hampstead heath

4 Things To Do In London On A Sunny Summer Day by Shane Henderson


Winter weather has us all longing for those long, balmy days of summer. Well... not really us here in Austin, where it has been mid-seventies and beautiful the past few weeks... but probably Tegan in Rhode Island, and definitely Sam up in frigid Minnesota. So to get you excited for the coming summer months, here are some of the best ways to spend a sunny afternoon in one of our favorite cities, London. 

Note: Yes... not all of these photos were taken on a sunny day, or even on a summer day... don't worry about it... jeez. 

1. Stroll Southbank

The 2.5 mile walk from Westminster to Tower Bridge is always a great way to spend an afternoon. Along the way there are a bunch of famous sights to stop at, great restaurants to grab a bite to eat, and the views of the city are unbeatable. My personal favorite stops are The Hayward Gallery (there are always really cool interactive art exhibits), The Tate Modern (my favorite museum in London), and Borough Market (incredible food market with a lot of tasty options, make sure you check their opening hours before visiting though!)


2. Catch Some Performances In Covent Garden

If you are looking for some free entertainment, head to Covent Garden Markets and watch the street performers. There is always a wide variety of acts going on and you are bound to find something interesting. In my many visits to Covent Garden I have seen opera singers, break dancers, acrobats, knife jugglers, and magicians. On one particular occasion, I even witnessed a male comedic performer threaten to fight my father for not applauding his act, and then promptly kissed  him on the mouth instead. Let's just say my father was not expecting that! If you get tired of the performers there is always the markets themselves to explore. 

covent garden markets


3. Picnic On The Heath

Hampstead Heath is one of my favorite parks in London. Large and wild, with dark forests, beautiful fields, and flowering gardens, the heath is an easy park to lose yourself in. So easy in fact, last time we went we got lost twice trying to find our intended picnic destination! When we eventually arrived, we set up our blanket on the sweeping lawn in front of Kenwood House and pretended we were in the film Notting Hill as we feasted on wine and cheese. If you are looking to while away the hours of a sunny afternoon, we would definitely recommend packing some snacks and beverages of your choice and relaxing in the Heath for a few hours. If you get thirsty on the long walk back to the Hampstead Tube, stop in to The Holly Bush for a quick pint. One of my favorite old pubs in London, the Holly Bush is hidden down a little mews road and looks like something straight out of a Dickens novel. 

4. Take The Thames Clipper To Greenwich 

Head down to the docks near Westminster and hop on a Thames Clipper commuter boat out to Greenwich. You can get a drink at the bar and sit outside in the sunshine as you watch the sights of the city pass by from the water. When you get to Greenwhich, check out The Cutty Sark, The Old Royal Naval College, The National Maritime Museum, and the view of the London from the top of Greenwich Park.