The top ways to cool off in your city
This summer has been a scorcher (quite surprisingly) all across the UK, but instead of sitting inside fanning yourself all day why not find another way to cool down? We’ve uncovered the best activities you can join in with in your city to help you beat the heat and avoid the rising temperatures.
Thermae Bath Spa
What better way to cool off than a trip to Britain’s original natural thermal spa? Relax in the stunning open-air rooftop pool (day or night), bathe in the natural waters of the Minerva Bath, partake in a variety of spa treatments or treat your taste buds to a range of mouth-watering food and drink from the spa’s Springs Restaurant – your options are endless! We recommend either the Twilight Package or a Vichy Treatment as a top way to unwind and refresh in the heat. Find out more about the variety of facilities, packages and treatments so you can plan ahead from the Thermae Bath Spa website here.
We’d use any excuse to take a trip to Cadbury’s chocolate factory in Birmingham, and hot weather is definitely one of them. Throughout August, you can watch magicians, ventriloquists and more in a series of live shows which are sure to captivate the whole family, regardless of age. Carry out a self-guided exhibition tour of the factory or partake in a two hour Chocolatier Experience where you can learn all about how to create some of Cadbury’s classic favourites. Above all, don’t forget to enjoy an ice cream here with a traditional 99 Flake – perfect in the sun!
The best way to travel around Bristol’s harbourside in the sun is by boat and there’s certainly plenty of tours going on over the summer for you to choose from. Enjoy a ferry ride up and down the Floating Harbour, partake in a themed cruise on the water, go wildlife spotting around the Avon Gorge with local experts or indulge in an Afternoon Tea trip up the River Avon. Fortunately, the majority of the boat tours run all-year-round although we’d certainly recommend them over the summer.
Photo credit: @kerriloulee
Visit Barry Island
Cardiff is only a 30 minute drive from Barry Island, Wales’s answer to Benidorm made especially famous by Gavin and Stacey. Idyllic on a hot summer’s day, Barry Island’s golden beaches, cafes and family amusements have been attracting visitors from far and wide since the 1870’s. Explore the island’s sweeping promenade along the length of Whitmore Bay and stop off for a Mr. Whippy along the way. For those of you who are more adventurous, be sure to stroll over to Barry Island Pleasure Park which has a variety of thrilling rides on offer. Splash in the Welsh waters when you get too hot but be sure you don’t forget your sun cream!
What sunny day would be complete without ice cream? When you’re next in Derby, pay a visit to Bluebell Dairy, a farm equipped with tea rooms, play areas and of course – ice cream! The farm has its own cows which graze on the Derbyshire fields and produce creamy milk which features in their frozen products that you can find on-site and in most major supermarkets. The award-winning farm is famous for its variety of ice-cream with flavours ranging from traditional favourites such as Mint Crisp and Chocolate to weird and wonderful creations like Banoffee Pie and Liquorice.
Photo credit: @drnoble
The Meadows is a stunning large, public park to the south of Edinburgh Old Town, extending from Melville Drive in the east all the way to Bruntsfield in the west. Over the summer, this park transforms into a vibrant scene of entertainment from sports days to festivals to cricket matches and so much more. Join hundreds of people relaxing in the sun with picnics, take the dog for a walk, fly a kite or just chill out and soak up the hot weather. The Meadows is a must for both locals and those visiting Edinburgh for the first time!
Aviator Sky Bar
Farnborough’s Aviator Sky Bar in the heart of the city is a stylish hub decorated with lavish interiors and comfortable lounge areas making it the perfect place to go during the hot weather with friends or family when you want to chill out. Enjoy one of their signature ice cold cocktails (find the full range here) and watch the sun dance over the private TAG Farnborough airport through the astounding floor-to-ceiling windows as you relax in the bar’s secluded seating space.
Photo credit: @fionaelizabethtindall
Gourock Outdoor Pool
Enjoy an open-air swimming experience at Glasgow’s Gourock Outdoor Pool which has recently been refurbished as part of a £1.8m renovation project and now includes contemporary changing facilities, a new gym and improved disabled access with street level parking. Take in the spectacular views on the terrace area or the traditional patio as you venture on a first class leisure experience. Why not join in on a midnight swim? Swim under the stars from 10pm on certain dates and marvel at a clear sky on a fresh, crisp summer’s evening – now that will certainly cool you off during the heat!
Photo credit: Johanna Payton
A great place to visit when the summer sun hits Jersey is Aqua Splash – a fun and exciting aquatic centre located in the town centre of St Helier. Choose from a variety of thrilling activities including flumes, tyre rides, the leisure pool, a 25m swimming pool, a wave machine and lazy river - you’ll definitely find something for everyone here! Family swim sessions and swimming lessons for both children and adults are run here, so pack a costume because there’s no excuse not to get involved.
Below Zero ice bar
The Below Zero Ice Bar in London, Mayfair is a cocktail experience like no other – its unique atmosphere combined with its frosty -5°C temperature has meant that it tops our list as the best place to go to cool off this summer. Choose from a selection of wines, spirits and amazing signature cocktails when you visit, alternatively when things get too cold you can warm up again and enjoy mouth-watering meals in the restaurant accompanying the bar. Make sure you bring a camera to snap pictures of the astounding London-themed ice sculptures which illuminate each room. No need to bring a coat and gloves as they will be supplied to you when you arrive – enjoy!
Piccadilly Gardens Fountains
Last year, Manchester’s Piccadilly Garden Fountains underwent a £400,000 project to revamp its image and as a result, the fountains have attracted a mass number of visitors. On hot days they’re used as outdoor havens of fun as it’s not uncommon to watch adults and children splash about in the fountain’s cooling waters. A wide range of musical and cultural events are held at Piccadilly Gardens throughout the year, so be sure to check the dates before you visit.
One of the best ways to enjoy lighter evenings and sunnier skies is kicking back with a cold beverage in the best place possible – a beer garden; and luckily Nottingham has quite a few to choose from. Rocket at Saltwater is popular amongst locals for its stunning views across the city from its outdoor terrace, The Crown Inn is another favourite which is a traditional old-fashioned ale house and boasts a large outdoor beer garden. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something slightly more entertaining, head over to Orange Tree for live entertainment and a menu full of tasty cocktails.
Photo credit: @lifefooddrink
You don’t need to travel far for a beach break this summer, as throughout August Broad Street Mall is opening a Reading Pier and seaside area, fully-equipped with beach huts, sand, and even ice lollies. It’s a great way to keep little ones entertained over the school holidays or simply a superb place to go when you want to relax on a deckchair and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors can partake in a variety of activities including creating jellyfish out of slime, digging for seashells and playing traditional party games – so don’t miss out!