11 Things To Do In London When It’s Sunny
Navigate the UK summer like a pro.
Huzzah! You’ve donned your fabbest Beatles shirt and jetted off to London. We know you packed your brolly and wellies just in case, but surprise – heatwave! Join the pasty white-legged locals in dad shorts at these ten hot spots.
#1 Ride London
While cyclists in the capital are still waiting with bated breath for guv’na BoJo’s utopia of sky tubes, they’re taking over the streets for one weekend at least. Forming an eight-mile loop around the city centre, the roads will be carless during London’s biggest ever free cycle ride on August 1 and 2. You can register for free here. For bonus points, ride nude and blare Queen from your boombox.
#2 Pitch’n’putt at Alexandra Palace
Donald Trump thinks that golf is only for the rich, but they do things a little differently in ol’ Blighty. Pitch up at Alexandra Palace for a cheap as chips round of ten holes ($12.50AUD adult/$10.50AUD student) and a swell view over the rest of London town. Pro-tip: you only need one club and a putter to play so instead of hiring them from the course, save a few bucks by popping into any op shop you pass along the way. They always have a big stash of clubs for a quid each. When you finish for the day you can make friends and influence golfers by passing them on to a stranger.
#3 Climb the dome Mr Bond
The Millennium Dome is that big white shiny tent you can see across the Thames. It didn’t do much in the year 2000 but since then the likes of Beyonce and Madonna have started to regularly call it home as the O2. In between times you can strap up and climb 53 metres up the side ($53AUD per person), then you can roll down it and into Denise Richards arms just like Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough. Or take your person-of-interest up there at night for some romance under the stars.
#4 LOL the days away
What’s funnier than a giant inflatable upside down purple cow? Well hopefully the comedians are. Zing! The Udderbelly hosts a 400-seat temporary comedy festival down beside the London Eye every summer. There’s stand-up, theatre, burlesque shows and even a giant circus spiegeltent.
#5 Party on a pier
Flamingo Pier is a summer pop-up bar chock full of disco and street food, all floating on a canal-side pontoon. Expect some tropical cocktails, local craft beer from nearby Hackney Wick’s Crate Brewery and visuals that’ll transport you to the Seychelles and Philippines.
#6 LEAP over stuff
Ever have the urge to run up a wall? Well you should probably try parkour – the sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. There are designated fun-places for this and everything, like the 700 square metre LEAP which opened in London this summer. It even has an edgy acronym, so make sure you tag your gravity defying Instragrams in the name of London Experience of Art du depacement and Parkour. So fancy. Supervised sessions are $10.50AUD and unsupervised sessions are just $6.50AUD.
#7 Go tombspotting for uncles Karl & Douglas
Do you know whose tomb is a topped with a massive sculpture of their head? Father of socialism Karl Marx, that’s who! Go for a sunny stroll through the overgrown East Cemetery ($6AUD entry at the gate) and trace from uncle Karl right to Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Ponder on the number 42.
#8 Score some car booty
They don’t have yard sales in London ’cause there’s not many yards around. Instead, they park cars in school playgrounds and sell trendy trinkets out of their boots. Junk in the trunk, indeed. Head over to the Princess May Primary School in achingly hip Stoke Newington and dress your bod and walls in vintage London-alia. The market is on from 9am-3pm every Saturday and 9am-2pm every Sunday.
#9 Cable car over the Thames
Y’know the Oyster card you bought for taking the subway and bus? It’s also valid on a the cable car! The Emirates Air Line runs over the Thames from Greenwich Peninsula to Royal Docks and offers a spectacular view of the city for just $13AUD per return trip.
#10 Hang out outside the Tate
The Tate Modern houses an impeccable collection by the likes of Picasso, Dali and Ernst, but don’t go there ’til it’s raining. When the sun is out, chill on the grass outside and gaze at all of the strangers you’ll never meet. A dude will come by with an almond cart so you won’t go hungry and there’s buskers-a-plenty to entertain you. The jazz quartet will stop playing the second they see you holding hands with someone to ask if they can play at your wedding. And the typewriter guy beside them who’s dressed as Hunter S Thompson will tap you out a pithy poem while exotic characters sling giant bubbles from ropes all around you.
#11 Laze on a Dalston Rooftop
Climb the four-storey Bootstrap building in hipsterville Dalston right up to the excellent Roof Park. What’s going on up there this summer? Oh, just about everything ever. Gigs, parties, yoga and free outdoor film screenings are just the beginning.
(Lead image: Dalston Roof Park/Facebook)