What's on over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend: A 4-day guide to events in West Berkshire and North Hampshire
There are lots of family fun events to choose from, from Wonderland madness in Newbury to a day at the races, the All About Dogs show, the Lambourn open day, the Devizes to Westminster canoe race spectacle and a classic car meet.
Already running and up to April 23, Easter Egg Hunt, Newbury Town Centre, 9am each day. All proceeds to Sings & Smiles. Organised by Visit Newbury.
Newbury Easter Fest, Northbrook Street and Bartholomew Street. Characters from Wonderland, including the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit, live music and entertainment, artisan products and street food. High Street brands, independent shops, cafés, restaurants, and pubs, all fully open. Join in the fun on Friday 10am-8pm; Saturday 10am-8pm; Easter Sunday 10am-5pm.
Peter O'Sullevan Lambourn Open Day. More than 25 racing yards and horse exhibitions will open on the morning of Good Friday to give the public the opportunity to get first-hand experience into the running of top yards such as multiple Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson, Charlie Hills, Clive Cox and Oliver Sherwood. The central arena opens with a full programme of equine shows and demonstrations of country skills. There will be a show jumping competition with several leading horse racing personalities; past and present National Hunt jockeys will also be schooling horses over fences and there will also be camel racing. Tickets cost £15 on the day for the whole day, £10 for afternoon entertainment only and children under 12 can enter for free. All money raised goes to Lambourn’s registered charity, The Lambourn Valley Housing Trust, which works tirelessly for the welfare of its stable staff, the air ambulance and worthy local organisations. Visit www.LambournOpenDay.com to buy tickets and for more information.
To Monday 18, The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race. The longest non-stop canoe race in the world. The race is 125 miles long and travels down the Kennet and Avon Canal until it joins the River Thames at Reading, then follows the River Thames to Westminster.
Recommended viewing points:
Day 1 – Devizes to Newbury : Bridges between Devizes and Wootton Rivers (“the pound”): Horton, Allington, All Cannings, Stanton St Bernard, Honeystreet, Wilcot, Bristow Bridge, Pewsey. Then New Mill, Burbage Wharf, Bedwyn, (Avoid Little Bedwyn altogether, it is out of bounds to race traffic), Hungerford town, Enborne (10 minute walk)
Day 2 – Newbury to Marlow : Ham Bridge (1.5/2 miles after start), After Woolhampton (B road between A4 and A340 passes over the canal, no lock there), Ufton Bridge (after Aldermaston), Dreadnought Reach (lots of roadside parking and space on the river bank for viewing), Henley (not Marsh Lock) - you can see the river, large car park by the Rowing Museum, or Henley downstream of bridge, plenty of space to view, Mill End (A4155 at Hambledon), you can see river, Marlow Bridge (not the lock).
For more information visit www.dwrace.co.uk/index.html
Basildon Easter market, Basildon village Hall, 10am-1.30pm. Free kids Easter treasure hunt, craft stalls, refreshments and much more.
Duck Derby, East Shefford Farm, 3pm. Prizes for the first five ducks over the finishing line. Easter tea and cakes. Sponsor a duck for £2. Tickets available from Shefford Garage, at the race or contact Denise on 07867 934 387
Open day, St Peter’s Church, Tadley, 10am-noon, and 2pm-4pm. Visit the oldest building I Tadley. Learn its history and meaning.
Frankie Dettori at The Plume, Hungerford, from 6pm. Featuring special guest performance by Pete Burrell. With over 33 years in racing Frankie will tell all about the ups and downs of his racing career. Entry is free.
And Sunday 17, Dubai Duty Free Races, Newbury Racecourse, The Racing Experience Day (Saturday) has plenty to entertain all ages and you can meet Peter Rabbit and Harry the Horse at Sunday’s ‘eggstravaganza’.
Burghclere Miniature Railway, Easter Egg Hunt, Burghclere Sports and Social Club, 10am. £10 per child – includes egg hunt, carton of juice and ticket for unlimited rides on the railway until 3pm. One ticket will receive an Easter hamper or a chocolate bunny. Places limited – email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her on 07776 146064
Easter Egg Hunt, Kingsclere cricket field, 12noon. Organised by the Rawlings family in memory of Dolly-Rebecca Rawlings. Donations will go to Basingstoke Hampshire hospital children’s ward.
And Monday, All About Dogs, Newbury Showground, 9.30am to 5pm. Plenty of canine fun and entertainment. Enjoy the arena displays, demonstrations, activities and family entertainment as well as expert advice and shopping opportunities. Tickets to the event are limited so visitors are encouraged to book online at www.allaboutdogsshow.co.uk
Running alongside the dog show is Newbury Garden Show. Celebrate the very best of gardening, home and lifestyle with crafts, gardening tools, food, flowers and everything home and garden related.
Classic Car gathering, The Hatch Gate, 5pm onwards. If you have a classic car or would just like have a look, everyone is welcome.