With the arrival of summer, Londoners try to make the most of the good weather by organising multiple events ranging from gastronomic to social and cultural events. There are a host of activities awaiting you in London that will make your trip out of the ordinary and make you enjoy your experience to the fullest while feeling like a local.
Do you want to know what I'm talking about? Here's a list of the best things to do in June in the British capital.
1. Indulge your senses at the Taste of London Food Festival
If getting to know the gastronomy of the place you are visiting is a must for you, I recommend you book a food tour of London. Another option to consider is that during the second week of June (from Wednesday to Sunday), an extraordinary gastronomic event is held in London's famous Regent's Park.
40 of London's best restaurants are taking part, an essential event for gourmet food lovers in which each restaurant invited will bring at least three dishes to be sampled at a price to suit all budgets. Some of the participating restaurants are:
- Leong's Legend.
- Cin Cin.
- Genevieve Taylor, Bristol Fire School.
And if you still want more, there will also be activities beyond the food, including DJ's and live music, Masterclass on wine tasting or cocktails or a Bombay Saphire Gin Bar among many others. Are you still thinking about it? If you want more information here you have the official Taste of London website where you can also buy your tickets for the event.
2. Celebrate the Queen's Birthday at Trooping the Colour
As every year, on the second Saturday in June, London celebrates the Queen's birthday with this spectacular military parade which has been held for over 200 years. An ideal time to book a visit to Buckingham Palace. This impressive event, in which the Queen herself takes part, also involves almost 2,000 soldiers, officers and musicians and around 200 horses.
Trooping the Colour starts at Buckingham Palace from where they will head to Horse Guards Parade, where the main event will take place, although I recommend you find somewhere to watch it on The Mall.
I encourage you to watch this video of the 2016 Trooping the Colour parade to get an idea of how the event unfolds!
3. Take part in the World Naked Bike Ride
Only for the most daring! This unique event takes place on the second Saturday in June and consists of a naked bike ride through the English capital as a protest against car culture, against environmental degradation, to raise awareness of the vulnerability of cyclists on the roads and also as a celebration of nudism and bodily freedom.
The ride starts from various locations including Tower Hill, Croydon, Key Bridge, Regents Park, Clapham Junction and Deptford, all coinciding at Westminster Bridge and culminating in Hyde Park.
Also, if the proposal catches your attention, but modesty prevents you from participating, body painting is allowed for the more shy! A fun plan combined with the fight for a good cause, still not convinced? Then watch this video of their latest edition and you'll be sure to join in.
4. Come and smell the roses in Queen Mary's garden
The romantic setting of Queen Mary's Garden in Regents Park is a visual spectacle. This beautiful garden, famous for having the largest collection of roses in London, is worth a visit at any time, but the first two weeks of June are the best time to visit, as this is when the roses are in bloom and the atmosphere is dreamy.
If you like photography you can't miss Queen Mary's Garden, its beautiful design and the colours of the flowers will make sure your photos will not go unnoticed. Another ideal plan is to book your ticket for Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, which has no less than 120 hectares of land.
5. Go and see an outdoor movie
The fine weather in June means that Londoners and visitors alike are doing their best to spend time outdoors, making the most of the sunshine and pleasant temperatures. One such activity that can be done outdoors during the afternoons or evenings is going to a summer cinema. There are several places where you could enjoy a good Hollywood classic in this way, but I recommend two:
Bussey Building Rooftop Film Club
Located in Peckham, the cinema is on the rooftop of a building, which means that apart from the temperature and the film, you can enjoy some amazing views. This place has a young atmosphere, you can watch films several days a week but I also recommend you to go there if you feel like having a drink because this rooftop is worth it. Here you have the official website of the place so you can check the movies and the schedules to make this great plan.
Time Out Movies on the River
This is another great option to watch a movie outdoors, the difference is that this time the setting will be the deck of a cruise ship on the Thames River, so the views will also be great. The best thing about this is that not only will you be able to watch the film, but you will also enjoy a river cruise beforehand, two for one! If you want more information just click here.
And speaking of Hollywood and blockbusters, you can book a James Bond film location tour in London.
6. Enjoy the Open Garden Squares Weekend
London has a wealth of green spaces and gardens that are normally closed to the public, but for two days a year in June they are open for all to enjoy.
More than 100 gardens take part in this event, including hospital gardens, school gardens and even cemetery gardens, some looking majestic and others decaying, neglected, but all worth seeing on these special days. Tickets cost approximately £8 and with the money raised, the London Gardens Trust will continue to invest in the maintenance of these gardens to protect them.
Some of the gardens that can be visited are:
- 10 Downing Street (British Prime Minister's House).
- Royal College of Physicians Medicinal Garden.
- Crossrail Place Roof Garden.
- Tate Modern Community Garden.
- 49 Bankside Garden (near the Globe Theatre).
And remember that, as I said, you can also book your ticket for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.
7. Be amazed by the London Symphony Orchestra in an open-air concert
Are you a classical music lover? This is the plan for you! Every summer, the wonderful London Symphony Orchestra gives a free outdoor concert in Trafalgar Square. This not-to-be-missed event usually takes place at the end of June.
The famous London orchestra is considered one of the top five in Europe and the concert features works by Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Massenet and other illustrious composers - a treat for the ears and not to be missed!
