London is such a varied and vibrant city that you could while away a whole month here and still feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of what it has to offer.
Although the UK capital is magnificent whatever time of the year, in the summer months, the city opens up and becomes a much more welcoming tourist experience. The vast choice could leave some overwhelmed, so here, we’ve picked out those can’t-miss summer pastimes.
Thames River Cruise
If there was ever a time to cruise down the Thames, summer is it, so as you’d imagine, demand is high in the warmer months. As such, you don’t want to wait about if you have any desire to enjoy a leisurely journey along London’s canals and famous river.
From the water, you’ll be able to see some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Tower of London, London Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the O2 Arena amongst others.
Open-air theatre at Regent’s Park
Exposing yourself to the elements for an extended amount of time isn’t something you’ll want to do in the winter. Between May and September though, it’s positively encouraged, especially when you can take in one of the classic shows being staged at Regent’s Park’s open-air theatre.
Two of Charles Dickens’ most famous works take centre stage throughout July with performances of A Tale Of Two Cities (from July 7th), while Oliver Twist commences from July 17th. Both shows close on August 5th.
Bringing the open-air theatre season to an end is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, staging between August 11th and September 16th.
This iconic open space is a must-see for any first-timer to London, but especially so in the summer months. This is when visitors will find unique street exhibitions, performances, novelty stores and a cute café, surrounded by some of the city’s best galleries, museums and cultural spaces.
Address: Victoria Park, Mile End
Anyone into their music can’t afford to miss Field Day, which has developed into one of the UK’s most respected music festivals in the past decade. Previous Field Days have been spread over a weekend, but 2017’s event has been compressed into the Saturday (June 3rd).
Not that the line-up has suffered; confirmed acts include Aphex Twin, Run The Jewels, Arab Strap, Death Grips, Slowdive, Andy Shauf, Flying Lotus and Hannah Diamond.
One of the best free things to do for guests at hotels near Hyde Park is erm, Hyde Park – the largest of London’s eight royal parks.
Millions of people visit the 350-acre open space every year, but it really can’t be ignored in the summer, when it stages several weekends of high-profile rock and pop concerts. Names set to appear this July include Green Day, Justin Bieber, Kings of Leon, The Killers and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
If loud rock music isn’t your thing, then the lake at the centre of the park is a wonderful and peaceful way to spend a few hours.
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains
Address: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Of course, just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed great weather to coax you outside. So if you need to escape the rain for a while, there are some great temporary collections worth seeing.
This one honours one of rock music’s most iconic and celebrated bands, and opens at Victoria and Albert Museum from May 13th until October 1st, giving you all summer to visit.
2017 marks 50 years since Pink Floyd released its first single ‘Arnold Layne’, and this exhibition promises to be a spectacular audio-visual journey through the band’s unique and extraordinary history.
More than 350 objects and artefacts including never-before-seen material have been collected as part of the first collaboration of Pink Floyd’s remaining members since 2005’s Live 8 reunion.
Some of the goodies set to be on display include spectacular set and construction pieces from some of Pink Floyd’s most innovative and legendary album covers and stage performances including The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, as well as instruments, handwritten lyrics and psychedelic prints and posters.
There’s also the chance to take in never-before-seen concert footage and a custom-designed laser light show.
The American Dream: Pop to the present at the British Museum
Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DG
This outstanding collection of modern and contemporary American prints has resided at the British Museum since March, but it’s here until June 18th and you should totally seize the opportunity to experience it.
The exhibition claims to trace the creative momentum of a superpower, charting six decades of US history, from JFK’s assassination, Apollo 11 and Vietnam to the AIDS crisis, racism and gender politics, with works from America’s most celebrated artists, including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu.