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Things to do in July

Butterfly Quiz at Fermyn Woods Country Park until Fri 21 July

I just love Fermyn Woods Country Park and have had many an adventure there – See the Muddy review here. One thing I really love are the Butterfly meadows. The team at Fermyn have set up a butterfly quiz and you don’t need to be an expert to take part.  So howabout packing up a picnic and heading over? Pick up your quiz sheet from the Skylark Cafe. £2 per person including a prize.
10am to 4pm. It costs a £2 per person

Fermyn Woods Country Park, Lyveden Road, Brigstock, Kettering NN14 3HS

Camping at West Lodge Farm, Desborough Sat 1/2nd & 8/9 July

Who fancies a overnight trip to Northant Best Family attraction? West Lodge Farm were voted as winners  of the Muddy Award 2017 and so, recently crowned the cream of the crop, beating some larger attractions into second place the team up there in Desborough have two weekends pencilled in where families can pitch  tent, spend 2 days at the farm, enjoy their home reared hog roast, twilight walks, camp fire, marshmallows and stargazing. Its a ticket only event and they’re going fast.  Don’t worry if you miss out this month – they’ll be more camping on 2th, 13th AND 19th, 20th AUGUST.  All ticket details can be found here.

West Lodge Farm, Back Lane, Desborough, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN14 2SH

Northampton Town Festival – 10.30am-23.00pm, 1-2 Jul

Think giant  funfairs, impressive hot air balloon displays, live music & entertainment, fireworks and a huge dollop of community spirit – and you have the recipe for the HUGE Northampton town festival. Whether you are a local resident, a local trader, a member of a local community group, or part of the thriving entertainment scene…this event is not to be missed. The Old Town Show started in 1909 and give or take a World War, it’s been a consistent feature for the town. It’s FREE to attend. Pets are welcome to come along during the day but must be well behaved and kept on a leash at all times.

Northampton Town Festival, The Racecourse, Kettering Rd, Northampton NN1 4LG

Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Natwest T20, Northampton from 7 July

This is a great family night out, with lots of fun food, and some big hitting cricket.  Mr Muddy is big fan of the Steelbacks, but warns us not to sit near front when a six is hit, for fear of losing your eyebrows.  Bless him.  The NatWest T20 Blast begins again on Friday, July 7, and will dominate the next seven weeks of the season. Fixtures can be found here.  The Steelbacks, who were crowned Blast champions for the second time in four years at Edgbaston last August, have home advantage on the opening night against the Derbyshire Falcons.  Wahoo.  Junior (aged 5 – 14) tickets costs as little as £7, Adults from £20, and family tickets are available, starting at £47 (Two adults, two kids)

The County Ground, Abington Avenue, Northampton, NN1 4PR

Oundle International Festival, Oundle, 7 – 15 Jul

They ain’t nothing but The Houndogs

For over 30 years, the Oundle International Festival has been providing Northamptonshire with entertaining and enriching music concerts, theatrical performances and community events which includes folk, jazz, classical and choral music, complimented by family theatre, an outdoor cinema screening, an encore screening of an opera and the annual Bach Walk (phew).  This year the open opening weekend celebrates the area’s wealth of amateur music making activity and Oundle open gardens (9th July only). The full programme will be announced at Easter but meanwhile the Festival will finish, on Saturday 15th July, with the Party at the Wharf, featuring Absolute Bowie, Lincolnshire Rockabillies, The Houndogs, Oundle group Disarray and other local bands.

Oundle Music Trust, 4 New Street, Oundle Northamptonshire PE8 4ED

Mid Summer Vintage Fair, 10am – 4pm, Sat 8 July


Wahoo!! Vintage Retreat Northampton is holding a Mid Summer Vintage Fair…watch this space for more details!  It’s free admission and kids are very welcome.  Of course they are – they’re the next generation of fashionista’s wearing clothes from the previous generations.  Er – if you see what I mean?

Vintage Retreat, Lower Harding Street, NN1 2JL Northampton, Northamptonshire

Peter Pan, Kirby Hall, Corby, 7pm, 9 July

Oh now this is shaping up nicely.  English Heritage, owners of Kirby Hall, are teaming up with Chapterhouse outdoor productions to provide us with a night of magical theatre.  Join Wendy, Michael and John Darling on their adventures with Peter, far away on the magical island of Neverland. There they encounter the enchanting mermaids, magical fairies and the cruellest pirate of them all, Captain Hook. J.M.Barrie’s timeless classic is brought to life in a brand new adaptation by award winning writer Laura Turner, with beautifully designed costumes, music and songs. Gates open at 6pm.   Why not take a picnic  – and of course the obligatory blanket or low back chair to watch the performance – and be prepared for the British weather! Details on all Ticketing can be found here.

