What to Do in London in July

This post is our list of the best things to do in London in July, updated for 2020. It includes a top 10 list, free, night and family-friendly things to do.

For more ideas for any time of the year, read our master post on things to do in London.

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Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN JULY

Summer is underway in London during July, and there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

This post goes through the many great things to do in London in the month of July.

For more ideas of popular things to do, check out our posts:


1. Go to a Concert

July is the month for music festivals and you have lots of great options to choose from. From huge names to emerging artists, head outdoors and enjoy some quality music in a great location!

Below are some of the top artists in town this month. See who else is playing on StubHub’s July concert calendar.

 

 

Festivals

Concerts

See what other concerts and festivals are happening this July in London.


2. See a Hit Musical or Play

This July, there are many well-known musicals and plays to see in London.

One musical playing this month is Local Hero based on the funny, heart-warming, award-winning movie of the same name. With music by Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits, and endearing characters, this show is worth your consideration.

 

 

Here are some of the other great shows you can attend in London this month. 

See our Discount Theatre Tickets guide on how to secure a good price!


3. See the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace 

Buckingham Palace tours run year-round, but the State Rooms can only be seen by the public when Queen Elizabeth II goes on holiday during the summer. 

In 2020, the State Rooms are open from July 25 – October 4. If you are here in late July, take advantage of this small window of opportunity to see the State Rooms.

 

 

There are tours of just the State Rooms and tours that combine the States Room visit with another part of the Palace Grounds.

There is also a combination ticket that includes the Queen’s Gallery, the Royal Mews, and the State Rooms. 

Our post on how to visit Buckingham Palace explains all the ticket options.


4. Take a Sightseeing Tour

The month of July the weather is really lovely making this a fine time to the historic sites of London. There are many excellent sightseeing tours available to you.

 

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One of the best ways to see the city is to take one of our pay-what-you-wish walking tours or one of our GPS-led anytime audio tours.

In July, we offer these tours: 

You can also look into taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour that both help you get quickly oriented to the city as well as takes you around to all the major sights in London.


5. Take a Cruise or Boat Ride on the Thames

July is a lovely month to get out on the water. There are many ways to enjoy the Thames, including hop-on, hop-off cruises, speedboats, canal boat rides, as well as lunch and dinner cruises. 

 

 

Find out more about the many boat and cruise activities you can enjoy by reading our post comparing Thames River Cruises and Boat Rides.

Several options are included for free with the purchase of a London tourist discount pass


6. Look into Getting a Tourist Pass

Summer is a great time to get outside and see historic landmarks and fun attractions in London. 

Thankfully, a tourist pass can save you money on many of the most popular summer activities.

 

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Admission for the following attractions is included with at least one discount pass: 

These are just a handful of the activities you can enjoy in July with these services.

For more details, make sure to read our full post covering London tourist passes.


7. Enjoy a Free Ballet

The Royal Opera House will once again host its popular Big Screens event. The most centrally located big screen is located in  Trafalgar Square

The 2020 dates have yet to be announced, so check back with us or the Royal Opera House.

 

 

In addition to being a great family activity, this is also sure to be a fun thing to do at night.


8. Go on a Food Tour

London has many tasty foods to try, and a guided food tour will take you the best places to try out new foods and old favorites.

Consider taking one of our pay-what-you-wish food tours. We offer several outings that cover a variety of different foods and neighborhoods in the city.

 

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We also offer self-guided food tours. These outings are entirely free to enjoy and you can do them at your own pace.


9. Watch the Changing of the Guard

In July this famous, and totally free, ceremony changes its schedule and you are in luck — because it will take place daily in July.

This means no matter what your schedule is, you will have an opportunity to watch this most famous of events.

 

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For more information, check out our post with all the top tips you’ll need to get the best view possible!

Or consider joining us on our Westminster Tour, which includes the Ceremony.


10. Attend the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show  

Held entirely within the stunning grounds of breathtaking Hampton Court Palace, this annual horticultural extravaganza will take place from July 7-12, 2020.

 

 

Presented gardens, contests, and immersive experiences all come together to make a beautifully unique London event.

Get tickets here. For more information, see the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show website.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO

This section will include a variety of free things to do in London during the month of July.

Check our other sections for even more great ideas such as seeing a free ballet, watching the Changing of the Guard or taking a free walking tour.

For even more ideas, check out our post on 100+ Free (an almost free) Things to Do in London

 

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You may also want to take a look at our guide to London on a Budget for more money-saving ideas.


See Piccadilly Circus

There’s no need to spend a dime here! You will be entertained just by the cacophony of buses, cars, people and just about every other sound imaginable. 

Check out our post on things to do in Piccadilly CircusYou could join us on our pay-what-you-like Piccadilly Circus, Soho, and Chinatown Tour, which runs several times a week. 

Piccadilly Circus is surrounded by other areas that you will likely enjoy a free stroll through, including SohoTrafalgar SquareLeicester Square, and Chinatown.


Have a Picnic with a View 

We recommend Primrose Hill, a gorgeous area on the edge of Camden, near Regent’s Park, that offers sweeping views of London’s skyline.

Pack a basket, grab the bubbly (drinking alcohol in our parks is totally legal!) and get outside to enjoy a British Summer’s day.

Why not team up your Primrose Hill picnic with our pay-what-you-wish Camden Town Tour which starts and finishes nearby!


Enjoy the Free River Stage Festival

This annual free outdoor festival takes place every weekend between July 3 through August 2, 2020.

There’ll be music, dancing, food, drink and more. 

