What to Do in July in London

This post is our list of the best things to do in London in July, updated for 2019. 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.

 

 


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. 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.

 

 

One of the best ways to see the city is to take one of our pay-what-you-wish walking 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.

Another option is to take a boat tour on the Thames for a different perspective of the city’s skyline! 


2. 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!

 

 


3. Go to a Major Sporting Event

Nothing says it’s July in London than Wimbledon. In 2019, the tournament is from July 1-14, and you still have time to get tickets. See here for ticket availability. 

Consider taking a tour of Wimbledon and get a behind the scenes look at the most famous tennis club in England. Admission for this activity is included with at least one London tourist pass

 

 

If you aren’t a tennis fan, no worries — you can choose from one of these other events:

ICC Cricket World Cup

London is hosting this annual event in 2019. Teams have been competing all throughout June. Now that July has arrived, the finals are just two weeks away on July 14.  You can see one last match before the top teams meet head-on at the FINALS! 

Pakistan v Bangladesh – July 5
Cricket World Cup Finals – July 14 – Finals (teams TBA)


Müller Anniversary Games

One of the best track and field events around the world, this event sponsored by the IAAF Diamond League takes place on the weekend of July 20-21 at the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

In the past, runners like Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, Laura Muir, and Katarina Johnson-Thompson have competed here. Find out more here.


4. See a Hit Musical or Play

This July, there are several impressive July openings including well-known musicals and plays.

Due to popular demand, the very kid-friendly magic show, The Illusionists is returning to the West End starting on July 6. This very kid-friendly show features five of the best “illusionists” (magicians) in the world! 

They will be performing amazing feats of magic and jaw-dropping feats of magic and hard-to-believe magic acts. Get tickets here. 

 

 

One of the most exciting shows is the return of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved Jesus Christ Superstar for a limited run. 

Also opening in July is a return of The Night of the Iguana, the classic play by American playwright Tennessee Williams. The production stars the talented cast of Clive Owen, Julian Glover, Anna Gunn, and Lia Williams.

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

With discount tickets easily available and a selection of shows as varied as it is impressive, there’s always a way to enjoy the West End on your trip to London. (See our Discount Theatre Tickets guide on how to secure a good price!)


5. Visit Buckingham Palace 

Though Buckingham Palace offers some type of tours year round, the State Rooms only open their doors to the public for 8-10 weeks out of the entire year, when Queen Elizabeth II goes on holiday.

In 2019, the State Rooms are open from July 22- September 29. 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 Queens Gallery, the Royal Mews, and the State Rooms. 

Our post on how to visit Buckingham Palace explains all the options of tickets of the different parts of the palace you can visit.


6. Take a Cruise or Boat Ride on the Thames

July is a perfect time 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. 

 

 

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

Find out more about the many boat and cruise activities you can enjoy by reading out post comparing Thames River boats and cruises.


7. 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.

 

 

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


8. 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.

 

 

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.


9. Attend the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show  

Held entirely within the stunning grounds of breathtaking Hampton Court Palace, the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is a once-a-year horticultural extravaganza. More than 250,000 flowers are on display for you to enjoy.

 

 

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

Get your tickets soon as they go fast! July  2 – 7, 2019. Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 7.30pm and Sunday 10am – 5.30pm.


10. 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.

 

 

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.

 


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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 attending the Greenwich & Docklands International Fest, seeing a free ballet and the Changing of the Guard.

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

 

 

Don’t forget to take a look at our guide to London on a Budget for more money-saving ideas.


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.

Learn about what’s to see in this most central of areas.

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

Or you could join us on our pay-what-you-like Piccadilly Circus, Soho, and Chinatown Tour, which runs several times a week. 


Attend the Pride Festival

The Pride Parade is on July 6th in 2019. This huge, colorful and spirited parade passes through the center of London and is followed by a party in Trafalgar Square.

Much of London’s Pride Festival occurs prior to the parade in June. If you are here in June, read our post about things to do in June in London.


Play Games at Skylight

This free-to-enter rooftop has gorgeous 360-degree skyline views. They also have petanque and croquet courts and food and drink vendors. (Refreshments and games require purchase.)

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

This makes for a great night out, or a fun day with the family on weekends.

Find out more from their website.


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 incredible and eclectic Camden Town Tour which starts and finishes nearby!)


River Stage

This free outdoor festival takes place every weekend from July 5 – August 4. 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. 


