11 Best Things to Do in London in Summer

Looking for the best things to do in London in summer?

London’s dreary weather and black skies are among the city’s less-desirable characteristics.

When the weather is nice, London could be one of the best cities to go on vacation; that’s why summer is a great time to go despite the crowds. Sun is bright, activities abound, and you can do everything from swimming to simply relaxing with a movie in the fresh evening air. And don’t forget to grab a scoop of ice cream when you get out there!

Read on for our suggestions on things to do to in London in summer to make your vacation more enjoyable and put you in a good mood.

Best Things To Do in London in Summer

London in summer – weather

Summer in London tends to be very pleasant, with temperatures averaging around 70°F. Average temperatures in June through August are 22°C with periodic rainstorms.

However, in recent years, London has had a few heatwaves in which the temperature reaches 30°C or more. Temperatures drop to roughly 15°C at night and early in the morning throughout the summer months.

London in summer – travel tips

• Wear light-colored clothing to keep you cool. Carrying a light jacket, sweater, or cardigan is a good idea in case the weather gets too hot.

• Wear comfy shoes for the summertime walks you’ll be doing.

• Don’t forget to put on some sunblock! Even if you’re walking under shady trees, you’ll still want to use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 to protect your skin.

Best things to do in London in summer

Here are some of the best things to do in London in summer.

1. Go swimming

Tooting Bec Lido
Image: Federica Eleonoraduse via Facebook

The city’s waterways, whether man-made or natural, are perfect for a refreshing dip. With their rustic appeal, bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath and the iconic Tooting Bec Lido are two of London’s best options.

If you’re looking for somewhere to cool down from the sweltering heat of central London, Brockwell Lido and the Serpentine Lido – both of which are located on a lake – are your best bet.

2. Visit Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The royal palace is open to the public during the summer months. Between July and October, visitors can explore the stately home’s 19 staterooms as well as stroll the expansive lawn.

The White Drawing Room, the Music Room, the Throne Room, and the Grand Ballroom are just a few of the highlights of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms Tour.

With its dramatic red draperies and two scarlet thrones, the Throne Room at the royal palace should be on everyone’s bucket list. The coronation chairs of Queen Elizabeth II and King George IV are on exhibit in this area. The throne chair used by Queen Victoria in 1837 is on exhibit as well.

You can also access the 16-hectare park called the Palace Garden contains a summer house, an English-style rose garden, and the palace tennis court. The queen often hosts her annual garden parties in this space, which is London’s largest private garden.

The Buckingham Palace is one of the best places to visit in London in summer and the rest of the year.

3. Chill at Hyde Park

Wellington Arch
© David Martin | Wikimedia Commons

Hyde Park is a large historic park in central London that is home to an impressive collection of botanical exhibitions and public monuments.

The Grand Entrance of Hyde Park, which is located in the heart of London, is a great place to begin your exploration of the park’s history and art. Historic columns, cast iron, and bronze elements, and an impressive frieze commemorating maritime or military triumphs make the Wellington Arch an impressive gateway into the park.

The Holocaust Memorial and a formal rose garden can be found in the park in addition to the Crystal Palace and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial.

4. Enjoy some ice cream

As in everywhere else, eating ice cream is one of the best activities in London in summer. However, in the English capital, there’s more to ice cream than just the cone and the ice cream. Plus, there are citywide ice cream crawls that allow you to explore London while sampling the most celebrated and experimental ice cream parlors in the city.

The British Museum of Food’s ice cream exhibit is another option if you’re looking for something a little more scholarly. Learn about the history and science of ice cream, as well as some mind-blowing, brain-freezing flavors like candied fruits or daffodils. You will also find ice cream that fizzes or lights in the dark at this museum and tasting room.

Enjoying this heavenly treat is among the must-do activities in London in summer. Simply indulge!

5. Have a picnic at a royal park

Fountain in Avenue Gardens, Regent’s Park

Summer wouldn’t be complete without a picnic!

With so many lovely parks to choose from, London is a great place to have a picnic in the summertime, even though it’s usually dreary and rainy. This is because about half of London’s land area is dedicated to parks and open spaces.

In addition, the city’s 8 million trees provide ample opportunities to spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy the fresh air.

St James’ Park, Richmond Park, and Regent’s park are among the best royal parks. Non-royal parks like Battersea Park and Clapham Common are also well worth a visit.

Get ready for a day in the sun by stocking up on food, beverages, and a picnic blanket from a nearby store.

