5 Things To Do In London That Prove It’s Still Summer
The kids may have gone back to school but we're not mourning the death of summer yet. London is still alive with fantastic outdoor activities and events so instead of putting your sunnies away, read on and enjoy the last warm weeks of 2016 in style.
1. Keep riding the festival wave at OnBlackheath
Sat 10th - Sun 11th September
Ticket cost per day: £52.50 - £99
Blackheath, Shooters Hill Rd, London, SE3 0TY
South East London sees the festival season out with a bang with this awesome mash-up of great live music, scrumptious food and locally brewed beer. This year's headliners include Primal Scream and Belle & Sebastian, and your ears will also be graced by the sounds of artists such as Hot Chip, James and Squeeze. You'll have your fair share of delicious dishes to choose from with a whole village dedicated to food, and in true London festival style, things will get crafty with beer from the local Meantime Brewing Company.
2. Swim a warm summer's afternoon away at King's Cross Pond Club
Mondays-Fridays - 8am-8:30pm, Saturdays & Sundays - 8am-dusk
£3.50 - £6.50 for peak swims and non-swimmers can visit at a discounted rate
20 Canal Reach (entrance on Tapper walk) London N1C 4BE
Part art installation, part totally awesome outdoor swimming venue, the King's Cross Pond Club has been a massive hit this summer and is open well into September. It's the first ever man-made fresh water bathing pond, making for a refreshing experience all round, especially on those hot and humid London afternoons. It comes complete with all the facilities you'd expect from a normal swimming pool, with lockers, toilets, changing rooms and even hot showers. Having said that, there aren't any hair dryers or vanity areas so bring something to tie up your locks if you don't want to get them wet.
3. Watch the sun set over London at one of these epic bars
It's a fact - we're completely spoilt for choice when it comes to rooftop bars in London, and late summer is the perfect time to enjoy them. Watch the sun go down over spectacular views in Peckham at Frank's Café, where the people are happy and the Campari-based cocktails are aplenty (although expect to queue). Or head to Aqua Spirit in Soho, which is admittedly less about breath-taking views and more about a unique and chilled ambiance, but perfect for a mid-week date.
Then there's Dalston Roof Park, a hipster hangout with bright green astro turf, live bands and big-name DJs - oh, and the occasional free cinema screening. And for a spot of sophistication and epic views, Sushi Samba is situated on the thirty-eighth floor of the Heron Tower. This one's worth a visit for the glass elevator ride alone. And if you like to keep things a little more grounded, our Chelsea Harbour Hotel has a beautiful terrace bar and offers the perfect setting to enjoy a cocktail by the water.
4. Party on the River Thames at Totally Thames festival
Totally Thames takes place throughout the whole of September, so there's no excuse for missing out on its fantastic offerings. Art installations, river races, regattas, community events and environmental activities are just some of the things to take place over the course of the month. Don't miss Floating Dreams by artist Ik-Joong Kang - a three-storey high illuminated lantern covered in hundreds of miniature drawings, set to appear in the very middle of the Thames. Discover the fascinating history of the river itself at the Maritime Lecture Series, which invites archaeologists and curators to speak at the National Maritime Museum. For those on a musical mission, there's the Bascule Chamber Concerts, which offer truly one-of-a-kind musical experiences. Expect acoustics like you've never heard before.
5. Put your hands in the air at Proms in the Park
Saturday 10th September
Hyde Park, London
Taking over from the late Terry Wogan, Michael Ball will be hosting Proms in the Park this year, which takes place in Hyde Park. The show is a true spectacle, and this time around includes headliners such as Irish flautist, Sir James Galway, comedian Tim Minchin with the cast of 'Matilda' (which he wrote the music and lyrics for), and big pop names including All Saints, Rick Astley and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Not to mention the eye-boggling light displays and rip-roaring atmosphere, which'll have you waving your arms in the air until things come to a close. Before you hit the crowds, why not enjoy a moment's peace with an Afternoon Tea at our Mayfair restaurant, Avista?
If you're not a London local but still want to get in on the last of the summer action, the central and charming Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington offers the perfect base. Now all's that's left to do is to put those summer garms back on… it's far from over yet.