Things to Do Outdoors This Summer

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Do a watery obstacle course

London Rat Race sends participants round a 10km mainly water-based course starting at ExCel, complete with giant inflatables and the biggest water jump in the UK. It’s fun, it’s wet and it also raises money for homeless charity, Shelter. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL,

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Descend a giant Stratford slide

The “ArcelorMittal Orbit” might be Britain’s largest sculpture, but it’s much more enjoyable with a helter-skelter built onto it. The speedy tunnel slide opens there on June 24 – book tickets now to whizz down its 178m slope at 15 miles an hour. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST,

Play crazy golf in the City

If you prefer your golf holes short and curly, tee up at Swingers, which has just opened in a permanent venue in the City. Check out the nineteenth hole too – there are plenty of cocktails and street food, and you can even wear shorts in the clubhouse. 8 Brown’s Buildings, EC3A 8AL,

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Eat healthy fast farm food in the square mile

Farmer J, in the shadow of the Gherkin, promises “good food that’s good for you”, and offers grilled chicken, tofu or charred flank steak with grains, roasted roots and fresh veg, cooked on site and served fast in takeaway friendly “field trays”. 107 Leadenhall Street, EC3A 4AA,

Find plant-based dishes so good you won’t miss the meat

New restaurant Farmacy creates an all-vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner. Forget the dirty burger, how does a mushroom Reuben sourdough sandwich with sauerkraut, sprouts and almond and paprika mayo sound? 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH,

Eat on the street


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There are outdoor food and drink festivals all over in the next few months, including Street Feasts in Dalston, Shoreditch, Canada Water and Lewisham (, Taste of London in Regent’s Park from 15-19 June (, and Urban Food Fest in Shoreditch and Manchester (

Go for a crafty pint in Liverpool

Beer festivals are a fine way to sample the world of craft brewing with stouts, porters, paale ales and saisons to try. Liverpool Craft Beer Expo, June 16-19, has more than 300 beers on offer and employs the big garden when the sun shines. Constellations venue, Greenland Street, L1 0BS,

Drink in the views and booze

At the top of a concrete multistorey car park in Peckham is Frank’s Cafe – an open-air bar with simple yet refined food and drinks, incredible views and a dose of south London attitude. It’s only around for a few months each year, so don’t take too long getting your make up on. 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST,

Don’t mess about on the river

Rowing is both a full-body workout and a perfect summer sport – not only is it outdoors, it’s a great way to see Old Mother Thames going about her business. Visit the British Rowing website to find a local club – many take socialising seriously so make the most of those riverside clubhouse bars after a day in a boat.


Play softball in the park


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Like baseball but not boring, softball is that all-join-in sport that uses a bigger, softer ball and doesn’t require complicated pitching techniques. Go Mammoth runs easygoing leagues all over London, and post-match social events are inevitably worth hanging around for, too.

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Stimulate mind and body at east London’s newest festival

The most activity you’ll usually get at a festival is lugging your tent two miles to the campsite. Not so at Citadel, a one-day event with tug-of-war and disco dodgeball, music from Sigur Ros and Caribou, plus top food, comedy and theatre. Victoria Park, E3 5TB,

Watch live footy on the beach

Brighton’s Big Screen, on the beach, will be showing feel-good films and England’s Euro 2016 games over the whole summer. It’s free for general entry (booking advised), but buy tickets to bag seats in the grandstand, plus food and drinks. Disappointment has never looked so appealing. Brighton Beach, BN2 1TB,