Amidst the capital's engineering marvels exists a vast world of natural sights worthy of any sunny afternoon. Here are 31 outdoor activities London visitors just can't miss.
1. Indulge in a Picnic on London's Famed Park Grounds
Light breezes and puffy clouds set the scene for a peaceful picnic, easily one of the best outdoor activities in London. Picnicking spots such as Blackheath Park offer serene, tree-lined lawns and sparkling views of the city beyond. Streatham Rookery has picnic tables and groves where diners can sit among the swaying tulips and lively duck ponds.
2. Sail the Thames in Style on a London Boat Party
The River Thames is nice on its own, but you could argue that strobe lights and club music provide a much-needed improvement. That's the thinking behind the London Boat Party, an organization turning the famed waterway into an all-night dance floor.
Embark on this journey and groove your way into the early hours as you sail past some of London's most iconic landmarks.
3. Feast Your Eyes and Taste Buds at Vinegar Yard
Vinegar Yard is home to artists, mixologists, and culinary masters all pushing the bounds of their chosen fields. Enjoy a delicious, eclectic assortment of cuisine, from Neo-Neapolitan pizza to Indian-inspired nachos. Once you're stuffed, traverse the attached market and peruse the posh boutiques and fabulous art galleries hosting local crafters.
4. Sip Tea in the Sky at an Elevated Parlor
Teatime is typically an English tradition, best enjoyed on a rooftop overlooking the capital. Spots such as Oxo Tower Wharf take the term "high tea" literally, serving up fragrant teas and sweet treats alongside chic views of the River Thames. For a rooftop table with sights of historic city landmarks, indulge in Radio Rooftop Bar's boozy, innovative take on afternoon tea.
5. Soak in Panoramic Views from London's Peaks
The whimsical silhouette of the London skyline is a natural highlight of any outdoor adventure with a view. Several secluded spots boast phenomenal vistas of the city for all those looking to celebrate its shape from afar. Climb to the top of Primrose Hill, where a 63-meter summit offers one of London's highest natural points.
Nature is unbounded at Richmond Park, which sports a bird's-eye view of the city — and hundreds of wild, roaming deer.
6. Make Furry Friends at a Local Animal Farm
Every outdoor adventure is better with wildlife, and London's urban farms have made a home for fuzzy friends right here in the city. Stop by Mudchute Park and Farm for a picnic while horses trot by and ducks float across the pond. Or take the saddle at Deen City Farm, also home to friendly alpacas and a northern white-faced owl.
7. Step Inside a Jungle at the Royal Botanic Gardens
The Kew Gardens pack a planet's worth of biodiversity into a massive greenhouse and its surrounding grounds, creating an urban jungle right under Londoners' noses. Step inside the verdant wonderland for a close-up peek at rare blooms, regal trees, and hardy rock gardens. It provides a fresh perspective of the rich world of flora that often goes unnoticed.
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8. Treat Yourself at London's Bustling Food Markets
Irresistible aromas caress the senses at London's open-air food markets. Stop by the Southbank Centre Food Market for chocolate-drizzled crepes in a cone and stuffed Polish subs. Or, head to the Maltby Street Market for steak-topped chips and locally brewed ales.
9. Soak Up Creativity on a Street Art Tour
Londoners have adorned the city with inspired paint strokes, turning its concrete halls into an urban gallery. Powerful pieces pop up on unassuming corners, often with little fanfare. To take in this artistic landscape, sign up for a street art tour hosted by locals who've combed the city's nooks and crannies for must-see works.
10. Traverse the City Streets on Two Wheels
Two wheels will get you farther than 2 feet, and with so much to see outside in London, you'll need the boost. Special city biking tours provide a look at surrounding landmarks in a concentrated spurt, perfect for busy visitors with no time to lose. Try the London Bicycle Tour Company for sunset rides or Fat Tire Tours for high-rolling excursions that end with a boozy beer tasting.
11. Test Your Fear of Heights at Wire & Sky
High-flying adventure is just around the corner with the urban aerial exploits from Wire & Sky. Here, the tallest skyscraper becomes a playground as you climb, leap, and rappel your way across the London skyline, all while getting a spectacular glimpse of the city.
