Top outdoor things to do in London
- Stroll down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace in time to see the Changing the Guard ceremony.
- Follow in the footsteps of The Beatles at the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing.
- Marvel at the street artists and performers in Covent Garden.
- Snap a picture of Eros and the neon billboards at Piccadilly Circus.
- Look for the Chinese-style gates, decorations and pagodas in Chinatown.
- Cross some of London’s iconic bridges, from the magnificent Tower Bridge to the modern Millennium Bridge.
- Spot London landmarks from the outdoor viewing gallery at level 72 of The View from The Shard.
- Wander the self-guided City Visitor Trail, passing some of the City of London's architectural gems such as St Paul's Cathedral.
- See the sights on an open-top bus tour of the capital.
- Get up close and personal to Lord Nelson and the bronze lions in Trafalgar Square.
Stroll through London's Royal Parks
- Hire a deck chair in leafy Green Park, the smallest of London's eight Royal Parks.
- Take time to ponder the memorials in Hyde Park, from the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain to Britain's first memorial garden for victims of the Holocaust.
- See more than 12,000 roses of 400 varieties at the fragrant Queen Mary's Garden in Regent’s Park.
- Go bonkers for conkers at Chestnut Avenue in Bushy Park, which is home to roaming herds of red and fallow deer.
- Add some magic to your day in Kensington Gardens with a visit to the Peter Pan statue – Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie lived close to the gardens.
- Spot the pelicans in St James’s Park – don't miss feeding time between 2.30pm and 3pm every day.
- Look out for the hot pink azaleas (which bloom in late April and May), ponds and streams at the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park.
- Climb the hill to experience sweeping views of London in Greenwich Park, which is also home to Royal Museums Greenwich.
Discover London's history
- From uncovering the City of London's compelling past to delving into Sherlock Holmes’ London, learn about the capital’s varied history on a walking tour.
- Straddle the Meridian Line in the courtyard of the Royal Observatory.
- Be transported to London's Roman past at the London Wall.
- Get a glimpse into London’s political history at Speakers' Corner, Downing Street and Parliament Square – where you'll find the Houses of Parliament.
Explore waterside routes and canals
- Walk from pretty Little Venice to bustling Camden along the Regent's Canal, passing Regent's Park, ZSL London Zoo and Camden Lock on the way.
- Stroll along Richmond's charming riverside past Petersham Meadows to Ham House – making sure to stop off at Petersham Nurseries for garden essentials and delicious cakes.
- See some of London's most famous sights on a walk along the South Bank, including the Coca-Cola London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
- Cycle alongside the Thames on a Santander Cycle; or go on a guided tour with The London Bicycle Tour Company.
Learn about London's naval scene
- See a full-scale reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake's world-famous sailing galleon, the Golden Hinde in Bankside.
- Watch modern yachts coming and going in tranquil St Katharine Docks.
- Walk the decks of Second World War battleship HMS Belfast, which is moored on the Thames.
- Marvel at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, the world's last remaining tea clipper.
Meet animals in London
- Get your binoculars out to search for rare birds at WWT Wetland Centre in Barnes or wildlife among the wet grassland of Lee Valley.
- Check out the latest arrivals at London's city farms.
- De-stress during a horse riding lesson at Stag Lodge or Wimbledon Village stables.
- Learn more about the cute penguins and lemurs with daily shows at ZSL London Zoo.
Wander London's cemeteries
Relax on London's commons and heaths
Go swimming and boating in London
- Take a dip in London's public lidos, from the art deco Brockwell Lido to the colourful Tooting Bec Lido.
- Limber up for a leisurely boat ride on Hyde Park's Serpentine Lake, in the sprawling boating lake in Regent's Park or south of the river in Battersea Park.
- Paddle your way down the city's waterways with London Kayak Tours or captain your own GoBoat.
Visit popular London parks and gardens
- Take to the treetop walkway in the world-famous Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew for magnificent views of the gardens.
- Find a tranquil haven at Chelsea Physic Garden, which is home to hundreds of medicinal plants.
- Explore the gardens at stately homes and palaces, from the maze at Hampton Court Palace to Capability Brown's gardens at Syon House.
- Have a go at pitch-and-putt golf within the spectacular parkland and gardens surrounding Alexandra Palace.
- Spend time in quiet contemplation at the Japanese-style Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park.
Find outdoor hidden gems in London
- See the Watts Victorian memorial in Postman's Park in the City of London, where acts of heroism are marked.
- Sit down with a book in quiet City of London gardens, including a spot amongst the ruins of St Dunstan in the East or beside the London Wall at the Barber Surgeons Garden.
