Explore the English countryside this summer
|Summer adventures - Throughout June, gardens and farms will be opened up for the public to explore.|
With the summer sun beating down on the English countryside, many gardens are blooming with flowers and plants of all different sizes. The smell of freshly cut grass is in the air and for gardeners it is the time of year when their hard work pays off. Similarly, it’s an important time of year for farmers too. That’s why events are held across the summer to celebrate the hard work that goes into the British countryside, whether it be commercial or just in your own personal space. Many villages hold open garden events where locals open up their land for visitors to explore, and Open Farm Sunday (June 7th) celebrates the work of farmers who provide a quarter of the UK’s fruit and vegetables. Many have open gardens to raise money for charity or a local cause, as well as the National Gardens Scheme. For more information, go to opengardens.co.uk or ngs.org.uk. Open Farm Sunday is a free initiative that encourages families to visit their local farm, with many including guided walks, nature trails, tractor rides and activities for children. Go to farmsunday.org for information. Any open garden event we’ve missed? Just get in touch with us on (01234) 713298.
Cowper and Newton Museum National Gardens Weekend (June 6th-7th, 10.30am-4.30pm) The Olney museum and garden will be open to the public in aid of the National Garden Scheme, with tickets costing £2.50 for adults and free entry for under 16s. Plant stalls and tea will be on sale, with proceeds going to the museum’s garden fund. Go to cowperandnewtonmuseum.org.uk.
Stoke Goldington Open Gardens (June 7th, 2-5pm)
Explore eight gardens as part of the Open Gardens initiative, with tickets and maps on sale at the Old Park Barn in Stoke Goldington. Entrance is £3, with tea and homemade cakes in aid of Willen Hospice. Call (01908) 551092 for details.
Castlethorpe Open Gardens (June 20th-21st, 11am-4pm)
Nestled in the Buckinghamshire countryside, this bi-annual event offers a scarecrow trail and refreshments in the village hall. All proceeds go to the village hall fund, with tickets £5 for adults, £2 for children for the weekend. Go to castlethorpevillage.org.uk.
Stony Stratford Open Gardens (June 27th-28th, 12-5pm)
This year, 29 gardens will be on show, including courtyards, community gardens, allotments and wildlife. The Milton Keynes Society of Artists will be presenting an exhibition at Swinfen Harris Hall, with local artists at York House. Tickets: £5 for the weekend, with money raised going to Willen Hospice. Go to stonyopengardens.info.
Yardley Hastings Open Gardens (July 5th, 11am-5.30pm)
In this Northamptonshire village 12 gardens will be open to the public, while children can hunt for hidden teddy bears and learn all about the history in the area. Refreshments are available at the Yardley Hastings Memorial Hall. Tickets: £5 for adults and under 16s go free.Go to yardleyhastingsbenefice.org.uk.
Wollaston Open Gardens (July 12th, 11am-5pm)
Alongside personal gardens, Wollaston Museum, Curiosity Cottage and Beacon Hill will all be open to the public. Refreshments will be available, and there will be a book sale. Tickets: £3 with children going free, with all proceeds going to the museum. They are available on the day or at the museum beforehand.
Aspley Guise Open Gardens (July 19th, 12.30-5.30pm)
With a program highlighting the area and individual gardens, there will be between 8-12 gardens open around the village near Woburn. Tickets: £4 for adults and £3.50 concessions, both being available on the day from the spare or village hall. Call (01908) 583307.
Browns of Stagsden (June 7th)
Based in Stagsden, Bedfordshire, this farm is open to all, with admission being a donation to charity. Families can see cattle, pigs, sheep and baby turkeys. There will also be a bouncy castle, face painting, a barbecue and pony rides. Go to brownsofstagsden.co.uk.
Glebe Farm, Podington (June 7th)
With vintage farm machinery, a working steam engines and displays from bee-keepers, Glebe Farm in Northamptonshire is free entry, but certain activities will be charged for. Visitors can see cows, pigs and sheep, as well as enjoy a barbecue and homemade cakes. Go to facebook.com/openfarmsundayglebefarmpodington.
Grange Farm, Farndish (June 7th)
Visitors to this farm will be able to visit the barn where they produce their own cider and see how it’s made. There will also be farm machinery to explore and sit on, including tractors and a combine. It’s free entry, but certain activities will be charged for. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Scald End Farm, Thurleigh (June 7th)
Try fresh, local produce and meet the animals at this open farm event in Bedfordshire. The free day out will include farm walks, a barbecue, machinery and tractor displays, and a farm shop and team room will be open. For more information, go to scaldendfarm.com.
Escape The Country, Milton Keynes (June 7th)
Based on the Hounslow Hall Estate, families can visit this popular attraction for free, although extra activities such as 4x4 rides and segways will be an extra charge. Visitors can experience guided walks, see the working farm in action and explore the machinery on display. For more information, go to experiencethecountry.co.uk.
Rectory Farm, North Crawley (June 14th)
With tractor and trailer rides, this farm near Newport Pagnell will be open to the public with machinery displays, hosted farm tours and self-guided walks. Refreshments will be available, and families will beable to get up close with cows and chickens. Call (01234) 391874.