Summer in London: 17 Things to Do

Summer in London: 17 Things to Do

Summer in London is one of the best times in the city. The warm weather gives us the opportunity to enjoy al fresco dining, watersports on the lakes and rivers, and the chance to get outside and explore. We’ve put together our ultimate guide to the city in summer, from what to do, to what to eat and drink.

Table of Contents:

When is Summer in London?

The summer months in London are June – August. For 2024 the official dates of British Summer Time are 20th June – 22nd September. You’ll find this season gives the city its longest days and warmest temperatures throughout the year.

What’s the London Weather Like in Summer?

Enjoy the warm weather in London's enormous parks

The weather during summer can be some of the best in London. Here’s everything you need to know before your trip:

  • Temperature –: Average daytime temperatures during the summer months in London typically range from 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F), occasionally reaching 30°C (86°F). In recent years we have seen periods where that has reached as high as 40.2°C during the heatwave of summer 2022.
  • Sunshine – Expect around 6 to 7 hours of sunshine per day, with longer daylight hours from early morning to late evening.
  • Rainfall – Summer in London is typically the driest season,  but do expect occasional rain showers. June is the driest month and July/August see slightly higher rainfall.
  • Humidity – The UK is a small island which means our humidity gets high in the summer months, which can make temperatures that feel manageable elsewhere, more uncomfortable. Moderate humidity levels range from 60% to 70%.

17 Fun Things to Do this Summer in London

Wembley Stadium is the best place for concerts in the summer (photographed Harry Styles Love on Tour 2023)

London is always full of fun things to do, no matter the season – however our city really brings its A-game during the summer months. Here are some of the things we plan to do this summer in London:

  1. Notting Hill Carnival – This is one of Europe’s largest street festivals and it celebrates the Caribbean community in London with music, food, and vibrant parades. 
  2. Wimbledon – Sports fans will be drawn to watch world-class tennis matches at Wimbledon itself if they were lucky enough to nab tickets. Or there are lots of places around London that screen the event including outside Battersea Power Station and in Eccleston Square in Belgravia.
  3. British Summer Time in Hyde Park – BST happens in Hyde Park every summer, with lots of concerts from the country and world’s biggest acts, to exciting food markets. Make sure you check out what’s on this year and get yourself tickets for the fun event. 
  4. Stadium Concerts – The summer months allow us brits to enjoy some outdoor gigs. Personally you’ll catch us at Wembley Stadium this summer to watch Taylor Swift perform in London. Other venues include Tottenham Stadium, Twickenham stadium, and so many more. 
  5. Swimming in Hampstead Heath / the Serpentine – Take a refreshing dip in the outdoor swimming ponds at Hampstead Heath or the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
  6. Outdoor Theatre–  Enjoy performances at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre or experience Shakespearean plays at The Globe Theatre, all taking advantage of the warmer outdoor temperatures.
  7. Rooftop Cinemas – Whether its Mamma Mia, Grease, or a newer release, there are plenty of rooftop cinemas just waiting for you to enjoy them this summer.
  8. BBC Proms – Attend classical music concerts at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms festival that takes place every summer in London. You can often get last minute tickets too.
  9. London Craft Beer Festival – Sample a wide range of craft beers from local and international breweries at this annual festival.
  10. River Boat Trips – One of the best ways to see London’s landmarks is from the River Thames. Hop on an Uber boat or book a boat tour to see our wonderful city from this watery perspective. 
  11. London Pride Festival – Celebrate diversity and equality at London’s annual Pride Parade and festival, featuring colourful parades and live performances. In 2024 it will be taking place on the 29th June.
  12. Take on a Big Walk – Embark on scenic walks like the Capital Ring or explore London’s neighbourhoods on foot to discover hidden gems and iconic landmarks. Setting yourself a goal will ensure you feel an accomplishment at the end of the day.
  13. Open Top Bus Tours – Hop on an open-top bus tour for an accessible and informative way to see London’s sights, including Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.
  14. Open Garden Festival – One of our favourite summer events in London is the Open Garden weekend, usually hosted in June. This sees some of the city’s private green spaces, including the gardens at the City’s Inns and squares in prestigious parts of town, open to the public for one weekend only.
  15. Enjoy the Water at Hyde Park – Looking for a safe spot to get out on the water? The pedalos and rowing boats on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park are available for hire and a great experience to enjoy with family!
  16. Enjoy the River – Relax by the River Thames with riverside walks, picnics, or having a drink at a riverside cafe or bar offering stunning views of the water.
  17. Superbloom at the Tower of London – In 2022, the Tower of London made the decision to fill their moat with wild flowers to promote biodiversity in the city. With flowers that bloom at different points in the season, this is a really gorgeous spot to visit during the summer months.

