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What's On: Four events to lift spirits this spring

From fashion designs at Ely Cathedral to flowers at Thriplow Daffodil festival, be inspired by the artistry of both people and the planet this month

See a fashion show

Showcasing historic and contemporary arts and craftsmanship side by side, the Royal School of Needlework is exhibiting at Ely Cathedral from now until mid-March.

Following on from the school’s 2015 debut show at the cathedral, For Worship & Glory II unites age-old ecclesiastial treasures - including all 12 panels of the Litany of Loreto, considered the world’s finest example of gold thread work - with new pieces from its current degree students.

Standouts include the fashion designs, which include sharp gender-neutral trouser suits sworled with beading and threads, and a diaphanous kimono scattered with silken rose petals.

Both old and new are beautiful in isolation; together, they have a real drama.

For Worship & Glory II will be in the Lady Chapel until March 13. Entry is via Cathedral Visitor ticket, booked via elycathedral.org.

Step into spring

Thriplow Daffodil Weekend is an annual fixture (55135409)
Thriplow Daffodil Weekend is an annual fixture (55135409)

Seen en masse, their sunshine yellow heads set against spring’s fresh green grass and bright blue sky, daffodils are surely one of nature’s most welcome wonders, signalling, as they do, the end of winter’s drab, dank days.

There’s nowhere better to see them than Thriplow, the village which, home to some 500,000-plus bulbs spanning 100-plus varieties, is famous for its annual Daffodil Festival, which runs March 19-20 this year.

Along with the flowers, there’s plentiful family fun to be had at the festival, with more than 100 shopping stalls, Morris dancing, blacksmithing demos, live music, street food and homemade teas all in the line-up.

Plus it raises funds for good local causes, too: since it was founded some 50-odd years ago, the Daffodil Weekend has generated more than £500,000 for charity.

Tickets £10 for adults, £5 for children aged 5 to 16 and free for under-5s. For more information and to book visit thriplowdaffodils.org.uk.

Go fly a kite

Inspired by “the chaos, colour and competition” of India’s iconic Uttarayan kite festival, which sees millions attempt to fly their kite higher than anyone else, acclaimed dance-meets-theatre show Kattam Katti is coming to Cambridge Junction this month.

Fresh from its sell-out premiere run at London’s Sadler’s Wells at the end of last year, the show was both created and choreographed by Urja Desai Thakore, founder of the Pagrav Dance company. Performed by four UK dancers, all of Asian heritage, alongside four live musicians, it tells their characters’ individual stories which, filled with “the highs and lows, loves and losses of this joyous but ruthlessly competitive festival, become a metaphor for divisions and inequality throughout the world today,” says the team.

Promising to be dynamic, beautiful and thought-provoking by turns, it’s a pay-what-you-feel production. Not to be missed.

Kattam Katti is at Cambridge Junction for two nights, March 22 and 23, at 7.30pm. Tickets at junction.co.uk.

Walk on the wild side

If you want to get in touch with nature - and away from it all, even if just for an hour - Brandon Country Park is a great place to go: spanning 30 acres of Breckland within Thetford Forest, there’s a wildness to both its sandy-soiled heath and deep, dark belts of pine trees.

And now, thanks to a new and free-to-download audio trail app, you can take a guided walk through the park whenever you visit. Led by artist Genevieve Rudd, ECHOES “encourages you to slow down, looking all around to really absorb the environment, prompts you to think about how you would describe your surroundings, and talks you through some drawing techniques to record what you see and experience,” says the park team.

Download the ECHOES app at whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk/parks/brandon-country-park/.

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