6 Reasons to visit London in June
If you’re playing with the idea of coming to London in June and need a little persuasion then you’ve come to the right place! As well as the sun coming out and some amazing annual events, there are also a few dates that happen once in a lifetime that are pretty unmissable.
Most people would love a holiday in London any time of year, but with the megaton of fun going on in London coupled with some eye-popping savings, June is arguably the best month of 2015 to visit, and it’s great value too. Book now from just £15 per person per night!
Pack your swimming trunks, some sun cream, your best dress/suit, and basically anything you can think of; you’ll need all of it. And after saving a pretty penny on a hotel stay, any free moments you have can be dedicated to wiping out your surplus at the shops.
1. The Queen’s Coronation Day
The most famous person in the country celebrates 65 years on the throne
Wherever you stand on Monarchism or Republicanism, there’s no denying that HRH Queen Elizabeth II is a pretty impressive woman.
First and foremost, there are few people in this country that can say they have two birthdays, but the Queen is one such lucky person. She has the day on which she physically entered the world (21st April) and the day on which she was born as the sovereign leader of England, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
On the 2nd June 2015, the mother of our isle will celebrate 62 years on the throne, and there’s a bit of a party to celebrate. While it won’t be as spectacular as the Jubilee that took place two years ago and saw a flotilla returning the Thames to its Tudor heyday, you’d still be well advised to head over to Buckingham Palace to see Trooping the Colour on 13th June.
Pageantry, heraldry, horses, amusing hats and the armed forces run a spectacular party, and you can witness the whole lot for free. Best to stake out a good spot early on Whitehall.
As it happens, I personally mixed a gin martini for the Queen during the Chelsea Flower Show a few years back (she didn’t drink it; a manservant just followed her around carrying it), and between you and me, she’s a classy lady who knows how to throw a party.
2. Hidden London Opens Up
London’s private spaces open to the public for a few glorious days
It’s no secret that a good proportion of London’s green spaces and its many palaces aren’t so keen on any Tom, Dick or Harry strolling casually through the gates to potter around. But in their benevolence, many of these spaces do open up in June to let you get your fill of the prettiest and most impressive gardens and buildings that the capital has on offer.
First on the list is Hampton Court Palace. It’s a bit of a journey out of town, but between the 11th and 23rd of June 2015, the stunning Tudor Courtyard plays host to some of the UK’s biggest acts as part of their annual festival, the Hampton Court Palace Festival.
Every act is a top-of-their-game artist with glittering careers. Opening the festival is Jools Holland, and closing is the world’s favourite songwriter, Burt Bacharach. Other highlights include Paloma Faith and the comedic brilliance of Paul Merton and Alan Davies.
Tickets vary between each act and, unsurprisingly, aren’t cheap (typically around £40 per person). However they’re less than you’d pay to see such megastars at other venues. The “value” of this isn’t really the point; it’s the location that does the legwork. To see these artists is one thing, but in the breath-taking setting of the Tudor Courtyard of one of London’s most important palaces is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
If you want to witness the Tudor Courtyard (and the rest of the Palace) but aren’t too keen on spending that kind of money (or if none of the acts tickle your fancy) then you can hop on a train from Waterloo to Hampton Court Station and take the short walk to the Palace. Much of it is open to the public for a small fee during the summer.
On a nice day, one of the most pleasant ways to spend time is taking a picnic to the bank of the Thames with weeping willows stroking the surface of the sparkling water and the imposing, antiquated structure of the historic palace behind you.
If you’ve ever been rambling through London and noticed a beautiful, gated garden square with perfectly maintained lawns and flower beds, only to find that it’s closed to the public, then the Open Garden Squares is for you.
Between the 13th and 14th of June 2015, over 200 gardens and squares all over the capital are open to the public. Tickets cost £10 (under 12s go free) and, for that small price, give you unlimited access to ALL of the gardens over the entire weekend.
It’s best to make a weekend of it. All gardens are different, and a number have a range of activities on offer to suit every taste. Lexham Gardens, Culverley Green, Eaton Square and Russell Square (among others) all have children’s activities on; many have food and drink; most have music reflective of London’s varied multiculturalism and history; and a few have plant fairs for the avid gardener.
