Longer summer days mean more time for fun, but there’s no need to struggle for inspiration. From gadding about in boats to an unmissable film festival, here’s our pick of what to do in the city this summer…
1. Watch Carole King’s first UK performance since 1989
Get yourself down to London’s Hyde Park on Sunday 3rd July to catch Carole King’s headlining performance at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park for her first UK show since 1989.
Those of you who can’t make the weekend shows are in luck – during the week, the festival will host plenty of family-friendly activities including free open-air movie nights, Wimbledon screenings, a horticulture show, street food stalls, daytime DJs and live performers.
Entrance is on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to get there early to avoid disappointment. Gates open from 10am. Visit www.bst-hydepark.com for tickets and event details.
2. Hit a foodie festival
Satisfy your tastebuds at Urban Food Fest, taking place every Saturday thoughout the summer in Euro Car Park Shoreditch (an urban location if ever we heard one!). Browse the foodie stalls, sample the many culinary delights on offer and don’t forget the fine selection of craft beers and summery cocktails (above) Entry is free, seating is plentiful and live musicians provide the entertainment while you fill your boots with delicious street food. Visit Urbanfoodfest.com for details
3. Explore a secret garden
Forget Hyde Park or Hampstead Heath on sunny days, London is packed with hidden green spaces just waiting to be discovered if you know where to look. Seek Out Postman’s Park in Bloomsbury, filled with moving tributes to those who have lost their lives trying to save another, or discover the Isabella Plantation hidden away in Richmond Park with it’s bobbing ducks and swans and beautifully vibrant azelias. Our top pick is the wildlife garden at the Natural History Museum, which may appear private but is very much open to the public and filled with over 2000 varieties of wildlife, which if you’re lucky, you could just have all to yourself.
4. Toast the season at Henley Regatta
Okay, we cheated a bit. Henley-On-Thames isn’t strictly within the M25 but a short train ride from the capital is well worth it for this well-to-do day out. Ostensibly a rowing competition (and the sporting element is impressive) Henley Regatta, 29 June-July 3, is also famous for it’s quintessential Englishness and a highlight of the summer season. Think pimms, picnic blankets, ladies in hats and men in stripy blazers. To elevate the experience further, head for the Chinawhite VIP garden for unhindered views of the racing plus cocktails, street food, a pop up salon and as the sun goes down, Djs and dancing. Chin chin to that!
5. Visit an iconic gallery
17 June marks the grand opening of the revamped Tate Modern. Designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron, the building’s unique twisted pyramid shape makes a striking addition to the London skyline. The new Tate Modern boasts 60% more space, plus a roof garden offering unparalleled city views. Free entry; visit tate.org.uk.
7. Enjoy theatre under the stars
To mark 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, be sure to catch the open air production of Henry V from 17 June at this year’s Open Air Theatre festival in Regent’s Park. The festival runs throughout the summer, and ticket prices range from £25-£60. Book yours now at the w&h box office.