Answers from Our Experts (2)
Summer is a fantastic time to come to London because there are so many different aspects of the city to experience at this time of year. You can visit museums and galleries, attend West End shows and go shopping whatever the weather, but if you want to make the most of the capital's parks and gardens too, then a summertime visit is a must. There's something for everyone, from cultural events such as Opera Holland Park to outdoor pursuits like swimming in the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
We also do al fresco drinking and dining very well here. Pavement space for tables is at a premium in the centre of town, but venture down side streets and alleyways to take advantage of pedestrianised areas such as Neal's Yard in Covent Garden and St. Christopher's Place, which is tucked away behind Oxford Street. Many hotels have fantastic terrace bars and restaurants too.
My final tip for London in the summer is the huge number of festivals and open air arts events taking place. Check out the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (21-29 June), Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House and, new this year to mark the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Open East Festival (27-28 July).
It's not just because there's a limited (though still very real) chance of it raining... there are many other factors that make summer special in the British capital. Here are three.
Not every London summer can boast both the Diamond Jubilee and Summer Olympics, but there are several annual cultural events that always make a June to September visit worthwhile. From the spectacular Trooping the Colour (aka the Queen's Birthday Parade) in June to Pride London in July to the Notting Hill Carnival in August, the British capital is jam-packed with summertime jollities.
It's still culture, but it's worthy of its own entry. Britain is world-renowned for its open-air summer music festivals, so it's no surprise to learn the British capital has some fine specimens. From the pop-focused O2 Wireless Festival to the reggae and Caribbean-loving One Love Peace Festival to the classical music-toting The Proms, there are few better cities on earth to enjoy al fresco tunes in the (finger's crossed) sun.
The Royal Parks
London's status as one of the greenest cities in the world is well-deserved, but it's only really in summer that you can make the most of them. You can meet the animals at London Zoo in Regent's Park, enjoy a traditional picnic in Kensington Gardens or try pedal-boating on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park.