Summer Southeast England Top What’s On

Southeast England Summer:

Summer Fun Fridays at The Marlands Southampton!

Every Friday this Summer holidays, children can enjoy loads of free fun activities at The Marlands from 11am to 4pm.  Each week there are stickers to collect for their special ‘beach passport’ and the chance to win fantastic prizes, including a family annual pass to Marwell Zoo.

All the excitement kicks off on Friday 27th July with activities from Marwell Wildlife – look out for life-size Lenny the Lemur who will be waiting to see everyone!

On Friday 3rd August, get building with the Construction Club and don’t miss the chance to meet the beautiful Princess Mermaid who will be at the Centre from 11am-12 noon and from 3pm-4pm.

Explore the awesome secrets of the Titanic on Friday 10th August when SeaCity Museum brings lots of amazing Titanic-themed activities to The Marlands.

Get stuck in to a fantastic Rainbow Slime Workshop on Friday 17th August!

On Friday 24th August, it’s the final chance to get creative with the brilliant Construction Club at the Centre.

There will be facepainting most weeks too, check out The Marlands Facebook page and for all the details.

The Marlands Shopping Centre in the heart of Southampton’s city centre enjoys direct access onto the main shopping street and is a five-minute walk from Southampton Central Station. Buses also stop outside the Centre.

The Centre offers a great mix of stores on two floors all under one roof, with high street favourites such as Hawkins Bazaar, The Perfume Shop and the Disney Store, and lots of smaller independent retailers. The Centre’s superb choice of cafés also provides the perfect place to relax with family and friends.

Free wi-fi is available throughout the Centre.


Thomas and Friends steam back to the Watercress Line this August

The world’s favourite little blue tank engine returns to the Watercress Line from Saturday 4th to Sunday 12th August, bringing with him The Fat Controller and Rusty, the Thomas-themed entertainer.

Promising to be a highlight of Hampshire’s summer event calendar, this year’s visit from Thomas and his friends will be all the more exciting with the addition of vintage funfair rides and lots of tasty new food options to discover.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy unlimited trips behind famous engines throughout the day, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Toad the Brake Van, the opportunity to shake hands with The Fat Controller and a host of Thomas-themed activities at the Imagination Studios.

The fun-filled experience will continue at Ropley Station, with unlimited rides on the miniature railway and vintage fairground rides such as Dobbies and chair-o-planes. There will be magic, storytelling and entertainment from Rusty, and The Fat Controller.

For foodie visitors, a variety of local delicacies with a unique twist will be served, including the Cookie Bar Bus, a vintage bus serving speciality teas, coffee, cookies, cakes and snacks. Alresford Station’s West Country Buffet will also be hosting a new and improved food offering for any hungry tums passing through.

Emma Neal, Events Manager at the Mid-Hants Railway Watercress Line, said: “This year’s Day Out With Thomas will be a truly fun-packed and full day out for all the family – not only for steam lovers but for everyone besotted by Thomas. The addition of quality local food and quirky fairground rides makes this event one not to be missed and remembered long after”.

For more information, please visit:

A Day Out With Thomas is £18 for adults, £12 for children aged 2-16, and free for children aged under two years old. Family tickets (two adults and two children) are priced at £54. All tickets include participation in activities, funfair rides and unlimited travel on trains, running between 9:45am to 4:45pm.


Mary Rose Summer Holiday Events

21st July – 2nd September 2018

Plus Kids Go Free

Looking for a great family day out? Ever wondered how the Tudors built their heavy wooden ship? Want to build up a picture of where the Mary Rose sank in 1545?

This holiday, the Mary Rose is launching an exciting program of Tudor events, and what’s more, with every purchase of an adult ticket, kids go free (up to three children accompanied by at least one paying adult, children must be 15 or younger. Offer runs 21st July – 2nd September). These tickets are valid for 12 months from the purchase date, so you can also experience the Tudor fun throughout the year!