Suspend yourself 80 meters above the ground, scale a ship's rigging, and zoom through the air. In other words, you'll get a brief taste of what it's like to be part of a dazzling Cirque du Soleil spectacle.
12. Conquer an Outdoor Challenge With the Power of Teamwork
A day out for your group becomes a spirited quest with some help from CluedUpp Games outdoor adventures. Themed experiences create immersive pursuits as players work together to collect clues, crack cases, and unscramble puzzles while adopting the roles of wizards, royalty, and detectives for an exploration that will have you wholly engrossed.
13. Enjoy a Leisurely Walk Through Victoria Park
The oldest public park in London, Victoria Park has had centuries to perfect its grounds, which are filled with delightful activity stations and fertile plant life. Playgrounds, bowling greens, splash pools, football pitches, and biking trails — The People's Park has it all. Though the crisp wooded air and comfortable lawns make a simple outdoor lounge as sweet as anything.
14. Uncover Hidden Wonders With a Secret Gardens Tea Tour
In the vein of outdoor activities, London has its share of garden-shaped secrets. With so many hidden spaces to unearth, professional guidance is a must-have. Book a space on the Secret Gardens Tea Tour for guidance from a local expert eager to expose you to the city's secrets.
Follow up the day-long experience with a regal high tea after hours of perusing orchards and blooming flower fields.
15. Scale to New Heights at the O2 Arena
If the iconic dome atop the O2 Arena has ever struck you as a sublime perch to take in the view, you're in for a thrilling treat. The Up at the O2 experience guides visitors to the top of the white crest for an exhilarating climb with a 360-degree payoff.
Make the trek at sundown or twilight for an ambient ascension finished off with a panoramic vista of London landmarks all aglow with the glittering lights of a city on the cusp of evening.
16. Prove Yourself at the Dare Skywalk
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium offers more than sports and live music. It's also home to The Dare Skywalk, a 42-meter-high balcony with breathtaking views of the surrounding city. Thrill-seekers can take the experience one step further with a descend right off the edge — safely controlled, yet still terrifying in the best way possible.
17. Lounge in Luxury With Hot Tub Boats
Skuna's Hot Tub Boat experience draws inspiration from Scandinavia's beloved Nordic bath tradition. Floating down Canary Wharf in a private, toasty pool offers a spectacularly unique view of the passing skyscrapers. For a quirky yet delicious twist, book the BBQ Hot Tub and munch on the delightful grilled snacks as you drift.
18. Enter a New Dimension With AIM Escape
Bringing the mystery of an escape room to the great outdoors is AIM Escape's Outdoor City Experience. On this adventure you'll unleash your inner 007 in an attempt to protect the world from a malicious technology company. The quest takes you across London, racing against the clock to save the city from impending doom.
19. Sip and Socialize at the Skylight Tobacco Dock
Handcrafted cocktails taste best alongside a panoramic view of the London skyline, and no place knows this better than the Skylight Tobacco Dock. This imaginative rooftop terrace serves up inventive beverages studded with flavors such as spicy chili and sweet passionfruit, all enjoyed against London's shining city lights.
A fun assortment of heaters, huts, and igloos make the Tobacco Dock an open-air adventure that's open all year long.
20. Put Your Skills of Deduction to the Test at Sherlock: The Official Live Game
Few television shows have reached national treasure status, but BBC's Sherlock comes mighty close thanks to its legions of dedicated fans. Serial rewatchers can put their own sleuthing skills to the test at Sherlock: The Official Live Game.
Here, detective teams must rely on each other to escape an ominous room filled with intrigue and unseen clues. The Mind Palace serves up creative cocktails and snacks to those clever enough to solve this one.
21. Hunt for Treasure at Game of Stones
The spoils of adventure await all those who dare to embark on the Game of Stones, a citywide treasure-hunting escapade across London's historical avenues. Accept the quest, and follow the clues for an otherworldly journey through regency houses, cobbled streets, alleyways, and graveyards to pave a path to the crown.
