15 Joyous Things To Do Near London In June 2023

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 10 months ago

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15 Joyous Things To Do Near London In June 2023
Hever Castle in Kent hosts a Home Front Weekend. Photo: Londonist

Exciting things to do close to the capital in June 2023, all easily accessible in a day trip.

1. LAVENDER FARMS: The lavender may not be in full bloom until the end of the month, but these popping purple farms and fields near London open to the public in June. Absorb the aromas, snap some photos and stock up on bunches of lavender and farm shop goodies. (Hertfordshire/Hampshire/Kent)

2. ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL: A staggering 100+ events make up the Essex Book Festival, which takes place at venues across the county throughout June. Participants this year include Londonist contributor Sandra Lawrence discussing her memoir Miss Willmott's Ghosts. 1 June-1 July 2023 (Essex)

3. SEA LANES BRIGHTON: Feels like we've been waiting YEARS for this one, but Sea Lanes Brighton finally opens this month. The new National Open Water Swimming Centre consists of a 50m, six-lane heated outdoor pool on Brighton Beach, along with a new complex of retail units. There are also showers and lockers available to sea swimmers. From 2 June (East Sussex)

4. HOMECOMING ART: We're massive fans of the colourful, photorealistic art of Sarah Graham, who specialises in depicting sweets and other food such as doughnuts, along with toys in colourful paintings. So we're thrilled that she's holding her first ever solo show at Arkley Fine Art in Hitchin, her home town. 3 June (Hertfordshire)

5. STEAM SHOW: The Hertfordshire Steam Engine Preservation Society hosts the St Albans Steam & Country Show, which showcases the history of steam power in the agriculture and haulage industries. See old steam engines and vintage vehicles on display and in action, among a funfair, stalls, food and drink traders and a bar. 3-4 June (Hertfordshire)

6. MIDSUMMER FAIR: Around 200 stalls selling home and garden products, fashion, gifts, food and drink come to the quaint Hole Park Gardens for the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair. Among the marquees, live music performances take place, and your ticket includes access to the rest of the gardens too — we recommend the cakes in the Coach House Tea Rooms on site. 8-10 June (Kent)

7. BRIGHTON COMIC CON: A couple of weeks after wizards, orcs and Alice in Wonderland made us double-take at Waterloo station on the morning of London Comic Con, it's time for East Sussex to dig out its costume for Brighton Comic Con and Gaming Festival. Taking place at the AMEX Arena on the outskirts of the city, it features a cosplay zone, anime and Pokemon photo ops, Batman, dinosaur and Ghostbuster displays, and loads more. 10 June (East Sussex)

8. ZEN TAKEOVER: National Trust property Claremont Landscape Garden hosts a day of mindfulness and zen, with yoga, massage, meditation, and sessions led by instructors and therapists running throughout the day. 10 June (Surrey)

9. READING BRICK SHOW: Apparently one of the largest Lego shows in the UK, the Reading Brick Show has dozens of models, building tables and Robot battles to keep fans of the trusty plastic brick happy. 10-11 June (Berkshire)

10. FLOATING MARKET: Just beyond London but still on the tube map, Watford's Cassiobury Park hosts a floating market, where Roving Traders based on the canal have an opportunity to sell their crafts to the public. 10-11 June (Hertfordshire)

11. VINTAGE FAIR: Kent's Chiddingstone Castle — worth a visit in its own right — hosts a Summer Vintage Fair, bringing together dozens of stalls hawking vintage fashion, furniture, textiles, jewellery, homewares and more. There's also live entertainment including music and dancing, and refreshment stalls too. Don't forget to visit the neighbouring historic Chiddingstone Village while you're there. 11 June (Kent)

Chiddingstone Castle hosts a Summer Vintage Fair. Photo: Londonist

12. SPECIALIST PLANTS: If you visit RHS Garden Wisley over the middle weekend of June, there's an added bonus in the form of the Plant Society Show. Speak to experts in roses, sweet peas, delphiniums and other plants to get tips on growing. You can buy top-quality plants and seeds too. 17-18 June (Surrey)

13. HOME FRONT: Kent's Hever Castle is best-known for its Tudor links, but it's the 1940s that's being recreated here this month. The Home Front weekend involves swing dancing in a tea dance tent, and displays of US military vehicles and a life-sized model Spitfire. Spiffing. 24-25 June (Kent)

14. DOG SHOW: If you're always pointing out good doggos in the street, get to Windsor where more than 10,000 of the very best pooches gather for the Windsor Championship Dog Show. Think Crufts, but without Clare Balding. See 200 breeds competing to be crowned champion in various classes, browse dog themed stalls, and get advice on caring for your own dog. 29 June-2 July (Berkshire)

15. PYO FLOWERS: If you love fresh flowers brightening up your home, why not pick your own: Blooming Green near Maidstone is a flower farm that lets the public in once a week to pluck blooms from the field, at a price of £25 per container. We visited in June 2018. From late June until October (Kent)

Last Updated 05 June 2023

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