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90 of the best events on offer in Surrey for 2019

PUBLISHED: 10:36 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 11 January 2019

Wings & Wheels has moved from August to June for 2019 (Photo by Robert Sambles)

Wings & Wheels has moved from August to June for 2019 (Photo by Robert Sambles)

Robert Sambles

Make 2019 the year to appreciate all that Surrey has to offer. We compiled a list of 90 things to do to get you started

January

• Fans of classic cars will have the chance to recover from New Year’s Eve festivities in style at Brooklands Museum’s New Year’s Day Classic Car Gathering. Over 1,000 classic vehicles are expected and there will live music and a winter barbeque to entertain guests all day.

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village’s latest exhibition features original prints and paintings by Surrey artist, Celia Lewis. The exhibition runs from January 12 to February 24.

• Go on a jungle trek with a difference this January at RHS Wisley. Intrepid explorers will have fun searching out more than 30 Lego animals and plants in both the temperate and tropical zones of the glasshouse. From January 26 to March 3.

• Be inspired by trailblazing women photographers at The Lightbox’s latest exhibition. Women in Photography: A History of British Trailblazers will showcase the achievements of female photographers working in Britain.

• On selected Friday’s and Saturday’s in January and February Chessington will be inviting children to take part in its Zootastic Sleepovers event. Kids will get the chance to take part in animal meet and greets, giraffe sneak peeks and find out how to be a zoo keeper.


February

• The landscape of Colombia is the inspiration for Kew’s 24th annual Orchids Festival, which takes place from February 9 to March 10. Colombia is the world’s most biodiverse country for orchids with 4,270 species and visitors will get to experience dazzling displays as well as carnival music, street food, coffee and crafts.

• Take part in the iconic Hampton Court Half Marathon on Sunday February 3. The route goes through Thames Ditton, Kingston upon Thames, the Barge Walk beside the Thames and Hampton Court Palace where Henry VIII will be waiting to cheer you on.

• To celebrate Darwin Day there will be a display about the naturalist at RHS Wisley from February 9 to 17. On the day itself (February 12) the herbarium specimen that Darwin collected on his historic voyage with The Beagle in the early 1830s will be on show.

• On Saturday, February 16 enjoy a varied programme of English and French music for flute, viola and harp, including Debussy’s intoxicating Trio, by The Aurora Trio. The concert forms part of Thames Concerts series of events and takes place at St Andrew’s Church, Surbiton.

• Discover the history of Haslemere at a new exhibition at Haslemere Educational Museum. Told through beautifully-illustrated story boards, visitors will be taken on a journey to discover the history of the town. Some interesting and rare exhibits will also be on display until March 2.

• For a day of delectable confectionary, sing-along live music and chocolatier demonstrations head to The Fantastical Chocolate Festival in Woking on Saturday, February 9.

• Crammed full of adventure, romance, comedy and of course one or two rather brilliant deductions, Sherlock Holmes – The Sign of Four will be coming to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from February 5-9.

• Tour Ankerwycke’s historic parkland to see carpets of snowdrops cluster round the ancient yew and priory ruins. Walks can be booked from February 10-17.

• Head to Denbies Wine Estate on February 2 for a sing-along screening of Mamma Mia as well as a two-course Greek buffet and disco dancing.

• Join Albury’s vineyard manager Alex for an informative and insightful pruning demonstration on February 16. Guests will get to have a go at pruning themselves and even take home some vines.

• If taking up volunteering was one of your new year’s resolutions, head to Claremont Landscape Garden on February 28 to hear about the many volunteering opportunities available.

• Join the festivities at Birdworld in Farnham this February half term with a celebration of all things penguin. Penguin feeding talks and an exploration trail are sure to keep the little ones well occupied.

• Couples planning their big day in 2019 should head to Mercure Burford Bridge Box Hill on February 24 for its wedding fair.


March

Reigate & Redhill Choral Society will be celebrating the Spring Classics at a special concert at St Mary’s Church on Saturday, March 30 in aid of Maire Curie.

• Join Wild Food UK for a series of spring foraging courses in Surrey this March. The company runs courses throughout the UK to teach people how to forage for mushrooms and other wild foods and will be stopping off at Banstead, Warlingham and Guildford.

