Fun Stuff For Under £50 To Do In The UK This Summer If You Can’t Afford A Holiday

From festivals to food, here's your bumper list of things to do this summer

Fun Stuff For Under £50 To Do In The UK This Summer If You Can't Afford A Holiday

by Alice Tate |
Published on

Summer holidays don’t really mean that much anymore. As kids, they meant an endless six weeks off school and a week somewhere sunny with all expenses paid. As students, they meant a giant three months off, spent predominantly getting smashed in a park on cider and having flings with the neighbour(s). Now as adults (well, sort of) there’s no ‘holiday’ about it. When you’re paying London rent prices there’s nothing left in your bank account for as much as a Ryanair flight.

But you know what? that’s fine. Home is where the heart is and all, England is great. (Say it again and you’ll believe it.) And if there’s one thing we Brits do dead well, it’s summer. We barbecue every night of the week because the novelty doesn't wear off; we stay in the park until 10pm because it’s light; and we strip down to bare nothing beacause we don’t know the next time we’ll be able to. And not just that, but there’s plenty of hella good stuff going on this summer, much of it well within our 50 squid budgets. Click through the gallery and make plans. Seriously, who needs to go away?

1. Rooftops

Love us a rooftop. Especially when the sun’s out and we’ve got nothing on the agenda but getting pissed. In London, Frank’s is great but the 35-minute queue for a Campari isn’t so nice. Suck it up and wait or had to another sky-high space in the city. Netil360 in London Fields is ace, as is The Fox in Haggerston. For something extra swanky hit up the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho. In Leeds, we can’t get enough of the Belgrave Music Hall rooftop.

2. Hackney Drinks Market

Yayyy. Another reason to get drunk. The first drinks-only market is opening in Hackney at Hackney Downs Studios. Check it out from May 2nd.

3. Red’s True Barbecue opening in Shoreditch

Anyone who’s spent anytime in Leeds will no how epic Red’s True barbecue is, which is why we’re calling its London an ‘event’. Hitting Shoreditch in July, this will be its 5th site but the very first one in the south. Trust us, you better start mentally preparing yourself for all that meat now.

4. Drink G&Ts at Laverstoke Mill

Like gin? Need we even ask. For a fun road trip head to Laverstoke Mill, the home of Bombay Sapphire, in Basingstoke. Learn all about the botanicals, witness the distilling process, admire the awesomeness of the Thomas Heatherwick architecture, and most importantly sample the product. The surrounding villages are super pretty too so make a full day of it with a walk and a pub lunch. Just don't pull the designated driver short straw…

5. HOME at Manchester

Manchester just got better thanks to the arrival of HOME, an all encompassing designation for theatre lovers, drama types, music junkies and film buffs. They says its for radicals and reciprocals, we say it's for everyone. Check the website for listings.

6. Summer pop-ups

Love us a summer pop-up! In London, you've got options. Lobster rolls and Snow Queen vodka slushies are on the menu at Nantucket Beach Club which launches at Skylounge on May 1st and over in Hoxton, Smoking Graciela's is bringing Cuban treats and summer vibes to the Queen of Hoxton. one of the national highlights is Cardiff where Depot will be opening its doors and kicking off a 5-week run of pop-up events including hot-tub cinema nights no less.

7. Found festival

Field Day got too expensive so South London made it’s own day festival, and theirs is just £25. Techno house fans, see you at Brockwell Park on June 13th. Take that Victoria Park and your hyped up £55 (we are jealous you’ve got Caribou though).

8. The polo

Swap your kicks for wedges and head to Cowdray Park for a day of being classy at the polo. St. Regis International Cup kicks off polo season, and tickets are just £10. That's £10 for a day of afternoon tea, champagne and ogling sexy men on horses. See you there?

9. Street Feast is back

Rejoice. The daddy of all street food markets returns this summer. Yes, Street Feastis back and in multiple guises across the city from Model Market in Lewisham to Dinerama in Shoreditch, but our hearts will always be with Dalston Yard, which kicks off for the summer season on May 2nd. Every Friday and Saturday night until September 20 rotating street food traders will be pleasing hungry punters in East London, with stalls including Rola Wala, Bleecker St Burger, Breddos Tacos, and SMOKESTAK. If you get in before 7pm it's free (or £3 thereafter) and you can pick up a feed for a fiver.

10. Jamie Oliver's Big Feasitval

Foodies, listen up. Jamie Oliver's hosting a party and you're invited. He's teamed up with Blur's Alex James to host a food-based festival from 28-30th August. There'll be grub (free samples too we hope), music, and camping too if you fancy it. Friday is the cheapest day so naturally we'll be going then.

11. Outdoor cinemas

If you like films, winter means either being a social recluse or forgoing your favourite pastime. Inviting everyone into your bedroom doesn't always go down so well. But with summer comes outdoor cinemas, and we all know how much London loves those. You don't have to look hard to find a big screen in your neighbourhood. Check the times and locations of Nomad cinema, Rooftop Film Club and The Luna Cinema, rally up a crowd and don't forget cans and a blanket.

12. Jackson Pollock at Tate Liverpool

Who needs to go to the Louvre or the MoMA when we've great art comes to us? Take a trip to the Tate Liverpool to check out the Jackson Pollock exhibition, which opens on 30th June. Arty-farty types, don't miss out.

13. Kopparberg Urban Forest

It's not like we need an excuse to drink more cider through the summer but Kopparberg just gave us one. They're bringing Urban Forest back to East London for another season, this time setting up camp in Hackney Wick from the 10th June-12th July. There’ll be cider, obviously, but also wonderfully tasting stomach lining in the form of Le Bun.

14. Pride

Add 27th June to your diary as 'busy'. Expect rainbow colour, kissing, and far too much tactile behaviour with strangers, none of which you'll probably be able to remember in the morning as Pride hits London.

15. Sound City Festival, Liverpool

No-one loves a party like Liverpool so you can expect good things from Sound City, the 3 day festival hitting the city over late May Bank Holiday week. The festival will be taking over the city’s abandoned Docklands, bringing indie names like The Vaccines, The Flaming Lips and The Cribs and Everything Everything to town for the weekend.

16. Leeds Indie Food Festival

Leeds is hot on London's heels when it comes to great independent eateries and street vendors so it comes as no surprise that there's a festival dedicated to celebrating such wonderfulness. Leeds Indie Food Festival runs from 7-24th May, and ropes in all of the local favourites, from Friends of Ham to North Bar and Belgrave Music Hall. It’s basically an excuse to eat for two weeks straight. Expect all sorts, from tours to dinners, talks and tastings. Go hungry, leave happy.

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Follow Alice on Twitter @ALICETATE_

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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