I know the rain is constant at the moment with drizzle covering London, with the sun only occasionally popping out for the rare few minutes, but forever the optimist that I am, I am looking towards the summer sun!
I know London can be expensive but there are so many things to do without breaking the bank. Here are just five things that you can appreciate in the summer sun.
– Visit Hyde Park – there is so much to do see in this park! Everything from walks, to going for a boat ride goes on in this park! Boating on the Serpentine is open from April until October 31. Times are from 10:00 am until sundown which is around 4:00 pm in the winter and 8:00 pm in the summer. Prices are fairly reasonable for a row on the Serpentine however they are per person, with adults at £12 for 1 hour or £10 for 30 minutes. Children (under 15) – £5 for 1 hour or £4 for 30 minutes. Family (2 adults and 2 children) – £29 for 1 hour or £24 for 30 minutes. If boating does not take your fancy, then why not take a take a dip in the Lido! The Serpentine Lido and its paddling pool are great for both adults and children. It is open on weekends throughout May (including the May Day Bank Holiday) and seven days a week from 1 June to 12 September. The Lido is open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (last entry 5:30pm) every day in June, July and August. For an unusual outdoor experience the prices are reasonable and tempting with an adult entry a £4.60 (£4.10 after 4pm) concessions at £3.60 (£3.10 after 4pm) a child entrance £1.60 (£1.10 after 4pm) and a family Ticket at 2 adults and up to 4 children -£10.50 (£9 after 4pm). One of my favourite places in the park is the Diana Memorial Fountain, it is such a interactive memorial that really allows every one to get involved. “The design aims to reflect Diana’s life, water flows from the highest point in two directions as it cascades, swirls and bubbles before meeting in a calm pool at the bottom. The water is constantly being refreshed and is drawn from London’s water table. The Memorial also symbolises Diana’s quality and openness. There are three bridges where you can cross the water and go right to the heart of the fountain. We hope visitors will feel at home when they visit this special place.”
The opening times do not vary too much:
April – August: 10.00 – 20.00
September: 10.00 – 19.00
March and October: 10.00 – 18.00
November – February: 10.00 – 16.00
This is a free activity that is really worth a visit!
If none of these inspire you to take a visit why not have a look at the self guided tours of the park, https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park/things-to-see-and-do/self-guided-walks/the-diana-princess-of-wales-memorial-walk
Hyde park has turned out to be the most Instagramed place in London with 715,563 posts!
– Holland Park – it is the Royal Borough’s largest park with 22.5 hectares of gardens, children’s play facilities, sports areas, a cafeteria and large areas of woodland abundant with wildlife. In my opinion the best thing to see in the park is the beautiful Kyoto Garden; a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991. This small garden is like a pocket of Japan in London. The garden has been so carefully designed with key details to reflect key traits of Japanese gardens including stone lanterns, tiered waterfalls and plenty of fish. The gentle cascade of water is occasionally mixed with the squawks of peacocks who wander around the park. Despite these occasional bird calls, a few minutes in the Kyoto Garden will surely restore you after a hard day. This is free and open to the public something not to miss when looking for things to do in the summer sun. It also came 8th in the top 10 Instagramed places in London with 35,097 posts.
– Battersea Park is a large (83 hectares/200 acres) Victorian park, built between 1854 and 1870. It was formally opened in 1858. However Battersea Park trumps Holland park coming third in the top 10 Instagramed places in London with 103,211 posts! A really great and much cheaper alternative to ZSL lies within this park; Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, it isn’t as big and impressive but definitely a great place to explore with entrance fees only £8.95 for an adult and £6.95 for Children aged 2 to 15 years it is definitely lighter on the pockets.
– Hampstead Heath reaching 7th on the most Instagramed places in London with 42,467 posts it clearly is a place to go with the visitors and locals of London. Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces, situated just six kilometres from Trafalgar Square. An island of beautiful countryside, the magic of Hampstead Heath lies not only in its rich wildlife and extensive sports and recreational opportunities, but also in its proximity and accessibility to millions of people. There is a zoo, an athletics track, an education centre, extensive children’s facilities, three swimming ponds and a Lido. Pretty appealing on paper I agree! One thing I have always wanted to do is take a dip in the swimming ponds. Open-air swimming is internationally famous on Hampstead Heath with the Ladies’ Pond, the Men’s Pond, the Mixed Pond and the Parliament Hill Lido. The Ladies’ and Men’s Ponds are unique in the United Kingdom in being the only life-guarded open-water swimming facilities open to the public every day of the year. Why not take a cool down in the ponds!
– Not on the top ten most Instagramed places in London but something that not should be missed is the Isabella Plantation in Richmond park. The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830’s. First opened to the public in 1953, it is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and at their peak of flower in late April and early May. Why not check out the guide showing the beauty and what to see within the plantation. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/55236/A-guide-to-Isabella-Plantation.pdf
Ok so looking back at the places I have found they are all parks… maybe the title should have been different but what could be better than fresh air and sun in London!