Everybody knows that a bit of sunshine can do the miracles for the mind and body. But there are only a few places in the world where the difference between a gloomy day and a sunny day is so stark as it is in London. Under bursting rays of sunshine, the normally bustling city, slows down into an unusual rhythm.
Businessmen take longer lunches, pedestrians walk slower, cars are abandoned for use the next rainy days. If you happen to be visiting London on a sunny day, you might see the difference yourself. However, we also can see how this sudden change of weather might potentially cause some problems when planning a London itinary. What do Londoners do when the weather is nice? Do they still go to watch West End shows, or do they try to maximize the time outdoors? What should you do?
Our advice? Forget the indoors.From sipping chilled cocktails against the city skyline at one of Londons famous rooftops, to basking at Hampstead Heath Lidos, there is plenty to enjoy outdoors. Take a look below at our 5 tips for enjoying the rare London sunshine. But first, check in your luggage at a nice central hotel, like the Thistle Holborn, jump into your best swimwear and you are ready to go !
Bask in the sun in a park
There is nothing better than be able to stretch yourself on the grassy sprawls and forget about world for a moment. Luckily London has plenty of parks that are perfect for indulging in this kind of activity. So, don’t think twice and follow Londoners with their backpacks and hampers and enjoy the weather to the fullest. Depending on what you are looking for there are different types of green areas you might want to visit. The more crowded, but also more classic choices will include – Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. If you prefer manicured lawns, or the royal grandeur there is always St. James Park with the backdrop of Buckingham Palace, or Kensington Gardens with the Kensington Palace right in the middle.
Enjoy a glass of chilled tipple on the rooftop
Special occasions, call for special celebrations, so why not honour your visit to the capital, with a glass of something special at one of London’s acclaimed sky- high rooftops? They are a hit in the city. If not throughout the year, then definitely during summer, it is wise to book a place in advance, if you don’t want to miss the best views. Check out what the Tree Bar at Sushisamba or the magnificent Sky Garden Bar at 20 Fenchurch Street have to offer, to help you chill a little bit during hot summer days in the city.
Take a relaxed stroll along the river
Not many have a privilege to live in a city with a pretty riverside, but those who have, know that there are at least few perks to benefit from. First, you can expect the crowd to organise itself quite well around the riverside. People usually flock there to watch the boats floating, to laugh together watching the street artists performances, or to simply take relaxed strolls that don’t require any second- thought or planning. And this is exactly what you should try doing once in London. Starting at the Southbank centre, move in the south-west direction towards Tate Modern. On your way don’t forget to take a look at famous tourist attractions such as London Eye, the Big Ben, and Palace of Westminster.
Go boating or kayaking
Taking kayaking tours on the River Thames or boating on one of the London’s lakes might be a fun idea for the afternoon, and something different for you and your friends to enjoy. These tours, although sounding a bit unusual at the beginning, offer the rare opportunity to see the city from a completely different perspective that you or your friends might not have known before. For the adventurous paddlers there is a Kayaking Tour that consists of two hours rafting during which you glide down the river past Houses of Parliament in the Tower Bridge Direction. It’s fun and definitely something different.. If cruising down the river on a tiny boat is something that puts you off, then exploring the serene waters of Dulwich Park Boating Lake, or Holloway Ponds is something that might be of interest to you.
Take a plunge in Hampstead Heath Lido
If the heat is unbearable there is only one way you can run away from it, and it usually involves diving under the cold surface of a bathing pond or an outdoor swimming pool. Luckily London, although it never had a reputation for being a city of outdoor swimmers, has at least few solutions ready. Built in 1938 and Grade II – listed, Hampstead Heath Lido, according to the Guardian is the only stainless steel outdoor pool in the country. Visit it to enjoy the swim in the crystal-clear waters, with some or otherwise little companion of fellow swimmers.