Dear Reader

 After one of the wettest months of May on record, sunshine and warmth returned over the bank holiday weekend to give us a June with proper summer weather. With the prospects of the final restrictions lifting shortly, after what has felt like a winter of heaviness, we can hopefully all begin to feel light and breezy like a summer wind.

The thought of seeing family and friends again to freely interact socially with each other is a joyous one and, little by little, the many seasonal events that we had come to take for granted in the past are coming back on the arena. In Oundle, the Food Festival and the International Festival are now under one Creative Oundle umbrella (pages 14-15), and the Fringe Festival (page 64) will be running alongside it as in previous years. The Music Barn Festival in Cranford (page 46) is back fundraising for Cransley Hospice, and Wistow Maze (pages 58-59) is this year suitably grown in the symbolic shape of a phoenix rising from the flames and, once again, owner Diana Brooks is kindly offering the readers of Village Connect the chance to win family tickets for this great outdoor attraction.

If you would like a really active summer, you can take part in the Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride (page 48) raising much needed funds for the homeless and vulnerable, or you can take to the water with various local sailing clubs (pages 68-69) to discover sailing, windsurfing, open water swimming or have a go at paddleboarding. The forest on your doorstep: Weekley Hall Wood (pages 62-63) proved a real life-saver during lockdown and continues to attract local families who come to enjoy nature and wildlife in its woodland and meadows.

True to form, our stunning country houses and gardens will be host to a variety of open gardens, fairs and festivals, outdoor theatre and entertainment, re-enactments and jousting, so look to the pages ahead and make the summer of 2021 a staycation to remember when you discover and learn to appreciate our local community once more.


Vivi Sant Cole

Village Connect

Hillcrest House

Church Hill



NN14 1AH

Tel: 01536 744700