This is it, guys – we’re already halfway through another strange year! Luckily, there are loads of fab things to do in London this July.
The heat is on – seriously, look at the forecast – and so are a load of bloomin’ fantastic events in London. The city is truly coming back to life as we put the lockdown behind us, so whether you’re sipping pints in a beer garden, diving into tapas in a restaurant, or heading off on a staycation, there’s something going on to keep you entertained. So without further ado, get a load of these amazing things to do in London in July 2021!
1. Nip off on a lovely staycation
The global travel picture is complex to say the least, so perhaps a domestic holiday is the best option? July is holiday season proper, and checking out our guide to the UK’s favourite staycation spots is a pretty decent way of making a start on that much-deserved trip!
2. Show your pride at UK Black Pride (July 2-4)
Staying online for another year won’t stop UK Black Pride organisers from putting on one hell of a show. This year’s theme is ‘Love and Rage’, and the reason is clear: it “claps back against the many ways we are told who we are allowed to be, and how to grieve, love and rage. We will not be quiet, we will not be meek. We will be heard, and we will be loud.” Powerful stuff – see more on their website.
3. Save the world in this immersive Doctor Who experience
Doctor Who: Time Fracture comes from Immersive Everywhere – the team who delivered the immersive theatre production of The Great Gatsby – and has been blessed by BBC Studios, so you’re guaranteed the full Doctor Who experience in this adventure. An unknown weapon has opened a rift in time and space in a once-tranquil corner of Mayfair, posing a grave danger to the capital – and it’s up to you to stop it! Find tickets here.
Will the Three Lions feature at the Wembley final on July 11? We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed – in the meantime, you can track England (or your own favoured team) through the quarters and semi-finals at these excellent spots to watch the Euros.
5. See all the smashing action from Wimbledon
Sticking with sports for the moment, anyone for tennis? Ah who are we kidding, it’s everyone for tennis when Wimbledon rolls around and SW19 becomes the most desirable postcode in town. If you didn’t manage to grab a ticket, or don’t fancy braving The Queue, park yourself at any of these live screenings and follow all the action.
6. Mix up killer cocktails at Islington’s tropical tiki bar
Laki Kane isn’t just one of London’s prettiest bars; it’s also home to some of the capital’s best tropical cocktails. Under the guidance of award-winning bartenders, you can mix up your own tropical creations, and take home a cocktail-making book to allow you to whip them up at home. Tickets can be found here.
7. Celebrate all things ‘Merica (July 4)
Bit easier to celebrate this with the giant orange baby gone, isn’t it? Whilst you could celebrate with a nice meal out at any of the restaurants plotting an Independence Day special, the option of drinks is proving most tempting for us. A new ‘Sip America’ campaign has invited four of London’s favourite bars – Little Mercies, Satan’s Whiskers, Fitz’s, and Crossroads – to hero American whiskies in special menus, available between July 1-8. It’s a great chance to discover a new favourite tipple. More here.
8. Climb London’s newest tourist attraction (July 5)
Construction on Marble Arch Hill is reaching the final stages, and you’ll be able to climb this 25-metre mound on the edge of Hyde Park in a little under a week. Get the full scoop here.
9. Bounce around the West End on this musical tour
Part silent disco, part tour of London’s favourite theatres, this fun-loving tour is packed full of anecdotes about the West End and its theatre culture. You can grab tickets here.
10. Get lost in a sea of flowers at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (July 6-11)
Summer isn’t the only thing in full bloom this month. Mosey on down to the idyllic surrounds of Hampton Court Palace for the Royal Horticultural Society’s first festival of the summer (its famed sister festival, RHS Chelsea Flower Show, has been moved to September this year). These gardens are great for the ‘gram, and it’s a super spot for a lazy afternoon wander amongst the tulips. More on their website.
11. Kick back at London’s favourite outdoor cinemas
Hollywood’s cream of the crop are arriving at outdoor cinemas across London this summer, bringing the magic of film to rooftops, parks, and even canals. With a massive range of blockbusters, cult classics, and family-friendly films on offer, you’ll find something for everyone at any of London’s best outdoor cinemas – check out our guide here!
