Enjoy Summer in London

Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Summer in London

The blazing hot sun, moisture in the air, occasional rain, and overcast weather, guess what? It’s the summer in London! The capital’s summers are largely unpredictable, with the fiery hot sun in the day to the sudden thunderstorms and showers in the afternoon. But don’t think such unusual weather takes the fun away from you during this season.

The Londoners know how to make the most of the summer season. The city’s various destinations bring out the best ways to enjoy summer, with some being refreshing while others being as intense as the sun up there. If you’re planning to visit the capital between June and August, these are your top 10 ways to enjoy summer in London:

1. Hyde Park

Hyde Park
Hyde Park

One of the most famous recreational parks in London, Hyde Park, is located at the centre of the City of Westminster. The park spans 350 acres and sits nicely between the Kensington and Mayfair districts. The park hosts several notable playgrounds and gardens, including the Diana Memorial playground for kids, Kensington Gardens, the Hyde Park playground, and Italian Gardens.

The park is free to enter from 5 AM to midnight, but event access requires a paid ticket. You can spend a nice, refreshing afternoon surrounded by the lush greenery of the park to take a break from the hot season. Bring a picnic with a family and have awesome views of the city from an elevated space. The best activity with the family and kids is a lovely boat ride on Lake Serpentine. The lake is located at the centre of the park, dividing the main park and Kensington Gardens.

2. Thames River Cruise

Thames River Cruise Tours
Thames River Cruise Tours

The River Cruise tours on the Thames are largely considered the best afternoon activity in the capital, no matter the season. It’s the ultimate way to relax, enjoy the tranquillity of the river, and take yourself away from the blistering heat during the peak British summer. You’ll board a luxurious cruise for a 90-minute tour that typically remains from Greenwich Borough to the Westminster Bridge or the London Eye.

One of the highlights of the cruise tour is the sightseeing experience. If you bring along a camera, some awesome photography opportunities come your way as your boat passes by Canary Wharf, the Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge, London Eye, County Hall, Big Ben, and the Palace of Westminster.

Do you have enough money to upgrade the experience? Don’t miss out on an “Afternoon Tea Cruise Tour” upgrade that comes with freshly brewed traditional British tea or coffee right there on the cruise.

3. Sky Garden

Sky Garden
Sky Garden

Ever spotted that high-rising building in the City of London that resembles a giant walkie-talkie? Well, it’s called the “Walkie-talkie Building.” The top floors of this building feature indoor gardens called the “Sky Garden,” the highest ones in the entire London. During summers, the Sky Garden feels like a breath of fresh air under the scorching heat.

The Sky Garden also features two destination bars, restaurants, and a special viewing gallery for some breathtaking views of the city during the sunset and at night. Plan a nice dinner date or have a nice day out at these high-rise gardens, where entry to the building is free. However, for the bar, restaurant, or event, you’ll need a prior reservation.

Read also: Best Summer Music Festivals In London

4. Borough Market

Borough Market
Borough Market

Off to the Southwark towards the southern side of the Millennium Bridge. It’s the famous Borough Market providing all kinds of refreshing activities during the British Summer. From street fairs and shows to food festivals, the market is a hub of energetic activities during the day.

Enjoy the delightful traditional British cuisine from the fresh food on the stalls. The passageways of the market give a unique, 12th-century London vibe. Borough Market remains open from 10 AM to 5 PM throughout the week except for Monday.

5. British Summer Time, Hyde Park

British Summer Time (BST) Hyde Park Festival
British Summer Time BST

Hyde Park is surely a great, refreshing picnic place. But if you want to enjoy the real deal at the park, take advantage of British Summer Time (BST). The BST is a series of concerts that takes place during the peak summer days (from June 29 to July 14).

These open-air concerts feature the top artists and singers from the UK. So, if you’re in the capital during the first two weeks of July, make sure to make the most of this lively event.

6. Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival (Children's Day)
Notting Hill Carnival Childrens Day

This carnival brings out the best in the Caribbean culture. It’s an annual street event in the vibrant Notting Hill area of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The carnival features members of the British Caribbean community parading through the streets in their handmade traditional costumes. Music is a key highlight of this event, and you can enjoy live Caribbean performances throughout the celebration.

