Lazing on a sunny afternoon
At last, the sun is shining. It must be time to soak it up
A sheltered, well-kept (and, if you're lucky, south-facing) garden is a joy when you want to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Even if there are jobs to do outside, it feels good to get a dose of the brilliant summer rays, and it may be warm enough to dine outside. Food seems to take on different flavours when consumed al fresco, and somehow it's easier to eat healthily when you're sitting amid the vegetation.
You won't need to make a big spread, just put some simple picnic ingredients together on a tray - the sort of things people can help themselves to - and take it into the garden or to the park with a good choice of drinks.
Wherever you live in Britain, you're not far from an attractive place. For a relaxing day out, though, you need to be able to meander, stopping whenever you feel like it. Coastal towns with their fishing fleets, winding streets, quirky buildings and sea views are ideal, provided not too many others have had the same idea.
For the same reasons, and also the big skies that bless the coast, they're also popular subjects for photographers, painters and sculptors, both amateur and professional.
Relaxation ideas for a sunny day
There is no better way to relax and soak up the sun than to indulge in a good book. This could be in your own garden, or a local sunny spot.
For a relaxing afternoon why not take a walk across a stretch of coastline, or visit some of the various open gardens in your area? You could even pack a picnic of treats and stop halfway on your walk to enjoy the sun and take in the scenery.
Sunbathing is the perfect way to let the time pass by on a nice day; you could simply unwind in your own garden, local park, beach or lido. Make sure you take care when sunbathing by reading our top tips for staying protected in the sun.
There are open theatre and cinemas dotted around the country for everyone to enjoy including Regent's park Ooen air theatre in London or The Minack Theatre in Cornwall. Watch a performance of your choice while soaking up the sun or cool down after a long day in the heat.
Take the opportunity to absorb the sunshine while pottering around the garden. Afterwards you can enjoy your tidy haven with a long, cold drink.
Swimming was a pursuit that took 1930's England by storm and lidos consequently became a popular and fundamental attraction for British summer holidays. For those lucky enough to holiday at resorts across Britain, swimming was seen as a fashionable and stylish hobby. Luckily, you can still make full use of the lidos dotted across the country and on a sunny day it is the perfect way to relax in the sunshine and take regular, refreshing dips in the cool pool.
Since their 1930's fame, some of the lidos that used to be packed with tourists have now gone into disrepair. However, with help from historical organisations, lidos are being reopened all over the country. They have been restored to the modern, fashionable attractions they once were, ready for you to visit and enjoy. Refurbished lidos often include indoor spa and heated pool facilities for further leisure, in addition to cafes offering light refreshments during your stay.
The lido is considered a great alternative to the beach and they can often be found in towns and cities alike. This enables you to spend the morning strolling around the local area visiting shops and local gardens, before cooling down and taking a break at the attraction.
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Whatever the weather, enjoy the last days of summer by exploring the great outdoors at some of the best National Trust places in the country. Keep the kids entertained all weekend long with a whole host of '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' activities or learn a new skill, from archery and rock climbing to Geocaching in the countryside. Whether it's beautiful sunshine or pouring with rain, here's a taster of some National Trust places where you can get away from it all this August bank holiday.Read more