This is a great activity for the whole family. There are also nighttime activities planned.

Visit their website for all the details. 


Get a Free Skyline View of London

Skylight is a free-to-enter rooftop games venue that happens to have gorgeous 360-degree skyline views of London.

Skylight is open every evening and throughout the day on weekends in July.

To play games, like petanque and croquet you must pay a fee. There is also food and drink for purchase.

Find out more from their website.


Watch the Swan Upping

This uniquely British event is when London’s swans get a visit from the doctor! Going back centuries, swans can only be owned by the Crown.

Thus, the Royal Family is responsible for the swans on the Thames, checking on their health and taking a count for a swan census.

While the Royals don’t do the check-ups themselves, some members of the royal family participate nearly every summer.

The annual Swan Upping runs from July 13 to July 17. It is totally free to watch these activities. Check their website for more information.

For even more ideas, check out our post on Free (and almost free) Things to Do in London

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

The following section will cover a variety of fun things you can do after dark in London during the month of July.

Keep an eye on our other sections for even more excellent ways to spend your evenings like seeing a concert, taking an evening Thames cruise, or seeing Piccadilly Circus. 

 

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Look at our full post covering what to do at night in London for even more great activities you can enjoy after the sun goes down. 


Take a Night Tour

For a city as old as London, you can imagine there are numerous tales to tell once the sun goes down. Consider taking a night tour!

For those who enjoy thrilling mysteries, check out our Jack the Ripper tour. Alternatively, for a broader view of the darker side to London, enjoy our London Ghost tour.

If you have kids, then you might want to consider our Harry Potter Tour.

If you don’t fancy ghost tours, check out some of the other evening tours London has to offer like a boat tour by RiverLights or a Big Bus tour


Ride The London Eye

July skies are typically clear, making a night ride on the London Eye a great time to see the city at night.

Note that if you are traveling with family, this activity is a favorite with kids and adults alike! 

For additional details, please read our full post about visiting the London Eye.

You may be able to get discounted tickets through the 2 for 1 program, the London City Pass, and the London Explorer Pass.


Enjoy the BBC Proms 

In 2020, the world’s premier classical musical festival, the BBC Proms runs from July 17 to September 12.

Performances are held at the Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Cadogan Hall and more. 

See what’s playing and get tickets here.


See Shakespeare in Regent’s Park

The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is truly a hidden London gem. Tucked away among the foliage of the park this venue is well planned so that every seat has a perfect view of the stage.

In 2020, you can see Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet from July 1-31. Performances are held either daytime or nighttime.

See the schedule for performance dates and times.

TIP: If you want to experience more of Shakespeare than just his works, why not visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre?


Attend a Silent Sounds Boat Party

On July 18, 2020, you can attend a unique party experience. Board a cruise boat where you will be given headphones with numerous channels. Then dance the night away to the music of your choice.

Look out on the River Thames and enjoy drinks, food, and beautiful iconic sights. Book tickets here.


Ride the London Bar Bus

What do you get when you combine a pub crawl with a bus tour? The London Bar Bus!

Rather than walking from pub to pub, you’ll ride an open-air rooftop bus fitted with a bar that offers a variety of drinks.

This bus tour visits some of the most popular landmarks in the city, including the River Thames, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

To see what other pub crawls and bar tours are available, read our post on the best London pub crawls.

You can learn about more nighttime activities from our post about things to do at night in London.

 


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THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS

This section will provide a variety of fun family-friendly activities you can enjoy in London throughout the month of July. 

Some of the events above are great for kids too, like the Changing of the Guard, playing games at Skylight or riding the London Eye.

 

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For even more great ideas, take a look at our full post about visiting London with kids


Take a Harry Potter Tour

Harry Potter fans – young and old – can visit several notable filming locations in London from the Harry Potter movies.

We offer a pay-what-you-wish Harry Potter walking tour that covers a variety of sites including Diagon Alley, the Ministry of Magic Visitor’s Entrance, the Muggle Prime Minister’s office and more.

Alternatively, this would also be a wonderful time to take the Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros Studios where you will see some of the sets from the films! 


Alice in Wonderland at the Victoria and Albert Museum

From June 27, 2020, to January 10,  2021, the V&A Museum will host the most comprehensive exhibit ever held on the classic book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. 

The exhibit, Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, is an immersive and theatrical exhibit suited for both adults and children. You will see multimedia works from filmmakers, costume designers, illustrators, and artists.

Tickets for this special exhibit are £20, and free for children under 12.

If you don’t mind skipping the exhibition, the Victoria and Albert Museum offers free general admission. 

See what other London museums offer free entry.


Run Wild at a Playground

London is full of picturesque parks that feature fun-filled playgrounds for children. Take advantage of July’s good weather and head out to Hyde Park.

In this huge park, kids can explore Captain Hook’s ship or wade through the waters of the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

They might also like a trip to Regent’s Park where they can take up residence in the classic Regent’s Park treehouse.


Ride the Stratford Slide

This is the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide! The slide takes guests from the observation tower at the top, 12 circles throughout the curves on the structure, and all the way to the bottom in a 40-second trip!

It is located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where you can spend time outdoors running around under the sun!

This is great fun for everyone in the family! Get more information here.


See the Dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park

They might not be real, but the Crystal Palace dinosaurs have become well known as one of the most popular attractions in London.

These statues were designed by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in the 1850s and they represent what we knew about the subject during the Victorian era.

There are 30 dinosaurs to see in total, and it’s entirely free to enjoy this attraction. Find out more here

For even more great ideas, take a look at our full post about visiting London with kids

 


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