I write this blog as I look out the window and it’s raining like a cow relieving itself. Summer is flying by and if like me you’re working I’m sure you started thinking back in May about all the things you wanted to do and achieve by the end of Summer. The weather in the UK is very temperamental so trying to plan anything in advance and booking time off is hard in itself. You just have to hope that God is on your side and the days off that you do have, happen to fall on those very few days where the weather is nice. I read countless amounts of blogs, desperately searching for fun and interesting things to do over summer and I’m fed up of seeing the same old “go to the zoo” or “have a picnic” or “visit the London eye”. So here is a list of 5 DIFFERENT things (ooh pressure) I’ve been wanting to do before Summer ends, some weather permitting, some not (we are in England after all)…
1. Rent a canal boat and do a pub crawl
I’ve actually done this before with my family (minus the pub crawl) and it was a lot of fun. I was thinking on one of those rare Summer days where myself and a group of friends could rent a boat and stop at all of the cute little pubs along the canal. The Canal Junction are a company we used before, their canal route maps cover the most popular English, Welsh and Scottish cruising canals so it doesn’t matter where you are. The Grand Union Canal is closest to me and leaves the River Thames at Brentford and climbs over fifty locks up into the Chiltern hills. You can hire the narrowboat from 3 nights to 3 weeks (and more) or just for the day if you prefer. Prices range from £300 to just over £800 per day depending on the boat and time of the year. All boats are fully equipped with domestic items and bedding is also provided if you’re thinking of hiring for a few days. The boat will have just been refuelled, the water tank full and new gas bottles connected. I personally would spend just the one day cruising and having a mini pub crawl (swim?), just make sure you invite someone who happens to be T total and you can designate them driver! This definitely channels my inner traveller gypsy girl as I have a weird obsession with canal boats and caravans.
2. Visit a Rooftop Cinema
I’ve always wanted to visit a 60’s American style Drive-in theatre in my pink convertible Cadillac, but for now this is close enough. The Roof Top Film Club host across 5 venues in London including Peckham, Stratford, Shoreditch, Kensington (tickets come with free BBQ) and Shadwell. They show old classics from Grease and Titanic to Reservoir Dogs and new films including Jungle Book. You must have a pre-booked ticket online and prices are generally around £15 each. They say that their venues are all weather permitted and will supply blankets at a first come first served basis, rain won’t even stop them and if like me you find something quite therapeutic about sitting outside in the rain in a waterproof poncho (they’ve got you covered, literally) then this is the place to go. However, of course it would be much nicer to lie out on one of their deck chairs sipping on a fresh cocktail with panoramic views of the sun setting. (No one likes panoramic views of rain)
3. Pick your own
This next one is probably a little random but it’s something I used to do when I was little and if you have young ones this is a really nice day out, however I’m 21 and still find it just as fun. Parkside are a family run farm that basically grow fresh fruit and veg and offer their farm open to the public to ‘pick their own’. It sounds boring and more like manual labour but if you go there with a nice Eaton Mess recipe (gahhhhh) in mind or a Strawberry cheesecake then there’s nothing more satisfying than picking your ingredients fresh from their crops and using them to make a nice dinner or dessert later on. When you get there you get given a basket, you then stroll through the 20 different types of fruit and veg (test a few strawberries out on the way, pesticide never hurt anybody), pick what you like, weigh and then pay! It’s best to check before hand on their website at their crop calendar and see what’s in season but August looks like a good all round month for crops unless of course you want a specific winter grown fruit or vegetable. They’re located in Enfield, Middlesex (however there are similar PYO farms in Kent and Surrey) and are open Tues-Sat 9am-4pm.
4. (FOUURRR) Visit the Crazy Golf Bar
Would you like to get drunk and aimlessly try to get a hole in one? (sounds like a regular Friday night for some..*sips tea*) Swingers London is a crazy golf club situated just next to the Gherkin in Central London. This is actually indoors so it’s not somewhere you have to go in the Summer it’s just something I’ve wanted to experience for a while now. It consists of 2 courses – The Windmill and The Lighthouse, both 9 hole courses full of loops, spirals, tunnels, u-bends and bridges. You also don’t have to go for the crazy golf as there are a total of 5 bars including a gin terrace and 3 street-food vendors where you can watch both courses from above. However, At Swingers, they believe that while their guests competitively socialise, they should always have a drink in their hand. I couldn’t agree more, they even have caddy’s that come round the course taking drinks orders. So if you want to go somewhere for a fun date night or just to try somewhere different with a group of friends this looks very entertaining. Don’t forget to wear 2 pairs of trousers, just in case you get a hole in one (lolol surrr many jokes.)
5. Attend a Yoga class in The Shard
Last but not least, everyone likes to feel fit and healthy, especially during the Summer months so if you want to be in high spirits (boom still got it) Yogasphere offer a class in the sky on the 72nd floor of The Shard (the open-air viewing platform). On hotter days they run the classes on this level exposed to the elements and sounds of the busy city below. You must book online for a class, a 1 hour drop in is £20 (ouch) a 5 class pass is £75 etc. which is a little pricey but it’s the cost of the beautiful panoramic views of London. If it helps Yogasphere do plant 10 trees for every class you do with them…Perhaps something to do on a clear day when your mind is a little unclear or if you’re just in need of some zen.
If you’ve already visited any of these 5 places or are thinking to go, please leave your comments below!