NEXT Saturday (May 24) sees the beginning of Artsweek, an annual borough-wide festival with events for those interested in music, dance, theatre and the visual arts. And the best thing about it? Most of the events are absolutely free!

Here are my top five suggested items in the borough for under £5.

Tuesday, May 20

Unleash your swing kicks and vertical punches during a 90-minute karate session at Ickenham Karate Club, costing £5 per person. The session, starting at 6.30pm, runs every Tuesday and is for children and adults of all ages. A female instructor with more than 15 years’ experience takes you through the steps needed for progression.

Friday, May 23

Hillingdon Arts Association is showcasing a selection of artwork by members, including 200 paintings. Other visual art work, from sculptures to wood-turned pieces, will also be available, to view or buy. Entry to the exhibition at The Green Barn, Ruislip, is free and runs from midday until 5pm.

Saturday, May 24

The Eclectic Artists event at The Cow Byre, Manor Farm, includes a whole host of work from artists including Janice Adams and Shanti Vadgama. Using paintings, textile designs and ceramics, they explore life’s influences. The free event runs from 10am until 4pm.

Sunday, May 25

Karnatic music is a type of singing originating from the exotic subcontinent. During a one-hour session at the Compass Theatre, groups will be taught how to sing in the karnatic style. Admission is £5 each, which includes an Artsweek brochure. The event starts at 9.30am. For more information, contact

Sunday, May 25

Shaping the Sheep might sound like something out of a tongue-twister, but at the Mall Pavillions, Uxbridge, artist Patricia Ogundero is urging Hillingdon residents to do just that. Over two hours, Patricia will be working on an interactive art installation and wants you to join in. By the end, the white sheep will be turned into a colourful artwork. Definitely worth bringing a smock, in case of any spillages.

If you have an event you would like featured in this weekly posting, contact me at