Whether you’re new to the Mary Rose experience, or an old hand, there’s plenty of activities planned to beat the summer holiday tedium.

21st July – 2nd September Tudor England: Brick by Brick

£6 for one 8x8cm LEGO® brick plate and get a ‘make and take’ model. See website for details. Pre-booking essential.

Following Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII that visitors built in May half-term; the Mary Rose is going even bigger! This summer, visitors are invited to recreate with LEGO bricks, the colourful Cowdray engraving, a giant picture of Tudor Portsmouth featuring the sinking Mary Rose. The finished mosaic will be 12 metres wide and 3 metres tall, one of the largest LEGO brick mosaics ever made in the UK. Participants will also make and take home their own mini LEGO brick model. This event is produced in partnership with Bright Bricks, the UK’s premier independent LEGO brick building company.

Help complete the Lego brick mosaic in Tudor England: Brick by Brick. ©The Mary Rose Trust.

 7th – 8th August Totally Tudor Takeover of Southsea Castle

Admission to the castle is free.

Join the team at Southsea Castle from where Henry VIII watched his beloved Mary Rose sink during the Battle of the Solent in 1545. There will be talks about the sinking of the Mary Rose, real Tudor objects to examine, storytelling, games and archery.

Black Knight Historical will host Hobby Horse Jousting where kids can dress up as medieval knights, and ride a fearsome destrier, charging down the jousting field! They also will run St. George’s Knight School where aspiring young knights can hone their skills.

Knights in training line up at the Totally Tudor Takeover of Southsea Castle. ©The Mary Rose Trust.

As well as these special summer activities, visitors to the Mary Rose can enjoy the immersive experience, a journey into Tudor life all year round. Hold genuine rope from the ship, pick up cannonballs and try pulling a longbow. Be surrounded by the sounds on board as the crew come alive through vivid projections. Their personal items – shoes, games, even nit combs – have been carefully conserved and are presented in stunning, atmospheric displays.

For further details, please visit


The Beach at Bluewater is now open

To celebrate the start of the holidays, local Kent children were invited to be amongst the first to embark on a fun day out at The Beach at Bluewater. They enjoyed castle building on the sand, access to the rides and ice lollies in the sun.

The Beach at Bluewater is now open. For more information please visit


You have to sea it to be shore! The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort unveils a giant, LEGO® themed sand sculpture to wow guests

 To Sep 2018 –The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort has unveiled its first ever giant sand sculpture today, depicting a family of huge LEGO® Minifigures enjoying the summer sun on the beach.

Built to celebrate the all-new ‘Summer of Fun’ event taking place at the Resort until 2 September, guests will find the six-foot tall, 20 tonne spectacle on the lawn opposite the Fire Academy ride.

The enormous creation has been hand-crafted over four days by professional sand sculptor, Raymond Wirick. The specially designed scene brings the fun of a family beach holiday to life with its portrayal of a mum and dad lounging on deck chairs, whilst the LEGO children build sand castles with their buckets and spades.

Set to wow children with its size and scale, the sculpture is constructed from 20 tonnes of sand – the equivalent of a whopping four million LEGO bricks – with the sandy LEGO Minifigures standing at 48 times bigger than their tiny real-life counterparts.

Lauren Moss, Senior PR Manager at The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, commented: “We’re well used to creating spectacular LEGO builds at the Resort, thanks to our talented team of Model Makers, but working with Raymond to create this awesome sand sculpture is completely new for us and our guests, and hugely exciting. We can’t wait to see it inspiring children over the next two months, whether it’s with sand or LEGO, as they get building at our new ‘Summer of Fun’ pop-up beach party.”

Raymond Wirick, Sand Sculptor, commented: ‘It’s been fantastic seeing the reactions from the guests during the past four days as I’ve been sculpting the LEGO Minifigure family. Little ones have been asking lots of questions, if it’s real sand, and how can they make their own sand sculptures. I can’t wait to see the guest’s reactions now the sculpture is complete, and hope it will inspire lots of sand castle creations at LEGOLAND’s pop-up beach nearby.’

