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All that's glorious about Guildford
This year marks the 36th annual Guildford Summer Festival, which sees a fantastic calendar of events unfold across the town. Celebrations began at the start of last month and will continue until August 10, so proceedings are now in full-swing - and with everything from sporting events to drama performances and food fairs taking place in July, there truly is something for everyone. 2019's festival is being run in association with Silent Pool Distillers, who craft award-winning gin from the beautiful surroundings of the Surrey Hills.
Highlights for this month include Stoke Park Railway Gala Weekend from July 6 to 7; jump aboard the miniature steam train and see model engineering exhibits and arts and crafts displays. If you fancy something more active, the much-loved Guildford Lions Charity Raft Race will take place on Saturday July 6 - this fundraising spectacular will see home-made rafts of all shapes and sizes set sail along the River Wey, starting off at Millmead and finishing at Stoughton Waterside Centre. Raft entry forms can be found at guildfordlions.com, so it's time to practice those rowing skills.
One for the foodies is the Cheese and Chilli Festival at Shalford Park over the weekend of July 20 to 21, where you can put your tastebuds to the test as part of the chilli eating competition or pick up some new culinary skills at a cookery demonstration. The Garden Show at Loseley Park between July 26 and 28 is also a must see, there will be 200 hand-picked stalls and a selection of plants, garden furniture and home accessories to browse through.
In addition there are a huge number of plays and art exhibitions to see, as well as heritage talks and tours that delve in to the town's fascinating past.
A full listing can be found via the online brochure, and ticket prices vary between events. guildford.gov.uk
Guildford Fringe Festival - 28 June-28 July
Guildford will host over 120 eclectic events across 12 different venues as part of this month long festival - expect everything from music, visual arts and theatre through to comedy, spoken word and children's events. There will also be plenty of opportunities to enjoy fresh new writing on the arts scene - the musical High School Shooticle is a must see. Tickets prices vary.
RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival - 1-7 July
The grounds of Hampton Court Palace will blossom with glorious displays of gardens and plants as part of the annual RHS Festival, which this year is being supported by Viking. Highlights include the RHS Sanctuary which has been designed by Ula Maria to promote the benefits of green space. A Preview Evening will take place on 1 July, offering the chance to explore the showground before it opens to the general public. Tickets: from £33.50 for the public for the day, or from £28 for members.
Woking Shopping is celebrating 'all things summer' at their Summer Zone in Jubilee Square throughout July and August. They'll start by serving up all the Wimbledon action on their big screen from 1-14 July, meaning that customers can indulge in a spot of shopping and not miss out on any of the action on court throughout the tournament.
Survival Against the Odds - Between the Devil and the Deep - 4 July
Not every decision we make is necessarily life changing and not every choice is the dividing factor between life and death. Ex Royal Marine Commando and experienced cave diver Martin Robson were faced with this herculean decision 75 feet below the surface in a Russian lake, paralysed from the waist down. Join Challengers at the Guildford Cathedral for an evening that will take you into the mind of a man who pushed the limits of physical and mental endurance. Martin will recount his experience of decompression sickness, sharing with you how he overcame the fight of and for his life.
As part of Ladies' Day, which marks the start of The Coral Summer Festival, Sandown Park Racecourse has teamed up with breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! Representatives from the charity will be encouraging race-goers to self check and to get to know their own bodies as part of their project to stamp out late detection of the disease - look out for Belinda the BoobMobile and their GIF booth. The course will also be hosting Jockey Club Live evenings with Madness performing on July 24 and Pete Tong and The Heritage Orchestra on July 31.
Head to Clandon Park Estate for this family-friendly event, where there will be classic vehicles and motor cycles galore, as well as a raffle, children's entertainment, and arena displays. The event is being held in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Tickets: £7 for adults, £6 for concessions and under 12s go free.
The beautiful grounds of Gatton Park will spring into life as they become host to a huge array of displays, stalls and attractions - watch birds of prey in full flight and see working Newfoundland dogs, or bring your own four-legged friend along and take part in the dog show. Tickets: £7 for adults and children go free.
This family-friendly event returns to Flower Farm for the third year and it is now proud to be Surrey's largest beer festival. The beers certainly aren't the only attraction though; there will be four stages with a huge variety of acts including the Bootleg Beatles headlining on Friday night. Tickets: £47.50 for adults for the whole weekend, and £22 for teens.
This hugely popular event is back for another year, promising a fun-packed afternoon with something for all the family. Browse through the many exhibitions in the marquee, watch dancing and martial arts displays in the arena, brave the fun fair rides or test those arm muscles in the Tug of War competition. Tickets: £4.50 for adults and £2.50 for children online, or £4 and £2 when purchased in either Londis or Johnstons newsagents in Claygate.
Guildford Shakespeare returns with its 14th open-air season. There might still be time to grab tickets to Twelfth Night, which runs until June 29 at the Bandstand in Guildford Castle Gardens, but if not then you've not missed out completely as the company will also be taking over Stoke Park Railway for its adaptation of Shakespeare's only comedy to be set in England, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Caroline Devlin directs this 1970s-inspired show, complete with a toe-tapping soundtrack, bell-bottom slacks, velour shirts, and who knows, a British Rail train might actually turn up on time! Tickets: £26 for adults, £23 concessions and £16.50 for children under 16.
Walk for Parkinson's - Surrey Hills is a challenging three or six-mile circular route from Denbies Vineyard and takes in some of the most spectacular views across the area of outstanding natural beauty. Those who take part in the walk will be helping to fund research to find a cure for this degenerative neurological condition, which affects 145,000 people in the UK. Start time: 10am. Registration: Adults £12 Child (under 16) £5 On the day: Adults £15 Child (under 16) £7.50.
Celebrating 800 Years of St Mary Magdalene - 20 July-25 January 2020
As the town's parish church reaches its landmark 800th birthday, The Museum of Richmond has curated a brand new exhibition in partnership with the Richmond Team Ministry. 'Celebrating 800 Years of St. Mary Magdalene at the Heart of Richmond' will be held in both the museum and the church itself, and it will delve into the church's history books while following the themes of building, people and worship. Tickets: Entry is free.
With summer finally here, The Runnymede has opened up its outdoor pool to non-residents for the first time, with a 'Daycation by the River' package. Launching on Monday 22 July, guests can access the outdoor pool and enjoy lunch at the buffet-style restaurant Leftbank accompanied by a glass of fizz.
RHS Garden Wisley invites human visitors to bring along their four-legged friends for a special evening stroll around the grounds - now that's a dog walk setting that will be hard to beat. This event will take place between 6 and 8pm, and the last entry is at 7.30pm. Tickets: free to RHS members, or £7 for adults and £5 for children (and dogs go free).
Experience a Tudor history lesson like never before with the Surrey History Centre - they will be running a 'Top of the Tudor Pops' workshop between 10 and 11.30am, which will see musicians from Passamezzo demonstrating a variety of period instruments. Then between 2 and 3.30pm the 'Strictly Tudor Dancing' workshop will take place, where you can learn the steps of traditional dances accompanied by live music. Tickets: £10 for each, or £18 for both workshops.
Guests can indulge in an overnight stay at The Runnymede on Thames, and enhance life skills by partaking in an alfresco art class. The Paint and Prosecco package sees local artist Maureen Domoney host a portrait masterclass with a life model. The three hour session allows guests to create a piece of art to take home, whilst also enjoying a selection of cheese with fizz or wine.