UK Summer Bucket List 2023

By Discover More UK


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Make your UK summer one to remember with these fun summer bucket list ideas in the UK. 

From flower fields to rooftop spas to an Italian village in the Welsh countryside, these UK bucket list ideas are guaranteed to give you some inspiration for your summer holidays and are perfect to plan something a bit different this summer with family and friends.

A blue watered cove surrounded by rocky shore in cornwall during UK summer
Kynance Cove

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Summer in the UK Bucket List: 2023


A large amount of people outside in a green park  with many colourful buildings in the background at Portmeirion during summer

Did you know there’s an Italian style village in Wales?

Portmeirion is a real gem for your British bucket list this summer and well worth a visit if you’re heading to Wales.

Designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the 20th century, who wanted to create an ideal village with as little environmental impact as possible, he showed it was possible to develop something in a beautiful location without losing the nature that already exists there.

Portmeirion is said to be styled on Portofino in Italy and there’s no denying that the architect has styled in around Mediterranean architecture, with a piazza, colourful buildings and terracotta roofs.

You can spend a whole day at Portmeirion exploring the gardens, the village, the shops, restaurants and cafes, enjoy the estuary waterfront area and children can paddle in the water fountains.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Frolic in the Lavender fields

Girl in yellow standing holding a basket in the middle of a purple lavender field
Lavender Field

Lavender fields flourish in the UK in July, making them the perfect addition to your summer bucket list: UK edition!

There are lavender farms all over the country and their opening times vary depending on when their crop is flowering and ready to harvest, so check their individual websites for more information:

Remember to only walk on the designated paths, this is still a valuable crop that provides people with their livelihood.

See the Minnack Theatre and Eden Project, Cornwall

Of course Cornwall is a must-visit in the summer, even with all the crowds it’s still a stunning option for places to visit in the UK in the summer.

But if you’re looking for something a little different from the beaches, hikes and bustling towns, why not check out the unique Minnack Theatre and the Eden Project.

The Minnack Theatre looks like an ancient stone amphitheatre perched on the edge of the Cornish coast, but it’s actually less than 100 years old.

You can visit this unusual amphitheatre for a visitor’s trip or you can see performances, stage shows, storytelling and other stage activities if you book tickets for one of their shows.

If the Minnack Theatre is a bit too far to go for you in Cornwall, why not check out the Eden Project?

Home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest and a stunning collection of plants from all over the world, the Eden Project is focused on learning and teaching about the nature, plants and wonders of nature in our world.

The huge Biomes are iconic to the Eden Project and home to Mediterranean climates and the rainforest, there’s also a zip line and children’s events and activities, making it a perfect option for a family day out too.

Check prices and book tickets here

Visit the Confetti Fields

A field of many pink flowers with a few trees in the distance
Confetti Fields

Visiting flower fields has become a popular UK summer activity in recent years, with lavender farms and sunflower fields popping up everywhere.

But did you know you can also visit confetti fields?

That’s right, the fields of flowers which are used to make real petal confetti for weddings!

Located on the northwest edge of the Cotswolds, near Pershore on the Wyke Manor Estate, these fields are full of vibrant delphinium flowers each year.

The flowers usually bloom in late June and early July, so keep an eye on their website or Facebook page for opening times and tickets for this year, you do need to book in advance because they do sell out!

Go Camping on Shell Island

Road getting swallowed up by water during high tide
Causeway to Shell Island

Did you know there are 43 tidal islands in the UK?

That means islands around the UK coast that can be walked or driven to at low tide but become cut off by water at high tide and can only be reached by boat.

Shell Island is one of these, located off the northwest coast of Wales, Shell Island is cut off from the mainland usually once or twice a day by the high tide.

But the island itself is home to the largest campsite in Europe, covering a majority of the 450 acre island.

Not only is staying on a tidal island in the UK a unique experience, it’s also a stunning island with huge sand dunes, loads of open space to camp in, great facilities, you can buy firewood to make a fire on the beach and roast marshmallows and wake up to the sound of the ocean in the morning.

