There is so much to see and do in the Summer, it can be impossible to know where to start! So we’re going to take the pressure off you- here are 10 things we recommend you do this summer; your summer bucket list if you will. We think these activities, whether you’re a couple or a family (with young or older children) will be enjoyed by all. We’d love to see your adventures so please do tag us in your social media posts #AGLSummer
1. Visit a historical landmark/site/place
Be a part of something huge! Take Stonehenge for example- it’s defined as prehistoric, protected as a World Heritage Site (recognised internationally as important and deserving special protection), dates back over 5,000 years, considered, by some, a Wonder of the World. This is a site of huge significance and historical heritage of great importance. By visiting such a site, your enriching your knowledge of our culture, heritage and experiencing something so phenomenal and architecturally awe-inspiring. Just think, when sites such as Stonehenge were created (let’s even consider some stately homes and castles), they certainly didn’t have the tools and machinery we depend on today! Take a look at the English Heritage site to see what you’ll discover next.
2. Head to a Lido
Image provided by Nick on Flickr
Perfect for those particularly hot summer days, when you’re looking for something to do or just to get some exercise. Make sure you take plenty of sunscreen and apply each time you get out of the pool, wear a hat to to avoid sunstroke, especially if you don’t plan on doing any deep sea diving and drink plenty of fluids. Most Lido’s allow you to take your own food and drink or else they normally have little cafes, restaurants and tuck shops on site for your snack needs (Ice Cream is a must surely!). Oliver Merrington created www.lidos.org.uk in 2007 as a way to highlight historical lidos that are still operating today (thank you Oliver you saviour). Head over to the webpage to find your nearest- I can’t vouch for the total accuracy of the site (it was last updated September 2014) but the ones in my area are highlighted- I’d advise checking out corresponding sites/social media pages for further information. Most Lido’s are only open for the summer season so although they can get quite busy- it’s well worth the visit.
3. Go to a festival
Image provided by S Pakhrin on Flickr
The streets in every village, town and city come to life in the summer. Whether it’s a local village fete, a festival to highlight heritage or a huge music festival there is always something going on; it’s just knowing where to look. Here is just a sample, a tantalizing taste of where you can go this Summer. This weekend sees the return of Bristol Harbour Festival (17-19th of July); a free 3 day event to celebrate the city’s maritime heritage with an array of entertainment, activities, food, drink and fireworks. There is also the international and hugely popular Notting Hill Carnival (30th and 31st August); the largest street festival in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival, is a celebration of Caribbean communities cultures and traditions. Make Sunday Special returns to the City of Bristol again this year- keep your eyes peeled for their August and September events! The Balloon Fiesta of course returns to Ashton Court (6th-9th August) for its 37th year; watch the early morning assents, nighttime spectacular, taste food from around the world or just enjoy a few ciders in the sunshine (of course everything evolves around cider, this is the South West after all!).
4. Take a road trip- It doesn’t have to be a vacation, it could just be a day out
You don’t necessarily need a destination to go on an adventure or even spend days at a time on the road. It could be as simple as filling your car with fuel and finding a quaint little pub in the country or finding a spot that’s worth an explore. Sometimes the most impromptu adventures are the most memorable; you may find a spot you never knew you were looking for. We live in a really pretty country so just enjoy the sites; don’t forget the tunes though!
5. Educate yourself- Go to an exhibition/museum
Not only may you learn something new but mostly, it doesn’t cost a penny! So if you’re stuck for something to do whether rainy or not (sometimes we just need somewhere cool to go and hide), head to your local museum or gallery. I bet you’ll be surprised with what you find and it’s a great way to spend a day.
6. See a film under the stars
So many companies are now jumping on the outdoor screening bandwagon and it’s no surprise- there is nothing more romantic and arguably more civilised than snuggling under a blanket under the nights sky to watch a movie, whether an old time favourite or discovering something new for the first time.
Backyard Cinema– Mainly Weston super Mare and Glastonbury Abbey The Luna Cinema– operate a number of outdoor movies across the country from June-September. Go one step further and attend a themed screening- Secret Cinema are masters at this! If you can’t find an outdoor cinema near you- why not create your own; see our Pinterest board for inspiration.
7. Play finders seekers.
Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation. Charity no. 1043603
Shaun the Sheep & Shaun in the City ©& ™ Aardman Animations Ltd 2015
The fabulous Wallace & Gromit Children’s Foundation charity trail returns to Bristol in the form of Shaun the Sheep (following in Gromit’s footsteps from 2013). You’ll find Shaun, for the aptly titled showcase Shaun in the City, in locations across the city from now until the end of August in the form of 70 different guises- trying his best to blend in. Will you be able to find them all? At the end of August, you’ll be able to find the 120 Shaun’s (from both the Bristol and London trails) at the Great Sheep Round Up Exhibition in Bristol and London’s Covent Garden- keep your eye on our Facebook page to find out further details on this. Get your hands on a map (you can find the locations to get your hand on a map from the Shaun in the City site) or download the app (Android and Apple) and get hunting!
If you’ve loved the exploring aspect of Shaun in the City then I think you’ll love Geocaching! What’s Geocaching I hear you cry! To sum it up, it’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt! So whether you’re a big kid or are looking for something free and enjoyable the kids can do- this is right up your street. Firstly, create a Geocaching account. Secondly, find your Geocache- they’re everywhere, could even be right near you now (use the app- Android, Apple or Windows or online to find a local Geocache and navigate to it’s location through GPS). Finally, share your experience- when you find it, sign and date the logbook, re-hide your Geocache and share your experience.
8. Play sports
Take a frisbee to the park, play hit and catch with a bat and ball in the street (mind the cars!), hit the tennis courts, go rollerskating, plan a cycle ride, gloomy and rainy? Go bowling! There are endless possibilities to getting a little exercise that can prove fairly inexpensive, particularly if you already have the equipment to hand. What’s more, you’ll unleash your inner child (I don’t know about you but I rarely get to play group sports anymore), get lungfuls of fresh air and feel immensely good and happy once you’re done!
9. Be an explorer!
Whether you have children or not- we all love a sense of adventure. Steak Out your local woods, find a walking route/somewhere to visit with the National Trust (as a recommendation- pay a visit to the Lily Ponds at Bosherston- make sure you pay a visit to the most secluded, beautiful beach you’ll ever see), visit a place you’ve never been to but have wanted to. Wear a good pair of shoes, take your camera to capture the jaw dropping beauty, dare to go where you’ve never been before and live for the moment.
10. Go star gazing
Whether camping under the stars or not, this Summer The Perseid Meteor shower (between the 10th-13th August- peaking 11th, 12th and 13th) is set to be spectacular with little or no moon to diminish this dazzling display. Earth Sky argue that this shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere, as they’re known to be fast and bright meteors, leaving persistent trains. The Perseid shower builds gradually to a peak, often producing 50 to 100 meteors per hour in a dark sky. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the early hours before dawn, with the meteors appearing in all parts of the sky (no need to wonder which direction/which constellation to look at). Predicted peak mornings in 2015: August 11, 12 and 13. Look to the Earth Sky’s page for further information on this phenomenal occurrence.