Top five things to do in Gloucestershire this weekend
By Matt Hall
Don't let the snow stop you visiting the great events and activities going on in the county this weekend.
The UK's top birds of prey centre, based in Gloucestershire, opened its doors again this morning after its winter break.
The International Centre for Birds of Prey at Newent has been open for over 50 years and offers visitors an amazing day out with more than 250 incredible birds of prey.
The centre has 12 acres of enclosures, glorious gardens and fields and woods to explore.
It's open seven days a week from 10.30am from February 1 to November 30, closing at 4.30pm during February, early March and November, but open until 5.30pm during the spring and summer months.
Flying display times are usually at 11.30am, 2pm and 4.15pm through the summer, but when the clocks change for the winter, flights are at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm as it gets dark early.
For more information, visit https://www.icbp.org/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01531 820286.
Cheltenham Operatic and Dramatic Society (CODS) continues its tradition of the past few years by starting their season with a winter comedy at Cheltenham Playhouse.
Following hot on the heels of previous successes - Blackadder Goes Forth, Noises Off and One Man, Two Guvnors - is A Bunch of Amateurs, the first collaboration by Ian Hislop of Have I Got News For You and Private Eye fame and Nick Newman, who began his scriptwriting career with Hislop on Spitting Image.
The show dates are Saturday, February 2, and Wednesday, February 6, until Saturday, February 9 (no show Sunday 3rd, matinee on Sat 9th).
Tickets are £14 (opening night tickets just £10) and available from the Cheltenham Playhouse box office on 01242 522852 or online at https://www.cheltplayhouse.org.uk/whats-on/spring-2019/a-bunch-of-amateurs/.
Gloucester Cathedral is inviting everyone to attend a Candlemas Carol Service on Sunday, February 3, at 6pm.
On Christmas Eve there was "no room at the inn" for some as thousands of people flocked to the Cathedral for the 6pm Carol Service, with huge queues stretching into Westgate Street from as early as 4.30pm.
For the first time in history this resulted in the Cathedral being absolutely full to capacity and for the safety of the congregation, hundreds were turned away at the door.
It is with extraordinary compassion and great understanding that Gloucestershire folk took this in their stride with not a single complaint received.
Anyone who was turned away on Christmas Eve is especially invited to come along and celebrate the end of Christmas at this atmospheric and beautiful candlelit service.
Back by popular request on Saturday, February 2, the multi-award-winning folk duo Ninebarrow - Jon Whitley and Jay La Bouchardiere - appear at the Tetbury Goods Shed.
The duo has been impressing audiences across the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition.
As well as crafting original material, Ninebarrow also take a wide-range of traditional folk songs and rework them in their own, distinctive way.
Not only singers and musicians, Ninebarrow are also equally passionate about the stories behind their songs - combining their music with history, folklore and storytelling. Many of their songs are inspired and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles.
Advance tickets are £12.50 - they will be £15 on the door on the night.
Following the success of The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Highway Rat trails at Forestry Commission sites across England, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's magical children's picture book, Zog, is the new activity trail for families to enjoy at Westonbirt Arboretum this year.
The trail follows the premiere of the animated special from Magic Light Pictures, shown on BBC One at Christmas.
Zog is a loveable, if somewhat clumsy, dragon at Dragon School who is always striving to win a golden star.
Forestry Commission England are now inviting children to step into the forest classroom to learn lessons just like Zog, including how animals fly, what sounds they make and how they catch their prey.
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