We’ve picked out our favourite things to do this July. Head to realtimetravelguide.com to find more inspiration, a pioneering website where local travel experts around England are sharing hidden gems, top events and special offers as we speak.
Liverpool is pulling out all the stops this year to celebrate its maritime heritage and Transatlantic 175, an extraordinary festival commemorating 175 years of cruise passenger travel across the Atlantic, is the ultimate finale. Taking place on July 4 and 5, revel in the best of British and American culture along Liverpool’s historic docks. Drool over indulgent street food from across the pond, admire 175 classic cars and immerse yourself in a vintage playground packed with sights and sounds from the 1920s to the 1990s.
Experience a magical mix of music, cabaret, comedy, theatre and dance in the grounds of a neo-classical villa in Chelmsford on July 4. Fling Festival is a day of escapism tailored especially for adults with everything from immersive arts and crafts to gourmet food on the menu. This year's headliners include Dub Pistols and Renegade Brass Band. The best thing about this festival though, is all the side sideshows, including silent discos, burlesque performances and dance workshops.
Lewis Carroll’s world-famous trippy fairy tale turns 150 this November and Oxford is bringing out the top hats and fancy teapots to celebrate an extra-special Alice’s Day on July 4. The annual hullabaloo takes place at various venues across this historic city and includes a Mad Hatter’s tea party at The Story Museum, storytelling at the Oxford Botanic Garden and themed walks through the city centre.
The biggest free medieval festival in Europe is probably the closest you’ll get to experiencing Games of Thrones in real life. Taking place on July 11 and 12, the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival in Gloucestershire sees thousands of reenactors, entertainers and traders from all over Europe gather on and around the site of the Battle of Tewkesbury. Feast on medieval fare including rabbit pie washed down with a flagon of ale, cheer on a carnival parade and meet plenty of fascinating folk.
Cambridge’s annual celebration of all things funny is renowned for showcasing some of the finest stand-up comedians around as they warm up for the Edinburgh Fringe from July 15 to 20. See brand new material at 26 events over six days from the likes of Pete Firman (The Sarah Millican Show and Comedy Mash-Up), Rob Beckett (Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats), cult comedian Richard Herring and stand-up veteran Ed Byrne.
Pull on your dancing shoes for Tramlines Festival, a summer shindig that won’t break the bank. Weekend tickets cost just £33.00 including booking fee at this city-wide event that sees famous acts, DJs and some of the finest up-and-coming local talent perform everywhere from Sheffield’s local bars to iconic venues like City Hall and Sheffield Cathedral from July 24 to 26.
Experience five days of music, outdoor adventure and mouth-watering food before everyone else catches on. Somersault takes place from July 23 to 27 at the Castle Hill Estate in North Devon. Call a decked-out tipi or luxury yurt home for a long weekend and get stuck into circus skills workshops, kayaking, rock climbing, campfire feasts hosted by Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant and late-night forest parties. Make some time too for the live music, which this year includes Laura Marling and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Pack a picnic and head to the hugely popular Holkham Country Fair for two days of outdoor fun on July 25 and 26. One of biggest celebrations of the English countryside sees a packed programme of family-friendly events and displays in the Grand Ring – that’s the main stage for those unfamiliar with rural lingo. Go quackers for the hugely popular Dog and Duck Show, see highly-choreographed horseback stunts and get to grips with countryside pursuits like falconry, fishing and clay pigeon shooting.
Take the whole family along to a festival that puts kids first this July 30 and 31. With screenings of classic animation films, live performances of The Cat in the Hat and appearances from Dick and Dom, the little ones won’t remember to utter ‘I’m bored’ once. Adults are catered for too, with music from Underworld, Alison Moyet and the Kaiser Chiefs, a top comedy line-up and spa treatments available at the Hideaway.
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