‘This summer is full of playful possibility’
Listen. You can almost hear that last school bell clanging, sending its jubilant reverberations into the warm, possibilityfilled air... The sprawling six weeks of the summer holidays – all 42 glorious days of them – are almost upon us. Indeed, for schools in Scotland, Northern Ireland and private schools across the UK, they’re already here.
At times it seems as though these six weeks of youthful freedom will last forever. So what on earth are you going to do with them? Whether you’re a beach fiend, thrillseeker, wildlife fan, fun-loving family or adventurous explorer who wants to make the most of the (fingers crossed) good weather, we’ve come up with a few ideas to fill your days. And if you’re stuck in the office through it all? Why not take on your favourite activity, be it theme parks, beaches or history, and tick off one a week?
Free (01726 870146; nationaltrust. org.uk/lansallos) Investigate the beaches of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs with a Coastal Explorer kit. The backpack is full of equipment – from fishing nets and magnifying glasses to cloud charts and binoculars. There are also trail maps, marine ID gear and instructions for making sundials and sand art. Bag hire £5 (01843 577577; visitthanet.co.uk/coastalexplorers) Chatsworth one of the country’s top 10 heritage sites. And it’s looking better than ever, having just emerged from a decade-long restoration. The Chatsworth Renewed exhibition goes behind the scenes, showcasing previously hidden crannies; kids can follow a restoration trail, make an urn and handle old artefacts.
Exhibition until Oct 21; £23/£14.50 adult/child (01246 565300; chatsworth.org) Coinciding with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first Pacific expedition in the Endeavour (built in Whitby), HM Bark Endeavour, a full-scale replica, will open as the town’s newest visitor attraction. Step aboard to learn about Cook’s discoveries plus all aspects of 18th-century naval life, from sailing skills to scurvy.
Opens early August; £7.50/£4.50 adult/ child (endeavour whitby.com) Opening on Friday, Winchester Science Centre’s Explorer: Space zone is an immersive journey through the solar system. Get hands-on with meteorites, stardust and moon landers, watch a live show about satellites and try programming a Mars rover or making and launching a rocket.
£12/£8.40 adult/child (01962 863791; winchesterscience centre.org)
Chatsworth House, main; Winchester Science Museum, below