Outdoor Summer Events in Cambridge

Ready, set, summer with Cambridge Past, Present and Future (CambridgePPF)

Finally August is here and we’re all holding our breath for what should be the best of the British weather. Now that the kids are enjoying their well-earned summer break you won’t be alone in wondering how to fill those long summer days. So to help get you started, CambridgePPF has planned a fun-packed schedule of summer holiday events! 

Painting and Drawing EnPlein Air, Saturday 3, 10, 17 August: 9am to 2pm

Connect with the natural beauty of the local landscape on this unique drawing and painting workshop hosted by professional treescape artist Debbie Baxter. Providing plain air tuition both for beginners and those wishing to improve their painting abilities, you’ll use acrylics and watercolours to capture the inspiring flora around Wandelbury. Whether you’re simply a nature lover or a keen amateur artist or both, this is a great opportunity to get out there and create. £60 per person per day.

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Directions:Wandlebury Country Park is on the A1307, 2.5km south of the Addenbrooke’s roundabout. CB22 3AE. Parking is available on site and costs £3 per vehicle, members free.

Coton Countryside Walk: Coton Reserve–Madingley Rise–American Cemetery, Saturday 3 August: 10am to 3pm

A sociable countryside walk around Coton village and its beautiful surroundings. Enjoy striking, long-distance views south from Madingley Rise and north from the American Cemetery, and visit the Millennium Wood. We will visit Coton Produce Sale in Coton Village Hall for coffee, cakes, and seasonal produce; there will also be opportunities to divert to The Plough in Coton for lunch – or bring a packed lunch and drinks.

NB: Free event but donations are appreciated. The walk is around 7.5 miles long and could take up to 5 hours including breaks. Most of the walking is on hard earth paths which could be muddy after rain. To get the views does mean walking uphill! Please dress for the weather and wear suitable walking shoes.

Directions: Meeting point is the Martin Car Park at Coton Reserve, Grantchester Road, Coton. Approach the reserve along Grantchester Road, just under a mile from the M11/Barton Road junction and you’ll see the car park on your right-hand side. CB23 7PZ. OS grid reference TL 414 577 GB.

Walk with a Warden at Wandlebury, Saturday 3 August: 2.30pm to 4pm

To celebrate 60 years since Wandlebury was officially opened to the public in August 1959, join the team for a gentle guided walk with one of the wardens as they explore the grounds looking for plants, flowers and wildlife and learning about the work we do to care for this historic site.

NB: Free event but donations are welcome. Meet at the noticeboard in the car park. Suitable for ages 8+.

Directions:Wandlebury Country Park is on the A1307, 2.5km south of the Addenbrooke’s roundabout. CB22 3AE. Parking is available on site and costs £3 per vehicle, members free.

Hinxton Watermill Open Day, Sunday 4 August: 2.30pm to 5.30pm

Drop in and explore this impressive 17th century working watermill, built on a site dating back to the Domesday Book. Hinxton Mill, owned by CambridgePPF and run by volunteer guides, is located in charming surroundings in the village of Hinxton on the River Cam. On six Sundays during the summer the mill is opened and guides will show you how the mill works and tell you the history of this incredible building. There are also walks along the river. Children can take part in the popular ‘Where’s Ratty’ contest and have the chance to win a prize!

NB: CambridgePPF members can visit for free. For non-members entry is £3 for adults, £1 for children. No need to book.

Directions: Mill Lane, Hinxton CB10 1RD (turn off the A1301 from Cambridge into Hinxton village). OS grid reference TL 493 453.

Holiday Bushcraft (5-12 years), 5,6,7,12,13,14,19,20,21 Aug & 3,4 Sept: 8.30am to 4pm

Holiday Bushcraft at Wandlebury is designed for children ages 5-12 and is run by experienced, qualified teachers from the outdoor learning experience group, Wild Thyme & Embers, who will inspire children and share their knowledge and skills of surviving in the wild. The sessions follow a forest school approach, encouraging self-confidence and a sense of achievement. All basic bushcraft techniques suitable for this age range will be taught, including shelter building, knots, plant recognition, woodcrafts, fire lighting and wilderness cooking, use of cutting tools and whittling, arts, crafts and much more.

NB: Booking essential. The cost for each day is £38 per child. Children need to bring a packed lunch and large water bottle (which can be refilled throughout the day) and dress for the weather. Please send children with a change of clothes and ensure they wear suitable footwear, preferably closed-toe shoes such as hiking boots, wellies or trainers. Wild Thyme will take care of everything else, including providing all specialist equipment as well as delicious snacks cooked on the fire!

Go Bats at Wandlebury, Friday 9 August: 8.30pm to 10pm

Sharpen all your senses on the hunt for bats this August, as the summer colonies begin to disperse and the young begin to seek out their own food supplies. There are over 1300 species worldwide, and Wandlebury is home to several, including Brown Long-Eared and Barbastelle. Cambridgeshire Bat Group will be leading this guided walk at dusk to look for bats, use a bat detector and learn more about these fascinating creatures.

