If you still haven’t made your travel plans, you should still just about be in time to enjoy a Great British summer.
Of course, it may well be that the summer doesn’t really 'turn up' in the UK - and that’s always the risk. But when the sun does shine and the rain stays away, there are few countries on the face of the planet with quite as much to offer.
The UK is packed with wonderful and diverse landscapes, some of the richest culture available anywhere, a sense of fun and some wonderful cultural and sporting events all summer long.
Photo Credit: Mike Fleming
For sports fans, things really get off with a bang in the summer season with the upcoming Wimbledon 2015 lawn tennis championships. This is probably the biggest of the four Grand Slam tennis events on the world calendar and winning it carries with it greater kudos and magic than any of the other big three.
Not long afterwards, in July, it will be The Open Golf Championship at what can reasonably be described as the “home” of golf at St Andrews in Scotland. This is a stunningly beautiful part of the world and it’s where the great sport of golf got started in the first place – so it’s well worth a visit for golf aficionados.
Another great British sporting event that is very much part of British summer culture is, of course, the Royal Ascot race meeting in late June. There are various meetings at Ascot which is one of the country’s premier racecourses – but only one meeting that can call itself Royal Ascot. This is traditionally part of a the upper classes’ tour and it’s the one where all the fashionistas turn out and the Queen and other members of the Royal Family drive up the course in a horse-drawn carriage as the meeting starts.
For most of us mere mortals just a gamble on the horse racing is sufficient excitement – but for most of the millionaires and celebrities turning up to the Royal Ascot meeting, it’s far more of a social event. It is in fact one of the social events of the British summer season.
Not quite as high up the social scale is the 2015 Ashes Series against Australia. In the last series held in Australia, England entered the series as favourites but then suffered a humiliating five-nil whitewash. That is something they will be determined to put right on home soil this time around.
Even further down the social scale, but arguably a lot more fun, is the 2015 rugby league season – staged predominantly in the north of England. Rugby league has been a summer sport now in the UK for 30 years and it’s always thrilling stuff with the big names of the sport like Wigan, Warrington, St Helens, Leeds, Bradford and Hull and Hull KR going at it to see who gets highest up the league in time for the Grand Final series in September and October.
Then, of course, there’s also the small matter of the 2015 rugby union World Cup to be held in the UK between 18th September and October 31st with London’s Twickenham Stadium hosting the final on Halloween. Will the Kiwis be able to retain the trophy for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere or will the home side or the Springboks prove too strong? Time will tell, but the eyes of the rugby union world will increasingly turn towards the UK as the summer wears on.
These are just a few of the major sporting events happening this summer in the UK. Taking a broader view, there’s a whole host of summer festivals occurring up and down the country. These kick off in a major way with the legendary Glastonbury Music Festival in June, but there are loads to choose from so it’s worth consulting a calendar and taking your pick.
Don’t forget the Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which are also held at the end of the summer.
As for where to go and what to do, this all depends on what you’re after. If it’s sun, sea and surf you’re looking for then the south-west peninsula consisting of the counties of Devon and Cornwall is really where it’s at - with Newquay’s Fistral Beach being the epicentre of this kind of world in the UK.
The south-west peninsula is, without doubt, a beautiful place to be. But be warned this gets tremendously busy during the peak summer months. Further afield, the highlands of Scotland are far quieter and there’s some of the most beautiful coastal scenery you will find anywhere in Scotland and the Scottish Islands.
Of course, England’s capital, London, speaks for itself and is one of the world’s most-visited cities with all its historic landmarks. But many tourists come to the UK without visiting other cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Chester, York, Bath and many others, which all have their own unique charms and events.
If classic British countryside is more your thing, then there’s a lot to choose from in addition to the aforementioned highlands of Scotland. Firstly, Wales is a stunningly beautiful country with miles of rolling hills and quaint villages as well as some superb beaches of its own. The Cotswolds are perhaps more quintessentially English than any other party of the country, whilst the Lake District is world famous – along with the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors, the New Forest in the south and many other areas.
Photo Credit: Charlie
So if you have a limited time and limited budget available, plan your trip carefully and think about what it really is that you’re looking for when visiting the UK, because you’ll almost certainly find it in spades. There’s almost no limit to what you can do in Britain and there’s surely no better time to visit this wonderful country than in the height of a British summer with strawberries, cream and tea to boot.