Ways to explore the UK in July

Summer is here! We may not be spending the sunniest season in quite the ways we might have planned, but there are still lots of ways to get to know and appreciate the UK even better over the coming month.

Outdoor activities

  • If you’re keen to get outside and particularly out of a city or town, you should have a look at the All Trails website which will show you all the best paths, trails and routes for a walk, run or cycle ride near you.
  • Although it’s as important as ever to follow the government’s guidelines on social distancing, the rules now allow us to play a number of sports, including the quintessentially English game of tennis (apparently invented by King Henry VIII). If you fancy practising your swing, the Playfinder website will help you find courts that you can book and play a game on. You can find the guidance for how to play safely and in accordance with the government’s current guidelines here.

Virtual events

  • Comedy and plays on demand from the Soho Theatre, including the award winning play ‘Fleabag’, which took the UK by storm when it was made into a TV show.
  • A diverse and inspiring dance festival streamed live from Greenwich on Thursday 2nd, Thursday 9th and Thursday 16th July, all at 6pm BST . You can also watch pre-recorded performances on their Digital Stage.
  • A British institution, The BBC Proms, will be running from 17th July to 12th September 2020. These are a series of classical music concerts usually held in the Royal Albert Hall in London with lots of costumes, flags waving and singing along from the audience on the first and last nights of the season. As with everything else, the Proms have been affected by the pandemic, but they will be played on BBC Radio 3, which can be accessed online through BBC Sounds.
  • If you didn’t get enough comedy from the Soho Theatre, you can watch live stand-up comedy online by booking gigs put on by Always Be Comedy or The Covid Arms. The famous Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival usually held in August is sadly cancelled this year, but some of the biggest names in British comedy are appearing online and The Covid Arms’ proceeds go to The Trussell Trust, a charity that provides food for families living in poverty in the UK. What’s not to like!?
  • To bring you back down to earth and learn more about what the international community is doing to tackle emerging epidemics, you could sign up for the 2020 UCL-Lancet Lecture, which will be delivered by Dr Muhammed Ali Pate, the Global Director of Health, Nutrition and Population and Director of Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents at The World Bank. Dr Pate’s lecture will be called Global Health Preparedness in the Face of Emerging Epidemics and you can sign up to watch online here.
  • The Guardian newspaper is compiling and posting a daily ‘Great British Art Quiz’ on its website.

Writing letters

  • Everyone keeps talking about how the time we are living through right now is ‘unprecedented’. It stands to reason, therefore, that we will appreciate having a record of what it was like in the future. The Future Me website allows you to write a letter to your future self, which will be sent to you by email on a date you choose. If you struggle to keep up with writing a daily diary, this could be a less labour-intensive alternative. What a great way to remember your Chevening experience!
  • It’s very easy to feel powerless at the moment, but we all have a voice. You can use yours by writing letters to demand that human rights are protected around the world. Amnesty Intrnational UK regularly updates its list of Urgent Actions and suggests templates for what you can write in order to demand justice.