While the weather might be starting to cool off, that doesn’t mean summer is over just yet! In fact, the balmiest season of the year doesn’t officially end until 22nd September, giving you plenty of time to still enjoy any warmer weather.
If you’re hopeful for a few more days of summer sun, why not make the most of them by heading outdoors? From family-friendly excursions spotting amazing animals, to leisurely afternoons strolling around enchanting castle gardens, here are just a few fantastic ways to have some fun in the sun this September.
Get up close to wildlife from across the world in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Zoo is fantastic at any time of year, but even more so on a sunny day! It sits on Corstorphine Hill west of Edinburgh’s city centre and is home to a whole host of wonderful animals, from gentle giraffes to playful penguins.
Conservation is key at Edinburgh Zoo, and you’ll find wildlife are housed in large enclosures with plenty of plants and trees. You’ll spot species from all over the world, as well as plenty of birds, reptiles and marine life.
Make sure you see Tian Tian and Yang Guang, Edinburgh Zoo’s two giant pandas who happen to be the only ones in the UK. Other highlights include the zoo’s elusive tigers, cheeky chimps and Australian wallabies. There are also plenty of places to grab refreshments, plus a gift shop where you can buy fantastic souvenirs.
Pack up a picnic and head to the Lakes
On sunny days, the Lake District is a truly beautiful location for alfresco dining. As well as visiting one of the many pubs scattered across the National Park, you could pack up all your favourite treats and enjoy a picnic instead. There are lots of spots along Lake Windermere where you can throw down a blanket and enjoy a leisurely lunch with wonderful views of the water.
Alternatively, Kendal (only a short walk from Oxenholme train station) is home to several woodlands and parks perfect for a picnic. Check out the Serpentine Woods or head to the grounds of the now ruined Kendal Castle.
Cruise down the River Mersey
Liverpool is always a popular pick for a day trip – and it’s filled with great outdoor spaces where you can soak up some Vitamin D. Liverpool Waterfront is a sublime spot for a walk and there are loads of places to sit down and relax, from benches right by the water, to restaurants and cafés with riverside terraces.
For the ultimate outdoor activity on a late summer’s day in Liverpool, why not venture out onto the water itself? Mersey Ferries have cruise options which take you up and down the river or across the water to historical Birkenhead.
As well as soaking up views of the city and feeling the sunshine on your face, you’ll learn fantastic facts about Liverpool – from its heritage as one of the busiest trade ports in the world, to its links to the Beatles.
Pack up your buckets and spades for a day at the beach
On a sunny day, you can’t beat heading to the beach! So, why not make the most of the last of the warmer weather and catch a train to the coast? There are several brilliant seaside spots on our network where you can spend the day with sand between your toes.
Head to Scarborough for a classic Victorian resort with heaps of charm and two beaches to choose from. While North Bay is lined with rainbow-coloured beach huts and a favourite of surfers, South Bay features lovely soft sand and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat – from fish and chip shops to the vintage-themed Harbour Bar ice cream parlour.
Alternatively, Cleethorpes Beach just south of Grimsby is a prime destination for some fun in the sun! The huge sandy stretch boasts an old-fashioned pier and lots of shops and food outlets. For a break from the sand, stroll down the promenade to Cleethorpes Boating Lake where you can rent boats or say hello to the friendly ducks.
Tour some magnificent historic ruins
Love learning about ancient history? As well as hailing the end of summer, September also hosts Heritage Open Days. The month-long festival sees plenty of historic sites both well-known and hidden gems – open their doors for free tours and other unmissable events.
There are so many amazing historic houses, castles and monuments across our network that are ideal places to enjoy the great outdoors. Why not take a stroll along York City Walls or around Carlisle Castle’s grounds?
Durham is another place packed with landmarks with fascinating pasts and wonderful outdoor spaces. You can admire Durham Cathedral from its peaceful gardens or stroll around the leafy grounds of Durham Castle, now part of the city’s university.
Ready to make the most of the sunshine this September and travel by train to one of the above locations featuring amazing outdoor attractions? If you can, buy tickets in advance online or on the TPExpress app to book a seat on the train.