The campsite will give you a copy of the tide times for your stay but you can also check them on their website.

This is a great summer holiday bucket list experience in the UK!

Take a dip in Plymouth Lido

Plymouth Lido

What could be more fitting for your UK summer holiday bucket list than an outdoor pool?!

Plymouth Lido, aka Tinside Lido, is often voted in the top 10 most beautiful outdoor pools in Europe thanks to its stunning location right next to Plymouth South with Plymouth Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower in red and white standing nearby.

The lido is only open between May – September’ it’s a saltwater swimming pool so it does get CHILLY!

But on a sunny summer’s day, there’s nothing better than cooling off in the Lido with beautiful views of the sea!

Plymouth is also a great, more affordable option for places to stay if you want to visit Cornwall without the price tag!

Cruise on the Norfolk Broads

Blue and read narrowboat docked along a river

This is a great idea to add to your summer bucket list for adults (although families might enjoy this one too!)

How does cruising down the Norfolk Broads in your own private boat sound? 

Moor up and enjoy your favourite beverage with beautiful views of the water and the surrounding countryside.

Hiring a boat on the Norfolk Broads is easy and there are loads of companies that offer for hire boats, either for a day trip on the water or a multi-night trip.

This is the perfect England bucket list activity for a romantic getaway or a fun weekend to remember with your group of friends.

Check out Norfolk Broads Direct, Norfolk Broads Boat Hire, Martham Boats or simply Google Norfolk Broads boat hire to find the best option for you.

Visit the Sunflower fields

A field with many yellow sunflowers in full bloom during the summer in the uk
Sunflower Fields

Another beautiful option for flower field day trips in the UK this summer!

Sunflowers tend to bloom in August and Mayfield Lavender or other flower farms will also have a sunflower field that blooms later than the rest of their other flower crop. So check with the lavender field near you to see if they offer sunflower field walks too.

There are also a few sunflower dedicated farms you can check out:

  • The Pop up Farm in Hertfordshire
  • Pembrokeshire Sunflowers
  • Hitchin Lavender
  • Vine House Farm Lincolnshire
  • Cairnie Fruit Farm, Scotland
  • Stanhill Farm, Kent

Peak District Mam Tor

A sheep at the top of a hill with a valley in the distance
Mam Tor

If you’re looking to tick some places off your summer hiking bucket list in the UK, Mam Tor is the one for you.

This is a relatively easy hike that’s great during the summer and many families with young children are often climbing it too.

The trail is easy to follow and there’s a large car park at the bottom – Mam Nick.

The trail is a circular walk of about 3 miles and offers stunning views of the Hope Valley and Edale Valley as well as the Derwent Moors.

Golden Retriever Experience

This is a must do experience for all dog lovers to add to their 2023 summer bucket list UK!

Many Golden Retrievers lined up in front of a long narrow fence at the Golden Retriver Experience, open during UK summertime only
Golden Retriever Experience

Located in Somerset, the Golden Retriever Experience gives you the opportunity to play with 27 Golden Retrievers for a minimum of 3 hours!

These are the most wonderful, warm and welcoming dogs, they are so friendly and just want cuddles and to play fetch with you.

The dogs are owned by a family and the experience takes place on their farm but it only runs between April – October because it’s an outdoor experience.

The dogs are so wonderfully happy, the owners know them all by name and can tell you the story of each one. After some cuddles and downtime, you get a chance to play fetch with the dogs and get plenty of pictures too.

This is a 10/10 experience for summer in the UK and a great gift option too but they do book up very quickly – keep an eye on their cancellations if you haven’t been able to get tickets this time.

Book here.

Do the Northern Ireland Causeway Coast road trip

Manny oddly shaped stones with big green cliffs in the background
Giant’s Causeway

Have you considered a trip to Northern Ireland this summer?

While the Wild Atlantic Way is a famous driving route in Ireland, its counterpart in Northern Ireland is equally as stunning.

