Whenever we think about outdoor activities in London, things that come to our mind are capturing the views of famous attractions like Tower Bridge or The London Eye or visiting some of the most famous museums, parks, or galleries, Right?
But how about spending some time in a farmyard, watching open-air movies, or going for horse racing and kitesurfing? In short, how about doing some exciting activities, instead of just sighting some places?
In this article, we shall uncover a few top outdoor activities, from exploring the city on foot to alfresco dining, which should be on your bucket list while visiting this city.
1. Discover The City On Foot
How about getting ready to explore London on foot? Yes, London provides some incredible walking routes to explore this city—from the parks to the bridges, exploring the places on walks—undoubtedly one of London’s best outdoor activities.
London’s bridges offer you some of the best views—if you are close to the River Thames, you can visit the famous Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge—the newer one. On the southeast, you will find the Grade II-listed Albert Bridge.
This city has plenty of walking routes for people who want to go for self-guided tours. The city visitor trails take you to famous landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, The Bank of England, Covent Garden, and the Tower of London.
Discover the city’s history, culture, and architecture on the themed “side tracks” that diverge from the main trail.
If you love greeneries, you are lucky—In 2019, London had almost 50% green space and is the world’s first National Park City. From finding the pelicans at St James’s Park to spotting the deer at Richmond Park—this city has many hidden parks.
2. Find Some Farmyard Pals In London
London is a picture-perfect city with surprising numbers of city farms to feel more connected with nature by spending quality time with the animals. Moreover, many farms also offer you a variety of locally made products and some of the best picnic spots to have fun with your family.
Hackney City Farm- is an excellent place between Columbia Road and Broadway Market. It is a fashionable stop-off for its crowd-attracting Italian cafe pottery studio, full of happy animals and gardens.
Not to mention the farm’s fantastic addition of running a community hub—that includes courses on beekeeping, practical courses for refugees and asylum seekers, and a scheme for the locals to collect vegetable and fruit-box.
Kentish Town City Farm– is a perfect spot for your kids with the availability of pony rides, a kids’ club, and weekend workshops.
Kentish Town City Farm is one of the hidden gems to explore the wildlife—from romping of the goats under brick arches to croaking of the frogs in ponds.
3. The Best Outdoor Activities In London
Your outdoor activities in London are incomplete without Kitesurfing, Motor racing, or Hang gliding. All the adrenaline junkies and sports lovers who don’t have the mood for a trip to the Alps, here are some blood-pumping activities for you to skip, jump or hop from this city.
3.1. Activities at Goodwood
Goodwood is one of the most famous sporting estates in England. Hunting, horse racing, shooting, cricket, golf—all kinds of fun activities you will get year-round. It hosts Britain’s most significant sporting events—Qatar Goodwood Festival and Goodwood Revival.
3.2. Boat Trip
Enjoy panoramic views in London from the waterways, like the network of canals and reservoirs. Uber boats that traverse the Thames River from Putney to Woolwich will take you to all the iconic landmarks of London.
You can also rent a ‘GoBoat‘—safe-drive boating where you are the captain to choose the route. Now, choosing between Paddington’s hustle and bustle, Kingstone’s green tranquillity, or Canary Wharf’s docklands might be difficult.
The kitesurfing centre at the Whitstable, Kest coast, is a hugely popular spot for kitesurfers who love its miles of sandy beaches. If you don’t know the sport, there is also a beginner’s session—run by IKO and BKSA instructors.
4. Dine Outside In London
If you are a foodie, no outdoor activities in London can be better than strolling around the city to discover alfresco dining places that treat your tastebuds with insanely delicious dishes.
4.1. London’s Food Markets
Love street foods? Don’t forget to visit London food markets and halls—one of the best places that offer tons of street food vendors just for you.
Start with the famous Borough Market—sitting in the heart of the London Bridge, this market has maintained its tradition for the past 1000 years—from the fresh ingredients you can cook at home to some mouthwatering street foods. This food market has everything that you need.
London’s food markets also have other long-standing stalls where you will find everything from Middle Eastern mezze to Valencian paella. All you need to do is bring some cash and loosen your waistband— and you are all set to get the taste of finger-licking menus. Bread Ahead, Neal’s Yard Dairy, and Brindisa are other places you must visit.
Some other spots include Hackney’s Market, bursting with coffee, doughnuts, and dairy-free cheese every Saturday, and Seven Dials Markets and Maltby Street.
4.2. London Pub Gardens
What can be better than sipping your favorite wine in a pub without turning into ice blocks in the wintertime? I am talking about some of the best heated London pub gardens to keep you warm and toasty.
If you head to north London, Flask in Highgate is a firm favorite—it is one of London’s most famous haunted pubs. You will find Colonel Fawcett, Camden—a fantastic Indie pub offering Turkey dinner in December; The Pineapple, Kentish Town—a little pub that is a local favorite and famous for Thai food.
