Days out and events
It has been 50 years since the modern children’s novel by Judith Kerr was released. 11 National Trust properties across the UK have an exhibition celebrating the work, which starts this summer at Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire. A perfect opportunity for new readers or those who wish to revisit the classic.
Several National Trust properties are screening popular films throughout the summer holiday, such as The Greatest Showman, and Beauty and the Beast. Pack a picnic and enjoy a film under the starry sky.
RSPB Reserve family events
The RSPB is running fun educational activities for children at venues across the country, such as family fun days, wild beach days, wildlife photography workshops and masterclasses all geared for children. Visit: www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events
For any child over eight years-of-age, this is an exciting chance to dive into the natural world and hunt for bats, owls, and other nocturnal creatures. Running at Kielder Castle (13 August) and Hamsterley (25 August). Visit: https://www.forestry.gov.uk
Summer camps can give children a taste of adventure and freedom, the chance to learn new skills and build their confidence and make new friends.
Here is a selection summer forest camps taking place across the UK this August, which are suitable for children of all ages.
Wild Beach Days
Suffolk Wildlife Trust is running two Wild Beach days suitable for children. From beach-combing, to den-building, to rock pool dipping, there is lots for children of all ages to enjoy. Find out more here.
Outdoor family adventures
Cook dinner on the campfire
Food from the campfire always seems to taste better! From S’mores to kebabs, campfires are a great way to encourage children to start learning about food, and to spend some time together cooking.
Explore Britain's coastline or waterways by kayak or canoe
Head down to the sea or a river and try your hand at canoeing or kayaking. It's a great way to exercise and can help you destress and reconnect with nature. You can do it on any stretch of water, but you can't beat paddling along your local coastline.
Get on your bike
Pump up your tyres and peddle through the countryside. Cycling is a great way to reconnect with nature and get off the beaten track. Take a ride on a local cycle path, or if you're a bit more ambitious, why not take a family bikepacking trip somewhere local.
- A guide to bikepacking: how to get started, essential gear and best routes for off-road cycling
- Cycling in Britain: the best places to ride, how to ride safely and where to ride this autumn
Come on in, the water's lovely! Go for a wild swim this summer
One a warm summer's day, it doesn't get much better than taking a dip in the sea, lake or river. If you live in a big city, don't be put off as there are many wild swimming spots near London.
- Wild swimming in Britain: the best places to swim, water safety and how to get started
- Britain's top 10 wild swimming spots
Sleep under the stars
Pitch a tent and spend an evening beneath a starry night-sky. Wild camping allows you to escape the constant buzz of modern life and get back to basics. While not legal in some parts of the country, there are a number of smaller campsites in secluded locations, where you simply pitch up and savour the tranquility. Alternatively, kids will love sleeping in the back garden for a mini adventure.
- A beginner's guide to wild camping
- 10 great places to wild camp in Britain
- Five of the best tiny campsites in Britain
Ride a horse
There are many ways to explore the countryside, but horse riding is a fun way to explore – especially when it involves galloping across a sandy beach. Many stables offer beginner riding lessons or cross country rides, so why not give horse riding a go?
Gaze at the night sky
Cast your eyes to the skies and see how many different constellations you can see. Gaze at the stars from your back garden, or, for a really memorable experience, head to one of Britain's national parks for stunning starry skies.
Fish for you supper
Cast your rod and reel in a catch in a lake or river. You may not always catch something, but the serene surroundings will certainly make up for it. Britain is home to many traditional, idyllic fishing villages.
Go on a family walk
Get back to nature with a beautiful countryside walk. Walking is a great way to spend time together as a family and explore your local landscape. With blooming flowers, warmer weather and buzzing wildlife, summer is the perfect season to take a long walk in the countryside.
For more walking inspiration, check out our walking section
Give geocaching a go
Enjoy hiking, the countryside and treasure hunting? This might be the hobby for you. Download the free app and find one of many secret geocaches hidden in the countryside. Read our guide on how to go geocaching and start hunting.
Visit the countryside that inspired your favourite literary novels such as Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice. Put yourself in the shoes of your favourite characters and immerse yourself in their fictional world. Are you mad for Shakespeare? Discover where the Bard set his most most acclaimed plays.
Get up early and experience sunrise, then watch it set later that evening. Wherever you are, set your alarm clocks early and make the most of the natural daylight.
Enjoy fruit picking
Visit a local farm that grows its own fruit and spend the day picking some of nature's goodness. Take the fruit home and use it to make jams, cakes or something else that's equally as delicious. There are plenty of strawberry farms where you can pick your own juicy berries.
Go rockpooling and hunt for crabs!
Searching for a fun coastal adventure to keep the kids happy over the summer holidays? Rockpooling and hunting for crabs is an easy way to have fun with the family and introduce children to the wonders of marine ecology. Discover how to find and study crabs in rockpools in six easy steps, plus learn more about rockpools and the equipment you need to get started.
- How to go crabbing with kids
- Guide to rockpooling: how to get started, where to go, and essential equipment
- Rockpool identification guide
Go on a wildlife safari in your garden or local park
Beetles are a fascinating group of insects found widely thoughtout the UK – become an amateur coleopterist with our guide to some of Britain's most beautiful, from the striking rose chafer to the deceptive wasp beetle. Take a look under a rock or fallen tree branch in your garden or local park and see what species you can spot.
Craft activities for rainy days
Children will love crafting these fun summer projects
Flower Pressing is a great way to preserve and study the beautiful flowers grown in UK gardens. Once you’ve pressed your flowers, you can continue the creativity and make them into greetings cards or bookmarks.
Decorating pebbles is an easy summer activity, simply collect pebbles from a trip to the beach and decorate them when you get home. Once decorated, they can be used as paperweights or decorations, and make for great gifts for the family.
Alternatively, why not make your own pebble domino set?
Create an enchanting garden fairy jar with foraged mosses and plants – it’s a fun and crafty way to spend an afternoon and will leave you with a magical lantern to light up your night
Main Image: Getty.
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