More than 60 great events in Surrey for your 2012 diary
PUBLISHED: 12:15 15 March 2012 | UPDATED: 20:55 20 February 2013
If ever there was a year to be excited about in Surrey, then this is it, with everything from the countdown to the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations to the 100th anniversary of the Titanic
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2012
If ever there was a year to be excited about in Surrey, then this is it, with everything from the countdown to the Olympics and the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations to the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. Here, Matthew Williams highlights some of the not-to-be-missed events taking place across our county
ON THE HERITAGE TRAIL
JAN + In 2013, Haslemere Educational Museum will celebrate its 125th anniversary. In the meantime, the museum is looking to raise 1million through its Museum in a Million fund-raising campaign, which runs throughout 2012 with various events taking place. One of the oldest independent and most respected museums in the country, it is just seven years younger than Londons Natural History Museum.
MAR Best remembered for his work in the Gothic Revival style, particularly the Palace of Westminster, this year marks the 200th anniversary of the great architect Augustus Pugins birth. In Surrey, his work can be seen at the Landmark Trusts Oxenford Grange in Elstead; St Nicholas Church in Peper Harow; and St Peter and St Pauls Church in Albury, which is usually closed to the public to protect the paintwork from decay.
APR Following on from last years A History of Surrey in 50 Objects, Surrey Museums Month will this year focus on people around the county who have played an important role in shaping our history or had a significant and wider impact further afield.
APR Immortalised in the Hollywood blockbuster starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, its 100 years since the unsinkable Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic. Memorials will take place nationwide and, locally, many will remember the life of Jack Phillips: the chief wireless operator from Godalming who sacrificed his life to try and save the ships passengers and crew. The Phillips Memorial Cloister in the town is undergoing restoration to mark the occasion and a series of events will be held.
SEP The 75th anniversary of the borough of Epsom and Ewell culminates on Saturday September 29 with a borough fun day at Hook Road Arena. An invite has been sent to Buckingham Palace, so watch this space...
SEP Heritage Open Days returns and if youve ever wanted to visit a roman villa, the earliest public lending library in England, a private illustrators gallery or any other Surrey building of importance usually hidden behind locked doors, then this could be your chance.
FEB + Croydon will be celebrating the life of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with world premiere performances of his opera Thelma at The Ashcroft Theatre and, in September, a picnic pilgrimage on the actual day he died 100 years ago.
APR+ Who needs Gareth Malone when this year weve got everything from the Leith Hill Musical Festival in April; the Surrey Hills Music Festival in May; Hampton Court Palace Festival and Happy Days Festival, both in East Molesey, and Wisley Music Festival in June; GuilFest in July; and Weyfest in September and thats just the prelude.
MAY Farnham Castle will host the first festival concert of the Tilford Bach Festivals 60th year with a performance by the London Handel Players on Friday May 25.
JUN Nestled in the Surrey Hills, the tranquil Coverwood Lakes in Ewhurst provides the perfect setting for their concert series, which has been running for over 20 years and been newly christened Coverwood Lakes Opera for 2012.
FOR THE BOOKWORMS
FEB + Accompanying Guildford Shakespeare Companys now annual run at Holy Trinity Church in Guildford (they will also be performing at Guildford Castle in June and Guildford College of Law in July), Surrey-based historian and author Alison Weir will be giving a talk at their performance of Richard III on Saturday February 18.
MAY + Bookworms should keep an eye out for the Surrey Heath Literary Festival in May; Guildford Book Festival in October; and the Richmond upon Thames Literature Festival and Elmbridge Literary Festival in November.
JUN As part of this years Haslemere Festival, a Conan Doyle weekend is planned in support of the Undershaw Preservation Trusts efforts to save the Sherlock Holmes authors former Hindhead home.
JUN This year is the bicentenary of Charles Dickens birth and as part of an international celebration of his life and work, Watts Gallery at Compton has been chosen to host a prestigious art exhibition in tribute to the world famous author (the other major exhibitions are at the Museum of London and the Strauhof in Zurich).
