Hey there travelers and welcome to my post where we will check out 8 things to do in London in Summer this year. London is a city that never fails to impress, however there’s something extra special about London in the summertime.
The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and the city is buzzing with activity. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are plenty of things to do in London in the summer that will make your visit unforgettable. So, if you’re visiting London during summer, let’s check out some of the things you can get up to below.
One of the most popular summer activities in London is visiting its iconic landmarks. From the London Eye to Buckingham Palace, there are so many famous attractions to see. But if you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems to discover as well. Take a stroll through one of London’s many parks, or explore the city’s vibrant street art scene. Whatever your interests, there’s something for everyone in London in the summertime.
London Weather in Summer
Summer in London, encompassing the months of June, July and August, usually witnesses a comfortable range of temperatures. Extreme heat is rare, but when it does make an appearance, the city buzzes with a different kind of energy. Yet, the nights retain their coolness, offering a refreshing respite after a day of exploration.
One cannot speak of London however without mentioning its penchant for rain. Even in summer, the city’s skies can be unpredictable. Compared to other seasons though, summer is relatively drier generally with sporadic rain showers only. .
This climate plays a pivotal role in shaping a tourist’s experience as the mild temperatures are perfect for sightseeing, be it strolling beside the River Thames, exploring the majestic Buckingham Palace or basking in the greenery of parks like Hyde Park and Regents Park. The summer weather also paves the way for some of London’s most celebrated events, such as the Notting Hill Carnival and the prestigious Wimbledon tennis tournament.
On another note however, it must be noted that most tourist attractions are much more busy in the summer than in winter.
Check out these: 8 Things to Do in London in Winter
Things to Do in London in Summer
Ok, so let’s check out all of the winter fun that London has to offer:
1. Visit Historical Landmarks
London is a city steeped in history, with countless landmarks and attractions to explore. If you’re a history buff, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the variety of historical landmarks to visit in London. Here are a few must-see landmarks to add to your itinerary:
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most iconic landmarks in London with a history dating back over 900 years. Once a royal palace, the Tower has also been a prison, a place of execution and a zoo.
Today, the Tower is home to the Crown Jewels, a collection of over 23,000 gemstones and precious metals. You can also explore the Tower’s many towers and battlements, including the White Tower, the oldest part of the complex.
The British Museum is one of the world’s foremost museums of history and anthropology. The museum has some of the largest and most revered collections from around the globe ranging from Babylonian stonework and Samurai armour to pottery and glass from the Roman Empire.
The museum is home to over 8 million objects, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. With free admission, it’s an excellent place to spend a few hours exploring the past.
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch, and it has been the home of the royal family since 1837. The palace is an excellent example of Georgian architecture and boasts 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place outside the palace every day during the summer months.
Check out these: 10 Things to Do in London for Free
2. Get Out for some Outdoor Activities
London is a city that truly comes alive in the summer, and there is no better way to experience it than by getting outside and enjoying the sunshine. Here are a few outdoor activities that you won’t want to miss during your visit.
Picnic in Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the most beautiful and iconic parks in London and it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy summer afternoon. Grab a blanket, some snacks and a bottle of wine, and find a shady spot under one of the park’s many trees. Y
ou can people-watch, read a book or simply soak up the atmosphere and if you’re feeling especially active, you can rent a pedal boat on the Serpentine, or join a game of frisbee or football on the grass.
Boat Ride on the Thames
A boat ride on the Thames is a quintessential London experience, and it’s even better on a sunny day. There are plenty of options to choose from, whether you want a leisurely sightseeing tour or a high-speed adventure. You can take a hop-on-hop-off boat and explore the city at your own pace, or book a private boat for a more intimate experience.
Either way, you’ll get a unique perspective on London’s famous landmarks, from the Tower Bridge to the Houses of Parliament.
Visit London Zoo
London Zoo is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and it’s a great way to spend a day in the sun. You can see everything from lions and tigers to penguins and meerkats and there are plenty of interactive exhibits to keep you entertained as well.
The zoo also offers a range of special experiences, like feeding the giraffes or meeting the meerkats up close. Make sure to check the schedule for talks and demonstrations, so you can learn more about your favorite animals.
