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What's on in Cambridge: our guide to the best outdoor summer events in 2019

Make the most of the warm weather with our favourite ideas for al fresco entertainment this summer. Pack a picnic and bask under beautiful blue skies or enjoy balmy evenings outdoors. Here's our guide to the top events.

Outdoor Cinema

If you’re looking for special movie experience, Cambridge is overflowing with outdoor cinema goodness everywhere from the riverside to hotel gardens. Here are the top picks.

The Enchanted Cinema

Enchanted Cinema (13700216)
Enchanted Cinema (13700216)

The Enchanted Cinema is showing films all summer in the picturesque gardens of the Gonville Hotel, in the centre of Cambridge.

There will be magical light installations and live music from local artists until the screenings begin at sunset.

Plus, there will be street food vendors, an outdoor bar and a popcorn kiosk and live music from local musicians.

Deckchair and headphone hire is included in the price, so sit back and relax under the stars. Films coming up include Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Call Me By Your Name and Dirty Dancing. Until September 27.

Check enchantedcinema.co.uk for dates and times of performances

The River Cam Film Festival

Punting on the river Cam in Cambridge, England.. (13528096)
Punting on the river Cam in Cambridge, England.. (13528096)

Combine punting down the Cam with a movie in the moonlight at The River Cam Film Festival. The Star and Mouse Picture Show is screening a selection of hit films over four days from July 25 to 28. Catch award-winning movies A Star is Born, The Favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody or Green Book at the event. Punt taxis leave Scudamores at 6.30pm or you can head down the riverside on foot.

Make sure that you visit the box office at the Scudamore's Punt Station in order to validate your ticket.Remember to wrap up warm and take a blanket to snuggle under.

The film will begins at nightfall, but before there will be private bar, food, drink and live music, then retire to your deckchair to enjoy the show.

July 25 to 28

Meeting Point: Scudamore’s Punting Company, Mill Lane

Tickets:Punt Taxi Ride: £2 (to be paid on arrival)

Seated £15

Boutique £25

Live Music / Food / Bar: 7pm

Film: Nightfall

Visit starandmouse.com

Movies on the Meadows

Movies on the Meadows is coming to Grantchester for August bank holiday (13700263)
Movies on the Meadows is coming to Grantchester for August bank holiday (13700263)

Returning by popular demand to Grantchester, Movies on the Meadows will show 12 films in four nights over the August Bank holiday weekend - many of them family friendly.

Bring your own picnic or try the varied food and drink on offer from local vendors, before lying on a rug under the stars to watch the evening feature on the giant inflatable Airscreens.

The sunset screenings will include Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Avengers: Endgame, Fisherman’s Friends, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Mary Poppins Returns,.

August 23 to 26.

Adults £16, Children £6. Four day festival pass £32.

For the full programme, visit cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk.

Waterbeach outdoor cinema

Star and Mouse Picture Show presents Green Book (13490581)
Star and Mouse Picture Show presents Green Book (13490581)

A free outdoor cinema night at The Control Tower on Waterbeach Barracks will present the feel good movie of the year - Green Book.

There will be live music, garden games, fairy lights and deckchairs, as well as street food outlets where you can grab a bite to eat

The movie is showing on Friday, July 19. Doors open at 7.30pm and the film begins at nightfall. The site is at: The Control Tower, Waterbeach Barracks, Cambridge, CB25 9PA.

Register at eventbrite.co.uk for your free tickets.

Live music

Jazz and Brass in the park

On selected Sundays over the summer, jazz and brass bands will be performing around Cambridge

Just turn up to any of these events with a blanket and a picnic and enjoy free live music in the parks from 3-5pm.

The next event is on July 21 at Nightingale Recreation Ground where the Soham Comrades will be playing. Caxton Swing will play on Jesus Green on August 25, then the City of Cambridge Brass Band will be at Cherry Hinton Hall on September 8. The season will finish with The Brass Funkeys on September 15 on Jesus Green.

Sounds Green

On Wednesday evenings in July, Cambridge University Botanic Garden presents Sounds Green, a series of open air live concerts.

Bring a rug to sit on and there is food and ice cream available to buy or you can bring your own picnic.

The next concert (Wednesday (July 17) will be Truly Medley Deeply, playing everything from Motown classics, favourite hits and epic stadium rock to classic House and Gangsta Rap.

Noga Ritter (July 24) Singing in Hebrew and English to a fusion of Afro grooves with jazz influences.

And finally Ruth Applin and Josh Kemp Quartet (July 31) present classic jazz, blues and bossa nova featuring material drawn from the Great American Songbook.

Although the concerts are free, visitors need to buy Garden entry tickets in advance from the Botanic Garden Website to guarantee entry as there is limited capacity..

The concerts start at 6.15pm and the garden closes at 8pm. Visit Botanic.cam.ac.uk. Friends of the Botanic Garden and Cambridge University students are admitted free.


Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival 2018.Picture - Richard Marsham. (13490663)
Cambridge Folk Festival 2018.Picture - Richard Marsham. (13490663)

The Cambridge Folk Festival is back, bringing four days of eclectic music to the beautiful grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall.

For a laid back festival experience, the folk festival has it all - from the biggest names in folk, blues and Americana to great food and drink, civilised camping (including flushing loos) and a chilled atmosphere.

This year’s headline acts on Stage One are Calexico and Iron & Wine (Friday), Lucinda Williams (Saturday)

and From Bamako to Birmingham featuring Amadou and Mariam and Blind

Boys of Alabama (Sunday). Stage Two headliners are Ralph McTell (Thursday),

Robert Finley (Friday), Tunng (Saturday).

Cambridge Folk Festival tickets are on sale now at cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk

Magic of Thailand festival

Take a dip into Thai culture at the Magic of Thailand festival where there will be live cooking demonstrations and authentic cuisine to try, Thai boxing demonstrations, traditional Thai music and dancing, a traditional; costume parade, Thai maassage, children’s rides and a beer garden.

The festival is taking place on Parker’s Piece on on the weekend of August 3 and 4. Adults £5, children under 15 go free. Visit magicofthailand.co.uk.

Polo and Picnic days

Polo at Cambridge County Polo Club. Image by Tony Smith (13490672)
Polo at Cambridge County Polo Club. Image by Tony Smith (13490672)

Cambridge County Polo Club is opening its doors again this summer to host a series of Polo and Picnic Days.

Spend a day in the Cambridgeshire countryside in Lode, sipping a glass of fizz and enjoying the “sport of kings”.

Visitors can park up alongside the polo pitches at Cambridge County Polo Club and bring a picnic to enjoy whilst watching this sport in a relaxed family atmosphere. This year, viewers will be able to sit closer than ever to the action.

New for 2019 will be the Cavendish pitchside bar, as well as selected food trucks for those who prefer to buy something at the venue.

The events are every weekend until September 8. Ticks £25 per car in advance from cambridgecountypoloclub.co.uk

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