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What’s On in August

Yep, the Muddy What's On guide is back! Here's what's happening around Somerset and Dorset this month: markets, comedy, theatre, cream teas and more.

Here’s your monthly round up of what’s on this month in Somerset and Dorset. We’re updating this throughout the month as new events are announced, so bookmark this post to make sure you don’t miss anything. Best not to just rock up, though: check the websites first and book ahead if necessary.

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FESTIVAL: Virtual Valley Fest, your own home, Sat 1 Aug

Live broadcast from 6pm–10pm, with performances and messages from Deacon Blue, The Blockheads and many more artists, musicians and DJs, cookery from Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton, stuff from chef and climate-change activist Tom Hunt and a kids’ workshop.

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GARDENS: East Lambrook Manor Gardens, nr South Petherton, reopens Sat 1 Aug

Have a mooch around the Grade 1 listed gardens and then pop into their plant nursery to recreate it all back in your own garden.

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MARKET: The Frome Independent, around Frome, Sun 2 Aug

The sprawling designer-maker-food-drink-vintage Sunday market is back!

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Paul Smith Warehouse Sale, Kilver Court, Shepton Mallet, until Mon 3 August

The super popular Paul Smith warehouse sale is back, with up to 80% off the British designer’s clothes and accessories. Entry by pre-booked slot only.

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POP-UP COMEDY: The Laughter Tree Festival, Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, nr Bath, Weds 5 & Thurs 6 Aug

Jarred Christmas hosts, with Spencer Jones (BBS 2’s Mister Winner) and award-winning stand up Sally-Ann Hayward appearing, in this mini fest in the gardens of one of Somerset’s nicest foodie pubs.

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FOOD & FILM: The Devil Wears Prada, Keynston Mill, Tarrant Keyneston, nr Blandford Forum, Thurs 6 Aug

Outdoor screening on a specially designed sail, with comfy chairs, fire pits, lanterns, candles – and a picnic to enjoy before the film, in the gardens, by the river or elsewhere on the 50-acre estate. This is just one of the outdoor cinema events at the home of Parterre Fragrances. See their full summer outdoor cinema programme here.

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SPECTACLE: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta flypast, around Bristol, Thurs 6 – Sun 9 Aug

Balloons will be floating through the Bristol skies this weekend even though the annual event can’t take place as usual. So find yourself a good spot.

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FOOD: Pick your own blueberries, Trehane Blueberry PYO, Hampreston, nr Wimborne, from now

Pick your own superfood at the oldest blueberry plantation in the UK.

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OPEN AIR THEATRE: Twelfth Night, Midelney Manor, nr Langport, Fri 7 Aug

The excellent touring thesps in the lovely grounds of Midelney Manor with Twelth Night. The show will go on whatever the weather, bar a full-blown tempest. Bring a picnic.

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FOOD: Fizz Fridays, Langham Wine Estate, Crawthorne, nr Dorchester, Fridays throughout Aug

Langham Sparkling Wine paired with seafood platters, Argentinian BBQ, charcuterie and tapas, on the terrace overlooking the vineyard…. mmmm, hic!

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MARKET: Eat: Portishead, Portishead Marina, Portishead, Sat 8 Aug

The award-winning locally focused food and drink festivals come to Portishead. Spread out for safety, the festival is set out in five hubs around the marina, with London Square towards the lock gates and La Marina. 10am–4pm.

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FOOD: Cream Tea Day, Eastfield Farm, nr Yeovil, Mon 10 Aug

Do you put your cream on first or your jam? Scoff scones, socially-distanced – it’s National Afternoon Tea Week.

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OPEN AIR THEATRE: The Taming of the Shrew, Forde Abbey, Chard, Weds 12 Aug

Not one of Somerset’s wife carrying races but Folksy Theatre’s version of the Shakespearean comedy.

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EXHIBITION: The Art of The Arborealists, The Museum of Somerset, Taunton, Weds 12 Aug – Sat 10 Oct

Culbone Wood Fernery with Whitebeams by Claire Cansick

50 artworks celebrating the trees of Dartmoor and Exmoor made by a group of 60 artists called The Arborealists.

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OPEN AIR CINEMA: A Star is Born and Mamma Mia, Dillington House, nr Ilminster, Fri 14 & Sat 15 Aug

Warble with Lady Gaga – and Pierce Brosnan (you will be the better singer) – in the grounds of a hamstone mansion.

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MARKET: The Giant Shepton Flea Market, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Sun 16 Aug

Large white dog surrounded by junk

Rootle through oodles of junk at the humungous outdoor market.

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OPEN AIR THEATRE: Alice in Lockdown, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Tues 18 Aug

Heartbreak Production’s brand new, up-to-date – and socially-distanced – adventures of Alice as she goes through the Lockdown Looking Glass. Bring low backed seating or a rug and your own grub. Recommended 5 years+

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MUSIC: Concerts in the West’s 2020 Online Series, from Thurs 20 Aug

Eight pre-recorded concerts made by top class young classical musicians, who were due to play for Concerts in the West this year.

