Celebrate Chinese Year of the Monkey at the Magical Lantern Festival

To celebrate the new Chinese Year of the Monkey, we visited the UK’s first Magical Lantern Festival…

Don’t let the typical February weather put you off visiting this spectacular outdoor show (wind and rain made an unwelcome appearance the evening we visited – just wrap up warm and take waterproofs!). The Magical Lantern Festival, making its UK debut at Chiswick House in west London, is a sight to behold, offering enough ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ moments to warm the most jaded of hearts.

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The festival is essentially a 1hr+ trail around the grand Chiswick House gardens to view around 50 amazing and beautiful lantern displays. Don’t just think pretty lights – these are intricate and often HUGE sculptures of flowers, animals, birds and temples.

Highlights included the cute pandas, sparkling jellyfish, giant flowers, flocks of flamingoes, a life-sized African safari, and a 60m long Chinese dragon! There are super-sized light sculptures of giraffes, zebra, monkeys and antelope; giant goldfish, Oriental ducks and frogs on lily pads; decorated swans, peacocks and elephants; cute renderings of the Chinese zodiac characters; a ‘terracotta army’; even a marching band of ants.

Good use is made of the grand setting with illuminations floating on the lake, dotted around the trees and set against the Palladian architecture of Chiswick House. (click on our galleries for more pictures from the festival)

Food & Drink

There are a smattering of street food stalls selling warming churros, toast-your-own marshmallows, satay, African curries and venison burgers. All good stuff but not a cornucopia of food and drink that you’d expect at a festival (or an abundance of Chinese goodies we were craving!) – it’s good enough for grabbing a bite to eat at the beginning or end of the trail.

All-in-all, this inaugural festival has enough surprising and intriguing sights to make it a very en-light-ening experience (sorry…).

Visitor info: The Magical Lantern Festival runs until Sunday 6th March 2016, starting at 5pm each day. Tickets are around £16 per person (click here to purchase). Find the festival at Chiswick House and Gardens, London W4 2RP.

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Get your ‘5 a day’ at vegan festival VegFest, Glasgow

Glasgow gets ready to host VegFest Scotland, Europe’s largest eco veggie festival this December…

The inaugural VegFest Scotland, taking place 5-6 December at Glasgow’s SEC, is all about going vegan. This family-friendly event will include lots of ideas and inspiration to get healthy eating and vegan activism high on the agenda, including dozens of talks on nutrition, health, lifestyle and campaigns.

vegan-friendly cakes
vegan-friendly cakes

As food is top of the agenda (obviously!), you can grab lunch at the in-house Levy’s Restaurant and their all-vegan menu, or choose from 12 other specialist caterers and around 140 stalls.

Visitors can enjoy vegan cookery demos, kids cookery classes, family entertainment, live music, comedy, a Hemp Expo on the medicinal benefits of hemp, and more.

Vegan gourmet matured cheeses from Tyne Cheese
Vegan gourmet matured cheeses from Tyne Cheese

Vegfest Scotland organisers added, ”Vegfest Scotland is all about going vegan. It’s not about eating less meat, or choosing eggs over fish, or anything like that. It’s about going vegan, pure and simple. It’s a single issue campaign. Go Vegan. For the planet, for the animals, for your health, and for sustainable global food production. And it’s so easy. Vegfest Scotland will demonstrate just how easy it is to go vegan and stay vegan.”

Glasgow initiative The Only Way is Ethics is behind a number of events around Glasgow City Centre in the week preceding Vegfest.

Tickets and booking: Admission to Vegfest Scotland is by advance tickets as well as payment on the gate. Advance tickets are £5 a day or £8 for the whole weekend. Tickets on the gate are £8 for adults and £4 for claimants. Kids under 16 can enter for free.

For more information visit www.vegfestscotland.com

Raw cakes
Vegan treats

Go boozy in ‘pub city’ of St Albans

Could this be one of the UK’s best locations for an autumn food and drink festival?

St Albans is not only the birth place of the hot cross bun, but also lays claim to having the highest density of pubs in the UK, one of which is supposedly the oldest – Ye Olde Fighting Cocks dating back to 793AD (more on this later…).

