We’ve found the best things to see and do this August around the South Western Railway network
Whether you’d prefer to sample on-trend cuisine at a bustling food festival, soak up an open-air movie at Henry VIII’s historic Hampton Court Palace or get artsy, it’s all just a train journey away. And, best of all, by booking your South Western Railway train tickets in advance, you can save up to 50% on your travel.
4 August at Lodmoor Country Park, Weymouth
Nearest station: Weymouth
Just a 15-minute stroll from Weymouth town centre, the picturesque Lodmoor Country Park hosts a free festival aimed at bringing families together for a sun-kissed day out in glorious nature. With a line-up of talented local musicians, mouth-watering food and drink to graze on, quirky stalls and more than 350 acres of emerald-green great outdoors to explore, it’s a great day out with the kids.
4 and 18 August at the Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Salisbury
Nearest station: Salisbury
With picture-perfect views of the cathedral and the River Avon, it’s hard to imagine a better picnic location than Salisbury’s Queen Elizabeth Gardens. And for two Sunday afternoons in August, between 14:00 and 16:00, this local landmark hosts some of the brightest musical talents from the south west and beyond. On 4 August, solo vocalist Shannon Laura offers a fresh take on today’s biggest pop and R&B covers. Then, on 18 August, settle back for TuneBox: an acclaimed brother-and-sister acoustic duo who serve up mellow spins on the best of pop, rock, soul and Motown. Pack a picnic, pop a bottle of something cold – and put the world on pause for a couple of hours.
8-11 August at Hampton Court Palace
Nearest station: Hampton Court
With Henry VIII’s floodlit Hampton Court Palace as the backdrop, four acclaimed films will be screened in the heart of the sculptured gardens as you watch under the stars. Choose from A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again or The Greatest Showman. Sit back in a deckchair, sample the onsite food and drink – and remember that your Luna Cinema ticket also grants you access to the Hampton Court Palace gardens before sunset.
9 August at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Nearest station: Southampton Airport Parkway (free shuttle bus service provided)
If England winning the ICC Cricket World Cup in nail-biting style has left you hungry for more cricketing thrills, then look no further than T20 Blast. Each team plays just a single innings, a maximum of 20 overs, and most games last a whistle-stop (for cricket, that is) three hours. The pulse-quickening result? Cricket showcased at its high-speed, wham-bam best. And on 9 August, you couldn’t wish for a better county clash than the high-profile meeting of Somerset and Hampshire. With everything to play for, there’ll be a live-wire energy in the air as these two top-flight teams swing for sixes at one of the most buzzing modern stadiums around.
14 August at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Nearest station: Bristol Temple Meads
Led by the Bristol Museum’s world-renowned experts, this workshop opens with a hands-on introduction to the planet’s most striking masks and the stories behind them - from the fearsome tribal designs of Africa to the elegant detailing of the Far East. Then explore the museum’s unrivalled mask collection and take inspiration from the wildest designs before making your own mask. With limited spaces available, this one-off workshop is sure to sell out fast, so book your tickets in advance.
23-25 August on Southsea Seafront, Portsmouth
Nearest station: Portsmouth & Southsea
Launched in 2011 by a trio of local friends with a love of beer and live music, Victorious Festival has grown into one of the best family music festivals in the UK. This year’s set to be bigger than ever, with the likes of Clean Bandit, New Order, Rudimental, Lewis Capaldi, Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party and many more performing on the beautiful Southsea Seafront. Explore the main stages, World Music Village, DJ sets at the Southsea Castle Champagne Bar, and a 30,000 square metre Kids Arena filled with free activities, performances and other entertainment. Best of all, kids’ tickets are very reasonably priced, making this a fantastic (and relatively affordable) festival for everyone.
24 August in Exeter city centre
Nearest station: Exeter Central Exeter shows off its arty side as the fourth annual Street Arts Festival paints the town red (and orange, and blue, and purple…). Led by the belief that art is for everyone, the events at six locations across the city centre are all totally free. Expect everything from live music, including reggae king Yellowman, to energising street dance displays with a battery of glitter cannons. Plus, don’t forget to stick around for the evening entertainment when the bands turn it up with a flamboyant after party.
29 August at The Old Court, Windsor
Nearest station: Windsor & Eton Riverside
Music fans know that Windsor’s Court In Session events are the only place to catch the scene’s best guitarists in an intimate setting – and August’s triple-header bill might be the most tantalising yet. Amrit Sond, Grammy-winning visionary, fuses jazz, classical, folk, world and rock genres into his revolutionary six-string style. Roland Chadwick is one of Britain’s foremost composers and performers with his ‘Dances For Winter Oakwood’ now regarded as an essential classical guitar piece. Meanwhile, the charismatic Chris Woods is the instrument’s young gun, making waves with his eye-popping percussive technique and treating you to tunes from his self-titled debut album with the Chris Woods Groove Orchestra. See him here before he explodes into the mainstream.
Woking Food And Drink Festival
30 August to 1 September in Woking city centre
Nearest station: Woking
Now in its seventh year, Woking’s foodie festival is a celebration that takes over the city centre. With over 80 stalls, family activities and big-name guests, this is one of the best free food festivals in the UK. The Woking Shopping Demo Theatre hosts 20 live cookery demos including Sabrina Ghayour famed for her Persian cuisine and the BBC’s Eat Well For Less presenter Chris Bavin. Try some wine masterclasses and tastings before sitting down to Q&A sessions with local producers about field-to-fork stories.