottomless Brunch at One Warwick Park Hotel

Enjoy the most fabulous brunch experience at One Warwick Park with their bottomless brunch experience. From 12pm to 2pm, indulge in unlimited Prosecco, mixed pastries and a choice of dishes including American pancakes, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or even a full English breakfast, all while listening to live entertainment. £30 per person. www.onewarwickpark.co.uk

Wednesday May 9
En Plein Air Art in the Garden at Hole Park

En Plain Air at Hole Park

Up to 100 artists are expected to attend ‘En Plein Air’ Art in the Garden at Hole Park. Over five days, each painter will create a work in various media on location, to be displayed for the public to see on the Saturday and the Sunday. www.holepark.com

Thursday May 10
Last Resort at the EM Forster Theatre

Last Resort

Set in an alternative future of Guantanamo Bay, Last Resort is an immersive show from 2Magpies Theatre that takes its audience through a tropical haze on a unique multi-sensory package holiday. Don’t miss this menacing fiction at the EM Forster in Tonbridge. Tickets from £13.

Friday May 11 to Sunday May 13
Pantiles Food Festival

Pantiles Food Festival

Start your sumptuous summer with the Pantiles Food Festival! Mouth-watering stalls boast a variety of cuisines, whereas those with a thirst for knowledge won’t want to miss cooking demonstrations from local and celebrity chefs. www.thepantiles.com

Saturday May 12
Orpheus 80th Anniversary Concert at the Trinity Theatre


Join the Royal Tunbridge Wells Orpheus Male Voice Choir for its 80th anniversary with a special concert at Trinity. Featuring show tunes, pop, folk, spirituals and classical favourites sung in rich four-part harmonies, this landmark event is not to be missed. Tickets priced from £12. www.rtworpheusmvc.org

Saturday May 12
West Kent Garden and Craft Show

Craft Show

Head to Longmead Stadium in Tonbridge for a two-day display of plant stalls from specialist and general nurseries, plus garden furniture and accessories, and building and landscaping materials to make your lawn look fantastic. £3 entry for adults, £2 for OAPs, and free for under-16s. www.wkgardenandcraftshow.com

Saturday May 12
Big Fish Little Fish X Camp Bestival at Groombridge Place

Set sail for a nautically-themed family rave in the woods. This year, Big Fish Little Fish family ravers and Camp Bestival bring DJ Aphrodite to Groombridge, who’ll be heading ‘Around the World in 18 Raves’. www.groombridgeplace.com

Saturday May 12
Heron Open Meeting at Bewl Water

Heron open meeting

This new event at Bewl Water welcomes heron sailors from around the country for a full day of family fun and competitive one-design racing in good company. There’s nothing like a heron, so why not come along and join in, or simply watch from the shore? www.bewlwater.co.uk

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