Our recommendations on the best things to do in London this June 2019.
1) Show your Pride, all month
The main events don’t kick off until July, but Pride Festival 2019 hits the ground running this month. Talks, parties, picnics, and bowling nights are just some of the Pride festivities running during June, celebrating all things LGBT+ – with the Pride 10k and Pride’s Got Talent being the June highlights. As anyone who’s been to a Pride event will freely tell you, they’re literally too fun to be missed!
2) See something sizzling at Sundance, from May 30
Some of the year’s most buzzworthy indie movies get their first showing in the UK at the European edition of Sundance, along with Q&A’s with the stars, panel discussions, short films and other such cinematic treasures. Amongst the early buzz (see the full programme here). Passes, from £120, get you into ten festival films – find ’em here.
3) Laze about at Summer by the River festival, May 30
Launching in late May – but running throughout the entirety of June – London’s fabulous free riverside festival is back. Summer by the River in London Bridge may not have the most imaginative name, but it’s chock full of food, films, and fun, so we’ll let it slide. More details here.
4) Lose yourself at London’s breathtaking lavender farm, June 1
Mad about the lav? Happily, Mayfield Lavender Farm will reopen their gorgeous gates on June 1st, welcoming you into a sea of purple. It’s extremely popular with the ‘grammers, who’ll most likely be waiting towards the end of the month for peak lavender season to begin. Read all about it here.
5) Get yourself a free round of mini golf, June 3
Swingers, London’s most provocatively named mini golf course, is celebrating a birthday on June 3. Their City branch is turning three years old, and they’re inviting you to the celebrations. Rounds of mini golf are free all day, champagne is half price, and street food is reduced to £5. Throw in a £5 birthday cocktail and birthday cake, and you’ve got a pretty epic celebration.
6) Take on a deadly mission at Secret Cinema’s new experience, June 5
The name’s London, Secret London. Alright, so we need a better agent name, but we’re still highly excited for the next iteration of Secret Cinema – a 007-inspired experience that sees rookie agents taking our their first mission in a highly immersive screening of Casino Royale. Find out more here.
7) Celebrate World Gin Day, June 8
It’s the happiest day of the year (probably)! Expect a bevy of events across the capital, with various offers, special products and tastings from London’s gin distilleries.
8) Celebrate Her Maj’s birthday at Trooping the Colour, June 8
Speaking of celebrations, dear Liz has another one coming up. This celebration features horses, military officers, and marching bands, and a whole lot of pomp and pageantry. Beats ringing in your 24th at Infernos, doesn’t it?
9) Bike in the buff on the World Naked Bike Ride, June 8
Stealing rather a lot of focus from the Queen’s birthday is this ballsy event. Join hundreds of other daring velocipedes on this starkers cycle ride through the streets of London. It really is that simple, folks. Free to join if you’re brave enough – updates here!
10) Ride through the night, June 8-9
If you don’t fancy cycling starkers, try this ride instead. Embark on a 50km or 100km cycle ride through London on one massive night-time ride, celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. You’ll see all the sights of the capital, and raise money for charity, too. It’s called Nightrider (love the name), and you can find details here.
11) Explore London’s hidden gardens, June 8-9
Open Garden Squares Weekend allows the public to explore over 200 community gardens, private parks and other green spaces over two days in June. From the hidden garden at 49 Bankside to the spectacular sights of the Nomura International PLC roof garden, these spots will make you green with garden envy. Read all about it here.
12) Peruse the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, June 10
One year on from the Grayson Perry-led, eye-popping 250th celebrations, the RA Summer Exhibition returns. British painter Jock McFadyen is in charge this year, with Tracey Emin, Wim Wenders, and Polly Morgan amongst the artists on show. Keep an eye out for the animal-themed menagerie in the Central Hall! Details here.
13) Spoil yourself (and maybe your Dad too) rotten this Father’s Day, June 16
14) Marvel at the new Serpentine Pavilion, June 21
Japanese architect Junya Ishigami is the mind behind this year’s Hyde Park installation – and as he’s famed for his blends of traditional and experimental architecture, you can expect it to be something special. Find out more here.
15) Celebrate the longest day of the year, June 21
Enjoy the sunshine (hopefully) during the summer solstice. The sun will rise at 4.43 am and not set until 9.21 pm. Beer garden, anyone?
16) Wander round East London’s lovely new night market, June 21-22
Modelled on the New York street markets, Oval Night Market will be a very nice addition to the capital’s fleet of markets, thank you very much. With only four weekends in the diary, you’d better take the chance to go along. See more here.
17) Groove along to London’s BBQ and Jazz nights
Smooth jazz and grilled meats might just be our idea of heaven, to be honest. In the serene surroundings of Westminster, you’ll find a charming courtyard filled with the sizzle of barbecues and the enchanting strains of jazz classics. Grab tickets here.
18) Bop on over to the Southbank Beach Bottomless Brunch
A beach, on the South Bank? Far from being some sort of desert mirage, this is glorious beachy reality, and the addition of a bottomless, Mediterranean-inspired brunch doesn’t hurt either. Find your tickets here.
19) Feel all the feels at this Disney Movie Marathon
I think – by this stage – you know exactly how we feel about Disney. Featuring The Little Mermaid, Hercules, The Jungle Book, this Disney marathon invites you to Go The Distance whilst you kick back in a comfy sofa. Yes please! Tickets available here.
20) Split your sides laughing at London’s Comedy Brunch
Yes, it’s a bottomless brunch where your sides are going to hurt from too much laughter and too much food. Bottomless fried chicken, halloumi burgers, falafel dippers, and 90 minutes of bottomless rum cocktails pair very nicely with top London comedians, we think you’ll find! Get your tickets here.
