7 things to do in July
1. Sir David Attenborough has given his seal of approval…again!
Last month it was the newly-restored Temperate House at Kew, which everyone’s favourite TV naturalist officially opened and described as ‘breathtakingly beautiful’. This month, Sir David has reopened another National Lottery-funded attraction – the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge.
The museum has a two million-strong collection including the world’s most complete dodo skeleton and an elephant that had a starring role in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. “Absolutely brilliant day out” according to a recent review on Tripadvisor. We couldn’t agree more.
2. Spend a Saturday night at the movies in one of Scotland’s first cinemas
Enjoy your popcorn and latest blockbuster movie in a cinema that’s over 100 years old! Beautifully restored to its Art Nouveau elegance, the newly-opened Campbeltown Picture House now has two screens showing all the must-see summer releases.
It was one of the first cinemas to be built in Scotland and was designed with a unique and unusual ‘atmospheric style’. You’ll have to visit to discover what that means!
3. There’s an exclusive freebie for National Lottery-playing aviation fans
Any National Lottery ticket or scratchcard will get you a half-price ride in the RAF Museum’s #4D Cinema from 30 June to 7 July. The museum, in Hendon, North London, has just opened its amazing new Hangar One and it’s full of incredible history and exhibits.
It’s a brilliant place to visit at any time and it’s just got a whole lot better thanks to this huge redevelopment, in time for the RAF’s centenary year. The free offer is their way of saying thanks to National Lottery players for the money that has made it all possible – just turn up at the box office with any National Lottery ticket or proof of online purchase.
4. Hit the North…and its heritage
The Great Exhibition of the North is a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s heritage and pioneering spirit. There’s loads to see, including John Lennon’s last piano and Stephenson’s Rocket. Or why not take a free art, design or innovation tour of Newcastle and Gateshead (there’s an app to get you on your way)?
5. Get a taste of life on the ocean waves
Explore the grit and glory of life along Scotland’s coastline in the remarkable new exhibition, ‘Maritime Perspectives’. More than 80 stunning works of art have been brought together to showcase the diversity of this seafaring nation and show what life on the ocean is like.
The photographs, sculptures, oils, watercolours and sketches by renowned artists are on show at the Scottish Maritime Museum until 21 October.
6. Have a weekend break in Halifax and visit the Piece Hall
Have you ever seen the Piazza San Marco in Venice? Well imagine that – but in Yorkshire – and you’ve got the Piece Hall. We love it. It was opened in 1779, as a visible statement of the great wealth of the town’s cloth merchants. It fell into disrepair but reopened earlier this year as a home to a treasure trove of independent shops and boutiques, thanks to £7.2million from the National Lottery. Halifax is now the ‘Shoreditch of the North’ according to the Guardian and the Telegraph. Don’t let that put you off!
7. Go Wild in the Country (or town, or city)
The Wildlife Trusts looks after more than 2,300 nature reserves and the National Lottery is one of their most important sources of income. In fact, since 1994, National Lottery players have helped every eligible Wildlife Trust (that’s 44, by the way!) right across the UK, ranging from city roadside verges to vast areas of land and coast.
Their mission? To make the world wilder and make nature part of life, for everyone. Whether you're in pursuit of awe-inspiring natural displays, a nature reserve with accessible paths, or a location with a little something extra, they can help you find it. What are you waiting for?