Fun things to do in London this summer | Enclave
8 August, 2023

Fun things to do in London this summer | Enclave

Lazing in a lush park, dancing in the street or drinking in the sunshine – you can’t beat London in the summer. Here’s our guide to the best things to see and do across the city this sunny season.


Bag tickets to a music festival

London offers some of the most diverse music festivals in the country, all just a tube ride away. Check out Victoria Park favourites Field Day (Aphex Twin) and All Points East (Stormzy, Jungle, The Strokes), South London dance epic Junction 2 (Underworld) or Queer electronic music party Body Movements across more than 30 venues in Hackney. And that’s just for starters. Whatever your jam, there’s a festival for you.


Go swimming outdoors

If the heat gets too much, grab your swimmers and dive into one of London’s enticing outdoor swimming spots for a dip. Pair brunch with lengths at one of the capital’s many lidos from Brockwell and London Fields to Parliament Hill, the Serpentine or Tooting Bec, the largest freshwater pool in the country at 90m. If you don’t mind sharing the water with the ducks, head to Hampstead Heath’s three ponds (men’s, women’s or mixed) for a bracing breaststroke.


Check out Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (25 August – 10 September)

This spectacular free annual outdoor arts festival is bursting with open-air theatre, dance, art installations and music for all the family. Highlights of the two-week event for this year include 12 life-size illuminated swans performing ballet on the Royal Victoria Dock, an immersive trampoline performance and thrilling aerial show on Greenwich Park Hill.

Visit for more information


Greenwich & Docklands International Festival (photo taken from 2012).

See a West End show.

 See a West End show

Whether it’s a smash hit musical you’re after or something more highbrow, London’s theatre scene won’t disappoint. The legend that is Mark Rylance is back on stage for his role in Dr Semmelweis, following a much-celebrated run in Bristol earlier this year. Or check out the latest incarnation of Lucy Prebble’s (Enron) cerebral romcom The Effect as it opens at The National this August. If, like me, you can’t stop singing the soundtrack to Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical since it hit Netflix in June, then head to the Cambridge Theatre for the original stage show.


Party at Notting Hill Carnival (27-28 August)

This annual August Bank Holiday extravaganza is a staple of London’s summer events’ calendar. Kicking off with a colourful parade of steel bands and masqueraders decked out in a kaleidoscope of costumes, the two-day carnival attracts revellers from across London and beyond. Expect beats from more than 30 static sound systems playing reggae, dub, jungle, house and hip hop, and more than 300 food stalls offering mouth-watering Caribbean fare. It’s the ultimate street party.


Have drinks at a rooftop bar

Make the most of the light evenings and spectacular city sunsets by booking a table at a rooftop bar. Enjoy panoramic views of St Paul’s and the Houses of Parliament from Seabird’s verdant al fresco terrace in The Hoxton Hotel in Southwark, sample upscale Japanese bites at Aqua Kyoto, a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus or hide away with a cold pint at Lost in Brixton above Brixton Market. No matter where in central London you’re renting an apartment, you can be sipping a G&T in the sun in no time.


Enjoy a night at the zoo

Want the chance to spot some of London’s Zoos most exotic residents without a kid in sight? Then Zoo Nights is for you. Every summer, one of the UK’s biggest conservation zoos opens its doors from 6pm- 10pm on Fridays just for adults. Say hello to the wildlife, grab dinner and a cocktail from the street food vendors, or compete against your friends in one of many animal-themed games. If you don’t want to miss the chance to see the zoo’s exotic residents before they curl up for bed (around 9pm), be sure to get there early.

Find out more.

Enjoy the colourful parade at Notting Hill Carnival, 27 - 28 August

Head to the BBC Proms

The world’s biggest classical musical festival will see more than 3,000 musicians perform at 72 proms over eight weeks at London’s historic Royal Albert Hall until 9 September. This year’s programme includes a breadth of performances from large-scale symphonic orchestras and choirs, as well as intimate chamber concerts and debuts. The spectacle of listening to a live orchestra at the famous concert hall is enough to grip even the most unlikely classical music buff – plus you can bag same day tickets for as little as £6.

Buy tickets.


Explore your artistic side

If the heavens open and you need to while away a rainy summer’s day, culture vultures can get their fix at one of the many art exhibitions open across London. Prepare to be mesmerised by Yayoi Kusama’s trippy Infinity Rooms at the Tate Modern or step into Van Gogh’s Immersive Experience, complete with VR headsets and 360-degree projections of his famous paintings at Commercial 106, Hackney. If paintings don’t do it for you, check out Twist Museum, an interactive illusion experience that combines art, science and philosophy.


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