The lockdown is easing, the sun is coming, and there’s plenty of inspiration waiting in our guide to the best things to do in London in June 2021.
London’s summer kicks off in earnest in June, especially since we’re all raring to go after being denied most of last summer thanks to lockdown. The city is waking up once more, with plenty of incredible things on the horizon for this month, including art exhibits, brunches galore, and the start of England’s Euro 2020 campaign. That’s just scratching the surface of all the wonderful things to do in June 2021 – you can find even more below!
1. Catch incredible views of London at The View from The Shard
London’s highest (and quite possibly best) tourist attraction is now back in action, and we’re raring to go visit. The View from The Shard has reopened after England’s latest move out of lockdown, and those 360° views of the capital are calling us. Plus, if you fancy making your day out here a special one, you can book a spot on exclusive Private View sessions, allowing you and nine other guests to hire the space out and take in the views in peace – glass of champagne in hand! Book your tickets to The View from The Shard here. ⭐️ Sponsored ⭐️
2. Bask in the rays of a toasty heatwave
Yep, the weather gods have promised several weeks of balmy summer weather this June, possibly to appease us after a rainy May. We’re reportedly in for 16 days of sun and 20°C+, so getting planning your adventures and keep your fingers crossed! Read all about it here.
3. Show your Pride!
The annual parade may have been delayed until September, but Pride will nevertheless hit the ground running this month. Talks, parties, brunches, and poetry nights are just some of the Pride festivities running during June, celebrating all things LGBT+. As anyone who’s been to a Pride event will freely tell you, they’re literally too fun to be missed! See a selection of events 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 1, 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. Steam into the sunset on a vintage train ride
The Steam Dreams Rail Co are delighted to be bringing back the joy of vintage railway adventures, with the launch of their Sunset Steam Express experiences. Departing London Victoria at 6pm on Tuesdays throughout the summer, this wonderful journey will whisk you across the English countryside and back in true style. Tickets available here.
6. Wander through a pop-up forest at Somerset House (June 1-27)
Part of the London Design Biennale, ‘Forest for Change‘ will bring 400 trees to the courtyard of Somerset House during this year’s festival, filling the iconic space with a temporary forest. It’s from the creative mind of festival director Es Devlin, and fits neatly into this year’s theme, which aims to explore how we meet global challenges and crises and take action. More info here.
7-16. Be enchanted by a breathtaking candlelight concert
Fever’s dazzling array of candlelight concerts have taken London by storm, and with huge range of musical styles and incredible venues on offer, there’s something for every music lover here. Here’s what’s on offer throughout June!
🕯 Candlelight Jazz: A Tribute To Nina Simone (June 2)
🕯 Candlelight Jazz Open Air: Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin & More (June 2)
🕯 Candlelight: Best of Magical Movie Soundtracks (June 3)
🕯 Candlelight: The Best of Anime (June 3)
🕯 Candlelight Jazz: A Tribute To Aretha Franklin (June 9)
🕯 Candlelight Open Air: Soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer & More (June 16, 18, 23, and 25)
🕯 Candlelight: John Williams’ Best Works (June 21)
🕯 Candlelight Musicals: Best of the West End (June 23)
🕯 Candlelight Pride: Rocky Horror, Hairspray & More (June 29)
🕯 Euro Pop by Candlelight (June 30)
Don’t forget, you can see and book even more fabulous candlelight concerts here!
17. Swing by London’s biggest beer garden
Another beer garden behemoth arrives in London this month with plans to welcome drinkers with open arms. It’s called Between The Bridges, and boasts numerous bars, mini golf, banging street food, and literally banging entertainment in the form of gunpowder-fuelled Colombian game Tejo. Here’s what to expect!
18. Counter the sizzling summer weather at an ice cream parlour
When the heat is on, your body just screams out for the cool refreshment of gelato, soft-serve, and sorbet. Luckily, our guide to the city’s best ice cream parlours will keep you cool as a cucumber. (Which you can probably get in ice cream form at one of these!)
19. Sip pints on the London Eye’s new Pub Pod (June 4)
One of the Eye’s pods will be transformed into London’s tiniest boozer this June, codenamed the Pub Pod. The fully-functioning bar will rotate slowly as the Eye turns, offering you and your chosen pals a 30-minute stay in the city’s tiniest pub. It’s also the highest pub in town, at least for the brief moments you’re at the top… Find out more here.
20. Head to London’s NYC-inspired gallery for bottomless espresso martinis
The Espresso Martini Society are back with another one-day tribute to London’s favourite drink, and best of all, it’s bottomless. Whether you tackle The Usual Suspect, or a salted caramel, Ferrero Rocher, or citrus twist on the classic, you’re going to be very merry here. Tickets can be found here.
21. Whizz around town on an e-scooter (June 7)
Love ’em or hate ’em, you’ll see plenty more e-scooters on the streets come June, as a new trial puts Dott, Lime and TIER scooters onto the roads for the next twelve months. It’s likely to be the largest trial of its kind in the UK, and will provide TfL with a better understanding of the e-scooters’ impact on London’s roads, perhaps ahead of a permanent rental scheme. More info here.
