High 5: Outdoor fun on the south coast of England
Having grown up living on the south coast of England, I’ve been lucky enough to have had summers packed with outdoor activities. Here are five of my favourites:
Catching a movie on Brighton’s Big Screen
Making its debut on Brighton seafront in 2012 as a free platform for the Olympic Games, Brighton’s Big Screen (14 August – 13 September) is the newest addition to my summer favourites. Last year I enjoyed Wimbledon here with a cool beer in the sun; the previous year it was Moulin Rouge and delicious hot chips beneath the stars.
This year, I’m planning to catch the classic Dirty Dancing film and possibly brave one of the horror screenings. Plus, The Big Screen has now teamed up with The Chilli Pickle and Simply Ice Cream for those who wish to combine a meal and a movie. General admission is still free for afternoon showings, but from 5pm onwards tickets start at £3. The full film line-up can be found here.
Getting the cream of the crop at Roundstone’s Pick Your Own Farm
Strawberries for Wimbledon, raspberries for autumn preserves and a free tractor ride across the fields: Roundstone’s Pick Your Own Farm has been a favourite of mine since I was a little girl. Spend sunny days, walking through the fields, picking, plucking and digging up fresh produce, leaving with sticky fingers, happy memories and baskets of fruity goodness.
Open May to September from 9am until 5pm, seven days a week, Pick Your Own is great place to visit. It’s just a shame I’m now too big to play hide and seek in the sweetcorn crops!
Drinking and Dancing at Arundel Festival
From 22 -31 August, the historic West Sussex town of Arundel is flooded with visitors keen to enjoy the arts and entertainment on offer at Arundel Festival. Growing up locally, I know the town pretty well but, if you’re visiting for the first time, the art trail is a great way to find your way around. The town has amazing historical buildings, including the castle and the jailhouse, both of which hold their own events.
Outdoor Shakespeare performances are a highlight, as well as medieval jousting. There are numerous places to eat and even a lido to cool down in if the weather is warm. Live music can be found on the main stage in Jubilee Gardens, with a pop-up bar provided by the favourite Red Lion pub for refreshments. See you at the bar!
Reliving the good times at Goodwood’s Revival Festival
I have little knowledge of cars, in fact I’m not really that bothered about motor racing at all. But the races only really make up a fraction of the experience at Goodwood Revival Festival (11 – 13 September). Fashion and dressing up is half the fun as the event is set in the glamorous 40s, 50s and 60s.
The ‘High Street’ has a Tesco store decked out with an incredible range of retro products and I have been known to fill my basket with chocolate bars and sodas wrapped in their original packaging designs. Browsing the stalls for classic fashion staples is great fun, too, in between a bit of cheeky celebrity-spotting.
Day tripping to the Isle of Wight
I could write a whole post just on my favourite attractions on the Isle of Wight, but here I just want to highlight the pure novelty aspect of driving your car onto a boat at Portsmouth and travelling to another island. Perhaps I just revel in nostalgic childhood memories every time I visit, but the island is so unique I believe everyone should experience it.
Every summer my family would travel on holiday to the island and stay at the gorgeous Farringford Hotel (home of Lord Alfred Tennyson). The pre-mobile phone excitement of playing cards outside in the evening, jumping in the (freezing) outdoor pool first thing in the morning and playing croquet in the gardens (oh, so British!) was just great. Even now I’ll visit the hotel to walk the impressive grounds before whizzing along the coast to seek out the beaches, the Needle Chairlift, Blackgang Chine, Godshill Model Village, the Wight Mouse Inn, Osborne House, Shanklin Chine, and – oh, I could just go on and on…
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