London is gearing up for summer. The parks are getting busier, pop-ups stalls are appearing on street corners across the city and a sense of adventure is in the air. As the sun sparkles on the capital’s eye-catching architecture, it’s time for you to discover why this summer in the city promises an experience like no other.
Green city centre escapes
London’s outdoor spaces come alive in the summer months, as locals and visitors flock to enjoy the city’s greenery and dip their toes in the many lakes and lidos. It’s a chance to relax in the heart of the city, to soak up some sun and immerse yourself in everything from sports screenings to open-air concerts and theatre. Alongside the Instagram-friendly greenery of Greenwich, Hyde Park hosts the brilliant British Summer Time Festival over two summer weekends, while Regent’s Park welcomes Taste of London for four days in June, a foodie extravaganza that offers the best of British cuisine and more. London Fields and Victoria Park provide an edgier alternative, and the fact they’re close to Hackney’s microbreweries only enhances their popularity with Londoners and visitors alike!
Rooftop drinks with a difference
The capital has no shortage of lively rooftop bars – the perfect place to chill during the afternoon and sip cocktails as the sun goes down. You’ll find them in all corners of London, each offering a delicious array of colourful cocktails, locally-brewed craft beers and everything in between. Film fans can catch classic movie screenings alongside a drink at the Rooftop Film Club at the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, Roof East in Stratford or Peckham’s Bussey Building, while those with a passion for the great outdoors can venture to London’s highest public garden, Sky Garden, and enjoy a cocktail or two while exploring three storeys of lush rooftop gardens. Take in jaw-dropping views of St Paul’s Cathedral from the open-air terrace at 12th Knot on the Southbank, discover your passion for British food and drink in the upmarket surroundings of The Aviary, or sample a delicious Frose cocktail at Bar Elba in the heart of Waterloo. When it comes to relaxing on a summer evening in London, you’ll always be spoilt for choice.
A taste for seaside traditions
In Britain, there’s much more to the seaside than just the beach. Head south of London by train to discover Brighton - a seaside resort that offers something for everyone. From the quirky mix of rides and attractions on the city’s Victorian pier to The Lanes, narrow streets filled with boutique shops, vintage emporiums and independent cafes, it’s the ideal spot to get your British seaside fix. Munch away on freshly caught fish and chips while supping craft beer, whizz your way around the Turbo Coaster on the pier or test your head for heights at Brighton i360, the 450ft high futuristic glass viewing pod. Or for an extra adrenaline rush, take to the skies aboard a helicopter viewing experience!
Pride in the city
2019 is an extra special year for Pride in London, marking 50 years since the Stonewall uprising that paved the way for the global LGBTQ+ movement. Pride is celebrating the occasion with a series of events from mid-June, culminating in the London Pride parade on 6 July. One of the capital’s biggest and best events, it’s a time for everyone to fly the rainbow flag for the community, celebrating inclusion, diversity, respect – and an excellent party! Brighton has its own celebrations in early August too, with Pride in the Park the crowning glory on a long list of bold and inclusive events that are renowned the world over. But Pride won’t be the only party celebrating the city’s diversity this summer. The Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival, bringing together people from different backgrounds in a celebration of Caribbean culture. From elaborate floats and colourful costumes to calypso music and delicious street food, it’s the perfect time to indulge your inner party animal.
Tickle your taste buds with new food experiences
Summer in London means a tasty array of pop-up stalls and new food vendors to get your teeth into. From twists on the humble burger to the best vegan sourdough pizza, the capital has a pop-up to suit every foodie craving. Savour an Argentinian flame-grilled steak, take a bite of a gravy-dipped burger or enjoy a spicy Chicken Tikka Naanwich at Vinegar Yard in London Bridge, complete with a vast beer garden for eating, drinking and making new friends. And that’s all just a few metres from Borough Market, your go-to for fresh local produce. Take a wander to Camden and discover the delights of Italian Alley, a haven of pizza and pasta outlets, then explore Buck Street Market, a brand new development where 52 vendors compete to offer the most mouth-watering street food. Meet south London’s most exciting foodie start-ups at POP Brixton or head to Maltby Street Market at weekends, a street-food mecca nestled amongst Bermondsey Beer Mile's many microbreweries. With summer pop ups across the north, south, east and west, whatever you’re into, London has you covered.
Get out on the water
See London from a new perspective this summer and check out the sights from the many waterways that criss-cross the capital in all directions. Jump into a Hot Tug and float your way down the River Thames, grab your mates and enjoy a chilled-out sail along Regent’s Canal in a GoBoat, or get your pulse racing on the Thames Rocket, a speedboat experience where it’s recommended you hold on tight! You can even familiarise yourself with the thrills of wakeboarding at WakeUp Docklands or try out stand-up paddleboarding, the latest craze in London and one of the coolest ways to enjoy the river.