There's plenty of waterside fun to be had this summer.
Make a beeline for the Pier Head in Liverpool by 8.30pm tonight for the finale of Czech company The Macula's architectural projections show, part of the Liver Building's 100th anniversary celebrations (liverpool.gov.uk). The Deal Carnival and Regatta continues in Kent until Thursday – expect live music, open studios and a firework spectacular (dealcarnival.co.uk). Also running until Thursday, the 17th Atlantic Watersports Games in North Devon, when under-21s from five countries will compete in events such as surfing, rowing, sea kayaking and sailing (northdevon.com). It might not be on the coast, but Nottingham still has a beach this summer, albeit artificial, called the Nottingham Riviera, open until 3 September, offering seaside fun without the sea – including sand, fairground rides and a giant paddling pool (experiencenottinghamshire.com).
There's still time to make the Summer Family Fun Raceday at Royal Ascot today. Gates open at 11am, first race is at 2.30pm – younger children can meet TV characters, including Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and Scooby Doo, as well as enjoy other free activities (ascot.co.uk). Feel the need for speed? Head to the Highland town of Fort William, where the World Championship Motorcycle Trials will be taking place next weekend, with a practice day on Saturday and the main event on Sunday (ukworldtrial.com). Alternatively, the Lowland Games take place in Somerset on Sunday, including mud-wrestling, "It's a Knockout" on the river, dog shows and more (thelowlandgames.co.uk). Immerse yourself in a celebration of traditional music, dance and pageantry at the Royal Military Tattoo, one of the biggest dates in the Scottish events calendar, taking place against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle from 5-17 August.
It's eyes to the skies in the South-west. Minehead in Somerset is hosting an Air Show Spectacular on 10 August as part of its Summer Festival. The RAF will make a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, featuring a Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster Bomber, while the Red Devils and Red Arrows will also put on shows (visit-exmoor.co.uk). And at RAF Cosford, in Shropshire, Parachutes & Gliders are the focus of family attention from 8-12 August (rafmuseum.org.uk) Meanwhile, on 3-4 September Ashton Court Estate in Bristol will be the venue for the International Festival of Kites & Air Creations, which includes flying displays, kite-fighting battles, air sculptures and power kites (visitbristol.co.uk).
August is the month for country shows and in the North-east you could head to St John's Chapel in County Durham on the 27th for the Weardale Agricultural Show, a traditional affair, with highlights including a Beagle parade, falconry displays and a cross-country run (http://bit.ly/oJatHO). Dorfold Park in Cheshire is the venue for the country's biggest one-day agriculture events of its kind, the Nantwich Show, on 27 July, which will mix animal showcasing and a world-famous cheese competition with cookery demos by celebrity chefs and sideshow fun for the family (nantwichshow.co.uk). Meanwhile, the National Forest Wood Fair takes place in the Midlands on 29 August, offering woodworking demonstrations and a lumberjack show, as well as Wild Man of the Woods storytelling sessions (nationalforest.org).
Food is the focus at many events countrywide this summer. At the Really Wild Food and Countryside Festival in St David's on 29-30 July, demos such as how to rustle up a meal from ingredients foraged from hedgerows and rivers will feature alongside events including pig-racing and wellie-wanging (reallywildfestival.co.uk). Come out of your shell at the first South Devon Crab Fest, from 31 July-7 August, where the programme includes sideways races, a crab treasure hunt and a crab street party (http://tinyurl.com/6hcxzxc). Treat the kids to a visit to local ice-cream and chocolate makers during Herefordshire Food Week, from 13-21 August, when 25 producers will open to the public for demonstrations and tastings (herefordshire.gov.uk /foodweek). And head to the North-west for The Manchester Picnic from 5-7 August, when Piccadilly Gardens will host all things fun and foodie, including a teddy bear's picnic (visitmanchester.com).
The Market Place in Alnwick, Northumberland, will host eight days of folk-dancing and music from countries including Estonia, Romania and Togo at the Alnwick International Music Festival, 30 July-6 August (alnwickmusicfestival.com). And children under 10 years old can interact with characters such as Rastamouse and Charlie & Lola at LolliBop, which takes place in London's Regent's Park on 5-7 August (lollibopfestival.co.uk). Meanwhile, White Noise at Fritton Lake Country Park in Norfolk on 5-7 August, brings VW camper van fans together to enjoy an unusual mix of music and retro van appreciation with plenty for the kids to do, too (vwwhitenoise.com).
Catch the last day of the Shoreditch Festival in London today – there will be free sports and exercise coaching sessions in Haggerston Park, while Hoxton Hall is putting on a day of Music Hall entertainment (shoreditchfestival. org.uk). From 4-7 August, the Stockton International Riverside Festival will bring this north-east town alive with a combination of music, dance and street theatre (sirf.co.uk). Also on the waterside, the Fowey Royal Regatta in Cornwall, one of Britain's top sailing events, with extra fun including a carnival parade, runs from 14-20 August foweyroyalregatta.co.uk).
In the South-west, Glastonbury Children's Festival will keep kids from three to 11 years old amused with an entertainment marquee and outdoor stage, workshops, games and a climbing wall, from 5-8 August (childrensworldcharity.org). Meanwhile, in the North-east, Durham Streets of... takes over various venues in this historic town from 26-27 August. Clowns, acrobats, jugglers and contortionists will perform on the Carillion Stage in Market Place, while the Gala Theatre will host a Sing-A-Long-A Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Folk in the Garden will bring music to Crook Hall & Gardens (durhamstreetsof.co.uk).
In the South-east, Hampton Court launches its first Jolly Day Out summer festival from 26-29 August. Small-screen favourites such as ZingZillas and Horrible Histories, as well as activities from the Roald Dahl Museum and The Science Museum, offer fun for families, while older children can catch acts such as McFly and Imelda May on the music stage.
The International Balloon Fiesta
The International Balloon Fiesta returns to Bristol on 12-14 August, when the hills of Ashton Court Estate will be the launch pad for scores of the brightly coloured spheres. New this year is the chance to see how a hot-air balloon is made (visitbristol.co.uk)
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