The scent of summer is in the air at long last; that weird clicking sound is the sound of millions of people turning off their thermostats for the last time, with warmer weather inbound and the promise of sun beckoning.
Summer is often defined by the usual suspects: a week in the sun somewhere exotic, a festival in the south of England, long road trips, and, several wet barbecues. But what if you wanted something a little bit less forgettable? Here are some winning ways to plan your unforgettable summer.
Amongst the Flowers
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned picnic when it comes to making summer plans. The simple pleasures of a well-worn blanket and an array of sun-warmed foodstuffs are hard to better, and even harder to better when coupled with nice drinks and garden party games. While the picnic is difficult to improve upon, the location of your picnic can make all the difference.
If you’re gathering friends for a great afternoon knees-up in the sun, why not do it somewhere beautiful? Flower fields are hugely popular spaces to visit in the summertime, while local parks with rewilding programmes can provide incredible views with the semi-privacy of tall and untamed wild grass.
If you’re hoping to inject a little more culture into your summer season, this is the perfect opportunity to tune into Britain’s rich and storied past. What better way to do this than to explore its heritage sites? You could immerse yourself in the array of castles that stipple North Wales, or you could trace a lineup of Britain’s eastern shore to take in the imposing forms of Dunstanburgh and Dunnottar.
These heritage sites are undoubtedly national institutions in their own right, but there are a great many other institutions of an altogether different quality. Rather than leaning into the dust of the past, you might be interested in embracing the present – and taking family or friends on a pop-culture pilgrimage.
Take your family all the way over to Cardiff for the BBC Wales tour, and an up-close look at the various city locations that are featured in the likes of Doctor Who and Torchwood. Further north is Portmeirion, the famed pseudo-Amalfi Welsh village that gave cult properties like The Prisoner their setting. Monuments to pop cultures like the Abbey Road crossings and Battersea Power Station are potentially overplayed but could well be worth a road trip themselves.
Exploration does not need the justification of monuments, though. All over the UK, there can be geocache trials to discover and so turning this into an occasional hobby is a must. Trekking up and down the UK with the right equipment or set of wheels will make your summer ride much smoother.
If you’re not a history buff nor a pop-culture vulture, there is a third option for exploring the great outdoors – urban or rural – in a completely unforgettable way. Geocaching is unfairly maligned as pastimes go, but is gaining in popularity. Its unique combination of orienteering and problem-solving can make an unsuspecting side street an all-encompassing mystery, to say nothing of the community you get to meet in the process of solving it!