Alfresco film: The National Trust’s best outdoor cinema locations


Celebrate summer and enjoy alfresco screenings of your favourite films at these inspiring National Trust locations. Make the most of it when dusk falls on a balmy summer evening, invite friends and family, load up the picnic hamper and enjoy watching some classic movies under the stars.

1. Leigh Woods, Bristol

Luke Jerram Withdrawn Event - Two Wheeled Drive-In, 8pm – 11.45pm

The Life Aquatic (15), 3 July

Jaws (PG), 4 July

Hop on your bike and cycle to Leigh Woods for this unique take on alfresco film. Bristol's best kept secret cinema on two wheels began in Leigh Woods five years ago as part of the Bristol Cycle Festival. Due to popular demand, it’s back this year in collaboration with the ‘Withdrawn’ art installation and the National Trust to bring you a programme of films with a nautical twist. Watch the plot unfold from under a leafy canopy, with wonderful views of the suspension bridge and the twinkling lights of Bristol and beyond. Note: The ride will start at 8pm by the Clifton Suspension Bridge; it will then come via the boats as part of the ‘Withdrawn’ art installation to a secret location within the woods for the film showing. The film will start around dusk.

Price: £10 (booking essential)

2. Morden Hall Park, London

Open Air Cinema, 8pm – 11pm

Birdman (15), 9 July

The Goonies (12), 10 July

Dirty Dancing (12), 11 July

Visit Morden Hall Park this summer as The Luna Cinema transforms the rose garden into the perfect, outdoor movie experience. Enjoy the tranquil parkland which is green oasis in the city, giving you a taste of a country estate with a glimpse of its agricultural and industrial history. Bring along a picnic and a blanket and settle down amongst the roses for an evening of film under the stars.

Price: Adult £12.50, Child £8.50 (15 years and under) – Booking essential

3. Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Summer Nights 2015, 9.30pm – 11.45pm

Interstellar (12A), 25 July

Enjoy cinema under the stars once again on the South Lawns in the Pleasure Ground of Kedleston as Quad Cinema returns. Intended as a ‘temple to the arts’ this impressive mansion oozes glamour. Enjoy a spectacular backdrop with the Neo-classical mansion framed by historic parkland. Bookings can be made at

Price: £12 (booking essential)

4. Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire

7pm – 10.30pm

Grand Budapest Hotel (15), 31 July

Grease (PG), 1 August

Meet up with friends and family to watch one of your favourite films against the backdrop of this moated manor house. Don't forget to bring a picnic and to relax in the grounds. Please note that the time is subject to change due to light levels and will be confirmed when tickets are booked.

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Price: £12, Group £10.50 (For groups of four or more) – Booking essential

5. Studland Beach, Dorset

Stars at the beach, 15 August, 7.30pm – 10.30pm

Celebrate Purbeck Film Festival with fish and chips in front of a film on the beach – we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer’s evening. A glorious slice of natural coastline in Purbeck, Studland Beach is a four-mile stretch of golden, sandy beach with views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight.

Price: £15 (booking essential)

6. Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

Outdoor Cinema, 7pm – 11pm

Mamma Mia (PG), 21 August

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A), 22 August

Enjoy a movie under the stars with friends and family this summer. Hardwick House is famous for having more windows than walls, and now back for its fourth year at Hardwick the Summer Nights film festival brings you 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.

Price: £12 (normal admission fee applies) – Booking essential

7. Hatfield Forest, Essex

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. From medieval kings to commoners, discover the forest’s colourful history whilst you kick back with family and friends to enjoy a classic film.

Price: Adult £9, Child £7 (booking advisable)

8. Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Summer Nights Film Screenings, 8pm – 10pm

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 for relaxing with family and friends. Enjoy a classic film with the spectacle of Waddesdon Manor as the backdrop. Shown on a large outdoor screen, make a night of it and enjoy this cinematic masterpiece. Summer Nights is a festival of outdoor film screenings in beautiful heritage locations throughout the summer. Summer Nights is organised by QUAD, Derby's Centre for Art and Film.

Price: £12 (normal admission fee applies) - booking advisable

9. Belton House, Lincolnshire

Summer Nights Open Air Film Festival, 8pm – 10pm

The Grand Budapest Hotel (15), 11 September

Dirty Dancing (12), 12 September

Set up seats on Belton House’s elegant Oval Lawn and enjoy an alfresco film. Munch on treats from the hot food van parked nearby or kick back with a cold drink from the bar. An evening’s summer stroll in the grounds of Belton House will reward you with vibrant displays of dahlias, lush herbaceous borders and the heady scent of fragrant lavender beds.

Price: £12 (booking advisable)

10. Knightshayes Court, Devon

Soupstock Cinema: Jaws (PG), 12 September, 6.30pm – 9pm

Discover Knightshayes, a country estate on a grand, gothic scale and visit this summer for some nautical outdoor cinema with this cult classic. It’s a great chance to celebrate the work the National Trust does to protect the coastline it looks after - all for free in Knightshayes parkland.


Price: Free event


Sian Lewis is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer and blogger who focuses on sharing beginner-friendly adventures in the wildest corners of Britain.