In an initiative that celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17), Sutton Town Centre received a permanent pedestrian crossing in the shape and colours of the transgender flag — the first of its kind in the UK. A great milestone for London, and you can find out more here.
23. Nip down to London’s Secret Beach for cocktails and nibbles
Kensington is hiding quite the secret this summer: a Secret Beach, where you can kick back on cosy cabanas or sun loungers and tuck into a Mediterranean food platter. Oh, and of course there are cocktails! Find your tickets here.
24-26. Cheer your team onto glory at Euro 2020 (from June 11)
Confusingly, Europe’s international football tournament is still officially called Euro 2020, even though it’s now taking place this summer. Regardless, the continent’s finest footballing talent aims for glory this June, and there are some cracking spots to catch the action around town:
27. Pretend you’re in Barcelona at this delectable Spanish brunch experience
Bottomless cava, sangria, draught beer, or house wine is complemented by a delectable three-course Spanish menu at Covent Garden’s charming Salvador and Amanda. Meanwhile, authentic Latin music will have you feeling like you’ve been whisked off to Spain – something we could all do with right now! Find tickets here.
28. Marvel at the new Serpentine Pavilion (June 11)
This year’s Hyde Park installation comes from South African design studio Counterspace, and directed by Sumayya Vally, the youngest ever person put in charge of the annual Serpentine Pavilion. It’s “based on past and present places of meeting, organising and belonging across London”, so it should be a hoot. Find out more here.
29. Tuck into the city’s best afternoon teas
Whether you’re after a quirky afternoon tea, a casual affair, or a flamboyantly fancy day out, London’s array of afternoon teas have something for everyone. Find your afternoon delight here.
30. Raise your glass to World Gin Day (June 12)
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. Or maybe you just make your way to your nearest gin bar and prop up the bar for the evening?
31. Check out London’s new sexy male circus
Your average circus doesn’t tend to feature sexy shirtless men, but then again, the Clapham Grand team have always marched to the beat of their own drum. Acrobats, fire acts, aerial artists and more will dazzle you senseless – tickets are available here.
32. Celebrate Her Maj’s birthday at Trooping the Colour (June 12)
This celebration features horses, military officers, and marching bands, and a whole lot of pomp and pageantry. However, it’s not taking the usual form in 2021 thanks to the pandemic, so you’ll likely need to catch it on the BBC.
33. Fetch the finest bevs in town at this summer cocktail garden (June 17-19)
Cocktails in the City is back for summer, with no fewer than three weekend events to enjoy! First up is the June event, codenamed ‘The Bars Are Back’, which focuses on the very best of London and its bars. The likes of Coupette, Nightjar, Bar Swift, and Bourne & Hollingworth come to play, with each serving up a signature cocktail for the weekend. Grab your tickets here.
34. Enjoy plant-powered dinners at these vivacious vegan restaurants
We consulted London vegans for their dinner choices, and here are the vegan restaurants they think you should be trying in 2021! With both fine dining vegan restaurants and tasty junk food spots finding a home on our list, there’s something for all. Check ’em out here.
35. Follow this adorable Moomins trail through Walthamstow Wetlands (June 18)
Europe’s largest nature reserve plays host to a trail and exhibition celebrating the life of the Finnish-Swedish author, novelist, painter, and illustrator Tove Jansson. Best known as the creator of ‘The Moomins’, Jansson’s time living a hermit-style life on a remote island just off Finland inspires this thoughtful wander. See more here.
36. Enjoy live performances of West End songs, every Sunday
To kill two birds with one stone, you now have the chance to eat dinner whilst being serenaded by live West End performers. Each Sunday from June 6 until the end of August, that’s what’ll be going down at Hard Rock Cafe in Marble Arch, and you can nab tickets here.
37. Spoil yourself (and maybe your Dad too) rotten this Father’s Day (June 20)
38. Pop along to one of the city’s best museums
From blue whale skeletons to overstuffed walruses, and from state-of-the-art science displays to retro medicine exhibits, London’s museums can keep you entertained all month long. See our guide here.
39. Celebrate the longest day of the year with the summer solstice live from Stonehenge (June 20/21)
Seeing in the summer solstice at Stonehenge is a unique and breathtaking tradition, and after last year’s livestreamed event proved immensely popular, English Heritage will repeat the feat this year. Find out more here.
The great outdoors is there to be explored, and these London lakes offer fresh air, dreamy views, and a calming break from interminable Zoom chats.
41. Ride London’s shortest Tube line once again (June 21)
One for the travel nerds, is this. The Waterloo & City line is back in operation this month, and it’s a mildly exciting day out for anyone who loves Waterloo and/or The City. More here.
42. Seek out these adorable wooden elephants
100 majestic wooden elephant sculptures have popped up in London over the past few weeks. They’re an important reminder for us to share space with other living beings on our over-populated planet, and they’re taking over Instagram too! Find out more here.