• In March Polesden Lacey will be launching Beyond the Scone – a series of intimate talks, tours and activities with the people who keep Polesden Lacey special. There will be a pop-up conservation studio and ‘Meet the Expert’ series of talks.

Richmond Theatre will be bringing together Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson, Stephen Tompkinson in ART, a study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance. Written by Yasmina Reza, Art has taken both Broadway and the West End by storm having won Olivier, Tony and Moliére awards.

• Shrek the Musical will be at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from Saturday, March 23. Based on the Oscar-winning film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure that brings all the beloved characters from the film to life on stage.

• Following last year’s successful inaugural event, Contemporary Art Fairs – Surrey will be back at Sandown Park for a full weekend of art shows on March 15.

• Ever fancied having a go on a potter’s wheel? Well now’s your chance as Grayshott Pottery has announced dates for its 2019 one day throwing courses. Two dates are available in March.

• One of the largest community events in the county hits Woking and surrounding areas on 10 March in the form of the Surrey Half Marathon. An attendance of around 10,000 is expected.


April

• This April, Shakespeare’s Birthday events in Guildford will see the Guildford Shakespeare Company’s eighth series of Sonnet Walks take to the streets of Surrey’s county town.

• Back for its second year in East Horsley Village Hall on April 13, World Textile Day brings together a collection of world textile traders and collectors. The highlight of this year’s show will be an exhibition and presentation by Asian textiles expert Jennifer Hughes, who will show and discuss pieces from her vast collection.

• Over 100 different food stalls will be showcasing their products at the Surrey Food Festival on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, 28. Taking place at Old Deer Park in Richmond, the event will feature live demonstrations, talks and tastings, as well as a Kids Zone.

• Tickets for the Spice Girls 2019 tour sold out like hot cakes. But if you didn’t manage to get hold of any fear not, as Spice – The Live Stage Show, a concert created to celebrate the career of the world’s biggest girl band is coming to G Live on Wednesday, April 24.

• The 42nd Farnham Beer Festival will make a welcome return to the town on April 11-13. Ten breweries took part in the festival last year and all profits go to local charities.

• One for the chocoholics, The Denbies Chocolate Fair will be at the Dorking wine estate on April 7.

• Ever wondered what happens in a factory at night? On April 5, Brooklands Museum will be opening at Twilight for Scouts, Guides and Cadets to experience the aircraft factory after dark.

• Meet hundreds of gorgeous baby lambs at Bockett’s Farm’s Easter Eggstravaganza event from April 6-23. There will also be a series of Meet the Shepherd sessions.

• April is a great time of year to experience the blooming of bluebells across the county. Surrey Wildlife Trust recommends Staffhurst Wood in Oxted, Cucknell’s Wood in Shamley Green, Chinhurst Hill in Wonersh, Sheepleas in West Horsley and Wallis Wood in Walliswood Village near Cranleigh.


May

• The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is being held in England and Wales this year. The Oval, the home of Surrey County Cricket Club, will be hosting the first match on May 30.

Loseley Park opens its doors again to the public for its short season on Monday, May 1. Enjoy a guide tour around this Tudor home which has remained in the same family for over 500 years.

• From May 2-11, the Investec International Music Festival will be showcasing the talents of world-class artists in beautiful venues in the Surrey Hills. This year’s festival will see Clare Teal and Her Trio at Denbies Wine Estate, Nicola Benedetti with the Philharmonia Orchestra at St Teresa’s, Effingham and Tenebrae at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford.

• Head to Box Hill from May 30 to June 2 for a children’s half term interactive trail to see what the magical woodland little people have been up to throughout spring.

• With over 800 stunning sculptures set within beautiful woodlands and lakes, The Sculpture Park in Farnham is a great place to spend the May Bank Holiday.


June

Wings & Wheels at Dunsfold Aerodrome will be celebrating its 15th Show with a change in date to Saturday June 15 and Sunday June 16. Expect air displays from the Red Arrows and classic cars.

• The popular Guildford Fringe Festival returns to the town across June and July and this year actor, author, One Show reporter, former MP and government whip, Gyles Brandreth joins the much-loved actress Jenny Seagrove in becoming a patron of the festival.

