Top things to do in the UK this summer

It’s that time of year again. Class plans are coming to an end and summer plans are ramping up.

Canvas cities being some of the UK’s best means there are all kinds of events to fill your social calendar. And guess what? You can enjoy everything on offer from your STUDENT ACCOMMODATION. Because when universities kick out, Canvas kicks on. We’re inviting you to STAY FOR SUMMER. Stick around after term ends, or join us before Autumn term starts, and immerse yourself in summer in your city.

From festivals and fiestas to parties and parades, here are our top highlights. Find your location and put the dates in your diary.



14-16 July

For three days in July, one of the UK’s largest public festivals transforms Bristol’s docks and harbourside into an entertainment extravaganza of live music, dance, street performances, circus acts and enough food markets to feed the whole of the southwest.

Head to College Green to enjoy tricks and trapeze from Circus Bijou. Pop over to the harbour for on-water magic. Stroll over to Georgian Queen Square for the best local music. Or kick back with a cocktail at The Jelli Shack in Millenium Square. Whatever your vibe, Bristol Harbour Festival has you well catered for.

Find out more about this year’s event HERE.


10-13 August


If you’ve ever seen a hot air balloon floating over your head, you’ll know what an unusual and spectacular sight it is.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes those feelings of excitement and intrigue and multiplies them by about 130. Because that’s how many weird and wonderful balloons land and take off from Ashton Court across one glorious August weekend. Expect aerial displays, demonstrations, live music, fairground rides and food and drink aplenty. Oh, and of course, hot air balloon rides.

TOP TIP: Visit late on the first night for the famous Night Glows. Seeing balloons light up the Bristol skies is as good as a summer evening gets.

See what’s in store at this year’s Fiesta HERE.


Every weekend


Wake The Tiger is the world’s first “Amazement Park.” It’s an immersive art gallery. An interactive theme park. A surreal film set. A multi-layered psychedelic maze. A dream factory. It’s… Well, words don’t really do it justice. You have to see it for yourself.

Learn more and grab tickets HERE.

Plus, if you extend your stay or arrive early to enjoy summer at CANVAS BRISTOL, we'll give you up to 25% DISCOUNT* on any en suite room.



All summer

The Victorian glass houses, Bonsai garden and bird collection at BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS are well worth checking out at any time of the year.

Add a giant cinema screen showing a range of classic movies and modern blockbusters and the gardens become a must-visit. Show up early with a picnic and get immersed in a film as the sun sets. Halcyon days!

Book tickets and check out the film lineup HERE.


14-24 July


The Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival is England's longest-running jazz and blues festival and one of the biggest jazz parties in Europe.

Across 10 glorious summer days, you can enjoy 200 performances, workshops, talks, exhibitions and masterclasses from world-class jazz musicians. And almost all of them are free to attend.

The whole festival takes place in the shopping centres, streets, squares, bars, markets, libraries, parks, railway stations, markets and canal boats of the West Midlands. In other words, everywhere you already visit. It’ll be like jazz is soundtracking your days.

Check out this year’s lineup and event calendar HERE.


22-23 July


From one of the biggest jazz festivals in Europe to the biggest South Asian music festival the continent has to offer.

Sandwell and Birmingham Mela hosts the best acts from the UK and across the world, alongside exciting up-and-coming musicians. But this being a Mela means there’s a lot more on offer than music. We’re talking visual arts, a fun fair, a shopping bazaar and—oh yes—a food village of which the smells alone are worth the trip to Victoria Park.

Learn more and grab your ticket HERE.

Plus, if you extend your stay or arrive early to enjoy summer at CANVAS BIRMINGHAM, we'll give you up to 25% DISCOUNT* on any en suite room.



30 June-2 July

When you name your festival named after Coventry’s most famous noblewoman, you have to go big. And Godiva Festival 2023 goes big.

This year’s three-day event in War Memorial Park is jam-packed with top acts, including headline sets by Rudimental, Melanie C and—closing out the first day—Cov’s own indie heroes, The Enemy. This being a proper festival means there’s a host of live entertainment, creative activities, bars and street food to immerse in yourself away from the music stages.

You can also buy day tickets. So you can pick your favourite daily lineup and head off to the comfort of your Canvas bed at the end of the night. Bliss.

Check out the programme and buy tickets HERE


25-28 August


Adventure Cinema is the UK’s biggest outdoor cinema tour. It specialises in bringing an eclectic mix of classic, musical, family and blockbuster movies to picturesque locations. And few are more stunning than the gardens of COOMBE ABBEY PARK.

Movies this summer include Elvis, Sing, Top Gun: Maverick, Matilda The Musical and Encanto. Great films for a great afternoon or evening kicking back on the grass with friends. Grab your tickets HERE.


13 August


WAR MEMORIAL PARK FOOD FESTIVAL does what it says on the tin: brings a huge selection of mouth-watering food and drink to the city, with live music to entertain you as you eat.

Expect pizza, burgers, curries, pies, gyros, burritos, noodles, hotdogs, pancakes, bubble waffles, brownies, cupcakes, ice cream — basically, anything that features in your top five foods list.

Try everything. Go wild. It’s summer after all. Just remember to leave room for dessert. Ah, who are we kidding? There’s always room for dessert.

