Explore South Oxfordshire’s market towns along the River Thames

Here at Mumsnet Oxfordshire we’re not above shamelessly stealing someone else’s work, especially when it’s singing from the same hymn sheet as us, so here, in the world’s briefest post, is a link to http://www.southernoxfordshire.com so you too can get exploring – just let us know if you find anything exciting!

Following the Oxfordshire Thames



Things to do in Oxfordshire this weekend, 29th/30th March – Mother’s Day special

So, in case you were unaware, it’s Mother’s Day this coming Sunday and if you haven’t arranged something for your dear old mum you’re, well, no worse than most of us to be honest. Most of us are dear old mums ourselves and somehow this is just another thing on our list of things to do that we’re feeling guilty about, so if you’re looking for something nice to do with your Mum and your kids, then we’ve tried to winkle out a few options for you here. Enjoy!

So Natural Baby Festival, 29th March
10.30am-4pm, FREE, Oxford Town Hall
OK, so this is not strictly something for mums per se, but shopping is shopping, there’s free entry, and if you’re expecting then maybe you’ll enjoy this “host of independent businesses all focused on ethically-sourced, organic and handmade toys, products and clothing”. For those of you looking to entertain existing sprogs, there will be free workshops and children’s activities. Great for any prospective lentil-weaver mummies out there!


Drayton Nearly New Sale, 29th March
10am-12pm, £1, Drayton Village Hall
Whoops, we’ve let another shopping event slip through the net, but then this is the day before Mother’s Day, not the day itself, so if the ethically-sourced, organic shopping is a little rich for your pocket, then maybe a second-hand sale will be up your street. It’s their first one, so give them a shot!

‘Wash’, 30th March
11.30am, 2pm, 3.30pm, 6 months to 3 years, £8, £6 (concs)
What better way to spend Mother’s Day than doing something fun and fab with your small people?
In the show Monkey needs a wash. Anna doesn’t want to let him go but somehow he gets pulled in to the laundry – there’s only one thing for Anna to do – she must go and find him!
Discover a world of water, bubbles and spinning. With live music created from the paraphernalia of a washing world, Birdsnest create a gentle adventure, a game of hide and seek with rhythm and song to carry you and your little ones along the way.

Mother’s Day wine tasting & gift making at Cliveden, 30th March
Sun, 11am – 3pm, Childen £2, Mums FREE
Celebrate Mother’s Day by bringing your Mum to Cliveden for free. Treat her to a free wine tasting (while stocks last!) and why not make her a lovely gift too.

ImagePooh Stick World Championships, 30th March
11am-5.30pm, £12 for team of 4, £2 per individual player, Earth Trust
It’s Mother’s Day!!! So all mothers who are in fancy dress will be able to play in the individual championships for free!
We will also have a prize for the mum in the best fancy dress costume. And children will be able to write Pooh Bear poems or make paper flowers for their mums.


Things to do in Oxfordshire this weekend, 22nd/23rd March

We’re really getting into the swing of these little weekend updates now, but we do hope you check out the website yourself, too, as we only put a selection of things up and there is other stuff happening every day, plus a whole range of things to see and do that aren’t date-based, such as parks, pubs and playgrounds – some with helpful reviews from our users. If you come across something that you’ve experienced that is lacking a review then don’t be shy – tell us what you thought!

It is a fun-packed weekend though – hope you enjoy the variety of the offerings we have!

Oxfscience festivalordshire Science Festival
A variety of events across Abingdon
Head along to Abingdon to participate in one of the amazing events happening as part of the Oxfordshire Science Festival. From the grown up stuff like “Quantum Biology with Jim Al-Khalili” to fun childrens’ events like the magic-cum-science extravaganza of “Visualise” there is something for everyone, including (our favourite) a number of free events!