Midnight Apothecary is quite literally the best thing to do in Rotherhithe (trust us, we’ve checked), and that’s all to do with the seasonal garden cocktails on offer. Sup on a Woodland Martini or an Apple Crisp, whilst you toast marshmallows on an open fire. It’s quite unlike anything else in London, so grab a ticket here.
22) Join London’s sky-high feasting experience
Got a head for heights? You’re going to need it at London in the Sky, the city’s ultimate alfresco dining experience. Enjoy breakfast, cake, lunch, hand-crafted cocktails, or dinner whilst seated at a table 100ft above the ground – and of course, the views are something special too. Brave enough? Find your tickets here.
23) Run The World at this Beyoncé Drag Party
Life’s a drag, but Beyoncé never is – unless it’s at the Queen Bey Drag Party, of course. Delightful diva Vanity von Glow is Drunk In Love as your resident Bey, and the afternoon also involves competitions, lip sync battles, and a whole lot of food. Tickets available here.
24-29) Feel the noise at one of London’s summer festivals.
A brand new festival hits London this summer, and they’ve only gone and roped in Chaka Khan to headline! Cross The Tracks hits Brockwell Park on June 9, also featuring yoga classes, record fairs, and an epic, 40-strong street food trader lineup (tickets available here). Meanwhile, Junction 2 heads to Boston Manor Park from June 7-8, with the likes of Bicep, Gilles Peterson, and Daniel Avery all pitching up – find your tickets here. Don’t miss out on Standon Calling either – with Rag’N’Bone Man, Wolf Alice, Kate Nash, and Lewis Capaldi in attendance, it’s well worth the short train journey to Standon, and your tickets are waiting right here.
Nestling into their spectacular new home in Meridian Water is Field Day (June 8-9), featuring the likes of Jorja Smith, Skepta, Diplo, and Bonobo. Quirky one-day festival Mighty Hoopla is back in Brockwell Park on June 8th, as Kate Nash, Liberty X, and Tove Lo take the stage. Catering to a wider audience is Hampton Court Palace Festival (June 7-21), with Kylie Minogue, Busted, and Tears For Fears amongst the names set to rock the palace.
30-35) Soak up some culture at a brilliant art exhibition
Natalia Goncharova arrives from Russia with love on June 6, as Tate Modern gear up to host the UK’s first retrospective of the Russian avant-garde painter. You’re invited to explore beyond the conventions of gender identity at Kiss My Genders, an inclusive show heading to the Hayward Gallery on June 12. The month’s final arrival puts a new spin on a classic formula, as the BP Portrait Award (June 13) sees a swathe of regular folks and celebrities captured in portrait mode.
Meanwhile, you’d better made the opening weekend of June an arty one, because a trio of top exhibits are clearing off on June 2. A retrospective of Norwegian master Harald Sohlberg bids adieu to the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Royal Academy’s Renaissance Nude rides off into the sunset (presumably buck-naked), and the Tate Modern’s Franz West show also waves farewell.
36-46) Catch a hot gig
June begins with a bang gigs-wise, as Muse (London Stadium), Michael Bublé (O2 Arena), and Tenacious D (Wembley SSE) all pitch up on June 1. Still, all of them may be dwarfed by the arrival of K-Pop hypebeasts BTS, who play Wembley Stadium from June 1-2. Tame Impala head to the O2 on the 8th, Coolio (June 9) turns Underworld into a Gangsta’s Paradise, Fleetwood Mac (June 16) bring a huge show to Wembley, and Nick Cave returns a year on from All Points East with a gig at the Barbican. Finally, there’s a trio of throwbacks to enjoy, boys and girls: The Backstreet Boys (June 17) are at the O2, The Beach Boys (June 24) surf into the Royal Albert Hall, and last but of course not least, the Spice Girls take over Wembley on June 13. Yep, we Wannabe there too.
47-51) See the best that Hollywood (and Netflix) have to offer
Some big summer films launch this month, including the we’re-not-crying-you’re-crying Toy Story 4 (June 21), with Woody, Buzz, and the gang mixed up in new shenanigans. Men in Black: International (June 14) sees the franchise take a spin in our fair city, which bodes well for alien-hunting, but probably not as well for our landmarks, and the next X-men adventure arrives in the form of Dark Phoenix (June 7). Finally, there’s a sweet What If? scenario in Beatles-heavy summer flick Yesterday (June 28), from the minds of Richard Curtis and Danny Boyle. Plus, if you don’t fancy leaving the house, catch our roundup of the best things arriving on Netflix UK in June 2019.
51-63) Keep on exploring our wonderful city
It’s all well and good us writing about it, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t get out there and see it! Have a gander at the best places we wrote about this month:
🍜 Maltby Street Market: a hidden foodie paradise
🛩 Wingly: hop on a private plane to France!
🍽 The Pavilion: Kew Garden’s swish new eatery
💛 House of Friends: tequila-soaked terrace at Harvey Nichols’
⛴ Sunborn Yacht: the fanciest floating restaurant in town
🥂 Bob Bob Cité: sequel to the ‘press for champagne’ spot
📸 Jardin du Jasmin: Syrian cafe + Instagram paradise
🚣♀️ GoBoat Kingston: take to the water on these electric boats
😍 Santo Remedio: home to a notorious bottomless margarita brunch
🎤 BAO Borough: a new branch with a hidden karaoke room
🍰 Whisk: Bethnal Green’s all-dessert bar
🍔 Wahlburgers: burger joint from the Brothers Wahlberg
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.