I think I must’ve turned to Sean on each sunny day we’ve had so far this summer and said, “You know, London is a completely different place in the summer!” It’s probably also the truest thing I’ve ever said. When the sun comes out, the parks become flooded with people doing everything from picnicking to running to playing sport with friends. Pub beer gardens overflow and the conversation and laughter can be heard well before you actually see the pub on approach. Everybody gets out and does something with their day. London becomes a happier, livelier place.
Now, I can really only speak for London since that is where I live, but I imagine it is this way throughout all of Great Britain. We get such little sun throughout the year, that you can’t help but celebrate those bright, warm, dry days. It also helps that there is so much that goes on around the little island to make summer the greatest thing ever!
Here is our Great British Summer Bucket List – we’re well on our way through it, but will probably need a few more summers to tick it all off! Scroll to the bottom for a printable copy 🙂
The Great British Summer Bucket List
This list was updated 19 June 2019.
Polo in the Park [7-9 June 2019]
A bunch of men riding around on horses pushing a ball along with a stick while you drink champagne. Sold.
Trooping the Colour [8 June 2019]
Celebrate the Queen’s birthday in style bye attending this famous London parade. You might even get a wave from the Queen herself!
The Royal Ascot [18-22 June 2019]
Don a new dress and your favourite fascinator as you enjoy the horse races – or just people watch.
Glastonbury Festival [26-30 June 2019]
No explanation needed. Just pray it doesn’t rain and that nothing funny ends up in your tent.
Wimbledon [1-14 July 2019]
Enjoy this classic tennis championship with champagne and strawberries and cream – tennis whites not required (for you, at least!). Don’t forget your umbrella and a good book if you’re planning on queueing in the morning! If you can’t make the real thing, go for the qualifying matches at Bank of England Sports Centre in Richmond Park (psst – it’s free and there’s no Queue).
Hyde Park British Summer Time [12-14 July 2019]
Some incredible headliners have been featured at this Hyde Park concert series over the past couple of years, including Taylor Swift and Mumford & Sons – enjoy it with thousands of your closest friends in London’s most crowded park.
Henley Royal Regatta [3-7 July 2019]
Boats, Pimms, etc. Read about our experience at 2016’s Henley Regatta here.
Cowes Week [10-17 August 2019]
A nautical weekend on the Isle of Wight, including plenty of races, yachts you can envy, and seafood for every meal!
Edinburgh Festival [2-26 August 2019]
Comedy, theatre, concerts, exhibitions, and an incredible couple of days in Edinburgh.
Start of the Premier League Season [10 August 2019]
All of your favourite (or not so favourite) teams are back to filling your weekends. But guess what? It’s still summer! You can still be glued to the TV every Saturday and Sunday, but the TV can be outside in a beer garden for at least the first couple of weeks of the season.
Notting Hill Carnival [24-26 August 2019]
A carnival. On a bank holiday. In the middle of London. We recommend going in daylight before it gets seedy.
Last Night at the Proms [14 September 2019]
Your favourite British music in all its glory, played by some phenomenal orchestras.
Cricket at Lord’s [Throughout]
The sport may never make sense to you, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great experience.
Shakespeare at The Globe [Throughout]
Relive your school reading assignments by experiencing Shakespeare done the way it was written to be done. The actors are incredible, the atmosphere even better. Truly an experience unique to London and it cannot be missed! Summer 2017 is the Summer of Love at The Globe, with Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night, and more Shakespeare classics.
It seems like a lot to get through, but each individual event shows you a different side of the British summer, and so many of them are steeped in incredible tradition that you can’t experience anywhere else. I can’t wait to get to all of these events and so many more over the next couple of years
Which items on this list have you already ticked off?
We’d love for you to share in the comments below!
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Keep track of your progress with The Great British Summer Bucket List printable.