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What’s On in the Country? The Culture Diary

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What’s On in the Country? The Culture Diary

Don't miss the best cultural events in the UK during the month...


What’s on this week in the countryside and the UK beyond London? Wonder no more! Find out all the hottest show openings, new art exhibitions, restaurants to book into and more. Here’s your culture guide to the month ahead…


Looking for events in London? Check out our Town Culture Diary

What’s On in the Country this Month? February 2019

1 February

The Big Burns Supper

The Big Burns Supper

The Big Burns Supper is the biggest contemporary celebration of Scotland’s national poet in the town he called home, Dumfries. Over 111 events will transform the historic town with a blistering cultural celebration of comedians, celebrity hosts, theatre and cabaret acts for a Burns Night unlike any other. 24 Jan to 3 Feb.

Faces of Change: Votes for Women, Nationwide

The National Trust and the Portrait Gallery collaborate to bring paintings, photos and archival documents to Devon, Nottinghamshire and County Down. Until 3 Feb 2019,

2 February

Artes Mundi 8 at National Museum Cardiff

Bouchra Khalili. The Tempest Society. Digital film. 2017. Sound. Colour.

Artes Mundi 8, the UK’s political prize for art that engages with everyday life and social issues, opens its shortlist exhibition at National Museum Cardiff. The prize of £40,000 is up for grabs by contenders Anna Boghiguian, Bouchra Khalili,Otobong Nkanga, Trevor Paglen and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. 26 October to 24 February,

3 February

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style

Symbolic of 20th-century modernity, ocean liners heralded the golden age of travel. The exhibition at the new Scottish outpost of The V&A examines ships such as the Titanic and the Queen Mary and their influence on popular culture. Until 24 February,



4 February

Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection, Twickenham

Masterpieces from the magnificent collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture and curiosities created by Horace Walpole will be reassembled for this once-in-a-lifetime show. The pieces are from his celebrated gothic villa at Strawberry Hill and were later dispersed all over the world in the famous sale in 1842. The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to experience one of the most famous 18th-century collections including great works by Joshua Reynolds, Anthony Van Dyck and Hans Holbein, reunited in the original setting of Strawberry Hill’s fine rooms. Until 24 February 2019.

5 February

Celebrating China at Bicester Village

Celebrating China at Bicester Village

A pop-up shop celebrating Chinese designers will sit in Bicester Village’s shopping area for just a couple weeks more. Celebrating China, a one-off pop-up shop curated by fashion influencer Susie Bubble, boasts the ten most unique and innovative Chinese brands around. Discover them, shop from them, love them! Open now until 17 February. Discover more at

7 February

The Producers

The Producers

Theatre producer Max Bialystock has a string of failures in his wake, but his downtrodden accountant Leo Bloom thinks that could be a good thing. A producer could make more money with a dud than a hit? Manchester Royal Exchange adapts The Producers, the cult comedy film by Mel Brooks. Until 26 Jan.

8 February



This absurdist comedy already has Olivia Colman touted for an Oscar and won 13 nominations in the British Independent Film Awards. Starring as an angry Queen Anne, Colman is doted on by Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), who manipulates her into continuing a war with the French, to glorify Sarah’s ambitious husband. When Sarah’s cousin (Emma Stone) arrives, the women joust for her affections with hilarious – and surreal – consequences. Director Yorgos Lanthimos challenged cinematic conventions with his famously violent The Lobster, now he’s at it again with a comedy to purge the January blues. Irresistible. Released 1 January.

10 February

The Furthest Lands

The Furthest Lands

Begin in the extreme north of the Shetland Islands and journey south over 950 miles to the far southwest point of Ireland in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s exhibition The Furthest Lands, a display by Norman Ackroyd CBE, RA of intricate aquatint etchings and a small collection of watercolours. 17 Nov to 24 Feb,

12 February

The Upside Down House, The Triangle Bournemouth

On November 10th, Bournemouth welcomed the wild and wonderful new the Upside Down House. Using the UK’s first inverted wooden structure, the experiential house is a mix of street art and immersive entertainment. The zero-gravity illusion means visitors can walk on the ceiling and go downstairs to go up throughout the two-storey building. Open until June 2019,

14 February

Haroon Mirza: Reality Is Somehow What We Expect It To Be

Haroon Mirza: Reality Is Somehow What We Expect It To Be

Haroon Mirza’s immersive sound and light work has discombobulated audiences for over ten years. His signature style engulfs the audience and immerses them in a parallel universe of overwhelming colour and noise. Birmingham’s home to contemporary art looks back at his career. 30 Nov to 24 Feb.

15 February

‘When All Is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs in Conversation with York Art Gallery’

Rock band the Kaiser Chiefs have curated a unique exhibition showcasing at York Art Gallery this month, exploring the boundaries of music, art, performance and creation. Expect performances by a forty-art choir, paintings from the gallery’s’ own collection and much more… 14 December 2018 to 10 March 2019,

17 February

Godshill Park Farm’s New Yoga Retreat

A brand new yoga retreat has opened up inside of Godshill Park Farm’s converted farmhouse. Book a residential retreat package and make use of the yoga studio which overlooks fantastic views, toasty log-fires, and the delicious, locally-sourced food. Prices start at £265 per person, with a vast schedule of yoga and well-being retreats slated for 2019.

20 February

White Peak Distillery, Ambergate

One of England’s largest commercial whiskey distilleries has just opened in Ambergate, inside a former Victorian wire-works. Book a tour at White Peak Distillery and enjoy the brand new amenities – the tasting room, shop, and a whole lot of Derbyshire dry gin (their first whiskey won’t be available until 2021!) Tours are £12, book at

22 February

Louise Bourgeois at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

Louise Bourgeois at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

When Tate Modern opened in 2000, Bourgeois’ 30ft steel and marble spider, Maman, greeted its first visitors. The grande dame of autobiographical art, Bourgeois explored abandonment and sexuality until her death at 98 in 2010. As the conversation around gender and equality evolves, her work is as relevant as ever. 22 Jan to 24 March.

MK Gallery, Milton Keynes

The new MK Gallery, designed by Award-winning architects 6a, will open in February 2019, doubling the size of the current building and creating a world-class centre for contemporary arts in the heart of Milton Keynes. The new building will include a flexible suite of galleries to accommodate a rich variety of works, historical and contemporary. It will also include a cinema/performance space, a new foyer and bookshop, an informal bar/café, a learning space, plus areas for reading and study. Until July 2019,

26 February

EXPOSED: THE NAKED PORTRAIT at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

EXPOSED: THE NAKED PORTRAIT at Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

Vulnerable, erotic, equalizing or innocent – the unclothed body takes many forms. Exposed explores the difference between being naked and nude – bare authenticity or idealized figures, be they sculptures from ancient Greece or artful poses on Instagram. Naked individual portraits – free from the markers of time or wealth – include 19th-century actress Nell Gwyn, Naomi Campbell, Gilbert & George, and Mick Jagger, alongside Testino photographic shots and work by David Hockney and Tracey Emin. An exhibition to explore identity and grasp its essential humanity. Until 3 March.

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