7 Things To Do in London When It’s Sunny 

Rose is a freelance travel writer, born and raised in London, who showcases travel as a part of everyday life. Find out more

Hurrah! The sunny weekend that you’ve been praying for in London has finally arrived. With over 3,000 parks in London, you’d think there would be enough space for everyone, but it seems that they’re all full to the brim on a hot day. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to make the most out of the city sunshine. This list of things to get up to in London when it’s sunny has you and your plans covered.

Soak up the sun in London Bridge City

London Bridge City

Head to this eclectic modern complex, lying between Tower Bridge and London Bridge on the south side of the River Thames, filled with riverside dining and entertainment, perfect for a sunny day. Check the schedule for The Scoop, a sunken amphitheater next to City Hall, for free performances and live music. Pop-up bars and street food-vans take center stage in the months of June to August, during the Summer By The River festival. Usually frequented by pizza and taco vans, and colorful cocktails, nothing beats spending a sunny day by the riverside, listening to live music performances. There are even outdoor fitness classes too.

Practise your floristry at Columbia Road Flower Market

View at the Flower Market

Open only on Sundays, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, a visit to Columbia Road Flower Market is the perfect way to start any sunny Sunday. Make your way down to the vibrant road in East London, near Bethnal Green station, slowly rambling along as you select your bouquet from the wild and colorful blooms that span down the stretch of the road. Whether you’re looking for plants, table arrangements or garden shrubs, or came only to browse, you will undoubtedly leave with more flowers than you planned to. Escape the crowd for a second and grab a pick-me-up in one of the many independently-owned cafes, serving freshly baked treats and coffee to keep you going.

Marvel at the Tudor gardens of Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s most beloved residence, is best visited on a sunny day. The 60 acres of the palace’s world-famous gardens are spectacularly designed, with more than a million bulbs blooming in the springtime. Home to a 17th-century grape vine and puzzle maze, making them the world’s oldest of their kind, this is truly an experience of the great outdoors. Grab an ice-cream and see if you can spot any deer in the 750 acres of parkland surrounding the palace, known as Home Park. You won’t miss The Long Water, a stretch of water, lined with lime trees, installed by Charles II, which leads into the River Thames. The Tulip Festival runs from April to May each year, covering the palace grounds in a sea of sensational colors, with over 60 varieties of tulip. Buy your ticket to Hampton Court Palace and Gardens early if you plan to visit in the spring and summer months.

Take the London Waterbus from Little Venice to Camden

Regent's Canal at Little Venice

Sitting pretty at the beginning of the Grand Union Canal, which stretches from Paddington all the way to Birmingham, Little Venice is an idyllic setting to spend a day in the sunshine. This picturesque neighborhood is home to waterside cafes, restaurants with alfresco dining, quirky barge-turned-bars, and even a floating puppet theater. You’d be forgiven for forgetting that you’re in the heart of London. You shouldn’t miss the Waterbus to Camden, sailing down Regent’s Canal which is lined with leafy trees, regency-style villas often home to the rich and famous, and the aviaries at London Zoo. Book your ticket well in advance, as they are often unavailable to purchase on the spot during the summer months.

Create memories at Brockwell Lido when it’s sunny in London

View at the swimming pool

It’s true, outdoor swimming and London weather don’t always go hand in hand. But when the sun does make an appearance, thank goodness for Brockwell Lido! Best enjoyed with a group of friends, this art-deco era outdoor community hangout is a laid-back spot to cool off. Jump in and out of the Olympic-sized swimming pool all day, and fill your tummy in the Lido cafe, serving sourdough pizza, gelato, and craft beer. Pack your sun cream, towel, portable speakers, and book and spend the day poolside in the newly renovated open-air complex. This truly is one of the best things to do in London when it’s sunny.

Hire a pedalo in Hyde Park

A pedalo in Hyde Park

The Serpentine boating lake in the middle of Hyde Park provides hours of fun in the sun in London. Hire one of the blue pedalos from the boat house, hop in, and pedal across the 40 watery acres, right up to the Serpentine Bridge. Watch out for ducks and swans tailing your boat, and travel light, as there isn’t much space for large belongings. An hour or two is plenty of time to cruise and relax on the lake. Arrive as early as you can, to give yourself the space to enjoy the lake and avoid being on it at the same time as everyone else.

Cool down on a river cruise to Greenwich

View of a river cruise

Enjoy the river breeze as you spend two hours cruising down the Thames, past London’s iconic sights. With a few routes to take, it can be tricky to know which is best. The Westminster to Greenwich cruise takes you past London’s most notorious landmarks, from the magical Tower Bridge to St Paul’ s Cathedral. Spend your time out on the open deck, soaking up the sunshine whilst you admire the views of London from the water. Disembark at Greenwich, one of London’s most serene and charming neighborhoods. Here, you can grab a tasty bite to eat from a wide selection of  world cuisines in Greenwich Market, before you wander to the surrounding sights such as the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark, Britain’s much loved sailing ship. A perfect day spent exploring London’s best things to do in the sun. 

Rose is a freelance travel writer, born and raised in London, who showcases travel as a part of everyday life. Her digital magazine, Wonder Where I Wander, is dedicated to documenting accessible experiences for Gen Z and Millennial audiences who want to travel in style. Keeping travel diaries since she was 4 years old, her research informed itineraries, topical blog posts and visual content inspire others to stay home less, and see the world more.

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