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Planning Retirement Online

Dates for the Diary May 2014

Each month we bring you news of events that might have special interest for our age group. Here is our selection for May.

Throughout May

2014 British Asparagus Festival, Vale of Evesham

Worcestershire’s Vale of Evesham has long been known for producing the very best asparagus and every year the British Asparagus Growers Association helps to organise a major festival to coincide with the asparagus season. Various events are organised throughout the month with some running on into June. These include an Asparagus Night Cookery demonstration at the famous Eckington Manor Cookery School; Asparagus Coach Tours; an Asparagus Festival Family Fun day and the famous Asparagus auctions at the Fleece Inn at Bretforton.

More information at:

Throughout May

Goodwood racing, Sussex

Goodwood is one of Britain’s most famous racecourses and runs a series of events each spring and summer. Goodwood is far more than just horse racing though; it used to be a centre of the British social calendar; today it attracts the widest range of visitors who simply love the idea of a day of colour, excitement and great hospitality set in the midst of the glorious Sussex countryside.

May 3rd is opening Saturday for Goodwood and signals a one-week countdown to the start of the racing season. The special Goodwood May Festival runs between 22nd and 24th May.

Find out more at:

Various dates in May

The Keswick Mountain Festival.

The Keswick Mountain Festival is full of exciting activities for all; if you don’t fancy mountain biking or climbing there is a range of excellent speakers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Also as part of the festival there are two less publicised activities that could be of interest:

Range of dates in May

The Wainwright Walks

In partnership with local company Lake District Walker, the Festival has designed four walk routes to cover several Wainwright walks around Keswick and the Lake District. All the hikes are guided by expert walk leaders who will provide the most knowledgable guidence and ensure you get the most out of your day out in the Lakeland Fells. There is even a special challenge - sign up for all four hikes and complete 40 Wainwrights in four days!

More information at: or call Lake District Walker on 0844 693 3389

Sunday May 18th

Wildfood Forage, Keswick, Lake District,

The Festival organisers have joined together with Galloway Wild Foods to offer a Wildfood Forage. This involved 2 miles of gentle walking on well made up paths where you can explore the edible, useful and medicinal plants and fungi of spring woods and hedgerows under the guidance of professional foraging tutor, mountain guide and chef Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods. This will be followed by an informal al-fresco cook in of the finds. Cost is £25 a person.

For more information, contact or call 07900 692478

May 1st to May 4th.

Waterloo Beer Festival, Liverpool

A lovely old church is the surprising setting for this well established and popular beer festival. Sponsored by local solicitors Morecrofts, over 200 real ales and real ciders together with some continental beers, lagers and local food will be available for tasting and enjoyment at this hugely popular event. Live music accompanies most sessions.

For more information, visit or call Mark Hensby on 01519 246738

May 2nd to 4th

The 31st Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival, Oban


This event has now developed to become one of Scotland’s major festival. This year it will have over 1000 participants in 125 competitive classes covering areas such as piping, accordion, fiddle, clarsach, piano, recorder, woodwind and brass, singing and of course highland dancing.

There is a festival parade when many of the pipe bands march through Oban, and the Highland Fling includes many events around the town.

More information at

Starts May 24th.

The Wonder of Birds, Norwich Castle Museum, Norfolk

This is a slightly different show for bird lovers, combining art and natural history to explore how birds have been portrayed, preserved and endangered during the last two thousand years. If that sounds a bit flat, don’t be put off. The exhibition is full of exciting features including a live link to the Hawk and Owl Trust’s camera which is recording the development of the Peregrine Falcon nest on the Norwich Cathedral spire. There are also some fascinating exhibits such as a carved stone duck dating from 2000 BC and the very rare taxidermy specimen of the Paradise Parrot, a bird that has long been exctinct.

For more information, visit or call 01603 598626.

Starts May 24th

Hay Festival

This now internationally famous event offers lots of tremendous opportunities for anyone interested not only in books and reading but also in the views, thoughts and ideas of everyone from poets to film makers. You can meet famous authors, attend readings and debates, listen to speakers, and enjoy a huge range of entertainments from highly professional musicians and comedians. 2014 highlight visitors include James May, Joan Bakewell, Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Jennifer Saunders - the list simply goes on. It all takes place in a series of temporary marquees and stages set up in fields around the town of Hay-on-Wye on the borders of England and Wales and entrance costs vary between £4 to £35 for the closing gala. Many events are free.

More information on:

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