WembleyWonderful Tips #89: What to Do in London this Summer

As the WembleyWonderful family prepares for its annual two-month exodus to France, it occurred to me that many LIL family may actually be spending some time in London over the summer – so here are a few suggestions of what to do, with the kids or for adults-only.

Exhibition-wise , as always in London there is a lot happening:

  • The Royal Academy’s annual Summer Exhibition , this year in its 250th edition, is running between 12 June and 12 August, a really must-see if you’ve never been. It is the opportunity not only to discover new contemporary artists but also to buy their art! – but if you’re planning to do so go early, things sell very quickly.
  • Tate Modern is hosting its first solo Picasso Exhibition (8 March- 9 September), focusing on the year 1932 of the artist’s creation, and bringing together more than 100 works of art.
  • The National Gallery is organising a exhibition about Monet and Architecture (until 29th July), looking at the artist’s career through the building he painted.
  • The Old Royal Navy College is having tours of its painted hall ceiling (until 2nd September), using the opportunity of its renovation to get visitors to have a close look – this seems fascinating, although scary for someone with fear of heights like me!!

As for activities , you could try:

  • The usual tourist sights , I won’t bore you with those… The London Eye by sunset is definitely something I would recommend, the two-hour tourist bus tour less so…
  • Going swimming outdoors , in natural ponds or in old-style lidos. The option closer to North London are the Hampstead Heath swimming ponds (ladies/ men/ mixed), the Serpentine Lido in Knightsbridge, the Hillingdon Outdoor Pool in Uxbridge and the Parliament Hill Lido in Camden.
  • Attending an open-air show , either opera at Holland Park or theatre at the Globe or in Regent Park.
  • Going to walks in the nearby countryside – me and Mr WembleyWonderful are big fans of this book, which has always taken us to beautiful places and rarely got us lost. But I hear that there are many other resources online (not that I am that technologically advanced…).
  • Exploring nearby towns – in Hertfordshire, we’ve recently been to Saint Alban, which has a beautiful cathedral with a rich history as well as a Roman site; and friends have mentioned Tring to us. But there is certainly plenty more to discover.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy the summer!