6. Catch a match at Wimbledon

Wimbledon Center Court

Every summer, Wimbledon, a green London neighborhood, plays host to one of the world’s most prestigious lawn tennis tournaments – the Wimbledon Open.

For starters, Wimbledon is home to a windmill and the fictional furry creatures The Wombles.

Summer, however, is the best time to visit Wimbledon. Every July, the world’s top tennis players and the world’s biggest tennis fans descend on Wimbledon to watch the world’s greatest players go toe-to-toe.

For those who can’t get it to the court, there is a giant screen just outside the grounds where you can watch it for free.

7. Visit Mayfield Lavender Farm

Mayfield Lavender Farm

The Mayfield Lavender Farm in London is a lovely place to spend some time. At this flower farm in Banstead, Surrey, you may frolic in a sea of fresh purple lavender scents.

Easily accessible by tube, the distance from Central London to this location is only about 20 km. (about 13 miles), but it is worth it.

Starting in June, the purple buds develop and bloom from July to August, when they are at their peak. Visitors to the Mayfield open-air cafe may enjoy lavender-infused sweets before embarking on a tractor ride through the farm. There are three varieties of lavender, as well as butterflies and bees, that you can observe from the ride.

Take a piece of the farm with you when you leave by shopping in the gift shop. Aromatherapy oils, liqueurs, and other lavender-related products are available here.

Read more: 11 Best Things To Do in London in Spring

8. Attend BBC Proms

The BBC Proms is the largest classical music festival in the world, and they take place every summer from July to September.

The annual Proms season is a celebration of classical music that takes place throughout London at a wide variety of locations and lasts for eight weeks during the summer.

The majority of the performances are available at affordable prices, and they range from musical numbers to world music from as far away as Africa and the Caribbean. The classical concertos are performed by some of the best orchestras in the world. The Royal Albert Hall in Kensington is where all of the biggest shows take place.

For the best summer in London experience, don’t miss the BBC Proms.

9. Join a waterside walk

Regent’s Canal

Although London is commonly thought of as a metropolis of rumbling red buses, towering buildings, and bustling tube stations, the city also happens to be home to a large number of charming waterside walks that are ideal for getting away from the commotion of the city.

There are a lot of secret places in London that are just waiting to be discovered. Some of these places include the well-known River Thames, which is home to several historical bridges, the winding meanders of Regent’s Canal, and the breathtaking surroundings of the River Lea.

And what’s the point of going for a stroll if you don’t stop for some refreshments at the end of each one? No matter if you’re in the mood for a craft beer, a cocktail, or just plain old cola, the waterside walk also takes you to some of the top watering establishments in the area so you can quench your thirst.

Read more: 12 Best Things To Do in London in Winter

10. Attend the Notting Hill Carnival

This vibrant parade through several West London neighborhoods celebrates Caribbean culture and is known as Europe’s largest street party. This is one of the most popular attractions in London in summer.

The parade route takes participants through a variety of West London neighborhoods. Take the tube to Westbourne Park or Notting Hill Gate, and then walk to the parade area. The Nottinghill Carnival takes place annually during the August Bank Holiday Weekend.

You have the option of standing still and watching the floats that have steel bands, DJs, and swarms of dancers go by, or you can choose to follow a float whose aesthetic appeals to you if that’s the case.

The parade paths are lined with food trucks selling a variety of cuisines from the Caribbean, including jerk chicken and other regional specialties.

Each year, the carnival is attended by millions of people, with the main parade taking place on Mondays and Sundays, which are typically regarded to be family days.

11. Go on a day trip to Windsor

Windsor Castle

When the weather is nice, it is the ideal time to go sightseeing in the picturesque locations on London’s outskirts. A trip to Windsor, which is easily doable, can make for a memorable experience as well as a full day’s worth of activities.

Windsor is a historic town in the county of Berkshire, which is also the location of the world-famous Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is a royal residence where the Queen often resides, and it is possible to tour the State Rooms, go inside St. George’s Chapel, and wander the Royal grounds here. The castle has a regal history that spans more than 900 years.

In addition, Windsor is home to a lovely high street that is lined with independent shops, restaurants, and pubs, as well as pretty walkways and green spaces, including the Windsor Great Park and the Long Walk. Here you can enjoy afternoon tea cafès, cobblestone streets, and gorgeous architecture. Truly one of the best places to visit in London in summer!

A helpful hint: If the British flag is flying from the tower of Windsor Castle, it indicates that the King is present.

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