See the mindblowing Giant’s Causeway and learn the legends and the science behind it. Walk across the stunning Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, visit castle ruins, secret beaches, cute harbours like Ballintoy or National Trust properties like Mussenden Temple and Downhill House.

Start or finish your trip with a day or two in Belfast.

Plan your Causeway Coast road trip.

Blue Pool Dorset

This eerie, magical pool is well worth a visit if you’re spending your summer holidays in Dorset this summer.

The Blue Pool itself is a unique body of water, its unusually vibrant colour comes from the sun shining through the water and diffracting tiny particles of clay in the water.

The Reserve is also home to cute tea rooms beside the water and plenty of walking trails.

The reserve is just £5 for adults and £2.50 for children.

Soak in the Bath rooftop spa with views of the city

This is the perfect UK summer bucket list for adults – how does a spa day with a rooftop heated pool sound?

Blue bath water on a rooftop with a view of the Abby in the distance
Thermae Spa Bath

Because that’s what you get, and more, when you plan a trip to the Thermae Spa Bath.

The Spa waters are naturally occurring and come from the springs below the city, where the water is so hot, it actually has to be cooled before it’s used in the spa!

The water is mineral-rich and at 37 degrees, you can expect a toasty warm experience even on the rooftop!

The facility also offers an indoor pool, wellness suite with sauna, steam rooms, ice bath and more, plus treatment rooms if you fancy an extra treat like a massage or facial.

Their morning slots or evening packages are perfect to enjoy the rooftop pool with less people, you might even have it to yourself!

It’s £38 Mon-Fri for a standard 2 hour spa session with robe and sandals supplied or £43 on a weekend. Treatments are an additional cost.

Wild swimming Lake District

Shore of a lake with big hills in the background
Lake District Ullswater

Feeling brave? The UK is home to many great wild swimming spots, but if you fancy taking a dip to cool off this summer, the Lake District has a very high concentration of swimming spots!

From lakes to waterfalls and rivers, the summer is a great time to give wild swimming a try when the air temperature is warmer and the water is (hopefully!) a bit warmer too.

Check out this article for some great wild swimming ideas, especially for beginners and remember to take proper precautions: don’t swim alone unless you’re an advanced swimmer, avoid currents if you’re a weak swimmer, and have means to warm yourself up – cold water shock is a thing!

Punting in Oxford

Punting boats full of people floating down a river with green grass banks on either side during summer in the UK
Oxford Punting

A quintessentially British experience which must go on your England bucket list!

Punting is usually available from February – November, so you’re not just restricted to the summer months, however if you’re planning to enjoy a leisurely cruise down the rivers of the city of Spires, maybe with a drink or two, you’ll probably want the weather to be good!

There are two punting options in Oxford, one at Magdalen Bridge and another at Cherwell Boat House.

You’re looking at £20-30 per hour for a self-drive punt (without a chauffeur) depending on which boating station you pick and whether it’s a weekday or weekend. 

Self-hire punting gives you the option to cruise and enjoy the scenery, have a tipple or two, or even stop off at a pub if you’re on the Cherwell. 

A perfect UK bucket list addition to a weekend in Oxford!

Cider tasting in Herefordshire

A field with many apples trees with a sign in front pointing down the dirt road
Cider farm

Did you know Herefordshire is famous for its cider orchards?

With autumn being the usual period for harvesting the apples and fruits for cider making, the summer is the perfect opportunity to see the orchards in bloom and wander through the rows of fruit trees.

Herefordshire isn’t just famous for apple cider, you’ll also find many farms produce perry (a type of pear cider) and numerous other fruits.

And who doesn’t love a tipple of cider in the sunshine?!

If you’re looking for cider tours and tastings, a day out in Herefordshire can offer you the big producers like Weston’s, who will take you on a historical tour of the factory before your tasting.

Or you can experience a more artisanal process at some of the craft cider producers.

Gregg’s Pit Cider & Perry offer ‘meet the trees’ tours, the chance to try your hand at making cider and of course a tasting tour too.