Lambing weekend at the earth trust

Lambing at the Earth Trust

Lambing Weekend at the Earth Trust, 22nd & 23rd March and 29th & 30th March
Hurrah! Spring must be here because it’s lambing season and all the wee frisky ones are getting ready to gambol before you.
Lauren and Dan of Little Wittenham Lamb invite you to visit their working farm and see the lambs being born. Craft activities and refreshments available. Wear your wellies!

We’ve also heard that it may be unwise for expectant mothers to go along as all the hormones wafting around can stimulate early labour in humans. Fact or fallacy? Not sure, but check it out if you’re concerned!

Explore the Oxford Canal Trail Saturday 22nd March
10am-4.30pm, £1, All ages.

Discover more about Oxford canal with this family gallery trail around the Explore Oxford galleries. Find out more about the canal and the people who lived on it.

Focus on print

Focus on print

Oxford Printmakers – Focus on Print, 22nd & 23rd March

10am-6pm Sat; 11am-4pm Sun, All ages
An exhibition of original prints by members of the Oxford Printmakers which illustrates how varied and different printmaking can be.

In their second show at Cornerstone, the East Oxford collective will present work by their skilled range of artists, demonstrating the variety of printmaking techniques including etching, screen print, linocut and woodcut. A special opportunity to explore the medium of print.

Zippo’s Circus, 20th – 25th March
From £7, Discount online

The brilliant Zippo’s Circus – “Britain’s Favourite!” – is back on tour for 2014. Clowns, a Strong man, acrobats and horses – what’s not to love?!

Oxfordshire – the murder county of England?

If you’ve read the [learn more] blurb on Mumsnet Oxfordshire’s homepage you might have noticed my assertion that Oxfordshire is, in fact, murder central of the UK.

You wouldn’t think it to look at us. Everywhere you go there’s chocolate box houses, cutesy market towns, even our ‘capital’ is known as the town of the dreaming spires, yet many of its most famous vistas have played their part as a backdrop to the most gruesome crimes.

No! Wait! Don’t call the police yet. I’m talking fictional crime here.  You might think London had it sewn up, or

Inspector Morse, Oxford

Inspector Morse, Oxford

maybe Glasgow with it’s grim urban outlook, but actually the rolling hills of the home counties seem to inspire authors and TV producers to think about gory ways to kill off their characters. From Morse to Midsomer we’re surrounded by easily recognisable landscapes.

Thanks as much to Inspector Morse as to its own inimitable beauty, Oxford itself is landmark after landmark; from the rotund, domed Bodelian to one of the many bridges with punts drifting gently underneath.  Perhaps we should dedicate a whole post on Mumsnet Oxford to the landmarks of Morse?

Midsomer Murders are a little less easily identifiable, portraying a generalised bucolic rural idyll of English countryside, only lightly marred by the horrific death rate.  If you know what you’re looking for, though, you can easily spot a few gems.  Head to the South of our lovely county, mostly, as Dorchester-on-Thames hosts a number of favoured filming locations, notably The George Inn – AKA ‘The Maid in Splendour’ in the episode of the same name.

Wallingford, just five minutes down the road, is the fictional town of ‘Causton’ and Henley-on-Thames, 15 minutes further on from Wallingford, appears in no fewer than nine episodes (and that route, incidentally, will take you through Nettlebed which appears in seven episodes).  If Midsomer Murders is just your cup of tea (and do check for arsenic first, if it is) then we’ve found this a wonderful website for identifying film locations: http://midsomermurders.org/locationsindex.htm – so plan yourself a scenic tour!

Agatha Christie's grave, Cholsey

Agatha Christie’s grave, Cholsey

And if those weren’t enough, perhaps a pilgrimage to the Murder Queen herself, Agatha Christie might be in order? I last visited her grave on a frosty January when I was trying to walk off my 40 weeks-pregnant belly.  It didn’t work, but was a lovely walk in the pretty town of Cholsey, just round the corner from above-mentioned Wallingford – and itself yet another Midsomer location!

