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Be inspired every day with Living North
Fun Things to Do this Weekend
What's on
June 2023
Reading time 3 Minutes

Whether you prefer an opera or musical, good food or a delicious drink, looking forward or reflecting on the past, there's something for you this weekend

Here's all the ways to keep busy and have fun this weekend.

Living history…
It’s Litha at Bebbanburg – or to you and me, the middle of the summer at Bamburgh – and to celebrate, the Acle Re-enactment Society will be at Bamburgh this weekend for the Feast Day of St John the Baptist. They’ll be preparing food and ale, celebrating with games, and telling folk tales from days gone by, while the warriors will be competing against each other, and the fires will be lit for Litha. There’ll also be displays throughout the day of living history, including hands-on activities for children to practice fighting against the warriors or strike their own coins, talk to the re-enactors in the West Ward, plus demonstrations of cooking, weaving, embroidery, leechcraft and medicine.

Community clean-up…
Collywell Bay is a small bay between St Mary’s and Seaton Sluice, and according to the council it’s a bit neglected when it comes to beach cleans. To help with this, the Marine Conservation Society are holding a beach clean there this Sunday from 10.30–11.30am and would appreciate all the help they can get. The bay has some areas that are difficult to access and it’s strongly recommend to wear sturdy shoes or boots with grip as much of the bay has slippery rocks. Except for that just bring gardening gloves, suncream, hand sanitiser and some snacks, and get cleaning!

Smash hit show…
Westerburg High's Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious teen rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it's murder being a somebody. Based on the eponymous 1989 film starring Winona Ryder, Heathers the Musical is a black comedy rock musical all about the raw reality of high school, and you won’t want to miss your chance to see it when it comes to Sunderland Empire this weekend.

Ford Castle

Open-air opera…
Ford & Etal Estates are hosting two open-air opera performances this weekend in the Ford Castle courtyard and you won’t want to miss them. On Friday 23rd June, Opera Brava, Britain’s leading outdoor touring opera company, will present Puccini’s La Bohème, which follows a tale of passion between poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimi. The following day, they’ll present Verdi’s La traviata, which follows Alfredo and consumptive courtesan Violetta. All you need to do is bring rugs, chairs and drinks and they’ll have porters to help you carry your things into the castle courtyard. Living North’s Arts Editor caught up with Bronek Pomorski, artistic director at Opera Brava, to find out more about these amazing performances here

Good food…
This weekend Harrogate Food & Drink Festival is back and as you walk through the lush green fields of The Stray and Ripley Castle, you’ll find a selection of delicious international street food, as well as eight independent bars. Returning for 2023, the Live Cookery Theatre will be open all weekend where the region’s best chefs will be cooking up a storm, while in the fine artisan markets you can buy everything from brownies and fudge to cured meats and cheese. Eating delicious food and drink has never been for a better cause as the festival’s charity partner is Mind in Harrogate, and they’ll be collecting donations on ticket sales and many fun activities.

Creature comforts…
The Great Yorkshire Creature Count returns this Saturday and Sunday. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s wildlife census is back for a fourth year and they want more gardens, more households and more communities taking part than ever before. It’s fun and easy to do, and everyone can take part: simply spot, count and record the creatures in your garden using a list of 30 creatures great and small. Your counts will showcase how wildlife-friendly our collective outdoor patches are and in time, give the Trust an idea of how common species are faring in Yorkshire's gardens. Together we can take more action for wildlife on our doorstep!

Take a sip…
This weekend marks the end of English Wine Week and it would be rude not to celebrate with a glass or two. From white and sparkling to red and rosé, here we’ve picked out the English wines to know about. It’s also National Picnic Week so why not enjoy a tipple outdoors? Here we’ve picked out three of the best picnic-perfect canned drinks to sip on – we’re talking premium wine, fruit cocktails and alcohol-free cans – as well as the most picturesque spots to enjoy your picnic and drinks in the North East and Yorkshire

Read More: Discover the Unique Exhibitions at Hartlepool Art Gallery this Summer

Be proud…
June is Pride Month and there are events taking place across the region all month to mark the occasion. The market town of Hexham is hosting its first ever pride festival this year with events throughout the month, and on Saturday you can join Curious Arts at Hexham Old Gaol to celebrate everything that’s unique and wonderful about families at Mini Pride. Meanwhile, Newcastle Cathedral are holding a month-long participatory exhibition which you can get involved with this weekend. In Yorkshire, there is an LGBTQAI+ drama club at the Swarthmore Education Centre in Leeds on Friday or a book club at Hull Central Library on Saturday.

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