Summer fun at The Firs

Young girl plays outdoor instruments at The Firs

There is always plenty to do at Elgar's birthplace, have a look at what we have to offer for the whole family this summer.

Trail and Crafts

Back when Edward Elgar, his siblings and friends frolicked around the fields of Lower Broadheath they would create plays and tales of imaginary worlds and amusing adventures. The Wand of Youth suites were inspired by stories of fairies and babbling brooks. 

From 21 July until 15 August The Firs will help you weave your own Tales and Plays as you explore our garden.  Using our beautiful setting as your backdrop take a step back in time with your family and friends and bring out your theatrical side, discover some props along the way to inspire your own Wand of Youth. 

Fairy Tale Friday

Join us in the summer house on Fridays to hear tales of adventure, bring along a blanket or cushion if you wish for cosy listening.  Readings at 11:15, 12:15 and 13:15.

Fairytales at The Firs
Fairytales at The Firs
Fairytales at The Firs

Puppet play craft

If you don’t fancy being centre stage when it comes it plays and tales, why not let your hand do the talking.  Make your own hand puppet and use it to create your own stories at The Firs and at home. £1.50 per hand puppet.   

Music Makers 

The second half of summer sees music fill the air at The Firs.

From 16 August until 5 September we need your help to make some music. 

The fairies from the Wand of Youth have been misbehaving and taking our instruments apart; can you become a music maker and fix them?   Around the garden we have six broken musical items, put them back together and then make your own music to make Elgar proud. 

We will be running a competition on social media for our favourite mini music-makers clip.  Film yourself playing our instruments, and then post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the #Musicmaker tagging @ntthefirs. You could win a cream tea for two!  

If you fall in love with one of the instruments and want to make more music at home, make your own mini one at our craft table £2.50 per kit. 

Have you met the fantastic Mr Phoebus?

Mr Phoebus and his very unique Penny Farthing Experience has seen thousands of people ride his Iconic Machine of the Victorian era. Now he rides to The Firs Elgar’s Birthplace twice a month for you to give it a go!

On special days throughout the year Mr Phoebus brings a plethora of Penny farthings for you to get to grips with.

Mr Phoebus and 'Carice' his Penny Farthing
Mr Phoebus and 'Carice' his Penny Farthing
Mr Phoebus and 'Carice' his Penny Farthing

Watch him climb to the top of ‘Carice’ his favourite farthing and show you just how a Victorian would do it before helping you master the technique. Will you take on the challenge?

This experience is truly for everyone and anyone 4 years old up with Penny Farthings of different sizes.  He brings with him a whole wardrobe of outfits to get into the spirit, even specially designed top hat helmets. 

So come along learn about these wonders of the past and give it a whirl.

Watch the birds

Quietly watch the birds feeding on our bird table, and spot the feeders hanging in the trees in the orchard. You’re likely to see Blue tits, Great tits and chaffinches, and if you’re really lucky, the green and the greater spotted woodpeckers. 

Feed the birds
spotted woodpecker on a bird feeder
Feed the birds

David Birtwhistle’s art exhibition

David Birtwhistle’s art exhibition will be on display in the Visitor Centre, so we will be having lots more images of Worcestershire adorning the walls.

David Birtwhistle - Artist
David Birtwhistle
David Birtwhistle - Artist

Fancy a cuppa?

Our tea-room will have a new menu to whet your appetite; the weather will warm enough for you to enjoy food and drinks outside in our courtyard seating area to enjoy the sights and sounds of Lower Broadheath.

The outside eating space
tables and chairs outside the tea-room
The outside eating space

Elgar's Study

Visit the inner sanctum of Edward Elgar’s study and explore what enabled him to write the music that would provide a soundtrack for much of the 20th Century. The personal affects that were the tools of a musical genius sit side by side with the finalised original manuscripts to some of the best-known and loved pieces in the English musical canon. All you need to write a symphony might just inspire you to take up a new creative outlet!

Sir Edward Elgars study exhibit
Elgars study exhibit at the Firs
Sir Edward Elgars study exhibit

The Birthplace Cottage

Explore the origins of genius in the Birthplace cottage, where you’ll uncover the key early influences in Elgar’s life that went on to shape his personality and music – and what made this special place so special to him. Discover the creation of a museum and take in the story of how Elgar’s daughter, Carice, curated the objects that made up her father’s world to remember her father to the ages.

On your bike

If you prefer to get to The Firs ‘on your bike’ rather than by foot or car, we can provide cycle routes around the area and you can use our newly installed bike racks to park up. We have a special offer in the tea-room for cyclists to fuel your journey ahead. While you are there, you can see our latest addition our sunbeam bicycle suspended mid-air in the Visitor Centre alongside our brand new display on Elgar and his beloved cycling adventures.  

Touring the Worcestershire countryside in search of inspiration might have taken a lot longer if it weren’t for Elgar’s trusty bicycle Mr Phoebus. Cycling up to 50 miles per day, friends who accompanied him would often recall how lengthy periods of silence on his part were sure-fire signs that his genius was in flow. The striking 1910 Sunbeam bicycle on display here, alongside original hand-marked cycle maps he used might put the modern casual cyclist to shame – but then again it might inspire you to take a ride for yourself.

Elgar with his sunbeam bicycle
Elgar with his sunbeam bicycle
Elgar with his sunbeam bicycle

Take a walk

Explore the surrounding walks around Lower Broadheath where you might catch a glimpse of summer wildlife along your route. . 

Elgar country views
photo of countryside around the Elgar birthplace
Elgar country views

Outdoor Sound Garden

Whilst the sun is shining why not make use of our outdoor sound garden. Give each instrument a whirl or grab a few bandmates and wow the other visitors. Fun for all ages. Who knows could you be the next Edward Elgar?   

Sound Garden Conch
Sound Garden Conch
Sound Garden Conch

Built in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and made out of recycled materials these wonderful wooden instruments not only decorate our garden but give the Firs the right atmosphere which may just inspire the next musical genius. Come and fill the air with music. 

Sound Garden by mural
Sound Garden by mural
Sound Garden by mural

Using our specially crafted music makers (also known as golf balls on sticks) create your own tune and share it on our social media use #soundgarden 

Sound garden music maker
Sound garden music maker
Sound garden music maker