Kirby Hall, Off Kirby Lane, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 3EN

Lace with Alison Winn, Scotch Lodge, Earls Barton, 9.30am – 4pm, Mon 10 July

Picking up where they left off after their International lace day workshops (26th June), those talented folks at Scotch Lodge are providing an all day lace making workshop. Taking charge  of proceedings is talented Alison Winn. You will be able to pre choose your design so you can prick your pattern and wind your bobbins ready for the class (oo-er).  The course costs £36 for the whole day and is suitable for beginners to advanced lace makers. Teas and Coffee provided throughout the day with lunch and cake.  You will need your own pillow, bobbins and threads- which Scotch Lodge do sell in their craft shop.

If you can’t make this workshop, but love the idea of crafts then keep an eye for the regular events taking place at Scotch Lodge.

Scotch Lodge Farm and Craft Shop, Mears Ashby Road, Earls Barton, NN6 0HQ  Tel: 01604 810910

Botanical Treasures,  78 Derngate until 15 July

Botanical Treasures’ is an exhibition of original botanical watercolours painted by members of the Northamptonshire Botanical Artists’ Society (NBAS). The group is made up of local artists drawn together by their love of plants and painting. 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays (except BHs). Admission to the exhibition is free.

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House, 78 Derngate, Northampton,  NN1 1UH

Smartphone photography, Stanwick Lakes, 10am – 3pm, Friday, 7 & 9 July

If you love taking photos on your phone and would like to capture more than simple snapshots, then this is the workshop for you! Discover how to compose a compelling shot, edit with apps, organise and share your images. Workshop Fee: £48. Includes: 4 hours tuition, refreshments, parking (excludes lunch). Group size: Max 10 participants. To book in, call 07864 912346 or email [email protected]

Discovery Zone, Stanwick Lakes, Rockingham Forest Trust, Stanwick Lake, Stanwick, NN9 6GY

Party in the Park, Rushden Hall Park, 1 – 10pm,  Sat 8 July

Rushden Town Council’s Events committee are delighted to announce preliminary details of next year’s Party in the Park. Arena events to be decided. Local bands and dance schools in the afternoon Headline Act to be decided plus Rushden’s own DJs disco.. Stalls for local groups and charities, fairground, bouncy castle, licensed bar, food outlets & all the usual attractions. Parking £1. Free entry including evening concert. Please note- no dogs in the walled garden in the evening.

Rushden Hall Park, Rushden Northants, Northamptonshire NN10 9NG

Hansel and Gretel by Carl Grose, Delapre Abbey, various timings Sun – Tues 9 – 11 July

Warts and All Theatre present this anarchic retelling of this classic tale by Carl Grose (Kneehigh Theatre) Hansel and Gretel takes place in the grounds of Delapré Abbey, Presented by Warts and All Theatre’s Young Actors and Directed by Christopher Elmer-Gorry (Oh No! Not Snow! and Oliver! Royal & Derngate). This new production combines live music and playful storytelling. Deep in the woods there’s a house made of bread -Sweet smelling delicious bread! Want a piece? Warning: Contains famine, hungry children and a singing bird! Suitable for brave 6 year olds and above. Please Note: This is an open-air production, which will be open to the elements! Why not bring a blanket, picnic and your camping chairs? (Hopefully you wont need a brolly!) Performances will only be cancelled and tickets refunded in extreme weather. Sunday 9th July at 1pm and 5pm Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th July at 7pm Tickets £10 (£8 Concessions), Family tickets are available

Contact telephone: 07765171549.  Call to check latest times or cancellations.

Delapre Abbey, London Road, Northamptonshire NN4 8AW

Wellbeing Walk along the Brampton Valley Way, Brixworth country park, 12noon – 1.30pm, 12 July

Join the Rangers on a wellbeing walk along the Brampton Valley Way. Enjoy a gentle walk along a section of the way, and learn about the history of the site and the wildlife you will see and hear on your walk. Call 0300 126 5932 at least 24 hours prior to event to book a place. Free event. Please Note: Meet at Spratton Road Car Park. Free event. Call 0300 126 5932 at least 24 hours prior to event to book a place.

