Call us crazy, but last year we moved our home base from Sydney to London for a 3 year adventure. Not only that but we now have a baby! Our son Jackson arrived in November 2018, so you could say things have changed quite a bit…more on that in another post. The weather is always a hot topic of conversation when it comes to the UK, and yes it’s not great much of the time. It even snowed on the day we arrived from Australia! That said, we had a scorcher of a summer last year and warmer days are officially here again so here are our London Must Do’s for a sunny day!
Yes London is a big city, but if you’re visiting in the warmer months there’s so much to do. We’ve both done most of the touristy things in London, think death by museums, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben etc.
Now we’re living here we get to skip all that and really get stuck in to all the good stuff. So, if you’re hitting up London this summer you gotta check out our list of London Must Do’s for a sunny day. Here we go…
This is a tourist hot spot, and for good reason. It’s a cool place to wander around for a few hours. Nestled on the canal, you’ll find Camden Lock where the water changes levels so the little boats can pass. You’ll also find a plethora of food stalls, heaps of vintage shopping, market stalls selling anything and everything, some great pubs with live music and yet more markets!
During summer this place is open all week but if you’re coming on the weekend expect the crowds. It does get busy and is a bit of a tourist trap but if you’ve never been it is definitely a must! If you fancy a nice walk to get there, use the Jubilee Greenway from Paddington through Little Venice all the way to Camden.
This part of London is super cool and will keep you entertained for hours. The whole area is full of cool bars, pubs, restaurants, street art, and markets. At the weekend everyone descends on Brick Lane, a cool little street where you can eat, drink and shop. Peeling off Brick Lane there are heaps of markets and unique stores that are worth checking out.
Don’t eat before you go, as you’ll want to eat your way around this area. Head to the Beigel Bake on Brick Lane and try one of their salt beef bagels. The line is long and for good reason. Trust me, I’m not normally a bagel eater but these are damn good!
If you’re looking for a cool affordable hotel in the area, we stayed at QBic in Whitechapel which is just a short walk away and would totally recommend it.
Hire a bike and take in the sights!
I know this is a touristy thing to do, but you can’t come to London and not see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace! Big Ben is currently covered in scaffolding undergoing a facelift…his big reveal isn’t until 2020 so not the best photo opp right now.
Get around by bike and you’ll cover off all of the major sights in record time. Hire a Boris bike (they’re everywhere!) or chuck on some comfy shoes and do it by foot. Doesn’t really matter where you start, but when we show people round we like to head to Buckingham Palace first and then walk towards Big Ben, over the Westminster Bridge and then head towards the London Eye and keep heading that way and you’ll hit Southbank. Along Southbank there’s loads of buskers, food stalls, outdoor bars, restaurants and cafes.
You could literally spend half a day or full day roaming around this part of London. If you’ve got more time and you’re into your modern day art, check out the Tate Modern. There’s loads of the gallery you can access for free.
Borough Markets and Southbank
Totally have a soft spot for Borough Markets, as it’s the first place I lived when I first moved to London all those years ago. Think fresh food markets, perfect for your meats, seafood, cheese, bread, flowers, and veggies.
Borough Markets are open 6 days a week Sunday to Friday. If you’ve already done your grocery shop, don’t stress, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area too. You can even wander through the little laneways and head over to Southbank to walk along the River Thames.
Definitely one of the coolest bridges in the world, and it looks even better at sunset. Along the banks of the Thames you’ll find plenty of food and drink options so grab a spot, grab a drink and watch the sunset over London.
Tower Bridge is worth walking over and it’s free to do so. Unless of course you want to battle the tourists and catch the elevator to the top of the bridge and walk along the glass rooftop.
Hang around long enough, and you’ll see the bridge road open. Pretty cool to watch, and great for photos too.
Portobello Road and Acklam Village
By far one of our fave spots for a wander in London, Portobello Road is a great spot to hit up on the weekend. If the sun is shining, even better. There are a few ways to get there depending where you’re travelling from.
We usually start at Notting Hill Gate station and then walk all the way down Portobello Road. You’ll find lots of shops, markets, music and street art around this area. Last year we made an amazing discovery when we were wandering down this long stretch of road. Acklam Village!
Acklam Village markets are by far the best food markets we’ve found in London. You’ll find every cuisine imaginable and you can grab a cold beer or cocktail, find a place to sit and enjoy the atmosphere. So good.
Last summer when we were here we took a trip to Greenwich. If you want to take a trip down the Thames by boat this is a great way to do it.
There is lots to do here from visiting the Observatory, checking out the Cutty Sark and taking a wander around the Queen’s House…she doesn’t live there these days mind you.
You could take a picnic and pitch up somewhere in one of the oldest Royal parks in London, Greenwich Park. Nothing better on a sunny day than a picnic with friends with an awesome view of London.
The Heath is by far our favourite green space in London, so much so we moved from busy Shoreditch to be closer to this sprawling 750 acre park. Enjoy a walk around one of the many paths through the Heath and take some time to get lost. If you’re a dog lover you will love watching all the pups having the time of their lives!
Walk to the top of Parliament Hill and take in the view of the London city skyline, you’ll feel so close but so far away from the hustle and bustle. If you take a trip to the Heath on a Saturday, hit up the weekly Farmers Markets at the bottom of Parliament Hill, grab some goodies from there and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine. Bliss.
Now you have our top Must Do’s for when the sun is shining…maybe we should make a list of wet weather Must Do’s?! Make the most of the sunny days when they do come around!