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Top five things to do this weekend in Gloucestershire

Struggling to keep yourself entertained at the weekends? Check out our top pick of things going on in and around the county to keep you busy.

1# Visit a wellbeing and fitness festival in aid of the Gloucestershire-based Longfield Hospice 

The Winchcombe Street Wellbeing Fest takes place at the Cheltenham Martial Arts Academy in Winchcombe Street on Saturday, March 23, from 2pm-5pm.

There will be a juice demo and taster protein power balls to kick start the day from Jay Halford, The Raw Chef. The event includes a fitness kickboxing blast out with Matt Rudman, owner of Cheltenham Martial Arts, and a Flow & Glow yoga class with Nina Lane-Jenkins, owner of Rock Beam Yoga.

All equipment will be provided and their friendly classes are suitable for absolute beginners and those wishing to increase their wellbeing.

For further info on the itinerary for the event and to book tickets online, go to https://www.yinyangtherapies.com/browse-book-online/winchcombe-street-wellbeing-event

2# Lend a hand on the railway 

The Dean Forest Railway, a not-for-profit, volunteer-led organisation, is appealing for more volunteers to join in helping all aspects of the railway.

One of the unique opportunities the railway offers is the "outdoor gym". Many people are looking to get fit at this time of year, but cannot face the thought of joining a gym. The Dean Forest Railway offers a much more pleasant alternative - it has regular parties working on vegetation control, track maintenance and relaying.

This physical work offers the opportunity to get fit and shed the pounds, whilst out in the fresh Forest air, making new friends and giving back to the community as well.

The Dean Forest Railway Society is holding an open day on Saturday, March 23, for members of the public interested in volunteering at the railway, to take a look behind the scenes and find out more about the roles on offer.

Potential volunteers will get the chance to look behind the scenes in a signal box, take a free ride on the train to Parkend, see restoration work close-up on a tour of the workshops, and chat with volunteers to see what it's really like.

Booking for this event is essential so for more details, or to book a place, please telephone the railway on 01594 845840.

3# Watch a production performed by Tewkesbury Arts and Drama Society 

Tewkesbury Arts and Drama Society have always aimed high with their productions. Now they go further than ever before, with Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs.

Wyrd Sisters, as Pratchett fans will know, is set on Discworld, a flat planet carried on the backs of four elephants who stand on a giant star turtle.

Apart from that, though - and quite a lot of magic - everything is normal. The people are just like us: a king is murdered, a lost prince returns to claim his throne, a boy and girl fall in love.

Led by experienced director Brenda Read-Brown, an extraordinary cast leads you through a plot that owes a lot to Shakespeare and gives back better comedy.

Pratchett aficionados will love this production, of course - but so will everyone else.

4# Last chance to see 'Celebrating Our Oaks' photography exhibition

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is playing host to the Celebrating Our Oaks photography exhibition during March.

The exhibition was launched by Action Oak in partnership with the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY), to celebrate the UK's wonderful oak trees through photography and raise awareness of the Action Oak initiative.

Action Oak is a unique collaboration of partners including charities, governments, landowners and research institutions, dedicated to protecting oak trees for future generations.

The aim of the exhibition is to spread awareness of the mission of Action Oak and to raise funds to help research and conservation activities, as the UK oak is now facing a fight for survival.

5# Explore the historic Sudeley Castle 

Sudeley Castle is preparing to re-open its doors to the public for its busiest and most ambitious season yet.

From jousting knights, giant Easter egg trails and open air theatre, to an archaeological dig, music festivals and a summer knight school, there is plenty to see and do at Sudeley Castle this year.

The castle re-opens on Monday, March 4 and will be kicking off its 2019 season with visits from some of its most famous past inhabitants, including Queen Katherine Parr, who will be welcoming visitors on the opening day.

Queen Katherine will be among eight historic re-enactors, including Thomas Seymour, Anne Herbert, Princess Elizabeth and her governess, greeting visitors to the attraction to celebrate the start of the 2019 season.

Sudeley Castle was one of the Tudors' most treasured palaces, often housing those closest to the crown. Today the castle is home to Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, who this year celebrates 50 years of living at Sudeley after moving there in 1969 with her husband Mark Dent-Brocklehurst.

For more information about Sudeley Castle, visit www.sudeleycastle.co.uk  or phone 01242 602308.

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