London is one of the greatest cities in the world, rich in culture, people, and not least of all, things to do.
In the summer, London offers a selection of wonderful things to make the most of in the sunshine and outdoors. Even if your loved one has specific needs, such as wheelchair access, it’s still possible for them get the most out of summer in the city.
London Sightseeing Tours
If you live in London, you might think you’ve seen it all but maybe your loved one would like to go around the city at their own pace? A Big Bus Tour is a great alternative to the London Underground, which can be an overwhelming experience for many older people.
A London bus tour offers a wonderful way to see the sites of the city that you may otherwise miss if you stick to the underground. Open-top bus rides also allow your loved one to benefit from good weather whilst taking in the city and in the event of bad weather you can always head below deck.
The Hop-on/Hop-off tours can offer the best option to see the city at your own leisure, meaning that you can get off the bus at your desired stop and then get back on when you’re ready to go elsewhere.
Thames River Cruise
To see London and its sites from the river that shaped it, take a ride on the top deck of one of London’s river boats. You can join the main cruises from Westminster Pier, Tower Bridge and Greenwich. This can also be a great way for your loved one to escape the busy London streets for a while and see London from a new perspective and whilst making the most of the summer weather!
Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre
Fresh from your cruise on the river, why not treat yourself to a play by one of the world’s most famous playwright’s. Located on the bank of the River Thames’ in Bankside’s Cultural Quarter, the Globe Theatre welcomes thousands of visitors each day to experience Shakespeare’s most famous works, including Romeo and Juliet, King Lear. And Much Ado About Nothing.
For that truly authentic Shakespearean experience you can stand in the yard or enjoy a production from the roof, which is open to the elements in the evening. Clearly, there’s really no better time to enjoy the Globe Theatre.
Tickets start from as low as £5 each, so book to get the best bargain.
Covent Garden Street Performances
Covent Garden is a premier shopping, food, and cultural destination in London. During the summer months, the Piazza comes alive with an array of musicians, acrobats, comedians, and other street performance artists.
You can enjoy this world-class entertainment from the benches that line the walkways or from the comfort of one of the many restaurants and eateries Covent Garden has to offer.
Notting Hill Carnival
Each year since 1966, for two days over the August bank holiday, the streets of Notting Hill have welcomed one of the world’s largest street festivals. Led by members of the British West Indian community, around one million people attend annually.
A spectacle of vibrantly costumed performers, elaborate floats, Caribbean music, and delicious food, Notting Hill Carnival is must-see event on any London calendar. This is a wonderful event through which to experience London’s rich cultural history with the family. And best of all, it’s free!
The London Eye
The London Eye is the most visited tourist attraction in the UK. This iconic wheel offers a world famous panoramic view of London, and when better to experience this than in the summer. Furthermore, at 443 feet tall it stands as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel” in the world.
Each of the 32 capsules has a central seating area so you don’t have to worry about standing for the full 30-minute revolution, and access to the capsules are fully disabled accessible.
Queues can be lengthy, so you should book ahead and choose the Fast Track option to avoid waiting in line. For those really special occasions, you can even reserve an entire capsule for the family, which has the added benefit of access to a private lounge before you London Eye experience.
Ticket prices vary and can sell out fast, so to be sure you get to take you ‘flight’ on the Eye, visit their website and book ahead.
ZSL London Zoo
When the weather is good, where better to go than to London Zoo in Regent’s Park? The ZSL London Zoo is one of the UK’s most loved zoos and has something for people of all ages and can be a wonderful summer family outing. Boasting over 750 amazing species, including magnificent lions, adorable penguins, and incredible insects, you and your family could enjoy a day learning about some of the world’s most fascinating animals.
Despite the zoo being more than 170 years old, most of the zoo is wheelchair accessible and you can also borrow a wheelchair with advanced booking. The Tiger Territory has a lift to the higher viewing platform and the aquarium is easily accessible via the disabled entrance to the left of the main doorway.
After paying a visit to ZSL London Zoo, why not enjoy an afternoon seeing all that Regent’s Park has to offer. Covering 410 acres in north-West London, Regent’s Park has even more to offer than a zoo. The summer months are filled with shows at the Open Air Theatre and numerous food and music festivals that call Regent’s Park home.
You can also enjoy the beautiful rose gardens, rowing boat hire, or simply relaxing on the wide expanses of grass.
For the full summer itinerary, visit the Royal Parks website.
Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens
Located in Richmond, South West of the city centre, Kew Gardens is London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site. Go and explore the unique landscapes, iconic architecture, and beautiful vistas whilst the gardens are in bloom this summer.
You can visit Kew’s world-famous glasshouses, enjoy the panoramic view of the garden from the Treetop Walkway, accessible via a lift, or immerse yourself in The Hive, a unique, multi-sensory experience designed to highlight the wondrous world of bees.
With exhibitions changing throughout the year and some of the most beautiful gardens in the country, your elderly loved one is sure to enjoy London’s most famous gardens.
Plan your visit to Kew Gardens for a day out to remember.
London is home to many city farms where you and your loved one can come face to face with all kinds of cute and friendly farm animals. From llamas in Canary Wharf, to goats in Kentish town, or rare breed sheep on Holloway Road, there are ample opportunities for your elderly loved one to get back to nature.
Mudchute Park and Farm covers 32 acres in the Isle of Dogs and is home to a petting zoo, a duck pond, and a large Equestrian Centre and even has a friendly herd of alpacas.
Hackney City Farm is found in Bethnal Green and is particularly well known for its Italian café deli Frizzante, serving fresh seasonal Mediterranean cooking and tasty farm breakfasts.
For those of you near the Wimbledon area, why not head to Deen City Farm in Collier’s Wood. Home to a wide range of animals, including an alpaca, ducks, chicks, and lambs, Deen City Farm can give you and your loved one that much needed dose of countryside.
Don’t forget to arrange the itinerary ahead to make sure that it won’t tire your parents unnecessarily and that you bring all of the necessary things.