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The Best Summer Activities Around the EC World – pt.1

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The best part about being able to speak another language, is being able to explore and experience new places with the same possibilities as the locals. It creates freedom to travel, to communicate and lets you get a real insight into the life of a place. During the summer months, as the weather improves and people are in a holiday spirit, the list of activities grows and grows. This is the same the world over so why not embrace this with full enthusiasm in the city you’ve chosen to learn English abroad in. Below, are our top picks for our European cities, UK cities and Cape Town. Our choices for our American and Canadian cities will be coming in the next post so stay tuned. For now, keep on reading…


This little gem in the north-western corner of Europe, has plenty to offer and in summer, some things are a must-do. The best, and also the simplest option, EC Dublin students, is to take a picnic to St.Stephen’s Green. Imagine it: one Sunday afternoon, the sun is warm, and the buzz is hypnotic; you and your friends are lying in the grass watching the people all around. Someone starts playing guitar and you have plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you going. If you’re lucky, you may even see the local swing dancers showing off their talent in the bandstand to the tune of music from the 1920’s. Perfect!


As those of you studying English in Malta already know, this island of summer has endless activities to choose from. So, it’s tough to choose just one, but choose one, we will! Hire a car, or whatever it takes and head for the south-east of the island. Destination? St.Peter’s Pool. Bring water, bring food, bring anything you might need and most importantly, bring your courage! Why? Well, the crystal clear blue and green water can only be experienced fully by jumping into it from the rocks above. It’s exhilarating and super refreshing in the middle of summer. Go there early in the morning to beat the crowd and you might even have the pool to yourselves.

Cape Town

Summer in Europe means it is winter in Cape Town. This also means the beginning of whale watching season as these gentle giants start to arrive in the water around the city. Hop on a bus and take in the sights of the beautiful countryside on your way to Hermanus, the home of the whale watching festival. You can take a tour to see the whales at sea and marvel at their displays of breaching (jumping through the surface) and spouting (breathing through their blowhole). Hermanus is a gorgeous town, known as the “Riviera of the South” so take time to explore and visit exhibitions with photos of whales from previous years. The perfect end to the trip is something to eat from Café 1904, full of character and will not disappoint.


In this buzzing, fast-paced capital city there is no end to the activities on offer. You will be spoiled for choice! One very popular evening activity is to see a film in an outdoor cinema. There are a number to choose from so if you like the experience, you can go as often as you want. The Rooftop Film Club shows films in several locations, the most memorable of which is in Peckham. With the screen perched on top of the Bussey Building, you can sit back with a drink from the bar and enjoy the film while you have a bird’s eye view of the sun setting over the London skyline.


If you’ll be at EC Bristol in early August, you need to go to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at Ashton court. Running from 8th to 11th August, it is the biggest event of its kind in Europe. There are events at every hour of the day, with the hot air balloons filling the dawn sky in a spectacular colourful display, and again at dusk when the balloons glow to the rhythm of music. Sometimes there are fireworks also! It’s a real spectacle and it’s completely free!


We’ve said it before and we’re not ashamed to say it again. Punting on the river Cam must be the best and most characteristic experience in Cambridge at summertime. The banks of the river will be lush green and as you sail by, you’ll see endless groups of people in the parks enjoying the good weather. Perhaps the most special feeling is when you sweep between the willow trees as you approach Clare College. Breath-taking. Bring a nice cold drink and a picnic with you and take advantage of a full day in the sunshine.


Every Saturday in Brighton, the city takes a step back a few decades. The party is called “It Is Still 1985” and it’s awesome! So, take yourself shopping in a charity shop for some cheap, 1980’s clothes – jackets with huge shoulder pads, day-glow colours, shiny tracksuits, and be ready to time travel! It costs only £3 to enter and you can dance the night away, shaking your giant hair to retro hits from Whitney Houston, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Cyndi Lauper and Bon Jovi. Without a doubt, a night to remember!


On the 10th of August, Manchester explodes in a vibrant burst of colour and music to celebrate Caribbean culture. The Manchester Carnival started over 40 years ago and is massive, celebrating the music, food, dance, theatre and costume of the Caribbean. Carnival parades weave their way through the streets, pouring a sea of colour wherever they pass. Musicians and performers stage events around the city and food stalls pop up to offer you a taste of the Caribbean.


The city of scholars comes alive with fantastic creatures every year, to honour the greatest of all children’s stories, Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll wrote the story in Oxford in the 1860’s to entertain the real-life Alice and her sisters. Now known the world over, the story of Alice is loved by children and adults alike and to celebrate, the city has Alice’s Day. In 2019, it will be celebrated on July 6th and if anything like last year, it promises plenty of entertainment. You can play croquet and challenge the Queen of Hearts to a game. Meet comic book artists who create their own versions of Alice and see other sights such as an Indian acrobatic circus. All this and that’s just the beginning!

These are only a sample of the activities on offer in these cities, and of course your EC school will have a timetable with many more choices so you’ll never be bored! With the new friends you make, both local and foreign, these activities will surely be the highlight of your EC summer experience!

Are you planning to study English abroad? EC offers classes in a variety of tempting locations around the world and they’re waiting for you.

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