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This month

Jan 2019

WALK: Winter walk at Anglesey Abbey, daily

Too many mince pies? National Trust site Anglesey Abbey hosts its annual winter walk around the Jacobean-style house’s gardens (famed for its winter snowdrops) and working water mill. 10.30am.


BOOKS: Bring your own book, Wimpole Estate, now until Sun 6 Jan 

Beautiful Wimpole Estate, all 3000 acres of it, will open up its library for a short period to let us get some well needed relaxation after the festive stress. The Library is one of the National Trust’s largest and is home to over 6000 books collected by previous tenants including Elsie Bambridge, The Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling’s daughter. Bring a book, slippers, hip flask.


DRINKS: Gin Masterclass, Cambridge Distillery, every Sat and Sun from Jan 5

Did someone say dry January? Nope, not us. Award winning Cambridge Distillery’s gin masterclass runs throughout the month on weekends in its Grantchester showroom. Explore the distillery, learn how to pick out flavours and, of course, drink some gin.



PANTO: Aladdin, Cambridge Arts Theatre, now until Sun 6 Jan

Missed the Christmas panto season? Royal Ballet veteran Wayne Sleep, West End performer Andy Abraham and 14-time panto dame Matt Crosby are performing in Aladdin until the end of the week.


EXHIBITION: Whistler & Nature, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Tues 8 Jan – Sun 17 Mar

This major exhibition of Victorian artist James McNeill Whistler’s paintings, sketches and prints explores his work in the context of attitudes to landscape in British art and design. A complementary exhibit ‘The Gentle Art: Friends and Strangers in Whistler’s Prints’ will run alongside in the Print Room from Tues 29 Jan, featuring the artist’s etchings of people.


THEATRE: Little Women, ADC Theatre, Tues 8 – Sat 12 Jan 

Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women gets a musical twist at Britain’s oldest university playhouse. ADC Theatre regulars, the Cambridge Theatre Company, will perform to Grammy Award winner Jason Howland’s musical score.


MUSIC: Rudimental, Cambridge Junction, Sat 12 Jan

 For all things D&B and electronica, chart toppers Rudimental, who have collaborated with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ella Eyre and Rita Ora, are playing a few intimate gigs across the UK with Cambridge making the cut. The tour is a primer to the release of their new album Toast To Our Differences and will feature old and new material as well as special guests. 7pm.


THEATRE: My Fair Lady, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Wed 16 – Sat 19 Jan 

Donning their best frocks for My Fair Lady, Cambridge Operatic Society are the only amateur group to perform at Cambridge Arts Theatre, meaning no hefty price tag- great if you’re an opera opera novice and fancy giving it a go.


JAZZ: Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Wed 16 Jan 

Direct from the iconic jazz venue, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars are performing at The Apex in Bury to celebrate the club’s 60th anniversary. The show will be the second of the group’s UK tour and will feature live music alongside rare video footage and archived photos of the good old days.



Screenings seem to be en Vogue this winter with The Royal Opera House celebrating 10 years of its Live Cinema Season in the West End’s newest and most intimate venue, Lindbury Theatre. You can still catch Swan Lake, Giselle and more before the five week festival ends on Mon 7 Jan, children 5 -15 go free. Closer to home at Cambs Arts Picturehouse Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, directed by ROH’s music director Antonio Pappano, will be screened live on Tues 22 Jan. Can’t stand soprano? The venue is also showing Simon Russell Beale as Shakespeare’s narcissistic King Richard II live from Almeida Theatre, broadcast by National Theatre Live, Tues 15 Jan.


COMEDY: Sam Avery: The Learner Parent, Cambridge Junction, Fri 18 Jan 

Promising a witty and honest account of the trials and turmoils of parenthood, breast pumps and all, blogger, comedian and best selling author Sam Avery a.k.a. the Learner Parent comes to Cambs. Sam started his award winning blog after the birth of his twins and going  viral (as the kids say) he wrote Confessions of a Learner Parent in 2017.


PAINT: Booze & Brushes paint night, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Fri 18 Jan


If you fancy yourself a bit of a Van Gogh, paint and get piddled just across the border at The Apex. You’ll get a step-by-step workshop, materials included (except alcohol that can be bought at the bar), and get to take home your own, erm, masterpiece? 7pm.


WELLNESS: Writing retreat, Cambridge Artworks & Artspace, Sat 19 Jan 

The contemporary art gallery is promising unlimited caffeine and a no internet zone for its new year writing retreat in the newly refurbished Artspace.


ART: Louise Bourgeois, Artists Rooms, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Tues 22 Jan – Mon 24 Mar 

This new exhibition of sculptures, prints and drawings by French-American artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) traces pivotal moments in the artist’s long career that is commonly associated with Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Feminist Art. Julie Mehrutu exhibits alongside in her first UK solo exhibition.


