The clocks are back, the nights are drawing out rather than in, people are seeking beer gardens with renewed fervour and anyone with an outdoors space to flaunt is doing just that. London in the summer months is crammed with charm and culture, so when the weather permits, make sure you get a breath of fresh air in any of these scenic city spots.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a London summer landmark, situated within the beautiful Royal Park. The amphitheatre-style seating for up to 1250 people, together with the grand sets, adds a certain classical gravitas in unlikely sense of intimacy. Hosting four major theatre productions from May through to September as well as a stimulating line-up of musicals, concerts and comedians, this is a multi-cultural and gorgeously green setting to enjoy them all in. From Pimms on the lawn to picnics in the park, there are endless ways to keep yourselves entertained between sets too, even with an on-site BBQ and grill in case the climate isn’t grass and hamper-friendly. Pre-ordered picnics can be booked for evening and matinee performances, or you can plump for traditional tea and cake- just don’t forget to bring an extra layer or two to contend with our famously British summers…!
A faithful reconstruction of the original open-air playhouse designed in 1599 and in which where many of the young William Shakespeare’s plays were performed – but which unfortunately burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII – Shakespeare’s Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare’s work. Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, the Globe is a working theatre and educational centre that is open for drop-in talks, readings, workshops and lectures on the art and history of the theatre. Open from April to October, the most authentic experience (and reasonable tickets) is had by standing in the Yard, but all the seats offer fantastic views and be sure to make a detour to the UnderGlobe for a glimpse into how they reconstructed the museum.
Free lunchtime music? Complimentary film screening tonight? Get the insideScoop at More London, with their spectacular sunken amphitheatre providing months of entertainment for everyone to enjoy free of charge in an exciting arena near City Hall and London Bridge. With enough seating for 1000 people and a programme that spans four months, get set to scoop up more for… nothing!
There are four locations hosting the Rooftop Film Club this year – one in Peckham Rye, one in Shoreditch, one in Stratford, and this centrally and beautifully located one in Kensington. Screening classic, cult and recent releases on four of London’s finest rooftops, the team behind the Rooftop Film Club also lay on food and drinks, blankets and wireless headphones, and while Kensington Gardens has been keeping you entertained throughout the winter too, most of the others will sell out quickly so get in fast.
London’s beloved Everyman Cinemas has paired up with the Battersea Power Station for The Power Of Summer, offering you a last chance to access Battersea Pop-Up Park before the area is redeveloped. For seven weeks from July 10, a 250-seat outdoor cinema in the iconic complex will be sating your cinematic needs as well as keeping you fed and watered at the 1000- capacity bar and Street Feast crew cooking up Yum Buns and jerk chicken. On the other end of the architectural scale, Film4 Summer Screen is returning to the iconic courtyard of Somerset House, offering a picture-perfect way to spend a balmy summer evening – so perfect in fact that you’ll want to make sure you book early enough to secure your tickets. However, if you do miss out, just pack your own picnic and blanket and make a proper al fresco night of it! Surround sound, the largest screen in London and a repertoire of the cult and the classic make this a top contender for London’s favourite summer cinema experience. Each night DJs will also be playing in the courtyard before the film is shown, and ‘Beside the Screen’ talks provide insight with directors, actors and industry insiders giving talks.
From June 30th to September 28th, Luna Cinema will be taking over various venues across London for special screenings of old favourites such as The Goonies, Dirty Dancing, Jaws and more, embarking on a tour of the capital’s most scenic green spaces as well. Locales include Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens and Knebworth House, and you have the added option of bringing along your own picnic, blanket and preferred seat mate for a quintessential city summer experience. There will be a total of 30 films over 10 weekends, and at a mere £10 a ticket you can certainly afford to squeeze in more than one of these nomadic nights!
Widely regarded as one of the most exciting opera outfits in the whole of the UK, from the 2nd of June to the 1st of August 2015, Opera Holland Park will be putting on extra special performances of operas by an impressive array of maestros – among whom Puccini, Verdi and Delibes – in the stunning setting of the temporary structure erected in West London’s Holland Park. With operatic arias soaring over the tree top, these events and their surroundings are nothing short of magnificent.
So now that we’ve sorted your summer nights, all you have to do is make it home afterwards to your super comfy room at Amba Hotel Charing Cross for some more star-spotting of your own!