22. Uncover an Oasis at Hampstead Heath
A beloved spot among Londoners, Hampstead Heath is full to bursting with activities galore. Tennis courts and football fields make lush spots for unwinding with some healthy competition, while onsite coffeehouses mean you're never far from a pick-me-up.
Miles of walking trails offer a wooded escape from the bustle of the city, and stunning hillside views give you a faraway glimpse at the bustle of civilization.
23. Unwind Like Royalty at St. James's Park
St. James's Park is shaped by the history it has witnessed, from state jubilees to royal weddings. The grounds are electric with their momentous location, just a stone's throw away from Buckingham Palace. Amble through the flower-crusted walking paths for a peaceful afternoon pointing out the park's resident flock of pelicans.
24. Bask in the History at Kensington Gardens
All public passersby are welcome at Kensington Gardens, a royal 18th-century park where tree-lined avenues and blooming flower beds have cultivated creativity for centuries. Take a walk through the fountain-studded grounds and uncover a world of hidden landmarks such as the tasteful travertine stone arch and whimsical monument to Peter Pan.
25. Step Back in Time at the Historical Greenwich Park
Centuries of artists and writers have found their creative spark at Greenwich Park, beloved for its vast expanse of grassy hills offering stunning views of the capital skyline. Lounging beneath the shade trees and strolling through the rose-dusted flower gardens are tranquil feasts for the senses. An onsite observatory extends this outdoor adventure that's truly out of this world.
26. Catch a Fish in the Capital's Serene Fishing Pools
Nothing quite compares to a morning spent out by a quiet lake, with nearby wildlife regaling you with songs and whistles as you cast your line into the cool depths. London boasts numerous fishing holes for your angling pleasure, each with a unique assortment of flora and fauna inhabitants.
27. Explore the Culinary Wonders of Borough Market
The scent of hot drinks and freshly baked pastries wafts through the open-air halls of Borough Market, where vendors have served up delectable goods since the 12th century. Bring your appetite for a taste of local ingredients at their best, from crunchy sourdough boules and cheese toasties to creamy goat's milk ice cream and tangy smoked trout.
28. Get a Taste of Country Life at Charming City Farms
Too much time in the city can have you hankering for the rolling green hills and plains of the countryside. In London, a host of city farms bring the harvest right to you, for an easy afternoon spent in a bountiful garden. Try your hand at horticulture with help from the folks at Vauxhall City Farm, or sample the fresh produce and artisan goods at the Hackney City Farm.
29. Venture Into the Swamp on a Marshland Excursion
Herbaceous wetlands comprise a rich portion of London's ecological reserves, and each one is blooming with the spirit of exploration. Spots such as the Hackney Marshes feature lush green spaces adorned with the luxuries of civilization. Stop here for a coffee or a game of football, or head to the Walthamstow Wetlands for a glimpse at the kingfishers, trout, and toads that call the space home.
30. Embark on a Chilly Ice Skating Adventure
Slow winter nights call for an activity that stimulates the body and the visual sense, and that's what you'll get with ice skating. Chilly evening air and blinking lights provide the backdrop to this timeless activity as you stay toasty in your coat and hat, zooming across the rink.
Unquestionably, this is one outdoor excursion best followed by a steaming mug of rich hot chocolate.
31. Savor a Meal in the Open Air
A crispy, spicy, savory meal somehow holds greater power when it's enjoyed beneath a sunny sky with the accompaniment of a light breeze. In London, alfresco dining is a stellar way to turn any restaurant outing into a culinary experience you'll remember for more than the food.
Go Outside and Discover Outdoor Activities in London Today!
With a spectacular world of outdoor activities in London, there's just no sense staying inside on days when the sun warms the city. When night falls and you're looking for a new venture to spark your curiosity, turn to one of our performances and experience the story of a lifetime.
Acrobats soar through the sky with every show, while stunning scores tug at your emotions and heartwarming characters pull you into a hidden world just fantastical enough to compete with an itinerary of outdoor expeditions.
To end your day full of natural wonders and excitement, check out our shows in London.