With the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee dominating the London tourists’ itinerary this summer, anyone not interested in them can make the most of the rest of the city. When the sun’s out in England’s capital city it’s the best place to be in the world and there’s loads to do away from the tourist traps. Film, food and music festivals are plentiful, and there are also many parks to picnic in and tens of beer gardens to knock some Pimm’s back in.

Picnics in the park

The sun shining over London is enough of an excuse to picnic in Hyde Park or Victoria Park, on Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath, or in any of the other tens of big green spaces in the city. Take a Frisbee, a dog or just a few crisps and dip, and trust me, you can entertain yourself for hours. 

Swimming hole in England

Free swimming in the lidos and ponds

The Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park and the Hampstead Heath Ponds are probably the most well-known of the free lidos and ponds in London. They open around April time. Pack your swimsuit, a flask of hot tea and a fluffy towel to aid your recovery – it’s cold! I can guarantee that the colder the weather the less of a tourist trap it will be… 

paddling in the park, Serpentine in England

Yay! Beer gardens

Summer in London means beer gardens. The best ones are the Spaniard’s Inn in Golders Green, The Albion in Islington, The Waterway in Little Venice and the Edinboro Castle in Camden. These diamonds in the rough are a little off the main London strips, so only the clued up locals might know about them, unless the tourists read this very article, they won’t.

london england beer gardens

Village shopping, in London

Stoke Newington is a lovely area with enough shops, bars and restaurants to keep you busy for some time. If you’re looking to buy fresh fruit and veg or just want somewhere to hang out away from the crazy hustle and bustle of the city centre this village atmosphere is a great place. Victoria Park is also right in the centre so buy a deli picnic and soak up the rays – there’s even a paddling pool.


fresh market vegetables

Abbey Road, Lords and Kilburn

St Johns Wood in the north east is another beautiful village-like area of London.  You can see Lords Cricket Ground and just relax in the café and deli-lined shops while you admire the grand houses. I know it’s a bit touristy, but you can check out Abbey Road Studios too and photograph yourself walking the famous crossing before you write your name on the wall. If you want some cheap shopping, bargain cafes and budget boot sales Kilburn is just down the road, or head in the opposite direction and you’ll find the beautiful West Hampstead with all its second hand shops and restaurants.

abbey road things to do in London

Check out more London Articles at London Landmarks in Photos, The Tower Bridge of London

This article was provided by HostelBookers.com who are based in London themselves so you know you’re getting the best insider advice!

Image Source – 1Image Source – 2



You may also like

Leave a comment


  1. Annette Renee White

    I was just in London, on a sunny day, and Hyde Park was packed with picnickers and frisbee throwers. I was a little jealous that I didn’t have a picnic basket filled with goodies!

  2. The Travel Tart

    Sure, London is an international city so it’s expected that some places might be a tourist trap. But there are always out of the way places if you look hard enough!

  3. Solo Female Nomad

    Those are some great things to do in London! I would add going to Hyde Park on a Sunday to enjoy, or take part in, Speakers Corner. It can get quite entertaining!

  4. Liv

    Something London does especially well, remarkably so considering some of the weather the city gets, is outdoor spaces. London is full of parks and wide open spaces. They are a great way to get away from the expense of the city – just grab a sandwich somewhere and enjoy it in one of the many parks!

  5. Arianwen

    Nice tips, although perhaps you should add a disclaimer that you won’t be held responsible if people get hypothermia from the lidos! :)
    And I agree that the Edinboro Castle pub beer garden is great for a sunny day in London – if we ever get one, especially as it’s so close to Regent’s Park and London Zoo.
    As for the Olympics, I’m escaping all the mayhem and heading off to South America! Whoop!

  6. Boston Park Plaza Hotel


    If there are any places that should finish one with comfort, the chapel of Notre Dame, should be one of those places. However, predict your leisure on the spiritual way of life to be broken by raspy whispers and the cartoony feedback of the guests getting a look.

    However, despite what we may go through about the viewers, they are also people who know how to respect the solemnity of holy places and customs. If you want to take a look at the chapel and do some expecting as well, try watching when there are spiritual alternatives.

  7. The Cotswolds

    Nice post, although its not just London that has been effected it has spilt out to the Cotswolds which is about 100 miles from London, there has been a great influx of tourists in the small towns and villages. Although most of the Hotels, Pubs and Inns around here have really appreciated the extra business as the weather has really hit tourism in the Cotswolds this year.

    ps- Great work TEAM GB

Comments are closed.