How To Survive A Heatwave In London

Whether you're just looking to survive the heatwave in London, or you really want to get out and make the most of summer in our city, here's a guide to handling London when it's hot.

Food and drink

Rooftop bars

On a hot day, cool off with a drink or two and watch the sun set at one of London's many rooftop bars, roof terraces and open air bars.
Here's our pick of this year's sky-high offerings.

The 2016 Queen of Hoxton summer rooftop. Photo: Graham Turner

Beer gardens

If you leave the office dripping with sweat and can't quite face squashing onto a train home just yet, wait it out at one of London's best beer gardens. It's often standing room only on the hottest days, but once that cold pint's in your hand, that won't matter.

Alternatively, combine the two in these rooftop bar and beer garden pub crawls.

Photo: Matt Brown

Ice cream

While there's nothing wrong with a 99, London's ice cream parlours offer some fine wares, perfect for cooling down on a hot day, from melon sorbet to frozen custard. Trust us, it's good.

Drool as you read our guide to London's best ice cream. More specifically, for a taste of nostalgia, try London's best soft serve ice cream.

If you can't make it out of the office to your nearest ice cream parlour, fantasise over these Instagram accounts until you can.

For a real treat, linger a little longer over one of London's best ice cream sundaes, from knickerbocker glories to chocolate extravagances.

Photo: Marine Ices

Gelato

Ice cream's sassier cousin gelato is also well-represented in London. Smoother, denser and richer than ice cream, here's where you can get your dose of Italian-style indulgence.

Barbecue

Most Londoners don't have the garden space to swing the proverbial cat, let alone construct a barbecue, cook up some burgers and sausages and get friends over to tuck in. Fear not — there are plenty of public parks and spaces in London where you can barbecue, provided you adhere to the rules.

Photo: Peter H

Things to do in a heatwave

Lidos

For the two weeks a year that outdoor swimming is both acceptable and bearable in London, make the most of your nearest outdoor swimming pool. Just be prepared to queue on the hottest of days.
See our guide to outdoor swimming in London.

Swimming shorts

For more swimming inspiration, check out our Swimming Shorts series.

Beaches

Camden Beach at Roundhouse

Think heading to the beach means sitting in traffic tailbacks, or lugging your picnic hamper onto overcrowded coast-bound trains? Think again — you don't even have to venture outside the M25. From Brent Cross to Camden to Stratford, sandy beaches pop up across London for the summer months.
Find your nearest urban beach.

Boating

If you can't quite bring yourself to go in the water in London, at least paddle on one of London's many boating lakes. Find out where your nearest boating lake is.

Crazy golf

If it's hot enough to be outside, but not so hot that you just can't move, you could do a lot worse than a game of crazy golf. It's just like being at the seaside — think less pesky seagulls, more fibreglass dinosaurs/dragons/whales.
See our guide to playing crazy golf in London.

Cinema

When you just need to get away from the sun and sit in a dark room, head for the cinema. We know how to get cheap cinema tickets in London, whatever day of the week it is.