If you feel hungry, enjoy a variety of food from Caribbean cuisine at over 240 food stalls, selling delicious meals like curried goat and jerk chicken. 

The Notting Hill Carnival has been celebrated since 1966. The next event is just around the corner, taking place from Sunday, August 25, 2024, to Monday, August 26, 2024. You want to take advantage of this. 

7. Luna Cinema

Luna Cinema
Luna Cinema

Luna Cinema is one of the UK’s leading cinema companies, allowing you to enjoy your favourite movies in an open-air environment. 

It’s a unique experience to enjoy classic and award-winning films while surrounded by stunning outdoor landscapes. Luna Cinema organizes these outdoor events during the summer months, from June to September. 

The cinema operates in numerous places around the UK, so there’s no excuse for saying you’re too far away. Be sure to visit this cinema on your summer getaway in the capital. 

8. Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace Festival
Hampton Court Palace Festival

Hampton Court Palace is one of the most historic royal palaces in the London Borough of  Richmond upon Thames. Its stunning architecture dates back to 1514 when it was first built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. 

To this day, it is a massive tourist attraction, mainly because of its stunning building and 60 acres of gardens. How can we miss the famous Hampton Court Maze, which has been testing its visitors since 1700? 

During the summer seasons, the palace holds various events such as: 

  • Hampton Court Palace Festival in June 
  • Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July
  • Hampton Court Palace Food Festival over the August bank holiday weekend

Each of these events is highly enjoyable, with activities like live music, gardening, and delicious meals.

9. Shoreditch Street Art

Shoreditch Street Art
shoreditch street art

If you’re in East London, remember to visit Shoreditch. This neighbourhood is known for its vibrant and ever-changing street art scene. It’s the area where top-class street artists use the walls as their canvases, showcasing their talent by creating pieces that rival Picasso’s.

Almost every wall is covered with spray paints, and it’s not those bizarre graffiti you see on abandoned buildings, but rather incredibly stunning imagery that leaves you awe-inspired. 

During the summer, it’s a unique experience to walk through the streets while admiring the street art of this neighbourhood. The warm weather and longer days allow you to spend more time here, and when you’re tired from this outdoor adventure, go to a nearby cafe or restaurant for a relaxing meal.

10. Hampstead Heath Ponds

Hampstead Heath Ponds
Hampstead Heath Ponds

Swimming is the only way to get rid of the scorching heat during the summer holidays, so you must visit the Hampstead Heath Ponds. They are a series of around 30 ponds nestled in Hampstead Heath. 

They were built during the 17th & 18th centuries to fulfill London’s growing water demand, but now they serve as open-air swimming ponds and are a massive tourist attraction. They are heavily crowded during the summer and sometimes require pre-booking to get inside. 

So make sure you’re prepared, but remember to enjoy your time swimming and picnicking with your friends or family. 

Conclusion

British summer can be as energetic as it is hot, but that’s only if you know the best ways to enjoy it. Visiting the capital is worth it during the peak summer seasons. London offers some superb activities that allow you to take a refreshing break from the scorching hot weather. 

Just be sure to bring an umbrella, a raincoat, and alternate apparel along, as the showers are also frequent during the summer. For the rest, plan out your days around these activities and have fun in the capital!

FAQs

What are the best parks to visit in London during summer?

Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St. James’s Park, and Primrose Hills are the best parks that provide a refreshing and calming break from the heat and moisture.

Are there any free outdoor events in London during the summer?

Visit the public parks of London, as these lush green outdoor spaces never require an entry ticket. You can visit the Sky Garden atop the Walkie-talkie Building in the Square Mile. The entry requires a ticket in advance, but it’s completely free.

What are the best places to enjoy outdoor dining in London?

Some of the best places for outdoor dining in the capital include Kennington Lane Cafe, Café Cecilia, The River Cafe, Dalloway Terrace, and the London Bridge Rooftop dining facing The Shard.

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