Heatwave Britain: Your guide to what's on this weekend

There's plenty to do around the UK this weekend as the mercury rises

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The Independent Culture

If it’s too hot to sit in a park, the queue for the local lido is several miles long, and you’re fed up of air conditioned cafés, there are alternative ways to enjoy the weather - forecast to be nudging 30C this weekend.

Backyard Cinema, London

Enjoy the magic of movies outdoors at London Fields Brewery where Backyard Cinema will present seven films over the weekend including The Hobbit, Four Lions and Jurassic Park. Plus live music, BBQ and beer, Tickets £10 per screening and £15 including food.

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Alexandra Park's 150th birthday, London

Alexandra Park will celebrate its 150th birthday with a huge party on Sunday 21st 11am-4pm. Free of charge, Ally Pally invites guests to mark the occasion with bandstand performances, archery displays, Victorian fairground rides, tree climbing, face painting, pedalo races and much more across 196 acres of beautiful parkland.

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Open Air Theatre Festival, Cardiff

Enjoy a theatrical adaption of the beloved sitcom Fawlty Towers while basking in the sun at the Open Air Theatre Festival in the heart of Cardiff. Running every night this week until Sunday 21st July, tickets priced £7-16.

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Tour de France on the big screen, London

For cycling enthusiasts, join fellow fans to watch the Tour de France reach its finale on a giant screen in Wood Wharf Park, Canary Wharf. With free entry, running from 11am-10pm every day until Sunday you can also enjoy gourmet food stalls and fun interactive cycling activities.

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Ponty’s Big Weekend, Pontypridd

For some pop music in the park head to Ponty’s Big Weekend (Sat 20-Sun 21 July Tickets: £5-£20) a music festival in Pontypridd, Wales, line-up includes JLS and Little Mix.

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Summer Music Festival, Cambridge

For classical music travel to Cambridge for the opening of their annual Summer Music Festival running 20 July - 4 August. Offering performances in some of the city’s most historic locations such as St Edward’s Church and University Botanic Garden, the opening concert will be Brahms’ German Requiem in King’s College Chapel.

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Beach at the Big Bang Restaurant, Oxford

It you can’t make it all the way to the coast for a sandy shore why not visit Oxford? With 23 tonnes of sand, palm trees, cocktails, specially designed G&D’s ice cream and BBQ, the Big Bang Restaurant in the heart of Oxford City Castle Quarter, has opened its own beach. Open between 10am and 11pm daily until September alongside a programme of live cultural and sporting events, it will be a summer like no other in the Castle.

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Great Manchester Swim, Salford

For those who want to really get in the water why not enter the Great Manchester Swim on Saturday 20 July at the Salford Quays. A unique urban swimming challenge in the heart of the regenerated Salford waterfront, open to all abilities, swimmers and spectators can also enjoy live music and street food. No lanes, no chlorine, just the great outdoors! Swimming entry £33.

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Tramlines festival, Sheffield

Tramlines festival of Inner City Music, back in Sheffield for its fifth year, will provide a vibrant weekend for alternative music lovers. Just a £6 daily ticket for over 70 venues, while Lianne La Havas, The Selecter and Toddla T Sound will headline. 

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Dram Fine Summer whisky walking tour, Birmingham

Or for a Dram Fine Summer head to Birmingham on Sunday 21 July for a whisky tour. The Birmingham Whisky Club will offer an afternoon walking tour of the city’s five best whisky bars in the company of a local architectural historian; expect to encounter mediaeval halls, Victorian ale houses and sky-scraping cocktail lounges. The £35 ticket includes five whiskies, food at The Old Crown and chat with the experts, roughly 12pm-5.30pm.

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200 years of Pride and Prejudice, Bath

Lastly, for something literary, to celebrate 200 years of Jane Austen’s acclaimed novel Pride and Prejudice, a two-day series of events will take place around Bath. Let costume experts demonstrate Jane’s fashions, join a day tour of Bath and end by attending a dance in the private house used as Longbourn, used in the 1995 BBC TV adaptation. Starting at 9:30am on 19th July at Pratts Hotel, transport and accommodation is provided.

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