In an ideal world, we would have the day off work to worship the sun on Summer Solstice. However, as it falls on a Monday this probably means most of us will be at work. If you’re lucky enough to have the day off, then use the elongated day to enjoy London in all its glory.
4.43am : Watch the sunrise with an early breakfast at Duck & Waffle
While the city still sleeps, head on up to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower for breakfast at the crack of dawn. The Duck and Waffle serves food 24 hours a day, so you can start the lightest 24 hours of the year with some delicious grub and, of course, breathtaking views across the capital.
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
6.00am: Take a bike ride along the Thames
While the paths and roads are still clear, hop on your bike (or Boris’) and take a leisurely cycle along the River Thames. It’s a beautifully tranquil way to exercise, as well as see London’s best bits without the crowds. For more pretty cycle routes in the city, check these out.
11.00am: Elevenses, obviously.
Because you had such an early breakfast, you’re probably going to be hungry again after all that cycling. Hey, treat yourself to same biscuits and cake at 11. Why? Because it’s a long-ass day! We’d recommend giving the extremely cute, The Watch House, on Bermondsey Street, a try. It sources its patisserie fresh from Borough Market and the sweet treats are divine!
199 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UW
1.00pm Take a trip to admire Leadenhall Market
Right in the heart of the City sits this gorgeous Victorian market hall. It’s only open on the weekday (because we all know that the City is dead on the weekends), but it’s still worth a trip. Everything is a little bit pricey, naturally, in banker-ville, but the building itself is quite spectacular and worth a lunch time stroll.
3.00pm: Visit the Barbican Conservatory
Take the extra day time to reflect in some of London’s beautiful green spaces. This indoor haven contains tropical plants, trees, birdlife and over 2000 species of exotic fish. Under the safety of its glass roof, you can (almost) pretend that you’re in a faraway country. You’ll find the conservatory inside the Barbican Centre in Moorgate. It is open between 12pm and 5pm daily. Or, if you’re in a nearer proximity to one of these gardens, they are equally (if not more) tranquil.
5.00pm: It’s beer garden time!
If you’re going to spend the longest day of the year doing something, a fair proportion of it needs to be in a beer garden. We’re British, for gods sake! Heck, we should spend all of it in a beer garden. The Queen of Hoxton’s ever-changing rooftop bar in Shoreditch has whacked out another brilliant theme this summer. It’s taking a psychedelic turn and dedicating the terrace to Dr Strange. If you’re going to be elsewhere on the Monday evening, check out other brilliant beer gardens in London.
6.30pm: Get outside for some early dinner.
After you’ve had a couple of bevvies, you’re probably (definitely) going to get peckish again. It’s time to find yourself a good table at one of these al fresco eatings spots, to take it slow and watch the world go by.
It’s time guys. The big sun-down. Grab a blanket and curl up in one of these breathtaking spots. The longest day of the year is over and you have (hopefully) seen it out beautifully.
Featured image credit: Instagram @jstaffordphotos