Alongside the new sand sculpture, the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is hosting a Beach Party (until 2 September) where little builders will be entertained with buckets and spades, LEGO building activities of underwater creatures and beach themed models, and POP music to dance along to with special guests LEGO Shark Guy and LEGO Sea Captain who will be stopping by to join the party.

After playing in the sand, little ones can continue the fun by cooling off at Splash Safari, while bigger builders can enjoy Drench Towers, the UK’s largest outdoor water play structure complete with slides and the famous giant tipping DUPLO® brick.

Families will also get to explore the whole Resort, including over 55 rides and attractions, spectacular new LEGO landmarks in the world-famous Miniland, plus an awesome new digital LEGO Reef, and a brand new exclusive LEGO® NINJAGO® 4D movie.

For more information on the ‘Summer of Fun’ event at the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, visit .


Hever Festival Theatre Season

is fast approaching. The Festival opens again towards the end of July with our four family performances spread across the summer holiday period. We would be delighted to offer your readers two pairs of tickets for competitions or giveaways in return for some editorial and/or social media presence.

Peter Pan

Thursday 2 August  2:30pm  Reserved covered seating: £15.50  Meet the characters after the show

Following the success of last year’s Wind in the Willows and 2016’s The Wizard of Oz, Immersion Theatre are thrilled to return to the Festival Theatre once again as they invite you to soar away to Neverland in their most magical musical to date, PETER PAN.

Filled with catchy music, heaps of audience interaction, a laugh-a-minute script, and the opportunity to meet the characters after the show, this hilarious and exciting musical of the boy who never grew up promises to have every member of the family entertained throughout…. You’ll be HOOKED!

‘Will your children enjoy this show? Yes, and so will you…Families will leave with a spring in their step and a song in their heart.’ – A Younger Theatre


The Snail and the Whale    Lift wanted around the world…


Tuesday 7th August 2pm and 4pm

Running time: 55 minutes

Reserved covered seating: £15.50

Gates open 30 minutes before the performance starts and close at 6pm


The Snail and the Whale © Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler 2003 – Macmillan Children’s Books


Join a tiny snail on her trip round the world in Tall Stories’ magical, musical production inspired by the fantastic bestselling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Longing to see the world, a tiny snail hitches a lift on the tail of a humpback whale. Together they go on an amazing adventure – but when the whale gets beached, how will the snail save him? Follow the tiny snail’s exciting journey, as seen through the eyes of an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father…

Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children

Thursday 23 August 2:30pm

Running time: 60 minutes

Reserved covered seating: £12.50

Gates open 30 minutes before the performance starts and close at 6pm


As heard on BBC Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, and as seen on The One Show and Dave Gorman’s UK/Ireland tour. The multi award-winning musical comedian performs charmingly sickable songs, stories, poems and a whole lot more for the whole family from small children to massive children (grown ups).

‘Disturbingly catchy… my daughter was still singing about caterpillar sick right up until bedtime!’ – One4Review****

‘Classy and funny… Victoria Wood for the Spotify generation’ Chortle

Edenbridge Kent TN8 7NG

E: Box office 01732 866114 (M-F 10am-2pm)

Dover Castle and Walmer Castle & Gardens – July-August 2018

Plagues & Punishment

DATE: Sat 28 & Sun 29 July

TIME: 10am-5pm

WHERE: Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU

Experience the gruesome side of medieval England at a stinking event, taking you into the heart of the working classes. Soak up the medieval sights, smells and sounds living at the wrong end of the garderobe!

PRICES: Adults: £20.00 / Concessions: £18.00 / Children (5-15): £12.00 / Family: £50.00

ENGLISH HERITAGE MEMBERS: Adults: Free / Concessions: Free / Children (5-15): Free / Family: Free


Tudor Pageant

DATE: Sat 11 & Sun 12 Aug 2018

TIME: 10am-5pm

WHERE: Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU

Gather with England’s most famous King, Henry VIII, as he prepares to invade France. It is 1544 and around him he gathers an impressive and colourful army. Hear the sounds of cannons, muskets and drums. Join the king in a parade and watch as actors perform a play for the famously bad-tempered monarch – will we all survive? Book online before Friday 10 August for 10% off.

