London summer events

If you’re planning a trip to the UK this season, we’ve curated a guide to the must-see summer events in London. From open-air theatre and concerts to street carnivals and royal pageantry, there’s something for everyone in our list of summer highlights in the capital for 2023. We’ve also got stylish London Perfect holiday apartments within easy reach of the action.

Open Air Theatre

10 May–16 September 2023

Catch an outdoor production at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, one of London’s largest and most atmospheric theatre venues set in the lovely leafy park. Family-friendly shows include Shakespeare’s The Tempest re-imagined for those aged six and over. Inner Circle, Regent’s Park

If you enjoy opera, don’t miss the chance to see Opera Holland Park’s productions set in one of London’s most charming outdoor venues in Kensington. The 2023 season runs from 30 May – 12 August. Opera Holland Park Theatre, Ilchester Place, London

London Gallery Weekend

2–4 June 2023

Over 150 of the capital’s leading contemporary art galleries come together for London Gallery Weekend, with special exhibitions, late-night openings and exciting cultural events. While not as well known as some of the other summer events in London on our list, this more low-key weekend will appeal to culture vultures. Various locations city-wide

Serpentine Pavilion

9 June–29 October 2023

Architecture fans will love the Serpentine Pavilion, designed by a different international talent each year, and one of the most hotly anticipated summer events in London. It’s open free to the public at Hyde Park’s Serpentine Gallery. For 2023, Lebanese-born, Paris-based architect Lina Ghotmeh’s pavilion is called À table, and is inspired by Mediterranean hospitality. Kensington Gardens

Trooping the Colour by London Perfect

A royal experience in London! (credit)

Trooping the Colour

17 June 2023

Marking the official birthday of the monarch, this year’s Trooping the Colour will be the first to celebrate the life of the newly crowned King Charles III. Head to the heart of London to see 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians march from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade. They will be joined by members of the Royal Family watching from the palace balcony with an RAF fly-past. The Mall

Royal Ascot

20-24 June 2023

Don your fanciest hat and frock and get set for Royal Ascot, one of the UK’s best loved horse racing events. Set in beautifully wooded countryside near Windsor Great Park, about a 50-minute drive or train ride from London, it features five days of thrilling racing. Savor a Champagne picnic trackside, then gather around the illustrious Bandstand for singing at the end of the day. Ascot, Berkshire.

Wimbledon Tennis Championships

3–16 July 2023

Arguably the most glamorous tennis event of the year and one of the most exciting summer events in London, Wimbledon sees the world’s top players battling it out on the southern suburb’s iconic grass courts. The ticket ballot has closed but you can still join The Queue for premium tickets early on the morning of play or access outer courts with a Grounds Pass. The prize? Strawberries, cream, Pimm’s and lots of tennis action. Church Road, Wimbledon

London summer

The Somerset House in London. (credit)

Somerset House Summer Series

6–16 July 2023

Set at elegant Somerset House, beside the Thames, this popular annual music event hosts gigs by trailblazing independent bands and artists. Celebrating 20 years in 2023, Somerset House Summer Series includes 11 nights of unmissable acts in the intimate, immersive courtyard. Names in the frame hail from France, the US and UK, including Britain’s Alison Goldfrapp. For more mainstream concerts, check out BST Hyde Park (24 June–8 July 2023), with outdoor performances by P!nk, Guns N’ Roses, Take That and Lana Del Rey. Strand

BBC Proms

14 July–9 September 2023

Hosted in the ornate Royal Albert Hall, the BBC Proms is a must for fans of classical music, with eight weeks of concerts spread over summer. The program spans Berlioz to Bollywood, with large-scale symphonic and choral works as well as more intimate chamber concerts. Tickets are on sale from 13 May with the joyous first and last nights of the Proms especially in demand. The venue is just a skip from Hyde Park and London’s major museums if you want to make a day of it, with London Perfect vacation stays nearby. Kensington Gore

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

27–28 August 2023

Europe’s biggest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival brings vibrant Caribbean music, colorful costumes and dancing to West London on the August Bank Holiday. The famous carnival parade of floats is a highlight, while steel drums and sound systems keep visitors dancing at every corner. This neighborhood-wide event can be very crowded so turn up early, or aim for the quieter, family-friendly Sunday Children’s Carnival, rather than Monday’s main adult day. Sizzling food stands serve jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and Jamaican Red Stripe beer, while local bars and clubs host after parties. Around Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park

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