Suppose you visit east London. Crate Brewery—a canalside brewery serving craft beer pairs fantastically with pizzas. For south Londoners, don’t miss out on The Ship, Wandsworth—a beautiful riverside pub.
And when you head to the west side along the Thames, find the Tamesis Dock—a barge-turned pub famous for offering a never-ending selection of beers.
5. Discover Some Best Picnic Spots
In the summer months, you should focus on two things. First, go outside to experience the sun beaming from the sky. And the second thing is getting ready for a big old picnic with your loved ones. This city has various parks and green spaces you need to attack with food, wine, and blankets.
Primrose Hill—is a perfect place for your sleepy summer afternoon, with fantastic views across the city. If you take a short walk from the peak of Primrose Hill, you will visit Camden, Reagent’s Canal, Abbey Road, and some animal antics at the ZSL London Zoo.
Kew Gardens—is a picturesque place stuffed with rare plants in its reopened Temperate House.
Alexandra Palace Park is an instantly recognizable landmark in London. It has a music venue, a boating lake, lush fields, and oodles of plants. Do you need anything else? And don’t forget to climb the hill to enjoy the stunning views of the city skyline.
6. Sports Bars And Pubs With Outdoor Screens
Nothing can be better than a freshly-poured pint with some of the latest sporting action. Yes, London has some beautiful sports bars and pubs where you can watch live football, tennis, rugby, and cricket.
6.1. The Griffin
A popular place with a luscious beer garden, where you can watch some live sports decked out with surround sound and HD screen—means you would not miss out on the nail-biting action wherever you are.
6.2. George IV
If you are searching for a football pub in West London with outdoor screens, stop at George IV. It’s a perfect summertime pub for an alfresco pint.
6.3. Fox Connaught
For East Londoners, the Fox Connaught is the best cozy pub with some top selections of pints, and it offers HD screens to watch your favorite match.
6.4. Pub On The Park
Pub On The Park is one of London’s leafiest and most fascinating watering holes—with a picturesque terrace and large screens. This is a perfect bar for rugby, football, or tennis matches.
7. Outdoor Cinemas In London
From open-air screenings and retro drive-ins to cool rooftop locations, this city offers live entertainment for those who want to enjoy more outdoor activities in London.
7.1. King’s Cross Open-Air Cinema
Watch your favorite movie in a cool canalside at King’s Cross during the Summer Love Film Festival. Screenings run the whole day and every evening. This festival is free and open to all.
7.2. Bar Elba
Order snacks and cocktails and sit back to catch a movie at Bar Elba’s rooftop cinema during the warmer months in Waterloo.
7.3. Rooftop Film Club
If you want to catch some newly released movies while experiencing the sunset and skyline, Rooftop Film Club in Stratford or Peckham will be the right choice. Just grab some drinks and street foods and enjoy your movie in a comfy sunchair.
8. Best Outdoor Exercise Classes
Working in a gym is boring when London has plenty of lush greeny spaces for you. From doing your meditation in the parks to boxing or HIIT sessions, London comes with some of the best outdoor exercise classes to feel the fresh air and get sweaty in the sunshine—one of London’s most enjoyable outdoor activities.
8.1. Zip Fit Club
If you want to keep your workout short and sweet—short and sweaty, Zip Fit Club in Hyde Park or Russell Square will be the right place for you. You will get the lunchtime classes combined with bodyweight resistance and cardio exercises here.
8.2. Sunday Yoga
If you can’t save some time from your busy schedules, this weekly outdoor yoga class should be on your list. You can do yoga with a certified instructor every Sunday; booking is unnecessary.
Want to enjoy some fun activities? Stop at Rabble, where you can enjoy playing British bulldog, dodgeball, and capture the flag.
8.4. Boxit Bootcamp
Are you up for punches to get your body moving and make your heart pumping—go for Boxit Bootcamp. These hour-long, butt-kicking classes take place in Clapham Common.
9. Outdoor Lidos And Swimming Pools
What can be better than refreshing your mood with open-air splish splashing? London offers you some of the best open-air swimming pools and lidos to spend quality time with your friends and family.
9.1. Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
It is absolutely one of the top swimming spots in London. The ponds cater to both men, women, and mixed swimming groups. It opens from 7 am to till sunset.
9.2. Parliament Hill Lido
Grade II is listed as one of the biggest lidos in London, built in 1938. It has a stainless steel pool liner—the only one in the UK. And for kids, you will have an onsite cafe and an under-5 paddling pool for their entertainment.
9.3. Tooting Bec Lido
The largest freshwater pool in the UK ( second largest in Europe), Tooting Bec Lido is a 90-metre pool and Londoner’s favourite. It is a perfect place for an energetic swim or poolside bathing.
We all know that London is the most popular tourist attraction for its rich history, panoramic views, restaurants, cafes, pop-up shops, and picture-perfect places. These are the reasons why millions of people choose this city as their destination place again and again.
There are many indoor activities that you can enjoy in London as well. But you know what? These outdoor activities in London are also attractive and delightful, and they will surely steal your heart and help you socialize more, which you will not regret later.