The cool, quirky and unmissable in Cambridgeshire this weekend.
International Garden Photographer of the Year, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, ends Thurs 21 Dec
A collection of stunning images from the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) Ten Year Anniversary Exhibition. It remains one of the world’s most prestigious competition and exhibition for garden, plant and botanical photography with entries from around the world – it’s open to all ages, amateurs and professionals alike, with a Young Garden Photographer of the Year award for under 17s. You’ll be admiring a rare lone orchid in the Hengduan Mountain Range in China and then returning to the UK for an atmospheric sunrise in the Peak District.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Christmas at Burghley, Burghley House, Stamford, Thurs 23 – Sun 26 Nov
It’s beginning to feel like Christmas in Stamford as Burghley House opens it’s doors for the four day annual extravaganza with it’s festive food market and Christmas fair. Over 30 local food suppliers are will exhibiting with everything from handmade cheeses, artisan breads, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats and rare breed meats. On the pressie front the Chestnut Courtyard and Brewhouse will be brimming with unusual gift ideas – this is stress free shopping!
Afternoon Tea with Gordon Brown, The Lighthouse Centre, Ely, Thurs 23 Nov
I often wonder what happened to Gordon Brown after he left No. 10? Here’s an opportunity to hear one of the longest serving Chancellors in modern times, and a fomer P.M. talk about his candid memoir My Life, Our Times.
Cambridge Winter Literary Festival, Fri Nov 24 – Sun Nov 26
Cambridge Literary Festival is the foremost literary festival in the Eastern region. There are two festivals (Spring and Winter) plus one-off events that take place throughout the year. Whereas the Spring programme is extenisve including a large selection for kids and teens the Winter one is much smaller and is geared towards the grown-ups. Size does not diminish the dynamic range of high-profile participants that will be visiting Cambridge across the worlds of literature, media, politics, poetry, philosophy and comedy. Key speakers get booked up in advance so you need to move fast and get on the blower.
Gin Tasting and Cocktail Making, Bedford Pavilion, Sat 25 Nov
Did you know that Bedford has its own gin distillery – Willow Tree Distilling? They’re hosting a gin tasting and cocktail making evening and tickets include a light supper and all the ingredients you need to have a great night.
Bedford Pavilion, Park Ave, Bedford MK41 7SS, pavilion.attheparkbedford.co.uk
Roy Ayers, Cambridge Junction, Sat 25 Nov
Referred to frequently as the Godfather of Neo-soul, you might well have been bopping to Roy Ayers’ dixco sounds in the 70x/80s (if you’re that old!). Today he’s still great demand and whose music industry heavyweights, including Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Tupac and Ice Cube.
Cambridge Jazz Festival, Sat 11 – Sun 26 Nov
It’s the third Cambridge International Jazz Festival – 15 days of live music, workshops, films, tributes and speakers, the Festival offers variety and intimacy across over 25 different venues in Cambridge. Genres include: modern jazz, jazz fusion, soul, R&B, Afrobeat, funk, hip hop, rock, blues, electronica, folk, gypsy, big band, choir, a capella, poetry, Lindy Hoppers, NewGenJazz (all day event!) at the Cambridge Corn Exchange featuring 11 bands, some of the finest young, award winning, boundary pushing UK jazz artists, jazz under a 70ft Whale (Museum of Zoology, Cambridge), jazz for toddlers and young kids – there’s something for everyone!
Ferry Meadows Christmas Fair, Peterborough, Sat 25 – Sun 26 Nov
Anyone fancy going on a bear hunt? Well you can here as there’s a festive one planned around the parkland. There is heaps going on and some is not what you’d expect – a mobile dog grooming station so you can get your pooch looking beautiful for Christmas! Alongside the gift stalls there’s Christmas crafts for all ages, cake docrating, tree themed activities, bumper cars and festive storytelling. The Nene Valley Railway is also running the Santa Special steam train ride from Peterborough to Wansford that travels past Ferry Meadows. For more information and advance bookings, visit http://www.nvr.org.uk/events/santa-specials
Ferry Meadows, Ham Ln, Peterborough PE2 5UU, neneparktrust.org.uk
Histon Handmade, Histon, Sat 25 Nov
Artwork by Naomi Davies – watercolour and ink
Now in its third year this conemporary design and craft fair is gaining a reputation for the quality and range of exhibitiors on offer so if you’re wanting to find unusual gifts or Christmas decorations this season then this is the place to come. Exhibitors are all selected by invitation, to ensure the highest quality of work, and as Histon Handmade is an ever evolving exhibitors are deliberately rotated to ensure that each event is unique and different.
Histon Handmade, St Andrew’s Centre, School Hill, Histon, CB24 9JE, histonhandmade.com
Winter Ladies Day, Huntingdon Races, Sat 25 Nov
Giddy-up! Winter Ladies Day is back to brighten up November with an added Brucie Bonus of a Gin and Prosecco festival, The Style Awards and live music! This meet is a great fun day for those seasoned race goers or just a group of mates that want to have a fun day and a lorra laughs. The hub of the entertainment away from the racing will be based in the fashion marquee, get the glad rags on and enter the style awards or enjoy the Gin and Prosecco Festival – hiccup!
Bedford Red Cross, Christmas Fair, Bedford School, Sat 25 Nov
If you’re already fed up with Mariah screeching in the busy shopping centres – and we’re not yet in December then this popular fair will allow you to sleep into the festive season with the gentle sounds of carol singing, Father Christmas might pop in to see the kids and a host of unusual and great quality trade stalls. Chocolate expert Aneesh Popat will share some of the secrets that have put his chocolates on the menu in Michelin-starred restaurants and local florist, Fleurette will be running demonstrations for floral decoration inspiration.
De-stress and Loose Weight: Results Environment, Realfit, St Neots, Sat 25 Nov
Feeling stressed? We all need to take time out at times to re-evaluate our lives. Stress is a fact of life but managing life’s everyday pressures can silently mount up and before long it’s taking a toll on our health. Realfit at St Neots believes in taking a holistic approach to health and fitness and are running a seminar to help plan, prioritise, loose weight and get some control back in your life. It’s not always easy to find time for your own personal mind and body but it’s worth sometimes being a little selfish and thinking about ‘me’ for a while.
Realfit Centre, 19 Little End Road, Eaton Socon, St Neots, Cambs, PE19 8JH, facebook.com
Children’s Life Drawing, Fitzwilliam Museum, Sat 16 Dec
If you haven’t had a chance to see the Degas exhibition it’s well worth a visit. Known so well for his ballerinas, and there are many of them on display, this exhibition demonstrates the artist’s bredth with many of his sculptures, nudes and landscapes. This kids session allows them to see the exhibition and then draw a real dancer in the studio with artist Laruen Clemment (with clothes on!)