Bring. On. The. Sunshine.
Nothing beats a crystal clear summer’s day in London. The city really comes alive – though that’s also down to the amazing events calendar that kicks in over the summer months, which includes some of the best music festivals, exhibits and quirky parties in the country. Whether you’re a jaded local looking to keep things interesting or visiting the English capital, here’s some of the best things to do in London this summer 2018 below.
London Summer Events
London’s Longest Date
It’s exactly what it says on the tin. The dating app Badoo is running the longest date ever to celebrate the summer solstice and they’re looking for singles to get involved. They’ll be taking the romance offline with a full day of free activities starting with a sunrise champagne breakfast at Sushi Samba, then an all-day picnic at Shoreditch Gardens, a pottery class straight out of Ghost (with Unchained Melody playing in the background obviously) and wrapping up with a garden party hosted by a celebrity DJ. You can choose to register for all the events or just your favourites – you get paired up with a date beforehand so you won’t be jumping in blind.
When: June 21
Where: Across London
How to register: Sign up on their site here
Forget your regular movie night, City Cruises and Time Out are teaming up to take outdoor cinema to the Thames. Lounge on the rooftop of a sprawling boat and watch both old and new classics roll on the silver screen as the skyline twinkles in the background. There’s a huge range of movies on offer to cater to all tastes, whether you’re falling in love all over again with The Shape of Water and Dirty Dancing or thrill seeking with Get Out and Back to the Future. If you’re not afraid of tempting fate, Jaws is also going to be screened multiple times. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.
When: 13 June to 21 July
Where: Tower Millennium Pier
How much: £29+, book online
Clearly, we can’t get enough of boat-themed fun. Red Bull will be giving the London festival scene a run for its money with the Red Bull Music Odyssey, a musical experience you’re not likely to forget. They’ll be taking over six boats, each captained by stalwarts in the music scene and with a distinctly different vibe to each. Grime artist Julie Adenuga will be helming The Transmission, where she’ll be joined by fellow underground radio and grime artists included the Heartless Crew and AJ Tracey & MTP, while Dennis Sulta will keep the party jumping over on The Forever Dancer with house, disco and techno artists including Larry Heard and Jocelyn Brown. We’re personally super keen on Jubilee’s The Wine Up cruise, a waterborne dancehall extravaganza.
When: 30 June
Where: The Thames
How much: £16.59+, book online
It’s back! This gigantic Caribbean street party takes over the streets of Notting Hill, transforming it into a spectacle of colourful costumes, amazing live music and piles of delicious food that’ll put the spice back into your life. The parade is undoubtedly the main event when humongous trucks peel through the streets with huge ten foot speakers strapped to the back of them, blasting music as performers decked out in traditional vibrant costumes cut a rug through the streets. It tends to get quite crowded and can be daunting if you’ve never been before, check out our Notting Hill Carnival guide for our best tips.
When: 26-27 August
Where: Notting Hill
The coolest festival on the block is back with a better lineup than ever. Childish Gambino is riding the wave of his This Is America success and headlining alongside Skepta, N.E.R.D., SZA, Wu-Tang Clan, Bonobo, Diplo, Annie Mac and Anderson Paak. If those names didn’t excite you, the endless string of indie food stalls, intimate stages and quirky pop-ups like a very-Lovebox wedding chapel where you can marry your best friend. Lovebox is also without a shadow of a doubt the most fashionable festival in London – get ready for some major style inspo to upgrade your festival fashion wardrobe.
When: 13-14 July
Where: Gunnersbury Park
How much: £64.50+, book online
After fifty years, a rare Frida Kahlo exhibition is finally venturing beyond Mexico’s borders to visit London’s V&A Museum. The rich collection will closely follow Frida’s incredible and sometimes harrowing life story, combining both her personal items and artworks including her prosthetic leg, self-portraits, cosmetics and more.
When: Opens 16 June – 4 November
Where: V&A Museum
How much: £15, book online
London’s Pride celebrations are some of the biggest and longest in the country, starting June 9 and running for nearly an entire month. Besides the famous parade on July 7, there’s a whole range of events going on all over the city including nude life drawing classes, no end of theatre, speed dating. film festivals and parties galore. If you can’t make it to the capital to celebrate, we’ve also done a roundup of the best pride events in the UK to celebrate love.
When: June 9 – July 7
Where: All across London