With the long summer days, and evenings, London’s vibrant atmosphere comes alive with its famous parks packed with sun worshippers, open air events and other outdoor attractions in abundance. Take, for example, the city’s rooftop bars, offering fabulous views of London’s ‘city-scape’, allowing you to eat, drink and be merry, whilst watching the sun set with a glass in hand. So, escape the heat of the pavements and get a birds-eye view of the city. Try both the Rooftop at the Boundary in Shoreditch and Coq d’Argent which offer outdoor fine dining roof-top style.
June has a plethora of events on offer, ranging from famous royal events, like the spectacular Trooping the Colour, a military parade to celebrate Her Majesty’s official birthday. This unmissable event along the Mall oozes British pomp and pageantry, and has taken place in our capital for 200 years now.
Other royal events during June include the Changing of the Guard Ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, along with the Household Division’s Beating Retreat at Horse Guards Parade. This unique British sunset pageant takes place every Wednesday/Thursday evening, before the Queen’s official birthday in June. You’ll witness precision drills from expert cavalrymen, accompanied by cannons, fireworks and music from the Household Divisions massed band of over 300 musicians. To top off at least one of these evenings, either the Queen herself, or one of her senior family members, will attend the ceremony to take the salute.
June is certainly the time to take in the wealth of festivals, sports activities and free entertainment on offer in the capital. With the vibrant flower displays on show, make sure you spend time savouring the beautiful parks within the city. Alternatively, on 17th/18th June, why not explore over 230 private, secret and little-known gardens, in the Open Garden Squares Weekend? For a mere £13 per adult, you’ll experience gardens ranging from the historic and traditional, to the new, more experimental ones. Gardens will include private and roofed gardens, community allotments, those belonging to historic buildings, institutions, cafés, schools and shops. One ticket gives access to numerous gardens across the weekend.
Meanwhile on 25th June how about cheering along the racers at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, at London Regatta Centre? Watch, as up to 40 different teams take to the Thames to compete to win one of four trophies. Whilst there, you can sample the Asian food delights on offer and watch the Chinese lion dancing or martial arts displays. There is also live music on offer at this great, free family day out.
Or for Father’s Day, (18th June), you could challenge Dad to a 90 minute, amazingly unforgettable expedition across the roof of the O2 Arena! For a £30 fee, he’ll be suspended 53m high and wend his way along a tensile fabric walkway, enabling him, at the summit, to savour the unsurpassed 360° view of London on the observation platform. An experience he’ll always remember!
For a famously British tradition, why not head over to SW19 from 3 -16 July to sample strawberries and cream at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, along with some of the best tennis around? This popular two week, Grand Slam event, features world renowned tennis players from all around the globe. This is the longest running tournament in the world, developing from its first competition in 1877, to the massive event that it is today, attracting up to 500,000 spectators, plus millions more viewers, who watch the televised event.
Taking place in the historical setting of Wimbledon Village, this event largely overshadows a hidden gem, the unique village itself, which offers a blend of select boutique shops, cafes and bars, set amongst handsome period buildings and open spaces like Wimbledon Common. (Remember the Wombles)? This large common includes ponds, a windmill and nature trail and is home to a variety of birds and insects.
Also worth a visit, whilst on the tennis theme is Wimbledon Tennis Museum. Open daily from 10am to 5.30pm and located within the grounds of the famous Wimbledon Tennis Club, this shows the history of the game through the ages and attracts all ages, through its interactives and touch screens, which help people to experience all the traditions, artistic flair of the players and skills needed to become one of the all- time greats in tennis. Also available are tours of the grounds, where you can gain access to a few restricted areas, normally inaccessible to the public.
When visiting this phenomenal museum, you’ll begin to understand why a ‘Wimbledon title’ is the most coveted success in tennis.
Summer is the perfect time to explore many of London's open-air events. It is now a London summer institution to see global stars performing in front of huge crowds. Hyde Park’s 2017 concert programme, for example, boasts the likes of Phil Collins, Green Day, Justin Bieber, Kings of Leon, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performing live. Whilst supporting acts at these one-day festivals include Blondie, Tears for Fears and Stevie Nicks amongst the line-up.
For the classical enthusiast, take to the world famous Royal Albert Hall to see the BBC Proms; an eight week, fabulous, affordable classical music experience.