Right now, the town is hosting its eight annual food and drink festival which makes the most of its ale house heritage. Festival goers can enjoy the pop-up ‘Village Green’ in the heart of the cathedral city’s 9th century market square.

St Albans Beer Festival
St Albans Beer Festival

Get in there quick – the festival is on now and runs until this Sunday 4th October (with Ye Olde Fighting Cocks rugby screenings until the end of Oct).

Festival highlights include:

CAMRA St Albans Beer and Cider Festival – until 3rd October
St Albans hosted the UK’s first-ever beer festival back in 1974, and the event has now grown into the city’s very-own mini Oktoberfest and is the must-attend event in the real-ale calendar. There are more than 350 real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers including new beers and new breweries across the festival’s six bars. Entertainment will be provided by cult singer/songwriter Jon Otway and the UK’s number one Madness Tribute band One Step Beyond.

Real ale, rugby and roosters – until 31st October
The pub has installed a giant screen in its garden so rugby and real-ale fans can enjoy all the tackles and tries of the Rugby World Cup, while soaking up the glorious surroundings of the pub garden, supping a pint or two of real ale and tucking into some tasty barbecue food from the Famous Fighters Barbecue. This pub now boasts 10 real ales on-tap, fine wine and a menu presided over by a former chef of Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One.

St Albans Street Finale – 4th October
The city will be embracing its thriving pub culture on the finale day with the Everglades Village Green in the same location that the city has held a market since the 9th century. Some of St Albans’ finest hostelries will be setting up their pop-up pub on the city’s first-ever village green. So visitors can lounge around on a hay bale, while enjoying a pint and a tasty bite to eat from one of the 10 pop-up bars on the Everglades Village Green.

The city has also been experiencing a quirky foodie renaissance, with a number of independent restaurants and diners creating a buzz, most of which will be out in force on finale day. There will be a Chef’s Theatre with live cooking demonstrations from Masterchef finalist Theo Michaels, Michelin-starred chef Phil Thompson and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks chef Christo Tofalli. And for kids, there will be a family zone which will feature Children’s Fair-trade Chocolate Factory.

For more information visit www.enjoystalbans.com

Frugal family fun at the Festival of Thrift

Summer may be slowly drawing to a close, but the festival season just keeps on running – hooray!

This September 26th-27th the Festival of Thrift returns for its third year of frugal family fun. The free festival, taking place at Lindfield Point in Darlington, promises a packed programme of sustainable living ideas and inspiration that can help save you money too.

Festival of Thrift Fashion by Tracy Kidd
Festival of Thrift Fashion by Tracy Kidd

The eclectic event will feature well-known ‘scrimpers’, leading and emerging artists and musicians, plus special installations, demonstrations, debates, workshops and stalls offering upcycled, recycled, sustainable and of course thrifty goods to help people towards a happier, more sustainable way of life.

The Festival (winner of the Arts & Culture award at the Observer Ethical Awards 2015) aims to show people how reusing, recycling and upcycling can be fun, save them money and benefit the environment at the same time. This year’s programme features leading and emerging artists from across the globe, demonstrations, stalls and workshops to offer thrifty advice, tips and tricks.

ETHICAL FoT Shane Waltner by Tracy Kidd
Shane Waltner by Tracy Kidd

Highlights include:

  • OxGlam – Michael and John from Oxfam Dalrington and Oxfam Durham demonstrate how to look stylish and original with vintage, second-hand and upcycled clothes. Catch their fashion show using trends through the decades.
  • The Urban Playground, STEAM – Street theatre like you’ve never seen before! Urban Explorers discover a locomotive and take you on a journey through its life, fusing parkour, dance and slapstick comedy.
  • Olivier Grossetete, The People’s Tower – See French artist Olivier Grossetete launch the Festival by rebuilding the rail station clock tower in Market Square in Darlington Town Centre, made entirely from cardboard box ‘bricks’.
  • Ministry of Bicycles, Bomberdrome – This ‘Bicycle Wall of Death’ features five riders, performing tricks of daring do. Thrills, spills and plenty of mild peril all add up to make this a bicycle spectacular.
  • Folk Dance Remixed – A unique remix of Maypole, Clogging, Ceilidh, Street, House and Breakdance with a hint of African & Bollywood… to a live soundtrack of fiddle & beat boxing – this is Folk and Street Dance like you’ve never seen it before with a chance for you to dance!
  • Home Live Art’s Alternative Village Fete – Based on the British village fete, this extravaganza, featuring a range of original artists and creative groups, encompasses live and performance installations, live music, communal dance, craft, food and produce.
  • Darli – Darlie is an enchanting, artist-made, old wooden train carriage stuffed with stories, images, sounds and scenes for families to explore. Created by visual Artist Hannah Fox and Sound Artist Dan Fox, this is an enchanting and playful interactive sculpture, a curiosity box like no other.


