Once spring and summer roll around, outdoor cinemas are an excellent idea for a family day out or romantic date night. While you can’t guarantee perfect weather, the novelty of seeing your favourite films surrounded by open skies can surely only add to the experience.
While they’re a relatively new concept, the number of outdoor cinemas in London has rocketed in the past few years, meaning you’ve plenty of choices. Looking for fun outdoor things to do this summer? Here are our top six outdoor cinemas in London and the South West.
Copeland Park & Bussey Building, 33 Copeland Rd, London SE15 3SN
With multiple London locations, including Stratford and Peckham, Rooftop Film Club is one of the capital’s best-known open-air cinema events. Come rain or shine, guests are welcome to join in with the fun at the chain’s delightful rooftop venues, where you can take in panoramic views of London from the comfort of your own deckchair. Blankets are provided for those chillier evenings, and each guest is supplied with their own set of headphones for easy listening.
Price range: ££
How to get there: To get to Rooftop Film Club in Copeland Park, catch the train to Peckham Rye. The venue is a three-minute walk from here.
As if the outdoor cinema experience wasn’t unique enough, Openaire Cinema has taken things further by introducing the UK’s first float-in cinema. Set sail in a private boat across Little Venice and explore one of London’s most beautiful neighbourhoods from the water. Get comfy in front of the big screen with snacks on hand.
Price range: ££-££££ (depending on the package you choose)
How to get there:London Waterloo is the our closest station to Openaire Cinema. Take the Bakerloo line northbound, ride for eight minutes and get off at Edgware Road. From there, it’s a seven-minute walk to your destination.
3. The Luna Cinema, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NU
Putting on events across the country during the summer months, The Luna Cinema makes it easy for everyone to enjoy the outdoor cinema experience. In the capital, they’ll be setting up shop among the tranquillity of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this year. Screening classics such as West Side Story and Star Wars: A New Hope, The Luna Cinema is perfect for all ages and makes for a great family weekend activity in London. If you can't make the Regent's Park dates, don't worry as they are popping up in lots of locations in South West London. Choose from Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Wimbledon Park, and Kew Gardens.
Price range: ££
How to get there: It takes around 20 minutes to get from London Waterloo to The Luna Cinema in Regent’s Park. Hop on either the Jubilee line westbound and get off at Baker Street or the Bakerloo line northbound and get off at Regent’s Park.
Osterley Park and House, Jersey Rd, Isleworth, London, TW7 4RB
Set among the gardens of the magnificent Osterley Park, you’ll soon forget you’re in the city when you stop by Adventure Cinema. Showcasing the UK’s most loved musicals, this is an epic sing-along event guaranteed to get attendees of all ages tapping their toes. Picnics are welcome, and gates usually open at 20:15, so you may even be in for a glorious sunset.
Price range: ££
How to get there: Osterley Park is a little further out than other London outdoor cinema venues. You’ll need to catch a train from Clapham Junction to Isleworth, then it’s a 30-minute walk or seven-minute taxi ride to reach the grand mansion.
Best outdoor cinemas in the South West
Our railway movie trail is scattered across the South West, so why not round off a stay in the region with a trip to one of the South West’s outdoor cinemas?
Lulworth Castle Wareham, East Lulworth, Wareham BH20 5QS
Those living or travelling outside London can also enjoy The Luna Cinema experience. Another of their events occurs at East Dorset’s striking Lulworth Castle, a seventeenth-century hunting lodge built to appear like a fortress. With the combination of the castle keep backdrop and picturesque views over the Jurassic Coast, it might be hard to keep your eyes on the big screen! If that's a bit far to get too, they also have screenings at Guildford Cathedral and Kingston Lacy.
BH Live Littledown, Chaseside, Bournemouth BH7 7DX
You can also catch all the fun of Adventure Cinema at Bournemouth, so if you’re mad about musicals, you won’t need to travel to London to get the whole experience. The cinema is located within 47 acres of sprawling parkland. It runs for select days throughout the summer, so why not bring the entire family for an evening of good, silly, sing-along fun?
Price range: ££
How to get there: From Bournemouth station, you can get to BH Live in just 23 minutes. Catch the X6 bus from Cotlands Road towards Ferndown, getting off at Royal Bournemouth Hospital. The venue’s just over the main road from here.
If your plans for the cinema under the stars are thrown off by bad weather, there are plenty of indoor activities you can try to do instead. If you’re ready to plan your trip, explore our flexible range of ticket types to find the right one for your journey. You can grab cheap train tickets by going off-peak, and for additional discounts, check if you’re eligible for a Railcard.