OUTDOOR cinemas are popping up all over the place offering a unique way to see films under the stars.

Brownsea Island is the latest venue in Dorset to join this summer trend, and this weekend the National Trust hosted its first ever open air screening with Firefly events, featuring two film classics, Top Gun on Friday night and The Greatest Showman on Saturday.

As lifelong Top Gun fans we couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by, so we joined a group of people at Sandbanks on a warm, albeit breezy Friday evening to board the island ferry to take us across Poole Harbour which added to the sense adventure (even if we did get soaked by a rogue wave during the crossing!).

We were welcomed on shore by a team of National Trust staff and, armed with blankets and chairs, we strolled across to the central area where we joined around 100 other film goers who were setting up chairs or lounging on cushions and blankets.

Some people had brought picnics and wine, but there was a fully stocked bar and a food stall offering plant-based burgers courtesy of The Wylde Kitchen. (The food was absolutely delicious by the way – even for non-vegans like us!)

As we were tucking into our meal, a couple of deer emerged from the woods and wandered amongst the crowd which was a real bonus – they were so tame they could have been part of the entertainment.

But as soon as the film’s instantly recognisable opening score rang out over the sound system, everyone’s eyes were glued to the screen.

The wind did pick up halfway through the evening but we managed to stay warm – we were certainly glad we had brought a blanket.

At the end of the night we all strolled back to the ferry, the path lit with fairy lights which was a nice touch, and boarded the boat back to the mainland.

Although we’ve seen Top Gun numerous times since it was first released in 1986, this was by far and away the most enjoyable and memorable occasion. Highly recommended – as long as the weather is dry!