This year’s theme is ‘Steam’ as the festivities will also form part of a weekend of celebrations for Darlington and the region as the town marks the 190th anniversary of the world’s first steam passenger train, which travelled between Stockton and Darlington in 1825.

Bobbin workshop by Tracy Kidd
Bobbin workshop by Tracy Kidd

Festival director, Stella Hall said: “Thrift is more than a trend – it’s here to stay, it’s a culture and a set of values to live by. The festival is certainly helping to get it engrained into the lives of people across the North East of England and beyond. Our thrifters are a community and the Festival is a great opportunity for them to get together and share what they do, while enjoying great entertainment and a free day out.”

After winning the Arts and Culture category of the Observer Ethical Awards 2015, festival organisers are poised for another successful year (40,000 festival-goers visited in 2014!). Thrifty living has never been so popular…

The Festival of Thrift takes place 10am to 5pm on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September 2015. Find out more about the latest programme at www.festivalofthrift.co.uk and register for updates.

Join the festival fun at the River Cottage Summer Fair

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is flinging open the farm gate at River Cottage HQ for the annual summer fair (and you could win a family ticket in our competition below!)

River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)
River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)

It’s all happening down on the farm at River Cottage HQ…. The River Cottage Summer Fair will be celebrating the best of the season with a weekend of live music, cookery, hands-on masterclasses, talks and tours, gardening tips, kid’s entertainment, and local food and craft stalls this August.

food at River Cottage Fair (c) River Cottage
food at River Cottage Fair (c) River Cottage

This family-friendly festival, taking place Sat 15th and Sun 16th August, is one of the River Cottage team’s twice yearly celebrations. It’s also a chance to peek behind the scenes at River Cottage HQ, meet the team, see the animals and gardens, and enjoy the very best of what’s in season from the River Cottage food tent. Food and drink will be available all day and evening with a licensed bar serving local ciders, beers, wines and bubbles.

crafts at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)
crafts at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)

There is a full programme of events that stretch from mid-morning coffee and cakes whilst taking in the beautiful surrounding scenery, through to dancing away to live music at the gig nights way beyond sunset.

River Cottage Summer Fair tickets: Day tickets for the fair (10am – 4pm) are £12.50 per adult; children under 12yrs go free. Book via rcevents@rivercottage.net / T: 01297 630 300.

live music at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)
live music at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)

Gig Nights – music for a summer’s evening

The evening programme kicks off from 6pm on Friday 14th with funk, soul, blues and disco from Plymouth’s finest 10-piece, Joey the Lips. On Saturday 15th Tankus the Henge, a foot-stomping powerhouse of a band, take to the stage.

Gig night tickets: Gig nights only are £15 per adult for 6pm – 10.30pm. Book via rcevents@rivercottage.net / T: 01297 630 300.

For more information visit www.rivercottage.net/summerfair

Location: River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon EX13 8TB. Nearest train station: Axminster (direct from London Waterloo) which is 5 minutes away in a taxi.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (c) River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (c) River Cottage


We have one family ticket (up to two adults and two children under 12yrs) to the River Cottage Summer Fair for either Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th August to give away.

To win, simply share this post on Twitter (making sure to include the Twitter handles @Goodtrippers and @RiverCottageHQ) before 5pm on Tuesday 21st July.

One winner will be selected at random and contacted via Twitter before Friday 24th July.

Good luck!

