Whether you’re here for the weekend or spending your entire summer here, there are plenty of hotspots in the city for your break. With some great Shaftesbury Hotel special offers to sweeten your summer that little bit more, we’ve noted some of our favourite secret summer havens to explore during your stay in the city. Whatever the reason for your visit, there’ll undoubtedly be time for you to enjoy what will hopefully be a pleasantly warm summer season.
Whether you opt for the small pockets located in the Walthamstow and Leytonstone area, or you go all out and travel to the East London/Essex outskirts of Epping itself, Epping Forest is one of the most beautiful woodland areas in the London area. With deer, nature reserves and plenty of leafy ponds this end of the Central Line, the 2400-hectare ancient forest is well worth a visit.
Based in the idyllic North London area of Hampstead and Highgate, Hampstead Heath is a leafy public space full of large green fields and woodland areas. This is a perfect dog walking territory and gives you the chance to see the views from one of London’s highest natural points.
Based in and around Hampstead Heath, this reservoir turned bathing pond is a natural freshwater idyll for swimming enthusiasts. With the fresh air of Hampstead Heath based around the area, you can expect to find three ponds – one for those identifying as male, one for females, and one for mixed gender bathers.
Head on down to Blackhorse Road or Tottenham Hale on the Victoria Line to make the most of this Canalside nature reserve. If you’re on the lookout for cow fields, horse stables and a whole host of beautiful woodland rambles, then this hidden gem in the heart of East London is the perfect refresher. With the River Lea running through it, this area is also home to some truly gorgeous, traditional pubs. Walk the canal through the marshes and you’ll eventually end up in Hackney Wick as well, where you can find even more summer escapism in the form of Hackney Marshes.
For guests at the Park Grand London Kensington, Hyde Park is just a stone’s throw away. With over 300 acres of central London parkland to explore, you’ll stumble across art galleries, freshwater lidos, pedal boat-laden lakes and beautiful Peter Pan inspired playgrounds.
British Summer Time Festival
One great feature of Hyde Park which runs on weekends from the 5th to the 14th of June is the British Summer Time Festival. This family orientated music festival will this year host the likes of Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion and Robbie Williams as just a few of their stellar acts.
Proms in the Park
Another Hyde Park gem is Proms in the Park, running through July and August. Affiliated with the Royal Albert Hall based Proms, this season of classical music is hosted by the BBC Orchestra and gives guests a chance to sample some of the best classical music on the scene today. Bring a picnic hamper and enjoy the sounds of BBC Proms in the sunny haven of Hyde Park.
All Points East
A festival for the young at heart, All Points East is in East London’s Victoria Park and hosts some of the best in pop and alternative acts from throughout the ages. From the Strokes to The Chemical Brothers, this three-day festival takes place from the 24th May to the 2nd of June, with free community events taking place on site through the weekdays between headline days.