ON STAGE THEATRICS
FEB The world premiere of The Kings Speech play by David Seidler will be brought to the stage, with Guildfords Yvonne Arnaud Theatre its first host.
FEB The award-winning actress Joely Richardson makes a welcome return to the stage for The Lady from the Sea at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.
MAR Guildfords Prankster Theatre Company heads back to its roots to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Named after One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest author Ken Kesey, who was known for his psychedelic road trip with The Merry Pranksters, they perform their version of the book at The Electric Theatre.
MAY Fingers crossed, Sir Michael Caine will be back handing out the awards at this years Leatherhead Drama Festival.
OCT The ever-popular Arts Alive festival will be taking over the Mole Valley with art, craft and entertainment events.
MAY + Deerstalkers at the ready for The Blindley Heath Show, South Godstone, and Cowpie Country Show, Betchworth, in May; the Surrey County Show, Guildford, in June; and the Cranleigh Show, Cranleigh, the Edenbridge and Oxted Show, Lingfield, and Egham Royal Show, Egham, in August. The only remaining traditional agricultural show within the M25 takes place at Chertsey, also in August.
SEP The shooting and country sports show Bisley Live is set to return to the National Shooting Centre, Bisley, though the date is still to be confirmed.
OCT Following on from two highly successful years, the Surrey Hills Wood Fair at Birtley House, Bramley, which has been supported by Surrey Life since the start, will be re-run in October.
FEB A series of GF Watts Hall of Fame pictures, which are usually housed at the National Portrait Gallery, are set to come to Watts Gallery in Compton.
MAR + To celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee, The Lightbox in Woking will be hosting an exhibition that explores post-war Modern British Art produced in each of the six decades of the Queens reign. In April, its time for the Surrey Open Art Exhibition there, which is a competition open to all levels of artistic ability.
APR The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned will tell the story of beauty, debauchery and decadent art at Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey.
APR + Surrey Sculpture Societys calendar sees them heading to Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, in April; Guildford Cathedral in April and May; G Live, Guildford, in July and August; RHS Garden Wisley in August and September; and VivArtis at King Edwards School in Witley, usually in September and October.
MAY Now in its fourth year, The Sculpture Garden at Birtley House, Bramley, is set to run throughout May and June.
JUN Every year, artists and craftspeople open their studio doors to the public through June for Surrey Life favourite, Surrey Artists Open Studios, offering demonstrations, workshops, artwork for sale, free prize draws and taster exhibitions.
OCT This years winner of Surrey Artist of the Year will be announced in October at the New Ashgate Gallery in Farnham.
MAY + The popularity of food festivals continues to grow with the Foodies Festival at Hampton Court in May; Godalming Food Festival in July; and Haslemere Food Festival and Farnham Feast of Food in September tantalising the tastebuds.
JUL The third Guildford Beer Festival will take place at Guildford Cricket Club. For more about Surrey's beers and breweries, read on.
SEP Surrey Farm and Food Week brings a host of tasty farm walks and food fairs.
OCT With the reputation of Surrey wine growing, the wine harvest is now a date for the diary at vineyards across our county.
FEB Depressed by the thought of those long winter months remaining? Then put Saturday February 4 in your diary, which marks the opening of the month-long Tropical Extravaganza festival at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
APR The Festival of Tulips at the stunning Dunsborough Park, Ripley, sees over 10,000 bulbs blooming in spectacular displays, with teas provided each day by invited charities.
APR There are gardening shows at Loseley Park, Guildford, in April and July, as well as the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July and Wisley Flower Show in September, too. The Claygate Flower & Village Show takes place in July, as does Chipstead Village Fair and Flower Show.
