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Beat the heat! Where to keep your cool

It's getting hot in here AGAIN… rather than take off all your clothes and stand in front of the fan (think of the neighbours) go in search of air con and ice cream

Arty farty air con

Reading Museum Silchester Gallery glass displays deer head stair case
Reading Museum

Bit sweaty? Head to your nearest art gallery… stat. The great thing about museum and art spaces is that they tend to have air con. Keep little ones cool and entertained at Muddy Award-winning art space The Base Greenham (until 24 July). The World Of Peter Rabbit is an immersive storytelling exhibition for kids to really get involved. For a more grown up vibe, head to Cookham’s Stanley Spencer Gallery for Delight in Nature – a celebration of the local countryside, flora and fauna. Reading Museum also has British Victorian replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, the Biscuit Town 200 exhibition and natural history artefacts galore.

Work it, baby

The Good Life Hib Hampstead Norreys air condition co-working space
The Good Life Hub

Long for an air conditioned office? *Raises hand*. Working from home has its downsides in a heatwave, but then so does the office. Trains will be up the spout and no one wants to spend any time in a sweaty carriage. The answer? A perfectly chilled co-working hub. We’re big fans of The Good Life Hub in Hampstead Norreys. Cool decor, countryside views and a tranquil lake. On the practical side, it offers super-fast broadband, meeting spaces and complimentary tea and coffee. Find your creative work space and get productive. The only heat you’ll feel will be the steam off your keyboard.

Big screen fan

Reading Biscuit Factory boutique cinema
Reading Biscuit Factory

Where better to chill out than in a dark room with popcorn on tap. The cinema is the ultimate beat the heat destination. Air con is on full blast, see one the latest releases and eat and drink for a couple of hours in the dark. Muddy Award-winning Reading Biscuit Factory is showing Thor: Love & Thunder, Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, The Railway Return and Minions: The Rise of Gru. We also love The Old Court, Windsor and The Everyman Wokingham.

Put ageing on ice

woman in a giant ice cube

It might be extreme, but needs must when it’s 30+°C. Book in for a glow-getting enzyme facial in one of Andresa Aesthetics‘s four air conditioned treatment rooms. Alternatively, waft about at Fairmount Windsor Park‘s spa and head straight for the Experience Shower – cold and warms jets of water blasting your hot bod. You can also take it to extreme and beyond in the cryotherapy chamber which exposes you to -110°C for a brief, controlled time. You can also keep it simple, with a cold shower or ice bath. All the cooling and wellbeing benefits without leaving your home.

Scream for ice cream


It’s a temporary fix, but who can resist a 99 in the sunshine. Grab a cone and find a shady spot and lick you way through the heatwave. The Collective in Caversham (Muddy’s Best Café) serves up epic gelato and Caversham Court Gardens is glorious riverside spot to eat it. Aldermaston Tea Room is good for a scoop and you can seek shade along the canal. You’ll also often find Agosti Gelato‘s ice cream cart in Cookham – A Muddy Awards 2022 finalist. Italian gelato made with the very best ingredients. If you’re in Newbury, Lusso and The Sweet Box are your gelato saviours. Over in Windsor, it has to be Fortescue’s on Church Street.

Shop when you’re hot


Shopping will be the last thing on your mind, but just think of all those fridges, freezers and blasts of air con that you can enjoy. Make it an event and head to Berkshire’s brilliant farm shops cruise the deli counter and you can sort dinner while you there. Take your pick from Cobbs Farm Shops in Hungerford and Englefield, Vicar’s Game in Ashampstead, Windsor Park Farm Shop, Lockey Farm Shop in Reading or Ferneygrove Farm Shop in Bracknell. Ahh that’s better.

Play the air con game

Green, pink and yellow netting at posh soft play centre The Jelly Lounge Windsor Berkshire

It’s the school holidays and there’s only so much shade and factor 50 you slap on young kids before they become overcooked and irritable. The next two words will have every mum recoiling in horror, but soft play could be your heatwave hero. The Play Barn at Cobbs Farm in Hungerford has air con, a great café and a double decker bus selling cooling milkshakes and ice creams. The Jelly Lounge in Windsor is a fun palace for kids and their grown ups with cool temperatures and a licensed bar. So if you need a icy G&T to get you through the afternoon, no judgement her. Also try the new eco play café Chia Cocoa in Maidenhead, with a tree centred play frame, locally sourced food and, yup, a breeze to keep you cool.

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