May 2021

Circus Fun Weekend – an extravaganza for all ages!

Fri 30 April – Mon 3 May
Adult £175 • Child (5 – 21yrs) £150 (£100 second or third child in same family)
Jacob-Hi Ho, Juggler Jim, Darine, and other Farm Yard Circus friends

Have you ever dreamed of running away to join a circus?
Well, now you can, because the circus is coming to Lower Shaw Farm, and you can be part of it!

No lions, no prancing ponies, and no performing seals. Simply nice people, good company, great tuition, wonderful workshops, and three days of pure circus fun!

There will be workshops, for complete beginners as well as for experienced circus enthusiasts, in juggling (balls, clubs, passing, and more …); staff spinning, plate spinning, devil-sticks, hula hoop, and more …; aerial hoop and silks; rope walking and slack-lining; acro-balance and human pyramids; uni-cycling; and performance skills.

There will also be a fire show, a mass fire club-swinging routine, and the lighting of a fire sculpture created on the weekend, by you!

After dark, we’ll have a cabaret, UV-light performance in fluorescent room, and a Cowshed party to write home about.

And on the last day, we’ll finish off, in the fully-matted play area, with a games session, using your new skills!

Families welcome, couples and singles welcome, and beginners welcome. Everybody is welcome, because anyone can learn how to juggle, how to really play, and how to develop and improve their circus skills. We'll show you how!

Jacob Hi-Ho, a multi-talented circus artist and former UK Slackline champion; and Juggler Jim, an experienced performer and workshop leader; and Darine Flannagan, an acrobat and play leader, will all help you learn new skills and explore your potential as an individual and as part of a group in a relaxed, friendly, and well-equipped setting.

And for anyone who just wants to watch, the workshop space also has comfy sofas!

This fully residential weekend, with great food, fun, and friendship, begins on Friday evening and finishes after a late lunch on Bank Holiday Monday.

Note. There is a bonus! Participants on this weekend are invited to join the Swindon Spring Festival’s Dawn Chorus, at 5.30am on the Monday. We’ll see the sun rise over Swindon, tell stories, sing songs, and perform a super selection of circus routines. More great fun!

Book Circus Fun Weekend

Swindon Spring Festival – of literature and the arts

Mon 3 – Sat 15 May

Lots of authors, talks, discussions, and workshops; plus dance, drama, music, film, and circus performances.

A festival full of cultural riches!

If you want to know more, get the full colour programme, available from 25th March, phone 01793771080 oremail or see

Swindon Spring Festival – Families Day

Sun 9 May
10.30am – 3.30pm

Authors, workshops, storytelling, word games, story walks, circus skills, treasure hunts, riddles, puppets, campfire stories, and plenty of play, all day, at the Swindon Spring Festival.

Brilliant activities for all ages, with words, books, performers, and play!

The Farm Cafe will be open for light lunches, and delicious cakes and refreshments.

No advance booking required. For this event, please pay at the farm gate on the day. If you any questions, please phone us on 01793 771080 or email

Willow Basket Making

Fri 21 – Sun 23 May • Begins 12 noon on the Friday, finishes 4pm on Sunday
£175 veranda room, £195 farmhouse room (both prices include 2 nights’ accommodation in the main farmhouse, meals and refreshments and 2 1/2 days tuition. Non-resident price: £160 includes meals and tuition.)
Norah Kennedy

An opportunity to make willow baskets, garden structures, plant supports, sculptures, and decorations. Learn an eco-friendly skill using local renewable materials!

There will be time to make at least two small baskets, or one larger one. Advice will be available for those wanting to grow their own willow.

The course begins on Friday with lunch at 12.30pm. Tuition begins after lunch. On the Saturday and Sunday, tuition and basket-making will take place from 9.30am until 4pm.

This weekend is suitable for both beginners and for those with experience. (There will be an extra charge of £5 – £20 for materials.)

Norah is an experienced, practising basket maker, and has been teaching this age-old craft all over the country for many years.

Book Willow Basket Making

May Working Weekend

Fri 21 – Sun 23 May
No charge

This is a chance to get to know the farm, turn your hand to old jobs and new, enjoy good company and good food too!

An opportunity to have bright ideas by the compost heap, happy talk in the hen house, and cool chat in the kitchen. Join us to prove that many hands make light work and that today’s stranger is tomorrow’s friend.

Our Working Weekends are run in the beautiful spirit of the WWOOF organisation: we feed and accommodate you, you work, with us.

For more information on WWOOF, see

Book May Working Weekend
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