Hylands House on a sunny day

Hylands Estate in Chelmsford is hosting more events than ever this year. There’s everything from a brand new new music festival in June to animatronic Dinosaurs In The Park this August. Read on to plan your summer at the historic estate.

The Stables Summer Series

Hylands Estate has joined up with Hot Box Live to present some of the best upcoming music acts on the circuit. Artists will perform in the atmospheric Stables courtyard with drinks from the Hot Box bar and festival food from The Stables Café. Tickets start from £13.50, and doors open at 6pm with everything finishing up at 11pm.

The first performance of the series is from musician Shephali Frost on 20 May. Shephali is an Indo-British poet and world-music performer trained in Indian classical music. She combines South Asian poetry with contemporary Jazz to create an incredible new type of fusion music. Go to the What’s On page of the Hylands Estate website to find out more. There’s a taster of Shephali’s performance below.

The National Flower Show

Between 20 – 22 May, Hylands will be filled with flowers, plants and green inspiration thanks to the National Flower Show. There’ll be a showcase of the very best gardening as well as food and drink stalls aplenty. Visit nationalflowershow.co.uk for full details on tickets and prices.

Flowers and other plants on stands laid out on the back lawn of Hylands House
The National Flower Show starts on 20 May

Creamfields South

The famous electronic music festival comes to Hylands park between 2 – 4 June for the first time, giving fans the chance to experience this renowned dance event. The line up includes big names like Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim and many more. Day and camping tickets are available, with a VIP option if you like your creature comforts. Prices and booking links can be found on the Creamfields website.

Essex Book Festival

The Essex Book Festival comes to Hylands on 19 June with a special day of author events and workshops under the banner of ‘The Pleasure Garden’. Radio 4 Today programme presenter Justin Webb will be discussing his new memoir, and author Lulah Ellender will be talking about ‘Grounding’, her moving book about finding solace in a garden. Kate Teltscher will tell festivalgoers the fascinating story of the Palm House at Kew Gardens, and Nick Wickenden will delve into the history of Hylands.

Workshops with brilliant writers will be taking place throughout the day too, including advice from radio dramatist Robin Brooks and novelist Syd Moore. There are also events for children with performances from the Grand Theatre of Lemmings and storytelling from Dr Sarah Pye.

There’s even a launch into space planned by the Esssex Steamettes. All the details, including how to book, on the Essex Book Festival website.

Authors appearing at an Essex Book Festival event in Hylands

Foodies Festival

Food lovers can enjoy a celebration of top chefs, tasty food, delicious drinks and live music from 17-19 June. Foodies Festival is the biggest touring gourmet food festival in the UK, featuring MasterChef champions, stars of the Great British Bake-Off and Michelin starred chefs.

There’ll be plenty to enjoy across all three days such as the Chef’s Theatre, Cake & Bake Theatres, Shopping Village, Street Food Avenue, a feasting tent, and a variety of family-friendly activities. Early bird, concessions and family tickets are available, as well as VIP packages. Visit foodiesfestival.com to purchase your tickets.

Outdoor theatre

New open air theatre comes to the back lawn of Hylands House this summer. There are two performances of a new musical adaptation of Rapunzel on Monday 15 August. This fast-paced production promises lots of audience interaction, plenty of puns and catchy songs. Tickets start at £8 and you can bring a picnic or buy refreshments when you’re there.

Later in the month The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are back at Hylands with a production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The all-male cast presents the comedy as it would have been seen in the Bard’s day: outside with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm performance on Tuesday 23 August and a full bar with hot drinks will be available. Theatregoers can bring chairs and picnics if they wish.

Dinosaurs In The Park

Dinosaurs In The Park is an interactive and immersive experience for the whole family. The whole-day event includes a feeding zone, a trail, fairground rides and 35 life-sized animatronic models! Dino fans of all ages will be sure to enjoy this adventure which comes to Hylands Estate over the summer holidays from Thursday 18 August to Sunday 4 September. Purchase your tickets and find more information on the Hylands website.  

Two girls looking up at a large animatronic T Rex
35 animatronic dinosaurs are coming to the park

What else is on this year?

There are many other great events lined up for 2022 including:

For the very latest information about events, artist workshops and open days, visit the Hylands website or the estate’s digital brochure.

By Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes stories about recycling and waste, parks, economic development, local democracy and planning.

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