Little Pomona Cider & Perry is a charming orchard that offers small bites that pair with the ciders and perry.

Oliver’s Cider and Perry is on a working farm so you’ll need to make sure you book in advance, but they have over 50 cider varieties and 30 perry varieties in their orchards!

Glamping in the Cotswolds

Although glamping has to be one of the top bucket list ideas, UK weather can put people off, but glamping doesn’t have to mean being under canvas!

When it comes to unique things to do in the UK and places to stay, check out these glamping pods, lodges and safari tents for your next Cotswolds staycation.

Check out Cherry Tree Glamping, these cute wooden lodges also come with hot tubs, perfect for a romantic summer staycation in the UK!

Northwick Farm Lodges are also wooden lodges, great for family holidays.

Located in Shipston on Stour, Cotswolds Camping at Holycombe is perfect for an unusual place to stay in the Cotswolds – because you’ll be staying in a yurt!

For a unique under canvas experience, Lapwing Safari tent near Cheltenham gives you all the safari vibes in the Gloucestershire countryside, with a terrace, private bathroom, kitchen, rustic décor and views!

Or if you want to experience some tiny home living, you can also experience their super cute glamping pods!

wooden tiny house cabin in a green grassy field with blue summer sky
Cotswolds Glamping

Northumberland Coast and Lindisfarne Island

While most of the country is flocking to the beaches in Cornwall, this summer is the perfect time to tick the Northumberland Coast off your British bucket list.

As well as coastal favourites like Alnwick or Bamburgh, Northumberland is also home to a tidal island – the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.

When the tide is out, you can cross the causeway and visit the 12th century priory ruins, Lindisfarne Castle, and the cafes and attractions on the island.

The island is also popular for walkers and wildlife spotters.

Being cut off from the outside world twice a day also makes Lindisfarne a great option for a secluded UK escape this summer!

Outdoor Cinema at Nottingham’s Wollaton Park aka Wayne Manor

Big stone manor house with a group of people sitting on the front lawn for a summer film festival screening
Wollaton Hall

UK Outdoor cinemas in the summer seem to be getting more and more popular, but what could be more dramatic than the outdoor cinema set to the backdrop of Wayne Manor?!

If you’ve not visited Nottingham before, you might never have heard of Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, but this stunning house and parkland is well worth a visit in itself.

The hall was used as the filming location for Wayne Manor in the 2012 Batman movie – The Dark Knight Rises.

Now, this summer, it’s hosting a weekend of outdoor cinema screenings – book here.

Or find another viewing location near you by visiting Luna Cinemas or Adventure Cinema websites.

Bombay Gin Distillery experience 

Girl standing in front of a shapely lass structure
Bombay Gin Distillery

We all know the sapphire blue, square Bombay Gin bottles, right?

It’s one of the most recognised alcohol brands in the world and it’s produced right here in the UK, in Hampshire – just 60 miles from London!

Their basic tour costs just £20 per adult for a history of the gin, a tour of the distillery, visiting their botanicals room and glasshouse before crafting your own gin cocktail.

There are also other experiences available including a gin cocktail masterclass.

Their aesthetically beautiful glasshouse is a must-see for photos and their bar area is perfect for sipping on your chilled crafted gin cocktail in the sunshine this summer.

Book here.

Ride the Jacobite Steam Train, AKA Hogwarts Express

Steam train crossing a bridge with golden coloured hills
Jacobite Steam Train

Probably the most recognisable steam train in the world, the Jacobite Steam Train is most famous as the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter movies.

The train itself is operated by West Coast Railways between April and October each year – so summer is the perfect time to experience this magical train ride!

If you’re planning a Scotland road trip, or even just a short trip to Edinburgh, there are tours and trips available to do the steam train route on a day trip from Edinburgh.

Alternatively, you can see the steam train pass over the Glenfinnan Viaduct also seen in the movie. Follow these instructions to find the viewpoint.