How to Escape the Heat in London in Summer

Enjoy pop up shops and eateries during summer in London

London was not built for the extraordinarily hot temperatures we’ve seen in the summers of recent years (reaching well over 40 degrees celsius). So when booking accommodation in London during the summer months it’s important to note that smaller venues, like Airbnbs are unlikely to have the aircon you’re used to in other countries. 

Here are our top recommendations for how to get away from the London heat:

  • Explore Our Free Museums – Many of London’s best free museums are in large, modern buildings that have been airconned. Making them the perfect destination on a hot day. We particularly love the V&A as they have a courtyard with a fountain for children to play in, as well as a cafe to grab a cool drink.
  • Shop in Well Airconned Department Stores – Come to London to take advantage of our world class shops? Well plan to go here on the busiest days. You’ll find our big department stores like Harrods and Selfridges are nicely cool in the summer months.
  • Head to the Shade in the Royal Parks – London has so many trees that it can technically be defined as a forest (yes really)! But you’ll have most luck finding a shady spot by heading to one of the Royal Parks and heading for the nearest large tree.

Summer Drinks & Food in London

London has lots of delicious ice cream spots to enjoy in the hotter months of the year

The warmer weather calls for more time to be spent outside eating and drinking with friends. Here are some of the dishes, drinks, and restaurants we enjoy most at this time of year:

  • Rooftop Bars – Take in the sun from above with London’s incredible rooftop bars. Our personal favourites are the roof at Victoria Market Halls and the Roof Garden at Pantechnicon (on the pricier side but has really incredible cocktails). 
  • Aperol – The bright orange drink is served everywhere in London during the summer, and with its refreshing citrus notes it’s no surprise.
  • Pimms – A British classic, there’s no getting away from a refreshing glass of Pimms during summer in London. Head to London’s pubs or even the tennis at Wimbledon to enjoy one of these.
  • Strawberries & Cream – A classic that is served during the summer – it’s simple but sweet!
  • Covent Garden Restaurants & Cafes – Covent Garden is a neighbourhood of London that has plenty of outdoor seating for al fresco dining.
  • Pub Gardens – If you’re lucky enough to be slightly outside of Central London, you’ll most likely find cute little pub gardens to enjoy an afternoon tipple in. The likes of Hampstead and Richmond are the perfect places to head to.
  • Ice Cream – The warm weather means we are instantly flocking to our favourite London ice cream parlours. From gelato at Badiani’s to delicious flavours at Ice Cream union in Chelsea – there’s plenty to choose from.
  • BBQs – Now this is one for those of you lucky enough to have access to a garden in London! BBQs are an essential part of the British summer experience but you’ll find most of our parks here in the city don’t allow them due to safety hazards. 

What to Pack for a Summer Trip to the Big Smoke

The rooftop bar at the Pantechnicon in London

First time experiencing summer in London? No worries – we’ve got you covered with the ultimate packing list of essential items for your visit:

  • Lightweight Clothing – Pack breathable fabrics like cotton for fluctuating temperatures. You’ll want short sleeves, shorts, dresses, and skirts that will let your skin breathe.
  • Comfortable Footwear – Opt for sturdy shoes or sandals suitable for walking long distances. The tube is hot even in the winter, so you may prefer to walk to each destination rather than getting the underground to avoid the heat.
  • Compact Umbrella or Raincoat – Be prepared for occasional rain showers – even in summer you can never be sure in London!
  • A Small Fan for Your Room – If you have a travel fan, we recommend bringing it for your room – particularly if you’re staying in a London Airbnb without aircon. In recent years summer temperatures have reached over 40 degrees celsius.
  • Sun Protection – Don’t forget sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the heat.
  • Portable Charger & Adapter – The heat can make your phone lose battery more quickly. If you plan on being out for most of the day, bring a portable charger with you.
  • Backpack – To carry essentials comfortably while exploring.
  • Reusable Water Bottle – Stay hydrated with a refillable water bottle – there’s lots of places around the city to top up your water.
  • Hay Fever Precautions – If you’re anything like us you’ll suffer from hayfever. We recommend bringing precautions including antihistamine tablets, eye drops, and nose sprays to ensure hayfever doesn’t ruin your first London weekend itinerary


Is London Nice in Summer?

Yes, London is lovely in the summer. The city comes alive with outdoor sports events, festivals, and green spaces. Visitors can enjoy pleasant temperatures and longer daylight hours, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s diverse attractions.

Where to Enjoy the Sun in London

London offers several places to enjoy the sun during the summer months. Popular spots include Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St. James’s Park, and the banks of the River Thames. We also adore finding a rooftop bar during these months for an evening in the summer sun. 

What is the Warmest Month in London?

July is typically the warmest month in London. During this time, the city experiences longer daylight hours and average daytime temperatures ranging from 21°C to 24°C (70°F to 75°F), making it an ideal time for outdoor exploration.

What is London Like in Summer?

London in summer is a fun, vibrant, and bustling place. The city experiences warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy al fresco dining, picnics, and so much more.

About The London Eats List

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