PRICES: Adults: £21.50 / Concessions: £19.30 / Children (5-15): £12.90 / Family: £55.90

ENGLISH HERITAGE MEMBERS: Adults: £1.50 / Concessions: £1.30 / Children (5-15): £0.90 / Family: £3.90


Grand Medieval Joust

DATE: Sat 25 – Mon 27 Aug 2018

TIME: 10am-5pm

WHERE: Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU

Experience a spectacle of speed and skill as four of the most masterful knights in the kingdom, mounted on their magnificent steeds, battle for victory. Choose your champion and see who is victorious in this colourful display of chivalry and courage. Surround yourself in pageantry. The living history encampments will take you back in time, where you’ll be kept entertained by the court jester and merry musicians. Budding knights can enjoy their own hero moment as they test their bravery in the hobby-horse jousting. Buy tickets for this event online before 24 August and receive 10% off!

PRICES: Adults: £23.50 / Concessions: £21.10 / Children (5-15): £14.10 / Family: £61.10

ENGLISH HERITAGE MEMBERS: Adults: £3.50 / Concessions: £3.10 / Children (5-15): £2.10 / Family: £9.10




Summer Garden Music


  • Sat 4 Aug 2018
  • Sat 11 Aug 2018
  • Sat 18 Aug 2018
  • Sat 25 Aug 2018

TIME: 1pm – 4pm

WHERE: Walmer Castle & Gardens, Kingsdown Road, Deal, Kent, CT14 7LJ

Relax with light music on the lawn. Enjoy the summer borders and fragrant blooms as you’re taken on a melodious journey through the historic grounds of Walmer Castle. Enjoy Summer Garden Music at Walmer on the following Saturdays this August: Sat 4 Aug 2018, Sat 11 Aug 2018, Sat 18 Aug 2018, Sat 25 Aug 2018

PRICES: Adults: £10.90 / Concessions: £9.80 / Children (5-15): £6.50 / Family: £28.30



English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places – from world famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to cold war bunkers. Through these we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million visitors each year.



The best that the countryside has to offer will be on show at Tichborne Park, near Alresford, at the annual Hampshire Country Sports Day, on Sunday 9 September.  There will be a range of exhibitions and displays, as well as ‘have a go’ activities and competitions, with something to appeal to everyone.




Horse riding falconer and star of Game of Thrones, Jonathan Marshall, returns with a brand new show featuring his fairytale dancing Spanish and Lusitano horses, with falcons chasing a swung lure at over 100 mph while he performs highly schooled dressage moves to music.


Chris Green the Cornish Countryman, will give entertaining and amusing displays of country skills.

Gun dog trainer and Crufts winner, Sarah Miles, will be running a series of fun gun dog competitions (Pick Up, Scurry and Steeplechase) that anyone can enter, offering great prizes.


The Fly fishing area will be providing fly casting lessons throughout the day, from beginners to more advanced techniques. Experts Gilly Bate and Beaky Allesch-Taylor will demonstrate fly casting in the main arena.


There will be terrier racing, and a terrier and lurcher show run by The Coursing Crew and offering a qualifier for the first time to The Midland Game Fair Championships. There’s also a Fun dog show for anyone to enter.


Main arena attractions include hound displays, the inter-hunt mounted relay and clay pigeon shooting.  In addition there will more than 50 trade stands offering everything from equestrian and countryside clothing, handbags and jewellery, to country paintings and craft gifts, plus hunting, shooting and fishing equipment, and a large range of food and drink vendors.

Gates open at 9.30am and the main ring events start at 10 am, with the main programme running until 17.30.  Entry costs £12 for adults, while under 14s go free. Visit

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