21 Best Things to Do in London in August 2023
As one of the most vibrant cities in the world, London has plenty to offer visitors all year round and is always worth a visit. However, August is a particularly special time to visit, as the chances for good weather increase and the city comes alive with festivals, events, and outdoor activities. In this post, we’ll explore the top things to do in London in August, so you can make the most of your trip and experience.
One thing out front, because the summer holidays are such a great time to visit London, it’s also the peak tourist season. So, get ready for some beautiful sunny days with large crowds.
Iconic London things to do
There are some things in London you should do no matter what the month is, especially if you’re a first time visitor. These are the most famous landmarks London has to offer.
The official residence of the king is the most iconic landmark in London. It’s located in the heart of the city. You have to have seen Buckingham Palace at least once to get a glimpse of the royal traditions in the country.
Most people go to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard, which in my opinion is a bit of an overrated activity to do in London. You can also explore the palace’s beautiful gardens.
One of the things to do in London in August is to take a guided tour of the State Rooms. You can only do this from July to September.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is a historic fortress in central London. It’s located right next to the River Thames and it used to serve as a royal palace and a prison. Today it’s a very popular tourist attraction. The most famous attraction inside the Tower of London is the Crown Jewels.
Even if you don’t intend to go inside the Tower of London it’s worth admiring the medieval fortress from the outside.
Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge located in central London, England, that crosses the River Thames. It is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and one of the most popular tourist attractions.
You can get the best view of the Tower Bridge from the Tower of London or by simply walking along the South shore of the River Thames.
House of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, serves as the meeting place for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. You can get a guided tour of the House of Parliament but most people just marvel at the impressive building from the outside.
The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster houses the famous bell, Big Ben. So, Big Ben is actually just the bell inside the tower, but many people also refer to the whole tower as Big Ben.
Find your favourite museum
London has so many great museums and the best part is that most of them are free to visit. So, visiting museums is one of the best free things to do in London. You could easily spend days discovering all the best museums. But to be honest spending hours inside a museum is not one of the best things to do in London in August when the sun is shining outside. Just remember the museums in case you have a rainy day.
I’ll only give a short description of the best museums in London and then we’ll gonna head to some specific things to do in London in August to make the best of the summer trip to London.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most popular museums. It houses an extensive collection of fossils and geological specimens and it shows the development of our planet in the past 4.6 billion years.
Even though looking at original dinosaur bones and other extinct or rare animals is really interesting, the highlight of the Natural History Museum is the building itself in my opinion. I felt like in the movie Night at the Museum.
The National Gallery is a world-renowned art museum displaying famous paintings from the 13th to the 19th century. Some of the most famous artists displayed are Van Gogh, Botticelli and Rembrandt.
The museum is located at Trafalgar Square, which is a popular meeting place in summer. Chances are high that you’ll be able to see some live street performers on the square in summer.
The British Museum focuses on human history and culture and its collection spans over two million years of history. Among the most famous artefacts are the Rosetta Stone and the mummies of ancient Egypt.
The Tate Modern is the most well-known contemporary art museum in London. Its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art features famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol among many others.
The Tate Modern is right at the South banks of the River Thames and from the museum cafe you have an amazing view of London.
The Science Museum is dedicated to the history of science and technology. Every section in the museum focuses on a different aspect of science, for example, medicine or space exploration.
Enjoy the London parks in sunshine
London and Great Britain in general are known for their rainy weather. That’s why the best time for visiting London is in the summer months. The weather is warm and the chances for rain are way lower than in other months. Relaxing in some amazing parks is one of the best things to do in London in August.
Victoria Park is a popular destination for outdoor lovers in London. It offers a range of sports facilities, playgrounds, cafes, and an outdoor concert venue. It is also home to several landmarks, including the Burdett-Coutts Memorial Sundial, the Pagoda, and the Victoria Park War Memorial.
Hyde Park is one of the biggest parks in London. It’s a very popular park among locals and tourists alike. Locals go there for outdoor exercise or a picnic in the park. Among tourists, a boat ride on the Serpentine Lake is very popular.