All told, for the princely sum of a tenner per person, you can do a month’s worth of activities in just two days, all the while in the setting of a wisteria-clad garden and the unusual quietness and peace that private gardens in the centre of London possess.
It makes sense to stay for the whole weekend, so make a trip of it by booking London accommodation from just £15 per night!
3. No Business Like Show Business!
London’s theatre scene is at its colourful best during June
London is synonymous with theatre. From antiquity, the performing arts have been the lynchpin from which the city’s cultural scene hangs. Our rich heritage of writers, actors, theatres, directors and productions cannot be seen in a year, let alone a month, but in June, it all opens up.
West End Live on the 20th and 21st of June 2017 has become one of London’s most fabulous events, when Trafalgar Square is given over to snippets of performances that are gracing our West End stages. It’s free (yes, free) and anyone can just rock up to catch whatever show that happens to be going on over the weekend. Award-winning shows, musicals and plays get a brief outing in our most famous venue.
And you can get your fill without spending a penny. Be aware that most tickets for musicals in the West End start at about £70, so this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Last year witnessed the opening of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on the South Bank, next door to the Globe (Mr Wanamaker is the man responsible for Shakespeare’s Globe as is). When theatres moved inside in the mid-1600s, things changed markedly. Indeed, the expression “in the limelight” comes from this period, where blocks of limestone were heated to give off light throughout a production.
The venue is usually dark over the summer in favour of the season playing at the Globe proper, however a few shows come inside, and it’s worth getting along to these to spend some time in the beautiful, candlelit venue.
The Globe itself is a must for all theatre lovers. Groundling (standing) tickets can be bought for £5 to any show, and on a nice day it’s your most authentic way to be transported back in time to the decadence and beauty of 16th Century England.
If you’re visiting from abroad and you’re a theatre lover, then it’s almost a moral obligation to go and see something at the National Theatre. In its famous, brutalist building on the South Bank, June sees a number of great productions, some of which have £15 tickets due to their ongoing sponsorship by Travelex. ‘Everyman’ is our recommendation, starring Chewitel Ejiofore and written by England’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The production deals with ambition, success and what it’s all for in the end.
You could always pop along to Canary Wharf from the 29th June to the 4th July 2017 and see as much dance as your eyes can take. All for free, the financial centre of London hosts dance from all over the world in its Dancing City festival as well as related events. Fantastic for dancers, kids and people who enjoy being impressed alike.
4. Sports Aplenty
There’s no better place to take in the UK’s biggest sporting fixtures than the capital!
We’re a nation of sportsmen and women. The sheer variety of our national sports should give some indication of how important these pursuits are to us, and while we tend not to go for the US “sports bar” feel, there are many dedicated places to take in sports of all varieties.
Fancy a gamble? Then get yourself down to Epsom for the racing on June 6th 2015. It’s the Epsom Derby (the most famous flat race in Britain) and a guaranteed great day out.
Trains run from Waterloo and a day out in this idyllic rural setting is recommended anyway. But if you’re feeling lucky, then what’s to stop you from placing a conservative bet on a sure thing and splashing out on that extra bottle of Prosecco?
And for the king of all races, you can’t beat Royal Ascot between the 16th and the 20th of June 2015. This event is about fashion and frivolity as much as it is about horse racing, so it’s a great excuse to get out your best threads (and, if you’re a woman, your most impressive hat) and have a swanky day out in the sun at Ascot. You might even win big!
The 6th June 2015 is also the Champions League Final. Football fans from the continent over will be in high spirits for this game, so we recommend finding a good football pub to watch it in. Top of our list is the Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park. As well as watching the football, you can get yourself a table in their famous tree-house back garden.
On 12th June 2015, there’s a big fixture in international cricket right on your London doorstep: England vs. New Zealand at The Oval. If you can’t score tickets to this event but still fancy having a gander, then just pop to Kennington (a beautiful part of London anyway) and stake out a spot at any of the nearby Victorian pubs.