Brixworth Country Park, Northampton Road, Brixworth, Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire NN6 9DG

British Grand Prix, Silverstone Circuit, 14-16 July

F1™ drivers call the Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix at the iconic Silverstone circuit ‘insanely fast’. Put simply it’s one of the world’s greatest sporting events. Throw in a great weekend-long party and the race is on.  The British Grand Prix is on and it’s not just fast cars baby, there’s also a weekend of concerts lined up for fans. Sara Cox will be headlining Friday night entertainment as she presents ‘Just Can’t Get Enough 80s’ DJ Set. Then Reef & The Hoosiers will be headlining the Saturday night concert and the RPJ Band will be playing at the British Grand Prix After Party on Sunday!  All of the concerts are included on the days you have purchased tickets for, so make sure to stick around in the evening (and get someone else to drive home)!

Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 8TN

Great Expectations, Royal & Derngate, 7.45pm 14/15 July

Adapted by Declan Donnellan. actors-company. A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict forever changes the life of the orphaned Pip. Turning his back on his humble beginning as a blacksmith’s apprentice, he strives to better himself and become a gentleman, unaware of the heartache that awaits him. Great Expectations lays bare the web of lies and guilt in Charles Dickens’ least sentimental love story. It also tackles big questions of identity while mustering a cast of unforgettable characters, chief amongst them Miss Havisham, Magwitch and Joe Gargery. Directed by Erica Martin, The Actors Company invite you to immerse yourself in this classic story and discover one of Dickens’s most loved stories.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP

Let it shine, Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering 2pm & 7pm, 15 July

Michelle Randles School of Dancing is excited to announce their 2017 dance school showcase……. Let it Shine! The evening is set to be a show stopper featuring beautiful ballet dancers, toe tapping tappers and marvellous modern jazz dancers. With tunes from the golden oldies to today’s upbeat modern tracks plus the delights of musical theatre. If you enjoy a night at the theatre watching a fabulous spectacular of dance this show is perfect for you. Come along and support local, talented dancers and boogie the night away.  Adult: £10 Child: £8 Concessions: £8

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

Flashpoint Music Festival, The Great Park, Rockingham Castle, 12am-11pm, Sat/Sun, 15/16 July

Oh my word.  What a line up.  Now then, this festival sits on our border so it’s only a hope skip and a jump for us Northants types. Relive your youth with this throwback festival showcasing the greats of the 70s, 80s and 90s. Dig out your forgotten flares and spandex and stir up the nostalgia within you in the beautiful surroundings of the Great Park at Rockingham Castle. You can full details about tickets by clicking on this link.  Acts confirmed so far are Deacon Blue, Marc Almond, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, OMD, Hue and Cry, Clem Curtis and the Foundations, KT Tunstall, The Lightning Seeds, The Christians, DJ Trevor Nelson, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel with more to be announced.

The Great Park, Rockingham Castle, Rockingham, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 8TH

Northampton Dragon Boat Race Day, Billing Aquadrome, Sun 16 July

A family fun day at Billing Aquadrome Teams of 10 rowers and a drummer will paddle their Dragon Boat and compete against up to 50 teams to achieve the best time over the course through three preliminary rounds, semi-finals and finals to win the coveted Rotary Annual Dragon Boat Trophy. Fun Fair, Licensed bar, refreshments and racing.
£7 per car. Racing starts at 10am. Last race 4.30pm

Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 9DA

Castle Ashby French Market and Friends, 9am – 4pm Sun 16 July

Touring the UK for over a decade, Savoir Fayre’s French Market is a market crafted to stir the senses; beholding to the market place’s tradition of exploring and embracing culture. Each year, Savoir Fayre selectively invite traders who exhibit produce; sourced and imported from towns continuing to craft foods from traditional ingredients and recipes passed down through the generations; as well as the cultural, historic and culinary knowledge and authenticity that they hold precious to the market as a cultural institution. From Le Specialiste du Fromage, established now for over half a century and with a range of cheeses, sourced from almost every region of France, to represent every one of those years; to the garlic prawns of Terre et Mer and the cured meats, fuet and saucisson of The French Comte, the best of France and its friends are coming to the heart of Britain’s town centres.

The Rural Shopping Yard, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire NN7 1LF

Lunaflix presents Pretty Woman (15) at Stanwick Lakes. Gates open 8.30pm Fri 21 July

Can there be a more picturesque surround to admire Pretty Woman than Stanwick Lakes  It’s a spacious, wonderful amphitheatre that the team at Lunaflix have got absolutely perfect, to present a brilliant line up of new and older classic movies throughout Summer.  Muddy has picked two of the classic variety out this month, starting with Pretty Woman.  Business meets lady of the night, they fall for each other, society tries to intervene, but will true love prevail?  You know the rest right.



Tickets can be bought here.

Also look out for these shows across the month
July 29 – BEAUTY & THE BEAST (2017) due to high demand for the latest Disney smash!

