Out to play: the best things to do around the UK this week | Food and drink


Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, London

This returning festival will celebrate togetherness – following our summer of isolation – with an adapted schedule of circus, dance, large-scale installation and street theatre. Free performances are taking place until 12 September in Greenwich, Greenwich peninsula, Woolwich Common estate, Woolwich Arsenal, Thamesmead, Plumstead, and Eltham. Highlights include rainbow ballet, fairy-lit bicycle parades and other “on your doorstep” performances in various locations, and the Dancing City programme of outdoor dance (all these events are free; some other events free but ticketed with waitlist available).

Platform 15, Manchester

Part of the regeneration of warehouse space Depot Mayfield, near Piccadilly station, Escape to Freight Island has launched the first outdoor area in its permanent festival-style enterprise. The socially distanced dining and drinking experience, Platform 15, hosts big-name DJs – such as Mr Scruff, Gilles Peterson and takeovers from Homoelectric disco – and has table service across several bar areas, serving frozen cocktails and craft ales. There’s a food market with Basque-style grilled meat and fish, New York-style pizza, vegan doughnuts and tacos. It’s one to watch, with future plans including restaurants, shops, a bike park, karaoke bar and a 70s-inspired roller disco (booking tables advisable, some walk-in slots available).

Dogstival, New Forest

A two-day pooch party in the New Forest, with activities, shows and demonstrations for dogs, owners and fans. Activities include the K9 Aqua Sports Pool, pup paddleboarding and areas to try out scent work, agility, flyball and working dog “scurries”. There will also be talks from resident This Morning vet Scott Miller and others, including a pet physiotherapist. The main arena hosts shows from traditional working, therapy and assistance dogs. The new larger location for this year, Burley Park, will also host around 150 stalls selling puppy paraphernalia, food and drink (some for the humans, too), plus live music and vintage fairground rides.
Adults £13.90, 6-16s £8, under 6s free, dogstival.co.uk

Titanic Belfast

Photograph: Jim Orr/Alamy

From its shipyard to the ocean depths, the legend of the Titanic is retold on the site where it was built. Titanic Belfast reopened its nine galleries last month, recounting the city’s maritime past through full-scale reconstructions – including the lifeboats and 24-metre-high rudder – plus original ship artefacts, photographs, interview audio from survivors and interactive exhibits. The striking aluminium building, designed to look like four hulls, is also home to several cafes, which are currently serving takeaway food and taking bookings in advance for dine-in meals.
£19 adult, £8.50 child, under 10s free for September, pre-booking essential, titanicbelfast.com

Open water swimming, Snowdonia

Book ahead for open-water swimming in Snowdonia national park, with outdoor adventure centre Plas y Brenin. The two-hour instructor-led sessions teach beginner techniques through to endurance for more-seasoned wild swimmers, in nearby lake Llynnau Mymbyr (£10, 13 Sept and 4 Oct, 10am-12pm beginners or 1.30pm-3.30pm intermediates; all participants must be able to swim at least 100 metres in a pool). Tailor-made Epic Adventure Days is also running for groups of up to eight (from £50pp), including either a full day of one activity or half a day each of two, such as rock-climbing, abseiling, guided mountain walking, paddleboarding, canoeing and guided mountain biking.

Skylight, east London

After several reincarnations – from a 19th-century shipping warehouse to an unpopular 1980s shopping centre – and more recently an event space for conferences and raves – Tobacco Dock in Wapping is now home to the rooftop bar Skylight. The colourful, multi-level bar with a skyline view is a good spot for day-to-night drinks, and there’s space inside, too, should the weather turn (booking in advance is advised). Long picnic benches have table service for drinks and food – including sushi poke bowls and loaded nachos – and there are two croquet lawns and a pétanque green.

Cookery classes, West Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School is open for classes again, from Indian and Persian to pasta, pies and sourdough – if you didn’t master that last one already, during lockdown. Close to the historic town of Beverley and surrounded by the rolling Wolds, it’s a dreamy rural location to with the option to stay overnight in the farm’s B&B (singles from £70, doubles from or £90). We’ve included it this week as a book-ahead activity because classes are now limited to eight throughout autumn.
Evenings form £50, full day from £130, yorkshirewoldscookeryschool.co.uk

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