London and Southeast England have been in a pandemic cocoon for the past two years. This year, all the contained excitement is about to open up into a beautiful display of cultural events, music festivals, food, and fun.
The Southeast will be the centre of major celebrations such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but there will also be many small events in the countryside, providing plenty of opportunities for families, nature-lovers, and history buffs to get out of the house without venturing too far from home.
Itching to escape the norm for a weekend getaway? Here are our top picks for things to do in Southeast England this summer.
Give your summer a weird and wacky start at Brighton Fringe. England’s largest arts festival runs from May 6 – June 5th and features over 350 events at nearly 100 venues around the city.
There’s something for everyone at the fest, from magic shows and crafts for kids to experimental art and burlesque for the older crowd. This is also the time of year when you can enjoy some of the most rambunctious nightlife that Brighton has to offer.
Can’t make it to Brighton for the fest? There are also a host of digital events this year, so you can soak up the strange no matter where you are. Explore all the digital and in-person events here.
Witness a “Superbloom”
In 2022, everyone in the UK will be treated to a double bank holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. But those who travel to the Southeast will have another reason to celebrate. London is planning a special event to mark the Queen’s 70th year on the throne, called a “superbloom.”
This epic display will feature up to 20 million flowers blooming around the Tower of London. Beautiful colors and floral aromas will transform the area of the city, providing a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle for visitors. The super bloom is set to begin in July and last through September.
Ever heard of glamping? Think of it like 5-star camping—large tents with comfy beds, luxury amenities, and hot meals. It’s the best way to enjoy nature without the leaky tents and sweaty sleeping bags. Londoners are crazy about this new outdoor trend, so there are plenty of opportunities to glamp in the wild right outside the city.
This summer, you can combine your glamping trip with live music at the Into The Wild festival in Buckinghamshire. The festival runs from 15th – 17th July and features some of the UK’s hottest bands and DJs. When the music stops, you can kick back in a huge tent complete with large beds, comfy cushions, and Persian rugs.
Visit a Castle
The Southeast is home to dozens of castles, and many of them host cultural events, concerts, and family fun days throughout the summer. You might be familiar with your local castle, but why not visit another? You won’t have to drive far to find one open to the public.
Our recommendations of castles you may not have explored yet include:
- Tonbridge Castle: This small Medieval castle is surrounded by a public park, making it ideal for a sunny day out.
- Rochester Castle: One of England’s best-preserved castles, this site offers an unrivaled look into the past.
- Guildford Castle: A Norman castle with a beautiful garden and a museum on-site.
Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival
Seafood and wine… need we say more? This festival in Hastings often gets overlooked by those who are not from the immediate area, but it’s a true gem in the Southeast. For a weekend in September, Hastings transforms into a music and foodie bash, featuring fresh seafood stalls, wineries from around the country, and feel-good music.
Even better, the Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival is one of the most affordable events in England for those looking to sip wine or enjoy a family outing (or both!). A full weekend ticket purchased in advance will cost you just £4.
Don’t Miss Summer 2022 in the Southeast
How long has it been since you’ve had a summer getaway? Now is the time to brush away the COVID blues and start planning for one of the most exciting summers in years. Whether you love getting weird and wild at a festival or enjoying cultural events and fine wine, you’ll find unforgettable events this year in Southeast England.