Hot. Humid. Horrendous. These words perfectly describe London in the height of summer. Well actually, on second thoughts, they sum up the miserable tube ride home, where like an absurd scene from Dante’s Inferno, the Central Line becomes a sweltering hotbox, filled to the brim with the grimaces of red-faced commuters. It is an intense and unhappy sight to say the least, causing you to wistfully dream of coconut trees and a sandy white beach…
Do not despair fellow Londoners. As above the claustrophobic underground, a thriving metropolis awaits with plenty of places for you to cool down during the scorching summer months. So, dear reader, to keep you from running off to the Caribbean, we’ve pulled a list of al fresco ideas together. Thank us later.
1. Walk the tube map
Replace flustered commuters with Magnolia trees and bustling streets. The alternative map calculates the walking distances between tube stations.
2. Jump on a Santander Cycle
Contactless and affordable - simply touch and cycle.
3. Drift along the Thames
Arrive windswept and relaxed with the Thames River bus service.
4. Picnic at Primrose
With panoramic views and luscious green space, Primrose Hill is the perfect spot for a Sunday picnic.
5. Swim in Hampstead Heath’s Ponds
Join happy topless Londoners frolicking about in the Heath’s ‘women-only’ pond. ‘Male-only’ and gender neutral pools are also waiting to be bathed in, however these ask for your swimming costumes to remain firmly on.
6. Stroll among the dahlias at Holland Park
Spend a day wandering around the Japanese style Kyoto gardens.
7. Head to Frank’s Bar in Peckham
Securing a majestic spot upon a multi-storey car park, Frank’s overlooks London’s iconic skyline and has a shocking pink staircase.
8. Dine at Pergola on the Roof
If you fancy something more upmarket, Pergola’s bespoke restaurants promise a ‘Hampton Hideaway’.
9. Try London in the Sky
Eat gastronomic delights on a table that is suspended 100 feet above London.
10. Board the Tamesis Dock
Check out a pimped out 1930s Dutch barge, decked with kitsch decor and quirky furniture.
11. Wander to the heart of Hackney
Broadway market champions quirky culinary favourites such as catfish fillet and Whoopie pies.
12. Join The Globe
Witness a mad, naked man run wild on a heath. As well as King Lear, Romeo and Juliet is part of this summer’s line-up.
13. Catch the Edinburgh Fringe
Londoners exclusively sneak a preview of the comics at Battersea Arts Centre.
14. Watch a movie en plein air
Wireless headphones, and a director’s chair, what better way to enjoy an old classic? Head to Shoreditch's Queen Hoxton.
15. Unwind with the Secret Yoga Club
Perfect your upward facing cat every Sunday at Dalston Rooftop Park.
16. Catch Wimbledon on the small screen
Bread Street Kitchen gives Murray Mount a run for its money, with its grassy turf and gin-based cocktails served in giant tennis balls.
17. Experience Notting Hill Carnival
Jerk chicken, Reggae dub and kaleidoscopic colours, Notting Hill’s annual event returns in celebration of Caribbean culture.
18. Attend British Summer Time Hyde Park
The Killers, Phil Collins and the King of the Beliebers - Justin Beiber. Expect screaming girls at Hyde Park’s annual event.
19. Get involved at Pride Parade
Trafalgar Square is host to many iconic events, including Pride Parade.
20. Compete in a Bubble Football Match
Head down to Whitechapel for a football game where - to make things easier - each player must wear a giant inflatable ball.
21. Play outdoor chess
Take on others at St John’s Gardens’ life-sized chess table.
22. Indulge at Bee Urban
Get up close and personal to bees and their hives, while sipping on some sweet sweet nectar.
23. Take part in a scavenger hunt
The Big Smoke sends you on a race through the sprawling city. You may find yourself driving a London bus or fitting into a dustbin.
24. Visit the Indytute
Fancy hula hooping or mastering the harmonica? Indyute offers quirky workshops around the city.
25. Be the next Banksy
After touring East London’s graffiti hotspots, create your own street art at London Street Art Workshop.
26. Play at Plonk Hackney
The 9-hole golf course is situated in a Beer-garden, surrounded by tiki huts and colourful flowers.
27. See the city through a lens
Absorb the urban landscape through a camera, Foto Ruta will take you off-the-beaten track.
28. Relax at Camden Beach
Perfect for summer beach bums, Camden has live music, VIP huts and BBQ themed events.
29. Wakeboard at WakeupDocklands
Wakeboard on Royal Victoria Dock’s sheltered waves.
30. Experience Sunset Safari
At dusk, watch the animals at ZSL London Zoo be put to bed.