The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Somerset Edition

Muddy Guide: Thurs 18-Weds 24 August

18 Aug 2016
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The Smartest Giant in Town, Walled Gardens of Cannington, nr Bridgwater, Sat 20 August

Open air theatre in a beautiful walled garden: George updates his image and then discovers it’s not how you look but how you feel that’s important. Folksy Theatre’s version of Julia Donaldson’s famous book.

5pm. £13.50 adult; £10 concession; £8 child; £38 2 adults/2under 16s. On the day, £15 adults; £12 concessions; £19 child; no family tickets.

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Win a family weekend ticket to Valley Fest!

17 Aug 2016
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I love the idea of dancing the night away to some live music in a giant tipi and the next day soothing my hangover, er I mean, having a therapeutic dip, in a lakeside hot tub. Valley Fest, a three-day,  family-friendly ‘love the land’ festival up on the shores of Chew Valley Lake in the Mendips (Fri 2-Sun 4 Sept) must be the perfect way of rounding off the summer. And guess what?

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Brilliant books for kids

15 Aug 2016
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If you can prise their fingers off their smartphones and iPads for a few minutes, slip one of these brilliant books (as recommended by Frome’s independent Hunting Raven Books) into their hands and look forward to some quiet time that doesn’t involve a Clash of Clans or a Pixel Gun.

Harper and the Circus of Dreams by Cerrie Burnell
Ages 7-10

This is an irresistible tale about Harper and her friends’ adventure in the spectacular Circus of Dreams. 

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Afternoon tea at the Cole Manor Tea Rooms, nr Bruton

7 Aug 2016
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Do your bit to support National Afternoon Tea Week by stuffing yourself silly with tea and cake as often as possible from now until next Sunday.  I started supporting our Great British institution early by taking the Muddy Ma for afternoon tea in the stunning gardens of the Cole Manor Tea Rooms at the weekend. It was one of those gloriously sunny days when there is no better place to live than Somerset.

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Summer festival fashion

4 Aug 2016
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OK, so everybody needs things like water, money for the bar and your ticket. Oh, and maybe wet wipes. But before you set off, check out Team Muddy Kent’s list of 15 other must-haves to keep you looking the part – from your Panama hatted head to your fest-essential Hunter wellied toes.

1. Coastal Wool Picnic Rug, John Lewis, £55

2. Aviators, Ray-Bans, Sunglasses Hut, £143

3. The Paradiso Beach Towel, You Me and the Dream, £75

4.

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Muddy Guide Thurs 4-Weds 10 August

3 Aug 2016
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Frome-on-Sea at The Frome Independent, Frome, Sun 7 August

Fancy the seaside this Sunday? Forget Lyme Regis, West Bay or Brean – head over to Frome-on-sea to possibly the UK’s smallest – and briefest – beach.   The Village Green (next to the Frome Flea) is transformed into a sandy beach complete with deckchairs, ice creams and even donkeys. There are cocktails and tunes from the Vintage Mobile Disco and seaside kids’ activities too.

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How to take great holiday photos – on your smartphone

30 Jul 2016
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When Somerset photographer Deb Johnson is working – taking photos for family portraits, weddings and events (like yours truly and some of Somerset’s sparkliest business people at the Muddy Awards) – she uses an impressive piece of kit. But when she’s not, she uses her smartphone like the rest of us, and gets great results. I asked her to share her 10 top tips on using a smartphone camera. Here’s what she had to say….

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Praise be, it’s the weekly Muddy Guide

28 Jul 2016
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Lots of things to do in Somerset, for the kids, for you, for the whole family…

Bristol Old Vic Summer School at Hauser & Wirth, Mon 1-Thurs 10 August

This is a brilliant opportunity for young people aged 11-19 to take part in the Bristol Old Vic’s summer theatre school, hosted by Hauser & Wirth in Bruton. Taking Martin Creed’s exhibition ‘What you find’ (currently on at the gallery) as a starting point, students will explore the theme of connection to the modern world (what it means to be yourself, not to be yourself or to try to be someone else) and devise a new play.

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Win a luxury picnic hamper

25 Jul 2016
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Now that Summer’s really here, it’s picnic season – and I’ve got an absolutely brilliant prize for one lucky Muddy reader: a luxury picnic with for two (worth £90) from The Picnic Hamper People. Forget slightly squashed sarnies and hardboiled eggs – we’re talking poached salmon trout, Eton Mess and Prosecco here.

Based near Glastonbury,  The Picnic Hamper People put together delicious picnics for festivals, hen parties, birthdays, anniversaries, work events or any other occasion.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Somerset Edition