The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum
Re-opened on 23rd July 2022 after a £500,000 redesign, this award-winning gallery and museum is enjoying a new dawn. The Wilson has always been celebrated for its world-famous Arts and Crafts Movement collection, inspired by William Morris. But, post-makeover, there’s a whole lot more to discover including the brand-new Sir Charles Irving Community Art Gallery, which focuses on local art, and a buzzy new arts café. The museum are also showing their first major touring show ‘Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk’, a fascinating fashion exhibition with pieces from Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Dries Van Noten.
Body Beautiful runs until 2nd October 2022. The Wilson, Clarence Street, Cheltenham GL50 3JT. 01242 387488; www.cheltenhammuseum.org.uk
PAW Patrol Live! ‘Race to the Rescue’ at Cheltenham Racecourse
Ryder, Marshall, Rubble, Chase, Rocky, Zuma, Skye, Everest… PAW Patrol has taken the world by storm with its pack of pups who ‘come and save the day’. And this action-packed children’s musical TV series is now hitting the stage at Cheltenham Racecourse. Featuring a cast of everybody’s favourite PAW Patrol characters, the production shows the pups coming to the rescue when Mayor Goodway goes missing during the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race. While little ones will love it, grown-ups will be impressed, too, with the brilliantly executed puppetry and innovative costumes.
27th August. Cheltenham Racecourse. Evesham Road, Cheltenham GL50 4SH. 01242 513 014; www.thejockeyclub.co.uk
Sunflower Festival at Cotswolds Farm Park
BBC star Adam Henson’s farm, with its animal barn, rare breeds trail and wildlife walks, makes for a fabulous family day out. Now, there’s an extra reason to visit – the sunflowers. Due to be in full bloom in August, wander among the fields of gold and take the perfect picture before snapping up a sunflower or two of your own in the shop. There’s also the Maize Maze to explore which is growing taller each day – and is great fun to navigate your way around. The new adventure playground should not be missed either – although the combine harvester, which children can climb through, usually wins hands down.
Throughout August. Cotswolds Farm Park, Guiting Power, Cheltenham, GL54 5FL. 01451 850307; www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk
Rapunzel at Dunkertons Cider
‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.’ It’s one of the great fairy tales, written by the brilliant Brothers Grimm, about a young girl imprisoned in a tower by a sorceress who longs to escape and explore the world. Staged by Ian Kennedy Productions (described by The Stage as ‘delightfully daft’), get ready for a magical evening of wicked witches, lovable trolls, a handsome prince and miles of golden hair – plus bags of slapstick humour. While you watch, enjoy a pint or two of Dunkertons delicious organic cider – plus there are some enticing food trucks, offering sourdough pizzas, Indian cuisine and tasty Americana-style fare.
10th August. Dunkertons Cider, Dowdeswell Park, London Road, Cheltenham GL52 6UT. 01242 650145; www.dunkertonscider.co.uk
Three of the best | Outdoor Screens
Sandford Park Lido
One of the UK’s largest outdoor swimming pools, Sandford Park Lido is idyllic enough on a sunny summer’s evening. Now, they’ve added three nights of cinema under the stars into the mix – and the line-up is excellent. Head into the world of the supernatural with Ghostbusters Afterlife, sing, dance, clap and cheer with Grease or there’s Steven Spielberg’s spine-tingling movie Jaws. For the best view, splash out on a Premium Deckchair Seat – the closest seats to the screen which come complete with blankets. And what’s even more jazzy is that you listen to the audio through wireless headphones rather than the usual general broadcasting.
Ghostbusters Afterlife will be shown on 19th August, Grease on 20th August and Jaws on 21st August. Sandford Parks Lido, Keynsham Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7PU. 01242 524430; www.sandfordparkslido.org.uk
As part of the Bacon Theatre’s annual Open-Air Theatre Festival, two musical hits will be shown on screen al fresco at the charming stone-built Tuckwell Amphitheatre. Surrounded by verdant trees and shrubs, choose between two crowd pleasers this season. Dirty Dancing is first up – the iconic summer smash hit, with its big sixties’ numbers, impressive choreography and classic one-liners (‘nobody puts Baby in the corner’). Chicago is up next, which is celebrating 20th years since its release – although none of the razzle dazzle has aged, nor have the brilliant performances from Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta Jones and Renée Zellweger.
Dirty Dancing will be shown on 11th August and Chicago on 12th August. Tuckwell Amphitheatre, Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6HE. 01242 258002; www.bacontheatre.co.uk
Cheltenham Ladies’ College
School’s out. And in its place is the Frontier Sapiens Film Festival. With a tagline of ‘every great story starts with great people’, the festival, over the course of one evening, will be showing a thrilling selection of adventure, cultural and environmental films celebrating incredible stories of human endeavour. Highlights include climber Leo Houlding tackling his way through 100km of untracked jungle in the Amazon, Sherpa Akita on her struggle balancing motherhood and mountains and world-renowned snowboarder Spencer O’Brien on her battle with rheumatoid arthritis. So, bring your own blankets, cushions or camping chairs and prepare to be wowed.
5th August. Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Bayshill Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3EP. www.frontiersapiens.com