- Say hello to the resident frogs and relax in a hidden oasis nested between Soho and Covent Garden at the Phoenix Garden.
- Discover Westminster Abbey's sedate green spaces, including College Garden which has been in cultivation for more than 900 years.
- Look out for herons and koi carp in the beautiful Kyoto Garden in Holland Park.
- Explore more of London with Discovering Britain’s self-guided walks, from ambles around leafy Epping Forest to riverside wanders in North Woolwich.
Delve into London's outdoor culture
- Snuggle up to a summer film at one of London's outdoor cinemas – admire the grand backdrop of Somerset House at the Film4 Summer Screen or spectacular venues citywide with Luna Cinema.
- Experience a show at the magical Regent's Park Open Air Theatre or see one of the Bard's classic works in the authentic open-air playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
- Enjoy the last night of the BBC Proms season with a special concert in Hyde Park.
- Uncover the next Banksy on a self-guided street art tour.
Enjoy London's music festivals
Attend London's biggest festivals
- Look out for lion dances and enjoy Chinese food and drink during Chinese New Year celebrations.
- Head to Trafalgar Square for fun-filled annual celebrations, including St Patrick's Day, Chanukah, Diwali and Eid.
- Get into the Caribbean rhythm during the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival.
- Dress up and party during the summer Pride in London Parade.
- Go green-fingered at London's flower shows, including RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
- Celebrate the Queen's official birthday in style at Trooping the Colour.
- Explore rarely seen green spaces during the Open Garden Squares weekend.
- Enjoy a host of river-themed events during the Totally Thames festival.
- Eat your way around Regent's Park at the Taste of London festival.
Watch world-class sporting events
- Tuck into strawberries and cream while watching the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships either at the legendary venue, or in front of one of the big screens dotted around London.
- Saddle-up and enjoy London on two wheels during Prudential RideLondon.
- Grab a place on the banks of the Thames to cheer on Cambridge or Oxford during The Boat Races.
- Cheer on your favourite teams during the NFL International Series in London.
Savour alfresco dining in London
- Eat outside in London's best alfresco restaurants, from the River Cafe to Le Pont de la Tour.
- Enjoy a pint in secluded pub beer gardens, such as wisteria-cloaked The Albion or the historic Spaniards Inn.
- Relax long into the night at a lively rooftop bar, some of which also host nightly events and film screenings.
- Buckle in for an adrenaline-filled meal 30m in the air at London in the Sky.
- Pack (or order!) a hamper and find a quiet picnic spot.
- Dine moored on the Thames aboard restaurant ship R.S. Hispaniola; take an a afternoon tea cruise with City Cruises; or have a floating dinner with Bateaux London.
Explore things to do with kids
- Hitch a ride at one of London's theme parks.
- Be the king of the swingers at treetop adventure park Go Ape, with locations in Battersea, Alexandra Palace and Cockfosters.
- See the Covered Bridge from Hogwarts, the Knight Bus and Harry’s House in the outside area of Warner Bros. Studio Tour.
- Let your kids loose in London's adventure playgrounds; from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Hyde Park, to Timber Lodge and Tumbling Bay in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Plan adventure days out
- Get a head for heights by climbing over the famous white dome with Up at The O2.
- Brace yourself for an adrenaline rush on the river with a speedboat tour with Thames Rockets, Thames RIB Experience or Thamesjet.
- Feel the speed as you ride down the biggest and fastest city-centre zip line in the world at Zip Now London.
- Abseil down ArcelorMittal Orbit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- Go white-water rafting or BMX biking in Lee Valley Regional Park.
Take a boat trip around London
Marvel in street food at London's top markets
- Grab a bite to eat from street food vendors at one of London's many food markets, from famous Borough Market to lesser-known Maltby Street Market.
- Shop for clothes and more at London's best markets, including Portobello Road Market and Greenwich Market.
- Treat yourself or your loved one to a bunch of beautiful blooms at Columbia Road Flower Market.
Set up camp at London's campsites
- Stay in the great outdoors at one of London's campsites during the summer.
Find things to do in winter in London
- Evoke the spirit of Guy Fawkes at Bonfire Night firework displays across London.
- Get your skates on at London's best pop-up ice rinks in the winter months.
- Hunt for stocking fillers at London's top Christmas markets.
- Be wowed by twinkling Christmas lights and Christmas trees from November until January.
- See London sparkle during the Mayor's spectacular New Year’s Eve Fireworks.
- Embrace the winter spirit with rides, markets and festive fare at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.