Terms and conditions (please read before entering)

  • One entry per person
  • One ‘entry’ counts as one individual sharing this post on Twitter and including both of the handles @Goodtrippers and @RiverCottageHQ
  • All entries must be received before 5pm (BST), Tuesday 21st July 2015
  • Competition open to residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland only
  • Employees (and their immediate families) of River Cottage and Goodtrippers are excluded from entering this competition
  • One winning entrant will be picked at random – judges’ decision is final
  • No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize
  • It will be assumed all entrants have read and accepted the competition terms and conditions

5 unusual things to do this May Day Bank Holiday

Come rain or shine, don’t spend the May Day bank holiday catching up on boxsets or doing DIY. We’ve found five intriguing things to do over the long weekend…

Learn how to forage

Our woods, fields and hedgerows are a full-on tasting menu ready to be eaten! This one-day foraging course in Denbighshire, North Wales (plenty of others around the UK too) is run by professional foragers who will help you identify wild food including plants and fungi that you can (and can’t) eat, where to find tasty morsels in surprising places, prepping your finds and cooking up some inventive dishes. Fish and game preparation is also covered, with an alternative option for vegetarians/vegans.

When: Saturday 2nd May 2015

Cost: £60 per person

Booking/info: Visit www.originaloutdoors.co.uk/foraging-course-north-wales

Watch an archeological dig

At Birdling Gap and the Seven Sisters near Eastbourne, East Sussex, archeologists are exploring the site of the Crowlink coastguard station, established in the nineteenth century. The area was a favourite with smugglers and this dig is attempting to determine how the site was previously used. It’s a National Trust site so visitors (including dogs on leads and children) are welcome to come down for free and take a look.

When: 2-4pm 2nd, 3rd, 4th May 2015

Booking/info: No booking required but visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/whats-on/find-an-event (search for Crowlink Coastguard Cottages) for more info.

Canalway Cavalcade (c) The Inland Waterways Association
Canalway Cavalcade (c) The Inland Waterways Association

Join the Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice

Little Venice in London will be awash with bunting and boats this bank holiday for the annual Canalway Cavalcade organised by the Inland Waterways Association. Enjoy the festival’s spectacle of pretty narrowboats along the canal, plus the real ale bar, morris dancing (it is May Day afterall!), little shops and tasty food stalls. We also love the sound of the illuminated night-time boat procession from 9.30pm to 10pm. The event is totally free.

When: 2nd – 4th May 2015

Booking/info: No booking required but visit the festival website for full details or follow on Twitter and Instagram @canalcavalcade

Improve your photography skills

This one-day workshop on Landscape and Wildlife Photography is ideal for beginners and those looking to improve their basic skills. Run by expert Mike Allen of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the course will take you through the technical aspects of your camera, through to composition and editing. You’ll be out and about doing practical work and enjoying the beautiful Twyford water meadows.

When: 10am – 2pm, Saturday 2nd May 2015

Booking/info: Visit www.wildlifetrusts.org/events/2015/05/02/landscape-and-wildlife-photography for full course details and booking information

Visit a quirky museum

The UK is pretty good at museums! From the world famous attractions in London, to some of the smallest (and oddest) museums you’ve never heard of – think of a topic and there’s probably a museum dedicated to it somewhere on these isles! We like the Shell Museum in Glandford, North Norfolk, a genuinely intriguing and cute museum housed in a converted chapel full of curiosities and amazing artefacts. But there’s also the Pencil Museum in the Lake District, the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, and museums dedicated to prams, locks and even dog collars (thanks to this Telegraph picture gallery!).

When: Smaller museums are often run only by volunteers so have limited opening times. Always check their website for full details (and don’t forget to support them by supplementing your entry fee with a donation!).

Enjoy the long weekend!

Wonderfruit music festival to launch in Thailand

As the UK festival season draws to a close, we say goodbye to Glastonbury, see you later Latitude and bye-bye Bestival. But what if another eclectic, eco-conscious festival was yet to come? And better still, you can leave your wellies at home as this one will be set on a beach in Thailand!

It’s time to welcome Wonderfruit! This brand new music festival, from the people behind Wilderness, makes its debut in Chon Buri, a stunning tropical setting just outside Bangkok in Thailand. Wonderfruit takes place from 19 to 21 December 2014 with tickets on sale from 15 September.


Nick Mulvey, Seth Troxler, Hercules Love Affair and Fat Freddy’s Drop are all confirmed with more acts to be announced. A mix of Dance, Electro, Folk, Disco, Dub, House, Reggae, Punk and Techno will be played out across some lovely sounding stages including The Floating Stage and Lotus Gardens.