43. Party with peri-peri at Nandos’ summer celebration (June 21)
To celebrate the planned end of lockdown restrictions, Nando’s are throwing a party. And not just any party; Nando’s Yard Unlocked involves turning up the heat by switching the table areas into dancefloors. Plus, to make the party even more wild, some of the UK’s best musicians – including DJ Maximum and Novelist – will be performing. More here.
44. Go back in time with this immersive 00s brunch
London Cocktail Club are throwing it back to the
Noughties Naughties with their new brunch. As you might expect, the cocktails are on point, but there’s so much more to enjoy with this immersive brunch, which has roped in the best lookalikes of Noughties music stars for some unforgettable performances. Pick up your tickets here.
45. Hit up Covent Garden’s joyful new Italian restaurant (June 25)
From the brilliantly unhinged geniuses behind OTT Italian joints Gloria and Circolo Popolare comes new arrival Ave Mario. The team’s biggest restaurant, it’ll feature two dining terraces, an indoor courtyard, and a grand dining room inspired by the splendour of Florence. Read all about it here.
46. Dazzle yourself with Leadenhall Market’s electric new look
London’s historical Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest markets in the city, is awash with neon signs from notable movie sets. Walthamstow’s iconic Gods Own Junkyard has mounted a friendly takeover of the Victorian market with a number of illuminated installations as part of a brand new, immersive art exhibition. Check it out here.
47. Rave into the night at East London’s new street food and clubbing venue (June 25)
What do shipping containers, 12-hour raves, and a goat named Vladamir have in common? You’ll find them all at Ernie’s Yard, the new food and music hub opening in Canning Town this month. Get the scoop here.
48. Lust after a new ride at the London Classic Car Show (June 25-27)
Vrooming into Syon Park this summer, the London Classic Car Show brings together some of the finest vehicles ever crafted. Be warned: it may leave you with an unstoppable urge to buy a vintage Ferrari…
49-54. See live theatre once again
London’s theatres have been allowed to reopen since mid-May, and some of the big-name theatres are taking up that option in June. Here are some of our picks!
National Theatre: welcomes After Life from June 2, and Under Milk Wood (starring Michael Sheen) from June 16
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre: returns with an al fresco show of Romeo & Juliet from June 17
Donmar Warehouse: brings four casts together for an unforgettable run of ‘Constellations’, starting June 18
The Old Vic: features a pair of solo performances curated by Mark Gatiss and Noma Dumezweni, ahead of ensemble shows returning in July
The Almeida: have a full season planned, with and breathe… by Yomi Ṣode arriving in June
The Gillian Lynne Theatre: plays host to the world premiere of Emerald Fennell’s Cinderella
55-57. Soak up some culture at a brilliant art exhibition
JR (French, born 1983). Migrants, Mayra, Picnic across the Border, Tecate, Mexico-U.S.A., 2017. Installation image. Wheat-pasted poster on table. © JR-ART.NET
The art world is abuzz once more with brilliant London shows, so here are our picks of the month!
ART EXHIBITIONS OPENING IN JUNE
🇫🇷 JR: CHRONICLES, Saatchi Gallery (June 4): the French artist’s largest solo exhibition to date, from early street art to massive architectural interventions
⚱️ Sculpture In The City, City of London (June 15): the show’s 10th edition once again sees unique sculptures scattered around the City
ART EXHIBITIONS CLOSING IN JUNE
🎨 Sonia Delaunay: Rhythm and Colour, Bastian Gallery (until June 27): one of abstract’s most influential artists gets a well-earned feature
58-77. 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 recently:
😋 Bang Bang Oriental: North London’s giant Asian food hall
🌸 London Blossom Garden: touching memorial space to those lost in the pandemic
☎️ Out Of Order: here’s the story behind that famous tumbling telephone box sculpture
🎱 Q Shoreditch: swanky pool bar with an excellent brunch option
🌴 Barbican Conservatory: London’s incredible indoor rainforest
🍷 WC Bloomsbury: top-tier wine bar found in an old Victorian toilet
🎌 The Mochi Bar: dedicated to Japan’s favourite sweet treat
🌟 Rosewood London: home to a stunning Yayoi Kusama-inspired tea
🧡 Sabine: stunning new rooftop bar overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral
🧀 Pick and Cheese: cheese conveyor belt restaurant, now offering bottomless plates on Wednesdays
🌇 Sky Garden: a tranquil oasis with amazing city views
💫 Linnaean: flower-filled, health-focused café in Battersea
🥰 Head Room Café: dedicated to good coffee and better mental health
🌺 Isabella Plantation: the little London park full of pink flowers in springtime
☕️ White Mulberries: where the espresso martinis are unbeatable
🍹 Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals: cocktails and plant power can be found here
🍌 Seven Dials Market: swish new food market in an old banana warehouse
🍗 Jollibee: one of the world’s favourite fried chicken joints is now in Leicester Square
🌞 Frank’s Cafe: frankly excellent views and Negronis at this Peckham gem
🇰🇷 Seoul Bird: Korean fried chicken is the order of the day
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.