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Top five things to do in Gloucestershire this weekend

Here's our top pick of things going on in and around Gloucestershire this weekend.

1# Visit some of the country's best-known attraction 

Scores of places of interest in Gloucestershire will soon be throwing open their doors to the public as part of this year's Heritage Open Days event.

Heritage Open Days is England's largest annual festival of history and culture with a dynamic programme of over 5,000 events, including over 200 in Gloucestershire.

Every September, doors are opened at some of the country's best-known attractions, including country houses, museum archives and gardens, to theatres, wildlife reserves and distilleries and even a solar farm, as well as private and community spaces, thanks to support from the National Trust and players of People's Postcode Lottery.

This year marks the festival's 25th anniversary and Punchline offers you a selection of just a few of the places that will be open in Gloucestershire.

2# Follow the footprints of Sudeley Castle's resident wildlife around its grounds 

With experts predicting one of our most colourful autumns yet, there couldn't be a better time to visit the spectacular Sudeley Castle and Gardens, and follow its new Autumn Wildlife Trail.

Running daily from September 1 to October 25, the anticipated trail will see families from far and wide follow the footprints of Sudeley's resident wildlife around the grounds, and learn a thing or two about these charming creatures that call our countryside home.

From badgers, hedgehogs and red foxes, to red deer and stoats, the trail offers a chance for little ones to get closer to British wildlife, whilst soaking up all the shades of autumn across Sudeley's 10 award-winning gardens, based in Winchcombe.

The Autumn Wildlife Trail is included in the ticket price, and families can save 10% on admission by booking in advance online - with children under three being admitted free.

For more information visit www.sudeleycastle.co.uk or call 01242 604244.

3# Enjoy an evening of classical guitar at the Goods Shed 

An evening of stunning classical guitar playing with Alan Brinley-Shaw is taking place at Tetbury Goods Shed this coming Saturday (September 14).

Alan will delight you with music from Spain, tangos from Argentina and music from Turkey as well as guitar classics from Villa-Lobos, Tarraga to Piazzolla.

Alan is known for his impeccable technique, stunning interpretations, stylistic flair and unforgettable performances.

During his professional career he has toured most of Europe and will be presenting his third CD Song of the Soul at this recital.

Earlier in the day Alan will be offering masterclasses in classical guitar. Open for all ages from beginner to degree standard, he invites you to partake in a guitar workshop and masterclass at an extremely reduced cost where all profits will benefit Tetbury Goods Shed Arts Centre.

Advance tickets for this performance cost £12 and are available from the Tetbury Goods Shed website. On the door on the night they will cost £14.

4# Watch raft racers as they have a splashing time for charity 

The Valley Vikings and The Unsinkables are amongst this year's teams to tackle the Stroud Charity Raft Race as it returns to the Stroud Canal on Sunday (September 15).

The fun event is raising funds for The Door and the Cotswold Canals Trust.

The race starts from Wallbridge Lock (outside the Cotswold Canals Trust Visitor Centre and opposite the Upper Lock Café).

More than 20 rafts from local businesses and organisations will leave the start line at 10:45am, 11:45am, 12:45pm and 1:45pm before racing their way down towards Capel's Mill.

New for 2019, the teams will then have to take on the challenge of a slalom section, before making their return leg. The slalom is being kindly provided by the Stroud Canoe Club, who will also be taking part in water sports demonstrations throughout the day.

Between the racing there be lots to do on Wallbridge Green with street food, the Cotswold Canals Trust pop-up book stall, face painting provided by The Door and much more.

Entry to the event is free, though donations are welcome and all proceeds will be split between partner charities The Door and the Cotswold Canals Trust. More details at the Stroud Raft Race website.

5# Wander round Minchinhampton's much-loved country fayre 

Oyez! Oyez! Minchinhampton's much-loved country fayre is back tomorrow (Saturday, September 14) and celebrating its 750th anniversary year!

This beautiful Cotswold town, surrounded by hundreds of acres of common land, will be turning its centre into a fun-filled fayre from 12 noon to 4.30pm, raising thousands of pounds for local good causes at the same time.

Entertainment and attractions - which stretch onto the school playing fields - include a vintage car show, live music, Punch and Judy, pony rides, a dog show, glider simulator, circus skills workshop, dancing, stalls, hog roast and veggie falafels.

Minchinhampton Gardening Club is running its much-loved annual show in the school hall from 11am. And the Cotswold Club in the High Street is also joining in the fun with a family day and music in the evening.

From 7.30pm, the Market House will host a pop-up pub, with entertainment by local musician Richard Dinning.

Extra Saturday parking will be available on the Great Park (the common), and at Longfield Hospice in Burleigh Lane.

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