- Here’s to hoping that this summer will be a long, hot one. If so, make sure you get outside, relish the heat and have a ball.
Here are 60 things to do in South West London this summer.
1. Bawdsville OTHeR Politics arrives at The Ram Jam Club in Kingston on Sunday 6 August. Featuring the best of drag, burlesque, comedy and more, this month is devoted to all that is political through the prism of queerness and equality.
2. Take a stroll through Wimbledon Common, where you can gaze at the ponds and visit Wimbledon’s famed windmill.
3. Visit the largest of London’s Royal Parks: Richmond Park. Go deer spotting, check out the blooming flowers in the Isabella Plantation or take in the views of central London from King Henry’s Mound.
4. Enjoy fantastic live music, tribute bands and eccentric comedy acts at vibrant Putney venue The Half Moon.
5. Head to ‘Britain’s wildest adventure’, aka Chessington World of Adventures, for a ride on their whacky roller coasters and their latest opening, ‘The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure’. It’s fun for all the family!
6. Bushy Park, just off of Kingston and Teddington, is the perfect place for a late afternoon summer stroll. See if you can spot the deer or chill by the Diana Fountain.
7. If you’ve not yet visited the historic Hampton Court Palace then be sure to do so this summer. Steeped in history, educational and entertaining (they have a garden maze, too!), this is the perfect family day out.
8. Relax on a boat trip along the River Thames, with destinations in Kingston, Hampton Court Palace and Richmond.
9. Wild wildlife fun at Squire’s Garden Centres this summer. With centres in Long Ditton and Twickenham and a range of activities including painting and planting, it’s a surefire way to keep the kids busy.
10. Inspired by Wimbledon tennis this year? Feel Good Fitness Sports and Fitness centres in Hampton and Teddington are offering you the chance to hit the courts with friends and family for just £1 a day (£30 for 30 days). Time to brush up on those swinging skills!
11. Pack up a picnic and get park-ready. If the sun is shining, make sure you take the opportunity to watch the passing boats, birds and competitive locals playing sports in Wandsworth Park.
12. Get down to Kingston’s Tudor Drive Library for a fantastic array of events and activities – from gaming clubs to reading groups and a good old knit and natter.
13. Put those tastebuds to the test with a brand new menu at The Hogarth, Teddington. It’s kind of American, a little bit smokehouse with a splash of street food. What more could you ask?
15. Get cultured at Kingston’s Rose Theatre. This summer sees Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations and more.
16. Meet Richmond and Bushy Park’s newest resident, a giant snail! An eight-foot high snail will be roaming the parks as part of The Royal Parks’ Mission: Invertebrate.
17. There’s nothing quite so summery as an outdoor cinema, and this year, there’s plenty – from Kew Gardens to Wandsworth Park, Jungle Book to La La Land, this idea is a real treat for everybody. How about Labyrinth in Bishop’s Park?
18. Paddle your way through the Pools at the Park in Old Deer Park, Richmond. There’s a lido, paddling pool and grassy area for a scrummy picnic – your family day out sorted.
19. Kew Gardens host the Kew Science Festival 2017 from 4 – 6 August. Uncover microscopic gardens, clone cauliflowers and take a look at the scientists’ latest work out the lab. With games, talks, interactive experiences and more.
20. Enjoy a riverside stroll on a warm summer evening. It may take a little while, but why not set yourself the goal of walking from Kingston to Richmond?
21. All this heat got you stressed? It’s time to meditate it out – free meditation classes at Guildhall in Kingston, led by Tenzin Josh MA, every Tuesday (2 per day)! A small donation is recommended.
22. Check out the all-new display in the history centre of Kingston’s Guildhall exploring the vibrant history of the town’s music scene. Delving all the way back from the 1950s up to now, sifting through everything from Eric Clapton to modern day clubbing.
23. Get swinging with District Swing! Get in on one of the world’s funkiest dances, with beginners classes taking place every Tuesday at The Royal Oak, Twickenham, from 7pm.
24. Live music at the bandstand in Kingston’s Canbury Gardens. Every Sunday brings a different band, so all you need to bring is a picnic!
25. Why not take an evening to appreciate some of Mother Nature’s best work? Head to Old Deer Park in Richmond or Wandsworth Park and give stargazing a try. Keep an eye out for those lucky shooting stars!
26. Are you all artsy fartsy? Us too! You’ll love ‘Viewpoints’, an upcoming art exhibition by local art group Artful Dodgers, taking place in Kingston’s All Saints Church from 28 August to 10 September.
27. Wimbledon Park Primary School host Wimbledon’s iconic farmers’ market every Saturday. Get a load of fresh, organic meat, a variety of locally-produced cheeses and fresh-cut flowers.
28. Looking for the best view in London? Richmond Hill easily trumps the rest. Have a couple drinks with friends, take in the view and relax this summer.
29. Thumbs Up It’s Thursday returns to Kingston this summer, taking place every…Thursday. A broad variety of different events and activities look set to capture your child’s attention and fuel their imagination.
30. Concerts! With some pretty darn marvellous upcoming shows at numerous venues, including New Slang Club in Kingston, the Three Kings in Twickenham and New Wimbledon Theatre in Wimbledon, there’s certainly sure to be something to get your eardrums bopping.
