Your London bucket list: Five things you need to do in the capital this summer

Summer’s certainly in full swing and it’s here to stay for at least a couple more months – there’s life in those UV rays yet.

When the sun’s out in the capital, there’s no better place to be, so we’ve compiled our own mini bucket list of how you can make the most out of the sunny season in London.

From visiting royalty to watching movies in the open air, here’s a little inspiration for maximising your enjoyment for the rest of the summer.

Buckingham Palace
Step inside Buckingham Palace.

A royal appointment

Ever wanted to have tea with the queen? Well, here’s a good place to start.

For a few weeks each summer – 20 July – 29 September – us mere commoners are invited to enter Buckingham Palace and get an idea of what goes on in there.

Visitors to the State Rooms summer opening can see inside the 19 rooms where the Royal family hosts important guests.

You’ll get to experience the Throne Room, where Queen Elizabeth herself has sat many a time, the White Drawing Room, the Grand Staircase and many more rooms within the palace. There will also be some treasures of the Palace on display.

We can’t guarantee Liz will be in, however, so maybe hold off on the jars of marmalade. Tickets are available online and prices vary – a standard adult ticket is £25.

Streatlife
Fill your boots at StrEATlife, Alexandra Palace.

Eat, drink, eat some more

Alexandra Palace’s street food and craft beer festival, StrEATlife, has returned this year and is open for business for a few more dates this summer.

Expect excellent food and drink offerings paired with impressive views over London from Ally Pally. Making a return to the festival is The Duck Truck, The Gin Trailer, Smokoloko, Browski Brothers (dangerously good burgers) and many, many more traders.

StrEATlife also has some impressive headline DJs, including Kate Nash, so you know the beats will keep on coming.

There are three more dates left for the summer – 27-28 July and 17 August – and it’s open 12pm till late. It’s also free entry, so there’s all the more reason to pay it a visit.

SW4
SW4 features a stellar line-up for this year’s festival.

Get jiggy with it

There has already been a plethora of music festivals held over the summer, but one that is always eagerly anticipated is just around the corner.

After a sold out 15th anniversary last year, London’s leading dance music festival, South West Four (SW4), is coming back to Clapham Common on the weekend of 24-25 August.

This year’s line-up includes the likes of Alison Wonderland, Armand Van Helden, Sigma, Basement Jaxx, Idris Elba, Chase & Status, Martin Garrix, Tinie Tempah, oh and Craig David has landed a spot as well.

Last remaining tickets for the festival will be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled on the official website.

City beach
Head to one of London’s many city beaches.

Go to the beach

What’s this you say? A beach, in London, a land-locked city with nothing but tall buildings and a big river flowing through it? Hardly the Mediterranean, is it?

Well, that’s where you’re wrong. It’s summer, the sun is (occasionally) shining and with that, the sand has returned to London’s streets in the form of pop-up urban beaches.

There are several locations to choose from, where you can rock up with your beach gear and soak up the rays. Just don’t forget your SPF.

Our favourite city beaches are Neverland at Fulham Beach Club, London City Beach on South Bank, and London Royal Docks beach (right near the cable car), which will be available from 27 July – 30 August.

Outside cinema
Catch a movie in the open air.

Watch a movie, al fresco

And since we’re on an outside theme, make the most of the glorious sunny weather by watching a few flicks in the open air.

From The Greatest Showman on a rooftop to Bollywood blockbusters in Wembley Park, there’s plenty of options for an al fresco cinema date.

We love the Leicester Square Summer Screenings, which will take place from 8-11 August this summer. They’ll be showing Sister Act, Mary Poppins Returns, Moana and Grease (a singalong, so don’t be shy, we know you know the words).

There’s also Movies on the River at Tower Millennium Pier in Aldgate; Backyard Cinema in Camden, and one we’re particularly looking forward to, the Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House.

There are over 14 summer evenings planned at Somerset House, which will be host to London’s largest outdoor screen. The cinema-quality surround sound will make for a quality cinematic experience, so gather your crew and head down between 8-21 August.

If you’re looking for a place to stay where you’ll be close to the heart of the action, our three Apex London hotels are close by. Make sure you share your experience with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you stay at any of our London hotels this summer.