Top spots for outdoor theatre, music and film

Celebrate summer with outdoor performances at some of our most beautiful places. Join the party when dusk falls on a balmy summer evening, invite friends and family, load up the picnic hamper and enjoy some outdoor theatre, film and music with us.

    Open-air theatre

    Visitors relaxing in the sunshine during open air theatre

    The great British tradition of outdoor theatre isn’t to be missed and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety plays and venues on offer this summer.

    At Ickworth, Suffolk, you can enjoy a right rollicking night at with Boxtree Productions performance of The Three Musketeers in the beautiful garden setting (23 August), while In Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire, we have the Heartbreak Theatre company performing the family classic Peter Pan (29 August).

    South West
    Follow Jim Hawkins as he travels the open sea led by Long John Silver to Treasure Island (23 August). For the detectives, Hidcote welcomes back the Chapterhouse Theatre company as they bring The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to life (23 August).

    London and South East
    All aboard the Jolly Roger for a frenzied journey back to your childhood with Peter Pan at Scotney Castle, Kent (28 August), or join us at Ightham Mote, in Sevenoaks, Kent, for George's Marvellous Medicine, one of Illyria's open-air theatre productions of Roald Dahl's classic tale (30 August).  For the romantics, enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Cliveden, Buckinhamshire, for Romeo and Juliet (6 September).  Bring a picnic, some friends and relax with something fizzy.

    In the Midlands you’ll find George's Marvellous Medicine at Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire (27 August) and Macbeth is being performed at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire - another brilliant show in the ground by the banks of the River Avon (28 August).

    Yorkshire and North East
    In West Yorkshire, Alice in Wonderland opens at Nostell Priory and Parkland (22 August).

    North West
    Nestled in Langdale's valley you'll find Sticklebarn, Cumbria, with crackling fires, real ales and great food, there's no better place to unwind after a long walk. Get ready for a weekend of Adventure films on the big screen, including the hottest action and adventure films from the Kendal Mountain Festival, (29 August and 5, 12, 19 & 26 September).

    Music al fresco

    Steel band perform outside Gibside Chapel

    Enjoy a balmy summers evening relaxing to live music in one of our gardens and parks.

    Northern Ireland
    Come and join us at Castle Ward, County Down, every Sunday throughout August, as the Stableyard is filled with the delightful sounds of some of Northern Irelands finest Jazz bands (24 & 31 August).

    London and South East
    Choral favourites can be experienced at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, (30 August) while 18th-century classical music can be enjoyed in London at Fenton House, Hampstead (12 September).

    South West
    The Festival of the Voice will be visiting Stourhead, Wiltshire (7, 14, 21 & 28 September), or join us at Coleton Fishacre, Devon, on the first Friday of every month, for a relaxing evening of jazz and a two course supper (5 September).

    For classical lovers Upton House, Warwickshire, has a saxaphone concert and optional dinner, with classical renditions from an award-winning sax player (5 September).

    Outdoor film shows

    See one of the Hollywood classics with our outdoor cinema

    Enjoy the British version of great American drive-in cinema screening at one of our special places.

    South West
    Join the Purbeck Film Festival with a whole host of films under the stars at Corfe Castle, Dorset (22, 23 & 24 August), or experience an American cult classics in leafy Leigh Woods, Avon, with Pulp Fiction (29 August) and The Hunger Games (30 August).

    North West
    Our pub in the Lakes, Sticklebarn, Cumbria, will be hosting action and adventure films (22 & 29 August ) and (5 September), films to be announced.

    London and the South East
    The turrets of Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, will be the backdrop for their screening of Some Like It Hot (5 September) and Skyfall (6 September). 

    East of England
    Come to Hatfield Forest, Essex, and watch three great films. There's Sleepy Hollow (certificate 15), a film made for the forest with dark creepy woods, ancient dwellings and spooky old trees (29 August). Take a trip back to 50s California with catchy tunes and great outfits in Grease (30 August), or for some edge of the seat flying, romance and great quotes, there's Top Gun (certificate 12, 31 August). 

    Pay a visit to Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire, for two classic films - E Scott Fitzgerald's timeless story of the Great Gatsby (20 September), or enjoy entertainment under the stars with the showing of the Young Victoria (rated PG, 21 September).

    Nobody puts baby in the corner at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire. Enjoy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, in the shadow of Molfoy Manor which starred as the Manor in two of the Harry Potter films (29 August), or relive the magic, romance and drama of Dirty Dancing in this classic 80s film (30 August).

    Enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of Chirk Castle, Wrexham, for two evenings of outdoor cinema in the courtyard with War Horse (6 & 7 September).