Summer may be winding down. The back-to-school, September vibe may be looming. But, trust us - there’s still time to catch the season’s last, sunlit hurrah.
If you’re on annual leave this week, but have maxed out your ‘holiday spend’ funds to catch a flight somewhere exotic, make sure you still do something exciting, soothing or interesting. Here’s our pick of the best things going on, from the 20th until the 26th of August.
Practise your downward dog at Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery
Home or abroad, time off is an opportunity to fully, truly, let go of the nag of to do lists and the demands of email chains. One way to capitalise on your holiday at home is to enjoy the zen of Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, where yoga classes are held every Thursday. If the weather’s playing ball, the session will happen in the garden. Just bring yourself, your yoga mat - and make sure you leave your phone at home.
Admission: £5, Thursdays, 8.30am – 9.45am, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6ER, whitworth.manchester.ac.uk
Watch live performances at the Skye festival
Performances - covering traditional island music, as well as touches of jazz - mostly happen at the isle’s Sleat peninsula. While the Fèis an Eilein, to give it its proper name, officially ends on the 21st August, there are extra events happening through until the 28th - just check here for the itinerary.
Admission: various, Isle of Skye, until 28th August, seall.co.uk
Try an English wine tasting tour
No need to head to South Africa or France to sniff and swirl your way around some terribly excellent vintages. Now that English sparkling wine has officially landed (Champagne house Tattinger has planted vines in Kent, with the aim of releasing bottles in 2023, while this year was the first ever in which English fizz received more gold medals than its French counterpart in the Sommelier Wine Awards) getting to grips with our home-produced golden bubbles is a good shout.
Cornwall’s Camel Valley has an especially strong rep. Guided tours around the vineyard take place at 2.30pm from Monday-Friday, until September. The tour takes an hour and comes with a glass of wine, but you can choose to hang out on the estate’s terrace all afternoon.
Admission: £8.50, including a glass of wine, Monday-Friday until September, 2.30pm, Camel Valley, Nanstallon, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5LG, camelvalley.com
Experience Notting Hill Carnival
The 69th celebration of London’s Caribbean culture will have the classic line up: parades of ornately-dressed dancers, lots of live music and streets lined with sizzling foot stalls. Sunday’s the more family-friendly day, before party-hard Monday, so a good time to take the kids - but things kick off on Saturday evening, when the Panorama national steel band championship is hosted at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park. Set under the stars, it’s super chill and a lovely way to welcome in the more exuberant fun.
Admission: free, 25th, 26th August and 27th August, parade meet point: Great Western Road, London, W11 1AF nhcarnival.org
Spend an evening at the Digbeth Dining Club
Take a spin on a Friday or Saturday evening at Birmingham’s award-winning street food event, where the city’s most interesting indie culinary gems barbecue, bake and braise their way to deliciousness. With handmade dim sum from Dim Sum Su, fresh heights of dessert madness with Urban Cheesecake and sweet, sticky Korean fried chicken from Canoodle, you’ll likely need to wear your elasticated trousers.
Admission: free, every Thursday and Friday, from 4-11pm and Saturdays, 1-11pm, Lower Trinity St, Birmingham B9 4AG, digbethdiningclub.com
See some of Africa’s most amazing clothing and textiles
Bristol Museum and Art gallery’s Fabric Africa exhibition draws on clothing and textiles from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Mali and Swaziland to tell the story of the social and political lives of the people who wore them. Fascinating, enlightening and utterly beautiful.
Admission: free, until 19th May 2019, 10-5pm daily, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL, bristolmuseums.org.uk
See the ‘Calendar Girls Musical’
With shows on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, now’s a good time to see the raucous film’s musical incarnation, written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth and starring Fern Britton and Denise Welch. Having done the rounds in the West End, the show’s now at Leeds Grand Theatre. So you can get your razzle dazzle fix without a trip to the capital.
Tickets: £10 to £47.50, Tuesday-Friday evenings at 7.30, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NZ, leedsgrandtheatre.com