Can we all make a promise to enjoy the long summer days of July as much as possible? June might have been a bit of wash-out, but this month the weather looks set to be a lot better. So, let’s all get out there and make the most of it! Need some inspiration? Here’s just a few of my favourite things to do in July…
Go fruit picking
July means strawberries. Lots of them! Get yourself to the nearest pick-your-own, and fill your basket with delicious soft fruit. It brings out the inner child in everyone and there’s always time for just one more handful. I like making jam, but rarely bother – instead, it’s fun to pick enough fruit for one weekend and use it to make yummy treats like pavlovas or fruit tarts. That’s if you have any left after gorging in the car park.
Start my holiday planning
If you booked your summer holiday back in the winter, then now’s the perfect time to start getting ready. Buy a guidebook, invest in some maps and start planning your holiday wardrobe. Or, if (like me) you haven’t actually booked anything yet, there’s still time to make some last minute plans. Why not choose a UK destination and look for nice AirBnbs nearby? A big part of the pleasure of a holiday is the excitement and anticipation – I feel more relaxed by just thinking about getting away!
Impromptu evening picnics
Make the most of those long summer nights with some fun and spontaneous picnics. Fish and chips in the park will always be top of my list – especially if someone brings along the cold beers or wine. I also love heading down to the beach in the evening with our camping stove. Everything tastes better outdoors – even if it’s just a cup of tea while you watch the sun go down.
Country bike rides
Bright July days were made for bike rides. Feeling the cool breeze in your hair as you cycle past the lush hedgerows and golden fields is energising – and getting somewhere under your own steam is always truly life-affirming. The best place to find a route new you is the Sustrans website. There you’ll find the details of the National Cycling Network routes that criss-cross the whole country. I love route 11, which takes you from Ely to Wicken Fen. It’s very easy going, thanks to the flat fenland. I’ve also heard wonderful things about The Camel Trail in Cornwall and would love to try it one day.
Be a festival day tripper
If you find the idea of camping at a festival a bit terrifying, just dip your toe in the water with a day ticket. I’ve always had an irrational hatred of portaloos, but nothing seems so bad when you know you can go home afterwards and have a shower! Pick something local to you, so you can stay till late and then head home to your own comfy bed – or find a nice B&B nearby.
Tea and scones
July can feel busy, so always make time for tea and scones in the garden. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures and I’d swap any cake in the world for a simple fruit scone fresh out of the oven. Find my favourite recipe here.