Thursday, 9 June 2011 12:00 AM
June spells the start of summer - a time to enjoy the great outdoors and embrace the long, light evenings. Whether you have an hour or a whole weekend devoted to experiencing all the best events and activities happening in the UK this month, check out some of these suggestions:
Got an Hour?
June is the month when galleries across London pop the champagne corks and launch their summer exhibitions. Masterpiece London showcases the best in fine and decorative arts, antiques and collectables. In the setting of the South Grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital it will guarantee to be a picturesque affair. Masterpiece London opens on June 30th.
Dali Costumes 1939 at The Masterpiece Fair (photo: Horst P. Horst)
Looking to catch a glimpse of a future Picasso? The Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition is the largest open contemporary art exhibition in the world; drawing together work from new and emerging talents as well as established artists. It's a must see on the arts calendar and opens on June 7th.
If contemporary art isn't your thing then the Vorticists exhibition at the Tate Britain may be more up your street. Vorticism was a radical art movement from around the time of World War I; the exhibition runs from June 14th until September.
The new £1.5 million Hicks Lodge National Forest Cycle Centre near Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, opened last week, as keen local cyclists burst through the ribbon and set off on the inaugural trail ride. The centre - at the heart of The National Forest - features a stunning eco-friendly visitor centre with a café, bike hire and repair shop, showers, a wood-burning stove for chilly days, and eight miles of graded off-road trails.
EAT! NewcastleGateshead (photo: NewcastleGateshead)
Feeling hungry? The annual EAT! NewcastleGateshead is coming up this month, taking place from June 17th to 26th, across the region. This star-studded foodie event celebrates the region's best producers, chefs and restaurants, plus highlights such as the launch of a brand new chocolate festival.
Stuck for something to do on a Friday night? Under the twinkling lights of London's skyscrapers you can enjoy some cult classics at the Queen of Hoxton's rooftop cinema. From Ghostbusters to The Breakfast Club, it's the perfect alternative to sitting indoors at your local multiplex on a summer's evening.
The Queen of Hoxton rooftop cinema (photo: Gerry Cottle Jr.)
However, if you are looking to take a walk on the wild side, every Friday throughout June and July, London Zoo is opening its doors after dark. There is a Pimms and Mojito bar serving up an array of cocktails and a penguin beach bar and BBQ for gastronomic needs. During the evening there are various different live animal demonstrations to ensure you can get up close and personal. If after all the animal excitement you can't face heading into town to a loud and raucous nightclub then the Zoo also has a silent disco!
There are few sporting venues that can match tradition and style of Ascot Racecourse; the place to see and be seen on 'Ladies' Day'- Thursday June 16th - a fashion show like no other where designer creations and millinery masterpieces reach new heights.
Ascot (photo: allstar)
If you are looking for something more low key where an outrageous hat isn't a requirement, this year's summer food fair at Chatsworth House is celebrating the best of British food, from Thursday June 23rd until Sunday June 26th . Welcoming suppliers from all over the country, from as far as Scotland and Wiltshire, the summer food festival is bound to leave your taste buds suitably tantalised.
One of the biggest and best festivals in the calendar for the Lake District, the Whitehaven Festival will be taking place on June 17th, 18th and 19th and will be largely held in the Harbour Area, playing host once again to celebrity chefs, tall ships and the promise of one or two surprises. Fans of eighties music will be in their element, when Madness, Boy George, Bananarama and T'Pau are the big names in this year's music by the sea.
If you are looking to indulge in elegant surroundings, an enchanting weekend break at The Langham, London, offers guests the chance shop to their hearts content with their shopaholics package. Recent winner of 'Best Large Hotel' at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011, The Langham has been welcoming visitors to London since 1865, and a recent £80m renovation has seen the hotel restored to its original grandeur.
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