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Planning Retirement Online

Dates for the Diary September 2014

It’s September; the trees are beginning to lose their colour, the children and grandkids are back at school, holidays are already receding into a lovely memory and suddenly the evenings are beginning to get darker! But September can still be a great time to get out and about. Lots is happening across the country and there are some exciting outdoor events to give us a last taste of summer fun before autumn finally arrives.

Our pick of big events is below, but for more local information your local council and media should have all the details. We have found an interesting website which gives lots of ideas for activities for various local areas: ; most events have a link so you can go onto their specific websites to get all the details.

South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival
September 6th to 21st
South Pennines

This really is a great festival offering lots of different events for activities in the South Pennines. If you don’t know the area, it covers the wild and wonderful landscape where Yorkshire and Lancashire meet and is a land of steep-sided valleys, heather-covered moorland, canals, reservoirs and packhorse trails.

Throughout the Festival you c an join family friendly bike rides, walks with pub stops, strenuous moorland walks, trail riding on lovely local packhorses, gentle walks based around an industrial heritage theme, a rock climbing adventure day, camp craft and forest skills for adults - the list of activities just goes on.

What about a basic navigation course for adults? This introduces navigation techniques such as map types, scale, timing, pacing, contour interpretation and route planning for walkers.

Many of the activities do need to be booked in advanced as they are very popular. For more information at click here.


Goodwood Revival
12th to 14th September
Goodwood, Sussex

You will have to be quick! This fabulous event is usually a total sellout and you can’t buy tickets at the door.

But what an event it is. I went a couple of years ago and was totally amazed. To enter into the fun of things I had hired a 1940s RAF uniform from a local party shop and it was worth the effort as everyone had taken enormous trouble to ensure they represented the looks and styles from past eras.

But it is not just the visitors. Every detail at the show, from the fabulous old vehicles to the shops, cafes, grounds, stalls and entertainment right down to the types used in the signage, was true vintage. It is like suddenly being transported back to the halcyon days of early motor racing with the added glamour and fun of that era.

It’s not cheap, but it is not something you do every year but it makes a fabulous celebration for a special year or occasion. If you are travelling down for the event, there is good affordable accommodation nearby.

More information at
and ticket information at


The Agatha Christie Festival
14th to 21st September
Torquay, Devon

If you love the books by Agatha Christie, you will love this festival! It takes place in Torquay where Agatha Christie was born and main activity this year is taking place at the beautifully preserved ancient monastery of Torre Abbey.

The event includes an exciting mix of literary talks from bestselling crime writers, murder mystery dinners, tours, vintage fetes and tea dances. There will be over 30 stalls covering a range of vintage produce including clothes, homeware and crafts; there is a terrific programme of entertainment including swing dancers and demos and there is a wonderful old fashioned “beauty parlour” to transform you into a new glamorous look for the event (you can record this in the photo-booth). There is even an Agatha Christie’s Potent Plant tour featuring plants that have featured in Agatha Christie’s books.

Or what about a visit to Greenway House and Gardens, the holiday home of Agatha Christie and now owned by the National Trust? Special boats will also be running up the coastline to land at Greenway House.

Children haven’t been forgotten with a special Agatha Christie Mouse trail and other special events.

Find out more at

Scottish Referendum
Thursday September 18th
Across Scotland

This is the day people will be voting to give their opinion on whether Scotland should become an independent country. It will be a big day as it effects all of us, although the results will take a little while to come through.

For the rest of us who cannot vote, it is still of massive interest as Scotland has been united with England since 1707. In May that year, following the Act of Union, the Scottish Parliament was dissolved and a single Parliament created at Westminster.

But there had been a closeness (as well as war!) between the two countries well before that and the two countries had shared a monarch since 1603 when King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne.

Scotland agreed to the Union for a number of reasons but there was certainly a financial aspect for the country. Along with other economic difficulties, Scotland had been involved in a failed attempt to establish a trading colony in Panama, a colonization project known as the Darien Scheme.

In the referendum, Alex Salmon, leader of the Scottish National Pary, is leading the Yes Scotland campaign and Alistair Darling, British Chancellor from 2007 to 2010, is leading the Better Together campaign. The ballot will simply ask one question: Should Scotland be an independent Country?
Voters can only vote with a tick on one of two boxes, Yes or No.

People who can vote include British citizens who are resident in Scotland or indeed the citizens of Commonwealth or European Union countries who are officially resident in Scotland.

If you are not sure if you are eligible to vote or not, click here for more information.


Royal County of Berkshire Show
20th and 21st September
Newbury Showground, Berkshire

There are still a few county shows taking place around the country but this is certainly one of the biggest and most famous, attracting over 60,000 visitors each year. The show itself covers over 150 acres and includes 20 arenas and 2,000 animals and is packed with countryside adventures, activities and items of interest.

The traditional county show areas alone would be enough to fill the two days...cattle and sheep displays, judging and show, vintage tractors, llamas, parades of livestock, show jumping, gun dogs display, heavy horses and a farriers’ display are just a few of the fabulous activities. But on top of that there are a host of other areas including a Craft Marquee, flower tent, food fayre, hot air balloons, an old fashioned fun fair, a Be Active sports zone plus 500 stands selling craft items through to country clothing to accessories.

The Cookery Kitchen will be hugely popular with a team of top local chefs will be on hand throughout the weekend to give you all the latest recipes, top tips and ideas you’ll need to cook up a feast at home.

And the Bolddog Lings Freestyle FMX Team, Honda’s main motorcycle display team, will bring a new level of thrills (hopefully not spills!) to the show.

For more information, click here.

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