10 brilliant things to do this week…

We’ve got glamour, we’ve got St Georges day and the rug rats have gone back to school! The county has more than its fair share of indoor and outdoor fun on offer, so pour a coffee, pull up a pew and enjoy the silence while you plan your week’s fun!

Las Vegas Party Night, Whittlebury Hall, 7.30pm, 21 April

You’ve looked after the kids but the Easter holidays are over and it’s ‘you’ time. How about treating yourself to a glamorous and entertaining Las Vegas show night to remember with Show Girls and Swing Singer –  performing all your ‘Rat Pack’ favourites with every song a classic – Come Fly with Me, Under My Skin, Mr Bojangles, Mack The Knife and many more. Las Vegas is the 24 hour party capital of the world and whilst this Las Vegas show night won’t last 24 hours, there will be plenty to keep you entertained and will have you up dancing all night long.  You’ll be greeted by pre-dinner drinks as you start your evening at 7.30pm followed by a three-course dinner, a half bottle of house wine per person and a disco until 12.30am.  Ticket prices start from £55 but why not treat yourself to a sleepover in the hotel and a relaxing spa day to recuperate?

Whittlebury Park, Whittlebury, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8WP

Great British Beer Festival – Brampton Halt, 20 – 23 April

It’s the return of the Beer Festival at the beautifully situated Brampton Halt, with over 25 different real ales, craft beers and lagers all of which are made in Britain. There’s delicious British food from the outside BBQ and restaurant and of course no festival would be complete without a stunning line up of LIVE music. Friday 21 April, Kickstart – 8pm, Saturday 22 April, Donnybrook Fair – 6pm – 9pm, Whiteroom – 9pm – 11pm, Sunday 23 April, Ashby Clarke – 3pm. I’m so keen I’m going the first night!

The Brampton Halt, Chapel Brampton, Northampton, NN6 8BA

St George’s Long Weekender, The Sun Inn, Hardingstone 22-24 April

No humans or (fictitious) animals were hurt in the making of this stained glass

According to legend, St George was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. Good work Fella.  Do you know what that says to me? Dragon Burgers?  Nope – sausages. What can be more english than a savoury sizzler? Check out our St Georges Day special article – Northamptonshire sausages to savour.

Where The Sun always shines

However, if you’d like somebody else to do the entertaining, why not decamp to Muddy Favourite, the dog friendly, kid friendly Sun Inn at Hardingstone, who are running a St George’s weekender featuring an awesome Britpop tribute band, The Binks at 9pm on Saturday (22 April). Entrance is free.

The Sun Inn, 9 High St, Hardingstone, Northampton, NN4 7BT

The Farmers Bloodhounds Race Day, Sunday 23 April

See Jon Richardson perf…??!? Oh – no that one’s below

At this event the beautiful Bloodhounds have a run around a quarry (not after foxes) and its a family day out with pony racing, horse racing, trade stands, childrens rides and loads more. It’s £10 per person including free racecard. Kids free.

Manor Farm, Whitfield Brackley, Northamptonshire NN13 5TQ

Jon Richardson, The Old Man, Royal & Derngate, 7.30pm, from Sunday 23-24 April

The real, and often perplexed Jon Richardson. Not to be confused with a Bloodhound

I’m beginning to worry that Mr Muddy is starting to morph into Jon Richardson, in so far as they share a talent of complain about the state of the world and offer no solutions. Unlike TV Celebrity and established comedian, Mr Muddy chooses only the local hostelry to share his views. Since Jon Richardson’s last tour he has become a husband and father, seen the UK vote to leave the EU and watched the rise of Donald Trump, all of which leaves him asking one question, why does it seem that no one else alive can correctly load a dishwasher? What Jon Richardson can do with words when he has more than thirty seconds to work with is pretty spectacular. Or should that be “with which to work”? Tickets from £21.50.

Royal & Derngate, 19-21 Guildhall Rd, Northampton, NN1 1DP

Deene Park – Open Garden for NGS, Sunday 23 April

This picture also comes in sunshine

Let’s get outside and marvel at beautiful Northants’ gardens of all shapes and sizes. This weekend the NGS open gardens appears at Deene Park. Since its foundation, the National Gardens Scheme has donated over £45 million to nominated beneficiaries, of which nearly £23 million has been donated within the last ten years. Check out these two contrasting but worthwhile gardens to visit this weekend (three of the gardens below). Aside from the grandeur of the stately home, Deene Park has an interesting garden set in beautiful parkland. There are lake and waterside walks with rare mature trees in a natural garden.

Deene Park, Corby, Northamptonshire NN17 3EW

Copacabana – Lighthouse theatre, 7.30pm, from Wednesday, 25-29 April

…Music and passion were always the fashion, In Kettering they fell in love

Camp Barry Manilow ALERT! Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl…So begins the saga of Lola and Tony. Their tale of love and romance on the way to stardom has captivated millions, and is now a full-scale, Broadway-style musical fantasy. Original songs created by Barry Manilow, dazzling costumes, spectacular sets and sensational choreography all add up to an evening of entertainment that will leave you breathless. Tuesday £13 advance (£15 on the door)

The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive, Kettering, NN15 6PB

Edinburgh previews at the Ark, 7.30pm, Wednesday 26 April


Two young Comics bring their 2017 Edinburgh show to Northampton first. The Ark welcomes Lauren Pattison and Archie Maddocks to The Ark to showcase their new shows and their undoubted talent. Tickets £4 in advance or £5 on the door Doors Open 6pm, show starts 7.45pm

The Ark, Midsummer Meadow, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN1 5FY

Why not ……..go champing in Aldwincle?

What?  You’ve never heard of champing? Put simply it’s camping in ancient churches, and the opportunity to have an overnight adventure for up to 16 people at nearby All Saints Church in Aldwincle. There are lots of historic sites now being opened up by the Churches Conservation Trust, and these beautiful buildings, with all their local and social history offer a real break from the norm. Mini Muddy is already planning her sleepover. All saints preserve us.

The church of All Saints in Aldwincle was the original Champing™ church and remained the firm favourite throughout the 2016 season. Was it the fact that smiley Farmer Tim brings an enormous cooked breakfast to the door in the morning, or the enchantment of the mellow stone and quaint village setting that makes Aldwincle so special? Or is messing about on the River Nene the main attraction? Find out more just here

All Saint’s Church, Main Street, Aldwincle, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN14 3EL

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire