Film: BFI London Film Festival Guide


Top 5 Worst Things To Do in London This Summer

(and five things to do instead)

Go on the central line in rush hour… or any other time
Last summer, it was reported that the highest recorded temperature on the central line was higher than the legal limit for transporting cattle. Yup. If you want to avoid feeling like you’re suffering Satan’s hellfires, in fact, try avoiding the tube altogether. You’ll be much better off taking a refreshing dip in one of London’s gorgeous lidos – slap the suncream on and get yourself to one of these beauties.
Shopping on Oxford Street
Shopping on Oxford Street is only for the brave and the woefully uninformed at the best of time, but making a visit on a hot summer’s day is akin to deciding to quickly pop down to Westfield Stratford two days before Christmas. What I mean by this is that there is only one rule about doing it: don’t. If you must shop while the sun shines gloriously down upon us for the two days per year it is wont to do so, head to one of these weird old shops instead, which will probably be a sight more interesting - and probably have that odd cold dusty atmosphere, which might even cool you off.
Queuing for Wimbledon and not getting tickets
Oh, Wimbledon. Prohibitively expensive for the vast majority and almost prohibitively expensive for the other 1%. Yeah, sure, you could get a devastating sunburn that’ll leave you with dodgy tan marks until November while queuing up for those centre court tickets, or you could check out our guide to watching the women’s football world cup instead. Bars, big screens, and plenty of beer – that’s the way to do it.
Try to get a table in a packed beer garden
It’s the same every Friday: slope off down to the nearest pub that has shoved a cursory two tables out the front, then act surprised when there’s already twenty people crammed on to them and you have to sit on the curb sipping your £6 pint while a car blows its exhaust in your face, reminding you of the imminent death of the planet. Give yourself a day off: go for a barbecue in the park instead, where you can bring a tinny and pretend that you’re not memorising the feel of grass on your feet for 10 years’ time. Confused about which parks you can bbq in? Check out our helpful guide.
Get stuck inside
If you want to soak up some culture while the sun is shining, did you know you can do that outdoors? Those old vases will still be there for you to look at when you’re trying to hide from the rain (that is, unless Britain suddenly decides to actually give back some of its stolen colonial artefacts). Why not try some open-air theatre instead, so you can soak up the sun at the same time? There’s loads of it on this summer, and a good chunk of it is free – what’s not to like? (If you do fancy an exhibition, check out our top picks!)

Disclaimer: we are not under the impression it will be sunny all summer... so here are some things to do on a rainy day in London, too!