London Al Fresco: 10 Things to Do Outdoors

Did you know that more rain falls annually in Paris than London? According to, the only month London is more rainy than Paris is November. That’s right: Despite what you may think, London has great summer weather. So, we’ve rounded up the 10 best new things to do in London outdoors.

Dine Al Fresco

The rooftop dining scene has blossomed in London. Head to the top of The Dorchester, where they’ve created a beautiful botanical sanctuary with a British-led menu. Enjoy views overlooking Hyde Park, sultry sounds and a range of amazing eats, from BBQ-style whole roasted chicken and mini sliders to refreshing garden-inspired cocktails—an ideal spot for a long, lazy lunch. Another option is to do like we did and enjoy the sunset into evening with some bubbly and a fruit de mer platter with a half lobster, langoustine, Mediterranean prawns, oysters, Cornish crab and clams. Open from noon until midnight, Sundays until 6 p.m. 

Starting August 1, The Berkeley will open its rooftop—usually reserved for staying guests—with a brand-new bar next to the hotel’s pool. Guests will be whisked up to the rooftop by lift, discovering a new, sun-bathed mural by artist Chiara Perano along the way, inspired by the blues of the pool and greens of the park. Views of London’s skyline will be complemented with a menu of refreshing spritzes, magnums of rosé and Mediterranean small plates. The Berkeley Rooftop Bar will be open Tuesday to Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. =

For unparalleled views of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and iconic skyscrapers of the City, head east to the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. The hotel has collaborated with Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart, one of the most celebrated florists in London, transforming its elegant Crown Residence and terrace into Bloom, a floral-infused bar and lounge area for the summer season. Botanical infused cocktails and lite bites like beef carpaccio and local cheese plates, as well as a more serious premium wine tastings are available. Walk-ins are welcome, but booking is strongly advised.

Outdoor Art

Serpentine Summer Pavilion and Exhibition

Appreciate art at the annual Serpentine Summer Pavilion and Exhibition. The light-dappled, wooden pavilion, designed this year by architect Lina Ghotmeh, screams "eco," but also looks kind of like a giant drinks umbrella. We loved the “Web(s) of Life'' exhibit at the Serpentine Gallery by Argentine artist, Tomás Saraceno, a living, collaborative and multi-species exhibition that delves into how different life forms, technologies and energy systems are connected in the climate emergency. The sculptures look like beehives but are actually bird feeders—so cool!

Be Entertained

Surrounded by the beautiful formal gardens and wilded woodlands of Holland Park, the canopied open-air Opera Holland Park is the perfect place to enjoy critically acclaimed opera in the heart of London. This year’s performances include the classic La boheme and Itch, a new production from composer Jonathan Dove. Or, head up to Regents Park, for a campy revival of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein's show-stopping classic, La Cage aux Folles and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.


Wimbledon recently finished, and, yes, there are many parks where you can play tennis in London, but have you tried Padel? Padel is the fastest growing sport in the U.K. and you can try it in Hyde Park, Regents Park, or the largest center in London, Rocks Lane Chiswick. Book lessons and courts through the Playtomic app.  

Prefer to get wet? According to the BBCwild swimming is trending hard; Brits discovered it during the pandemic and kept going. Try for yourself in Hampsted Heath, which has three ponds for swimming separated by gender, plus a co-ed pond. Or, try stand-up paddle boarding in several places along the Thames. We loved doing this in Richmond, followed by pints at the pub made famous in "Ted Lasso," The Prince’s Head.

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