Summer in the city: your ultimate guide to the top things to do in London this summer.
If the pomp and pageantry of King Charles III's Coronation has inspired you to visit London, look no further! We've written guide to all the top things to do in London in summer months.
London is a vibrant and exciting city any time of year but there's something really special about visiting London in the summer. With longer days and warmer temperatures, there are endless activities to enjoy: from open-air theatre productions to music festivals and rooftop bars, the city comes alive during the summer. Take a stroll along the South Bank, venture inside Buckingham Palace or explore one of the many beautiful green spaces such as Hyde Park or Regent's Park. And let's not forget about the food scene - with an abundance of outdoor dining options and markets to indulge in, London has something for everyone in the summertime!
15 amazing things to do in London this summer:
1. Explore London's spectacular parks:
In warm weather, Londoner's flock to the city's green spaces to enjoy various outdoor activities: pack a picnic, take a leisurely walk around Queen Mary's Rose Garden in Regents Park, rent a bicycle and explore Victoria Park and the surrounding canals, or hire a boat or pedalo on Hyde Park's Serpantine. On beautiful summer days you'll find hundreds of Londoners flopped out in Hampstead Heath - grab a picnic spot on Parliament Hill for sweeping views of the city skyline or relax on Kenwood House's pristine lawns.
2. See London's landmarks from a different angle on a Thames River Cruise:
Hop on a riverboat and cruise along the iconic River Thames. sit out on the sunny deck and enjoy stunning views of London's landmarks such as the Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye. For a budget option, you can use contactless card payments with a bank card or pre loaded Oyster card and take the Thames Clipper from the piers at either London Eye Waterloo or Westminster all the way to Greenwich, taking in all the same riverside landmarks.
3. Visit Buckingham Palace:
Arrive early to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace before heading inside to explore the magnificent State Rooms during the annual summer opening, which allows visitors to experience the palace's opulent interiors such as the ballroom and throne room. You can even enjoy tea and cake in the gardens!
4. Enjoy some open-air theatre:
London is famous year round for its amazing shows, and summer brings the opportunity to enjoy a performance under balmy evening sky. Book your tickets for one of the many summer open-air theatre productions such as Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre or the Camden Fringe Festival.
5. Hit up a beer garden:
That great British institution, a sunny pint, is something you must experience while in London, even better if it's beside the river. Our top recommendations for sunny riverside London beer gardens are the Anchor Bankside and the Founders Arms (both on the South Bank), Wapping's The Captain Kidd and Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick which also serves amazing pizzas!
6. Have a summery cocktail at a rooftop bar:
London has some amazing rooftop bars with stunning views of the city: our favourites are the Sky Garden and Madison, which overlooks St Paul's Cathedral.
7. Shake your tail feathers at a Summer Festival:
London hosts numerous summer festivals celebrating music, food, culture, and more. Check out events like the Notting Hill Carnival, London Pride, British Summer Time Hyde Park, the Camden Fringe or the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.
8. Visit Kew Gardens:
Head west and spend a day in nature at the beautiful Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the botanical gardens, marvel at the stunning historic glasshouses and walk through the treetop canopy on the Kew Tree Walk.
You might also find these London blogs useful:
100 amazing FREE things to do in London
The perfect one day London itinerary
Top 10 alternative London Museums you never knew existed
9. Take a walking tour:
Embark on a guided walking tour to explore London's history and hidden gems. Options range from historical tours like Jack the Ripper or Harry Potter-themed walks to street art and culinary themed walks. Our favourite company is London Walks who offer an enormous range of guided tours.
Fab Four fans will also enjoy our self guided Beatles walk or tick off some more famous London musical landmarks featured in our guide: We built this city on Rock and Roll. If you want to seek out some of London's top murals and graffiti by yourself, we'd recommend Shoreditch streets like Brick Lane, Hanbury Street and Rivington Street, Camden High Street,
Brixton (don't miss the enormous David Bowie mural on Tunstall Road) and Waterloo's Leake Street Tunnel. The Shakespeare mural below, one of our favourites, is on Clink Street.
10. Enjoy some outdoor dining:
Take advantage of London's vibrant dining scene and make the most of the good weather by indulging in alfresco dining at rooftop bars, riverside restaurants, or street food markets like Borough Market or Covent Garden.
11. Stroll the South Bank:
One of our favourite parts of London, take a walk along the South Bank and enjoy the street performers and buskers. You could take a ride on the London Eye for stunning views of the city, or check out the pop up bars and food trucks that appear along the river in summer months.
12. Explore London's markets:
Wander through the vibrant Camden Market, known for its vintage clothes shops, street food stalls, and live music. Sample delicious international cuisine at Borough Market and browse antique bric-a-brac at Portobello Road Market.
13. Take a day trip:
London is well-connected to other parts of the UK, so why not hop on a train? Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Oxford, and Cambridge are all within easy reach, and if you want to escape the hot city you could even go to the beach! Hip Brighton and sandy Bournemouth are 1 and 2 hours way respectively by train.
For more ideas about where to go on an easy day trip from London, check out our list of fun ideas here.
14. Explore the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park:
Summer 2012 was one of London's proudest moments, when the city hosted an amazing Olympic Games and won heaps of medals. Today you can follow the beautiful landscaped paths between the iconic venues like the Velodrome, Copper Box and Athletics stadium, now home to West Ham United Football Club and the Aquatics Centre, now open for public lane swimming. You can hire a pedalo on the park's waterways or whizz down the world's tallest and longest tunnel slide, the Arcelormittal Orbit.
15. Visit a lavender farm:
Leave the city for what feels like Provence: A gorgeous way to spend a summer day and less than an hour from Kings Cross, between July and August, the fragrant fields at Hitchin Lavender Farm are thick with waving lavender and buzzing bees. For more info, check out our complete guide to visiting Hitchin Lavender Farm.
These are just a few ideas to get you started - London has so much to offer during the summer months, so make the most of your time in the city! In summer months our capital presents a kaleidoscope of experiences that are sure to leave you inspired. Whether you're a history buff, a food lover, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking unforgettable experiences, London in summer promises to be an extraordinary city break.
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