Bromley’s always been a great place during the summer. Our greatest musical resident, David Bowie, wrote Memory of a Free Festival about a summer gig at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground in Beckenham in 1969. And the borough will again a hive of activity in 2018.
As locals ourselves, we’ve pulled together a few highlights of summertime Bromley, helping you keep track of what’s happening across the borough. Now all we need are friends, family and a little bit of sunshine (and perhaps a gin and tonic to get in the mood!).
Need something to entertain the little ones? Here are some family-friendly activities for you to enjoy together.
Saturday 30th June
Walden Recreation Ground, Victoria Road, Chislehurst BR7 6DF
Chislehurst Rocks is a music festival and family fun day all in one – and best of all, it’s completely free. There is a main music stage showcasing local talent, as well as workshops, food, drink, art – and of course, no festival would be complete without a bucking bronco.
Polhill Garden Centre
10am-4pm at weekends and during school holidays
London Road, Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks TN14 7AD
Polhill is so much more than just a garden centre: it has a farm shop, shiatsu massage studio and restaurant – and that’s just for the adults! Kids can enjoy a newly revamped play zone, complete with boats, mini golf, quad bikes and more. Watch your kids having fun whilst you enjoy a bite to eat in the dining area. Not strictly speaking in Bromley, but it’s close and very popular!
Biggin Hill Festival Fair
Saturday 7th July, 12.30pm-4pm
Biggin Hill Recreation Ground, Church Road, Biggin Hill TN16 3LB
This event is a mixture of festival and fair, featuring a dog show, car show, and performers from various local clubs, to name but a few. There will be food and drink to keep grown-ups happy, courtesy of the local Guides and Scouts, and plenty of rides for the children.
We all know sports are better enjoyed in the sun… preferably in the stands with a cold beer in hand! But if you do fancy getting active yourself, we have options for that too.
Bromley FC vs Crystal Palace XI
Tuesday 17th July, 7.45pm
H2T Group Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley BR2 9EA
See our local team go head to head with the local “big” team in this pre-season friendly at Hayes Lane! It’s just £10 a ticket for adults, and two accompanying children can enter for free. The Ravens Bar and Marquee Bar will be open for fans from 6pm.
Summer of Sport
30th June – 15th July, from 10.30am
The Glades, High Street, Bromley BR1 1DN
Catch all the best sport at The Glades this summer, shown on big screens in the lower mall. Enjoy matches from the World Cup and see all the latest action at Wimbledon, from the comfort of a free deckchair.
Bromley Cricket Club vs PCA English Masters
Friday 6th July, from 11am
Bromley Cricket Club, 98 Plaistow Lane, Bromley BR1 3AS
Join Bromley Cricket Club for their fundraising match against some famous faces from the Professional Cricketers’ Association, including John Emburey and Matthew Hoggard. The day kicks off at 11am when the clubhouse bar opens, and continues with fundraising activities, entertainment, and the annual T20 match as the main event.
Tennis for Free in the Parks
Available all year round
Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Kelsey Park, Kings Hall Road and Willett Recreation Ground
If Wimbledon has inspired you to take to the court, this one’s for you. Tennis for Free in the Parks is a scheme run by The Parklangley Club, promoting use of the tennis courts in four beautiful parks. It costs just £20 per family per year, giving you use of the tennis courts, online booking, plus a whole host of other benefits like a summer tournament and reduced rate coaching sessions.
Every Saturday, 9am
Norman Park, Hayes Lane, Bromley BR2 9EF
Parkrun is a great way to get active in a fun, friendly environment. Anyone is welcome to join, taking part in a timed 5km run – and there might just be some homemade cakes waiting for you at the finish line. Parkrun takes place every weekend so you can get fit and build up your speed gradually. There’s a 2km Junior Parkrun on Sundays for youngsters too.
Nothing says summer quite like a festival or outdoor concert. Luckily, Bromley has plenty, giving us the chance to celebrate our talented local performers. Here are some that caught our eye.
Bec Rec Fest
Sunday 8th July from 12pm
Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Beckenham BR3 3PR
Held in the very same park where David Bowie used to perform, Bec Rec Fest hosts headliners Little Chix (Britain’s best Little Mix tribute act, dontchaknow), promising fun in the sun for all ages.
If that’s not up your alley, Bowie’s Beckenham Oddity (11th August, same venue) celebrates the life of the late, great musician whilst raising money for the ‘Bowie Bandstand’s’ Restoration and Plaque Fund.
Bromley Youth Music Trust Garden Party
Sunday 8th July, 12pm-6pm
Bromley Youth Music Centre, Southborough Lane, Bromley BR2 8AA
Celebrate a successful year for the excellent young performers of the Bromley Youth Music Trust at their annual garden party. There will be live performances from the ensembles, as well as refreshments, raffles and a BBQ.
The Big O Vintage Festival
Saturday 7th July
Priory Gardens, Orpington BR6 0HH
Take a step back in time at this vintage and retro festival, celebrating Britain from the 1940s through to the 1980s. There’ll be live music, DJs, exhibits, street food, a gaming tent – and don’t forget your dancing shoes for the 1940s tea dance.
Culture, arts and heritage
See some more of Bromley’s cultural side and celebrate some of the things that make our town unique.
Thursday 16th August – Saturday 19th August
Queens Gardens, Kentish Way, Bromley BR1 3EA
Midsummer Movies is back for the second year running. With a range of family-friendly movies and something for the grown ups too (think Rocky Horror Picture Show – fancy dress optional), you can sit back, relax and enjoy the show. A bar will be available with a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks. If none of the films tickle your fancy, try the Luna Cinema in Crystal Palace Park.
Petts Wood and Hawkwood
Open 7 days a week, dawn to dusk
Chislehurst BR5 1NZ
This hidden gem is a haven for wildlife and walkers – you won’t believe you’re just 13 miles outside central London. Owned by the National Trust, who saved the area from developers, there’s plenty of history and green space to explore.
Various dates and locations
Join the Bromley Ramblers for free walks around the area, starting from various locations across the borough. Led by trained volunteers, the walks are intended to be fun, friendly and informal, giving everyone the opportunity to keep fit and explore Bromley.
Bromley North Heritage Trail
A self-guided trail, starting at Market Square
Download the map and take a one-mile walk around the Bromley North village area, discovering its history right back to the 17th Century. From the birthplace of HG Wells to historical pubs and churches, there’s plenty to explore.
If there are any events that you think we’ve missed, tweet us at @makemelocalcom and we’ll see if we can add yours to the list!