You’re never short of things to do when visiting London but there’s often so much going on it’s difficult to know where to start. We’ve picked out some of the capital’s top events taking place this summer to give you a bit of a head start when planning your short break in London.
Summer of Sport
To go along with London’s traditional summer sporting events such as Wimbledon and England’s summer Test Matches, the big sporting news this year will be the FIFA World Cup. There are bound to be plenty of pubs and bars showing the games live and if the English summer weather holds out, lots of outdoor big screens. Head to Zlatan’s World Cup 2018 Pop Up in Clapham for a rocking atmosphere, live music and all-round appreciation of the big man himself – although according to Zlatan “a World Cup without me is nothing to watch”.
In May and June this year London hosts the ConIFA World Football Cup – “an international football tournament for states, minorities, stateless peoples and regions unaffiliated with FIFA” – which will feature representative teams from the Isle of Man, Tibet, Tuvalu, Matabeleland and many more. Matches take place at stadiums all over London including Bromley, Enfield, Rotherhithe and Sutton so give the superstars a swerve and support grassroots football this summer!
Later in the summer, Rugby League’s famous Challenge Cup Final takes place at its spiritual home, Wembley Stadium. This year marks the 117th staging of the historic competition and takes place over the August bank holiday weekend – the perfect chance to make a short break out of it!
London is awash with great live music this summer including some iconic stars and cult favourites.
British Summer Time takes place in Hyde Park over the first two weekends in July with legendary names like Roger Waters, Paul Simon, Bruno Mars and Michael Bublé. There is also an “Open House” free event which runs from the 9th to the 12th of July and includes open-air movie screenings, pop-up bars, street food and live music.
We were all bitterly disappointed that the “fourth-most-popular folk duo in New Zealand”, Flight of the Conchords, had to postpone their tour earlier this year. But the rescheduled dates give us a chance to visit London in June which is much better than a cold, wet March! Promising a mix of new material and old favourites like Inner City Pressure, Carol Brown and Foux du Fafa, Flight of The Conchords’ shows at The O2 look set to be one of the cult hits of the summer.
One of music’s biggest names is appearing at Wembley in June with Taylor Swift headlining two enormous concerts at the legendary stadium. Add to that, shows throughout the summer at the O2 Arena from artists such as Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Shakira plus the man, the legend Tom Jones appearing at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich – making for an amazing musical line-up in the capital this year.
Great for the Family
If you’re heading to London with the family this summer, there’s plenty to keep the kids occupied. Budding palaeontologists won’t want to miss Dinosaurs in the Wild and Walking with Dinosaurs at the O2 Arena.
Step back in time almost 67 million years at Dinosaurs in the Wild, a fully-immersive experience to see how dinosaurs really lived, where you’ll come face-to-face with some of the most fearsome dinosaurs that ever roamed the earth! Dinosaurs in the Wild runs daily until 31st July.
Walking with Dinosaurs returns to The O2 Arena in August 2018 and this time it’s bigger and better than ever. The show includes the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as the enormous Brachiosaurus which measures 17 metres from nose to tail. You’ll be guided through the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods as volcanoes erupt and forests catch fire in a spectacular show which will be equally fascinating and entertaining for all ages.
Kids large and small are going to absolutely love The Muppets first full-length live shows in Europe which are due to take place at the O2 Arena on the 13th & 14th of July. Kermit the Frog will lead an all-star Muppet cast including Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo in a fun-filled feast of singing, dancing and comedy that’s sure to delight youngsters and bring back happy memories for those of us who remember The Muppets first time round!
London’s world class museums, galleries and historic buildings make the city a cultural haven at the best of times. But this summer, some extra-special events are sure to draw the crowds in search of cultural enlightenment!
As part of the nationwide Museums at Night event, several London museums will be opening late and staging special events after dark! Take an atmospheric candle-lit tour of Benjamin Franklin’s house, explore the Duke of Wellington’s residence at Apsley House including period music or see the swinging sixties brought to life at the London Transport Museum – complete with retro sounds and classic cocktails.
The centrepiece to the RAF’s yearlong centenary celebrations, the RAF100 parade and flypast looks set to be one of the most spectacular events of the summer. Over 100 aircraft, representing the RAF’s long and illustrious history will fly over Buckingham Palace on the 10th of July. The scale of the flypast is unprecedented and it’s just not the same watching on TV so make sure you grab a space on The Mall for this incredible spectacle.
Speaking of Buckingham Palace, if this year’s royal wedding has whet your appetite for all things regal, why not take a guided tour around some of London’s historic houses and palaces? Between July and September, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle will all open their doors to visitors – explore the magnificent State Rooms, discover The Queen’s collection of fine art masterpieces and learn more about these beautiful historic buildings.