Thank you for following me around this grim and grisly fictional tour of our county.  Perhaps we can do it again some time with a different theme – I quite fancy a fantasy fiction tour and with CS Lewis and Terry Pratchett connections it should yield some results.  TTFN

Camilla, Local Editor Mumsnet Oxford & Oxfordshire

Things to do in Oxfordshire this weekend, 15th and 16th March

Ah, one glimpse of sunshine and then it was taken away again, but at least it managed to time the nice weather for the weekend. We hope you made the most of it and went out and about in this beautiful county of ours – did you do something nice? Please add it to our listings if it’s not already there, then other Mumsnetters can enjoy it too!

Are you looking for something to do this coming weekend? Good news, our listings are looking pretty busy, so, as ever, we’ll offer you the pick of the bunch, but don’t forget to check out our “What’s On in Oxfordshire” pages over on our website. Or join in the discussion over at the talk boards where we have competitions to win tickets to three different events at the Oxfordshire Science Festival!

Win tickets to Jim Al-Khalili talking about Quantum Biology

Win tickets to ‘Quantum Biology – a talk with Jim Al-Khalili’

Win a ticket to 'Visualise'

Win Family ticket to ‘Visualise’ – where magic & phsyical theatre meet science

Win tickets to 'Converscience - an evening of science & wit'

Win tickets to ‘Converscience – an evening of science & wit’

Oxfordshire Science Festival, 7th –  23rd March 2014

A massive variety of events happening across the coming weeks, many of them are free and we have tickets to give away for three of the most popular ticketed events. Why not pop along and check some of them out? An inventive and exciting look at science for all ages. Get your hands and minds busy exploring, questioning and discussing during the celebration of science. With over 100 events to choose from OSF 2014 offers something for everyone – young or old, expert or novice, fan or phobic!

Young & strange - magic, comedy, illusion

Young & strange – magic, comedy, illusion

Young and Strange – Magic, Comedy & Illusion, 15th March, 7pm
Didcot Cornerstone, 8 years – adult
Young and Strange are illusionists who are also great stage show performers. The act is shot through with comedy, making it all round entertainment. The tricks are also very clever, featuring very good sleight of hand and an incredible surprise ending!

They have appeared on ITV1’s prime time magic show Penn and Teller’s ‘Fool Us’, and ITV1’s ‘This Morning’ (see the video clip on our web site). So if you fancy a great night out with the family, ooh-ing and aaah-ing at tricks and surprises that you’d see on prime-time TV then look no further.

Oxfordshire gallery trails app launch

Oxfordshire gallery trails app launch

Museum Trails Oxfordshire App Launch, 15th March, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Oxfordshire Wide, all ages
Join us for the launch of our gallery trail app, unlocking a whole new perspective on Oxford’s past. Journey through Explore Oxford and listen to sounds, view pictures and answer questions to solve our anagram!

Also families can come along and make character masks of some of Oxford’s most iconic people and learn more about them in the museum.Come along with your phones and tablets (iPhone compatible only during launch, Android available at later date. Check back to our website for further details) and enjoy a fun day out Exploring Oxford in a whole new way.

FREE in Explore Oxford & the Heritage Learning Centre.

Burford Mumsnet Meet up

Burford Mumsnet Meet up

Mumsnet Oxfordshire meet-up, Burford
10 am, Burford Garden Centre
Perhas you fancy some intelligent conversation and light banter? Our Burford Local Ambassador has arranged a coffee morning at the Burford Garden Centre, which we are reliably informed has a good cafe and play area for small people, plus lots of twigs and pebbly shit for the discerning Mumsnetter!



Things to do in Oxfordshire this weekend

The weather is warming up and it’s that time again – the weekly round-up of what’s on for families in Oxfordshire this weekend. There’s things to do both inside and out, with the outside activities beginning to look rather more appealing now the sky has stopped leaking so much!