12. Check out Waterloo’s new Ibiza-inspired brunch
You no longer need to travel to the Balearic island to get a taste of Ibiza, because Bar Elba is bringing the beach party straight to us. Their ‘Exile in Ibiza’ rooftop bottomless brunch promises chilled Ibiza beats brought to you by a live resident DJ, along with bottomless prosecco, beer, or cocktails. Who needs the White Isle? Tickets available here.
13. Indulge in the capital’s best eats at Taste of London (July 7-11 & 14-18)
Regent’s Park will become a foodie paradise this month, as Taste of London festival makes a grand return this month. Top chefs from London’s best restaurants will be offering taster-sized portions of their signature dishes, alongside stalls serving over 100 different kinds of food, peddling the finest artisanal ingredients around. with live cooking demonstrations, afternoon tea, cocktail classes, and a craft beer trail also on offer, you’re going to leave here utterly stuffed. See more here.
Whether you’re a green-fingered gardener with an empty canvas, or simply obsessed with houseplants, London’s array of garden centres will prove an absolute delight. Check out our favourites here!
15. Scope out the London Wonderground festival (from July 15)
Yep, to misquote The Jam, we’re going Wonderground (going Wonderground) this summer, as a new food and entertainment hub sets up in west London. London Wonderground is heading to Earl’s Court to provide street food, fairground thrills, and live music and comedy this summer, and it’s the spectacular summer playground we definitely need for 2021. Find out more here.
16. Chortle at the summer-long Underbelly Festival
Underbelly may have a presence at London Wonderground, but they’re also ploughing ahead with their own festival in Cavendish Square. Music, comedy, variety, and more awaits, including the likes of Rhod Gilbert, improv group Notflix, comedy duo Giants, and so much more. More on their website.
17. Dip into a bottomless Asian street food dinner
Tai Pan Alley have collected cuisines from all over Asia, so whether your taste runs towards Thai, Malay, or Japanese cooking, you’ll be very happy here. Their excellent new weekend bottomless dinners also feature bottomless cosmopolitans, prosecco, or Langkawi Island iced tea, so expect this to be a merry affair. Book a place here.
18. Stroll through London’s free riverside festival
A three-month festival overlooking the Thames at Tower Bridge, Summer by the River is back with another a programme of free, summery events for us to enjoy. Just got to hope for some sunshine now… More here.
19. Race dodgems around the Somerset House courtyard (July 15)
At summer pop-up Dodge, you’ll find interactive bumper cars, art installations, tasty treats, outdoor seating booths and a few surprises along the way. We may still be riding the rollercoaster of 2020, but this fairground sounds a lot more appealing… Find out more here.
20. Feel the bass at this immersive music and bingo night
It’s bingo with bass at DNB Bingo! This immersive event brings together comedians, bingo, and headline DnB acts to Oval Space, for an unforgettable mash-up of music and bingo. The next event is on July 17, and you can find tickets here.
21. Mosey on down to The Old Vic’s brand new shows
Few London theatres command the same respect as The Old Vic, and at long last, we’ll get to see live theatre on that hallowed stage once again. Two shows arrive in July, with Daniel Mays and David Thewlis starring in a new version of Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter (July 7-10), and destinies colliding at a dusty US motel in Bagdad Café (from July 17). Check them out here.
22. Check out London’s massive Chess Fest (July 16-18)
Yes, pun very much intended there. Building on the chess renaissance that’s followed in the wake of Netflix hit ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, Chess Fest is taking over Trafalgar Square for one weekend. You’ll find hundreds of chess tables for light competition, speed chess against Grandmasters, an Alice in Wonderland-inspired Human Chess game, and six giant chess boards for you to muck around on. I once lost a game of chess in just three catastrophic moves, so maybe this isn’t for me… More here.
23. Push your Oyster card to the limit with a trip to London’s outer reaches
Central London may get most of the attention, but head beyond Zone 4 and you’ll find a wealth of treasures that aren’t as well-frequented. Lavender farms, Art Deco palaces, and stunning grottos are just a few of the highlights; see the rest here.
24-33. Delight your senses at an enchanting candlelight concert
Date nights are back to stay, and we can’t think of a better option than these dazzling array of candlelight concerts. From Nina Simone tributes to anime-inspired shows, there’s something for every music lover here. Here’s what’s on offer in July!
