London is full of sights to see, activities in which to partake, and locations steeped in history. There’s no better time to visit London than in the summertime. During this season of beautiful weather and a little less rain, you’ll have a chance to check out all kinds of things before the cooler temperatures of the autumn and winter fall upon the city.
There are many activities that just you or the whole family can enjoy in London during the summer.
Bike tours are a great way to get out and see the city, taking you past some of London’s more popular stops, including Buckingham Palace and the Southbank of the Thames.
For wee ones three and under, Toddler Jam is a great event at Stratford Circus theater featuring dance and movement where kids can get out their energy while taking a break from sightseeing.
Covent Garden Market
Ninety-seven acres encompass the Covent Garden area. On these grounds you’ll find the Market along with venues for music, theater, opera, family activities, retail shopping, and history dating back to Roman times. The Covent Garden Market is a world-renown mecca for all ages.
In the 16th Century, King Henry VIII obtained Hyde Park from the Catholic Church and turned it into his private hunting ground. In the 19th Century, the Royal Park was opened to the public, and today it’s best enjoyed during the summer with swimming in the Serpentine, cycling through the park, or relaxing at a picnic while enjoying the beautiful landscape. You’ll also find a sports center, tennis courts, boat rentals, hiking trails, and coach rides in the 360 acres that make up Hyde Park.
Bermondsey Square Antiques Market (New Caledonian Market)
In operation since the mid-19th Century, this market has tons of historic antiques for sale. If you love to go antiquing, this is a must!
The theater scene in London is tremendous! Some of the shows that have graced the many stages in the London area include: The Hothouse by Harold Pinter, The Book of Mormon from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Matilda the Musical, and War Horse. The choices are limitless, so grab yourself dinner and a show for a great summer evening out on the town.
Another way to while away a day in London in the summertime is to go indoors and view some fabulous exhibits at a myriad of museums located throughout the city.
The British Museum
This iconic museum houses a remarkable array of interesting items that you may want to consider leaving a whole day open to pay a visit. From the Americas through Africa, start your way from the ground floor up and be introduced to millions of objects. These delicate glimpses into our past provide the history of the world to all who enter.
Museum of London
The Museum of London takes you from London’s beginnings in prehistoric times through to the 21st Century. Interiors and street scenes have been reconstructed within to add to the experience. Many artifacts found in archaeological digs are on display.
Sir Henry Wellcome was a revolutionary pharmacist and entrepreneur from the 19th Century. This collection houses a massive assortment of unique implements and curios in relation to his medical trade.
Royal Museums Greenwich
On the grounds of Greenwich Park, you’ll find a nice variety of museums to choose from. They include the National Maritime Museum, the Queen’s House, and the Royal Observatory. The latter two have existed since the 1600s.
Sights to See
Discover Children’s Story Centre
Within the Centre is an indoor story trail for children 11 and under. Characters help them on their journey through stories that they themselves create. Finger puppets, art materials, and dress-up outfits are available to enhance the storyline.
Speaking of stories…. The halls of the British Library is the perfect place to hang on in London in the summertime for any booklover. Every single publication that ever was or is to be within the United Kingdom and Ireland is stored here. With that in mind, there are over 150 million items to choose from with a few million new ones added every year.
Hampton Court Palace
To be entertained by the King or Queen, you would come to Hampton Court. This is one of several palaces that Royalty has graced. Hampton has been home to Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James I just to name a few. Operas and dramas, among other things, have been performed here.
London in summertime would not be complete without a festival or two, and there are quite a few. There is the London Literature Festival held every year wherein international poets and authors get together to share their works. Or perhaps you would enjoy a family event with art, dance, and music such as the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. Since you are in London, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss the annual City of London Festival, which includes a myriad of events based upon the themes of city walls, trees, and conflict and resolution. And then there’s the Notting Hill Carnival, a colorful, super-fun, over-the-top event that includes a giant parade filled with feathers and headdresses and occurs every August.
There is much more to be had in London in the summertime—this is just a sampling. No matter your interests and itinerary, there are thousands of London hotels convenient to all of your plans. From off-the-beaten-path to right in the middle of neon Piccadilly Circus, hotels in London run the gamut from tried and true chains to amazing locally-owned inns.