20 Summery Day Trips From London: August 2019

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20 Summery Day Trips From London: August 2019
August is sunflower season, so get picking. Image: Shutterstock

SUNFLOWERS: August heralds the start of sunflower season here in the UK. If you want to get a dose of the towering yellow flower and pick your own to take home, check out our picks of the best sunflower fields near London. Instagram at the ready...

LUNA BEACH CINEMA: Luna Cinema reigns in London, but have you met its seaside cousin, Luna Beach Cinema? For three weeks, a big screen pops up on Brighton beach showing classics, new releases and family favourites including Grease, A Star Is Born and The Little Mermaid. There's even a special Pride week, screening the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody and Moulin Rouge. 31 July-18 August (East Sussex)

Luna Beach Cinema pops up in Brighton

NEVERWORLD: Formerly known as LeeFest, Neverworld began life as a small garden party, when the founder's parents were away on holiday. These days it's a three-day festival located in a forest in the small Kent village of Hever, with 11 stages and a line-up featuring The Vaccines, Mystery Jets and Professor Green. 1-3 August (Kent)

BRIGHTON PRIDE: If you think London goes big for Pride, wait until you see Brighton. The Pride Parade is the centrepiece of Pride Weekend, but there are also various smaller festivals, performances and parties taking place across Brighton & Hove. 2-4 August (East Sussex)

Brighton celebrates Pride

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Head to Guildford Castle for a day of family-friendly fun centred on Alice on Wonderland. Keep an eye on the website for more details closer to the time. 3 August (Surrey)

HASTINGS OLD TOWN CARNIVAL: Most towns have a carnival, but this East Sussex seaside town keeps the party going for a whole week. Hastings Old Town Carnival consists of street concerts, guided walks, pram races, treasure trails, open houses, street parties, art exhibitions and much more. Events are open to tourists and visitors, and raise money for local charities. 3-11 August (East Sussex)

Old Town Carnival Week in Hastings. Image: Shutterstock

GUILDFORD ON SEA: The banks of Guildford's River Wey are transformed into an urban beach for three days, complete with sand, Punch and Judy shows, seaside snacks and face painting. There are also adults-only live music sessions on Thursday and Friday evenings, with street food, games and a bar. 8-10 August (Surrey)

BROOKLANDS RELIVED: The excellent Brooklands Museum — also home to the London Bus Museum — is located at the former home of the Brooklands race track, a 2.75 circuit in operation until the 1930s. Brookland Relived takes visitors back to the track's heyday, with vehicles dating from 1907-1939 on display, along with various demonstrations of race starts and ascents to watch. 11 August (Surrey)

Relive the atmosphere of a Brooklands race day

BRIGHTON COFFEE FESTIVAL: Get your caffeine dose with a gust of sea air at the Brighton Coffee Festival, which celebrates the artisan coffee scene in Sussex. Taste samples from a variety of brands, watch latte art and tasting demos, and chat to experts from the coffee industry, before stocking up on supplies and equipment to up your home coffee game. While you're in town check out these unusual things to do in Brighton. 11 August (East Sussex)

EASTBOURNE AIR SHOW: Bagsy your spot on the beach early to watch the Eastbourne Air Show displays in the skies above, featuring military and civilian flying teams. An RAF Battle of Britain memorial flight, chinooks, wing walkers and a parachute display team are expected to make an appearance this year. Down on the ground, meet members of the Army and RAF, ride in flight simulators, have a go on a climbing wall, and browse the many stalls. 15-18 August (East Sussex)

Eyes to the skies for Eastbourne Air Show

SMOKE AND FIRE FESTIVAL: Celebrate the glory of barbecue cooking at Maldon Smoke & Fire Festival, where various food producers showcase new products and recipes, from whole lambs to New England clams. Watch celebrity chefs getting serious with marinades, and take part in (or watch) eating contests. There's a kids' zone to keep younger visitors happy, plus live music, and a trade market where you can stock up on the products required to recreate the delicious aromas and dishes at home. 16 August (Essex)

SLOUGH HORTICULTURAL SHOW: Farmyard animals, funfair rides, produce contests, an inflatable maze, cake and photography competitions, food and drink stalls, and an entertainment arena are all part of the one-day Slough Horticultural Show. Not bad for an area better known for its trading estate than its green pastures. 17 August (Berkshire)

FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT: Teetering on the London-Kent border, Biggin Hill Airport hosts the Festival of Flight, with a total of 49 aircraft taking to the skies. Leave plenty of time to see what's happening on the ground too; the motoring village is home to plenty of vintage vehicles, plus there's a family-friendly STEM exhibition designed to get kids interested in science, and many stalls to browse. 17-18 August (Kent)

Hythe Venetian Fete takes to the water

HYTHE VENETIAN FETE: Get a taste of Venice in the Kent seaside town of Hythe. The annual Hythe Venetian Fete sees more than 30 floats making their way down the canal, all competing for 'best dressed' prizes. Watch from the banks, and enjoy live music, entertainment, and fireworks at dusk. 21 August (Kent)

CLACTON AIR SHOW: Another reason to cast your eyes to the skies this month, Clacton Airshow puts RAF planes, parachute teams and myriad other aircraft on show through daytime and twilight displays. Fireworks take place on the pier after the twilight flights on Thursday evening too. 22-23 August (Essex)

BURNHAM WEEK: The Essex coastal town of Burnham-on-Crouch hosts Burnham Week, a sailing regatta with events for national champions and beginner sailors alike. Even if you're not graced with sea legs, there's plenty of shore-based entertainment, not least watching the races out in the Thames Estuary. 24-31 August (Essex)

CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW: Up to 1,000 classic and collectible vehicles descend on the grounds of Knebworth House for the Classic Motor Show. Wander around static displays, or see the vehicles in action in the show arena. 25-26 August (Hertfordshire)

There's a donkey derby at Godstone Fete

DONKEY DERBY: The country's awash with summer fetes at this time of year, but not all of them have their own donkey derby. Head to Godstone Fete to see young jockeys trying to convince their rides to be the first over the finish line. We took part in a donkey derby once (Norfolk, 2001), and ended up sliding spectacularly off the donkey's neck — so there's bound to be plenty of entertaining happenings worth witnessing. 26 August (Surrey)

FOOD FESTIVAL: The pedestrianised areas of Woking town centre are taken over by dozens of stalls for the Woking Food and Drink Festival. You know the drill — wander round trying the samples before deciding which products to go back and buy. 70% of producers this year come from within a 15 mile radius of Woking. A line-up of TV chefs and food experts are on hand to lead talks and demos too. 30 August-1 September (Surrey)

CHILLI FEST: Finish the month on a fiery note at Waddesdon Manor's Chilli Fest. Try and buy chilli sauces, glazes and other spicy products from traders from all over the country, along with cheeses, breads and accompanying products. There's also a bar, live music, salsa dancing, and kids' activities. 31 August-1 September (Buckinghamshire)

For further ideas for escaping London, take a look at our guide to day trips from the capital — there's even a map to help you plan.

Last Updated 10 July 2019

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