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What’s On in the Country? The Culture Diary

Don't miss the best cultural events in the UK during the month...

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What’s on this week in the countryside and the UK beyond London? Wonder no more! Find out all the hottest show openings, new art exhibitions, restaurants to book into and more. Here’s your culture guide to the month ahead…

Looking for events in London? Check out our Town Culture Diary

What’s On in the Country this Month? September 2019

1 September

The Tempest, UK Tour

UK Tempest Tour, Illyria

Illyria, the only UK open air touring company to have won four international awards, brings The Tempest to life in Britain’s most atmospheric outdoor locations, including the castles of Thirlestane in Edinburgh and Arundel in Chichester. 21 June – 8 September.

3 September

Hive City Legacy

Hive City Legacy

Helen Murray

Hive City Legacy is a powerful part of HOME Manchester’s new season of shows; a riotous satire redefining the narratives of women of colour by confronting the intersecting issues of race, sexuality and mental health with the brash, modern and attention- grabbing arts of beat boxing and body popping. 3 – 7 September;

5 September

Don’t miss… Barbara Hepworth: Artist in Society 1948-53 at St Albans Museum


© Matthew Hollow

A newly explored phase in the life of Hepworth – her superb figurative drawings and community-based work in Hertfordshire – reveals a new phase of her development as Britain’s major post war artist. Until 8 Sept;

7 September

From Where I Stand by Sarah Spackman

Sarah Spackman

Sarah Spackman’s new exhibition, From Where I Stand, comes to the Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Oxford, focusing on painterly logic and order with her characteristic simplicity. The painter’s inner and outer world comes to light in this collection of carefully studied still life works. ‘The subjects of my paintings are mainly organic, things grown on the allotment or in the garden, or simply things I find beautiful,’ Sarah explains. 7 – 28 September;


Verve sunset yoga

VERVE is this year’s freshest wellness festival, offering individuals, couples and families the bounty of the glorious south Wiltshire countryside alongside a packed wellness programme. Expect yoga, pilates, meditation, breath work, sound baths and woodland exercise classes, as well as a ‘wild’ spa, boutique shopping and luxury glamping. 7 – 8 September;

8 September

The Four Seasons Hampshire’s Cancer in the Community Charity Event

Four Seasons Hampshire

Hampshire’s luxury country hotel, The Four Seasons will be hosting their annual Cancer and the Community charity event in aid of three life-saving and enhancing charities; the Brain Tumour Charity, Phyllis Tuckwell and the Target Ovarian Cancer charity. The fund-raising event, now running for its 14th year, welcomes support from all ages to take part in a two or five kilometre route – run or walk, the choice is yours – around the hotel’s spectacular grounds. Once the route has been completed, guests can enjoy an afternoon filled with live entertainment and lawn games while indulging in an array of flavoursome food. There will even be face-painting for the little ones and restorative chair massages for tired runners. 8 September; four

10 September

Yoko Ono: Sky Pieces

A retrospective of sculpture, music, film and performance will explore Ono’s love of the sky – a feature of her work that symbolises freedom, peace and our unknowable universe. A tiny gallery with big ambition. Until 10 Oct;

13 September

Southampton International Boat Show

Southampton Boat Show

Britain’s highly anticipated boating festival is back with a bang this year as over 600 marine brands will be showcasing their expertly designed and engineered boats within Europe’s largest purpose-built marina. Over a course of ten days packed with live music, interactive attractions and insights into the latest technological innovations in boating, visitors will also get the chance to undergo a series of out-at-sea experiences, including dinghy sailing, paddle boarding, and Dragon 65 yacht racing, as well as interacting with some of the biggest names in sailing and unwinding, cocktail in hand, in the Rum & Gin Bar. 13 – 22 September, Mayflower Park, Southampton; tickets available at 

15 September

Bride-to-be Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons Hampshire

Four Seasons Hampshire

Calling all excited nearly-weds, The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire has collaborated with luxury bridal boutiques, Bridal Indulgence and Tilly Mint, to host a delightful Afternoon Tea exclusively for soon-to-be Brides. Featuring an elegant bridal fashion show, followed by an informative wedding-planning Q&A, guests will then sit for the piece de resistance; a glorious Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire Afternoon Tea. What’s more, all Brides will take home a luxury goodie bag comprising a £50 accessories voucher to spend at the two bridal stores. 15 September, 1.30pm, £35 including afternoon tea; 

19 September

Wellbeing by the Lakes

Wellness Fest

Head down to Dorset for a wellbeing-centred weekend at Wellbeing by the Lakes, the latest three-day festival to delve into all matters of mindfulness and healthy living. Headlined by beauty and wellbeing entrepreneur Liz Earle MBE and Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten, author of A Monk’s Guide to Happiness, festival-goers will experience a weekend of inspiring talks and workshops, live acoustic performances, and meditation and movement sessions, all while relishing in an array of healing therapies and healthy foods. The festival’s focus on peace and wellbeing is only matched by its beautiful location within Dorchester’s serene sculpture park, Sculpture by the Lakes, where wanders around the gardens are a must. 19 – 21 September, Sculpture by the Lakes, Dorchester, tickets from £20;

21 September

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today at Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Aida Fouroutan
Exploring identity, faith and memory, five Muslim artists trained or based in the North West are to present their work. Artist Usarae Gul describes herself as ‘Unglish’, the hybrid of Urdu and English her family spoke at home, and combines the two in bright joyful paintings of takeaways and terraced houses. Painter Aida Foroutan grew up in Tehran – ‘Women’s Life’ is based on interviews with Iranian women at different dramatic stages of their life and their struggle for rights. Shabana Baig’s layered works represent her identity as a second-generation Asian woman growing up in the 90s – complex, tangled and beautiful. Three cheers to the Whitworth for making different voices heard. Until 10 Nov;

24 September

Grete Marks: An Intimate Portrait

Grete Marks_Untitled_n.d

Grete defied Bauhaus supremo Walter Gropius to forge her art her way. Deemed ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis, derided by Goebbels for her geometric shaped ceramics, this exhibition is a tribute to her originality and grit. Until 27 Oct;

26 September

Hedda Tesman at Chichester Festival Theatre

Hedda Tesman

Johan Persson

Written by the prodigious playwright Cordelia Lynn, Headlong’s production of Hedda Tesman delves into matters of motherhood, power and sabotage in a thrilling performance at the flagship Chichester Festival Theatre and Manchester’s The Lowry in Salford. With a stellar cast including Drama Desk Award winner Hadyn Gwynne as Hedda – who has featured in the likes of Broadway’s Billy Elliot: The Musical and The Way of the World – and New Tricks’ Anthony Calf as her husband, the story follows a troubled woman whose world is turned upside down when her estranged daughter reappears. Until 28 September at Chichester Festival Theatre and 3 – 19 October at The Lowry, Salford;

29 September

Don’t miss… Ruskin, Turner & the Storm Cloud, Cumbria

RUSKIN Study of Rocks and Ferns, Crossmount, Perthshire JL

135 works spanning six galleries, the exhibition coincides with the 200th anniversary year of John Ruskin’s birth and takes place in the acclaimed artist home, where he found most inspiration. A leading English art historian of the Victorian era, watercolorist, prominent social thinker, draughtsman, art patron and philanthropist Ruskin is a name well known and well regarded. Through watercolours, drawings and more, this exhibition explores Ruskin’s relationship with Turner’s work and pertinently the influence he has in highlighting climate change. Until 5 October; more details at


What’s On in London This Week? The Town Culture Diary / The Best London Musicals: What’s On in the West End

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