London in Summer

By Viator, May 2015

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London might not be blessed with a tropical climate and sandy beaches, but the British capital still knows how to make the most of the summer months. From outdoor cinemas and music festivals to swimming in the lake, here are some ideas for how to spend summer in London.

1. Relax in the city’s parks

Sunny days make the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, so make the most of the warm weather by enjoying London’s many parks and gardens. Take a cycling tour around Hampstead Heath; spot deer in Richmond Park; go horseback riding on Wimbledon Common; or drift along the boating lake in Hyde Park. They’ll be plenty of summer events and entertainment to keep the whole family occupied throughout the holidays too – Hyde Park hosts live music on stages around the park, Kew Gardens hosts open-air film screenings and the London Zoo hosts a series of falconry displays, gorilla and penguin feedings and children’s workshops.

2. Enjoy alfresco entertainment

London’s entertainment shifts outdoors during the summer with Regent’s Park hosting a number of performances at its open-air theater and outdoor cinemas springing up in the grounds of Somerset House and Richmond Park.There are even free outdoor yoga classes held at The Scoop on the Thames Riverbank.

3. Party at a music festival

England’s Glastonbury, Leeds & Reading and V Festivals are world famous, but the capital also hosts some epic music events. The biggest event of the summer is the 3-day Wireless Festival (July 12th-14th) held for the first time in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and including headline acts Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z. Alternatively, the hugely popular iTunes Festival will be held in September in 2013 (line up to be announced). Other music festival dates for the diary include the Lovebox Festival held in Tower Hamlets from July 19th-21st; the Big Chill in Eastnor Deer Park, a mix of international music acts and New Age healing with masseurs and alternative therapists on site; and the Summer Series at Somerset House, a number of concerts held throughout July.

4. Go Swimming

London’s outdoor swimming pools are always popular and there are plenty of options to choose from. In south London, head to Brixton Lido or Hampton Pool, whereas central London’s best options are the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park and the female-only (children allowed) or mixed-sex pools in Hampstead Heath. Don’t fancy getting wet? Build sandcastles and watch live sports at the manmade Camden Beach; check out the arts displays along the Hackney Wick Canal; or opt for a relaxing cruise along the Thames.

5. Fill up your diary with summer events

There are a host of festivals and events held throughout the summer season so there’s no excuse for being bored. Indulge in traditional strawberries and cream at the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament held throughout June and July; brush shoulders with the elite at the Royal Ascot Derby in June; get your Royal family fix at the Queen’s official Trooping the Colour birthday celebration in June; or get dolled up and hit the streets for the vibrant Notting Hill Carnival parade, held on the August bank holiday weekend.

Contributed by Zoe Smith

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