We may be nearing the end of July but summer’s far from over in the Norther Hemisphere – and most certainly far from its conclusion in the UK’s capital, London. Indeed, if you’re to the city in the next few weeks from wherever you hail in the world – perhaps staying at one of the exquisite hotels near Piccadilly? – then you’ll like to know just what sort of diverse things to see and do there’s, well, still to see and do in London this summer…
• Open air cinema – how about watching Jaws in a lido or Dunkirk in glorious Greenwich Park? A whole host of box-office faves of yesteryear, cult classics and new releases are to be seen here, there and everywhere outside, not least on the capital’s rooftops.
• Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre – (May-September) this year’s season at the magical open-to-the-elements performance venue fittingly begins with a Peter Pan adaptation, followed by the eerie The Turn Of The Screw, Shakespeare comedy As You Like It, vibrant musical Little Shop Of Horrors and the fascinating Dinosaur World Live
• Opera Holland Park – this magnificent venue’s summer season maybe a bit brief but it’s always a belter and 2018’s is no exception on the score with performances from the Royal Ballet as well as the quartet of operas that are , all hosted at this beguiling temporary canopied auditorium next door to Holland House (this, absolutely ideal for those who’ve decided to make the base for their London stay the likes of Shaftesbury Suites London Marble Arch, as they take advantage of the Premier Club Rewards programme)
• Underbelly Festival – boasting comedy, cabaret and kids-focused shows can all in one ideal location (the South Bank) for the whole summer (6th April-30th September), Underbelly always delivers year in, year out; summer in, summer out; plus, the performance spaces are constantly surrounded by bars and food stalls for all-important replenishment
• Totally Thames – for many, the summer may wind down once we reach September but not for London, for here’s a full, month-long festival that distinguishes itself from all the others by being set on ‘heartbeat’ that courses through the entire, the river Thames, of course; what’s it all about? Well, it’s set to celebrate London’s river way via exhibitions, art installations, talks, walks, quizzes and so on and, best of all, many events are likely to be free and the majority family-friendly
• BBC Proms – (13th July-8th September) simply, the world’s biggest and arguably greatest (and most accessible?) classic music festival going, the Proms offers pretty much anything and everything for the classical enthusiast as well as the novice or just the curious; tickets are pretty much always affordable if rapidly snapped up and then, of course, there’s the little matter of the open air climax that’s The Proms in the Park held in Hyde Park, a fantastic outdoor musical evening, for sure
• South West Four – (25th-26th August) a London-based music festival of a different kind to the Proms, sure (and much shorter), South West Four is nonetheless quickly become a summer institution in the capital thanks to its world-renowned DJ line-up delivering high-quality dance to the eager masses who cram into SW4’s Clapham Common
• Zip Wire – (22nd May-9th September) yes, here it is; The longest inner-city zip line to be found in the world and it’s located on the South Bank (Vauxhall, to be exact), which all adds up to incredible views of the London Eye and Parliament as you fly the 225m back to earth along its trusty wire (or you and two of your friends/ family members do simultaneously – yes, really!)
• Buckingham Palace Summer Opening – (21st July- 20th September) if you’re a commoner (i.e. a non-Royal), this may be your only opportunity to poke your nose about the State Rooms of the most famous palace in the world, as these few short summer weeks are the only time of the year when mere mortals get to check out the opulence, elegance and treasures stored within Her Majesty The Queen’s official London residence, including the likes of the Throne Room and the iconic ornate Staircase.