August, the time of year where you know there’s only a few more weeks until the kids go back to school. A relief for some parents, it’s also a great time to spend a few more outings with the family and enjoy the last remnants of the sun this summer. From carnivals, cycling and cinemas, check out our list of the top things to do in August.
Running until the start of September, Backyard Cinema in Camden has joined one of the many innovative ways to watch films and is definitely offers one of the best cinematic experiences this summer. With 200 deckchairs, enormous two-person beanbags, posh burgers and usherettes to make the experience as enjoyable as possible, you won’t want to miss out. Set in the Camden Lock Market, they’ll be projecting a series of classic and cult films every Wednesday and Thursday such as Pulp Fiction, Back To The Future, The Matrix and even a Grease – Sing and dance-along. A more intimate and personalised approach to cinemas, it’s not to be missed. Find more information here.
Buckingham Palace Summer Opening
Open every year as the Royal family go on holiday, the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening is always a popular event that attracts large crowds. You’ll get to visit the State Rooms, the Grand Hall, the Music Room and even the Picture Gallery, which includes paintings from the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer. Admission even includes access to ‘Royal Childhood’ exhibition, which gives you an insight into what it’s like to grow up as a member of the Royals. With exhibits that date back as far as 250 years, you’ll be able to see toys, outfits and belongings from Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Prince William. Find more information here.
Happening over the weekend of the August 9, Ride London is a free-for-all cycling event, with eight miles of road around Central London especially closed off for all participants. The first event is the Prudential Ride London Free Cycle, which allows riders of all ages to take part in a safe but fun ride around the capital. There will later be a Grand Prix around St James Park for hopeful Olympians and professional female cyclists. On Sunday, the Prudential Ride London – Surrey 100 will see 24,000 cyclists on a 100 mile route similar to the one from the 2012 London Olympics. Many of the racers will be taking part for charitable causes, so make sure you head on to Pall Mall to cheer them on. You will need to register to take part in the races and you can find more information here.
Join up at Devizes’ historic market place for the incredible Confetti Battle that’s been going on for over 100 years. Lasting half an hour, participants essentially throw a lot of confetti at each other, while confetti canons go off in the background. A popular tradition that started when people sold confetti and flower petals to throw at the procession during the Carnival, it now boasts its own night. All partakers are welcome and will get to enjoy a fireworks display once the battle is over. Set in a truly scenic town, you can also enjoy the Caen Hill Locks and the Wadworth Brewery, which is home to 6X beer and many seasonal ales. Find more information here.
Enjoy the world’s biggest sailing regatta on the Isle of Wight during the yearly Cowes Week. Dating back to 1826, it’s one of the UK’s oldest sporting events and brings in a broad spectrum of amateur, beginner and Olympic winning sailors. Boasting up to 40 races a day and more than 1,000 boats taking part, it’s one of the most recognisable sailing events in the world and is a must for any sailing enthusiast. Usually attracting crowds of over 100,000, the whole week is completely free to attend, with many events that can be watched from the shores of Cowes beach. With a number of celebrities and professionals usually in attendance as well, there really is no reason to not head down there. Find more information here.
Notting Hill Carnival
One of the most renowned events in London, the annual Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival and has been going on since 1964. A bright and colourful spectacle that takes the whole capital by storm, it’s a great celebration of multiculturalism over the Bank Holiday weekend. An exotic and vibrant affair, expect live music such as reggae, salsa and dub, a number of amazing drink and food stalls and of course, plenty of Red Stripe to keep you going throughout the whole thing. There’ll be two parades on both days, starting at 9am but once the procession and the floats have ended, is when the many after parties begin. If you are going with your family, Sunday is the ideal day to visit as it’s Children’s Day, where there will be smaller crowds and child-friendly floats. Find more information here.
End Of The Road Festival
A small but intimate Dorset music festival, the End Of The Road Festival has always proven a popular choice and is definitely amongst the best for the end of the season. Probably the only one where you’ll witness roaming peacocks and parrots, it’s a more laid-back affair without the corporate sponsorship. A festival in which they don’t technically have headliners, the line-up is nevertheless impressive. With acts such as Wild Beasts, The Flaming Lips, Black Lips, St Vincent and more, you can also expect plenty of impromptu sets in and around the woods. Not only about the music, there is also a range of workshops, an arts and crafts grotto, a comedy tent and great drinks and organic food on offer. Find more information here.