Celebrate summer with the National Trust’s best outdoor cinema, theatre and music events

Press release
Visitors watching a cinema on a screen in the garden at Hardwick
Published : 26 Jun 2018 Last update : 27 Jun 2018

Make the most of the balmy summer weather and extra hours of daylight to enjoy alfresco entertainment at National Trust locations. Pack up a picnic hamper and bring along your family and friends to the Trust’s outdoor entertainment events, from big-screen cinema to theatre and music performances, all set in colourful gardens and parkland.

From comedies and family-friendly performances to classical concerts, there’s something to suit all tastes. Just pick your patch of grass, sit back and enjoy the fresh air and historic surroundings.

Every single visit helps support the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for ever, for everyone. Make it a summer to remember with these entertaining delights:

South West

Corfe Castle, Dorset

Outdoor theatre: The Pirates of Penzance, 13 July, 7pm -9.30pm
When a young man named Frederic leaves the band of pirates he was raised by to find true love and respectability, hilarity ensues. Pack a picnic to enjoy before the performance and settle down for an evening of entertainment.
Price: Adult £16, child £8.
Booking essential 0344 249 1895

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Outdoor theatre
The Merchant of Venice, 26 July 7pm - 9.30pm
The Tempest, 2 August, 7pm - 9.30pm
Treasure Island, 7 August, 7pm - 9.30pm
What better way to spend a lazy summer’s evening than kicking back on the grass with a picnic and watching a classic play unfold? Explore tales of true love and the human capacity for vengeance and forgiveness in Shakespeare’s classic ‘The Tempest’, or play to his great courtroom drama ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Alternatively if you fancy taking to the high seas, you can join the cast of Treasure Island for a piratical adventure.
Gates open at 6pm, performances begin at 7pm.
Price: Adult £18 (£16 in advance), child £11 (£10 in advance).
Booking essential 0344 249 1895

Dunster Castle, Somerset

Outdoor theatre: Hamlet
18 August, 7pm- 9.30pm
What better place to experience Shakespeare’s tale of murder, revenge and royal families than against the dramatic backdrop of Dunster Castle? The Three Inch Fools theatre troupe blend wit, originality and plenty of live music in their performance, making this an evening to remember. The BBQ will be fired up but feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy during the performance.
Price: Adult £15, child £10.
Booking essential 01643 821314

Trengwainton Garden, Cornwall

Summer sounds in the orchard
30 Jun, 3pm - 9.30pm
Summer is here, and how better to celebrate than a party in Trengwainton’s orchard with some of the finest local bands? Enjoy a whole range of acts from folk to bluegrass to pop, who’ll get you singing and foot-stomping well into the evening. As well as a feast for the ears you’ll be able to tuck into great BBQ food, including tasty vegetarian options.
Price: Adult £12 (£10 in advance), child £6 (£5 in advance).
Booking strongly recommended.

Castle Drogo, Devon

Outdoor Theatre: The Hound of the Baskervilles    
5 August, 19:30 - 21:30
Castle Drogo will be the venue for a very special performance of 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' by Illyria productions. What better place to see this classic story bought to life than at a real castle set amid the atmospheric landscape of Dartmoor?
Price: Adult £13, child £10.
Booking essential

Coleton Fishacre, Devon

1920s Jazz party
21 Jul, 6.30pm - 9pm
Sip cocktails on the bowling lawn as Rachael Roberts and the Gatsby Gang perform jazz classics from the ‘Roaring Twenties’ on the Loggia. Put on your most dapper suit or flapper dress, pack a picnic and party the night away just as the D’Oyly Carte family would have done during long summer evenings in the 1920s
Two cocktails and canapés included.
Price: £25.
Booking essential 01803 842382

Killerton, Devon

Outdoor theatre: Pride and Prejudice
12 Jul, 7pm - 10pm
In a whirlwind of balls, dinners and very eligible officers, Lizzie Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy stand alone as the only sane people – and they hate each other. Or do they? Bring a picnic and settle down in the beautiful grounds of Killerton to enjoy Jane Austen’s classic tale, masterfully brought to life by Heartbreak Productions.
Price: Adult £16 (£14 in advance), child £11 (£9 in advance).
Booking essential 0344 249 1895

South East

Mottisfont, Hampshire

Outdoor Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest
23 July, 7pm – 9pm
Immersion Theatre invite you to an evening of open-air decadence and hilarity as they present Oscar Wilde's wittiest comedy. Join foppish bachelors Jack and Algernon on their latest Bunburying exploits replete with mistaken identities, icy women, trivial banter and, of course, muffins. Pack a picnic and spend the evening in the glorious sunshine enjoying one of literature's most trivial comedies for serious people.
Price: Adult £16, child £8.
Booking essential 0344 249 1895.

