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Have fun with Bard and Jags; David Bentley looks at ten top things to do in Warwickshire this summer See the Abbey, try croquet.

Byline: David Bentley

1. Be In Stitches at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.

In Stitches is a new free costume exhibition at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, celebrating the costumemaking skills of the company. Visitors can see rarely displayed costumes from RSC productions staged over the past 60 years.

The 35 hand-crafted costumes were all made in Stratford and worn by some of the country's top actors including Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen, Antony Sher, Juliet Stevenson, Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. Open daily from 10am and running throughout the year.

Details: www.rsc.org.uk 2. Set sail for a pirate summer at Tudor World, Stratford-upon-Avon. Tudor World will be having a Pirate Summer. Each young pirate will be given a treasure map to find all the contraband before the other pirates and will receive some booty at the end.

Visitors can search using the new torches to explore the exhibits, smell some of the nasty aromas of Elizabethan England, try on hats or write a secret message using a quill as well as find out what happened to Lucy, the little girl who worked in the tavern.

You can also see some of the summer shows in the Elizabethan theatre area.

Details: www.falstaffexperience.co.uk 3. Listen to live music at the Shakespeare Houses, Stratford-upon-Avon. Music will be in the air at Mary Arden's Farm (at nearby Wilmcote) and Hall's Croft this summer with concerts for all musical tastes. The awardwinning folk band Colvin Quarmby will headline Folk on the Farm at Mary Arden's Farm on August 24 and 25.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Stratford Folk Club are planning a whole weekend of concerts with activities for the family at the working Tudor farm.

The line-up for the Hall's Croft season of music in the garden (August 26 to September 7) includes: Silly Songs of Shakespeare, an Edinburgh Festival style review featuring different styles of music; Shakespeare Trio, 12 sonnets set to original contemporary folk music; Amicantus - rising regional stars in the choir world; workshops for children with Escape Community Arts and Japanese drumming as featured in the current production of Titus Andronicus. The grand finale will be a Thirties style garden party with lively jazz from The Swing Museum.

Details: www.shakespeare.org.uk/birthplace 4. Enjoy a summer of Jaguar at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon The Heritage Motor Centre is celebrating the iconic Jaguar with a number of themed family activities. Visitors can take part in special events celebrating the car's history, design, brand and racing pedigree. Activities at the Gaydon attraction include Jaguar themed Art and Craft Thursdays, the chance to view iconic cars from the Jaguar Heritage Collection, as well as talks and family tours. In addition, every Tuesday is Lego Technic day, where children can design, build and test their own Lego Technic machines. The infamous Artist in Residence, Ian Cook of PopBang Colour , who paints using remote-controlled cars, is back by popular demand on August 13, 14 and 15. Children can have a go at creating their own works of art using remote-controlled cars and car parts. Details: www.heritage-motorcentre.co.uk 5. Take in a major art exhibition at Compton Verney, near Leamington Spa. Compton Verney will premiere a major exhibition until September 22 from Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature which includes approximately 60 works by Turner, Constable and their contemporaries, including John Sell Cotman, John Linnell and Francis Danby. These works from the Tate collections provide a unique exploration of the art of oil sketching in the landscape rather than in the studio, which became fashionable in the late 18th and 19th centuries. This is a rare opportunity to see extraordinary works that have not been seen together before. Details: www.comptonverney.org.uk FROM PAGE 19 6. Walk in the footsteps of Jane Austen at Stoneleigh Abbey, near Coventry.

Walk in the footsteps of Jane Austen at Stoneleigh Abbey and see the portraits of some of her ancestors. The Abbey is playing host to a special Jane Austen evening on August 13. Guests will be given a tour of the West Wing by a guide in period costume followed by a glass of wine and canapes at the riverside Orangery. Tours take place at 7pm, 7.45pm, and 8.15pm and must be pre-booked through the ticket office. Tickets cost PS14 per person. Details: www.stoneleighabbey. org 7. Experience sculptural works at Coughton Court, Alcester. See a stunning outdoor exhibition of sculptural works at the award-winning Throckmorton Family Gardens at Coughton Court from July 31 to September 6. More than 250 pieces of sculpture have been carefully selected from a chosen list of over 60 national and international artists. A wide array of mediums will be on display from traditional marble, wood and bronze to more contemporary forms of expression such as water, ceramics, polystyrene and rubber. Some are figurative, others abstract, some kinetic, others evoking the sense of time standing still.

Details: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coughtoncourt 8. Release your inner MAD inventor at The Mechanical Art & Design Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon. The MAD Museum houses over 100 interesting, witty and bizarre exhibits filling over two floors. With robot arms, marble runs, swirling lasers and quirky clocks among the items, The MAD Museum offers a curious concoction of inspiration, education and entertainment for the entire family. Running from July 20 to September 1 is The MAD Museum's summer Competition. Upon entry into the museum, visitors will be handed a competition sheet packed with hands-on activities including a treasure hunt with puzzles and games to take home. Crack the secret word hidden in the treasure hunt to be in with a chance to win crazy MAD goodies. Visitors will also be entered into a draw to win a big bag of bonkers MAD gifts. Details: www. themadmuseum.co.uk 9. Enjoy a game of croquet at a Victorian Weekend, Hill Close Gardens, Warwick. Join the re-enactors in Victorian costume and play croquet on the lawn at Hill Close Gardens on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11. Hear stories about the Victorian garden owners and the Victorian plant hunters who helped shape how the gardens look today.

Discover what the Victorians liked to cook and how they preserved their food. Enjoy an exhibition of unusual antique garden implements. Learn the Victorian language of flowers and how to make a tussie mussie, a small bouquet to present to a loved one. Details: www.hillclosegardens. com 10. Summer spectacular at Hatton Farm, Hatton, Warwick. There is a sporting flavour to summer at Hatton from July 20 until September 1 where the children can really let off steam with Summer Sports Day races. Then can also head down to the themed A-maize-ing Maze to see how long it takes you to find your way out And, new for this year, they watch daily milking demonstrations. Competitions and shows throughout the day. Details: www.hattonworld. com

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Music will be in the air at Mary Arden's Farm and Hall's Croft this summer
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 19, 2013
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