London has much to offer visitors any time of the year. There’s no denying, however, that a certain magic occurs every summer as the parks begin to teem with friendly activity when the British capital sees unprecedented warmth and sunshine. From relaxing with a pint overlooking the Thames to enjoying numerous outdoor activities like exhibitions, festivals and markets, here are 5 reasons to visit London in the summer time.
1. Outdoor art exhibitions
A host of venues, including the Royal Academy of Arts, the Serpentine, Tate Britain and Tate Modern include outdoor sections to host artworks in the summer. However, fans of sculpture may want to take themselves over to Kew Gardens where they can experience the art of Dale Chihuly in a summer garden setting. Kew Gardens hosts a number of fantastic botanical gardens featuring some of the most beautiful horticultural gardens in London. Why not marry renowned art with an outdoor stroll with a visit to Kew Gardens? Kew is just moments from Richmond for an extended walk through Richmond Park or along the Thames.
2. Street food markets
Everybody knows about Borough Market, a beloved outdoor market near London Bridge which is perfect for a whole host of fantastic foodie options. But there are a wide array of other city markets that are perfect for a summer’s stroll. These include Maltby Street Market (weekends), Whitecross Street Market (Thursday – Friday), Brockley Market (Saturday), Broadway Market (Saturday), Boxpark, Old Spitalfields Market and KERB, Camden, among others. Street markets make for a welcome addition to a canal-side walk when exploring the city in summer.
3. Wimbledon fever
Wimbledon takes place between June 27 – July 10, making it a prime time to visit the British capital. With spirits at their highest with national pride, you can catch the tennis at a number of pubs and spots, including Henman Hill. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket, this is prime London territory for celebrity spotting. Even if you miss the games, you can still visit the site and indulge in some English sparkling wine, strawberries and cream.
4. Music, music, music
London is primed for the festival season every summer. From festivals in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Finsbury Park to local bars and venue takeovers in areas like Camden and Hackney, summer is the time for music. You can catch a whole host of musical gigs during the season of sunshine, just be sure to get your short let in London booked to make the most of the city and its nightlife.
5. Picnics in the park or beachside
The British summer is all about picnics in the park, especially in London. Take the chance to explore the city’s fantastic parks with a picnic. Whether you’re watching the sunset over London from Primrose Hill in Regent’s Park or Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath, London’s parks and open spaces are ideal for families and friends to celebrate the summer. Children won’t be left out either; little ones will enjoy the many urban beaches throughout the city, including along the Thames and in the heartland of cool – Shoreditch. Many parks are brimming with summer life, from food markets and outdoor cinemas to swimming pools and zoos!