Summer is a great time to be in London. There is so much to see and celebrate in this beautiful city, and there are many amazing locations just waiting to be explored. Here are a few suggestions for places to visit and things to do: some old favourites, and some you may never have heard of.
The Southbank is a great place to hang out on a summer’s afternoon. Grab a burrito from Wahaca, a Mexican street food restaurant housed in some colourful shipping crates. Perhaps get a drink on the terrace of the National Theatre, with views across the river, or in the shadow of an up-turned purple cow at the Udderbelly. There are often free music events and workshops at the Southbank Centre, as well as food markets and art installations along the riverfront.
In July the City of London Festival has a selection of concerts, lectures, walking tours and art exhibitions happening all over London, exploring themes of conflict resolution, sustainability and the great cities of the world. Check out their website for a whole load of events, and keep an eye out for the mobile orchard, popping up in various locations across London!
There are a load of hidden gems – galleries, exhibitions, and quirky museums. Why not visit Sutton House; a Tudor house in the heart of East London (E9). Or the Guildhall Art Gallery (EC2V) with its hidden Roman amphitheatre. Or the John Soane museum in Holborn (WC2A); a house packed (almost-literally) with an eclectic selection of artwork and architecture.
If you fancy something a little more sporty, there are some interesting options from the somewhat sedate but strangely trendy Lawn Bowls, to the rather more quirky Bike Polo, both of which take place across the city.
There are plenty of walks that take you across London, discovering hidden treasures off the beaten track. Check out the Parkland Walk, starting at Finsbury Park and taking you through woods, a nature reserve, and a disused railway station. Why not try the walk along Regent’s Canal, past narrowboats, an aviary, and Camden market. Or visit the Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens, with its raised walkways and exotic gardens.
There are also some unusual places to eat and drink. For example The Filling Station (N1C), a modernised petrol station overlooking the canal at Kings Cross. Or Frank’s Cafe (SE15), a bar on the top of a multi-storey car park in Peckham. Or Nardulli (SW4), the best ice cream shop in London, right on the edge of Clapham Common.