Open-air London

The best spots to enjoy the great outdoors in the capital this August

Summer of sorts is upon the UK, as the country looks set to enjoy a few weeks of fairly reasonable weather (wow, sorry to put a dampener on things but let’s be realistic, here). This at least means that so many of those optimistically spirited ‘outdoors’ events which get programmed every year might actually be received at an enjoyable and balmy temperature.

London in particular is bursting with outdoor propositions and events for the on-the-move and outdoorsy culture fan. Here we take a look at some of the most interesting options for summer 2012.

Outdoor and pop-up cinema

London is really doing a roaring trade in one-off and pop-up cinema experiences and site-specific film nights which recreate the movie, or use the particular setting to add a new dimension to the film-going experience.

Pick of the list this year, rightly selected by Time Out, is The Nomad Roaming Cinema, whose specially programmed events include a screening of The Shining in Brompton Cemetery. Tickets cost £16.50 and the film will be screened as the sun sets, beginning just before 8pm. Other opportunities include Top Gun in Brownwood Park and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet in Bishops Park, within the grounds of Fulham Palace.

There are plenty of other great options too for outdoor film going; beware, it’s not massively cheap (you’re going to be spending anything between £14 and £30 pounds for the privilege; so bring your own picnic!!). On the genteel side of things, the Luna Cinema does ‘classic films in the country’s most beautiful settings’, including The Artist and Breakfast at Tiffany’s at Kew Gardens.

Outdoor theatre

Forget about outdoor Shakespeare this year. Perhaps the most exciting of the summer’s remaining outdoor theatre events is The Ark-ive, a collaboration between Wildworks, the group behind The Passion with National Theatre Wales, and the National Theatre.

A huge ark will be constructed from recycled and salvaged material on the South Bank throughout August; then from the 23rd-27th August, members of the public are invited to bring in any items, stories, dreams, memories or objects which are related to an animal encounter. What the company makes of these shared artefacts remains to be seen: that’s what makes it so exciting.

Walks and tours

Walking and cycling London is an excellent way to see the city, and with organized tours you can easily join in if you’re not a local. Cycle Tours of London’s East End tour is great, taking in all the old dens of vice that were once outside the walls of the original City: Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Bankside.

Notting Hill Carnival

Last but in no way least, Europe’s biggest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival, takes over the winding streets of W14 for two and a half days this August Bank Holiday weekend, on the 26th and 27th. Expect amazing costumes and floats on the Monday parade, plus some excellent, extremely and especially bassy soundsystems this year. Can’t wait.

And if you’re planning on visiting London, consider the Holiday Inn London Regent’s Park hotel

for a great value, central accommodation option.

Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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