Energetic, exciting, vibrant London is perhaps at its best in the summer, when the sun finally comes out, there are countless festivals to go to and the parks are full to the brim with Londoners looking to get their yearly allocation of sunshine. But with so much going on, where do you start? Here's our top pick of the best things to do in London this summer.
Watch a Movie Outdoors
Londoners could never be accused of not making the most of the weather. One of the time-honoured traditions of spending the summer in London is seeing a film, whether a current blockbuster or a cult classic, in the great outdoors, with dates available throughout the summer. Head to the Rooftop Film Club, with locations in Peckham, Shoreditch and Stratford, Film4 Summer Screen, which takes place at the grand Somerset House, and Luna Cinema, which is at multiple venues across London and the rest of the UK, including at Alexandra Palace, Battersea Park and Hampton Court Palace.
Indulge Your Love of Craft Beer: Brew Summertime
If you love craft beer, don't miss the chance to join thousands of other fans at the UK's biggest outdoor craft beer and street food festival, Brew Summertime, taking place as part of the British Summer Time Hyde Park festival in July. Sample tasty street food from gourmet vendors with a soundtrack from DJs and live music acts, and most importantly, try beers from local and international breweries. It's actually worth a go even if you don't like beer; there will also be artisan ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks to enjoy too. You can even chat to the brewers to find out more about what goes into making your favourite.
Dates: 10-11 July
Take Your Pick at Meltdown Festival
If you're a music fan, get yourself to the Southbank Centre in August to catch one of the shows that make up Meltdown Festival. This year the festival is curated by the legend that is Nile Rodgers, who says that bringing the event together has been like "creating my own live concert playlist of my favourite artists, new and old". Acts include Thundercat, Kokoroko, Durand Jones & The Indications as well as, of course, Rodgers himself. There will even be a Eurythmics Songbook, an all-star band put together by Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, and A Night of Studio 54, a recreation of the former nightclub.
Dates: 3-11 August
Give Your Sweet Tooth a Treat at London Dessert Festival
If you love dessert and can't get enough of the sugary stuff, take yourself to the Old Truman Brewery in mid-August for the London Dessert Festival. This colourful event will be one for the social media savvy, with eye-catching confections and Instagrammable walls sure to capture the attentions of visitors. You can sample tasty cocktails, taste the trendiest desserts of the moment and meet food influencers. You'll also get welcome goodies, samples of trending desserts, cocktails and mocktails, and even tutorials in food photography to make sure your social media output is on point.
Dates: 17-18 August
Join the Party at Notting Hill Carnival
Every year during the August bank holiday over a million people take part in Europe's largest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival. The three-day event celebrates Caribbean heritage in Notting Hill, with colourful floats, traffic-stopping outfits, live music and street vendors selling Caribbean food galore. Best of all, it's totally free, making it an ideal festival to attend for the more disorganised among us: just turn up on the day and enjoy the party.
Dates: 24-26 August
See Huge Dance Acts Live at South West Four
If you love dance music, make sure you buy a ticket to London's South West Four, where you can hear your favourite acts performing house, techno, grime, drum and bass, EDM and more across 10 stages. Confirmed acts for 2019 include Basement Jaxx, Armand Van Helden, Example, Idris Elba, Martin Garrix, Craig David and Tinie Tempah. The festival takes place over August bank holiday on Clapham Common, and is your chance to see all your favourite dance musicians from around the world in one spot.
Dates: 24-25 August
Enjoy the Meal of Dreams: London Brunch Fest
If brunch is your favourite meal of the day, get ready: there's a whole festival dedicated to it at the end of August. In the Old Truman Brewery, this is the second year of London Brunch Fest. As well as the boozy brunches filled with all the cocktails, coffee and pancakes you'd expect, you can also take part in workshops and hear talks on a variety of brunch-related topics. There will be pop-up stalls where you can buy everything from granolas to teas, and DJ performances to set the mood. Not to mention the plethora of food and drink options available for brunch fans: you certainly won't be leaving hungry.
Dates: 31 August and 1 September