- What with good weather, beer gardens finally open for business, cafés putting little verandas out, and it staying light ‘til late, visiting London in July makes sense to everyone.
- So you’ve probably booked your tickets already and you’re pondering which hotels to book. Well, with the great summer deals we have (particularly student accommodation), you needn’t look much harder. We’ve got great July offers from £15 per person per night!
- But just to sweeten the deal, we’ve knocked together our top 10 reasons to visit the capital so that you can make the most of your time in London.
- If you did want a few persuasive additions to your already bulging fantasy itinerary, then look below for the things you didn’t know you could do.
Enjoy a day trip to see what else England has to offer
It might seem counter-logic to suggest getting out of London as one of our top 10 things to do in London, but there’s method to our madness.
Nowhere else in the country are you provided with such far-reaching and tentacle-like transport covering all major modes (train, plane, coach and everything else).
So if you are staying in London and have a free day, you can get remarkably good value on trains and coaches heading down to the nearby coasts or the southern counties that boast beautiful countryside.
Try getting the train from London Bridge or London Victoria to Brighton to see our most famous, tourist-orientated coastal town, or leave from Victoria to head out to our quaint and beautiful villages in Kent, the “garden of England”.
There are so many stunning rural areas in England that it’d be a shame not to see any when you’ve got such easy access, and in July, with the summer at its glorious zenith, transporting yourself to a bygone world of thatched cottages and village pubs will put the cherry on the Eccles cake of your English holiday.
You can enjoy English rural traditions in London itself
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the middle of the most populous municipality in Europe isn’t the most ideal location for a farm. Funnily, we don’t have just one, but a massive livestock-laden handful of them.
These are absolutely ideal for family days out. Most have a café and petting area, where you can meet goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs and horses close-up and personal (and in some you can take them for rides; the horses, that is), and they all have vibrant calendars of activities to make your visit that much more special.
Our top picks are Spitalfields City Farm, Vauxhall City Farm, Stepney Farm and Hackney City Farm. Check them out online and see which is closest to you or easiest to get to, and give your kids that brilliant day out without paying through the nose for it. You could even book your accommodation based on the closest proximity to your favourite farm!
Combine a park visit with amazing architecture
London was, and we think still is, the greenest city in the world. In fact, you can walk for five miles without crossing a normal road through the royal parks.
We imagine that seeing one or all of these parks was probably on your list anyway, however there is no greater time to enjoy the lush greenery than in July.
What is so remarkable about these parks is that many of them have enormous and jaw-dropping buildings situated in them, since they were, at one stage, the grounds of palaces.
Some of our favourites are: Hyde Park, which contains the monumental Kensington Palace (home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children); Green Park and its little-known highlight(!) Buckingham Palace; Bishops Park which contains the rather more modest Fulham Palace and also offers wonderful views of the Thames by Putney; and Holland Park, which doesn’t have a palace but does have some amazing grounds, an opera arena and a beautiful old orangery.
Picnics, off-the-cuff parties and lazy days out in the sun are all big pulls for parks, and in July the weather lends itself more than at any other time to your full enjoyment of these wondrous and free attractions. With London accommodation deals from £15 per person, your trip to the capital can be really great value for money this month.
All the more time to party!
Technically speaking, the nights in July are getting longer (the shortest night of the year is June 21st, though of course weather affects that), however it feels much later when the sun goes down all the way through until mid-August.
That means you can stay out later and later. We recommend trying to find yourself some clubs and bars that have nice outdoor areas for you to enjoy the weather in.
Roofnic is a new bar off Oxford Street that is only a rooftop bar. Great. Unbelievably for its location, Roofnic has reasonably priced cocktails and doesn’t have the elitist, gentrified feel of most of London’s other rooftop bars.
There’s also Aqua in Soho, Franks Café in Peckham (which is bigger and more party orientated than most), the balconies and rooftop bars of the National Theatre and Queen Elizabeth Halls on the Southbank, The Big Chill in Kings Cross (real party vibe), the Queen of Hoxton (unsurprisingly in Hoxton), and our old favourite the Faltering Fullback with its treehouse-type multi-level garden.