Journey on the Dartmouth Steam Train

Looking for a unique UK experience this summer but don’t want to travel to Scotland?

Check out the Dartmouth steam train route. 

This beautiful steam train and rail route will carry you through the Devon countryside, along the River Dart and along the beautiful coastline of Devon between Paignton and Dartmouth.

This is a perfect summer day out activity in the UK for adults and children and you can also buy tickets for the paddle steamer boats on the River Dart.

Click here to book.

Walk with Cairngorm Reindeer

Green rolling hills with small wire fence

Okay reindeer might sound like a winter activity, but the Cairngorm reindeer live in the Scottish National Park all year round and summer is the perfect time to visit and avoid the Christmas crowds!

Did you know the Cairngorm reindeer are the only free-roaming herd of reindeer in the UK?

These majestic animals are protected by the Cairngorm reindeer centre as they roam the Cairngorm mountains, but you can visit the herd or go on hill walks to see this 150-strong herd in their natural habitat.

Paddock visits are just £4.50 per adult, hill walks are £20 per adult.

Find out more here.

Rid the fastest zipline in Europe at Zip World, Wales

Looking for some crazy fun bucket list ideas in the UK this summer?

Zip World in Wales is home to the fastest zipline in the world, at over 1 mile long, you reach speeds up to 100mph as you fly across the disused quarry.

As well as the zip line, Zip World also has a forest coaster ride, Bounce Below trampolines in the old quarry caves and more.

This is probably one of the most fun days out in the UK and absolutely a spot that needs adding to your 2023 UK bucket list this summer!

There’s a range of activities, making it perfect for family days out, hen and stag parties, big groups or just a fun day with your partner or mates.

Find out more here.

Spend a summer afternoon relaxing at one of London’s rooftop bars

Rooftop view of London. Pauls Cathedral in the background
Rooftop bar

Of course there’s no shortage of rooftop bars in London, but there’s just something about a rooftop bar in summer that makes it all the more exciting.

If you’re looking for a rooftop with a view, check out Radio Rooftop or The Rooftop in Trafalgar Square.

Aviary London and the bar at The Nest Hotel are also super chic options with amazing views.

For more fun, chilled vibes, head to Lost in Brixton or Skylight London – where you can enjoy some fun games and street food too.

Big Chill House in Kings Cross is also a very instagrammable spot and they have bottomless brunch and DJs to keep the party vibe going on your summer’s day out in London!

Strawberry picking

Fruit picking, another quintessentially English experience.

It might not sound that exciting but it is weirdly satisfying to be out in nature, on a working fruit farm, picking your own produce to take home.

It’s a pure, wholesome experience that’s perfect for a family day out this summer and thankfully the UK is full of fruit farms.

Find a pick your own farm near you on this link.

Edinburgh Fringe Summer Festival

Cobblestone high street with many colourful building on either side

Of course a UK summer festival had to appear on this summer bucket list for the UK!

Some people might prefer a music festival and the likes of Leeds festival, Glastonbury or even Wilderness Festival all have their followings!

But for something unique and a cultural experience this summer, why not head to the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The great thing about the Fringe is that events are dotted all over the city, you can rock up at the last minute for some of them and many of them are even free!

There are so many cultural activities going on that you can even just wander the city and enjoy the festive atmosphere without spending a penny on tickets.

The Fringe takes place for 25 days during the month of August, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something you like during that time!

Check out what’s on this year.

Summary: UK Bucket List Ideas for Summer 2023

Hopefully this UK summer bucket list has given you plenty of bucket list UK ideas for you, your friends and your family to enjoy this summer.

Even with sometimes unpredictable weather, the UK really comes into its own during the summer and it’s the perfect time to find those fun, unusual, quirky activities in the UK to make the most of the better weather!

Pin this for later to plan your future trip!

Pinnable image with three pictures of the Portmeirion in Wales, a girl in lavender fields and a rooftop pool, overlay text reads, "UK Bucket List, Summer 2022."

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