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Things to do: This week


OUTDOORS: New Year’s Day Walk
■ Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe ■ Tues 1 Jan

Blow away the cobwebs with a brisk winter’s walk through the trees at this National Trust site. It’s on from 2-3pm, so plenty of time for a sleep-in and a leisurely breakfast or brunch (head to The White Horse in Hascombe, just down the road). Bring the kids and the dog (on a lead) and dress warmly. There are some slopes, so wear sturdy shoes too. Cost is £3 each.

EVENT: New Year’s Day Classic Gathering
■ Brooklands Museum, Weybridge ■ Tues 1 Jan

An event for lovers of classic cars. This is a chance to show off your four wheeled classic or vintage beauty -and admire plenty of others. More than 1,000 cars are expected at this event. There will also be live music and a winter barbecue. It’s on from 9am-4pm.

EVENT: Christmas Glow at Wisley
■ Royal Horticultural Society ■ now until Wed 2 Jan

Jigantics floral light installations at night. Christmas Glow event at RHS Garden Wisley.

Back for a fourth year, the ‘Christmas Glow’ returns, with fantastical gigantic flowers, dramatic installations and brilliantly illuminated trees. Wander the trail to see floating installations on the water creating rippling reflections, light shows on trees, and spectacular views of the historical Laboratory reflected in the Jellicoe Canal.

EVENT: A Taste of Christmas at the Savill Gardens
■ Englefield Green, Egham ■ now until Wed 2 Jan

There’s plenty of festive fun going on at the Savill Gardens, including the Winter Sprite Trail, an hour-long trail where you go in search of the magical winter sprites; vintage carousels (from 15 Dec); carol singing; and carriage rides. 

INTERACTIVE THEATRE: Polesden Lacey comes to life
■ Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham ■ until Thurs 3 Jan 

The Cat’s Grin theatre Company brings Maggie Greville’s guest and servants to life at Polesden Lace with low key dramatic interludes in the house. There will also be talks – at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm – where you can learn a little about socialite Maggie and her fabulous party house Polesden Lacey. Tickets to the house will be timed.

PANTO: Peter Pan and the Loose Boys
■ The Back Room of The Star Inn, Guildford ■ now until Sat 5 Jan

Who says panto is for the kids? This panto is full of rudeness and staged in a pub, so best leave the kids at home. Expect a load of naughtiness and innuendo, crude comedy and plenty of laughs. Not for prudish types.

EVENT: Christmas at Kew
■ Kew Gardens, London ■ now until Sat 5 Jan

Such a brilliant time to visit Kew as they do the Crimbo thing so well with over a million twinkling pea-lights and thousands of laser beam winding  through the world-famous Gardens. New this year are the Moonlit Woods and step into a laser garden where lines of light playfully bounce across the branches. There will also be a festive flotilla of glowing boats on the lake, a Canopy of Light and a sculptural Fire Garden, plus Father Christmas and his elves at the North Pole Village, vintage fairground rides (a fee for that one) and shopping. All in all a magical lit up wonderland – and well worth a visit with the family. Worth going with the fam.

PANTO: Jack and the Beanstalk
■ Epsom Playhouse ■ now until Sun 6 Jan

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, we smell lots of panto fun! Expect adventure, mayhem and a terrifying giant.

FESTIVE THEATRE: Hansel and Gretel
■ The Rose Theatre, Kingston ■ now until Sun 6 Jan

A festive version of the Brothers Grimm’s much-loved fairy tale comes to the Rose Theatre this Christmas. Battling magical beasts, enlisting a crew of fairy tale bandits and learning the secrets of their past, Hansel and Gretel must race to save their town from the Witch’s Curse. And all in time for Christmas!

PANTO: Cinderella
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ now until Sun 6 Jan

EastEnder and R&B artist Michelle Gayle comes to Guildford this Christmas as the fairy godmother in this popular panto. She’ll be joined by Yvonne Arnaud panto regulars, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, Peter Gordon and Jamie Brook, plus Georgie Leatherland, Cameron Burt and Nick Barclay.

ICE SKATING: Hampton Court Palace
■ Hampton Court Palace, East Moseley ■  now until Sun 6 Jan

‘Skate back in time’ they say and you’ve a seriously stunning backdrop for your triple salchow at Henry VIII’s old gaff in Surrey, floodlit with colours for the evening. Skating sessions are 45 minutes, and booking is recommended. The cafe serves up pies, rum punches and fizz. Make a day of it, and tour the palace while you’re there.

EXHIBITION: In print: Making Impressions
■ Watts Gallery, Compton ■ until Sun 6 Jan

The In print: Making Impressions exhibition celebrates the art of print making, in all of its variety. It features some of the foremost names in British printmaking today, including Chris Orr Ra whose work has been seen at The British Museum and National Portrait Gallery (to name a few.)

EXHIBITION: Duke and Duchess of Sussex Exhibition
■ Windsor Castle, Windsor ■ now until Sun 6 Jan

Prince Harry and Meghan – Duke and Duchess of Sussex Royal Wedding 2018 Windsor Castle steps

Better late than never, but we’ve all been invited to Windsor Castle to get up close and personal with newlyweds Harry and Meghan. Ok, so they won’t actually be there but a new exhibition will display Meghan’s Givenchy bridal gown designed by Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller is, her 5m veil embroidered with flora symbolising the 53 Commonwealth countries and the 1932 Queen Mary diamond and platinum tiara loaned to the Duchess by the Queen. It’s not all about the bride (even though we known it is really), Harry’s Blues and Royals frock designed by Dege & Skinner on Savile Row will also be standing to attention.

PANTO: Cinderella
■ New Victoria Theatre, Woking ■ now until Sun 6 Jan

Will Cinders make it to the ball in time. Not if the wicked stepmother can help it. And with the ultimate panto dame, Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood, cha-cha-cha-ing his way across the stage as the stepmother anything could happen. Paul Chuckle and Phil Butler joins the cast. It’s a 10 from us for comedy casting, dahling!

EXHIBITION: Impressionism: The Art of Life
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ now until Sun 13 Jan

Detail from Alfred Sisley (1839–1899) 14 July at Marly, France, 1875 Oil on canvas © The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford

Works by world-renowned artists such as Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, all of whom exhibited artwork in the very first Impressionist group exhibition in France. It showcases a rare combination of French Impressionist paintings and sculpture, spanning from the early 1860s to the beginning of the First World War.


THEATRE: A Christmas Carol
■ The Old Vic, London ■ now until 19 Jan

The smash hit of Dickens’ classic adapted by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Matthew Warchus returns to the Old Vic and this time Stephen Tompkinson stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. This big-hearted and warm production’s unique staging immerses the audience in the story and there’s music, mince pies and much merriment for a fab festive night out.

KIDS: Hogwarts in the Snow
■ Harry Potter Studios, Watford ■ now until Sun 27 Jan

Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas!  The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.


CHRISTMAS: Winter Wonderland
■  Hyde Park London ■ now until Sun 6 Jan

hyde park winter wonderland illuminated heater skelter and fairground ride London

Go big or go home when it comes to festive fun, London’s Winter Wonderland is huuuuge. Free to enter but once inside, prepare to sell a kidney. The costs can get out of control – particularly if you hit the glühwein a little too hard. What to expect? Winter markets, fairground rides and ice skating. Major attractions this year include the Magical Ice Kingdom Secret Forest, an immersive showcase of woodland animals and mythical creatures created from ice and snow; a Bavarian village offering an authentic Oktoberfest experience; karaoke cabins, ice sculpting workshops, the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, immersive screenings of The Snowman and plus Peter Pan on Ice.

Find more ideas here

Things to doThis week

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