Now that the temperatures are finally raising in the city and hopefully it will last - fingers cross ed- many of us are counting down the days for the holidays, already dreaming of swimming at the beach, tanning by the swimming pool or having a nice hike under the sun in the mountains.

But as dreamy and enjoyable as those vacations will be, summer is long and London has a lot to offer for when you are back or if you just have to stay urban during the next months.

It's not all just picnics at the park, hidden gardens in the pub, the Carnival or summer festivals.

From midnight Shakespeare plays at the Globe, to rooftop swimming pools, here are my favourite things to do during the summertime in the city:

Visit Southbank.

You can start your morning with a stroll down the river, visit the fountains, try to find the perfect book in the famous Southbank Book Market. Have a different lunch at the Summer Food Market, where you can taste food from all around the world. And finish your day visiting Wonderground's fair and attending one of their shows, you can pick from comedy to burlesque, to circus, to cabaret!

Sailing lessons, cruises and barges.

Is there a boat captain hiding somewhere in you? You can learn how to sail under the sun this summer without leaving the city! Go check Surrey Docks Watersports Centre for more info. There are different courses for all levels, take your pic.

Alternatively, you can go on a cruise down the Thames and relax while enjoying the views. Or discover London's quirky boroughs through the canal, like Little Venice, Camden or Hackney.

Practice a sport.

When the weather is nice there's really no excuse. There are many different options you can try with your family or friends from June to September.

Almost every park in London has a tennis court, the smaller ones are free and work with a first come, first serve basis; in the bigger ones you'll have to pay and sometimes pre-book, enjoy a couple of lessons If you are a newbie to this sport, or practice with your friends before the rain comes haunt us again!

Or if golf is more your thing, you can visit Putt in the park for a mini golf session.

Are you an animal lover? Why not try horse riding in Hyde Park or Richmond Park?

Shakespeare, theatre and outdoor cinemas.

Did you know that during the summer days you can see Shakespeare plays at The Globe at midnight? And did you know that they are recreated exactly how they were done back in the 16th and 17th centuries? This year is the 400th anniversary of the bard's death so the set up will be even more special.

Have you ever visited Regent's Park Open Air Theatre? They have an amazing selection of plays, musicals and shows you can enjoy during those warm evenings.

Perhaps films are more your thing, but you don't want to veg out at home when the weather is so nice outside right? Then outdoor cinemas are for you. The Rooftop Film Club as venues all around London where you can enjoy new movies and beloved oldies all summer long.

It's all about water.

Okay. You are trapped in London this summer but you really really wish you were having fun in the water like the rest of your friends. Fear not. Here are two suggestions to take the pain away from not being at the beach:

There are many swimming pools and ponds you can have a swim in across the city, there might not be sand, but it's probably still better than crowded Brighton.

Or if the sand is what you miss, you can try and secure a spot at the Ruislip Lido or the Camden Beach. With the right swim suit and cocktail you can make it work.

If all fails and you just need a break from London,  just grab your car or a train to Deal, Brighton, Portsmouth or Bournemouth and have a small escapade for the day. Zero guilt.

What do you do in your city once summer comes? If you live in London, is there anything else you would add to this list?

 

Paola

 

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