Ah, summer. In London, we pine for it all year then usually end up complaining once it arrives. Why? Well, it has a tendency to be one extreme or the other — those being pissing rain and underwhelming temperatures, or sweltering heat for a week that seems to shut the whole place down (read: this Friday).
But, no matter the conditions, London cracks on, with a vast array of festivals, bottomless brunches, summer pop ups, and plenty of rooftop terraces to take advantage of. When does it start? Hard to say, really. That can depend on what happens up in the sky, but there are some sure-fire, unofficial as they may be, signs as to when summer in London starts. We took to social media to ask you what these are, and you obliged.
30 unofficial signs that summer in London has started
1. “People leave the house in flip flops but carrying an umbrella.”
Told you the fickle weather would come up. Always be prepared. Trust me.
2. “’Summer Starts’ is a perpetual state of confusion that we bumble through until ‘Summer Ends’ with basically similar weather but a bit colder and gradually a higher likelihood of fog/snow/storms. But the moments that we have are truly wonderful.”
3. ”People complaining about the heat.”
Favourite pass time of just about everyone. I’ve promised myself to never complain about the heat in London until it’s north of 30°C. Just don’t listen to me this Friday!
4. “People complaining about how hot it is when it’s barely 20 degrees.”
5. “The central line feeling like you’re inside the sun.”
Yep, this line can make you feel slightly toasty. But when you think of what’s at the end of your journey – Hyde Park! Rooftop Bars! Brick Lane! Epping Forest! – the feeling of melting might just be worth it.
6. “People smiling in the streets.”
A rare sight, perhaps. But it’s summer, after al;.
7. “Parks are littered with half naked people with disposable BBQ’s.”
Be it in London Fields; be it in the parks of Victoria, Brockwell or Hyde; or be it in the vantage points of Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath. No surer sign of a heatwave (well, anything over 15°C mixed with a bit of sunshine) exists than the scents of a thousand barbecues across the green spaces of the big smoke.
8. “The rain gets warmer.”
9. “Nothing, there is no such a thing as summer in the UK sorry.”
Hash judgement or harsh reality? Difficult one.
10. “You start seeing the word Pimm’s and Aperol daily.”
What came first: the London summer or the Aperol spritz?
11. “Not me reading this while carrying a bottle of water on a train #summerishere.”
Summer has arrived! Stay hydrated, people.
12. “The “change of passenger scent” in the Underground.”
Yes. To put it very politely…
13. “London pubs decorated with beautiful and colorful hanging baskets bursting with vibrant colors!”
Best place to be in summer.
14. “”London is even hotter than…..” headlines.”
Guilty as charged. Feeling very seen right about now.
15. “The trains are packed to Brighton.”
The day trip to end all day trips when the sun is shining.
It’s not a joke. Every damn year.
17. “People taking off their shirts and tanning in the park.”
Gotta catch them rays while you can.
18. “The ice-cream truck running past your street 7 times.”
The most exciting music of all time.
19. “That people up north moan that the weather is always better down south!”
20. “An empty London as people are travelling abroad because of the sh*t weather!”
Well, we can’t all stand that unpredictable weather for the entire year.
21. “Deck chairs out in the parks.”
Now these are just objectively “good vibes”.
22. “Pubs terraces in sunshine and people drinking Pimm’s lemonade.”
23. “When every morning in the office starts with ‘It’s hot out there’.”
Who doesn’t love a bit of weather small talk? That is what summer (and spring and autumn and winter) is all about.
24. “Rain stops play at Wimbledon tennis.”
But hey, there’s still Pimm’s to drink.
25. “Top off, can of Stella in hand.”
But no World Cup this summer to really top it off.
26. “Sunburnt brits.”
When the “tanning” goes wrong, it can go VERY wrong.
27. “Everyone switching to Pret iced coffees.”
The true signs of a change in season lie within popular sandwich shop and café chain Pret a Manger. You may have heard of it.
28. “Pub gardens are full.”
To be fair, they were also full when the UK reopened outdoor hospitality in the blustery conditions of April 2021 after lockdown. Heroic behaviour.
29. “31C forecast for Friday – which means everyone will be ‘working from home’ aka camping on the common.”
Are we condoning this? No. Are we saying it doesn’t sound like a great idea? Also no. Expect those green spaces to be packed out come the weekend! @ my boss: if you see me sunbathing at 3pm on Friday, no you didn’t!
30. “Kopperberg in the park.”
See also: Stella Artois/Strongbow Dark Fruits/G&T cans/Magnums/your beverage of choice. What a feeling.