Morden Hall Park, London

Outdoor theatre: Wind in the Willows
3 - 6 Aug, 11am and 2pm
Experience the Wind in the Willows like never before with Sixteenfeet Productions.  Perfect for the whole family, these performances will have you up on your feet as you follow the actors as they travel through our rose garden on their adventures. Full of high jinks, adventure and camaraderie; see this classic English countryside tale brought to life with an array of truly unforgettable characters.
Price: £12 adult, £8 child.
Booking essential

Scotney Castle, Kent

Outdoor theatre evenings
The Railway Children – Friday 6 July, 7pm
Midsummer night’s dream – Saturday 14 July, 7pm
Pride & Prejudice – Saturday 21 July, 7pm
The Reluctant Dragon – Saturday 4 August, 6pm
Looking for somewhere to relax and unwind during the long summer evenings? Why not head to Scotney Castle, where you can settle down in front of the mansion house as twilight falls to enjoy an enchanting theatre performance. Bring blankets or low backed camping chairs, and don’t forget the picnic hamper.
Price: Adult £13, Child £8, Under 5s free.
Booking essential 0344 249 1895

Emmetts Garden, Kent

Outdoor Theatre: The Tempest
16 August, 7.30 - 9.30pm
This summer, join The Lord Chamberlain’s Men as they perform Shakespeare’s spellbinding masterpiece The Tempest – a play of soaring poetry, high comedy and mistaken identity. The performances will take place in the meadow just outside the visitor centre. Bring a picnic and enjoy the long summer evening.
Price: Adults £15, child £8. Recommended for children 8+.
Booking essential 0344 249 1895


Belton House, Lincolnshire

Outdoor theatre: Little Women
7 Jul, 6.30pm - 9pm
This classic tale of four sisters is brought to life in a brand-new adaptation from Chapterhouse Theatre Company, featuring glorious period costume, traditional live music and a story to warm your heart. Lay out your blanket in front of Belton's 17th-century Mansion, and join Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy on their journey of self-discovery.  
Price: Adult £16, child £10.
Booking essential

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Outdoor theatre: Robin Hood
22 Jun, 7.30pm -10pm
This summer, join Chapterhouse Theatre Company as transform Kedleston into Sherwood Forest for their adaptation of the tale of Robin Hood. When the evil Sheriff of Nottingham schemes to stop the outlaws, the merry men must join with the beautiful Maid Marian to rescue Robin from the Sheriff’s evil clutches and restore peace to the forest lands.
Price: Adult £16, Child £10.
Booking essential

Attingham Park, Shropshire

Outdoor theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest
27 Jul, 7pm – 9pm
Everybody loves Ernest. The only trouble is, he doesn't exist. Or does he?  Pack a picnic and join the Pantaloons for their anarchic take on Oscar Wilde's comic masterpiece. Expect mistaken identities, trivial arguments and, of course, muffins.
Price: Adult £15, child £10.
Booking essential

Shugborough, Staffordshire

Sense and Sensibility
8 Aug, 7pm - 9pm
Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company at Shugborough for their take on one of Jane Austen’s best-loved novels. Follow the tale of the Dashwood sisters as they fall in love, make mistakes and experience heartbreak in their quest to find a balance between sense and sensibility.  Bring a rug and a picnic to enjoy a night of magical theatre under the stars.
Price: Adult £14, child £9, under 5s go free.
Booking essential

East of England

Ickworth, Suffolk

Outdoor cinema
Thelma & Louise 15 June 7.30-9.30pm Price: Adult £12.00
Tangled, 16 June, 5 – 6.30pm. Price: Adult £10.50, Child £5.50, child under 2 £2
La La Land, 16 June, 7.30 – 9.30pm. Price: Adult £12, child £6
Breakfast at Tiffany's, 17 June, 5 – 6.30pm. Price: Adult £10.50, Child £5.50, child under 2 £2
Wonder Woman, 17 June, 7.30 – 10pm. Price: Adult £12, child £6
This summer, Ickworth’s selection of outdoor cinema is all about celebrating women on screen. Meet inspirational characters and join them on their adventures, all against the beautiful backdrop of Ickworth's iconic Rotunda.
Booking essential. Tickets available from www.sundowncinema.co.uk/venue/Ickworth-house or 0333 666 3366