JUN Open gardens events in Surrey this June include: Bookham Open Gardens Day; Frimley Green Open Gardens; Hidden Gardens of Grayshott; Horsell Garden Safari; Kingswood, Tadworth and Walton Open Gardens; Shere Open Gardens; Sunbury Open Gardens; Tatsfield Garden Tour; and Woldingham Open Gardens. Of course, there will also be many National Gardens Scheme (NGS) openings throughout the year as well.
AUG It may be hard to believe today, but up until a hundred years ago, a vast swathe of Surrey was covered with miles and miles of lavender. The harvest usually takes place at the end of summer.
OUR SPORTING SUCCESS
FEB After the ups and downs of the Rugby World Cup, all eyes will be on England as the Six Nations arrives. The team plays at Twickenham on Saturday February 25 against Wales and Saturday March 17 against Ireland, and will train at Pennyhill Park hotel in Bagshot.
APR The Peaslake Mountain Bike Orienteering event, a day combining off-road cycling with navigation skills, takes place on Sunday April 29.
MAY The European Tours flagship golf event once rotated around several of Britains finest courses, Wentworth being among them, but in 1984 it returned to the West Course and hasnt ever left.
MAY Held since 1862, Walton and Weybridge Regatta in May is followed by Kingston Regatta in July, which has been running even longer, dating back to 1857, and then Sunbury Amateur Regatta in August, which is celebrating its 135th anniversary this year.
MAY The Mascot Grand National the madcap race that attracts a worldwide audience is moving to Kempton Park racecourse in Sunbury-on-Thames this year.
MAY Cartier may have moved its sponsorship from International Day to the world-class Queens Cup, but its still the Guards Club in Egham where the worlds polo spotlight will fall. Not forgetting, of course, Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Ewhurst and Ham Polo Club in Richmond as well.
JUN The Queen will begin her Diamond Jubilee celebrations by attending the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs racecourse on Saturday June 2. On Monday June 4, thousands of beacons will be lit around the world to celebrate her majestys 60-year reign over the UK among other events.
JUN The worlds tennis-lovers once again descend on Wimbledon in June for The Championships... and strawberries, cream and champagne. Come on, Murray from Surrey...!
JUN The Brooklands Double Twelve two-day motorsport festival takes its name from the great 24-hour races held at Brooklands some 80 years ago.
JUL To coincide with the Olympic road racing coming to Box Hill and Surrey, Surrey Life is teaming up with Denbies Wine Estate for the Surrey Hills Road Race Festival over the Olympic weekend. The time trials will also be coming to Hampton Court Palace in August. Of course, in July, the torch will also be passing through our county.
JUL The 2012 Guildford Cricket Festival will see Surrey County Cricket Club taking on Lancashire, from Wednesday July 11 to Saturday July 14, and Nottinghamshire on Sunday July 15 at Guildford Cricket Club.
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
FEB The annual Guildford Pancake Race on the high street culminates in The Housewife Race no prizes for guessing the dress code... for both ladies and gents.
MAR The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity is gearing up again for The Marsden March, a 14-mile walk between Chelsea and Sutton.
APR Thorpe Park welcomes a new 18million apocalyptic 127-foot rollercoaster, The Swarm.
JUN The Big Yellow Duck Race features 2ft-long yellow ducks making their way down the River Wey at Guildford.
JUN Surrey Life will be returning to the Fox Revived pub near Horley for the second Festival of Surrey Life.
JUL + Oxted Pram Race sees fancy dressed locals charging around with home-made prams its all for charity. Windleshams takes place on Boxing Day.
AUG Those who love camping and cooking should head to the Hog-Fest outdoor cooking festival at Loseley Park.
AUG Held at the home of Top Gear, Dunsfold Park near Cranleigh, Wings and Wheels is a huge celebration of motoring and aviation heritage.
SEP The Surrey Care Trust is 30 years old in 2012 and, as well as celebrations, their annual STEPS Across Surrey 3 Peaks is on Saturday September 15.
OCT Strap ice to your feet and race down a hill to Surbiton Ski Sunday.