Another great plan where music also comes into play is to book a Thames cruise with dinner and music.
8. Indulge in a vintage treat at Peckham Salvage Yard
Around the end of June, the Peckham Salvage Yard is the largest open-air vintage market in South London. Located in Copeland Park, this market is a great opportunity if you're a shopper or a lover of antiques, as you'll find everything from 20th century furniture to ceramics to reclaimed French ornaments, textiles and even electrical items from the atomic age among many others.
There will also be stalls where you can enjoy the best London coffee while you take a break from your morning's shopping.
- Opening times: 11am. - 18 h.
- Free admission.
9. Go to a concert at Hampton Court Palace Festival
Londoners like to make the most of the good weather with the arrival of summer and what better plan than an open-air music festival? The Hampton Court Festival offers visitors a dose of great music.
The festival usually takes place at the beginning of the month at the impressive Henry VIII Palace, where you can also enjoy the majestic gardens, as you can bring your own food and have a picnic before the concerts.
However, if you prefer, there will also be food stalls and bars within the grounds where you can sample refreshing drinks and fill your stomach with delicious street food. Check the exact date for the next edition.
10. Attend one of the biggest Pride parades ever!
On the last Saturday in June, London Pr ide takes place, one of the largest and most iconic parades in Europe. More than thirty thousand people take part in it and on other occasions it has attracted more than a million spectators.
The main stage is in Trafalgar Square, where a party will be held, with DJ's from different parts of the world and where you can enjoy the most festive atmosphere.
Although many streets and buildings will be decorated with the rainbow flag for the occasion, the majority of the most atmospheric places are in the Soho and Vauxhall districts, where you'll find a wide variety of gay-friendly bars, nightclubs and galleries where you can enjoy the best atmosphere after the great display of floats and colour. Plus, if you're still hungry for more, there's a macro picnic in Vauxhall on Sunday.
London weather in June
Once you know what you're going to do on your trip to London, another thing to consider is the weather in London this month of the year. Generally, temperatures are pleasant, as being a cold country, the summer months are usually ideal and rainfall is not as frequent as in previous months.
Daily maximum temperatures usually range between 22ºC and 27ºC, and minimum temperatures are around 14ºC.
Another advantage of summer is the hours of sunshine, with sunrise arriving before 5am and sunset usually around 9pm, giving you more than 16 hours of daylight a day in this month of the year, allowing you to make the most of your trip.
What to pack for London
As temperatures are relatively high this month of the year, I recommend you pack light and cool clothing. Cotton T-shirts or thin shirts are the best option for the top, while shorts or long trousers that are not too hot are the best option for the bottom. Even so, when the sun goes down it may get cooler, so it would be ideal to wear a summer sweatshirt or a thin cardigan so that the drop in temperature doesn't catch you off guard.
In terms of footwear, bearing in mind that you'll be doing a lot of walking and sightseeing, it's best to wear comfortable, breathable shoes so that sore feet don't get in the way of your trip. It's also important to pack sunglasses, sunscreen and a small umbrella in your suitcase in case it rains one day.
Alternative plans for rainy days
Although the weather is generally good at this time of year, it's likely to rain one day, so here are a few things you can do to avoid being left in the dark if it does.
- Go to a museum. The Natural History Museum, the British Museum, the Science Museum or even the Sherlock Holmes Museum will be a good way to make the most of your trip and take shelter. Here's an article on the best museums in London to help you choose your ideal visit.
- Visit the Aquarium This is a perfect plan if it's raining and also if you're travelling with children. Its different areas and the number of species it houses will ensure that you'll be entertained for hours. It is open every day and the entrance fee is around 27 pounds.
- Visit Westmister Abbey: This large church in the centre of London is another must-see on your trip. It is an emblematic place for the British Crown, as it is a traditional place for coronations and burials of the Royal Household. Note that it is not open to tourists on Sundays.
- Spend a morning shopping at Harrods. This famous department store houses some real wonders within its walls. A visual spectacle for shoppers and non-shoppers alike. The Diana of Wales Memorial, the toy floor and the Egyptian Hall are, without a doubt, another must-see.
- Go up to see the views from the London Eye: This tourist attraction has become one of the most emblematic in the city, as it offers visitors the most impressive views of London and what better place to take shelter from the rain than in the cabin of one of the most famous Ferris wheels in the world.
- Climb inside Tower Bridge: A visit to the inside of this famous construction is to discover how the drawbridge system worked in the past and today, as well as pointing out the importance of this bridge in London's present-day history.
- Enjoy a musical. London's range of musicals is extensive and is undoubtedly one of the city's biggest attractions. Among the West End's most famous musicals are Mamma Mia, Les Miserables and The Lion King, but there are many more to choose from and seeing a musical is an experience not to be missed.
- Grab a bite to eat at Covent Garden Market. This spectacular market offers a wide variety of bars where you can stop for refreshments and snacks, as well as numerous shows and concerts.
Getting around London
The British capital's public transport network is one of the best in Europe, so getting around the city is not difficult. There are several ways to get around, such as the legendary London taxis or the famous red double-decker buses, which are a great option if you have a short journey to make, otherwise you're likely to take longer than expected due to traffic.
For this reason, another very good option is to take the London Underground to move comfortably and efficiently, especially if the distances are long.
This guide is your perfect complement to make the best plans and enjoy London in June, have a good trip!