The festival promises to be eco-friendly and socially-conscious, promoting a lifestyle of health and sustainability. The ‘barefoot luxury’ ethos of the organisers’ current UK festivals will give you some idea of the kind of event to expect (at Goodtrippers we are desperately trying to find a diary gap for a pre-Christmas trip!).

Alongside a great musical line-up will be fine dining, health and well-being workshops, art, theatre, film and eco farming activities.

Nick Mulvey plays Wonderfruit
Nick Mulvey joins the Wonderfruit line-up

Jo Vidler, co-founder and director of Wonderfruit, said, “All too often, large-scale music festivals leave a scar on the land. Fields of mud, plastic, empty cans, discarded tents and more are left on-site with toxic toilet chemicals leaching into the soil. Wonderfruit actively looks to work with and improve the land it sits on using only natural and locally sourced materials for its structures and stages.”

Pete Phornprapha, co-founder of Wonderfruit said, “Since we own the land, we will be creating some permanent sustainable models for the festival, and the experience as a whole, to serve as an advocate for eco-friendly and sustainable ways. We want to help people understand that social responsibility and enterprising shouldn’t be viewed separately. Part of the proceeds will be used to create opportunities to ignite the movement through the year and not only at the festival.

“It is a long-term goal and this is just the start. We are working with the vest people in all relevant fields to make sure that the programme is developed properly over the years to better impact lives and values in society. And, of course, to celebrate and have fun.”

For more information about Wonderfruit, and to book tickets, visit www.wonderfruitfestival.com


Get down on the farm at the Purbeck Folk Festival

We love a good music festival and this little boutique gem is an award-winner!

The sixth annual Purbeck Folk Festival, on Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic coast, is the place to be this bank holiday weekend. From 21-24 August the award-winning music festival features headline acts including Eddi Reader, The South, Turin Brakes and Lloyd Cole alongside Nizlopi, Idlewild Acoustic, Sally Barker and British folk legend Chris Wood.

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Festival goers can look forward to an eclectic mix of folk, world and pop music on a 600-acre working sheep farm in the heart of the beautiful Isle of Purbeck. Purbeck Folk Festival has music on four stages in the farm’s covered barns and a marquee venue that hosts the Purbeck Rising talent show final and open mic sessions.

Named the Countryside Music Festival of the Year in the prestigious Fatea Music Awards, as well as a line-up of well-known artists you can expect a dynamic bill of emerging and undiscovered talent including Emily Barker’s new band Vena Portae, folk legend Ashley Hutchings’ son Blair Dunlop, the Cajun powerhouse Sarah Savoy, multi award-winner Martha Tilston and Senegalese griot Amadou Diagne.

This family-friendly festival has a chilled-out vibe and offers loads of entertainment for all ages, including workshops, a poetry slam, spontaneous happenings, a cinema programme, the famous ‘beard offs’ contest, a beer festival (including the Festival’s very own beer, Buzz Lightbeer made with Purbeck honey), art interventions and a fancy dress parade.

Like all the best festivals, Purbeck Folk Festival likes to keep it green. All campers will be given recycling bags to collect their recyclable rubbish over the weekend; the composting toilets on site provide great fertiliser for the farm, and flush toilets use harvested rainwater. The organisers employ local tradespeople and try and reuse as much stored material as possible when constructing the new festival site each year, reusing lycra, bamboo, wood, paint, carpet and fabrics from previous years.

Snap up your tickets before 20th August: Weekend tickets (Fri-Sun) include free camping are on sale at just £100 (£50 12-17 years, £20 4-11 years, under 4s free). Day camping is available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at £10 a night on arrival. A limited number of Festival day tickets are also available.