Candlelight: John Williams’ Best Works (July 6, 9, & 24)
Candlelight Jazz: A Tribute To Nina Simone (July 6 & 7)
Candlelight Open Air: Soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer & More (July 7 & 14)
Candlelight: The Best of Anime (July 10 & 31)
Candlelight: Hans Zimmer’s Best Works at Castle Hotel Windsor (July 11 & 18)
Candlelight Jazz: A Tribute To Aretha Franklin (July 14)
Candlelight: Best of Magical Movie Soundtracks (July 16, 22, & 29)
Candlelight: A Tribute to Daft Punk (July 17)
Floating Candlelight: A Tribute to Ludovico Einaudi (July 18 & 28)
Candlelight: Mozart’s Best Works (July 23)
Don’t forget, you can see and book even more fabulous candlelight concerts here!
34. Catch a Shakespeare show under the stars (July 17)
Nothing in London quite rivals a midnight Shakespeare showing at The Globe. London’s most awe-inspiring theatre started the practice back in the early 2000s, and happily, their Midnight Matinées return this summer for more Bard behaviour after dark. This summer’s run kicks off with the theatre’s winning production of Romeo & Juliet on July 17: always a treat, whatever the time of day. See more here.
35. Browse the Lambeth Country Show (July 20-21)
In normal years, Lambeth Country Show is best described as a village fete on steroids, with flower shows, sheep displays, live music, and the odd bit of jousting – all for free! In 2021, however, it’s taking place online, with organisers working hard to make it equally excellent.
36. Punch up your weekends with a bottomless rum punch brunch
Not just fun to write, but fun to enjoy too! Cococure in Aldgate is hosting London’s best rum punch brunch every Sunday this summer, featuring delicious dishes and the best afrobeats, hip hop, bashment, and dancehall tunes. Find your tickets here.
37. Dine at NYC’s favourite brunch spot (in London) (July 22)
Brunch is an art form in NYC, and now one of the city’s favourites has made a voyage across the Atlantic, to set up in Notting Hill. Sunday in Brooklyn are known for their epic malted pancakes and brilliant cocktails, so you’ll be wanting to plan a Sunday in Notting Hill this summer. Read all about it.
38. Go for a full house at this hip hop bingo brunch
Bingo meets Biggie at Barrio’s 90s-inspired hip hop brunch, where MC Missy Hypnotize and Barrio resident DJ Dan Grey will get you in the mood to party. Bottomless gin and juice and a themed bingo session will turn this into a dabber’s delight, so grab your tickets to take part.
39. Swan around a suave cocktail-filled garden party (July 23-24)
Having started the summer party last month, Cocktails in the City are throwing one heck of a follow-up bash this July. This month’s theme is ‘A World Of Cocktails’, with the focus on worldwide cocktails, ranging from from aperitivos to tiki tropicana. Honouring the diverse international influences that make London’s bar scene a globetrotting affair, you’ll find bars including Laki Kane, Kosmopol, TT Liquor, and Café Pacifico at this event. Tickets are available here.
40. Shoot for glory at London’s new football bar (July 29)
A football-based social and dining entertainment experience, which is the first of its kind in the UK, is landing in the capital this month. TOCA Social will set the stage for a three-pronged attack of gourmet food, drinks and shooting footballs at the famous O2 Arena. A perfect hat-trick! More here.
Perhaps your only chance to rule
Westeros the West End, this new statue has arrived in Leicester Square to add a little taste of murder and betrayal to the Scenes in the Square trail. (Not literally, mind you.) More info here.
42. Bring the Caribbean to Camden at this tropical bottomless brunch
Ma Petite Jamaica‘s bottomless brunch is truly unlike any other and thanks to their authentic Jamaican food, wonderfully welcoming staff, and all the Reggae hits you could ever hope for, you’ll instantly forget you’re in the middle of Camden Town. Book your tickets here.
You’ve probably worn the paths around your local park to dust over the past year, but with a little more freedom afforded these days, you can dream a little bigger. These spectacular green spaces await you!
44. Live la dolce vita at an epic new Italian restaurant
Ave Mario is the latest opening from the Big Mamma team (who’ve blessed London with Gloria and Circolo Popolare), and in their usual inimitable style, it’s going to be quite the eye-popping affair. Find out more.
