It seems like London has finally got the memo and we’re getting the long overdue heatwave we were dreaming of in July and August. If you were caught out and are on the hunt for ways to keep cool, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in London when it’s hot.
Things To Do In London When It’s Hot
Head To An Urban Beach
If you’re looking for sandy shores to go along with the blue London skies, you might manage a bit of tidal mud. Unless you head to one of London’s urban beaches. Our current favourite is Fulham Beach Club. Decked out with day beds, beach huts and cabanas, you might as well be in Ibiza. Get your best bikini on, grab a cocktail and get ready for the ultimate beach party.
Catch An Al Fresco Cinema
If you aren’t heading to a nicely air-conditioned cinema this week, pack on your suncream and head to one of London’s open-air cinemas instead. We’ve handpicked our favourites worth chilling out on in the sun.
Head to our favourite riverside destination
Wander around Battersea Power Station and discover the first chapter of its regeneration. Bear with us. The new riverside neighbourhood is strewn with a real mix of independent and design-led restos, bars, shops and exciting things to do. Meander around the site discovering its powerful history (pun intended) and stop off for a bite to eat at one of their many restaurants or refresh with an ice cold bevvy at one of the many bars.
Make a splash at an open-air lido
Whether you’re after somewhere to bring your children in tow or want to get some serious lengths in, London is abrim with plenty of outdoor pools worth making a splash about. Ditch your deflating paddling pool this week and cool down by splashing about in one of London’s open-air lidos.
BBQ in a boat
Wave goodbye to the park barbecues this September and book you and your pals in for a boating experience with a difference. Skuna has introduced a way of seeing London’s sights and it’s in the form of a floating BBQ boat. All you need to do is bring your grilling food of choice or grab one of Skuna’s BBQ packages, light up the barbecue and you’ll soon be sailing along the Thames.
Wander around Kew Gardens
Explore the wilderness whilst still in the city thanks to Kew Gardens. Whether you want to seek some shade from the sun or be transported in their very own indoor tropical rainforest, it’s a great spot for all the family.
Take shelter from the heat by exploring the hidden royal home, Kew Palace, home to George III and Queen Charlotte. If you’re after a showstopper view, head over to the Great Pagoda – prepare yourself for the 253-step climb first though.
Explore the Serpentine Pavilion
Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Serpentine Gallery and explore its summer pavilion exhibition. Each year the garden is taken over to showcase some of the world’s greatest architects, allowing visitors to see an extraordinary piece of architecture created by a different architect each year. Seek some shade up these immense architectural structures and revel in their beauty.
Sunbathe in a park
Despite being filled with skyscrapers and tower blocks, London is filled with natural beauty too thanks to its numerous parks. Pack yourself up a picnic and head down to your favourite green spot.
Cycle around the city
For a cheap fix, cycle around the city on one of the Santander Cycles. From biking along the canal towards London Fields to Richmond Park’s Tasmin Trail, it’s time to saddle up and feel the breeze against your skin. Here are a few of our favourite trails around the city to get you started.
Relax on one of London's top rooftop bars
If in doubt, head to a rooftop bar. From endless cocktail parties to soaring views across the capital, we’ve rounded up the very best rooftop bars to soak up the sun on.
Go on an ice cream crawl
Picture the scene: it’s mid-afternoon on a piping hot day in London, you step off a sauna-like tube, make a beeline for your favourite ice cream parlour and get handed a scoop of rich, creamy, frozen ice cream. It’s a relief like no other. And in a city full of ice-cream parlours serving up smooth scoops and dreamy sundaes, cooling down in London has never been so delicious.
From authentic Italian gelato and refreshing sorbets, to indulgent desserts and creamy soft serves, here’s your ultimate guide to ice cream in the city.
Cruise along the Thames
There’s nothing like a warm summer breeze running through your hair, especially when you’re sticky from humidity. Swap the tube for a boat ride along the Thames and soak up some of the city’s most iconic landmarks while you do so.
Kayak along the river
London might not be able to guarantee that blissful sea breeze but it’s home to the Thames that you can whizz down on enjoying that cool spray of water hit you as you paddle board, kayak or raft. Here’s where you enjoy London’s best watersports…
Hit up our favourite date night spots
It might not ‘officially’ be summer anymore but that doesn’t mean you can’t still hit up your favourite summer date destinations. Whether you’re looking to impress on a first date or you’re celebrating your fifth anniversary, here are 15 romantic date ideas for London in the sun.
Ditch the city altogether and head to a proper beach
Sometimes the heat really does get too much and you want to feel a proper sea breeze through your hair. While the UK might not be a tropical country, there are still some picturesque beaches that are best enjoyed when the sun is blaring. Here are a few beaches close enough to London for a good day out.