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Top five things to do this weekend in Gloucestershire

If your stuck at home bored this weekend, take a look at our top pick of things to do in and around the county.

1# Dance to a band with unique edge to rock and blues at The Marshall Rooms, Stroud 

Bursting at the seams with textures, originality and soul, Wille & the Bandits "groove and sing like whiskey angels".

Essentially a classic blues rock three-piece much in the vein of Cream or The Jimi Hendrix experience, their use of more bizarre instrumentation and eclectic influences in the song writing often pushes them more into a world music or progressive category.

Having toured with artists such as Deep Purple through to the John Butler Trio and played major festivals across Europe, the band seem to leave an equally astounding impression on audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds with their energetic and soulful performances.

Tickets for their Stroud gig cost £12 and are available from Trading Post Stroud, TicketWeb, The Subscription Rooms or online at www.themarshallrooms.co.uk/events/2018/8/22/wille-and-the-bandits

2# Enjoy the spectacular autumn colours at Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-the-Marsh 

Staff at Batsford Arboretum are gearing up for outstanding autumn colour at the 56 acre arboretum near Moreton-in-Marsh, thanks to the extreme weather.

Home to one of the largest private collections of trees and shrubs in the country, Batsford is famed for putting on a show-stopping display of autumn colour thanks to the magnificent collection of Japanese maples, Sorbus, Euonymus and cherries.

This year's display could be particularly special following the long, cold winter, warm spring and unusually hot summer.

Head gardener Matthew Hall said: "Despite the ground being very dry due to the heatwave this summer, it's been a good growing year which will be reflected in the autumn colour.

3# Take advantage of half-price travel as a member of the emergency services at Dean Forest Railway 

Members of the emergency services are being offered half-price travel on the Dean Forest Railway over the weekend of September 29-30.

To take advantage of this special offer to travel on steam trains for half-price, you need to bring a valid ID stating that you work for one of the emergency services to receive the discounted travel.

The four-and-a-half mile Dean Forest Railway line runs through beautiful woodland and countryside offering visitors a chance to experience the relaxing pace of a typical country branch line.

4# Admire an exquisite exhibition by the founder of Giffords Circus at Fennells Farm, Stroud 

Giffords Circus is excited to be hosting a very special art exhibition and sale at Fennells Farm on the last weekend of its 2018 tour, from September 27-30.

The artwork is a series of observation work from Nell Gifford's sketchbook.

The artwork varies from sketches in pencil to oil on canvas and all has been produced during the 2018 tour of My Beautiful Circus. Everything is also available to purchase online.

Also exhibiting is the Giffords Circus Artist in Residence for 2018, Gregory Smart, who himself is from a renowned circus family. Greg's work will be exhibited alongside Nell's and also available for purchase.

5# Celebrate the best of the British harvest at the Malvern Autumn Show, Three Counties Showground 

Malvern Autumn Show, in association with Westons Cider Mill, is back for a bountiful weekend bursting with harvest fun, horticultural know-how and family entertainment on September 29-30.

More than 65,000 visitors are expected to visit the family-friendly festival at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern, which celebrates the very best of the great British countryside and the autumn harvest.

Diana Walton, head of shows at the Three Counties Showground, said: "The Malvern Autumn Show returns for 2018 to champion the highlights of the season, from growing and harvesting, to cooking and spending time with family. We want to celebrate all of the wonders and quirks that our great British countryside offers.

"We've made some exciting new changes to the layout, including the addition of a brand-new Gardening Village, giving this year's show a fresh feel and enhancing the visitor experience."

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