• Princess of pop Kylie Minogue has been named as the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival, which will be taking place on June 20 and 21. Kylie will be performing in Base Court, one of the magnificent Tudor courtyards within the palace.

Surrey Artists’ Open Studios’ summer event returns from June 1-16, offering the public access to artists and makers and valuable insight into how artwork is produced. There will be over 280 artists taking part in 164 studios throughout Surrey.

• Join the Watford Local RBPB group for an afternoon walk at Thursley Common on Saturday, June 1 in search of woodlarks, tree pipits and common redstarts. The day will close with a pub lunch and then a chance to spot nightjars as the light fades.

Horley Carnival will be returning to the town in 2019 on Saturday, June 15. The theme for this year’s carnival will be ‘Moments in History’ and the procession is set to make its way through the town to the recreation ground where there will be fairground rides, a miniature steam railway, live music and dancing.

• There is some debate about whether George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is an opera or musical. You will be able to judge for yourself at Grange Park Opera, in West Horsley, from June 8.

• Escape the hubbub to find simple pleasures and entertaining delights at Claremont Landscape Garden’s Summer Garden Party on Sunday, June 23.

• Head to Epsom Downs Racecourse on Saurday, June 1 for the 2019 Epsom Derby, which still holds its place as one of the greatest race days and social occasions of the British summer calendar.

• Celebrate summer at the Strawberry Fair Food Festival at Priory Farm. On June 29-30 visitors will get to meet a host of artisan producers, taste plenty of samples and take part in one of the farm’s nature trails or go for a ride on a tractor.

• Comedian Deborah Frances-White, the creator of The Guilty Feminist podcast, will bring a special touring version of the show to the New Victoria Theatre in Woking on June 1. Deborah will be joined by a panel of comedians, guests and musicians from the podcast.

Eat! Food Festival is set to return to Reigate in 2019. Dates and venue are yet to be announced, but last year’s festival saw street food, artisan producers, live music and food demonstrations as well as a craft beer emporium.

• Cyclists taking part in Europe’s oldest charity bike ride, the London to Brighton Bike Ride, will be passing through the Surrey countryside on Sunday, June 16.

• The touring version of West End hit musical Annie will be making a stop at New Victoria Theatre, Woking on Saturday, June 15.


July

Kew the Music returns on July 12 2019, with Craig David named as the first act to be performing at the event. Kew the Music is a glorious week-long festival of summer picnic concerts set within the stunning and iconic grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Festival goers can bring their own picnics or book tickets that come with a special hamper.

• See some of the UK’s top tribute bands at the one day Icons Festival on Saturday, July 27 at Apps Court Farm in Walton-on-Thames. This year’s acts include Killer Queen, Limehouse Lizzy, Absolute Bowie, Illegal Eagles and Live/Wire.

• Each July, the British Wildlife Centre holds a Members Evening for members old and new to spend a summer night meeting the animals and hearing exclusive keeper talks.

• The Cheese and Chilli Festival will be returning to Guildford in 2019 at Shalford Park. There will be quality local, regional and global cheeses to feast on, along with chilli-based products from all over the world.

• The annual Rose Festival will bloom at Polesden Lacey until July 21. The house’s stunning Edwardian walled garden boasts 26 varieties of British rose. Don’t forget to look out for the potpourri bar and talks on rose folklore and care.


August

• Enjoy a wonderful week of wellbeing at the Sun & Moon Festival, which will be at Merrist Wood in Guildford from August 4 to 11. The festival will feature a range of therapeutic workshops, creative and sporty classes for children as well as country walks and live music.

• One for barbeque lovers, the Big Meat festival takes place at Pierrepont Farm, in Farnham, over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The weekend promises to be full of live music, barbequing and craft beer.

• Due to take place from August 31 to September 2, The Woking Food & Drink Festival is one of the biggest dates in the Surrey calendar. Each year the free to attend festival serves up a packed programme of live cookery demonstrations, talks from local food and drink experts, hands-on cookery workshops and over 80 trader stalls.

• The Hampton Court Palace Food Festival returns to its historic setting from August 24 to 26. The event will host celebrity chefs Michel Roux Jr, Nadiya Hussain, Melissa Hemsley as well as artisan and street food producers from across the country.