45. Sip Asian-inspired cocktails at this fab bottomless brunch
An intriguing array of fusion food – including egg and bacon bao, and piña colada granola – and Asian-influenced cocktails like the Bermondsey Sling or Talisman Mule make The Last Talisman’s bottomless brunch an intriguing option. You can find tickets here.
46. Light up your life at God’s Own Junkyard
Life would be so much duller without God’s Own Junkyard, the Walthamstow warehouse filled with an absolute treasure trove of neon signs. If you’ve never paid a visit (what have you been doing with yourself?!), now is the time to rectify that! See more here.
47. Stuff yourself silly at the London Restaurant Festival’s summer edition
Though October is normally the time for feasting at the London Restaurant Festival, organisers have decided to treat us with a summer edition for the first time ever. A celebration of outdoor dining awaits; find out more here.
48-49. Head to a brilliant London festival
Usually, festival season would be hitting its peak in July, with big names arriving every weekend. Alas, we’ll need to wait until later in summer for the bulk of them, but a pair of early birds are arriving in July.
🎤 Kaleidoscope (July 24): Ally Pally’s summer jam returns with music from Groove Armada, The Coral, and Norman Jay MBE
🎧 Gala Festival (July 30-August 1): sneaking in at the month’s end with Alfa Mist, Poppy Ajudha, and Nabihah Iqbal on the bill
Check out the dates for the rest of London’s music festivals here.
50-55. Absorb some culture at an art exhibition
It’s a quieter month on the art front, but here are the highlights!
ART EXHIBITIONS OPENING IN JULY
❤️ Paula Rego (July 7): painting, collage, sculpture, and drawings, all dedicated to women
🧡 Sophie Taeuber-Arp (July 15): a pioneering abstract artist comes to Tate Modern
ART EXHIBITIONS CLOSING IN JULY
💛 Return To Slygo (ends July 4): diverse celebration of community, culture and craftmanship at NOW Gallery
💚 Villainy (ends July 15): Jerkface’s cartoon-inspired takeover of the Maddox Gallery is a must-see
💙 Matthew Barney: Redoubt (ends July 25): catch the artist’s first solo exhibit in ten years before it’s gone
💜 Igshaan Adams: Kicking Dust (ends July 25): race, religion and sexuality combine at this soon-to-be-gone Hayward Gallery show
56-60. See Hollywood’s next big release
Alright, so the height of summer isn’t the best time to sit in a dark cinema, but if you’re sick of watching films on the small screen after months of lockdown, making a trip to the flicks is an almost-new novelty… Don’t forget to grab your ODEON tickets from Fever for some of the cheapest prices around.
🕷 Black Widow (July 9): the latest Marvel flick explores Black Widow’s time before the Avengers
🏀 Space Jam: A New Legacy (July 16): LeBron James teams up with the Looney Tunes gang for another intergalactic basketball romp
🐍 Snake Eyes (July 23): action-packed GI Joe spinoff starring Henry Golding
🌴 Jungle Cruise (July 30): Disney tries to turn another theme park ride into a franchise (hey, it worked for Pirates of the Caribbean…)
⚔️ The Green Knight (July 30): trippy, fascinating take on the Arthurian legend
61-75. Keep exploring this charming city
We uncovered some more perfect places to visit this month – why not check them out in July?
🍻 The Garden at Kentish Town: huge new beer garden for North London
😋 Humble Crumble: the UK’s first crumble bar is a tasty temptation
6️⃣ Hijingo: Shoreditch’s hi-tech, high energy immersive bingo experience
💙 Roof East: summer playground in the heart of east London
🧀 The Cheese Barge: floating temple of cheese now docked up in Paddington
🍷 AIRE Ancient Baths: fancy new spa experience with a ‘Wine Ritual’
🍗 Seoul Bird: Canary Wharf’s tasty Korean fried chicken joint
🌮 La Bodega Negra: Soho sex shop that’s actually a Mexican restaurant
🌊 Word on the Water: London’s charming floating bookshop
💚 The Culpeper: rooftop bar recently voted #1 in Europe
⛱ Ruislip Lido: nature reserve with a beach you can reach on the Tube
🍺 Camden Beer Hall: Bavarian-inspired drinking hall from the Camden Brewery team
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.