NB: Free event, donations welcome. Suitable for ages 9+. Bring a torch and remember it gets cooler after dark. Meet at the noticeboard in the car park.

Hinxton Mill

Leper Chapel Opening, Saturday 10 August: 12pm to 3pm

Don’t miss your chance to see inside one of Cambridge’s oldest complete surviving buildings, which is not usually open to the public. Originally built as the chapel of an isolation hospital for leprosy sufferers, this Grade I listed, 12th century Romanesque building has 900 years of fascinating history – at various times having been used as a place of worship, a bar and a warehouse!

NB: Free event, donations welcome.

Directions: Barnwell Junction on Newmarket Road, Cambridge, CB5 8JJ – opposite Cambridge United. OS grid reference TL 471 594 GB Note that there is no parking or facilities at the chapel itself. Please park in nearby streets or come by bus or on foot.

Teddy Bear Adventures with Vital Spark Theatre, Thursday 15 August: 1pm to 2pm or 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Bring your own teddy and join Vital Spark for an accompanied family workshop, packed full of teddy adventures! Vital Spark Theatre is a Cambridgeshire-based company specialising in working with young people in a creative way through drama, dance, music and creative arts. Don’t miss these two Thursday sessions as they host a fun-filled day for children to enjoy with their families at Wandlebury Country Park.

NB: Booking essential. £8 per child. For ages 2-8. Children must be accompanied. Please dress according to the weather. Held in the Stable Rooms, Wandlebury Country Park.

Directions: Wandlebury Country Park is on the A1307, 2.5km south of the Addenbrooke’s roundabout. CB22 3AE. Parking is available on site and costs £3 per vehicle, members free.

For more information and booking: email [email protected]

Story Hunters with Vital Spark Theatre, Friday 16 August: 10am to 4pm

Imaginations will run wild on the hunt for super stories with this creative holiday workshop at Wandlebury. An unaccompanied day of adventure and storytelling run by Vital Spark Theatre, a Cambridgeshire-based company specialising in working with young people in a creative way through drama, dance, music and creative arts. Drop your child off for the day but be prepared to hear some tall tales when you pick them up! For more information and booking: email [email protected]

NB: Booking essential. Ages 5-12, £35 per child. For unaccompanied children. Please dress according to the weather.

Directions: Wandlebury Country Park is on the A1307, 2.5km south of the Addenbrooke’s roundabout. CB22 3AE. Parking is available on site and costs £3 per vehicle, members free.

Wild Bedtime Stories with Vital Spark, Friday 16 August: 5pm to 6.30pm

This event is especially for the little ones to come and enjoy some bedtime stories in a beautiful outdoor setting. Wear your pyjamas, dressing gowns, onesies (and possibly wellies!); bring your favourite teddy if you wish. Arrive from 5pm to explore the area and settle down at 6pm to enjoy the stories. Vital Spark Theatre is a Cambridgeshire-based company specialising in working with young people in a creative way through drama, dance, music and creative arts.

NB: Booking essential. Children must be accompanied. Dress for the weather. Held in the Stable Rooms, Wandlebury Country Park. £6 per child, includes hot chocolate (if you could bring a reusable cup to help reduce waste that would be wonderful).

Bourn Mill

Bourn Windmill Open Day and Teas, Sunday 18 August: 2pm to 4pm

Come and see inside one of the oldest mills in the country, set in beautiful scenery near Bourn village. On five Sundays during the summer the mill is opened and guides will show you how the mill works and tell you the history of this incredible building. Not only can you see inside, you can also have a go at the task of turning the whole mill on its post – an amazing sight. The mill is owned by local charity CambridgePPF and run by dedicated volunteers. Teas and cakes will be available for purchase.

NB:No need to book. Free to CambridgePPF members, non-members £3 per adult, £1 per child.

Directions: Off Caxton Road, Bourn CB23 2SU. Accessible by car, or on footpaths from Bourn. OS grid reference TL 312 580.

Debbie Baxter Solo Art Exhibition, Saturday 24 August to Monday 2 September: 10am to 3pm

Professional treescape Artist Debbie Baxter will be displaying brand new work in her solo exhibition at Wandlebury, ‘A Journey Through Trees’. A great chance to view, close-up, Debbie’s paintings of the English countryside and purchase work from this local artist. The artist will also be offering signed copies of her book of paintings and poetry, Into the Woods, providing valuable insights on the sentiments of her work. Entry free

Iron Age Walk, Wednesday 28 August: 10.30am to 12pm

All are welcome on this gentle warden-led guided walk around Wandlebury to discover some of the history of the remains of the circular Iron Age hillfort – steeped in myth and legend and one of Britain’s scheduled ancient monuments. Bring the whole family for a fun and fascinating morning out!

NB: Free event and no need to book – meet at the Wandlebury Park noticeboard next to the car park. Donations towards the upkeep of the park are always welcome.

For more information or to book visit email [email protected], call 01223 243830 extension 207 or visit www.cambridgeppf.org/whats-on

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