The vibrant city of London is one that captivates, enamours and seduces all at once. Cosmopolitan on the surface and yet founded on a multi-layered history, the city is a fascinating place to visit. Although the weather in the UK is not reputably dependable, summers in England can be glorious, and if you happen to be in London on one of the warm weekends you will want to know how you can enjoy the city without being confined to museums and galleries. Luckily, this city has plenty for those who love the great outdoors.
Here is our top three pick of what to do in London when the sun shines.
Somerset House is one of the city’s most stunning buildings and you don’t even need to go inside to appreciate the architecture. Located on the Strand, the lovely courtyard is perfect for open air gigs and films during the summer months and you can go ice skating here during the winter. In summer, DJs and musicians are hosted on the grounds so if you want to enjoy them, take a picnic, a fold up chair and maybe even something warm for the evenings as it is easy to get carried away and lose track of time.
Bird Watching in Barnes
You may not think of London as a prime bird watching destination but The London Wetland Centre is a great place to go to see a variety of wetland birds, wildfowl and other migrating species. If you fancy taking part in a guided tour, you can join for free between 11am and 2pm or you can help the wardens feed the birds at 3pm. One of the centre’s real highlights is the rather innovative programme of events. They open early for the dawn chorus and late for guided bat walks, photography expeditions and other interesting opportunities to interact with the mammals that reside at the centre. You can even buy a combined ticket to the centre and Kew gardens for a real full on day conversing with nature.
Get Your Skates On
Join the joggers, power walkers, roller bladers and cyclists at Battersea Park if you enjoy burning off some energy on a city break. Battersea Park is a great place to visit, with its stunning river views, lakeside art gallery and children’s zoo. Exploring on roller blades or skates is a fun way to get around and every Saturday (weather permitting) there is a free group skate starting at 10.30am. No hills and no traffic make it the ideal venue for a relaxing skate, especially if you are a novice or want to bring the kids.
These might be our top three outdoor activities in London but there are many more. From pitch and put golf to parkour and from bandstand busking to swimming at Brockwell Lido, there is something for everyone in this city.
How to Get There to London
London has several airports with Gatwick being one of the major ones. Flights from all over Europe arrive into Gatwick every day so whether you are flying from Milan, Paris, Pisa or Dusseldorf, you can fly direct to London’s main airport hub. A Gatwick airport taxi can be booked in advance with us at Shuttle Direct and whether you want a shared or private service, we can accommodate you. We organise Gatwick airport taxis to help you get direct from the airport to your hotel in a timely, efficient manner and for a competitive price too.
Where to Stay
The Sidney Hotel London-Victoria – This centrally located budget hotel option is bright and modern with en suite bathrooms. Free toiletries are provided and rooms have hairdryers, clock radios, telephones, comprehensive music libraries and tea and coffee making facilities. Flat screen TVs come as standard as well as Internet TV and video on demand.
Breakfast is included in the rate and served at the hotel’s brasserie. There is also a bar that sells drinks and snacks. Perfectly located close to major railway stations and some of the main attractions, The Sidney Hotel London-Victoria is a great choice if you are
Looking for convenience and comfort at a good price.
Cheshire Hotel – Our mid range 3 star accommodation choice is the Cheshire Hotel, which is more traditional, with comfortable rooms that all have satellite TVs and work desks. Rooms also have seating areas and en suite facilities. There is a 24-hour reception and Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. This hotel oozes charm and its real fireplaces and décor evoke ideas of country living. The Cheshire Hotel offers a continental breakfast that is served in the rooms. Close to Covent Garden and a short walk to many of the big attractions of London, this hotel is in a convenient location.
Hotel Café Royal – Right in the heart of London, Hotel Café Royal is our 5 star recommendation. Located on Regent Street, close to Theatreland, Buckingham Palace and other points of interest, this hotel is an iconic city landmark. With 160 rooms, decorated in a contemporary elegant style, the hotel also has 49 suites and 6 signature suites. Every suite is individually designed and features Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, Frette linen and Floris toiletries.
The hotel has a good range of restaurants and bars and there is also a tearoom and a cocktail bar. The Oscar Wilde Bar is beautifully restored in the style of Louis XVI and serves Champagne, cocktails and small snacks. Evening entertainment is organised on certain evenings here too. There is a wellness centre available in the hotel as well as a gym, sauna, lap pool, steam room and spa treatments.