Revolve your day (and your planet) around the elusive London sun and you’re guaranteed to have a g’ray’t day. We’ve collated the ultimate list of what to do in our fair city as soon as the sun smiles down on us like that baby from teletubbies. Grab your SPF and sunnies and let’s go!
1. Start your day right with a run along an abandoned railway.
Yes my first suggestion is that you should exercise and yes I may currently be sat stuffing my face with Maddeson’s Fridge Raiders but (to quote a certain company and Shia LaBeouf) JUST DO IT. When the weather is beautiful what better way to explore London than to puff and pant your way around it? No, okay well there are Boris bikes everywhere nowadays so grab one of those instead. The Parkland Walk from Finsbury to Alexandra Palace Park follows a railway line that was abandoned in the 1970s and turned into a woodland. Think Apocalypse now but with pretty plants and sculptures.
2. Enjoy an Iced Coffee for Elevenses.
I don’t know about you but there’s something about iced coffee that makes me feel like the powerful Beyoncé I (think I) am. Gails is known for it’s artisanal coffee and bakery and their iced vanilla latte is the bomb dot com. Ask for an iced espresso for a guaranteed jolt to start your day.
Various locations across London.
3. Browse your way down High Street Kensington.
Oxford Street is gross almost always but High Street Kensington has a ton of the same shops and about a third of the foot traffic (and it’s also a LOT prettier) so head there when you fancy a bit of window shopping in the sunshine. It’s worth noting that the charity shops just off of High Street Ken are hiding some serious bargains since they’re slightly hidden away and gifted to by some very affluent older residents (voice of experience here after I bagged myself a vintage Fiorucci jacket for a tenner. Day= made.) There’s also a Whole Foods and a My Old Dutch Pancake shop (which serves some of the most drool-worthy pancakes in London).
Accessible via the High Street Kensington tube station on Circle and District lines.
4. Picnic like a Pro.
We already told you about where the best picnic spots in London are but now for the food. Head on down to Selfridges Food Hall for this belter of a picnic box from Wolff-Evans & Sons and prepare to lavish yourself with the finest Wiltshire pork scotch eggs and scrummy potato salad for under £10!! Which may seem extravagant, I hear you, but considering the quality of the food on offer and the fact that the portions are VERY generous it’s the quickest way to impress your dining companions into thinking it was personally prepared for you by a private chef with one of those twirly moustaches.
5. Blaze a trail in the Hampton Court Maze.
You’ve probably heard of mazes in London but have you actually been in one? The Hampton Court Maze designed by George London and Henry Wise is one of the most famous in the UK and is surprisingly fun activity to engage in when the sun is out, especially once you’ve had a few to drink. Warning: we do not recommend drinking and mazing with children involved. It almost never ends well.
6. Take a quick dip in an outdoor pool.
Outdoor pools are THE thing to do on a hot day in London. Our favourite is London Fields Lido which is open year round (for those freak 29 degree days in October obviously) as it’s the only 50 metre heated pool in London. If you just fancy dangling your pruny toes in the water and know a member, then head to Shoreditch House where you can grab a cheeky afternoon cocktail and top up your tan.
7. Rock out to karaoke/enjoy a lively beer garden.
As we all know, beer gardens in the sunshine are, in a word, sublime (take a look at The Ship- it’s the real deal). And we grant that karaoke is not everyones game, we do. Not everyone knows the words/wants to hear Ignition on their evening off. But thats why we put the slash!! You can take or leave the karaoke depending on the night you go, but The Beehive in Tottenham (one of London’s oldest pubs) has a beer garden AND has been known to host some pretty spectacular karaoke nights.
8. Toss some tongs around (legally).
You’ve got to be careful where you plonk your disposable BBQ’s these days as the fines can get pretty hefty. Luckily there are still plenty of spots left-you just have to be savvy enough to find them! Check out Highbury Fields in Islington, London Fields in Hackney or Fred Wells Gardens in Wandsworth for nice views and the legal burning of Richmond sausages.
9. Seize the day with an outdoor cinema.
The Rooftop Film Club are back for summer. They’re taking over four glorious London rooftops, including the Bussey Building in Peckham, The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, Kensington Roof Gardens and Roof East in Stratford. Film-loving Londoners can also indulge on some tasty food, as two of London based pop-ups – the Italian supper club, Forza Win, and RockaDollar Dogs – will be dishing up delectable munch. Nespresso will be on hand to serve up some top quality coffee cocktail classics, including their branded take on an Nespresso Martini.
10. See the day off with a sensational sunset.
We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again: Primrose Hill can’t be beaten for it’s incredible sunset views. Finish your evening with a deluxe ice cream from any of the nearby delis (or a gin in a tin if you’d rather) and say goodbye to the sun as it falls over the London skyline. You never know when it’ll be back…
So off you go sun-seekers, YOSLSO (that’s You Only See London Sun Once).