5 of the best open-air cinemas

Embrace the outdoors this summer and enjoy some classic movie screenings at open-air cinemas in National Trust sites across the country

1. Leigh Woods, Bristol
Two Wheeled Drive-In, 8pm-11.45pm.
Films: The Life Aquatic (15), 3 July; Jaws (PG), 4 July.

Calling all cycling and film enthusiasts near Bristol. For an evening of entertainment, all on two wheels, the Two Wheeled Drive-In is a must this July. Part of the Bristol Cycle Festival and in collaboration with UK artist Luke Jerram and the National Trust, this event is a treat for the senses. Starting by the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the bike ride goes through Leigh Woods, which hosts a fascinating art installation, and then finishes at a secret location within the woods for the nautical-inspired film showing, which will start around dusk.

2. Morden Hall Park, London
Open Air Cinema, 8pm-11pm.
Films: Birdman (15), 9 July; The Goonies (12), 10 July; Dirty Dancing (12), 11 July.

The stunning rose garden at Morden Hall Park is home to The Luna Cinema this summer. A green oasis in the city, this tranquil parkland is just a small part of the country estate and gives you a glimpse of its agricultural and industrial history. Bring along a picnic, a blanket and some friends, and sit among the beautifully scented roses for an evening of film under the stars.

3. Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Outdoor Cinema, 7pm-11pm Films: Mamma Mia (PG), 21 August; The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A), 22 August.

Enjoy an alfresco movie at Hardwick House, which is famous for having more windows than walls. Back for its fourth year at Hardwick, the Summer Nights film festival brings you two great movies against a stunning backdrop. Mamma Mia on Friday provides a great chance to sing-a-long to a feel good film and The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies concludes the epic tale in Middle Earth on Saturday night.

4. Hatfield Forest, Essex
Outdoor Cinema

Films: Back to the Future (PG), 21 August, 8.30pm-10.30pm;
Dirty Dancing (12), 22 August, 8.30pm-10.15pm; Casablanca (U), 23 August, 8.30pm-10.15pm.

Spend an atmospheric evening in Hatfield Forest where you can set up your picnic blanket under ancient trees. Discover the forest’s colourful history, from medieval kings to commoners, and then kick back and enjoy one of three classic films.

5. Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
Summer Nights Film Screenings, 8pm-10pm.
Films: Singin’ in the Rain (U), 4 September; Into the Woods (PG), 5 September.

Surrounded by views of Oxfordshire, the Chilterns Hills, the Vale of Aylesbury and just a train ride away from London, Waddesdon Manor, is an ideal place to come and relax. Enjoy a classic film on a large outdoor screen with the spectacle of the manor house as the backdrop. Summer Nights is a festival of outdoor film screenings in beautiful heritage locations throughout the summer and is organised by QUAD, Derby’s Centre for Art and Film.


If you are heading to an outdoor cinema event this summer, don’t forget your picnic essentials.

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