• Amélie The Musical, an adaptation of the much-loved 2001 award-winning film Amélie, will be coming to the New Victoria Theatre from August 27. Music for the new musical is by Hem’s Daniel Messé, with lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé and book by Craig Lucas.

• The Weyfest music festival will be returning to Tilford from August 16-18. Early bird tickets are on sale now.


September

• Our very own Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards will return to G Live in September 2019.

• The Surrey Hills Challenge is one of the biggest sporting events in the county and this year takes place on Sunday, September 22 at Denbies Vineyard. People of all ages and fitness will be able to participate in five different running and walking challenges including The Ultra 60km run, The Full 42km run, a 10km run and two 5km events.

Chobham Festival returns to the Parish Church of St Lawrence and other village venues from September 28 to October 6. The Flower Festival, held every three years, will be the big focal point in 2019 and is being held on the weekend of October 4. The festival will open with an evening of jazz and close with a Songs of Praise event.

• Explore the National Trust’s Winkworth Arboretum for free to celebrate its annual community day’s 10th anniversary. On Sunday, September 1 there will be music, falconry displays, archery, wood carving and family activities.

• Head to Dapdune Wharf in Guildford on Saturday, September 21 for the Wey River Festival. There will be a variety of stands, food and craft activities. Plus a fantastic illuminated boat pageant as darkness falls.

Haslemere Food Festival is a culinary celebration of local food and drink from Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire. Over the course of the day event there will be live demonstrations, tastings and an interactive children’s zone.

• The BMW PGA Championship Celebrity Pro-Am tournament returns to Wentworth Golf Club from September 19-22.

• Look forward to the return of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing by checking out two of the show’s alumni, Ian Waite and Vincent Simone, at their new show The Ballroom Boys. The dancing duo will be performing at G Live on Saturday, September 28.

• The Concours of Elegance 2019 car show will take place at Hampton Court Palace from Friday September 6 to Sunday, September 8.


October

• Midge Ure will bring his The 1980 Tour to G Live on October 15. Joined by Band Electonica, he will once again bring to life the Vienna album, played live in its entirety for the first time in 40 years.

• Each year Thorpe Park’s series of Fright Night events welcome a host of terrifyingly real zombies to scare the wits out of visitors to the popular theme park.

• Lisa Stansfield will be stop at G Live on Tuesday, October 22 as part of her Affection 30th anniversary tour.

• At Secretts, in Milford, visitors can take a tractor ride out to the pumpkin patch during its annual pumpkin week. Last year the farm welcomed over 10,000 visitors.

• Romesh Ranganathan is back with a brand-new show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, which is said to be his most brutally honest show yet. Catch him at the New Victoria Theatre on October 25 and 25.

• Characters from the BAFTA Award-Winning CBeebies show, In the Night Garden, are set to delight children at G Live from October 2-3.

• For some Halloween fun, head to Bocketts Farm for its Wizards and Witches Week from October 26.


November

Priory Farm’s Christmas Food Festival has become a firm fixture on the foodie calendar and usually takes place late November. Every year the farm shop welcomes a host of artisan producers who offer tastings and chat to visitors about their speciality products.

• Comedian Jimmy Carr will be bringing his new show, Terribly Funny, to G Live on Friday, November 29. Expect jokes about “all kinds of terrible things”.

• The 26th Woking Beer Festival will be returning to the town on November 8 and 9. The event is organised by the Campaign for Real Ale and see’s a host of ale brands showcase their brews. Last year’s winner of Beer of the Festival was Chocolate Moose.

• Hundreds of military vehicles will be heading to Brooklands Museum on November 17 for its annual Military Vehicles Day.


December

Kew Gardens will once again transform into a magical after dark explosion of festive colour, as visitors embark on an illuminated trail of art, light and sound from a roster of international artists.

Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre takes place every December, with a host of artisan food and drink suppliers showcasing their produce. To really ramp up the festive spirit, why not enjoy the palace’s ice rink while you’re there.

• Head to Mercedes-Benz World in Elmbridge for a Christmas day out with a difference. 2018’s event included a hidden clue trail as well as the museum’s new Accelerate interactive racing challenge.


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