Swan Upping

Ok. So you are wondering…what is Swan Upping?!?  It is sort of a doctor’s visit, for swans on the River Thames. The royal family participates nearly every summer.

This sounds odd perhaps, but centuries ago, swans were a status symbol. If you wanted one, you had to buy an official, and expensive, swan mark from the royal government. 

The Crown declared that any unmarked swans in open waters belonged to them. Thus, for centuries, the royal family and those they employ are charged with rounding up swans on the Thames, checking on their health and taking a count for a swan census.

The annual Swan Upping starts on the River Thames at Sunbury, Middlesex on Monday 15th July and finishes at Abingdon on Thames, Oxfordshire on Friday 19th  July.

It is totally free to watch these activities. To find out which day is most convenient for you to go, see their website which lists the locations and approximate date/time the Swan Upping will take place.

For even more ideas, check out our post on 100+ Free (an 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 attending one of the music performances, watching a free ballet, or participating in one of the many nighttime London Pride events. 

 

 

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 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


Enjoy a Free Ballet

The Royal Opera House will once again host its popular Big Screens event. Huge screens are set up throughout the entire country! But you just need one near you in London to enjoy this totally free event. Dates and performances in July are: 

  • Carmen – Tuesday 2 July at 7 pm (pre-screening starts at 6:30 pm)
  • The Marriage of Figaro – Tuesday 9 July at 7 pm (pre-screening starts at 6:30 pm)

The most central location in Lonon is at Trafalgar Square. For other big screen locations, see the Royal Opera House website.


Enjoy BBC Proms 

The world’s premier classical musical festival, the BBC Proms begins on the 19th of July in 2019.

Performances are held at the Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, the Cadogan Hall and more. See what’s playing by clicking here.


Shakespeare in Regent’s Park

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

This July the Theatre will be hosting Shakespeare’s 28 June-27 July, you can see A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Set in a mythical forest, this is the perfect show to watch in this enchanting location. See their website for information.

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


Silent Sounds Boat Party

On July 20, 2019, 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.


See a Starry Night at Night

One of the Tate Museum’s shows this summer is Van Gogh and Britain, featuring over 50 different works by this master artist.

On July 5th, the exhibit will be open late, until 21.30. See our post on the Tate Modern to plan your visit.


Enjoy an Opera at Holland Park

Every summer, a series of opera productions are held at Holland Park in the heart of London. This year, there will be two operas during the month of July. All shows start at 7:30 pm.

L’arlesiana  – Playing 4 nights, on July, 20, 25, 27 and 31, this opera is heartwrenching, as Federico, desperately in love with a French woman, becomes dangerously despondent when he hears that the woman has taken another lover.

Iolanta – Playing 4 night, on July 22, 24, 26 and 30. Tchaikovsky’s final opera, this is a tale of the search for love and, quite literally, light. The heroine, Iolanta, is blind, and thus feels isolated. Can love produce a miracle – the restoration of her sight?

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 and seeing The Illusionists on stage.

You might also want to read the family section of our free things to do in London post. 


Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society

This is a free week-long celebration of innovative science in the UK. The program is filled with demonstrations and entertainment in addition to the 22 exhibits of hands-on technology and science exhibits.

This is a fantastic – and free- opportunity for your children to investigate, inquire and explore cutting edge science in an interactive manner. 

The exhibition takes place from July 1-July 7. Read more from the Royal Society website.


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.


Go to Greenwich & Docklands International Fest

Enjoy dozens of culturally stimulating and thought-provoking performances and installations focusing on dance, sound, and art among other genres.

The Greenwich and Docklands International Fest is free and open to all ages and is one of the best family events taking place during the month of July.  Though it starts in June, it continues up until July 6.

Tip:  If you’re planning to attend this festival, consider going on our Greenwich Tour to learn more about the area.


Museum of the Moon

This free exhibit at the Natural History Museum at South Kensington gives your kids the chance to get close up to the Moon and get a really close look! 

The “moon” at the Museum is a six-metre model, with meticulously detailed images of the moon’s surface provided by NASA.  It is surrounded by ambient moonlight and soundscape.

There will also be free experiences where you can join in or observe as multiple art forms combine.

The exhibit started in May and runs through all of July and beyond.  See more about this free and fun exhibit 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.

Although some of the designs might not be accurate anymore, they’re certainly interesting to experience if only to get a sense for where paleontology was back in the 19th century.

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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