Science and nature anniversaries inspire Cheshire’s new celebration of arts and culture
In 2019, it'll be the 50th anniversary year of the Lunar Landings and 100th birthday of the UK Forestry Commission. Cheshire, being home to Jodrell Bank, which captured the first images of the surface of the moon when Apollo 11 touched down in 1969, and Delamere Forest, one the oldest woodlands in Britain, managed by the Forestry Commission, is gearing up for a summer of celebration. And it looks like there'll be some fantastic events in Cheshire to choose from.
In honour of these landmark moments, Marketing Cheshire has launched a new initiative called ‘Where Science Meets Nature’, a programme of family events themed on the county’s rich natural and scientific culture. So, with so much going on, we've handpicked 10 events not to be missed.
1. Just So Festival
There’s nothing like the Just So Festival for a fantastical family adventure. The three-day celebration of outlandish arts in the outdoors will take place in the leafy, lakeside grounds of Georgian country house Rode Hall – come for the day or pitch up at the campsite for the whole weekend. It’s the festival’s 10th year and promises to be the best yet, with an exciting agenda of midnight feasts, silent discos, and al-fresco theatre.
Just So Festival, 16, 17, 18 August 2019, Rode Hall, Scholar Green ST7 3QP. Email/web: firstname.lastname@example.org; justsofestival.org.uk
2. The Borrowers
Once again, Arietty, Pod and Homily Clock will leave their home beneath the floorboards to bravely explore the giant world above. This summer, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre will premiere a brand-new version of The Borrowers by the award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery. Spread out your picnic blanket and pop open a bottle of fizz (soda or champers) at this theatre-in-the-round in Chester’s elegant Victorian park.
The Borrowers, 13 July-25 August 2019, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester CH1 1QQ. Tel/web: 01244 409113; grosvenorparkopenairtheatre.co.uk/borrowers
3. The Lost Words
Join the hunt for lost words through the house and grounds of the Lyme estate. Your quest at this mansion house dating from the 16th century will be to search for ‘dandelion’, ‘fern’ and other words that are too quickly disappearing from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.
The Lost Words, Lyme, until 1 September 2019, Disley, Stockport SK12 2NX. Dunham Massey, 7 September-3 April 2020, Altrincham WA14 4SJ. Quarry Bank, 6 April-31 August 2020, Styal SK9 4LA. Tel/web: 01663 762023; nationaltrust.org.uk/features/the-lost-words-family-trail
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4. Jodrell Bank
The 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landings is a bumper year for visitors to Jodrell Bank. The observatory played a unique role in this momentous occasion, capturing the moment when the Eagle lander, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, touched down on the surface of the Moon in 1969. No wonder UNESCO is considering listing Jodrell Bank as a World Heritage Site, a decision due to be announced in July. Dip into the packed programme of special events at the family-friendly Discovery Centre for budding astronauts, large and small.
Jodrell Bank, Lower Withington, Macclesfield SK11 9DL. Tel/web: 01477 571766; jodrellbank.net
5. Luna Cinema
Is there anywhere finer to watch a blockbuster movie than in the glorious grounds of Tatton Park? In August, this historic estate – featuring a medieval hall and neoclassical mansion set amid landscaped grounds, gardens, and a deer park – will play host to a three-night festival of film. On the bill are recent smash hits A Star Is Born, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and Bohemian Rhapsody, all shown on a giant screen surrounded by woodland near Tatton’s old stableyard.
Luna Cinema, 23-25 August 2019, Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6QN. Tel/web: 0844 858 6767; 01625 374400; thelunacinema.com; tattonpark.org.uk
6. The Silk Museum
Macclesfield once hummed with the sound of silk looms, music to the ears of the mill owners that prospered here in the 19th century. From cocoon to loom, find out how this old market town shot to global manufacturing fame at the Silk Museum and neighbouring Paradise Mill.
The Silk Museum, Park Lane, Macclesfield SK11 6TJ. Tel/web: 01625 612045; macclesfieldmuseums.co.uk/venues/the-silk-museum
7. Space Odyssey & Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival
Did you know, Warrington has played an important role in European space missions for nearly 50 years? Find out more at this summer’s special exhibition, ‘Space Odyssey’, a special exhibition featuring parts of rockets built right here in the town by ESR Technology, including the solar array deployment arm of the Hubble Telescope. Make a note in your diary for October, when Luke Jerram’s touring artwork ‘Museum of the Moon’ visits Parr Hall, the centrepiece of October’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival.
Space Odyssey, 15 June-21 September 2019, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Museum Street, Warrington WA1 1JB. Tel/web: 01925 442399; wmag.culturewarrington.org; Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, 4-31 October 2019. warringtonartsfestival.co.uk
A stellar line-up from the worlds of music, science and cosmic culture will gather on the plain beneath the great white dish of the Lovell Telescope in July to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lunar Landings. Don’t miss your chance to join an audience of thousands, young and old, at the mighty eye on the sky, which captured the first images of the surface of the moon when Apollo 11 touched down in 1969.
bluedot, 18-21 July 2019, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Bomish Lane, Lower Withington SK11 9DW. Tel/web: 01477 571766; discoverthebluedot.com
9. Chester Zoo
There’s always something new to do at Chester Zoo. Whether you’re greeting new arrivals, such as a baby black lemur, or finding out how many bones there are in a giraffe’s neck at one of the daily animal talks, hands-on fun is guaranteed. Meet the zoo’s feathered friends at the lunchtime bird feeds, and drop in for Science at the Zoo or Discover sessions to hear the latest conservation updates.
Chester Zoo, Chester CH2 1LH. Tel/web: 01244 380280; chesterzoo.org
10. Moonlight Flicks
Enjoy the silver screen by the light of the silvery moon at Chester’s Moonlight Flicks. The popular summertime open-air cinema, set amid the crumbling columns, bathhouse mosaics and cypress trees in the Roman Gardens, will feature Stanley Kubrick’s Oscar-winning classic 2001: A Space Odyssey in this lunar-tastic year.
Moonlight Flicks, 5 July-26 August 2019, Roman Gardens, Pepper Street, Chester CH1 1DQ. Tel/web: 01244 409113; moonlightflicks.co.uk
For a full list of events see the Marketing Cheshire website for details.
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