Summer in London doesn’t have to be a total write-off this year.
There’s a whole host of ways where you can enjoy yourself while socially distancing, from open air pop-up cinemas screening iconic movies to comedy nights with bottomless drinks.
To narrow it down, DesignMyNight has hand-picked its top ten ways to have fun outdoors in the capital, including renting a daybed on a sun-trapped beach near the river.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Constantly lauded as one of the best outdoor activities in London, Thames Rockets is certainly one for the bucket list. This adrenaline-pumping boating experience will take you down the River Thames at 35mph, whizzing you past iconic buildings and landmarks: think Big Ben and Tower Bridge. Comedic guides will be on hand to provide entertaining commentary with some fun facts chucked in along the way before your 50-minute journey comes to an end.
Cocktails In The City
Cocktails in the City is making a return to Bedford Square Gardens this September, bringing the best bars along for the ride. Tickets are £15, which includes a free cocktail, and all profits go to charity. This weekend-long alfresco cocktail garden party will see you sipping £7.50 cocktails from the likes of Heads + Tails, Callooh Callay and Nightjar.
Bottomless Outdoor Comedy Night
Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden is one of the biggest beer gardens in London and it has a smashing line-up of socially-distant events to keep you entertained all summer long. Think quizzes and drag shows, with every Friday host to a comedy night with some of the finest TV and circuit comics the UK has to offer. Your evening will kick off with 90 minutes of free-flowing wine, beer and a selection of spirits, including the old reliable: G&T.
The Bottomless Shuffle Brunch
If you’ve had your fill of online events and are ready to explore some outdoor fun, you can’t go wrong with a trip to London Shuffle Club. Said to be the favourite pastime of King Henry VIII, this unique venue in Shoreditch will see you shuffling down the lanes and come the weekend you can get involved in the bottomless brunch. Consisting of a 55-minute slot on the indoor or outdoor spaces, you’ll have unlimited beer, prosecco and slices of pizza to keep you busy.
The Luna Cinema
The Luna Cinema is one of London’s longest standing pop-ups and its got an impeccable line-up of movies to entice you away from your couch. Out in the open air, this iconic travelling cinema will be pitching up in plenty of places across the capital, from the South Grounds of The Royal Hospital Chelsea to Dulwich Park. Screening a bunch of favourites like Back To The Future, Pretty Woman and Joker, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.
Neverland Fulham Beach Club
Throwing on your out-of-office to walk along the beach doesn’t have to be a complete write off in 2020, not with Fulham Beach Club on the scene. This sandy pop-up is bringing holiday antics to west London in a big way, with socially distanced day beds, pergolas, beach bubbles and pastel-coloured huts. Feel the sand between your toes and order the Hawaiian spritz or a passion fruit martini before sitting back and catching some vitamin D.
The Rooftop Supperclub
Century is a members’ club with Soho’s largest roof terrace and it’s usually reserved for its members but this summer you can gain access to their rooftop supperclub. The menu is a taste bud pleaser starting with the likes of whipped goat’s curd and apple sorbet, with spicy prawn arrabiata for mains. The entertainment will be second to none during the evening too, with musicians, jaw-dropping live shows and drag artists followed by iconic DJs such as Fat Tony.
Sky Garden Music Nights
Sky Garden is located at the very top of the Walkie Talkie and it’s known as London’s largest rooftop garden... meaning there’s plenty of space for social distancing. Alongside being located in one of the capital’s most well known buildings, it has views of the city’s other iconic landmarks such as St Paul’s, The Shard and Tower Bridge. Keen to visit? You can grab a cocktail or a glass of champagne with your ticket to the summer music nights for as little as £11.
Putt In The Park
If you were looking for a creative way to get out of the house and challenge your support bubble, mark three destinations in your diary. Putt In The Park is back open at Wandsworth, Acton and Battersea Park and have a 12-hole course for you to swing and bicker through. Perfect for a big family day out or a date night, tickets start at £8 for a child and £10 for an adult.
Rooftops are two to a penny in the capital but very few, in fact none, are quite like Skylight. Once an unused car park in Wapping, it’s been converted into a playground of activities with lawn games and plenty of huge screens for match days. Boasting private tables and garden booths, it’s a no-brainer if you want to soak up the sun, drink cocktails or play a game of petanque or croquet.
For more information on the best restaurants in London and across the UK, see DesignMyNight.com or follow on Instagram and Facebook; @DesignMyNight.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.