School holiday special: Week 3 » 8 - 14 August

Circus school » Life below stairs » Rockpool rambles » Sheepdog trials » Fireworks » Hot-air balloons at dusk » Fancy dress » Pipes and drums » Street theatre » Flower show » Highland flings
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The Independent Travel

Monday 8 ­ Friday 12 August

Summer Circus School, Warwickshire

Circus professionals and puppeteers show children mixture of circus skills, drama, music and movement. Suitable for ages 8-14.

Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry (02476 524524).

9 August

Medieval Merriment, Devon

Medieval entertainment with dancing, games and food in one of Britain's best-preserved Norman keeps.

Totnes Castle, Devon (01803 864406).

Victorian Living History, Norfolk

Experience life as a servant in 1860s by trying your hand at daily chores. Costumed guides and helpers recreate atmosphere of a Victorian family home.

Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk (01263 837444).

Get Plastered, Cornwall

Learn how the Elizabethans made their colourful decorated plaster ceilings by making and painting samples to take home. Designs include roses, ogres and fruit.

Trerice, near Newquay, Cornwall

(01872 2626466).

10 August

Flowers by Candlelight, Bournemouth

See 3 August.

Lower Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset (01202 451700).

Sea, Sun and Sandymouth, Cornwall

Children's environmental activities with a maritime theme ­ rockpool rambles, beach sculptures, quizzes, scavenger hunts. Learn about conservation and our links to the sea.

Sandymouth, near Bude, north Cornwall (01579 351346).

11 August

Vale of Rydal Sheepdog Trials and Hound Show

Sheepdog trials, beagle, harrier and fell foxhound show. Working terrier show. Open, puppy and open restricted hound trails. Show of shepherds' crooks. Gun dog demonstration.

Rydal Park, Rydal, Ambleside, Cumbria (01539 621413).

11-14 August

Eastbourne International Air Show

Four days of flying displays including international military jets, Second World War aircraft, aerobatic displays and freefall parachutists as well as RAF ground display, arena events, children's entertainment, classic car cavalcade and fireworks finale.

Seafront and Western Lawns, Eastbourne, East Sussex (0906-711 2212).

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and Nightglow

Forty hot-air balloons glow in time to music, with a firework spectacular to finish. There's street theatre and entertainments, trade stands, music and exhibitions.

Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol (0906 825 2262).

11-17 August

Beer Regatta Week, Devon

Sailing, swimming, street races, discos, dance entertainment, family fun, fancy dress, car rally, kite-flying, tug-of-war, fishing competition and more.

Seaton, Devon (0906 470 0867).

12-20 August

Southend Carnival Week

Events including children's fancy-dress competition, dog show and toddler's parade. Carnival fair will be in Chalkwell Park all week, with rides and games. Grand illuminated parade.

Various venues, Southend-on-Sea, Essex (01702 618747).

13 August

World Pipe Band Championships, Glasgow

Colourful tartan spectacular featuring 200 bands and 8,000 pipers and drummers from Europe, Australia, Canada, US and New Zealand.

Glasgow Green, Glasgow (0141-221 5414).

Ashfield Show

One of the biggest free shows in the East Midlands, it includes main arena, funfair, live music, animals, classic cars and bikes, street theatre and more.

Sutton Lawn Pleasure Grounds, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire (01623 457403).

Professional Firework Championships, Leicestershire

Four teams compete for title of Professional Fireworks Champion. Each show lasts 10-15 minutes and the night will close with a laser display.

Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire (01788 860250).

Fordcombe Fête and Flower Show

This picturesque event in the rural community's calendar features flower displays, craft stalls, sideshows, produce stalls and a children's corner.

Cricket Field and Village Hall, Fordcombe, nr Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Ellingham Show

Showjumping, heavy horses, dairy and beef cattle, sheep, and donkeys. Also horticultural marquee, handicrafts and produce, antiques, and a dog show including displays of dog agility.

Somerley Park, Ringwood, Hampshire (01425 476601).

13-14 August

Astle Park Traction Engine Rally

Twenty-five steam engines, fairground organs, vintage and classic cars, motorcycles, tractors and static engines, models, craft and trade. Saturday-night fireworks and fair from 6pm.

Chelford, Macclesfield (01751 473780).

Yorkshire Air Spectacular ­ Giant Model Rally

The only show of its kind in England features giant model planes, some several feet tall, which can be flown.

Rufforth Gliding Club, Rufforth, York (01423 867144).

Second World War Weekend, Surrey

Living history group shows role, uniforms and equipment of anti-aircraft units during the war. Plus children's activities and uniforms to try on.

Aldershot Military Museum, Aldershot, Surrey (01252 314598).

Re-enactment: The Battle for Camp Nelson, Hampshire

Yankees and Rebels fight for the control of the fort in this American Civil War battle re-enactment. Plus large living history encampments.

Royal Armouries Fort Nelson, Fareham, Hampshire (01329 848500).

13-20 August

Dawlish Carnival

Opening ceremony on Sunday. Procession Thursday. This is one of many events during the carnival week. Air display on Thursday afternoon. Red Arrows fly, conditions permitting.

The Lawn, Dawlish, Devon (01626 863388).

14 August

Perth Highland Games

Running, cycling, Highland dancing, piping and pipe band contests, tug-of-war and more.

South Inch, Edinburgh Road, Perth (01738 627782).

14 August-4 September

Edinburgh International Festival

One of the world's most prestigious arts festivals. Dance, theatre, opera and classical music in more than 170 performances.

Various venues, Edinburgh, Scotland (0131-473 2000).