You can rent a pedal boat and explore the beautiful lake. From a pedal boat, you can also get the best view of Serpentine Bridge. The pedal boat ride was one of my favourite things to do in London in August.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are just separated by the Serpentine Lake. So, on a boat ride on the Serpentine, you can see Kensington Gardens on one side and Hyde Park on the other side.
Kensington Gardens is home to several landmarks like the Serpentine Gallery, and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
The London Zoo is located in Regent’s Park but the park has so much more to offer. Queen Mary’s Rose Garden and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are also in this beautiful park. You can also just go there to relax surrounded by greenery.
Holland Park is not as popular as the other parks mentioned here but it’s a beautiful park to go for a walk in. You can walk through London’s own Japanese Garden, the Kyoto Garden or marvel at the Orangery.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London is the furthest away from downtown London but it’s easily reached by public transport. The park was created for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Among all the sports facilities located in the park, the London Stadium is the most famous one.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is another attraction in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It’s an artistic metal construction with a viewing platform on top and the longest tunnel slide in the world.
Get the best view of London
You always get the best views during sunny weather, so August is the perfect time to look for the most stunning viewpoint.
The Sky Garden is a truly unique place in London. It’s a public garden on the 34th to 38th floor with an incredible view of London! The Sky Garden is completely free to visit, although you might want to book your ticket in advance since only a limited amount of people are allowed in the Sky Garden at the same time.
Okay to be fair the London skyline is a bit in the distance from Primrose Hill but it’s such a nice garden in the North of London I had to include it in this things to do in London in August list.
Taking in the view from the top of the London Eye is one of the best things to do in London in August. You’ll have an amazing view from high above. The giant Ferris wheel is 135 meters high and it takes about 30 minutes for it to do one rotation.
Even if you don’t want to ride the Ferris wheel, the view of the London Eye with the House of Parliament in the back makes for one stunning skyline picture.
Look for street art
I just love some good street art, earlier this year I was in Spain and discovered some incredible street art in Valencia. London has some amazing street art as well and there’s nothing better than to look for it in the sunshine. So, looking for street art is one of the wonderful things to do in London in August.
You can find street art on many streets in London but in the following areas, you’ll find the most pieces close together.
Brick Lane is known for its hip vibes, trendy bars and cafes, vintage shops and street art. You just have to walk through this Brick Lane and its neighbouring streets to see some incredible street art.
The art on Brick Lane is not just on the street, you can also find numerous art galleries there. It’s a popular destination for all artists and art lovers.
The London area of Hackney Wick used to be known for industry and factories. In recent years the area has undergone some regeneration and now it’s known for its thriving art community. Besides galleries, studios, and creative spaces, you can find amazing street art in Hackney Wick.
Street art in Hackney Wick can be found on multiple buildings in the area but also on walls next to the river. Discovering street art in Hackney Wick is one of the best things to do in London in August.
Explore London’s culinary scene
London is the culinary centre of England and August is the best time to discover restaurants and cafés with beautiful outdoor seating.
One of the most Instagrammable cafés with a cute garden patio is Farm Girl. But it’s not just Instagrammable, it’s also one of the best spots for vegan brunch in London!
Attend a festival
August is the best time for festivals in London. The most famous festival in London in August is the Notting Hill Carnival but it’s by far not the only one.
Notting Hill Carnival
The most famous festival in London in August is the Notting Hill Carnival. This gigantic free event celebrates the British Caribbean community and attracts about 2.5 million people every year.
At the Notting Hill Carnival, you can listen to some amazing free music, from some of the best steel bands and get some traditional Caribbean street food.
It’s always on the British August bank holiday weekend, at the end of August. On Sunday it’s the family day with fewer people and altogether a calmer atmosphere. Monday is the highlight of the Notting Hill Carnival with a lot of people, like a lot a lot. It was an incredible atmosphere but to be honest I did worry about being squashed at one point.
No matter if you want to attend the calmer family day or the busy main part, the Notting Hill Carnival is one of the best things to do in London in August.
Day trips from London
Summer is also the perfect time to explore the surrounding area of London. You can spend a day relaxing at the beach in Brighton, explore the famous university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, or learn about England’s history on a day trip to Bath.