3. Enjoy Cultural Events
London is a hub of cultural events, especially in the summer. From theatre performances to music festivals, there is something for everyone. Here are some of the top cultural events to add to your summer itinerary:
West End Theatre
London’s West End is known for its world-class theatre productions, and summer is the perfect time to catch a show. From classic musicals like “The Phantom of the Opera” to newer productions like “Hamilton,” there is a wide variety of performances to choose from. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to secure the best seats.
Summer in London is also a time for music festivals. One of the most popular is the Wireless Festival, which features top international artists across various genres or the Lovebox Festival, which showcases a mix of established and up-and-coming artists.
Both festivals offer a lively atmosphere and a chance to dance the night away.
London’s art scene is thriving and summer is the perfect time to explore it. The Tate Modern is always a great choice with its impressive collection of contemporary art and as an example, this summer the museum is featuring an exhibition of the works of Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist known for her bold and colorful installations.
Another must-see exhibition is the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition, which features a wide range of works from both established and emerging artists.
4. Try the Food and Drink
London is a foodie’s paradise and summer is the perfect time to explore the city’s culinary offerings. Whether you’re craving street food, rooftop cocktails or a classic afternoon tea, London has plenty to offer including:
Street Food Markets
London is famous for its street food markets, and summer is a great time to explore them. You’ll find everything from classic British dishes to international cuisine. Some of the best markets to check out include:
- Borough Market: This historic market is a must-visit for any food lover where you’ll find everything from fresh produce to artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. Be sure to try a classic British dish like fish and chips or a savory pie.
- Camden Market: This bustling market is a great spot for international cuisine. You’ll find everything from Indian street food to Mexican tacos. Be sure to check out the KERB street food market for some of the best vendors.
- Southbank Centre Food Market: This market is located on the banks of the Thames and features a wide range of vendors. You’ll find everything from wood-fired pizzas to Korean BBQ here.
London’s skyline is dotted with rooftop bars and summer is the perfect time to enjoy a drink with a view. Some of the best rooftop bars to check out include:
- The Rooftop St. James: This rooftop bar is located in the heart of London and offers stunning views of the city. Be sure to try one of their signature cocktails.
- Pergola Paddington: This rooftop bar is located in a converted car park and features a laid-back atmosphere. You’ll find a wide range of cocktails and craft beers, as well as street food vendors.
- Madison: This rooftop bar is located in the heart of the City and offers stunning views of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Be sure to try one of their signature cocktails and enjoy the live music.
Afternoon tea is a classic British tradition and London has plenty of options to choose from. Some of the best spots for afternoon tea include:
- The Ritz: This iconic hotel is famous for its afternoon tea service. You’ll enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, scones and pastries as well as a wide range of teas.
- Sketch: This quirky restaurant is known for its playful decor and delicious food. You’ll enjoy a selection of sandwiches and pastries, as well as a wide range of teas.
- Fortnum & Mason: This historic department store is famous for its afternoon tea service. You’ll enjoy a selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries as well as a wide range of teas.
5. Go Shopping
London is a shopper’s paradise and it’s no different in the summer. Whether you’re looking for high-end designer boutiques or vintage markets, London has it all. Here are some of the best shopping destinations to check out this summer.
Oxford Street is one of the most famous shopping destinations in London and home to over 300 shops, including some of the biggest names in fashion such as Topshop, Zara, and H&M.
If you’re looking for something a little more upmarket, head to Selfridges, which has a fantastic selection of designer brands. But be warned, Oxford Street can get incredibly busy, especially on weekends, so be prepared to battle the crowds.
Covent Garden is a beautiful area of London with cobbled streets and stunning architecture. It’s also home to some fantastic shops, including a mix of high-street and independent boutiques.
If you’re looking for unique gifts or souvenirs, head to the Apple Market, which is full of stalls selling everything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing. And if you need a break from shopping, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area where you can refuel as well.
Harrods is one of the most iconic department stores in the world and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in London. It’s home to over 300 departments,selling everything from designer clothing to gourmet food and the store is also famous for its stunning window displays, which are always worth a look.
