Summer,  Seasonal,  Things to Do

The 18 Best Things to Do in London in July (2024)

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As the heart of summer, July is one of the best times to visit London. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy the city’s lovely warm weather and long, sunny days. In fact, July is one of the most popular (and unfortunately most expensive) times to visit London throughout the year – but don’t let that stop you! Visiting London in July means you’re in for a real treat.

I spent one July in London during my time living in London – in fact, I spent more of it than I intended after losing my passport! I have fond memories of hot days and warm nights, little concern for umbrellas or rain boots, and soaking up the sun. In fact, I was in London when Prince George was born, a truly unique London experience – though you can find similarly unique happenings whenever you plan to visit too.

London in July Hero

In this post, I cover some of the best things to do in London in July; this isn’t an exhaustive list, but rather my picks of unique July experiences at some of the city’s top attractions and events. Plus, I provide some “unscheduled” (i.e. not on a specific date) ideas for other activities to do in London which are particularly pleasant in July.

Tickets booked, bags packed, let’s finish up your London itinerary with something truly unique!

This post was originally published in April 2022, and was updated most recently in April 2024.

Wimbledon (July 1-14)

Don your best outfit and attend Wimbledon, one of the four annual Grand Slam tennis tournaments in the world. The tournament is one of the most prestigious events in the tennis world – Kate and William are regulars at the famed tournament. You can enjoy watching world-class players on the beautiful grass courts while also taking in the festive atmosphere.

Oh, and don’t forget to munch on the delicious strawberries and cream, which has become a classic for anyone attending the event.

Hampton Court Palace Show (July 2-7)

Tulips & Daffodils in London Hampton Court Palace

Anthophiles will have the time of their lives at the Hampton Court Palace Show. Held on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, the Garden Festival is the world’s largest flower show. For five days, this event reunites all the big names from the gardening and landscape industry, who share the tricks of the trade to help you develop your green thumb. 

Royal Day Out (Begins July 10)

While you can certainly visit parts of Buckingham Palace during your London trip (and should do so –read this review for details and to see why!), you can’t see more of the palace except for a window during the late summer and early autumn. That time is called “Royal Day Out,” and it begins on July 10th this year.

A Royal Day Out ticket offers discount admission to all three venues at Buckingham Palace: the State Rooms, The Queen’s Gallery, and the Royal Mews. The experience lasts approximately four and a half hours, beginning at The Queen’s Gallery, followed by the Royal Mews, and then the State Rooms.

The London 10K (July 14)

London in June - London 10K

London is home to a number of famous running races, but the most fun one occurs in mid-July – on the 14th, this year. The London 10K winds through the streets of Westminster: The race starts at Piccadilly, meanders through Central London, swings down Regent Street, and finishes at Whitehall

Best of all, it resembles more a festival than a marathon; there are live bands, DJs, and lots of entertainment venues around, making it equally fun to attend and cheer the runners as to participate and feel that sense of accomplishment at the end.

Swan Upping (July 15-19, TBC)

It’s time for some pomp and circumstance.  The Swan Upping is a ceremony dating back to the 12th Century. It takes place annually on the River Thames and is essentially the annual census of the swan population on a particular stretch of the river. 

While Swan Upping still stands as one of the Royal traditions, it has a crucial place in wildlife conservation practices today. To perform the ceremony, a flotilla of traditional Thames rowing skiffs round-up swans, catch them, ring them, and then release them back on the river. 

Every year, I can never find the exact dates the event is scheduled, so if you’re planning to visit London in mid-July and want to see the event, keep an eye on this page and use Google to check for updates too.

BBC Proms (Begins July 19)

Delight yourself with good music at the BBC Proms. This eight-week-long classical music festival was first launched in 1895, and today, it is one of the most important cultural events in the world of classical music. D

uring the festival, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, along with several other renowned orchestras and ensembles from around the world, performs a series of concerts – at very affordable prices. As if that wasn’t enough, all the concerts are held in the mythical Royal Albert Hall. 

Doggett’s Coat & Badge Race (TBC)

London in July - Andrea Vail
Photo Courtesy of Andrea Vail via Flickr

London is full of quirky historical events, and one of the most unusual – and interesting – happens in June. Held since 1715, Doggett’s Coat & Badge Race is the world’s oldest boat race.

In this sporting event, six young apprentices who work on the Thames row on the river upstream. The race starts in London Bridge and finishes in Chelsea. Whoever wins gets the coveted prize of the iconic red coat and silver badge – and it’s a Big Deal.

The date of the 2024 race hasn’t been confirmed yet (keep on eye on the event’s Facebook page), but it was held on July 19 last year, so should be around that date again this year.

The Chap Olympiad (TBC)

The Chap Olympiad has been running for seventeen years and celebrates sporting… ineptitude. Yes, you read right: the Chap Olympiad celebrates the ineptitude of British sportsmen and women, rather than their prowess.

The event is highly bizarre and eccentric, and the “sporting” events are different each year. For example, one year they held a “Tea Pursuit,” a test involving a chappete and chap aboard bicycles, one bearing a cup and saucer, the other a teapot; the teapot-bearing chap must fill the teacup of their teammate without spilling a drop aboard a bicycle.  Weird and wonderful, right?

The 2024 event dates haven’t been announced yet, but it’s historically held in mid-July. Announcements may be made on Facebook here.

10 Other Things to Do in London in July

While the set events I’ve already covered are certainly enough to round out your London itinerary, there are also other activities and experiences that are particularly enjoyable during London’s hot summer.

  1. Make the most of the weather and attend a concert or festival. Here are three London festivals taking place in July, just to inspire you and show you there’s something for everyone this month: Wireless Festival (July 12-14), Folk by the Oak (July 21), and the Underbelly Festival (TBC).
  2. Enjoy London’s stunning parks by having a picnic in one of them! I have a complete guide to London parks you can check out and find the one that suits you better.
  3. Catch a movie in one of London’s outdoor cinemas. Come summer, many of the city’s rooftops and parks turn into pop-up screening rooms. The Barbican’s Outdoor Cinema and  Lewisham’s Beckenham Place Park host screening sessions throughout the summer. 
  4. Dress up and sip a fancy cocktail on one of London’s rooftops.
  5. Glide along the River Thames on a cruise. There are tons of alternatives, from specialty cruises to adrenaline-filled speedboats.
  6. You can’t leave London without soaking in the views of its iconic skyline. The city has diverse vantage points, from rooftops to hills on Royal Parks.
  7. Stroll down Southbank while taking in the sun and views of Westminster; best of all, this one’s completely free!
  8. Catch a play at Regent’s Park Open Air Theater. They’ll be putting on The Secret Garden throughout most of July.  
  9. Sunbathe at a London-area beach. July is the height of summer, and the beach is the place everyone wants to be. You can stay in London or visit a seaside town (Brighton is my favorite!).
  10. Go paddleboarding on the Thames, which is one of the best ways to relax on a long summer morning and get some activity in during your visit.

Have any other questions about visiting London in July and what to do while there? Let me know in the comments below!

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Valerie fell in love with London on her first trip to the city way back in 2011. Since then, she spent a year living in London and visits as often as she can (you can find her recent trip recaps here!). She launched LOMM in 2021 to help other travelers fall in love with her favorite city on earth.

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