Things to Do Outdoors in London Throughout the Year
No matter what time of year it is, there is always something new and exciting to do outdoors in London. Whether you are sightseeing, trying out new sports, attending a festival or want to chill out in the park, there are ways to have fun whatever the weather.
Some activities are great all year round while others pop-up especially for the summer or winter. Whatever you choose to do, an open top bus tour is a great way to enjoy London outdoors as you can hop-on and off at your own pace to explore the city.
London Outdoors During Summer
When London steps into summer, it’s time to step outdoors. When the sun starts cracking the flags*, there are lots of outdoor activities in London during the summer.
Outdoor Film Screenings
Pop-up outdoor cinemas in London have been rising in popularity over the past few years, so head to The Luna Cinema at Alexandra Palace to experience the fun. Enjoy new releases or family favourites along with food and drinks packages, blankets and backrests. Tickets start from £15 and group rates are available.
Central London comes alive with the sound of music during the summer. From weekend festivals, one day events, evening concerts to family friendly festivals, there is an event to suit everyone. Enjoy an eclectic mix of music, arts and entertainment along with street food and drinks while you relax, have fun and enjoy your favourite artists.
Outdoor Swimming Pools
For the perfect sunny day out with the family, head to the Serpentine Lido at Hyde Park. The lido is open from June to the beginning of September from 10am-6pm. Family entry is £12 and it is cheaper after 4pm. Make a day of it by sunbathing, swimming, taking a picnic or grabbing some food in the cafe or let the kids have fun in the playground.
Open Air Theatre
From May to September, experience a unique open air theatre performance in Regent’s Park. The mix of productions include Shakespeare, musicals, classic plays and family friendly shows and adapted performances with audio descriptions, visual text and autism friendly versions. Buy adult tickets from £23 and kids tickets start from £11.50.
Outdoor Fun All Year Round
Whether you are wearing your favourite summer outfit or you are wrapped up in your winter woolies, there are some outdoor activities in London you can enjoy all year round.
There’s nothing like the great outdoors, and even in England’s capital, there is no shortage of green space. Explore royal parks, enjoy picnics, ice creams, bike rides or a relaxing stroll in any weather. Hire a boat in Crystal Palace Park or wander around the Japanese Kyoto Garden in Holland Park and discover your favourite park in London.
For the ultimate rooftop bar in London, head to Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch. The bar is dressed up in different themes in summer and winter with a food and drinks menu to compliment the current style. Queen of Hoxton opens every day at around 4pm with events such as rooftop film club, themed nights and live music.
Explore London by foot with a dedicated tour guide to show you all of the sights. Snap iconic landmarks on Picture London, discover palaces and royal history on our Royal London tour or test your bravery exploring Haunted London. Choose one of our walking tours for £5 or book all 3 for just £10. All tours run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
From February to November, scramble through the treetops with Go Ape at either Alexandra Palace, Chessington, Cockfosters or Battersea park. Go Ape is great fun in any weather and prices start from just £33 for an adult. For an adventurous day out swinging through the trees, head to Go Ape and monkey around outside in London.
See London from a whole new perspective from your very own kayak. With Kayaking London, you can paddle along the Thames and discover some of London’s iconic sights or explore the canals and travel to Little Venice and back. Tours start from £36 per person and you can enjoy the adventure with a friend in the comfort of a double kayak.
Enjoy exciting entertainment around Covent Garden and experience some daring street performances. From contortionists, clowns and circus performers to musicians, comedians and magicians, there is something to please every crowd. Artists perform for free but we’re sure you’ll be reaching for your pockets for donations after their dazzling acts.
For sunny days or crisp winter afternoons, there are lots of beer gardens where you can relax in London. Sip on cocktails, cold beers or a hot drink and enjoy delicious food in a family friendly pub or take your four legged friend along too. Chill out in the sun or warm up beneath a heater in one of London’s best beer gardens.
Beat the city traffic or get lost in one of London’s beautiful parks when you hire a city bike. There are over 750 Santander cycle docking stations throughout the city so you can hire a bike and return it at your own leisure. Bike hire starts from £2 for the first 30 minutes and you can return your bike to any docking station when you are finished.
Site Seeing River Cruise
With our 24 or 48 hour hop-on hop-off bus tickets, you can enjoy a Thames river cruise for free! See the Tower of London, London Bridge, the London Eye, Parliament and Big Ben from the Thames and enjoy the audio commentary on board. With a 48 hour ticket, you can also benefit from an extended tour which sails all the way to Greenwich.
Discover London’s vibrant shopping culture at one of the many markets. Tuck into street food at Camden Market, find vintage bargains at Brick Lane, enjoy the vibrant stalls at Portobello Road or buy fresh organic produce and delicious meals at Brockley Market in south London. Enjoy delicious food and bag yourself a bargain at London’s outdoor markets.
Buy seasonal, local produce or meet your favourite farmyard friends at one of London’s city farms. Many farms are run by the community and are free to attend, offering activities such as gardening projects and riding lessons. Take part in workshops about animal care or purchase your fresh fruit and veg at one of London’s city farms.
Outdoor Activities in London During Winter
When the temperature drops and Christmas is coming, London lights up with magical outdoor activities to celebrate the festive season.
For festive fun outdoors, try ice skating at Somerset House with family and friends. The ice rink opens in November where it remains throughout the winter and tickets start at less than £10. Take to the ice day or night when you book a designated slot and enhance your skating experience with optional extras such as food and drinks packages.
When you have shopped until you’ve dropped and want a relaxing way to end your day, enjoy our festive Christmas Lights bus tour. Cosy up on the top deck for stunning views of christmas lights in Trafalgar Square, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street. Family tickets start from £39 and all passengers get a free Santa Hat.
Find unique Christmas gifts or enjoy delicious festive treats in one of London’s Christmas markets from November until the new year. Explore Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park where you can also enjoy a fairground, ice skating and festive performances. Alternatively, venture to the Christmas markets at Southbank, Leicester Square or London Bridge.
Whether you are reaching for the sun cream or your winter coat, there is always something for you to enjoy outdoors in London. Sightseeing is the perfect outdoor activity, so explore London’s iconic landmarks from above on board a hop-on hop off bus with The Original Tour.
*'cracking the flags' is a term from the North of England meaning 'very sunny'