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Hylands Estate: what’s on this summer

Hylands And Parkland

There’s an incredible line-up of events at Hylands Estate this year to entertain all ages and tastes. As we look ahead to long summer evenings and school holidays, here’s our guide to what’s on over the coming months.


Outdoor screenings with Adventure Cinema

A brand-new event called Adventure Cinema is coming to Hylands this June. Choose from a selection of popular films to watch in the sun (fingers crossed!) with your favourite picnic food. Bring along a blanket or camping chair and enjoy your film in a lively atmosphere with a glorious mix of specially curated songs playing before each film!

Films showing at this event are:

  • Elvis on Friday 16 June at 8pm
  • The Greatest Showman (Sing-along) on Saturday 17 June at 2pm
  • Mamma Mia! on Saturday 17 June at 8pm
  • Encanto on Sunday 18 June at 2pm
  • Top Gun: Maverick on Sunday 18 June at 8pm
Outdoor Cinema

Come rain or shine, the events will go ahead, and on-site toilets will be provided. Book your tickets for any of the above films here.

Hylands Open Estate Day
On Sunday 18 June, from 10am-3pm, visit Hylands for their first open day of the summer season. Hylands Open Estate Days run every third Sunday of the month and are always bustling with people. The day promises a host of entertainment, fun activities and yummy food. Plus, it’s a lovely way to celebrate Father’s Day!

Discover Hylands’ secret history with an exhibition in the Hylands House library – June’s exhibition is ‘The Pryor Family at Hylands’. Free family activities will be inspired by the books written during the Pryor family’s time at Hylands House. Mike Dodsworth is also back with his popular storytelling sessions. Come along to the Drawing Room at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm to hear some enchanting tales.

You can also explore Hylands House at your own leisure or take a free guided tour at 10am, led by the friendly in-house team.

Urban Food Fest will be providing delicious street food just outside the house and there’ll also be handmade gifts and freshly baked goods for sale from local traders.

While you’re there, feel free to browse at The Stables, home to a vibrant community of artists, designers and makers. Discover unique handmade pieces and get creative yourself by taking part in the one of The Stables’ fun and laid-back art workshops.

Live music will be playing throughout the day in The Stables courtyard, provided by Hot Box Live. Why not relax and enjoy the music at The Deli café in the courtyard? The Deli is open daily from 8am-5pm and serves scrumptious pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and salads. You can also buy high quality cheese and more in the Deli shop.

Hawthorn Heavy Horses will be providing estate carriage tours throughout the day. For just £4 per person you can enjoy a leisurely ride around Hylands. Tours will be running between 11:30am and 3:30pm. Hawthorn Heavy horses will also be starting their summer carriage tours from 2 July, which you can book here.

If you can’t make the June date, come and visit Hylands on their other summer open days – Sunday 16 July and Sunday 20 August. Sign up to the Hylands mailing list to hear more about what will be taking place on those days.  

Essex Book Festival celebrates authors

Calling all bookworms! The Essex Book Festival is back at Hylands this year to celebrate brilliant authors at ‘The Pleasure Gardens’ on Sunday 18 June, from 11am-4pm.

Essex Book Festival

At 11am, James Canton will talk about his new book ‘Grounded’ which takes readers on a journey through England to explore the landscapes of our ancestors.

At 1pm, hear Sandra Lawrence discuss her fascinating memoir, ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghosts’. The book traces the remarkable life of the trail-blazing, green-fingered heiress Ellen Ann Wilmott.

At 3pm, join Henry Dimbleby, founder of the Leon restaurant chain and author of ‘Ravenous’, as he delves into what shapes the modern diet.

You can book tickets for these events via the Essex Book Festival website.

Foodies Festival returns to Hylands

Are you a self-confessed foodie? Then you’ll absolutely love Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest celebrity food and music festival.

The Hylands team welcomes the festival back to the estate between Friday 23 to Sunday 25 June. For the third year running, the festival is supporting Musicians Against Homelessness, (MAH) with tickets raising money for UK-wide homelessness charity Crisis.

This fabulous three-day event offers live cooking demonstrations by top chefs you’ll recognise from MasterChef, Great British Bake Off and Great British Menu, plus local Michelin-starred chefs. As well as feasting your eyes on the delicious dishes being whipped up you can also enjoy music from Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Five.

