With the weather (finally) looking like it’s on the up, we’re getting excited about some summer fun. Whether you’re looking to get active, get tanned, or just get out the house for a couple of hours, here are our top picks for a fun and active summer!
Hampton Court Flower Show
Hampton Court, 5 - 10 July
The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is the world’s largest annual flower show and last year celebrated its 25th year. We had the privilege to attend the big day and were not disappointed – check out our review here.
This year’s highlights include a captivating Butterfly Dome where you can wander among thousands of beautiful free-flying Indonesian and South American butterflies. Also pay a visit to the Floral Marquee, which will showcase specially-selected floral exhibitors and specialist nurseries with stunning displays of unusual seasonal plants.
Sunset Safari at London Zoo
London Zoo, June 3 - July 15
For summer this year, London Zoo will have extended opening hours for you to enjoy a sunset stroll through the park. Follow a self-guided safari trail and get the chance to see animals having their dinner and being put to bed.
There’s also a full schedule of live feeds, wild talks and performances in the Theatre of Life, where you can watch live animal displays, meet the trainers and put your animal knowledge to the test in Zoonivesity Challenge.
British Airways i360
Stretching over 500 feet above the iconic Brighton coastline, the British Airways i360 is the world’s first vertical cable car and the tallest observation tower outside of London. On a clear day you’ll be able to see 26 miles out to sea and across the beautiful coast of East Sussex.
Whilst you’re down in Brighton you may as well check out everything else the city has to offer. Take a trip down the pier to ride the Wild Mouse, stroll through the winding Lanes with an authentic Italian gelato and visit the historic Brighton Pavilion.
The i360 should open this summer, but check the website for updates.
Situated in the lush, green Conwy Valley in the lee of the Snowdonia mountains, Surf Snowdonia is a crisp, manmade lagoon that produces a powerful head-high wave that rises at the centre of the lagoon, peels perfectly for more than 150 metres, and dissipates softly as it hits the shore.
As well as this revolutionary, world-first inland surf lagoon, Surf Snowdonia features a host of other wet ‘n’ wild attractions – from adrenalin thrills in the Crash and Splash lagoon to SUP safaris, kayaking and kiddies soft play.
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, 4-7 August
Described by The Guardian as “a place where art, intellectualism and fantastic gastronomy share equal billing with music,” Wilderness transforms the beautiful ancient parkland of Cornbury Park into a bohemian grove of sights, sounds and activities.
This year there’s music from Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, late night beats from renowned Scottish DJ Jackmaster and a whole programme of talks, debates, theatre and wellness workshops.
Doesn't sound quite up your street? Take a look at our essential list of the top UK alternative music festivals for something more your cup of tea.
Somerset House Summer Series
Somerset House, London, 7-17 July
Set in one of London's most iconic landmarks, Summer Series at Somerset House returns with an excellent line-up, combining notorious headline acts with the most exciting up and coming new artists.
This year’s eclectic line-up includes everything from deep house pioneer St Germain and electro swing seven-piece Caravan Palace to the dulcet tones of Laura Mvula and cinematic soundscapes of Hiatus Kaiyote.
Great British Food Festival
Shugbrough Estate, Staffordshire, 9 & 10 July
Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire, 23 & 24 July
Bowood House, Wiltshire, 20 & 21 August
Arley Hall, Cheshire, 24 & 25 September
Coming to a prestigious countryside venue near you this summer, the Great British Food Festival is a celebration of the best UK produce and the chefs that take it from British soil to British plates.
At each event you’ll find over 80 top local artisan producers, plenty of scrumptious hot and cold food stalls, wine bars for the big’uns, playgrounds for the little’uns, and cooking demonstrations from Great British Bake Off finalists Howard Middleton, Luis Troyano and Nadiya Hussain.
For more tasty treats throughout the year check out our list of top UK food festivals.
Various Locations, London
Bao, meaning bun, is a new craze in avantgarde Taiwanese street food sweeping its way across the capital. Traditionally a dense, sticky bread product served at breakfast, the guys at Bao have turned the whole concept on its head, transforming it into the new Asian burger alternative.
Already at Netil Market and in Soho, the new Fitzrovia location is opening in June and promises guests bao in all shapes and sizes, as well as an array of other Taiwanese street food treats that subvert the traditional into modern delicacies.