As July is often the warmest month in London, take advantage of this and enjoy an open-top bus tour, or eat al-fresco at many of London’s cafes and restaurants. Take Tattershall Castle, for example, one of the Thames’ permanently moored boats, near Embankment. This has recently undergone a major refurbishment to be ready for the long summer nights.
Or, thanks to Boris Johnson’s Bikes, scattered around the capital, you can hop on a cycle and see the city from a different perspective. Many of London’s Royal Parks have cycle routes to make your ride even more enjoyable.
If picnics and Pimm’s are more to your liking, you could head to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in their huge outdoor auditorium. Shows take place throughout the summer months, whatever the weather.
Alternatively, for art lovers, the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, takes place across Royal Greenwich, Docklands and Tower Hamlets. This annual festival presents street theatre, circus, music, dance acts and performing art events, with a range of international artists taking part.
For something a little different on those long summer nights, you’ll find the Rooftop Film Club has several venues where you can enjoy a film, snuggled in a comfy chair, complete with a blanket, for those chillier evenings.
Or you could don your swimwear and sample the Hot Tub Cinema. Book your own tub, or share with others, and indulge in the luxury of drinking, film-going and bathing, all at the same time! This even comes complete with your own waiter! What more could you ask for?
One last idea for a sensational summer activity, which is always a popular pastime at this time of year, is to mess about on the water! There are a range of rowing boats or pedalos to hire in such venues as, Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Battersea Park. So get out into the sultry, summer air and sample the London delights on offer this season.
If you’re visiting from a distance, or if you just fancy spending time exploring London, Euracom have the perfect serviced apartments available to rent for the duration of your stay.
Take, for example, the lovely, 4 star, corporate serviced apartments, at Westminster Dolphin House.
Options include studios, 1-3 bedroom & executive apartments, conveniently situated within central London. Close to the iconic river Thames, in attractive Pimlico, Westminster, the apartments are located within 3 ½ acres of landscaped gardens available to all residents, allowing you to unwind with a drink after a hard day watching the tennis at Wimbledon. Ideal for longer stays in the capital, this accommodation has good amenities to enhance your stay, including complimentary use of Dolphin fitness clubs swimming pool, sauna, steam room & gym, and is close to the underground. From just £149 p/n, each apartment is equipped with;
- Bathroom (En-suite in some apartments) Toiletries provided
- Laundry / dry cleaning facilities/ tea / coffee making facilities
- Fully equipped kitchen/ (Dishwasher in some)/breakfast available/ room service available
- Concierge / security / reception
- Daily or weekly linen change/ Daily cleaning service
- Desk / workspace/Dining table & chairs
- Grocery store onsite / nearby/ on-site restaurants / bars/shops
- Lifts/ Lobby / waiting area
- Private jacuzzi & sauna/ Spa / health club in building or nearby
- Telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wifi
Giving you the modern comforts of home, along with a convenient location to all the major sights, these superb apartments aren’t to be missed.
Similarly, located near Hyde Park, the Bayswater Grand Plaza serviced apartments make the perfect choice for those visiting London for stays of 2 nights to several months. A very modern space which provides that ‘home from home’ feeling, these apartments are close to the Kensington museums. Within the superb setting of a listed Victorian building and situated on a quiet side street, the Grand Plaza combines the serenity of the apartments with the vibrant West End which is close by. Good links from Paddington station to Heathrow, make these a useful base from which to fly. For a weekly rate of £735 p/w, there are a range of services & facilities, which include;
- Breakfast available
- Concierge / security / reception/ lifts/ lobby / waiting area
- Dining table & chairs/DVD player/ Safe
- Fully equipped kitchen/ Washing machine
- Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- TV / Freeview/ wifi
For a slightly cheaper alternative, the recently refurbished apartments in Bloomsbury are perfect for those on a lower budget. Close to The British Museum, Oxford Street and other attractions, these apartments are ideal for exploring central London. For a weekly rate from £702 p/w, the apartments are simply furnished and offer a small kitchenette/ bathroom. Studios sleep two, whilst the larger 1/2 bed apartments have a larger kitchen/ bathroom and a sofa bed in the lounge.
Other services include;
- Baby cot / high chair (on request)/ Twin (or double beds in some apartments)
- Concierge / security / reception/safe/ wheelchair accessible
- Daily or weekly linen change
- Kitchen / kitchenette/ laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Lifts/lobby / waiting area
- Nearby shops/near city centre
- Telephone/TV / Freeview/ Wifi