While locals might flock to Mallorca for the summer holiday, visitors from all over the world are coming to London instead. Why? That’s easy! There’s always something to see and do, from pop-up cinemas to one-of-a-kind exhibitions.While, no, the urban beaches might not be on par with those in Spain, summer in London is hard to beat.This summer London is giving both locals and tourists a taste of classic events such as the BBC Proms and Buckingham Palace Tours, as well as new exciting to-do’s that are hitting the city for the first time.These are our top picks for the coming months.
Buckingham Palace Open Its Doors
The official residence of the Queen is to open to the public during the summer giving visitors a chance to take a Buckingham Palace tour and learn about the reigning monarch and British culture.
The staterooms are open to the public throughout ten weeks of this summer, starting in July and running through to September. The tour will include the White Drawing Room, The Throne Room, Picture Gallery, a Ballroom, the Grand Staircase, the Royal Garden, and the spectacle of the Changing of the Guard.
Stop by the Garden Café at the end of your visit. There, you will be able to enjoy the Palace lawn and sip of coffee or tea, as well as munch on delicious sandwiches and sweet pastries while you decide how you’re going to incorporate the royal aesthetic into your home.
One of the most anticipated summer events is, without a doubt, the BBC Proms. Taking place in July, it’s an eight-week music festival that is sure to offer something for everyone. You will be able to attend music concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, chamber music concerts at Cadogan Hall and park events across the UK.
It’s a great way to engage in cross-cultural activities in the UK during the summertime as Jiri Belohave called it “the world’s largest and most democratic music festival.” This year also happens to feature the first-ever female conductor on opening night.
Bear in mind, you don’t need to be a classical music expert to attend BBC Proms. This year, Nina Simone and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood are part taking in the festivities, too, adding some diversity to the otherwise traditionally classical roster.
Jesus Christ Superstar
This summer, Tim Rice and Androy Lloyd Webber’s infamous rock opera is taken on by Regent Park and performed in the Barbican Theatre.
It’s an open-air experience that has proven to be very popular in the past. Now, Timothy Shader is staging the famous rock opera with new hits such as Gethsemane, Superstar and I Don’t Know How to Love Him.
This year it is to be directed by Tom Deering and choreographed by Drew McOnie and Tom Scrutt. To attend the show, take advantage of luxury London hotels special offers and book tickets to the rock musical. Trust us, the musical is truly time and money well spent.
Outdoor Cinematic Experiences
London offers plenty of outdoor cinematic experiences you don’t want to miss.
This summer, for the first time, the Thames River will feature an open-air boating cinema. The river experience lasts between June to August with both food and drinks available on the cruise making it a perfect all-inclusive evening out.
The boat sets off upon sunset, so you may need to bring a sweater or a jacket to ensure comfortable temperatures while you watch the movie on the open-air top deck of the boat.
If the open-air cinema on the Thames might make you seasick, there are many open-air cinemas to choose from, including one in Regent’s Park. This year the outdoor movie theatre will feature Thornton Wilder’s Our Tow, Hansel, and Gretel, A Midsummer Nights Dream, and Evita.
Cinematic experiences aren’t the only outdoor festivities you get to enjoy this summer. The Underbelly Festival features must-see circus and cabaret acts that are fun for the whole family, including young children. The festival takes place in a large purple tent, with stalls providing both drinks and food.
For mum’s and dad’s staying at the Chilworth London Paddington hotel, this is a perfect summer activity to keep the kid’s entertained and (believe it or not) you’ll enjoy yourself, too. Better still, a fun-filled afternoon on the Thames is sure to exhaust them, giving you a chance to put them to bed early.
London opens up quite a few urban beaches during the summer and the temporary sandy shores are a great place to sunbathe and enjoy a coastal holiday in the heart of the city. It’s the best of both worlds.
Many of the urban beaches offer tanning beds, and some even provide private cabana-like relaxing areas. Don’t forget to bring a towel and sunscreen, because the urban beaches offer a whole day’s worth of activities.
Fulham Beach Club is right by the Thames river. There you will find trendy bars and pop-up restaurants. The urban beach also offers events such as yoga and shuffleboard for those who’d rather try their hand at sport.
Brent Cross Beach is another great option, located in a car park at the Brent Cross shopping centre. It’s an ideal location for kids, as there are rides and games in the parking lot, too.
While you may not find the afternoon tea in London at these beaches, you’re sure to find some welcome respite from the bustling city.
If you’re looking for an authentic urban beach, head over to Ruislip Lido in Hillingdon. There you will find a natural beach throughout the year that’s easily accessed by train from Central London.