From iconic London scenes to quirky happenings you might not have heard about, here’s our list of the top things you can’t miss out on.
1. Take your movie-watching to new heights – The Rooftop Film Club, throughout summer
How could Dirty Dancing get any better? We know: it’s when you’re sat in a comfy deckchair, sipping a cocktail and taking in spectacular summer views across London. The Rooftop Film Club airs box office hits on rooftops across London. The way you watch movies will never be topped again.
- Top tip: The Queen of Hoxton is the closest venue to every hotel Piccadilly – and there’s some awesome food spots in the neighbourhood too!
2. Catch the Changing of the Guard – Friday–Wednesday in Summer
If you come to London and don’t see the Changing of the Guard, did you even come to London at all? Come and enjoy the pomp and ceremony of this fabulously British spectacle as the new guards replace the old at 11am sharp. This precise military drill is usually at the top of everyone’s London bucket list – and it’s absolutely free!
- Our top tip: Get there at least 30 mins early to bag yourself the best viewing spot.
3. The Buckingham Palace Tour – 22nd July – 1st October
As the Queen spends her summer months relaxing at Windsor Castle, you get the chance to have a peep at the country’s grandest, most famous home. You’ll be escorted around the gorgeous State Rooms, eyeing up marble columns, sumptuous carpets, and works of art. This year you can also check out ‘Royal Gifts’ – a unique exhibition showcasing the wonderful gifts given to her majesty over the 65 years of her reign. Your Big Ben snowglobes just won’t seem the same.
- Top tip: The Queen arrives in the State Rooms through a hidden door from her private apartments. See if you can spot the door in the White Drawing Room!
4. Go Ape in Trent Park or Battersea Park
Ditch the crowds of the city and instead find yourself swinging through 413 acres of rolling meadows, ancient woodland and enchanting streams in London’s Trent Park. Or stay close to the London action and head across the river to iconic Battersea. Then let off some steam on the zip wires and tarzan swings on this treetop adventure.
- Top tip – Venturing to Zone 5 for Trent Park is easier than you think – simply take the Piccadilly line from Piccadilly Circus to Cockfosters!
5. Hampton Court Flower Show – 4th July to 9th July
Get ready to Insta-spam your friends at this showstopping event! If you missed the Chelsea Flower Show this year, then this event in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace is where you’ll make up for it. Find some green-fingered inspiration at this, the largest flower show in the world. When you’re sipping a Pimms in the garden, you’ll know that summer has finally arrived!
- Top tip: Trains run from London Waterloo to Hampton Court Station every 30 mins.
6. Get all gooey at the Festival of Love at the Southbank – 3rd June – 28th August
A place to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The Southbank is bringing back its popular Festival of Love which includes installations, activities, pop-ups and performances that celebrate humankind’s most overwhelming emotion – including The Wedding Weekend – with couples tying the knot and celebrating.
- Top tip: Simply hop on the Bakerloo line for 3 stops to Waterloo
7. British Summer Time, Hyde Park – 30th June to 9th July
London in the sunshine becomes even better sat in the park, surrounded by good friends, good drinks, and great music! This year’s festival includes two whole weekends of music, bringing the likes of Phil Collins, Green Day, Justin Bieber, the Kings of Leon, The Killers, Blondie, Tears for Fears… (we could go on!) to the stellar line up.
- Top tip: Don’t worry about eating before-hand; Hyde Park gets filled with awesome street food markets during these weekends!
8. Mosey around Covent Garden – From 1st June and all summer
It’s the oldest square in London and one of our favourite shopping spots – but every summer Covent Garden also gets transformed into a floral oasis. Shops and restaurants all blossom with beautiful window displays and decorations – stop for an ice cream at nearby Morelli’s Gelato and make an evening out of it.
- Top Tip: Covent Garden is less far than you think! It’s just an 8–10 minute walk from every hotel Piccadilly
9. See the summer sun setting – Queen Elizabeth Hall – Rooftop Garden
More rooftops, more epic summer skyline views. Kick back at the rooftop gardens of Queen Elizabeth Hall and enjoy iconic landmarks over Westminster, the London Eye and the Southbank – with a glass of Pimms in hand amongst the flowers. Alternatively, head for the headier classic heights of the Sky Garden or The Shard and capture London in the hazy sunshine.
- Top Tip: Check the events going on at Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Southbank Centre if you visit the rooftop garden
10. Go al-fresco at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Pack a picnic basket, roll up your blanket and head to this award-winning theatre and London landmark. There’s something quite special about watching a show beneath the moon on a clear summer night. This year’s billing includes A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist.
- Top Tip: Book early – some tickets get snapped up fast!