Baby & Childrens’ Market, Wantage
Saturday 8th March 2pm to 4pm
Join us on Saturday 8th March 2014 for a great afternoon of shopping & fun! Lots of pre-loved, new and handmade stalls, children’s activities, plenty of free parking. Baby & Children’s Market UK provide a great opportunity for parents to buy & sell excellent quality pre-loved & new goods from birth to eight years all under one roof!

ImageMosaic Taster at the Cornerstone in Didcot
Saturday 8th March,10.30am-1.30pm, One off workshop
Learn mosaic skills and try out different creative techniques in this taster workshop, finishing with a coaster or pot stand to take home. All materials are included.

Explore the Oxford Canal Trail
Saturday 8th March, 10am-4.30pm, £1, All ages.
Discover more about Oxford canal with this family gallery trail around the Explore Oxford galleries. Find out more about the canal and the people who lived on it.

If you want to get out and about then we have a section just for playgrounds, though we could use a few more entries – do you have a playground near you? Whether it’s good or bad, please add it to the site and leave a review so others can benefit from your experience!

ImageOr perhaps you fancy a lunch out at a decent pub? The Lamb Inn, Burford, has a five star review from one of our users for their Sunday lunch with sticky toffee pudding (um, yum!) and it’s right next door to the Wychwood Wild Garden – a beautiful walk we can personally vouch for, as our Editor has taken a ramble through it quite recently!


What’s on in Oxfordshire over the weekend

Following on from our popular What’s on in Oxfordshire over the half term post, we thought we’d do a lovely weekly round-up of what’s on in Oxfordshire over the weekend with a pick of some of the upcoming events and activities. We hope you find it helpful and it inspires you to pop over to Mumsnet Oxfordshire to find out about other things to do in your area – or if you know about something that’s happening, do add it for free!

ImageBlast Off With Kid Carpet! Sunday 2nd March, 2pm
Cornerstone Arts Centre, £8, £6 (concs), Ages 4 – adult

Kid Carpet and The Noisy Animals is a rock band who blast off into space. The animals are a gorilla, a bear, a hedgehog and a badger. Of course! They make friends, play games, contemplate the world and finally rock out at a grand dance contest. Along the way not only will they get toes tapping with their rocky music, but they’ll attempt to enlighten us with all sorts of info.

Nearly New Sale & Children’s Event, Sunday 2nd March, Didcot
10am – 1pm in Didcot civic hall, £1 per adult, children free

40+ stalls ranging from Nearly new stalls and local businesses, that sell or offer services to children and their families.
You can also get some real bargains at this event ranging from children’s clothes, toys, books and shoes to highchairs, cots, car seats, buggies… and more!!
Along with the stalls there will be a face painter and Chipper from the Treehouse playcentre will be popping by to say hello to all the children. There will also be some delicious refreshments on offer.

thomas_01Day out with Thomas at the Didcot Railway Centre, Sat & Sun 1st & 2nd March
Tickets start at £10, Family tickets available. Book in advance or buy at the door

Thomas and his friends Duck & Diesel and The Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, who will be keeping an eye on everything today. Enjoy rides with them all day and as often as you wish. Thomas the Tank Engine is running on his Branch Line and his friends Duck or Diesel are running on the Main Line.
Sounds ideal for Thomas-obsessed children… and a couple of parents we know, too!

Messy Church,  Saturday 1st March, 2-4pm
Wallingford Methodist Church, FREE

We love a free activity and this is a great way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. Messy church is a craft based time of fun and informal worship aimed at children and their families/carers.  The session involves a range of messy activities; a short break for refreshments, a story, singing and a prayer! It’s free and no need to book!

Open to everybody, all activities optional

Something for Mums to be, too
Or how about a little treat for you? It’s not on this weekend, but you may need to book it soon to take advantage – Maternity Reflexology for just £20! Check out our offers page for more info, and keep an eye on it for any other special deals for Mumsnet users!