Looking for the best things to do and places to visit in the UK during the Summer season? Your search ends here. Taken from C&TH’s 2017/18 Great British & Irish Hotels Guide, we’ve rounded up the best seasonal sojourns from every corner of the country…
Devon, Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly
Nervous about tides? How about going half-wild swimming. There are many tidal sea pools dotted around the coastline, from Bude’s 91m sea pool to the lido-sized rock pool at Treyarnon. Most impressive is Penzance’s newly restored Art Deco Jubilee pool.
Scoop an ice cream from Roskilly’s near Helston, made using Jersey milk from the farm’s 125 cows. They make everything from wild cherry with chocolate flakes to own-made toffee flavours, but the vanilla is still the best.
The West Country
When Stourhead Garden opened in the 1740s it was regarded as ‘a living work of art’. Amble down paths that lead to classical temples, over a Palladian bridge and around the glorious lake.
Hampshire & The Isle of Wight
Two-hundred years ago saw the death of one of our greatest writers Jane Austen. Having spent most of her life in Hampshire, summer 2017 sees a series of celebrations of her life and work. There’s even a world premiere of a specially commissioned orchestral version of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park at the new Grange Festival in September.
July 2017 sees the return of the Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival, a one-day knees-up on 23 July where you can taste fizz from seven wineries around the country.
The Home Counties
Tower over Bekonscot in Beaconsfield, the oldest original model village in the world and a riot of colour during the summer.
Party like Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire. Every June, foodies flock to the stately home for Feast festival, a celebration of artisan food and drink.
Make for Margate and gaze out across the same beach, sea and skies that inspired more than 100 of JMW Turner’s works from the seafront gallery sharing the painter’s name.
Brand new London winery Renegade London in Bethnal Green features London’s first wine ‘tap room’. open on Fridays and Saturdays. Cheers in the good weather with London-made sauvignon blanc, bacchus, chardonnay and pinot noir.
Take in some sweet, sweet jazz in Soho. While the headline gig at Ronnie Scott’s will set you back a few bob, the late night shows cost under a tenner. The Pizza Express on Dean Street is another cheap way to dip your toe into the scene.
For more ideas visit our round-up of the Best Jazz Clubs in London
It’s got to be all about the great outdoors. There are endless trails to choose from, whether you fancy a potter or a serious hike. To find the ones to suit you, click here.
If you’re visiting with children, don’t miss one of the Cotswolds’ loveliest attractions, Giffords Circus, a proper, old-fashioned, village green affair that travels from site to site. There’s not a gimmick in sight.
Toast England’s finest stone town- 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Stamford’s award as Britain’s first urban conservation area. New town trails, talks and events will take place in and round town this summer, along with the creation of a themed beer.
Wax lyrical at Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire, the ancestral home of Lord Byron. The grounds of this historic house make for a perfect picnic spot in the summer, just mind the peacocks.
Pitch up for Also festival in June, which brings debate to the Capability Brown-designed gardens of Park Farm, Compton Verney, an 18th-century mansion in Warwickshire.
Don’t let appearances be deceiving, while the quaint village of Snape might be small, it packs a mighty cultural punch. Thanks mostly to Snape Maltings, the creative arts campus that is home to the internationally renowned Aldeburgh Music programme and one of the most unique concert halls in the country. It’s at its best in June, during Aldeburgh Festival.
You can’t beat a soft baguette crammed with crab caught fresh that morning off the very same shore you are eating it from. The Crab Hut at Brancaster Staithe Harbour will certainly satisfy on that front. Open April to October, it’s brought to you by the same people behind Letzers Smokehouse, which supplies most of the local restaurants.
Grab an ice cream and wander round the harbour and quaint coastal village of Staithes, North Yorkshire, which used to be one of the largest fishing ports in the North East of England.
Go birdwatching at Bempton Cliffs while the seabird breeding season is underway. Visit between April and July to spot the famous puffins.
Manchester International Festival, a cultural event like no other that showcases artists from a spectrum of art forms and has previously exhibited the likes of The XX and Marina Abramović.
Wales & The Marches
Whovians (that’s Dr Who fans to the uninitiated), listen up. Head to Porth Teigr in Cardiff Bay and immerse yourself in the world of one of television’s most famous creations. Book now. 2017 will be its last year.
For something eccentric, get a show-side seat (or even take part!) in a curious range of events such as the Man vs Horse race over 25 miles. The horse has only been beaten twice. Or why not try stone skimming, bog snorkelling or a cider cycle. Steady now. More information here.
In Sutherland, a four-mile walk through unruly heather takes you to Sandwood Bay and a mile-long stretch of remote beach. Bring a cricket bat and ball, or your swimsuit if you’re feeling brave.
The Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis were placed there in the Neolithic era where it was a site for Bronze Age rituals. In folklore, the stones were petrified giants who resisted converting to Christianity.
Admire the Queen’s former yacht, The Royal Yacht Britannia, berthed in Edinburgh. Book in for a private tour to enjoy a glass of champagne on deck and avoid the crowds.
Follow the flock of puffins that make their way to Skellig Michael, a rocky island crop some 12km off the coast of south-west Ireland, for their summer holidays.
Saddle up for ‘the other Galway races’, which takes place on the sands of Omey Island; a tidal island on the western edge of Connemara.