There are lots of great nightclub deals in London in the summer
Uni is over for the summer (as is school) and that means businesses want the custom of the less-than-fiscally-solvent types by whacking down their prices. This applies to almost all business, but one stream of business gets particular value out of students: nightclubs.
Obviously, if there’s one thing students are known for liking, it’s going out and having an excessively good time.
Luckily, London’s bars will throw on a plethora of cheap nights throughout the summer that they won’t do the rest of the year and chuck in some fantastic drinks offers to match.
The best place to look for these is Leicester Square, but there are some areas that won’t entertain the idea (such as Shoreditch). Make sure you know the places that students flock to (the centre and the south) and treat your wallet with respect whilst having just as great a night out as you would the rest of the time.
The summer is festival season and London has its fair share
London has hundreds of festivals throughout the year, but some of the best take place over the summer when the weather’s fair and lots of people can take time out to attend.
Some are ticketed, others are come-one-come-all. Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park is the former and has much more of a Glastonbury vibe than the other festivals.
Similar festivals in July include Kew The Music Festival. That’s not as pop heavy as Wireless and has more R&B, blues, comedy and all-pleasing acts. Lovebox has returned to Victoria Park in East London, so get along for some super-hip dancing in London’s trendiest area.
To cap it all, Somerset House on the South Bank opens its Summer Series; a showcase of everything big in music and entertainment on a nightly basis. Tickets are varied, so check out the schedule and see how you’d like to prioritise. Book great value accommodation in London to be close to your chosen festival.
July has its own calendar of great indoor and outdoor events
There are some things that you just can’t do in poor weather. Outdoor theatre is one of those things.
In Regent’s Park, the Open Air Theatre opens its season to the public. While tickets aren’t extortionate, they’re certainly not a walk in the park (pardon the pun!) but you’re guaranteed some of the highest quality theatre you’ll ever see, and the beautiful outdoor setting is a big bonus. There’s something much more special and magical about it.
A lot of theatres open their summer season, and more conventional entertainment venues (such as The O2 Arena) have a stonking season for you to get your teeth into. Global sensation Ed Sheeran plays Wembley Stadium whilst Neil Diamond plays The O2 Arena.
Something a bit special for your screen needs
The silver screen is given a tint of gold over the summer as a number of venues open their open-air cinemas.
Usually, showings take place after dark (for obvious reasons). The Queen of Hoxton repurposes its massive rooftop bar into a cinema from May to September, and tickets are remarkably good value (but go quickly). This also has a barbecue, so you can have something tasty with your film. This club also has venues in Stratford, Peckham and Kensington, so no matter where you are you can get along.
The British Summer Time Film Festival at Hyde Park is the option for the thrifty. Classic films get outings for free during their open-air schedule, which provides the most perfect date setting you could imagine.
There are more, so do a quick search, but we must quickly tout the Luna Cinema at various locations throughout London (such as Regent’s Park, Brockwell, Dulwich and Kew Gardens) that offers an amazing cinema experience. Huge, raked auditoriums are set up and classic, crowd-pleasing films (like Back to the Future) get shown as well as recent releases.
Summer sporting season is open for business
The summer sporting season in London gets off to a flying (well, watery) start with the Henley Regatta, a super-posh rowing race along the Thames in Henley. It’s a bit of a pain to get to but makes for a beautiful day out.
Obviously the buzz in July is all about Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, and whether you’re a tennis fan or not, you won’t be able to escape its omnipresent pull. And no bad thing, as you’ll find a really cheery crowd in pubs or parks keeping up with the action, warming those around with great summer vibes.
There’s a swathe of cricket for that extra English day out, and the end of the Woman’s World Cup. There’s so much to get on with in the sporting calendar, you’ll feel you’re spending all your time either in a pub or a sporting venue. And no bad thing.
The best classical music at amazing value
The BBC Proms is a national institution. Coming from the word “promenade” (to do with walking) The Proms was invented as a way to bring classical music to those who couldn’t afford the staggering prices of normal concert venues. The tradition has been going strong for a long, long time and shows no signs of letting up.
The Proms run nearly every night and go all the way until September, so if you want to get along, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you.
Turn up to the Royal Albert Hall early and get your £6.50 ticket to get inside London’s most iconic concert venue and one of our most profound architectural marvels. A great way to spend an off-the-cuff evening out or make a special celebration.