Most of us love Christmas, but even the biggest fan might need a break from all the festive frivolities, so here are some great non-Christmassy things to do at the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.

Drawn to Water - Quentin Blake

Drawn to Water  Until 1 January 2024


Pull on your boots and discover the magic of Slimbridge's wetlands with Quentin Blake's illustrations as your guide. Pick up an illustrated trail and explore seasonal natural highlights, from quiet spots with breathtaking views to close up wildlife encounters.

Spend time with friends and family and engage your senses as you experience uplifting seasonal colours, the crunch of leaves underfoot and the sounds of migrating birds.

See Slimbridge's wetlands in a whole new light.

Bottomless Afternoon Tea with Russell Jones

Bottomless Afternoon Tea with Russell Jones  Sun 3 December 2023

Ellenborough Park

Perfect for tea enthusiasts and food lovers alike. Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of the Great Hall at Ellenborough Park as you enjoy a scrumptious selection of sweet and savoury treats, all paired with a variety of delightful teas. Russell Jones, featured on Britain's Got Talent and X Factor, will set the scene with toe tapping tunes and all the festive favourites.

Spa'kle Spa Experience

Spa’kle Spa Experience  20 November - 30 December 2023 (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

The Lygon Arms 

Relieve your festive stress for a few blissful hours in the tranquil spa at the Lygon. The Spa’kle Spa Experience includes two relaxing treatments of your choice and the chance to soak away your anxieties and tension in the ‘oh so soothing’ spa facilities.

Winter walks at Newark Park (Image: Annapurna Mellor)

Winter walks  Daily, 10am - 4pm, November 2023 – January 2024

Newark Park

Enjoy the outdoors over the festive season by exploring one of the three estate routes at Newark Park. The walks range from a gentle stroll through the woods to a more challenging trip across the Ozleworth valley. Why not grab your walking boots and give them a go? Warm up afterwards by treating yourself to a hot chocolate from the tea pavilion.

Installation view at The Hepworth Wakefield © David Lindsay 2022 - Artwork in foreground: Frederick Edward McWilliam, The Left Handed Tea Drinker, 1981, bronze. The Sherwin Collection, Leeds, UK. By kind permission of the Estate of F E McWilliam.

When Dreams Confront Reality: Surrealism in Britain  13 October 2023 to 7 January 2024

Victoria Arts Gallery

Experience the magical visions of Surrealism – but from an unusual perspective.

Encompassing the diversity of British Surrealism and European influences, with paintings, collage, drawings, ceramics and sculpture by artists such as Max Ernst, Julian Trevelyan, F.E. McWilliam and Man Ray.The show is from The Sherwin Family Collection, arguably the most significant collection of British Surrealism in private ownership. 

When Dreams Confront Reality: Surrealism in Britain is organised by The Hepworth Wakefield in collaboration with the Victoria Art Gallery.

Wine & Cheese Tasting

Wine & Cheese Tasting  30 November 2023

Ellenborough Park

Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a cheese lover, this is the perfect opportunity to expand your palate and enjoy a delightful evening. Learn about the different characteristics of each wine and how they complement the unique flavours of various cheeses from the passionate Head Sommelier. 

Whether you prefer bold reds, crisp whites, or sparkling varieties, there will be something to suit every taste. Sample a wide range of carefully selected wines from renowned vineyards, alongside an assortment of artisanal cheeses.This event promises to be a delightful evening of indulgence, laughter, and discovery.

Brian Sinfield Gallery exhibitions

Rachel Cronin and Christmas exhibitions

18 November to 2 December 2023 – Solo Exhibition by landscape artist, Rachel Cronin

18 November to the end of 2023 – Christmas Exhibition

Brian Sinfield Gallery

One of the most prestigious exhibition spaces outside London for contemporary painting and one of the longest established galleries in the Cotswolds, the Brian Sinfield Gallery is hosting two exhibitions this winter. 

Concurrently from mid- November, the gallery will host a Christmas exhibition featuring new artworks and sculpture by artists the gallery represents and a small exhibition of new landscape paintings by local Cotswold artist, Rachel Cronin. Rachel’s evocative abstract landscapes are a response to the environment by exploring dynamic colours and experimental mark making. Working from sketchbooks she records her surroundings, field lines, hedgerows, and patterns of perspective with a painting in mind. 

Chocolate Genie workshop

Chocolate Workshop  16 December 2023

Chocolate Genie

Do you love chocolate? Then join a chocolate making class for an afternoon of chocolate indulgence making your own Belgian truffles. You will learn some basic chocolate making techniques including flavouring, piping, enrobing and spinning chocolate. Then, after tastings as well, your truffles will be professionally gift wrapped using simple techniques that will add “wow” factor.

New Year’s Day Racing  1 January 2024

Cheltenham Racecourse

Regardless of how you celebrate New Year’s Eve, there is no better way to jump into 2024 than racing on New Year’s Day at Cheltenham. Thrilling and high-quality racing action, fresh air, and amazing free family entertainment.

Featuring live music from LAMPA in the Guinness Village and the ever-popular Family Fun zone and live music in The Centaur after racing from Tommy & the Fuse, there is top-class entertainment for children and adults alike.





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