Stanwick Lakes, Stanwick, Wellingborough NN9 6GY

Cheese and Butter making, Bay Tree Cottage, 9.30am – 3pm  Sat 22 Jul

From the ridiculous to the sublime.  If you’re inspired by the increasing number of artisan cheeses that are now available to buy and would like to try your hand at making your own, join the BTC team for this fascinating workshop where you can learn the art of home cheese and butter making. Following an introduction to the basic principles, tutor Neil Clark will explain and demonstrate ways of separating cream from whole milk as you churn some butter yourself. You will also be guided through the cheese making process as you make a Cheshire type hard cheese, using a traditional farmhouse method, and a soft curd cheese. Refreshments are provided throughout the day, including a delicious homemade lunch. The number on this workshop will be limited to a maximum of 8 people at £125 per place.

Bay Tree Cottage, Maidford Road, Farthingstone, Towcester, Northants, NN12 8HE

Launchpad festival, The Lab, The Core at Corby Cube, Thurs 20 – 22 July

For the last two years Launchpad has been giving theatre makers a chance to try out new work in front of a supportive audience. This festival is a chance to see some of that work as full-length plays.  On Thursday they present How Did It Get So Crazy by Spike, on Friday Numbered Days by Theatre In Black, and on Saturday a new work in progress from Richard Conlon. Each night will also include a support act and there will be short films curated by Loch And Steel Film Night.

Tickets £6 each or £15 for all three
Thu 20 July – How Did It Get So Crazy by Spike
Fri 21 July – Numbered Days by Ryan Leder
Sat 22 July – a new work in progress from Richard Conlon

The Core at Corby Cube, George Street, Corby NN17 1QG

Summer holiday projects, Underground at Royal and Derngate from 24 July

Matilda The Musical РSam S. Shubert Theatre РThe Broadway Cast РPress Art РPhoto Credit: ©2013 Joan Marcus

So the school holidays land upon us once more and yet again the Royal & Derngate steps up to the plate offering our kids the opportunity to test out their theatrical talents, whilst giving parents a break.  Win:Win.   From Mon 24 – Fri 28 July or Mon 31 July – Fri 4 August the theatrical project will be the brilliant Jungle Book, which is suitable for ages 4-7.  The kids are invited to join all of their well loved and favourite characters as they all venture into the jungle for this magical and enchanting tale. Cost: £125 per participant.

For older kids it’s a 20 minute version of Matilda the musical that’s on offer. Mon 24 – Fri 28 July or Mon 31 July – Fri 4 August. The full length version is the winner of over 75 international awards, and is the musical of Roald Dahl’s classic book Matilda which has taken the world by storm. All participants will rehearse and perform an abridged version of this ever-popular tale, filled with action-packed scenes and show‑stopping songs. Suitable for ages 8-13.  Once again, the cost is £125 per participant.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP

Thurning Feast, Thurning, 5pm – 12am, Tues, 25 July

This is a spectacular festival, which takes place on…whichever day the 25th of July falls on! This vibrant village feast brings the local community together in aid of raising funds for the upkeep of Thurning Village Hall and the Church of St James. Thurning receives help from residents of surrounding villages and in turn raises funds to support their villages and chosen charities. Alongside great live music, a funfair and children’s entertainment, Thurning Feast also offers a variety of multi-national foods and a fabulous selection of locally made cakes and teas for a quintessentially English experience. TICKETS: Advance: Adult £5, Accompanied Under 15 – FREE. £6 on the door on the night. Advance tickets available online and through Oundle box Office

Thurning Feast, Hall Close, Clopton Road, Thurning, Peterborough, PE8 5RE

Fires and S’mores family activity, Brixworth Country Park, 11am-12.30 26 July

A s’more is a traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the United States, consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.  OK it’s not California but the Brixworth park rangers have a fun (and tasty) activity planned for children aged 4 upwards. The aim of the game is to split some wood and feed to the fire to cook your own Smores. Costs are £2 per child, or £5 for a family of four.  Booking is essential. Please call 0300 126 5932 or email [email protected] to book a place.

Brixworth Country Park, Northampton Road, NN6 9DG

Lunaflix presents Top Gun, at Stanwick Lakes. Gates open 8pm Fri 28 July

And here’s the second of the outdoor cinema events we have an eye on this month. As students at the Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young flyer learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.  Step forward Maverick (Tom Cruise).  Anyone who smirks at the name of his friend, Goose,  has a cold cold heart.  Step forward Ice Man.


You can buy tickets here

Stanwick Lakes, Stanwick, Wellingborough NN9 6GY

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire