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What to Do in London in July

Updated: April 2, 2024
 By Margaret

This post is our list of the best things to do in London in July, updated for 2024. It includes a top 10, 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 ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS 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. Attend a Concert

In July you'll find both big-name musicians and emerging artists putting on concerts.

July is the month for music festivals as well. Head outdoors and enjoy some quality music in a great location!

Concerts

Festivals

  • Camden Rocks Festival | March 29 - September 28th | The Underworld |
  • British Summer Time Festival | June 29 - July 15 | Hyde Park | Feat: Robbie Williams, Andrea Bocelli, and more
  • Kaleidoscope Festival | July 13th | Alexandra Palace | Feat: Nina Conti, Raw Silk, Hot Chip, and more
  • Wireless Festival | July 12th-14th | Finsbury Park | Feat: Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, 50 Cent, and more
  • Upton Festival | July 28 | Blackheath | Feat: Madness, The Zutones, The Lightening sees, and more.
  • Kew the Music | throughout July | Kew Gardens | Feat: Ronan Keating, MIKA, Passenger, and more.

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


2. 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 King Charles III goes on holiday during the summer.

The State Rooms are typically open from late July through early October. In 2024 the dates are July 11th - September 29th.

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 State 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.


3. Take a Sightseeing Tour

In the month of July, the weather is charming making this a fine time for 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 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 help you get quickly oriented to the city as well as takes you around to all the major sights in London.


4. 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, read our full post covering London tourist passes.


5. Attend the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Held entirely within the stunning grounds of breathtaking Hampton Court Palace, this annual horticultural extravaganza takes place from July 2nd-7th, 2024.

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

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


6. Go on a Food Tour

London has many tasty foods to try, and a guided food tour will take you to 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.


7. 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 your schedule, 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.


8. Attend Wimbledon

Tennis fans might get lucky and get a ticket to Wimbledon, one of the four Grand Slam tennis events.

Watch the all-white-wearing players volley on grass courts for two weeks each summer.

In 2024 matches take place between July 1st and July 14th.

You might even spot a royal family member or two in attendance, and don't forget to indulge in some of the traditional strawberries and cream.

Tickets to the Preliminary Rounds, from July 3rd-10th, can be found here.

Tickets to the Quarter Finals, from July 11th-12th, can be found here.

Tickets to the Semi-Finals, from July 13th-14th, can be found here.

Tickets to the Finals, from July 15th-16th, can be found here.


9. Enjoy Opera and Ballet

The Royal Ballet, one of the foremost dance companies in the world, has a home base within the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Known for its creativity and innovation, at The Royal Ballet "today’s most dynamic and versatile dancers come together with a world-class orchestra and leading choreographers, composers, conductors, designers, and creative teams to share an awe-inspiring theatrical experience".

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


10. Take in the Summer Exhibition

The Royal Academy of Arts puts on an annual exhibition of contemporary art.

How long has this exhibition taken place? Since 1769! It's the world's "older open submission exhibition" and anyone can submit their work for consideration.

You'll find art in the medium of sculpture, painting, photography, architecture, and more - with both emerging and established artists from around the world.

This year the festival takes place June 18-August 18.

Visit the website for more information.


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.


FREE THINGS TO DO IN JULY

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 (and almost free) Things to Do in London.

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 Circus.

You 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 Soho, Trafalgar Square, Leicester 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 is taking place every Friday-Sunday from July 5th-28th.

There'll be live music, dancing, food, drink, and more.

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

Visit the Free River Stage Festival 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 15th-19th. 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.


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.

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 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

The world’s premier classical musical festival, the BBC Prom runs from July 5 to September 13th, 2024.

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

See what's playing and get tickets here.


See A Play 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.

2024 plays are yet to be announced. Last year's plays were:

  • The Secret Garden | June 15-July 20
  • Fiddler on the Rood | July 27-September 21

Visit the Open Air Theatre website for tickets and additional information.

TIP: If you want to experience Shakespeare, consider visiting Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.


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.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN JULY

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.

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!


Visit the Beatrix Potter Exhibit

A celebration of the 50th anniversary donation of one of the best Beatrix Potter collections, and the story of the man who decoded her journals.

For more information, visit the website.

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 Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit

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.

About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: April 2nd, 2024
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