Warwickshire’s Essential Entertainment Guide
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Located in the South Warwickshire countryside, Compton Verney is a great place to revel in nature, broaden your cultural horizons, unleash your creativity, or simply treat yourself to a relaxing day out.
Although only a stone’s throw from Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon, and an easy drive from Birmingham and Coventry, the venue feels a world away from hoards of tourists and the bustle of city life.
The art and exhibitions on show are among the best in the country, while there’s also plenty to keep the kids entertained for hours on end - and at reasonable prices too! Find out below why Compton Verney should be the next place you visit…
Possibly one of the most important exhibitions you’ll see this year (Compton Verney is its only UK tour venue), this showcase of work by the world’s greatest photographers captures the most significant events of the last 70 years, from the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Whether you’re into history, photography or are just fascinated by people and humanity, the images on show will move, educate, inspire and empower you.
Compton Verney is also giving you the chance to have your photography featured in its
galleries as part of a related display, allowing everybody to contribute a snapshot of the world. Opens 11 October.
Ancient Chinese bronzes and portraits of royalty
Among Compton Verney’s many attractions are Chinese bronzes that are thousands of years old, the largest collection of British folk art in the UK, portraits of Tudor royals and masterpieces by Canaletto and other artists from the ‘golden age’ of Neapolitan art.
A free tour by a tremendously knowledgeable ‘gallery interpreter’ will bring the impressive collections to life.
Make a mud pie
For younger visitors, the Forest School (Thursdays during term time, 12.30pm - 2.30pm) is
usually the highlight of their visit. It’s a chance to play, to get muddy, to make and build things and to make new friends. The Forest School is hugely popular, particularly in the holidays when it’s open to older kids too.
There’s also a great adventure playground, a pond-dipping platform, a bird hide and
sandpits to play in, meaning you can spend the whole day there without getting bored.
The Women’s Library
If you’re looking for your next good read, get some ideas from this beautiful library.
Inspired by a fascinating history, the library’s bookshelves change every year when guest curators are invited to choose a selection of books that are special to them.
Learn a new skill
If you’ve ever fancied having a go at botanical illustration, turning your hand to whittling or learning about native flora and fauna, keep an eye on Compton Verney’s fantastic programme of workshops, talks and events, all of which change seasonally.
Shopping with purpose
Start - and finish! - your Christmas shopping here! Compton Verney’s got a great selection of products to
purchase, from quirky gifts and beautiful cards to coffee-table books and unique homewares and handbags.
And you can shop with a clear conscience too, knowing that all the money you spend goes straight back to charity to support emerging artists, the site’s restoration and arts education for local children.
Check out the Textiles Fair (16 & 17 November) for handmade products direct from the artists who created them.
Brand new art and half-term fun
Well known for supporting artists and commissioning new creations, Compton Verney is this autumn shining a spotlight on the work of Israeli artist Ariel Schlesinger.
Ariel has designed a special half-term programme featuring games and activities designed to challenge your creativity and imagination.
While you can pop into the café for fantastic cakes and delicious hot meals, it’s well worth booking in advance for afternoon tea. Served in a beautiful room with views across the gardens, it really turns a visit into a special occasion.
With autumn upon us, the landscape at Compton Verney is transforming before our very eyes. With a range of walks available, from short strolls on paved pathways to longer jaunts through meadows, the huge site boasts some incredible views (after all, it’s what the original landscape designer, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, was famous for!).
Walking through the grounds feels like taking a trip around the world, with Redwood Sequoias as big as you’d find in California and Cedars of Lebanon dating back to the 18th century.
Great value for money
Compton Verney’s Annual Pass is exceptionally good value for money. A £33 Family Annual Pass gives unlimited entry for two adults and four children to everything except exhibitions for a whole year.
Visit comptonverney.org.uk to find out more about upcoming exhibitions, events and activities, and to plan your visit. But hurry, the venue closes for winter on 15 December, and does so with a bang - a fabulous firework finale to say goodbye to 2019!
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