London is well known for its fantastic calendar of events that are must-visits – but which are the top selections for Summer?
In this article, I will share with you my top 10 list of Summer events to add to your social calendar whether you’re moving to London, or a local!
When I moved to London 11 years ago, I discovered that not only were there countless ways to fulfil my arts and culture needs but also this fabulous city offers a roster of excellent events to attend, no matter your passions and interests.
Here are my top ten London events you must put on your summer To-Do List.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show – 24th May to 28th May, Royal Hospital Chelsea
Reopening once again after the pandemic, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower show is an incredible event for those who love all things gardening, flowers, and design.
Expect to have to book well in advance, so while I am sharing this event with you for 2022, it’s so you can add it to your 2023 calendar as well and grab your tickets before they are all sold out!
From getting inspiration from the latest trends and cutting-edge designs to adding to your house plant collection – this is a gardener’s paradise and a must-visit. I went last year for the first time and really loved it. It’s a fantastic day out with family and friends.
London Fashion Week – 11th – 13th June, various locations across London and online
Discovering the latest trends, designers, and unique creations at this global event is definitely on the list of those who live for fashion. While most of the events across the 4 days are by invitation only, there are in fact evening events with designers that you can attend by RSVP.
The great thing about this year is that not only will there be access to the in-person events, but there are also digital events you can attend from the comfort of your own home – with no requirement to dress up!
Royal Ascot – 14th -18th June, Ascot Racecourse
If you are looking for a historic, traditionally British event, then Ascot is definitely one to attend. The five days of races offer a variety of events.
Tuesday 14th June kicks things off with a royal procession, with three races in the afternoon. It’s believed this is the best day for socialising and dining with a variety of delightful options including champagne afternoon tea, à la carte luncheon, or even gourmet picnics.
Wednesday 15th provides a calmer day, with Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes, as well as three Group 2 races – The Queen Mary Stakes, The Queen’s Vase and The Duke of Cambridge Stakes.
Thursday 16th, known as Ladies Day, is a day to see and be seen, with high fashion and millinery masterpieces taking centre stage – a perfect day for those who love fashion to come together at a prestigious gathering and follow racing’s most elite stayers locking horns for the historic Gold Cup.
Friday 17th is the penultimate day and features two Group 1 races, the Coronation Stakes and the Commonwealth Cup. Expect this to be the day when most corporate and group gatherings attend.
Finally, Saturday the 18th is a fast-paced and busy day at the races. Featuring the £1m Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes, which is one of the world’s greatest international sprints, as well as Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and The Queen Alexandra Stakes, which is the longest race of the British Flat season, there’s plenty to enjoy on this last day at Royal Ascot.
As this is such a highly anticipated event, it is often sold out quickly, so get your tickets well in advance!
Wimbledon – 27th June – 10th July, at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
I have been lucky enough to attend Wimbledon and it is such a fantastic experience! If you are a lover of tennis, or simply the tradition of strawberries and cream, pimms, and sunny afternoons on the hill (if you can’t get tickets into the stadium) it’s a must-do!
Wimbledon is the oldest and, often regarded as the most prestigious, tennis event in the world. You will see the biggest names in tennis, as well as some incredible matches. It consists of five main events, four junior events and seven invitation events, and the roster is jam-packed!
Henley Royal Regatta – 28th June- 3rd July, Henley-on-Thames
London’s landscape is driven by the River Thames and the Henley Royal Regatta is a highly attended event on the river that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
There are two ways to watch – the general public can watch via the Regatta Enclosure which is situated on the Berkshire bank and is the ideal place from where families and supporters can watch the racing – including children of all ages. The Regatta Enclosure features riverside seating and an open Grandstand, as well as a covered restaurant and a bar.
If you are lucky enough to be a member or have a friend who’s one, you can watch the races from The Stewards’ Enclosure. This is opposite the Finish Line, with two Grandstands, a Prize Tent & Art Gallery, as well as several bars & restaurants. You will also have prime riverside seating, and it is open to Members and their guests, including children from the age of ten.
British Grand Prix – 30th June – 3rd July, at Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone is a national institution for anyone who loves cars and racing, being host to an array of different events throughout the year – from classic cars to drag racing! It is located in the Northamptonshire villages of Towcester, Silverstone and Whittlebury. It is the current home of the British Grand Prix, which it first hosted as the 1948 British Grand Prix.
The British Grand Prix is held at this historic location and includes 2 days of qualifying and the final day of the race.
The event attracts 300,000 people throughout the weekend, and is more than just for F1 fans. With the full experience offering sort of a festival, with the likes of music artists, street food, and even a show by the amazing red arrows!
BST Hyde Park – 24th June – 10th July, Hyde Park
Talking of festival-like atmospheres, if you love music, then BST Hyde Park (also known as British Summer Time) is a must add to your calendar.
The calendar of events is huge in terms of the acts that you could watch. The likes of Elton John on 24th June, and the Rolling Stones on 25th June and 3rd July, you’ll want to head to the ticket site quickly so you don’t miss out on these amazing artists.
Adele will also be in concert on 1st and 2nd July, as well as Pearl Jam with special guests Stereophonics, Imelda May, The Last Internationale and more on 8th and 9th July, with the festival ending on 10th July with Duran Duran.
PRIDE in London – 2nd July
2022 marks the 50th year of PRIDE in London, and is an incredible day for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Starting at Hyde Park Corner, and ending by Trafalgar Square the parade has floats, exhibitors, and participants walking the route to express joy and celebration while highlighting the injustices and inequalities that exist.
The route is open to the public and is often busiest at Trafalgar square so if you want to be able to see anything in the parade at this spot, you’ll want to get there early!
Underbelly Festival (Cavendish Square – until 31st July, Earls Court – 13th May – 16th July)
Combining award-winning entertainment with some of the best food and drink London has to offer, Underbelly Festival has two new locations this year at Cavendish Square and Earl’s Court so you can enjoy epic entertainment during the summer.
Cavendish Square plays host to the multi award-winning cabaret show La Clique, two large alfresco bars from Tarquin’s Cornish Gin and premium pilsner, Pravha, and a selection of incredible food vendors including Steak Burger by Smoketeers, Ewe Pulled, London Grilled Fish Company, and Tandoori Tadkaa. Londoners can visit the festival from now until 31st July.
Earl’s Court is on 13th May – 16th July and has shows from Circus Abyssnia, Unfortunate and all things from comedy to circus and cabaret. Just like the Cavendish Square location, you can enjoy a selection of drinks from a variety of different bars, as well as soon-to-be-confirmed food stalls galore.
Notting Hill Carnival – 27th – 29th August, Notting Hill
I am delighted to hear that Notting Hill Carnival is back after the pandemic. This annual Caribbean celebration is led by members of the British West Indian community, and the two days are filled with sound, colour, food and joy.
This huge street festival attracts around 1 million people every year to Notting Hill and highlights the Caribbean and Black diasporic cultures. Carnival uses influences from many other festivals around the world. If you can make it among the crowds of people, expect to be dancing all weekend!
So, what do you think of these 10 summer events in London – will you be attending any of them or have you in the past? Did I miss anything that should be added to that you want to see highlighted? Make sure to drop me a message in the comments section below.