MUSIC: The Brass Funkeys, Cambridge Junction, Fri 25 Jan

Playing music from their second album Rabble Rouser The Brass Funkeys are bringing a little swing to Cambs. The eight-piece New Orleans brass band formed in 2011 and have some serious creds including performances at Galsto, Wilderness and Ronnie Scott’s.


GARDEN: Winter garden workshop, Cambridge Botanic Gardens, Sat 26

If your back yard is looking a little worse for wear then this three hour course on how to care for trees and shrubs in winter should breathe a little life back into your garden. The workshop is led by Mark Crouch, arborist and deputy head gardener at the Botanic Gardens.


MUSIC: Cambridge Philharmonic: The Mouse Who Jumped, West Road Concert Hall, Sat 26 Jan 

Written by BAFTA-nominated writer Martin Riley (The Worst Witch), The Mouse Who Jumped is a family tale of courage and kindness performed by one of Britain’s oldest musical societies, Cambridge Philharmonic. The group is composed of a full symphony orchestra and large chorus.


WORKSHOP: Mindfulness workshop, Sacrewell Heritage Farm, Sun 27 Jan 

Deep breaths at the ready, Sacrewell Heritage Farm is holding a mindfulness workshop for those in need of a little R&R. You’ll get a guided workshop in the pretty Cambs countryside, take-home materials (a personal masseuse, perhaps?), refreshments and a day pass to the farm included in the ticket price.


COMEDY: Nish Kumar: It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Sun 27 Jan

Double Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee Nish Kumar is stopping in Cambs on his UK tour that touches on politics and humankind’s self-destructive nature- don’t worry I’m sure it’s funnier than it sounds! A regular on the comedy scene Nish has appeared on Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You and even has his own show on Netflix with fellow comedian Joel Dommet.


MARKET: Vegan market, Guildhall, Sun 27 Jan 

If you fancy giving Veganuary a go (we don’t know if we can give up cheese either) then Cambs is holding its very own vegan market where there’ll be over 50 stalls selling vegan products made by local businesses, food, luxury cosmetics and ethical clothing. 10.30am –  4pm.


THEATRE: Dirty Dusting, Key Theatre, Mon 28 Jan 

Written by Geordie journalists Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood, and starring Chrissy Rock (Benidorm), this feel good comedy follows three charismatic OAP’s as they become sex chatline entrepreneurs. The show, which premiered in 2003, previously sold out shows at Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

Get tickets here.


THEATRE: Caroline’s Kitchen, Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, Tues 29 Jan

TV stalwarts at the ready! Caroline Langrishe (Judge John Deed, Casualty) performs alongside Aden Gillet (Holby City, The Crown) and James Sutton (Hollyoaks) in Caroline’s Kitchen, a comical account of life behind the camera for a successful TV chef.


Rum tasting, Quy Mill Hotel & Spa, Thurs 31 Jan 

Rum ahoy! Another award winner, Cambridge Wines, pops up at four star Quy Mill Hotel with a rum tasting. A ticket gets you a cocktail on arrival, canapés and tasters of eight rums from the Caribbean to South America.



THEATRE: A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, London, now until 19 Jan

The smash hit of Dickens’ classic adapted by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Matthew Warchus returns to the Old Vic and this time Stephen Tompkinson stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. This big-hearted and warm production’s unique staging immerses the audience in the story and there’s music, mince pies and much merriment for a fab festive night out.

KIDS: Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Watford, now until Sun 27 Jan

Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas!  The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.

CHRISTMAS: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park London, now until Sun 6 Jan

hyde park winter wonderland illuminated heater skelter and fairground ride London

Go big or go home when it comes to festive fun, London’s Winter Wonderland is huuuuge. Free to enter but once inside, prepare to sell a kidney. The costs can get out of control – particularly if you hit the glühwein a little too hard. What to expect? Winter markets, fairground rides and ice skating. Major attractions this year include the Magical Ice Kingdom Secret Forest, an immersive showcase of woodland animals and mythical creatures created from ice and snow; a Bavarian village offering an authentic Oktoberfest experience; karaoke cabins, ice sculpting workshops, the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, immersive screenings of The Snowman and plus Peter Pan on Ice.


CHRISTMAS: Kew Gardens, London, now until 5 Jan

Photo: RBG Kew

A spectacular winter trail with over a million twinkling lights and thousands of laser beams, Kew’s light show is awe-inspiring. You can be mesmerised by the Fire Garden, walk through the moonlit woods and check out the laser garden. Mulled wine, hot choc and spiced cider will help keep you warm and the kids can whizz round on vintage fairground rides whilst looking out for Santa and his elves.

Find more ideas here

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