There’s loads of outdoor entertainment going on in London this summer. Here’s our shortlist…

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

If there’s one thing that says summer has well and truly arrived in London it’s the unforgettable and unique Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible opens the season, which also includes Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Comedy Of Errors, as well as Into The Woods, celebrating the Brothers Grimm fairytales with a dark and funny twist. Bring your own picnic and watch with a glass of Pimm’s in hand.

» Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, NW1 4NR 
Tube: Baker Street
May 24-Sep 11
From £8

Florence Somerset House

Somerset House

The huge cobblestone courtyard at Somerset House is made for atmospheric alfresco entertainment.

This summer there’s gigs a plenty with Mystery Jets, Air, Noah & The Whale,N-Dubz, The Temper Trap, Florence And The Machine and Corinne Bailey Rae all confirmed to play there.

Alternatively, don’t miss the popular Film4 Summer Screen season – a brilliant open-air cinema experience, which includes premieres and modern classics, with nightly DJ sessions.

» Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA 4NR 
Tube: Charing Cross
Jul 8-Aug 8
Gigs from £20; films £14.50

Holland Park opera

Why not make this the summer you finally give opera a go? Even if you still don’t see the allure of all that high-pitched singing in Italian, you’ll have wasted nothing – Holland Park is a stunning backdrop to just about anything.

And if opera is your thing, see Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Don Giovanni or erm, a new production based on Fantastic Mr Fox.

» Holland Park Theatre, W8 6LU
Tube: Holland Park
Jun 1-Aug 14
From £10-£57


With so much going on at the Southbank this season, it’s hard to know where to start. The summer festival theme this year is ‘Brazil! Brazil!’ and you can dive into everything from a capoeira day to samba and an outdoor model of a favela.

Otherwise, you’d do well to head to the Udderbelly pasture, which has a bar and a giant jenga set. Don’t leave the precinct without checking out the work of Danish artist Jeppe Hein whose aquatic sculpture Appearing Rooms cools down those sweltering summer days.

» Southbank, SE1 8XX 
Tube: Waterloo
Various prices

Southbank London


This riverside amphitheatre next to City Hall boasts rather excellent acoustics and has room for 800. Even better news is that it runs free concerts, theatre and films throughout the summer. This year’s featured screenings include Up In The Air, The Kite Runner, The Hurt Locker and Pretty Woman. There’s no need to book – just turn up.

» The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA
Tube: Tower Bridge
Until Oct 1

Free stuff to do in London this summer

We put our thinking caps on (they block out the sun, don’t cha know?) and came up with these cracking ideas to have fun in the sun – all for free!

On yer bike
Cycle along the Thames towpath from Putney to Richmond and on towards Hampton Court. If you don’t have
a bike, it’s a nice walk too.

Take a tumble

Roly-poly down celeb-rammed Primrose Hill.

Wander along the southbank
And watch the street peformers and listen to the buskers.

Go off the rails
Hike the old railway track from Highgate to Finsbury Park.

To market
Browse through East London’s funky outdoor bazaar – Broadway Market.

Related posts:

London’s park life
The old palce at Somerset House

Words: samantha Baden