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire

Outdoor cinema
27 July: Brave, 6pm – 7.30pm
28 July: Moana, 6pm – 7.45pm and Wonder Woman 8:30pm - 11:00pm
29 July: Alice in Wonderland, 6pm – 7:45pm
Sundown Cinema returns to Wimpole this summer for the fifth year running. Relax in the gardens and enjoy films shown on a special LED daylight screen. Will you join Disney’s Moana on her quest to become a master way-finder, or explore the Scottish highlands with skilled archer Merida in Brave? Feel free to bring a picnic, or enjoy wood-fired pizza and hot drinks for sale.
Price: Adult £10.50, Child (3-14) £5.50, Child (0-2) £2. Booking essential
Tickets available from sundowncinema.co.uk or 0333 666 3366

Blickling Estate, Norfolk

The Great British Prom
11 August, 7.30pm – 10pm
The prom at Blickling has become one of the biggest occasions on Norfolk's social calendar.  The National Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the Rolls-Royce Spitfire, flown by one of the Rolls-Royce Test Pilots. Enjoy a fantastic celebration of those magnificent men in their flying machines including William Walton's Spitfire Prelude and Fugue and Eric Coates's Dambusters March. The evening will be packed with Proms favourites, closing with a spectacular firework display.
Price: Adult £37.50, Child £17.50.
Booking essential

Shaw’s Corner, Hertfordshire

Fanny’s First Play
20 – 22 July, 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Celebrate George Bernard Shaw’s birthday and 100 years of women’s suffrage in July when we stage Fanny’s First Play, a political satire which pillories middle class morality. Celebrate George Bernard Shaw’s birthday and 100 years of women’s suffrage in July when we stage Fanny’s First Play, a political satire which pillories middle class morality. You’ll be laughing in your seats as Shaw's strident young heroine struggles to liberate herself from stifling middle class tradition. Bring picnics and set up your chairs on the lawn.
Price: In advance £25 (NT members £23). £30 on the door.
Booking strongly advised


Gibside, Tyne and Wear

Outdoor theatre: Alice in Wonderland
8 August, 6pm – 8pm
Take a trip down the rabbit hole with Chapterhouse Theatre Company to meet Alice and a whole host of colourful characters.  From the unforgettable White Rabbit and the madcap Mad Hatter to the terrifying Queen of Hearts, Alice's journey couldn't be filled with more adventure. Presented in beautiful Victorian costume and alive with song, dance and original music, this is a production to delight the entire family.
Price: Adult £16, child £10.
Booking essential 01207 541820

Nostell, West Yorkshire

Nostell Nights
13 July, 6pm - 9pm
Nostell Nights are unique events for adults only, offering a chance to see the house in a new light. With live DJ sets, craft beer tastings, pop-up poetry, crafts and demos from a range of local artists, it's the perfect way to kick off your weekend.
Price: Normal admission charges apply.

Dunham Massey, Cheshire

Outdoor Theatre: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
14 July, 7pm – 9.30pm
Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company in what promises to be one of the must-see productions of the summer – set amid Dunham Massey's beautiful gardens. Deep in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside a terrifying mystery and a legendary nemesis await the arrival of the world's greatest detective. When the wife of Doctor Watson suddenly disappears, a desperate quest to find her begins. Sherlock Holmes comes face to face with his greatest fear at the hands of his mortal enemy in this stunning new tale of romance and suspense.
Price: Adults £16, child £10, family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) £46.
Booking essential

Sticklebarn Pub, Cumbria

Live music Fridays
Every Friday between 6 July – 31 August, 7pm – 9pm
After a busy day on the fells, there’s no better place to unwind than a cosy pub. If Sticklebarn’s local drinks and tasty food aren’t enough to tempt you, then why not visit on a Friday night when you’ll also be able to enjoy live acoustic music and outdoor fires. Kick back, relax and share your adventures from the day with fellow travellers.  
Price: Free event


Bodnant Garden, Conwy

Afternoon Tea with Harp Music
22 July, 2pm - 4pm
With quiet corners, sweeping lawns, grand terraces and verdant woodland, Bodnant is really several gardens in one, and the perfect place to find tranquillity. This summer, unwind in style with afternoon tea served on the Canal Terrace, while listening to the award-winning Welsh harpist Dylan Cernyw playing in the Pin Mill.  
N.B. If raining this event will be held in Pavilion tearoom.
Price: £21.95 for two.
Booking essential  01492 650460

Northern Ireland

Crom, County Fermanagh

Music by the Lake
Midnight Graffiti, 7 July, 7–10pm
Hand Me Downs, 11 August 7–10pm
For the past 30 years the National Trust has cared for this 2,000 acre demesne. Help them celebrate with a rocking evening of 'folkabilly' tunes by the tranquil shores of Lough Erne in Crom. Bring a rug and a picnic and enjoy a glass of wine on arrival - a sensational summer’s evening awaits.
Price: Adult £10.
Booking essential 028 6773 8118