Plus, if you extend your stay or arrive early to enjoy summer at CANVAS COVENTRY, we'll give you up to 25% DISCOUNT* on any en suite room.



8-9 July

GLASGOW ZINE LIBRARY is one of those places that if you know, you love and want to tell everyone about. The Glasgow Zine Festival is the perfect introduction to the library and everything great about zine culture.

It’s a weekend-long celebration of self-expression, self-publishing and Do It Yourself (DIY) ethos in two parts:

  • Events where you can enjoy speakers and performances, or take part in creative workshops
  • Zine fairs where you can hang out with other zine fans, and buy from more than 50 zine makers

If you’re a creative person, there are few better places to spend the weekend - learn more HERE.


7-9 July


For most of the summer, GLASGOW GREEN is a peaceful escape from the fast pace of the city centre. For one weekend in July, it is the fast pace. 

TRNSMT is one of the UK’s biggest and best festivals. You only have to look at this year’s lineup to see why. Here’s a taster of what a ticket gets you: Pulp, George Ezra, Sam Fender, The 1975, Niall Horan, Kasabian, Royal Blood, Becky Hill, Paul Heaton, Aitch.

It falls on the same weekend as Glasgow Zine Fest, so you might have a difficult choice to make if you want to do all three days. If you really want to attend both, the good news is that TRNSMT offer day tickets. Whatever day you’re least feeling the music lineup can be the day you head over for some quality zine browsing. 

Find out everything you need to know about TRNSMT HERE.


3-13 August


If you’ve spent any time in the city centre over the last few months, you’ll likely be aware from the promotion that the world’s best cyclists are coming to town.

The UCI Cycling World Championships is a big deal. It’s the biggest cycling event ever staged. Not just in Glasgow. In HISTORY. There’s track racing, road racing, BMX competitions, mountain biking, para-cycling, trials and more. All in the city at the same time.

What a summer to be at uni in Glasgow, eh? See what’s on and get tickets HERE.



29 June-16 July

Across 18 days this summer, Manchester becomes the world’s stage, hosting original events and happenings from the best performing and visual artists around.

MIF takes over Greater Manchester, popping up in places all over the city. There’s also a dedicated Festival Square on the banks of the River Irwell, where you can kick back, watch new music and eat as much street food as your summer bod can handle. 

Lots of the events are free and £10 tickets are available across all shows, so it’s friendly on the student budget too.

Check out the full programme HERE.


29-30 July


For two days at the end of July, Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield is the closest you’ll get to experiencing the magic of Thailand without hopping on a plane to Bangkok. Expect Muay Thai boxing, a Ladyboy show, an eating competition, traditional music, dancing and a feast of Thai food.

If all of that wears you out (which it will), you owe it to yourself to enjoy an authentic Thai massage to unwind.

See the full programme HERE.


25-28 August


Bank holiday weekend in Manchester is Pride weekend. The festival is a loud and proud public celebration of queer people, culture and expression. It’s also one hell of a party. This year’s Gay Village Party is iconic.

How about this for a weekend of headliners? Brazilian drag queen icon Pabllo Vittar, Scissor Sisters’ icon Jake Shears, singing icon Natasha Bedingfield, fashion icon Gok Wan, DJ icon Jodie Harsh and Drag Race UK icons Bimini and Danny Beard.

Away from the GVP, there’s also Superbia — a programme of poetry, art, music, and dance, a candlelit vigil and a free Youth Pride Manchester event. And, of course, the annual Pride parade, which paints the streets of Manchester in song, dance and colour.

See everything that’s on and get tickets for Manchester Pride HERE.



28-30 July

If you like chicken, we can sell the appeal of London Wing Fest in four words: TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND WINGS.

But in case that’s not enough, here are another four: FORTY STREET FOOD TRADERS.

And four more: BEER, BOURBON, MUSIC & GAMES.

Find out more and grab your ticket (which includes a free trucker hat) HERE.


25 August-10 September


Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) is London’s biggest festival of outdoor theatre and performing arts. Across 16 days at Royal Greenwich, Docklands, or Tower Hamlets, you’ll see art installations, street performers, circus acts, dance troupes and music events.

Highlights of this year’s programme include a theatrical journey on a London Bus, mechanical swans performing ballet and a trampoline performance above your head in an immersive shipping container.

And the best thing of all? GDIF is free for all. Find out more HERE.


27-28 August


Notting Hill Carnival is London’s biggest street party. It has been since 1966. It will be until the end of time. NHC celebrates the rich history of Caribbean culture in London. On August bank holiday weekend, expect to see around 50,000 performers, hundreds of floats and dozens of sound systems parade through the streets of Kensington and Chelsea.

Dance the day away. Stop for a while to feast on Caribbean food. Then, dance the rest of the night away. It’ll be a weekend to remember.

Find out everything you need to know about Notting Hill Carnival 2023 HERE.

stay for summer with canvas

Canvas cities are the places to be in summer. And your student accommodation is in the thick of it. Kickstart your summer with us. EXTEND YOUR STAY OR BOOK YOUR ROOM and get settled in early for 2023/24 today.

*T&Cs apply, room moves available


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