And if you’re feeling peckish, head to the food halls, where you’ll find a fantastic selection of delicious treats.
6. Swim the Lidos
Lidos are public outdoor swimming pools or part of a beach where people can swim, sunbathe and relax. The term “lido” originates from the Italian word for “beach” and became popular in the UK in the early 20th century, especially during the 1930s, as open-air swimming gained widespread appeal.
Over time, many lidos have become iconic community landmarks and embody a particular aesthetic and cultural significance. Here are some gtood London options:
- Hampstead Heath Ponds: One of London’s most beloved natural swimming spots, Hampstead Heath offers three bathing ponds: one for men, one for women and a mixed pond. Set amidst the lush greenery of Hampstead Heath, they provide a refreshing and somewhat wild swimming experience in the heart of the city.
- Brockwell Lido: Located in Herne Hill, this Grade II-listed lido is a popular choice for both swimmers and sunbathers. Opened in 1937, it’s a perfect example of the classic 1930s lido design, featuring an Olympic-sized pool and an adjacent café and fitness center.
- Tooting Bec Lido: Found in South London, Tooting Bec Lido boasts the title of the UK’s largest freshwater swimming pool. Its colorful changing room doors add a vibrant aesthetic appeal making it not just a place to swim but also a delightful spot to relax and people-watch.
- Parliament Hill Lido: Located in the north of London on Hampstead Heath, this unheated lido offers a unique stainless-steel liner that gives the water a shimmering, metallic look, especially under the sunlight.
- London Fields Lido: Situated in Hackney, this lido is heated and open year-round. It underwent significant refurbishment in the 2000s and has since become a favorite spot for locals.
7. Visit the Open Air Theatres
London, with its rich theatrical tradition and history, offers some of the best open-air theatre experiences, especially during the summer months. These include:
- Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre: Probably the most famous open-air theatre in London, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is set within the beautiful Royal Park. Every summer, it hosts a series of plays, musicals and family-friendly productions. What’s unique about this theatre is the way it uses its natural surroundings as part of the set, offering a truly immersive experience. The venue has a seating capacity for over 1,200, and its atmosphere during a performance is electric.
- The Globe Theatre: While not fully open-air, Shakespeare’s Globe on the Southbank is a faithful reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse. It has a large open yard where audience members stand (known as “groundlings”) surrounded by three tiers of seating under the open sky. The theatre offers a mix of Shakespearean classics and new productions, giving audiences a taste of what Elizabethan theatre might have felt like.
- The Scoop: Located near Tower Bridge, The Scoop is an amphitheatre that can seat about 1,000 people. Every summer, it offers a mix of free events including movies, music and theatre performances. The architecture of The Scoop, combined with its proximity to iconic London landmarks, makes it a unique venue.
- Opera Holland Park: Located in the beautiful surroundings of Holland Park, this venue is known for its operatic performances. The theatre is canopied, but the sides are open to the elements, giving audiences a mix of comfort and the open-air experience.
8. Hit up the Nightlife
London’s nightlife is legendary with something for everyone. Whether you’re into live music, comedy, theatre, or clubbing, here are some of the best areas to explore after dark.
Soho – Soho is the heart of London’s nightlife with a wide range of bars, clubs and restaurants. You’ll find everything from traditional pubs to trendy cocktail bars as well as some of the city’s best-known nightclubs. Soho is also home to many of London’s top theatres, so why not catch a show before hitting the bars?
Shoreditch – Shoreditch is one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods with a thriving arts and nightlife scene. You’ll find a mix of trendy bars, underground clubs and live music venues as well as a range of street food markets and pop-up events. Shoreditch is a great place to explore if you’re looking for something a bit edgier than the usual tourist hotspots.
Camden – Camden is famous for its music scene with a range of venues showcasing everything from indie rock to hip hop. You’ll also find plenty of bars and clubs as well as some of London’s best street food. Camden is a great place to explore if you’re looking for a lively night out with a bit of an alternative edge.
And there you have it, 8 things to do in London in Summer. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, reach out if you have any questions or comments.
Do you have any other tips or favorite things to do in London in winter? If so, please comment below.
Until next time