Disturbed sleep, sticky commutes and sunburn: are you sick of the sun yet? Fear not, here are 9 of the best ways to keep cool when the weather gets hot.
Hit the slopes
The Snow Centre offers alpine conditions on the edge of Hemel Hempstead. Boasting the largest indoor lesson slope in the UK and a 160m main slope, both of which are over 30 metres wide, this is the ideal place to perfect your ski or snowboard technique ahead of the winter season. In keeping with the frosty vibe, the centre also has an alpine-themed restaurant and bar.
Embrace your inner child at a water park
While the UK boasts a number of excellent water parks for all the family, some actively cater for adults and older kids. Aqua Park Rutland is the UK’s biggest inflatable water park and not for the faint-hearted. Slip, slide and splash about on this giant inflatable assault course – and cool down in the process.
Learn how to make the best gelato (then eat it)
Is there anything better than a cold ice-cream on a hot day? The UK is home to three branches of the Carpigiani Gelato University, including one in the centre of London, an establishment dedicated to the art of gelato and run by a collective of Italian gelato maestros. Those interested in learning more about the soft stuff can sign up for a series of courses, from amateur to advanced, including a “sensory analysis” class where you “learn to taste artisan gelato like a glass of wine”. The Gelato University also offers a free introduction to gelato workshop.
Go coasteering in Wales
Wales has become the UK’s unofficial hotspot for coasteering: a physical activity involving jumping, swimming and scrambling along a rocky coastline wearing protective clothing and accompanied by a qualified guide. Adrenaline junkies can also explore sea caves as part of their adventure. The weather may be hot, but the Irish Sea is not, so jump in… the water’s lovely.
Enjoy a wild swim
Get back to nature with an alfresco dip. While caution is advised, wild swimming can be a restorative and transformative experience. Some of the best spots include the Lower Ddwli Falls in the Brecon Beacons, the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye and Goldiggins Quarry in Cornwall. â
Stroll under a forest canopy
Seek some shelter from the sun’s rays and take a forest stroll. Trees and other plants help cool the environment, lowering both the surface and air temperature by offering shade and through evapotranspiration (science, kids). Glen Finglas in Stirling is the Woodland Trust’s largest estate and home to some of Scotland’s oldest trees, while the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire was the first in England to be designated a national forest and covers an area of 204 square miles.
Head to the coast
Aside from the swimming opportunities on offer, temperatures tend to be lower beside the coast in the summer due to offshore breezes and the high heat capacity of water. As the UK is an island nation, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal paths to amble along. These are some of the UK’s best coastal walks, from County Antrim to Kent.
Take a dip in an outdoor pool
With weather this hot, take the plunge and immerse yourself into an ice-cold outdoor pool. With plenty to choose from around the UK, some of the most picturesque and refreshing dips include the Ilkley Pool and Lido, situated on the edge of the celebrated Moor, the Bude Sea Pool, which is free to enter and relies on donations for its maintenance and the 110m Lymington Sea Water Baths, which is one of the largest in the UK.
Sometimes it’s simply easier to stay out of the sun altogether. This doesn’t mean staying at home, however. Seek out air conditioned art galleries, museums and stately homes which are often kept at a cool temperature to protect the valuable collections within. Check out Birmingham’s award-winning science museum Thinktank, Tate Liverpool and the National Museum Wales, which comprises seven museums throughout the country.