For ticket booking and more information, visit www.purbeckfolk.co.uk

Full line-up

Eddi Reader, Nizlopi, Martha Tilston Band, Furrow Collective, ODi, Dan Whitehouse, Moscow Drug Club, Flats & Sharps, Macaferri Club, Winter Mountain, Murphy’s Lore, Drew Allen, Big Tent & the Gypsy Lantern, Kadia, Beth Johnstone, Tim Somerfield, East Creek Union, Djambo, The Jack Ratts, Threadbare Ravens, Tred, Aimee McKenzie

The South, Idlewild Acoustic, Sally Barker, Sarah Savoy, Phil King Band, Gigspanner, Martha Tilston Band, Roving Crows, John Langan Band, Gren Bartley Band, 4Square, ODi, Lizzie Nunnery, Louise Jordan, Threepenny Bit, Sarah Savoy (workshop), Sound of the Sirens, Macaferri Club, Big Tent & the Gypsy Lantern, Kadia, Mother Ukers, Catherine Burke Band, Feral Beryl, Kaia Vieira, Aimee McKenzie

Turin Brakes, Lloyd Cole, Blair Dunlop, Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo, Caravan of Thieves, Coco & the Butterfields, Chris Wood, Amadou Diagne Band, Gren Bartley Band, Vena Portae, Alex Roberts, Tinderbox, Polly Paulusma, Fearne, Aimee MacKenzie, Ian Brown, Will McNicol, Flats & Sharps, Gill Sandell, Emily Barker (solo), Tori Read, Kate Lomas, The Jimmy Hillbillies, Ceilidh Band, Quinns Quinney, Krista Green, Inu

Greening the city – Southbank’s Festival of Neighbourhood

This month, Goodtrippers took a trip to London’s Southbank – usually a carpet of 1960s industrial concrete – to find a decidedly ‘allotmenty’ feel to the place…

The Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood, this year’s backdrop to the usual comedy, performance, music and drama that takes place over summer, aims to be London’s friendliest neighbourhood. Artists, designers, architects and community groups were invited to bring the joy and warmth of the village green, allotment and street party to the Southbank. And it’s refreshing to see the grey concrete area housing giant topiary, arty wheel barrow installations, an orchard and window boxes crammed with vegetables and herbs.

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First up as you approach from Hungerford Bridge, is ‘The Greenhouse’ full of herbs growing in 600 hessian sacks ready to be harvested and used in dishes in the nearby Riverside Terrace Cafe. It was originally designed by Andrew Lock in collaboration with local schoolchildren. Now you can smell the heavenly mint, lavender, sage and basil whilst reading the labels for recipes of the dishes they’re destined for.

Behind ‘The Greenhouse’ is ‘Octavia’s Orchard’ – 30 three metre high fruit trees housed in galvanised, steel street bins (prettier than it sounds!) dotted along the busy walk-way opposite the cafes and bars of the strip. Named after National Trust founder Octavia Hill, the orchard, by What If:projects, takes inspiration from Hill’s idea that “tenants and all urban workers should have access to open spaces… Places to sit in, places to play in, places to stroll in, and places to spend a day in.”London Housing estates are invited to ‘adopt’ part of the orchard and seating for their grounds at the end of the Festival’s season.

Turning back to the river, you’ll find Queen’s Walk Window Gardens, a large-scale allotment designed by Wayward Plants using reclaimed windows. Growing typical allotment produce such as courgettes, onions and tomatoes, the space is tended to by volunteers and aims to grow 500 meals as part of Capital Growth’s ‘Growing a Million Meals for London’ campaign.

Round near the Hayward Gallery you can’t fail to spot ‘The Sweepers’ – two gigantic pieces of topiary-style art by Shipshape Arts, inspired by Londoners who swept up the mess created by the riots in 2011. As part of the series, ‘Neighbours’ is another two-character supersize topiary installation behind the Royal Festival Hall.

Also near the Hayward Gallery is ‘Roll Out the Barrows’ – a ‘rollercoaster’ shaped installation of small wheel barrows planted-up with real plants. Part of the Edible Bus Stops initiative, the creators are inviting community groups to come forward and ‘adopt’ a barrow to tend to throughout the summer, then roll back to their community in September.

We didn’t get a chance to sample Luke’s Cafe (British food served from a humble garden shed) or have a drink on the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof garden and woodland garden, and there are plenty of other children’s activity spaces, murals and more dotted around the area.

Certainly a breath of fresh village air this summer!

For more information, including details of all the features and how to get involved, visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Promoting urban gardening and allotments
  • Growing fresh produce for local cafes and ‘Growing a Million Meals for London’ campaign
  • Volunteers involved
  • Sustainable and lasting impact with Octavia’s Orchard trees being replanted in London’s housing estates



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