Our top picks of exhibitions together with cultural spaces and places, both online and in the real world.


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Doing Hay Festival

Returning for its first live event since 2019, Hay Festival brings together some of the greatest voices, authors and minds of our times. We’re talking the first Black female winner of the Booker Prize, Bernadine Evaristo, writer and environmental activist George Monbiot, and designer Jenny Packham, among others.

Set in the grounds of Hay Castle on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, this year’s festival features more than 600 live events, talks and conversations, with a selection available to watch live online from the comfort of your own home.

Highlights include the talk between Elizabeth Day and Emma Gannon, which centres on key themes of Day’s new novel, Magpie; and the new Women in Power series, which sees such famous names as Nicola Sturgeon, Huma Abedin and Bernardine Evaristo discuss the fight for gender equality.

Thesps should investigate the stripped back production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at the specially commissioned open-air theatre, while foodies may enjoy the talk between Kate Humble, Andrew Montgomery and Kitty Corrigan. If you’ve got kids in tow, head to the Make & Take tent, where you’ll find activities from print-making to junk modelling.

With so much to see and do, make sure to browse the festival programme in advance — and, more importantly, pre-book your tickets online. Accommodation gets booked up early, but there are always beds and campsites to be found. So persevere and see you there.

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Doing RHS Chelsea Flower Show

A highlight of the cultural calendar, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is back, with its spectacular garden designs, floral displays, hand-picked tradestands and fine-dining restaurants.

Central to this year’s showcase are bees and other pollinators, with many gardens demonstrating how to attract and protect them. Among the pollinator-focused gardens is the Royal Horticultural Society and BBC flagship garden designed by presenter Joe Swift.

Other standout Gardens include The New Blue Peter Garden designed by Juliet Sargent, the Mind Garden designed by the landscape and garden designer Andy Sturgeon and the smaller Sanctuary Gardens, among them John Warland’s Ice Garden, featuring a giant ice cube which will melt as the show progresses.

Once you’ve meandered around the curated gardens, head to the Great Pavilion, where you’ll encounter some of the world’s finest growers and nurseries. Expect impressive displays, gorgeous scents and the most glorious spring blooms.

After all that tramping around, refuel with a glass of fizz and a floral-inspired afternoon tea at The Drawing Room or, for something a little heartier, head to Jardin Blanc with Raymond Blanc.

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Dates
24 May 2022 — 28 May 2022

Viewing Henry Moore, Hauser & Wirth Somerset

Get yourself to Hauser & Wirth Somerset to see the buzzy new exhibition of works by Henry Moore. Curated by Hannah Higham of the Henry Moore Foundation in collaboration with the artist’s daughter, Mary Moore, it examines the artist’s early fascination with the Neolithic site of Stonehenge and continued exploration of the upright abstract form. Also under consideration is his career-long investigations into scale, material and volume.

Installed across the garden and all five galleries, the exhibition brings together seminal works from across his six-decade career, including four towering bronze Upright Motive sculptures and Locking Piece (1962-63), which is made up of two large interconnecting forms stacked one on top of the other.

You’ll also encounter a significant series of etchings and lithographs depicting the site of Stonehenge, dating from 1972, and around 100 items from Moore’s studio. Shown together, they provide a rare insight into the working life of the modernist sculptor.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the exhibition and Piet Oudolf’s glorious garden, take yourself to Roth Bar and Grill for lunch. Order the pan fried sea bass before tucking into the rhubarb and custard pavlova. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

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Dates
28 May 2022 — 04 September 2022
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