Opening times vary each day:

Friday 23rd June – 12pm–9pm
Saturday 24th June – 11am–9pm
Sunday 25th June – 11am–8pm

If that wasn’t enough, you can learn about the latest food trends in the Shopping Village, meet local producers in the Artisan Market and taste freshly prepared dishes in the Feasting Tent. The Foodies Festival is great for families and adults alike, with a fairground, children’s activities and family-friendly areas.

Brand-new features to expect at this year’s festival include:

  • Top TV Chef Challenge: Watch a high-pressured cook-off, where finalists of MasterChef compete with the winners of Bake Off and Great British Menu to create the most impressive dish.
  • Theatre Takeovers: Expect comedy, hit songs, drag queens and more!
  • Green Fingers: Meet experts hosting sessions on growing your own fruit and veg, discover new varieties, recipe ideas and more.
  • Doughnut Dash: A hilarious race to eat the most doughnuts…while the host distracts competitors with other silly tasks!
  • Cake-aoke: Karaoke with a twist! Have a blast with a sing ’n’ bake-along with Foodies’ multi-talented hosts.

You can find out more about this highly anticipated event and book your tickets via the official website.

A magical Proms Spectacular


On Saturday 5 August, from 3:30 to 10:30pm, Hylands Estate will hold its first proms spectacular – an epic picnic concert organised by Bel Events.

Sam Griffiths, one of the best swing singers in the country, will be kicking things off. Sam’s first album went to number one in the jazz charts and he’ll get things started with a set of songs.

Proms Spectacular At Hylands

The main concert will get under way with a Spitfire display, accompanied by famous movie themes. Proms goers can then sit back and enjoy a performance by London’s Orion Orchestra, featuring some of the finest young musicians in the country. Expect Nessun Dorma, the Sailor’s Hornpipe, Land of Hope & Glory, Rule Britannia and Jerusalem.

To end the evening, as is tradition, there’ll be a spectacular fireworks display by Meteor Fireworks, synchronised to a breath-taking orchestral score. Book tickets for this magnificent event here.

Theatre on the Back Lawn

If you love theatre, you won’t want to miss the outdoor performances Hylands has planned this summer.

On Wednesday 9 August, from 7-8:30pm, you can enjoy a wonderful production of Romeo and Juliet. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men present the play as Shakespeare’s audiences first saw it: in the open air, with an all-male cast, Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. Want to know more? Check out this video of the cast talking about why they love performing outside!

Bring a comfy chair and snacks and prepare to be swept away by this timeless story of forbidden love. There’ll also be a bar onsite. Book your tickets here.

On Tuesday 15 August, you are invited to click your heels and follow the yellow brick road, as multi award-nominated Immersion Theatre performs a brand-new adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. With audience participation, dazzling costumes and an original script, this re-telling promises to have you laughing, clapping and singing along to a superb collection of original songs.

Wizard Of Oz

Drinks and snacks will be available to purchase on the day. There will be two performances, at 1pm and 4pm. Book tickets via the Chelmsford Theatre website.

The National Country Show Live

The National Country Show Live is a two-day, action-packed outdoor event, offering fun for all the family. It is coming to Hylands on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September, and runs from 10am-5pm.

The show offers an array of entertainment, including country shopping, animals, live music, stunning arena displays and much more. For more information about this event, visit the official Facebook page.

Last year’s show saw falconry displays, sheepdog displays, BMX bike battles, as well as dog shows, archery, and inflatables.

Go Ape swings into Hylands this summer

Finally, a reminder that Go Ape is opening a brand-new adventure site at Hylands this summer. It will be the 35th Go Ape location in the UK and the first in Essex! The site is set to feature three high-ropes experiences with high-speed ziplines, Tarzan Swings and tree-to-tree crossings.


We’ll keep you posted with all the latest news about this adventurous addition to Hylands Estate and you can find out when tickets go on sale via the Go Ape website.

If you want to hear about what’s on at Hylands Estate throughout the year, sign up to receive regular newsletters straight to your inbox.

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Lia Salacuri
Lia Salacuri

Lia writes about what’s on in Chelmsford.