4 brilliant things to do in May

4 brilliant things to do in May

3 May 2024

Get in touch with nature and enjoy literary musings in our pick of the best events to enjoy this month

Sublime setting: the grounds at Compton Verney. Image: Stuart Thomas

Turn your hand to watercolours at Compton Verney  

This two-day course led by artist Carol Gordon offers you the chance to get inspired by the sights of spring, studying flora first-hand in the grounds of beautiful stately Compton Verney in Warwickshire. Learn how to articulate petals, leaves and stems through drawing before transferring images to specialist watercolour paper with vibrant palettes. All materials are provided, with some experience of painting and drawing recommended.

An introduction to botanical illustration and painting in watercolour at Compton Verney, Saturday 11 May, 10.30am – Sunday 12 May, 4.30pm, £130 per person


Image: courtesy of Wild Water

Witness the world of wild swimming on the big screen

A new documentary from Ben Davis and Pete Jenkinson explores the phenomenon of outdoor swimming – particularly the cold water kind. Shot over a period of 16 months, it follows a community of swimmers at Gaddings Dam in West Yorkshire, which is home to the country’s highest beach. With insight into the reasons behind this wild endeavour, whether it be connecting to nature, reinvigorating health or seeking mental wellbeing, it offers a powerful look into why this activity is much more than a mere dip in the sea.

Wild Water is having a UK screening tour this spring. Find out more at wildwaterfilm.net

Discover all things folk with a new podcast

Ever wanted to know more about the Burry Man of Queensferry, ancient stone relics or the art of morris dancing? Then this podcast is for you. Artist and folklore documentarian Ben Edge has teamed up with Kathryn Roberts Parker (a folk performer and researcher) to discuss the myriad ways folk brings people together. Folk This not only shines a light on vernacular cultures but discusses its importance in connecting with nature, fostering sustainability and understanding our heritage.

Folk This is available now on all major podcasting platforms

Listen to episode one

Image: courtesy of Hay Festival

Indulge your love of literature at Hay Festival

This famed festival based in the Welsh literary village of Hay-on-Wye offers something for everyone once again. You can enjoy a discussion between Dr Tim Spector and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on all things healthy eating, or listen to historian Alice Roberts’ reading of her new children’s novel Wolf Road. Other highlights include historian Bettany Hughes on the wonders of the ancient world, and a special edition of The Poetry Pharmacy, with actors Dominic West and Natascha McElhone.

Hay Festival, 23 May–2 June


Find out more

For more inspiring arts activities see The Arts Society Magazine, available exclusively to members and supporters of The Arts Society (to join, see theartssociety.org/member-benefits). And for more online, sign up at theartssociety.org/signup

About the Author

Holly Black

is an arts and culture writer


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