Get ready for a royal good time

Saturday sees the start of the Diamond Jubilee long weekend and half term for many schools. There are plenty of events to help you fly the flag

What's the attraction?

With a bonus bank holiday and hundreds of events taking place across the UK, there's no escaping the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend (2-5 June; thediamondjubilee.org) – all coinciding with half-term. On Sunday, more than 10,000 street parties are being held around the country (thebiglunch.com); and 1,000 boats will form a flotilla on the Thames (thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org), while thousands of onlookers line the route under 23km of bunting. Throughout the long weekend and the rest of half term, there's everything from medieval-themed days out to indoor, outdoor, vintage and modern family days out to choose from.

Green and pleasant

Enjoy the great outdoors in Lincolnshire's Easton Walled Gardens (01476 530063; eastonwalledgardens.co.uk), where the Meadows Days celebration on Sunday and Monday will show off the best of British meadows and orchards. The "lost" gardens, which date back to 1592, will host bee walks in the meadows, an owl flying display and the chance to try Morris dancing. Admission £6.25. Or head to the Botanic Garden at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire (01249 730459; nationaltrust.org.uk) on 7-8 June for Bee-utiful world, with bee-related activities for children and adults. Admission from £7.90.

 

Active escapes

Freewheel past some of the South-east's royal highlights on a cycling tour along the River Thames from Kew to Windsor. Capital Sport (01296 631671; capital-sport.co.uk) offers a three-day self-guided "Luxury Royalty Diamond Jubilee Tour"; the price of £550 includes bike hire and accommodation. Trips begin on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. To avoid the flag-waving, sign up for a family bootcamp with Northern Bootcamp (0845 467 3750; northernboot camp.co.uk) in Northumberland. A five-night Family Fit and Active camp starting on Saturday costs £500 (£250 child), full board.

 

Festival fever

Festivals are not just for grown-ups. Wychwood Festival (01993 772580; wychwoodfestival.com) at Cheltenham Racecourse starts on 8 June with three days of music, comedy, theatre and dance, designed to appeal to the whole family, as well as circus acts, a children's literature programme and poetry, performance and drama workshops. Adult day tickets from £37; children from £10.

Or head to the Lake District and the Forest of Delights at Friars Crag, Derwentwater, for a special temporary four-day art installation hosted by the National Trust (01768 774649; nationaltrust.org.uk/borrowdale). With a chance to meet the artists involved and learn new crafts at outdoor workshops, the free event finishes with One Enchanted Evening next Wednesday, 6 June, an evening of music from local choirs.

The poet Robert Burns is celebrated from today until Sunday in Ayr at the Burns an' a' That Festival (burnsfestival.com), with literary events, music and a picnic in Wellington Square Gardens.

 

Make a splash

The Fal River Festival in Cornwall (01326 313394; falriver.co.uk) celebrates life on the river from Friday until 10 June, with more than 150 events at different locations on the Fal, including a fish festival on Sunday and Monday in Falmouth. Kayakers will be paddling along the river from Loe Beach on 6 June, stopping for a beach barbecue on the way back (01872 300800; loebeach.co.uk; entry from £17). The Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series (brewindolphinscottish series.com) runs from Friday to Monday on Loch Fyne, with yacht races, highland dancing, face painting, music and fireworks.

 

Screen test

The Museum of Science & Industry (0161 832 2244; mosi.org.uk) in Manchester is celebrating the centenary of code-breaker Alan Turing's birth. Special events include the chance to meet "Baby", the world's first stored-program computer, built at Manchester University in 1948, on 5 and 7 June. On Saturday, children will have the chance to decode a cryptic message on a modern version of the Enigma machine. In addition, daily workshops throughout half term will show how to programme a 1980s BBC Micro computer, until 10 June. Free

 

Time traveller

Relive the preparations for a royal visit by stepping back into the Edwardian era at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens (01302 722598; english-heritage.org.uk/brodsworth) near Doncaster. From Sunday to Tuesday, the stately home will be transported to 1912, with a school for potential new servants and the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary during the day, plus Punch & Judy shows, falconry displays and a travelling cinema. Adults £9.30, children £5.60.

Teenagers will love the vintage stalls and retro photo booths at Powys Castle (01938 551 944; nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle) in Welshpool on Monday, as well as a vintage funfair. Admission £2.

The National Motor Museum (01590 614614; beaulieu.co.uk) at Beaulieu is hosting Fifties-themed events from over the bank holiday weekend, with cars from the era and free traditional funfair rides. Admission £10.

Warwick Castle (0871 265 2000; warwick-castle.com) is welcoming back jousting medieval knights on Saturday, along with 9km of bunting, as part of its half-term events. Admission from £12.96.

Meanwhile, Muncaster Castle's (01229 717614; muncaster.co.uk) five-day Festival of Fools in Cumbria begins on Monday, including a time-travelling storyteller, children's jousting and the International Jesters' Tournament. Admission £13.

 

Who said that?

"Life is one long jubilee" – Ira Gershwin.

"A procession has value in but two ways – as a show and as a symbol, its minor function being to delight the eye, its major one to compel thought, exalt the spirit, stir the heart, and inflame the imagination" – Mark Twain, writing on Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

"Jubilee slouches in the settee / He losing all will to move" – Blur, Jubilee.

 

Naturally regal

Learn about the royals of the sea during special talks being held at the Sea Life London Aquarium (0871 663 1678; visitsea life.com/London) at County Hall in London from Saturday to Tuesday. Celebrate marine creatures with majestic links, including predatory Crown Squirrelfish, blue and yellow Regal Tang, solitary Emperor Angelfish and territorial Jewel Anemone. There's also time to admire the unchallenged rulers of the sea by strolling across the glass walkway above the shark reef, home to 15 of the impressive creatures, including two Sand Tiger sharks. Admission from £17.82

 

Insider information

"The jubilee provides one of those 'anything goes' opportunities to get into the party spirit. Take along flags, wear patriotic hats or best of all, wear a costume that reflects the event you are attending. We are giving small prizes to the best children's costumes at our jubilee events – and if adults make the effort, we'll find something for them too." Emily Burns, head of events at English Heritage (0870 333 1181; english-heritage.org.uk).

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk