Stuck for ideas to keep the family entertained this month? Here are our top tips for things to see and do in the lovely month of July
Skipton Sheep Day – 1 July
Yorkshire folk celebrate their shepherding heritage with shearing, displays and even sheep dancing on Skipton Sheep Day. It’s an apt location: the Anglo-Saxon name for Skipton is ‘Sceap Tun’, meaning ‘sheep town’.
Henley Royal Regatta – 4-8 July
First held in 1839, Henley Royal Regatta is a highlight of the English social season, giving spectators the chance to wear blazers and frocks. The Stewards’ Enclosure has a strict dress code, but things are less formal in the Regatta Enclosure. More than 200 races, involving Olympians and new crews, take place along the River Thames – the Grand Challenge Cup for Men’s Eights is the most prestigious.
Chap Olympiad – 14 July
Join London’s most eccentric competitors in Bedford Square Gardens as they joust with umbrellas, pour tea while riding a bicycle and create trousers out of newspapers in the Chap Olympiad. Anyone can take part and dressing like a dandy is encouraged – style wins over sporting talent.
Swan Upping – 16-20 July
The Queen’s swan warden gives the birds and their cygnets an health check during the annual Swan Upping. A stream of rowers and ‘swan uppers’ make their way along the Thames, crying “All up!” as the swan uppers lift the birds from the water. The ceremony goes back to the 12th century when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans, and the birds were a delicacy. Since the 15th century, The Worshipful Company of Dyers and The Worshipful Company of Vintners also have the right to own swans on the Thames.
Port Eliot Festival – 26-29 July
Set in the grounds of a Cornish stately home, Port Eliot Festival combines books, music, art and food. Swim in the estuary, picnic in the grounds or discover a new singer-songwriter. You can also tour the Grade I-listed Port Eliot House, built as a priory, and now the ancestral seat of the Eliot family. Look out for early-morning yoga in the drawing room, while you might encounter a flower show in the basement.