31. Everyone loves a giggle. Crack Comedy Club showcases the best comedic talent in London, every single week.
32. Fully immerse yourself in the spirit of Wimbledon with a visit to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
33. Summer at Ham House is jam-packed with cool events. From recreating a grand 17th century salad to tours, walks and outdoor theatre, we’re sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.
34. Enjoy an opulent traditional afternoon tea experience at Richmond’s Pembroke Lodge, complete with one of the best views in London.
35. Kew Gardens is home to the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world, and what better time to see it than when the sun is high in the sky and beaming brightly.
36. Climb and claw your way to the top of the rocky wall White Spider Urban Climbing in Surbiton. Just don’t look down…
37. Twickenham Farmers’ Market is a weekly affair complete with stellar community spirit, fish, fruit and friendly faces – the perfect event to make the most of those summery Saturdays.
38. Fancy spying bats this summer? Of course you do! WWT London Wetland Centre are hosting numerous sunset bat walks over the late summer weeks, with the first taking place on Thursday 24 August.
39. More music, this time courtesy of Sandown Park racecourse in Esher. Tom Jones will be churning his way through his iconic hits on 19 July whilst Olly Murs will be showing off his charm on 10 August.
40. Stop off just down the road from Kingston in Esher for an evening of luscious live music and delicious seasonal menu options at Rouge Live, Café Rouge, taking place on Friday 11 August.
41. Stop off in the charming Wimbledon Village for a spot of shopping and early evening cocktail sipping.
42. Kingston Carnival, taking place on the first Sunday of September, brings together different local communities in a celebration of culture, infused with live music, food and a strong sense of community.
43. Celebrate life on the Thames with a photography exhibition by Paul Stewart at the Riverside Gallery.
44. How about a spot of go karting? We’re sure you’ll agree that the warm air billowing against your face as you rocket along would be somewhat euphoric, right? Surbiton Raceway have you got you covered.
45. Beach volleyball. Yep, that’s right, beach volleyball, right here in the depths of London. Alright, it may take place at Wimbledon Park as opposed to an actual beach, but who cares for details?
46. Every Friday in August, you can head to the WWT London Wetland Centre when night falls for a wonderfully wild evening on one of their Night Safaris. Search for nocturnal creatures, build dens and learn how to track the stars in the night sky. Complete with marshmallows around a roaring fire!
47. Forget bar-hopping, beer garden-hopping is what it’s all about this summer. With an array of beer gardens across the South West of London, with many perched delightfully on the bank of the Thames (particularly in Richmond, Putney and Kingston), it would simply be rude not to.
48. Something to keep the kids busy whilst you sip a cool drink by the Thames? Alright! Kingston’s Rose Theatre are running a Summer School from 22 July to 2 September, catering for all different skillsets, whether your child is a budding performer in need of a confidence boost or they’re already on their way to becoming the new Leonardo DiCaprio.
49. Kids not keen on acting? No bother. YMCA centres across Kingston, Wimbledon and Richmond have a programme brimming with wonderful summer events bound to get the kids buzzing.
50. See a show at Richmond Theatre. This summer, they’re showing everything from The Railway Children to ABBA Mania. Also, the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond have got some fascinating productions coming up, so don’t miss out.
51. Visit the stunning and historic Buddhapadipa Temple next to Wimbledon Common. It’s a must-see for people who frequent the area.
52. Hampton Open Air Pool isn’t just great for a quality summertime dip, oh no. This summer, they’re hosting a number of brilliant of concerts, including Jason Donovan and The Wilko Johnson Band.
53. Get the kids wrapped up in making sushi rolls at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Wimbledon, on Saturday 5 August. Then pinch their tasty treats when they’re not looking…
54. Baked goods, artisan foods, fluffy macaroons and everything in between can be found at the iconic Surbiton Farmers Market, taking place on 19 August.
55. Shop ’til you drop. The South West of London is a renowned shopping hub for those self-confessed shopaholics among us. From Kingston’s grand Bentall Centre to Richmond’s bustling high street, you’ll be able to fill your boots and fill your bags.
56. Get yourself and the kids down to one of the interactive water play areas or paddling pools near Wimbledon and have a splashing good time.
57. Celebrate culinary crafts with BBC’s Good Food Feast at Hampton Court Palace. Spread over the bank holiday weekend, 26-28 August, this is your chance to chow down on cheese, chocolate, churros and more. There’s also some drink involved, which is always a nice touch.
58. Love Wimbledon’s monthly market arrives on 5 and 6 August, complete with artisan stalls, yummy food and arts and crafts aplenty. Head to The Piazza for a weekend of wonder!
59. The Museum of Richmond tells the story of Richmond. The current temporary exhibition is Old Palace Lane, celebrating Richmond’s most historic street. Learn something new about the local area in time to show off to summer visitors! They’re currently hosting a range of summer family workshops too.
60. Go off the beaten track. Whilst Central London may be a little bit of an urban jungle, South West London is a mixture – why not take the day to get completely lost? Trawl through parks, sit by rivers, find charming, shy towns and quirky, jazzy bars. Life’s a mystery, and it starts in South West London.
Phew! Done. That’s 60 things to do in South West London this summer. Of course, we’ll be adding more events to this list as the summer season progresses, so keep your eyes pealed!
If you’ve got an event you’d like us to add, simple email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.