Solem Quartet. Photo Bertie Watson

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LIVE THEATRE: Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, Thurs 20 – Sat 22 Aug

The Bristol Old Vic goes LIVE with a performance Thurs 20 Aug by Vanessa Kisuule, whose recent poem ‘Hollow’ about the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue went viral online. On Fri 21 Aug, stand-up Mark Olver invites you to join him for a game of Who Said That? with guests Jayde Adams, Luke Kempner, Robin Morgan and Lou Conran. On Sat 22 Aug, actor and violinist Patrycja Kujawska and musician James Gow serenade audiences with a repertoire of miniatures for violin and cello live from Bristol Old Vic’s atmospheric new indoor stage.

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MARKET: Vintage Bazaar, online, Sat 22 Aug

Antique textiles/fashion, French brocante and decorative antiques: super safe, it’s all taking place via their Instagram account @thevintagebazaarevents

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OPEN AIR CINEMA: Grease sing-along, Maunsel House, North Newton, nr Bridgwater, Sat 22 Aug

The Starlight Cinema open air cinema pops up in the grounds of gorgeous country mansion Maunsel House. Bring a picnic.

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OPEN AIR STORYTELLING: Gawain and the Green Knight, The Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Weds 26 Aug

A medieval tale of blood and honour with seasoned storyteller Beth Webb. Adults only, apparently. Bring low backed seating or a rug and your own food ‘n’ drink.

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CIRCUS: Circus Berlin, Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth, Weds 26 Aug – Tues 1 Sept

From the producers of the Moscow State Circus and Circus Extreme, come the daredevils, acrobats and aeriaists of Circus Berlin on its European tour.

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OPEN AIR THEATRE: The Taming of the Shrew, ECOS Amphitheatre Frome, Thurs 27 Aug

Missed this earlier in the month? Catch the show here in an old stone amphitheatre.

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OPEN AIR THEATRE: Sherlock Holmes, Churchinford Cricket Ground, Taunton, Thurs 27 Aug

Elementary my dear Watson, the travelling theatre company the Pantaloons are on tour.

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OPEN AIR CINEMA: Back to the Future and Romeo & Juliet, Dillington House, nr Ilminster, Fri 28 & Sat 29 Aug

Back to the future or even further back to Shakespearean times?

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OPEN AIR THEATRE: Some Enchanted Evening, Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, Sun 30 Aug

Clockwise from top L: Evie Hoskins, Yeovil (Waitress & Holby City); Kody Mortimer, Yatton (upcoming Hairspray); Joanna Woodward, Glastonbury (Pretty Woman, Beautiful: the Carole King Musical; Marc Fisher, Weston-super-Mare (Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat).

Let’s put on a show, not here in the barn, but in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey! The theatres might be dark at the mo, but some of the West End’s musical stars who hail from Somerset (turns out there are quite a lot) will be lighting up the Abbey with songs from the shows, all in aid of local charities.

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CONTINUING

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EXHIBITION: Hassan Hajjaj -The Path, Arnolfini, Bristol, until Sun 1 Nov

From ‘My Rockstars’ series L to R: Bumi Sittin’, Karima Stylin’ & Mimz

An exploration of global culture across continents through the unique lens of acclaimed Moroccan-British photographer Hassan Hajjaj. Free but you must book.

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EXHIBITION: Jackdaw Line by Richard Long, Hestercombe Gardens, nr Taunton, until Sun 28 Feb 2021

Jackdaw Line by Richard Long. Photo Jon England

Famous artist (and Bristol resident) Richard Long’s new installation is at Hestercombe’s Georgian landscape garden. Made with local Morte Slates, Jackdaw Line meanders through the landscape below the Box Pond, and is part of the Bampfylde 300, a year-long celebration of Hestercombe’s former owner Coplestone Warre Bampfylde.

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GARDENS: Poems in the garden trail, The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath, until Weds 30 Sept

How civilised: a stroll around the hotel’s beautiful secluded gardens, reading poems by British poets and some light refreshments (with 10% off) while you’re there. Free. Booking not necessary.

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Summer at Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, various dates, until Sep

hauser and wirth somerset
Installation view ‘Not Vital. SCARCH’ Hauser & Wirth Somerset 2020. Photo: Ken Adlard. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth © Not Vital

Take a guided walk or make art in the Oudolf Field , guided tour around the outdoor sculptures. The exhibitions by world-renowned Somerset photographer, Don McCullin’s The Stillness of Life, and ‘SCARCH’, a solo exhibition by Not Vital, are also now open. The fab Roth Bar Grill is also open to eat in or take away.

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SEE ALSO

6 drive-in cinemas in Somerset and Dorset

17 local pubs with gardens and other outdoor spaces

25 summer camps, courses, activities and days out in our Summer Holiday Guide

The Muddy pick of the best lidos, water parks and wild swimming near you.

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