London in summer is THE best. Forget the museums, the high-street shops and indoor attractions – these are all awesome during winter and on rainy days, but summer is the season for Pimms, rooftop bars, sunbathing and good times. Hot, sunny days can sometimes be few and far between in England, so you definitely have to make the most of these glorious days. We have created a guide to the best things to do in London in the summer and on sunny days, so grab your sunglasses and get ready for a fantastic day in the capital!
Visit a park
London is famed for its beautiful, large green parks, and there is no better way to spend a hot, sunny day than sunbathing, relaxing and enjoying a picnic in one of the many parks. In London you will be spoilt for choice for parks to choose from with eight Royal Parks, three Council Parks and an abundance of other green spaces. Being voted by Huffington Post as one of the most beautiful parks around the world, Hyde Park is definitely worth a visit. This park is a whopping 1.5 miles long and about a mile wide, and features the pretty Serpentine River, which is perfect for pedaloing and boat rowing. Other gorgeous London parks worth visiting include Green Park, St James’s Park, Greenwich Park and Richmond Park.
Head to a rooftop bar
If Pimms o’clock is looming and you find yourself levitating towards the nearest bar, then why not head to one of London’s many fantastic rooftop bars? From up high you will be able to take in one of the world’s sexiest skylines, whilst sipping on an ice cold cocktail, beer, Prosecco, or whatever you fancy. We love Frank’s Café, the summer-only bar located on top of Peckham’s multi-storey car park. Peckham is not well-known for being beautiful as such, but the views are easy to drink in with a pretty sunset, cool beverage and your close friends. If you’re craving Central London sights and a fantastic cocktail (or two), then try Madison in St Paul’s or Aqua Spirit on Regent Street.
Hire a bike
Admittedly they don’t look like the coolest form of transport, but being incredibly easy to find and hire, and also pretty cheap, a Boris Bike is a great way to get around London, see the sights and enjoy the sunshine. These bright blue bikes are so easy to use, all you have to do is pay, ride and return it to any docking station within 30 minutes, and if you want to continue riding you can just hire it out again. There is now even a Boris Bikes app, making this process even easier, so there really is no excuse not to get “on your bike” and explore London. Boris Bikes are perfect for exploring London’s gorgeous parks and for visiting iconic sights, plus it means you can avoid the sweaty and hot underground.
Take a swim in an outdoor lido
Take the plunge and escape the summer heat at one of London’s many lidos. Whether you’re looking to go swimming or just sunbathe and dip your toes in, nothing beats London’s open-air pools. At just over 90m Tooting Bec Lido in South London is the county’s largest outdoor freshwater pool, and is famous for its iconic, Pantone-coloured huts which line the sides of the pool. If you want to stay close to Central London, then try the lido at the Oasis Sports Centre in Covent Garden. This 27.5m expanse of blue open-air heated waters, surrounded by a sun terrace and adjacent indoor pool will have you hooked – just note that it has lots of other people hooked too, so at peak times you’ll be unable to get any serious swimming done. Other great open-air pools to try in London include London Fields Lido in Greenwich, Brockwell Lido in Brixton and Hampton Pool in Hampton Court.
Go to the zoo
Summer is the best time of year to walk on the wild side and head to the famous ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park. In the warm, summer months you can idly stroll around the park, and see the zoo’s amazing animals including gorillas, penguins, giraffes, tigers, hippos and many many more! There are plenty of animals and attractions here to keep you entertained for the whole day including 21 different animal areas, interactive exhibits and lots of cafes and restaurants.
Failing all the above…Get out of town
Unfortunately hot, sunny days don’t appear very often in England, so sometimes it’s best to make the most of these days and head to the beach or the gorgeous surrounding countryside. Luckily, there are plenty of awesome seaside resorts and countryside locations which you can easily reach within an hour by train from Central London. Most Londoners head to the vibrant seaside resort of Brighton, which offers an abundance of things to do including a beautiful beach, a buzzing pier of arcades and entertainment, an aquarium and plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. If you’re more of a country-bumpkin than a beach-bum, then you can also reach lots of picturesque and exciting countryside locations including “the Garden of England” of Kent, the historic Oxford and the world-famous ancient Stonehenge.
These were our favourite things to do in London in the summer – can you think of any other great things to do? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!