Revellers will abound, and the atmosphere for such events is fantastic. You could also just pop into Kennington Park with a picnic and listen to the game on the radio, knowing that it’s being played a cricket-ball’s throw from where you’re sunbathing!
Finally, the 29th June 2015 sees London’s most famous sporting event get underway: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. If you’re intending on going, then you’ve probably sorted out your tickets already, but day one of this tournament is the second best day to go (after the Men’s Finals) and the quiet, rural feel of Wimbledon town will get you in the mood for Pimms, strawberries and cream, and cucumber sandwiches. A quintessentially British event that it’s delightful to be around even if you don’t get to see the games themselves.
5. Outdoor Socialising
When the sun’s out, London comes to life!
If drinking were an Olympic sport, Team GB would win gold every time. Londoners tend to live in two states of being: Winter mode and Summer mode. In Winter, people stick to restaurants, bars and clubs and wrap up warm to shield against the bitter cold.
But we revel in the sunshine, and as soon as it peeps its head out from behind our overcast skies, we take to the streets in our droves to make the most of this rare blessing. If the last two years are anything to go by, this summer should be a fantastic one, so it’s good to know where to go to make the most of the weather and beat the crowds.
Riverside pubs are the obvious choice for fair weather fun, and luckily London has more than its fair share of these. Top of our list is The Dickens Inn on St Katherine’s Dock. Nestled in this secluded marina jam-packed full of superyachts is this tiered, 18th Century pub.
The wooden gantries on the façade are clad in hanging plants, and on a fine day, there’s no better place to be. Get yourself a cool lager or chilled white wine and watch the world go by from one of the sunlit balconies, and if you’re peckish, the food is great too.
It’s not cheap owing to its prestigious location, but the price is certainly worth it to be in such a wonderful environment. The surrounding architecture goes from the very old (Tower of London) to the very new, and it’s as if one can see London’s entire history played out right in front of you.
The Prospect of Whitby is a famous tavern in Wapping whose origins, though debated, may go right the way back to the reign of King Henry VIII. This pub is literally on the river, and with a good selection of drinks and a reasonably priced (and generous) menu, you could do worse than watch the boats go by in the warm weather.
The Riverside in Vauxhall is a classic, nautically-themed pub which is, unsurprisingly, on the river and overlooking the grand architecture of West London. With great views of the Battersea Power Station and an uncluttered skyline, a casual stop off for a few beers here is well worth the expense.
Butler’s Wharf in Bermondsey, South East London, is the beating heart of London’s riverside social scene. With a selection of restaurants, bars and cafés as well as many street artists, you’d be well-advised to take a casual stroll along the promenade and get a quick bite or drink.
You can also see one of London’s cute collections of houseboats moored directly in front of the stretch of restaurants. Head west along the water all the way to Waterloo for one of London’s best summer walks.
6. Great Hotel Deals
Save up to £100.00 on your hotel booking!
There’s no point in coming to London in glorious June unless you’re going to enjoy your free time. In order to do this, it’s usually a good idea to have a bit of cash to splash. But we also understand that London’s an expensive city and cost-cutting requires some prior knowledge.
Don’t fret, we’ve got it in hand. Firstly, advance bookings for June will save you a bundle, so if you book now you will definitely cash in later. With such a great selection of food markets in London, it’s a great idea to book into a self-catering accommodation such as Borough Rooms or Hammersmith Rooms. This enables you to save on food costs whilst eating some of the best produce London has to offer, as well as making monumental savings on the overall price of a room.
As students have all disappeared for the summer, we’ve got deals that can save you bundles of cash by enabling you to stay in great student accommodation in phenomenal locations. What do you say to a room in Waterloo in June for less than you’d pay for a single room in Wembley in November? Thought so.
Our student locations are all over (Waterloo, London Bridge, Bankside and more) and the savings make staying in these sought-after locations a steal that will free you up to enjoy everything London has on offer. The locals will all be jealous, and you’ll have some great memories to take home with you.
Make your booking today and save a load of cash!