THE World War One centenary is being well documented, with events to commemorate lives lost from 1914 to 1918 planned throughout the whole of 2014.

But with the anniversary of the outbreak of the war approaching on August 4, now is perhaps the best time to visit some of the great exhibitions and memorials.

A national day of commemoration will take place on the day itself, with remembrance services held in Glasgow Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, London. Similar events will also take place in cathedrals across the UK, with Leeds Minster and Bath Abbey both holding vigils.

On August 5, at the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week (from August 2-9) on the Isle of Wight, the Royal Yacht Squadron will fire a cannon at 10am, in recognition of the first shot fired at sea on August 5 1914, from the Royal Navy ship, HMS Lance, in the North Sea.

Spectators and competitors will then observe a one-minute silence in memory of those who lost their lives.

If you visit this event, on the way back from the Isle of Wight, why not stop off in Portsmouth and visit the National Museum of the Royal Navy in the Historic Dockyard, where the gun that fired that original shot, all those years ago, is on display (tickets for the museum: adults £21, children £15.75).

A number of activities have been designed to appeal to children too, including a memorial weekend at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park (August 2-3; adults £9.25, children £7.25).

Alongside displays and film footage, there will be poppy-making workshops and themed guided tours of a Vintage Village. Children can also ride on quad bikes, burn energy in an adventure play area, or visit animals on the working farm.

It's not only that early August weekend though, there are a number of interesting exhibitions and museums to visit during the summer.

The IWM North in Manchester have launched the free family-friendly tour - From Street to Trench - which involves being taken along a reconstructed terraced street learning about the lives of children during this period.

In London, you can also visit the newly renovated Imperial War Museum in London for free - and it's well worth it. Following a £40 million transformation, the museum now features permanent First World War Galleries and has a display of 1,300 objects, many of which have never been on view to the public before.

Even if you can't make any of the above, show your respect to the millions who lost their lives in the Great War by joining in the national Lights Out moment of reflection.

Households and workplaces up and down the country are being invited to switch off their lights between 10pm-11pm on August 4, and light a candle instead, to mark the famous words of Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary in 1914, who said on the eve of war: 'The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.'