Between the ages of 10 and 18, I rode my BMX bike pretty much every day; to school, after school and occasionally even during school - sorry Mum! Eight years later, I’ve decided to climb aboard again.
Why? Early midlife crisis? Probably. But more so the fact there really are few things that genuinely terrify me nowadays.
My life has, luckily, led me to a position of comfort; everything is ‘safe’ and secure. However, years of scrolling through Instagram and subscribing to BMX YouTube channels niggled me.
I missed the rush of flying around ramps and weaving between drains. So here I am now, ‘that old guy in the skatepark who can’t really do tricks anymore’, the guy I used to look at when I was 15 and wonder why he never grew up and moved on. Truth is, you never really do move on from BMX... not properly.
- James McVey
Corfe Mullen skate park, Wimborne, BH21 3DR
Want to hang out with super cute huskies for the day? Well, you don’t need to head to the Arctic, you’ll find these incredible animals in Gloucestershire, offering mushing experiences and rides across the countryside. And you don’t even need snow to take part.
Jump on a three-wheeled bike and get pulled along by these incredible dogs, you can either control the pack or go with a group to enjoy the experience. Want to make it an overnight stay? You can book a stay in the herder's hut to chill out in after an afternoon with the pups.
You’ll need to book ahead but there are slots available throughout the summer to suit you.
Arctic Quest, Croft Farm Water Park, Bredons Hardwick, Tewkesbury, Glos, GL20 7EF
The video shop, 20th Century Flicks, features the country’s smallest cinema and is a must visit during your summer.
Stocking more than 200,000 videos, if you’ve grown up in a world of smartphones and streaming, this blast from the past is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.
Planning an activity with a group of mates? Look into booking the screening room out and splitting the cost between you - it’s an exclusive experience for the same price as the normal cinema if there’s 11 of you to fill it! You even get to choose the movie and there’s A LOT to take your pick from.
20th Century Flicks Ltd, 19 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS
Prepare to be creeped the hell out. Whether you’re a sceptic or a fan of all things paranormal, face your fears and head to Bodmin Jail in Cornwall.
This creepy building is considered to be one of Britain’s most haunted locations and you can take a tour after dark. There are loads of events going on throughout the summer, from scary movie nights, where you can watch a horror flick in the walls of the prison to quiz and curry nights in the resident restaurant and cafe.
Reports of hearing people crying in the dark, visitors’ hair being pulled by invisible hands and seeing shadows of people who aren’t there, are just a few of the things you could experience on your visit.
Bodmin Jail, Berrycoombe Road, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2NR
A hedge maze sounds pretty basic, right? But the Dragonfly Maze in Bourton-on-the-Water is one with a twist. It’s not just about finding the exit, you also have to find 14 clues along the way before you reach the middle.
At the centre of the labyrinth is a frog and to get him to open his mouth to win the game you’ll need all those clues. It should take you around 20 to 30 minutes to complete with some friends and is definitely a unique way to spend an afternoon this summer. Plus, it’s a pretty place to visit when you want to get away from big towns or cities. Stop by the shop afterwards, which sells puzzles to try at home, if you get a taste for it.
Rissington Road, Bourton-on-the-Water GL54 2BN
Fan of The Craft? Been binging The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix? Then plan a visit to Cornwall’s Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.
You’ll find everything from relics used by former witches to charms and ingredients for spells in grand glass cabinets. There are exhibits and installations taking place throughout the year from experts and artists.
For those who have an interest in the paranormal, you’ll find handcrafted ouija boards and bottles featuring real human hair that may have been used in a ritual long ago.
Spend an afternoon exploring the curiosities inside and learn more about witchcraft in Britain. It’s pretty cool even if you’ve never been interested in the past.
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, The Harbour, Boscastle, Cornwall, PL35 0HD
The perfect place to visit for an afternoon this summer when you just want to get away from it all.
Thought to be sacred, White Spring is a place people travel to from all over the country to light candles and view the pools. You can immerse yourself in the healing spring and look into the Chalice Well of the Red Spring with greenery and shrines around its entrance. If you want to try meditation, this is the ideal location.
There is also a temple to visit, which is dedicated to the Celtic Fire Goddess Brigid and the location is said to feature portals to the faerie realm. It’s definitely a unique place to tell your friends about when you meet for a catch-up.
The White Spring, Well House Lane, Glastonbury, BA6 8BL
The hottest festival on England’s coastline with an incredible line up in 2019, Boardmasters is the festival to get tickets for this summer.
Mashing up the surfing scene with the biggest names in the music industry, you can either turn up for the day or camp overnight for the whole weekend.
The line up this year features the likes of Wu Tang Clan, Florence + the Machine, The Wombats, Foals, Mabel and 00s indie favourites Razorlight.
The festival also has a major focus on wellbeing with a yoga tent, workshops and massages. There’s also an eco-spa setting and you can book a two-hour slot to enjoy a pamper and a soak in a wood hot tub. Nice.
Got energy? Check out the surfing lessons and paddleboarding sessions taking place on the beach.
Boardmasters Festival, Trebelsue Farm, Watergate Bay, Newquay, TR8 4AN