With one of the hottest May bank holidays on record, summer appears to have arrived early, and it seems a common idea that a cold winter heralds a hot summer is true. In this case, it’s time to start to think about ways of making the most of summer this year.
Now, of course, many people will be heading to faraway shores as the idea of exploring the UK falls flat for most people – as a holiday is simply not a holiday unless a plane journey is involved, yet with the weakened pound and a summer set to be sizzler, now might be the best time to explore this country of ours.
Indeed, it’s quite sad that it’s mostly tourists that are getting the best out of England; exploring places some of us haven’t even been to, and squeezing the most out of the bright lights of London by heading to Leicester Square and Covent Garden on a Friday night to catch shows for date night, rather than bolt by on our lunch break, or pass through whilst on our way to a meeting or conference.
This article looks at five great ideas to squeeze the most out of summer in the UK.
- VISIT A SHOW
London has some of the world’s best shows on its streets ranging with the likes of Mamma Mia and Kinky Boots firm family favourites, that said, if you’re looking for shows for date night, there’s a plethora of venues and nearby restaurants to choose from ranging from upmarket bistros in Covent Garden to authentic chinese cuisine in Soho.
- CATCH A FESTIVAL
Glastonbury will be missed dearly by festival goers this year, but there are plenty of other festivals available such as Parklife in Manchester, Lovebox in London and Bestival in the Isle of Wight. There’s also the more hippy and natural focused festivals such as Wilderness, held in Oxfordshire or the more eclectic and eccentric Brighton scene holding one of the UK’s most famous gay pride events and The Great Escape.
- VISIT THE GREAT BRITISH SEASIDE
There are plenty of great places to visit on the British coast. If you’re looking for surfing then head to the cool shores of Cornwall, if you want dramatic scenery then the West Coast of Scotland is a great option, and if you want old fashioned fun in penny arcades and traditional piers then Blackpool in the North West, Scarborough in the North East, Weston Super Mare in the South West and Brighton or Bournemouth in the South East are all great options.
- GO CAMPING
You can always brave the great outdoors and go camping; this is particularly popular in Wales, Yorkshire and the Lake District. Perfect for walkers, ramblers and hikers or even cyclists these areas of natural outstanding beauty are ideal for camping, whether that’s organised camping in the sense of a campsite or wild camping, where you essentially set up wherever you like.
Scotland is similarly great for camping (albeit a little wetter and cooler than most places in England) as is Cornwall, which is particularly good if you’re into watersports such as surfing and sailing. Indeed, even London has a few campsites that can make for a cheaper visit, but they don’t tend to capture the true essence of what camping is about.
One of the largest and best campsites, that are particularly good if you have dogs or kids with you, is a place called Shell Island located in North Wales.
- VISIT THE SEASIDE
Whilst the majority of Brits head for foreign shores, there’s a plentiful supply of fun and nostalgia to be had at the traditional seaside towns of Blackpool and Scarborough in the North or Brighton and Bournemouth in the South. Also, if you’re after something a little more rural, head to Devon and Cornwall where the rustic charm and rugged scenery is truly breathtaking.