After the end of a long academic year as an international student, with the stress of exams and assignments behind you, make the most of your time off this summer!
Here’s my ultimate list of what to do during the university summer break in the UK.
1. Get your Adrenaline fix at Alton Towers
This theme park located in Staffordshire is the perfect day out for any thrill seeker. Among the stomach-churning highlights is The Smiler – the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster, Oblivion – a 180ft drop rollercoaster and Galactica – the worlds first virtual reality rollercoaster.
2. Explore Chatsworth House
This privately owned stately home in the heart of the Peak District is the ultimate summer destination. With over 30 rooms to explore make time to visit the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, restored Sketch Galleries and beautiful Sculpture Gallery. Take in your surroundings whilst you’re there and enjoy the ancient woodland, water garden, maze, sculptures and its 1000 acre park.
3. Visit the Roman baths (in Bath)
The Roman Baths, at the heart of the City of Bath World Heritage Site, consists of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The city’s unique thermal springs rise in the site and the Baths still flow with natural hot water.
4. Spend a day at Wimbledon
I have mentioned this in one of my previous articles, but visiting Wimbledon is a must for any international student looking to experience a very British sporting occasion that feels more like a very civilised garden party. It takes place in summer every year and is an occasion not to be missed.
5. Gaze at the stars in Northumberland
Visit The Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and experience the largest area of protected night sky in Europe. It’s a fantastic place to stargaze and admire the beautiful night sky. While you’re there get the most out of your trip and visit the Kielder Observatory. Summer is a great time to view the beautiful Milky Way, passing comets, shooting stars and see the Sun’s surface using their incredible telescope.
6. Head to the Peak District
Whether you are a cycling enthusiast, a walker or quite frankly anyone who appreciates breathtaking scenery, a visit to the peak district won’t disappoint. Explore the incredible and iconic British landscape, visit a traditional pub and explore the vast network of caves (perhaps the most well-known cave Poole’s Cavern).
7. Visit the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the UK. Explore its rugged landscapes, medieval castles and quaint fishing villages. Skye is also a great destination for Wildlife Watchers. Look out for Sea Eagles, Red Deer, Otters, Dolphins, whales, golden eagles, puffins and pine martins (to name a few).
8. Explore the Lake District
If you are looking for a bit of adventure and enjoy the great outdoors then the Lake District will enchant you. Go on a bike ride or set off on foot and take in its picturesque valleys, lakes and woodland.
9. Experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the world’s largest arts festivals. Every August for three weeks the city of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, welcomes an explosion of creative energy from around the globe. From established names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events.
10. Walk the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
One of the best UK coastal walks has to be the Pembrokeshire coastal path. With sandy beaches, pretty fishing villages and stunning views, Wales’ southwest shores are wonderful places to explore on foot.
11. Visit a royal palace
If you are stuck for ideas on what to do with your summer why not visit a royal palace? Rather than visiting Buckingham Palace like everyone else, try visiting one of the many other royal palaces and avoid all the crowds. A few of my preferred palaces would be Windsor Castle, Balmoral, Kensington Palace, Sandringham Estate and Hillsborough Castle.
12. Spot wild ponies in the New Forest
With around 3,000 wild ponies wondering the new forest, you are almost guaranteed to see one. The ponies are allowed to wander around wherever they like, and they aren’t afraid to come and say hello. It’s a very unique place to visit with woodland, farmland and coastline to explore.
13. Marvel at the Eden Project
Nestled in a crater the size of 30 football pitches is the Eden project. It’s a fascinating place that consists of two huge enclosures that house thousands of different plant species. It’s the largest indoor rainforest In the world. The Eden project also has an outside botanical garden.
14. Go to a Festival
One of my top suggestions on what to do in summer before uni starts again is to experience a festival in the UK. We have a great selection of festivals every year involving music, comedy and food. Here are my top picks for international students
Considered one of the best and largest festivals in the world, Glastonbury is an unforgettable five-day festival that everyone should experience in their lifetime. With some of the biggest names in music performing you can also expect dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts. Meet some amazingly friendly people and enjoy the spirit of Glastonbury.
Lattitude is a more laidback music and performing arts festival. If you haven’t been to a festival before and are unsure what to expect, Latitude could be a nice one to start with. Expect to see pink sheep wondering around, secret stages in the woods, and a good selection of music, art, poetry and cabaret.
Bestival is an award-winning four-day boutique music festival set on the Lulworth Estate – an enchanting, wooded country estate on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Expect one of the most eclectic line-ups you have ever seen, beautiful boutique campsites and a whole lot of fancy dress! Make sure you check Bestival’s theme for the year so you can have fun and dress up.
If you have an eclectic taste in music and want to go to a festival with a good mix of genres, then you can’t go wrong with Reading or Leeds festival. These two festivals run simultaneously 200 miles apart over a 3 day weekend and host a huge variety of bands and artists. Both festivals have the same lineup across different days, so you don’t need to go to both, just the one that is closest to you.
The Big Feastival
If you are more interested in food than music, then head down to The Big Feastival. This family-friendly festival was created by TV Chef Jamie Oliver and Blur Guitarist Alex James and combines top-class food from world renown chefs with live music from your favourite bands.
Boardmasters is a really special festival where you can watch your favourite bands in the breathtaking setting of Newquay. The event is a combination of live music, surfing, skateboarding and BMX competitions in and around the town of Newquay. While you’re there you can explore the beauty of Cornwall.
If dance music is your thing, then Creamfields Festival in Cheshire should be on your festival list. It’s the number 1 dance festival in the UK and hosts some of the world’s best selling DJ’s.
15. Visit an outdoor cinema screening
One of my favourite summer ideas for students is to pack up a picnic and a warm blanket and head to an outdoor cinema screening. There are plenty to choose from around the UK in the summer as this pastime has become a popular trend.