Why you should stay in London this summer

Posted 2 weeks ago

Here's our top 12 things to tick off your bucket list

After surviving a London winter (congrats!), it’s now time for you to enjoy all the fabulous things this city has to offer during the warmer months, especially if you are planning on living here over summer. From quirky comedy shows to spectacular rooftop bars to tasty street food, plus much, much more, summer in London is a vibe and has something for everyone.  😎

We also have ✨summer rooms to let for UAL students✨ if you need a short term place to stay over the summer break. If you're planning to stay in London, we have put together with our top 12 things happening across the city so you can have the G.O.A.T this summer. 🤌🏽

1. Discover hundreds of art exhibitions, pop up events and festivals this summer

If you stay in London this summer, you will be spoilt for choice with endless art exhibitions, events and festivals held in parks and community spaces across London, including Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park. There's plenty of upcoming Art Exhibitions at the hundreds of art galleries and museums across for your next art outing. You can also head over to Hyde Park which has a range of pop up events through the summer months or catch a show at Proms held at the Royal Albert Hall in September, which is the world's greatest classical musical festival. 🎡

2. Explore one of the world’s greenest cities by foot 

Yes, you read that right. Even though London is known for its historic landmarks, it is also made up of more than 3000 glorious, green spaces parks and outdoor spaces. A quintessential day in London during the summer months will no doubt include a walk through a park.🚶‍♀️

Some of London’s more well known royal parks to check out include the Hyde, The Green, Richmond, Greenwich, St James’, Bushy, Kensington Park, Battersea Park and The Regent’s Parks, which all offer different perspectives of the city. 

Other popular parks to explore include the wild and untamed Hampstead Heath and Victoria Park in the East, London’s oldest public park. Whether you are hosting a picnic in the park or looking for a new trail to explore, you will have plenty of options to plan your perfect day out in the sun. 🌞

3. Swim beneath the summer London sky  

If you are looking to cool down in the warmer months, grab a bunch of friends and head to one of the many lidos and outdoor swimming pools across the city for a relaxing dip.  

For social swimmers and those wanting to hang poolside, Brockwell Park, Tooting Bec Lido, London Fields, Serpentine Lido, Hillingdon Lido and Parliament Hill Lido are great options, depending where you are based in London. 🏊‍♂️

If you want to take the plunge into some wild, outdoor swimming, throw on your togs and give the Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds or Beckenham Place Park Swimming Lake a chance with the locals. Finally, for those advanced swimmers feeling brave and wanting to do some open-water swimming in the deep end, check out London Royal Docks and West Reservoir Centre. 🌊

4. Get a taste of London 🍜

The food scene in London slays, but it’s hard to grasp on where to start in such a big city. Street Markets are always a hit, like the Borough Market, Portobello Road, Brick Land, Columbia Road and the Camden Markets.  

During summer, there will also be many ‘pop up’ dining experiences across the city, giving you the opportunity to gather with your mates to enjoy some delicious, comfort food. Think food trucks and bars and, if you’re lucky, some live music, to relish eating in the outdoors without having to worry about the weather! 🥟🥗🍝

a hand holding a sandwich

5. Catching summer sunsets on rooftop bars 

Visiting a rooftop bar in London will give you a spectacular bird’s eye view of all the historic landmarks across this city at no matter time of the day. With so many bars to choose from, you will not be disappointed as you sit back with a drink in hand and watch the sunset fade away into the distance. 🍹 

Places to check out in central London include the Madison, Sky Garden, The Rooftop, Radio Rooftop Bar, Aqua Spirit, Bar Elba, The Boundary Rooftop, Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden and Golden Bee. But that’s not all, there’s also some other venues with stunning views on the fringe of the city including Lost in Brixton, Dalston Roof Park and Netil 360. 

6. Pub crawl, but make it by pedal 🍻

If you are looking for fun (and environmentally friendly) way to explore London with your mates, a Pedius bus might be your next mode of transport. Beers, bikes and blue skies in London make for the perfection combination to hire a Pedius bus. Along with 11 friends, you can drink while you pedal past some iconic London landmarks (with your own driver safely steering the way of course)!  🚴‍♀️

7. Line up tickets for your favourite sporting match up 🏟️

If you’re a sporty buff, you will know that London hosts a series of annual major sporting events during summer, ranging from Wimbledon, to the London ePrix, to the the NFL International Series. Securing tickets might be tricky (and pricey) but it will be worth it if you want to soak up some rays while getting amongst the crowds in the sporting capital of the world.

Just across the other side of English channel, Paris will be hosting the Olympics from 26 July to 11 August with the Paralympics following on from 30 August 8 September. Being only one hour in front of the UK, you can catch the competition live at different pop up venues across London. Lewis Cubitt Square in King's Cross, Grosvenor in Mayfair and Battersea Power Station will have pop up 'Fan Zones' where they will have large screens to catch all the action. Bishop Square in Spitalfields and Hammersmith Summer Festival will also have large screens for fans. No matter what country you are supporting, the athletes will surely put on a stellar show! 🏆

8. Get into the spirit at Nothing Hill Carnival 

Known as one of the greatest annual street festivals on the planet, the Notting Hill Carnival is one event on your calendar not to miss. Originally started by the Caribbean community in London, every year on the August Bank Holiday there is an explosion of colour, joy and cultural events in the streets of Notting Hill. 

The year’s festival will run from Saturday 24th August to Monday 26th August, with the carnival parade kicking off on Monday morning as the festival’s final showstopping event. Think joyful party vibes, vibrant costumes and dancing on floats, plus much more!  

9. Pay £5 to see some of London’s best comedians 🤹‍♀️

If you are looking for your next comedy show but don’t want to break the budget, we’ve got you covered! Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday night Soho Comedy Factory hosts stand up comedy nights at The Blue Posts for a fiver. You can laugh the night away as you catch a show for less than the price of a pint! Book a ticket (for an extra 98p) to guarantee your seats a night of entertainment in the heart of London. 

10. Discover new shows at The West End Live 🎭

Being in the city that lives and breathes musicals, The West End Live event is one of the city’s most celebrated events. Hosted in Trafalgar Square every summer, discover exciting new talent across dozens of shows live (and free!) in this open-air extravaganza. This year’s event will take place from Saturday 22nd June and 23rd Sunday. Be sure to book a ticket if you are planning on attending to avoid disappointment.   

11. Get up close with royalty 🤴👸

Living in London, you have most likely walked past Buckingham Palace and watched the Changing of the Guard, but do you want to get a sneak peak of what’s behind the metal gates? Well, from July to September, you can venture beyond the walls and take a tour of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. If seeing how royalty lives is your thing, make sure you book in a tour, plus we’ve heard the ice cream at the exit is delicious, so don’t forget to buy some on your way out! 

12. Berry good fruit picking at Parkside 🍓🍇

Picking and eating your own food hits different, especially when it’s at the rural retreat of Parkside Farm in north London. Between June and October you can wander around their farm, pick your own fruit and pay for what you harvested to take home. Wholesome right? 👨‍🌾 There are 20 different types of fruit and veg es for you to go wild over, including juicy strawberries and raspberries. Just over an hour out of London, we think it’s a berry good way to spend a warm summer’s day! 

a salad sitting on top of a grass covered field

If you are a UAL student who wants a short term stay at our UAL Halls over the summer break, please send our wonderful accommodation team an email.

Want to know more about UAL Halls? Get in touch: 

E: hallslife@arts.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)20 4586 3219

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