15 days out ideas

Russells International Circus, recreation ground, Stowmarket, June 7-11. Photo: Julian Horn

Russells International Circus, recreation ground, Stowmarket, June 7-11. Photo: Julian Horn - Credit: Archant

Our pick of the best days out across Suffolk and Essex over the next week.

Gin Festival, Ipswich Town Hall, June 2, 6.30pm-11pm; June 3, 12.30pm-5pm and 6.30pm-11pm; June 4, 12.30pm-5pm

Described in Timeout as one of the top 10 things to do in 2016, the UK’s biggest and oldest Gin Festival makes its first trip to town. Enjoy more than 100 different gins, including many new and exclusive; cocktails and masterclasses from experts. There will also be live music and entertainment, talks from gin industry experts and food.

Evening Exploring, Lakenheath Fen, Station Road, Lakenheath, Brandon, June 2, 7pm-10pm, £10, £5 children

Look for the owls, bats and other mammals. Take a torch and insect repellent. Price includes car parking.


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Woolpit Steam Rally, Warren Farm, Wetherden, June 3-4, 9am-5pm, adults £5 Saturday, £6 Sunday and children £2 either day

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, last year’s show saw £17,000 donated to local charities and community groups. Best known for its selection of rare and unusual veteran tractors, this year is no exception with around 20 pre-1930 tractors expected. Complementing them is a one-off gathering of very early commercial vehicles and an expanded display of steam engines. A further 70 tractors up to 1965 will also be on show and more than 80 stationary engines driving an array of mills, pumps and other machinery together with a wood sawing display add to the fun. You’ll also see vintage cars, motorcycles, commercial and military vehicles plus stalls, traditional fun fair and full ring programme both days.

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Ipswich Art Society Open Exhibition, Ipswich Art Gallery, High Street, Ipswich, until June 4, Thurs-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm, admission free

One of Suffolk’s foremost exhibiting organisations for painters, sculptors and printmakers, with 170 works on show, submitted by members of the public and Art Society members. The exhibition also includes a selection of works donated by the Art Society to the town back in 1993.

Naze Tower and Roughs Tower during the Second World War and 1940s, Walton on the Naze, June 3-4, 11am,

Talk, tour and trip up the tower with owner Michelle Nye-Browne and special guest Chief Stoker Bill Woollard, 2nd WW Veteran stationed on Roughs Tower after the war. Spaces limited. There’s an accompanying Back to the 1940s weekend event at The Naze Centre.

Make it at the Museum, Chelmsford Museum, June 3, 10am-4pm, £3

Craft-based opportunities include spinning the potter’s wheel with master Essex potter Shaun Hall, demonstration by sculptor and wood carver Mike Barter who will help you create your own masterpiece to take home and artist Georgina Coote will be on hand to paint and decorate fabrics.

Framing the View – Connecting with the Landscape, Moverons Farm and Gardens, Brightlingsea, June 3-4

An installation of art works by artist in residence Julie Cuthbert, which reflects her experiences and emotional responses to the landscape, history and wildlife of the farm through painting, sculpture and photography. The four-acre garden has estuary views, a wide variety of planting in mixed borders, natural ponds and 300-year-old trees. Other gardens open include Boxford, June 4, 11am-5pm, including 24 sites as well as the allotments and church tower; Yoxford, June 4, 11am-5pm with a special theme of butterflies; and Rattlesden, starting at the church, June 3, 1pm-5pm, with 20 gardens open.

Art For Cure pop-up art exhibition, The Garage Gallery, Aldeburgh, June 3-4, 10am-6pm

Titled She, it’s a collection of paintings, sculpture, ceramics and prints all about women.

More than 20 artists, sculptors and ceramicists are taking part – all of who have agreed to donate a percentage of their sales to help fight breast cancer. Click here for more.

Wool Fair, Ickworth House, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, June 3-4, 10am-4pm, £8.75, £4.15 children, £1 children aged 2-4

With sheep dog trials, demos and sheep shearing, The Sheep Show and a variety of country traditions and crafts such as Morris dancing, spinners and dyers, felt makers and embroidery associations, wool crafts, kids’ activities and entertainment.

Cherishing Churchyards, All Saints Church, School Lane, Hollesley, Woodbridge, June 5, 6pm; St Peter’s Church, Darsham Road, Westleton, Saxmundham, June 7, 6pm

Two free events that offer the chance to learn a little of the history of these churchyards, including what habitat management is in place to encourage wildlife. .

Storyseekers, The Smokehouse, Ipswich, every Monday, 10am-noon; Firstsite, Colchester, every Wednesday, 7pm-9pm

Ipswich-based Arts La’Olam welcome African artists Griot Chinyere and Abass Dodoo to the region for free storytelling and percussion workshops for all ages and abilities. There will also be performances at Ipswich Library on Multicultural Day and the New Wolsey Studio on June 24; Colchester’s Big Sunday on July and the Global Rhythms Festival in Ipswich on July 8

Matt Rugg, The Cut, Halesworth, June 6-July 15, Tues-Sat 10am-4pm, admission free

Rugg exhibited widely during the 1960s, including with the Young Contemporaries and with the London Group, a period when he taught sculpture at the Chelsea College of Art. This exhibition, Notation: Between Drawings and Sculpture 2007-2017, features wall-hung sculptures using perforated metal and galvanised steel sheet together with other self-coloured industrial materials.

Russells International Circus, recreation ground, Stowmarket, June 7-11, weekdays at 6pm, Saturday at 3pm and 6pm, Sunday 2pm only, £6.99 Wednesday, varies other days

The multi-award winning all human spectacular features stars of the Romanian state circus alongside the best of British circus skills. New attractions include the Cirque Berserk Riders from Brazil, who ride their motorcycles around the inside of the steel globe narrowly missing each other and Italy’s Sheyen Cairoli with her unique foot archery performance. Regular faces include comedy from Alex the clown and Amanda Russell.

The circus also visits Felixstowe beach June 14-18 and Witham Spa Road Play Area June 21-25.

Woodcocks and Nightjars, Knettishall Heath, Thetford, June 7, 9pm, £2.50

David Tomlinson, a widely travelled birdwatcher, leads this Bury St Edmunds Wildlife Group event, an evening’s viewing of these nocturnal and elusive birds. Meet at 9pm in the central car park.

From Hockney to Grayson Perry: Contemporary British Figurative Prints, Diss Corn Hall, June 7-July 12, Mon-Sat 10am-4pm, admission free

This exhibition celebrates this tradition through the etchings and other print media of important post-war artists including Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach, the Hockney and Rego generation and the artists who emerged in the 1990s such as Celia Paul and Grayson Perry. Hockney’s etchings, which were as important as his paintings in establishing his career, are represented by rare early pieces from the 1960’s, including Jungle Boy, 1964.

Orchestra of Letters, The Lettering Arts Centre, Snape Maltings, Snape, to October 2, Friday-Monday, 11am to 5pm

Part of Snape Maltings concert hall’s 50th anniversary celebrations, this brings together all the disciplines associated with the art of lettering. Thirty-six of the UK’s foremost lettering artists, curated by master letterer Mark Frith, present original works. You’ll see calligraphy, typography, letterpress, laser, oxidation, ceramics, glass, wood and stone letter carving. The diverse pieces on display range from limited edition prints to individual sculptures.

Don’t miss our what’s on guide - in the paper ever Thursday - for more events.

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