The best things to do in London this June

Pride celebrations, a buzzy new gastropub and the Royal Academy’s 2024 Summer Exhibition top our round-up of the best things to do in the British capital this June

Last updated: June 3, 2024
Black and white photograph of cacti tree
Oaxaca Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico de Oaxaca), Mexico, 1998-1999. | Photo by Graciela Iturbide

This month marks the official arrival of summer in London – and with that comes a broad sweep of exciting events and new openings across the city. These include the rebirth of one of Notting Hill’s most glamorous addresses, a new look for Soho’s favourite modern Sri Lankan restaurant and a rare chance to witness some of London’s hidden rooftops and private green spaces – not to mention the legendary Chaka Khan hosting Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival. Here’s our pick of the best things to do in London this month.

Seasonal things to do in London

Man waves a rainbow flag from a window against a blue sky
Pride in London. | Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Pride in London

When: 29 June

London’s annual Pride returns to the capital on 29 June and is expected to draw more than one million revellers. Groups from LGBTQ+ communities from across the UK and further afield will set off from Hyde Park Corner, marching through the streets of Soho and dancing at Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square, with the two-mile parade ending at Whitehall Place. A handful of stage areas will provide first-class entertainment (Dean Street’s Cabaret Stage is known for its top performances and street food), while various addresses across the city will continue the celebrations. Our favourite post-parade destinations include the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Dalston Superstore, Ku Bar, Fold and long-standing superclub Heaven.

An overgrown green pathway cuts through a hidden pocket of the Barbican
Barbican Wildlife Garden, London Open Gardens. | Photo by Candy Blackham

London Open Gardens

When: 8 – 9 June 
Price: From 22 GBP 

More than 100 secret and little-known green spaces across the capital – from community allotments to secluded plant nurseries and hidden rooftops – will open their gates to the public in the 25th edition of London Open Garden, with many locations fostering organic eating and waste-conscious living. We recommend visiting the Ham Yard Hotel roof garden, where seasonal flowers and a lounge area with upholstered seating affords views across Soho. For something a little lower-key, The Hoxton Trust is a tranquil spot just a short stroll away from Regent’s Canal that grows its own food, supports community composting and takes care of a vast array of tree and plant species. Tickets are still available, but some gardens require a ballot entry – full details can be found at the website.

A person stands beneath a tree, where sunlight beams between branches
Forest Bathing at Kew. | Photo by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Forest Bathing at Kew

When: 27 April – 5 October
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE
Price: Non-members 60 GBP 

Forest bathing – also known as shinrin-yoku – is the Japanese practice of connecting with nature through breathwork exercises that are said to de-stress and support the immune system. This summer, Kew is hosting a series of weekly events in partnership with the experts from London-based Forest Bathing Institute. The two-hour sessions include a walking trail through seasonal blooms, listening to the waterfall at Temperate House, discovering the tallest tree in the 500-acre grounds, smelling the earth and relaxing beneath an evergreen tree canopy. Yoga, pilates and Tai chi classes take place throughout the summer, too.

Food and drink happenings in London

Raw concrete walls, an open fire place and dark wooden furniture decorates the space at The Hero pub in Maida Vale
The Hero, Maida Vale

The Hero, Maida Vale

Location: 55 Shirland Rd, London, W9 2JD
Price: Small plates from 3 GBP; large plates from 13 GBP 

Phil Winser and James Gummer of buzzy gastropubs The Pelican in Notting Hill and The Bull in the Cotswolds have just launched their newest venture: the rebirth of historic four-storey pub The Hero in Maida Vale.  A sensitive restoration has seen the pair retain original features among a similarly stripped-back palette as its siblings, with reclaimed wood, raw plastered walls, dried plants and tan leather banquettes. Chef Ed Baillieu serves up nostalgic pub classics with ingredients grown at the team’s Cotswolds kitchen garden, such as sausage and mash, shepherd’s pie, steak and chips, and a brilliant cheese toastie. As for the drinks, an extensive wine list, craft beer and devilishly delicious cocktails grace the menu.

A traditional French baked dish at Julie's in Notting Hill
A taste of Julie's, Notting Hill

Julie’s, Notting Hill

Location: 135 Portland Rd, London W11 4LW
Price: Small plates from 8 GBP; large plates from 10 GBP 

Interior designer of the iconic Biba boutique Julie Hodgess first opened this champagne bar and restaurant in 1969, and it quickly became London’s most glamorous hangout, counting the likes of Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Kate Moss and a fair few royals as regulars. Last month, the legendary spot reopened with a sophisticated new look courtesy of interior designer Rosanna Bossom. The 160-cover restaurant offers an all-day menu of French brasserie classics with a seasonal twist. Highlights include lobster souffle with buttered leeks and gruyere cheese, crab and scallop tortellini with spinach, and a rhubarb and almond tart drenched in custard – all thanks to head chef Owen Kenworthy (formerly of Bawn and The Pelican). The cocktail menu is a nod to the restaurant’s playful roots and an old-school martini trolley offers tableside refreshments.

A craftsman building the new space at Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise in Soho
The rebirth of Paradise in Soho

Paradise 2.0, Soho

Location: 61 Rupert Street, London, W1D 7PW
Price: Small plates from 7.20 GBP; large plates from 9.50 GBP 

Soho’s modern Sri Lankan restaurant Paradise has reopened its doors on Rupert Street after a short two-week hiatus. Head chef Alfie Banham and founder Dom Fernando have revealed a new six-course evening menu built on Sri Lanka’s native culinary techniques combined with the best of British produce. Menus are split between land and sea, and vegetable and plant-based dishes, both complete with a mouth-watering wine pairing. The hand-chopped, dry-aged raw fillet steak tartare with tomato, garlic and smoked charcoal oil delivers, and the cashew nut praline is a crowd-pleasing finisher. Bold new flavours aside, the intimate space has also enjoyed an upgrade by award-winning designer Dan Preston – expect lots of raw materials and earthy-toned furnishings.

Two plates of freshly plated food at Taste of London Food Festival
Taste of London Food Festival, Regent's Park

Taste of London Food Festival

Location: Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NR 
When: 12 –16 June
Price: From 24 GBP 

This June, the Taste of London Food Festival festival celebrates its 20th edition, transforming Regent’s Park into a food paradise for five days. Featuring 36 restaurants, 50 chefs and 150 artisan producers, the festival invites you to indulge in signature dishes from some of London’s top restaurants, watch live chef demos and sample unique ingredients. ⁠You can enjoy a cooking lesson led by your favourite chef thanks to the Cook School with Lee Kum Kee, who will host an Asian-inspired masterclass followed by guest appearances from Indonesian chef Rahel Stephanie and Vietnamese restauranteur Thuy Diem Pham. Elsewhere, a top of line-up of DJs will spin garage, disco and house tunes, and a craft beer and cider trail invites visitors to explore the park while sampling the city’s craft heroes.

A table setting at July with white wine and small plates
A table setting at July. | Photo by Safia Shakarchi

July, Fitzrovia

Location: 10 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 2LT
Price: Small plates from 4 GBP; large plates from 18 GBP 

July is the new neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar from partners Julian Oschmann and Solynkya Dumas on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia. First bonding over a shared love of flavour, before hosting a string of successful supper clubs, the pair aim to bring joy to the table with their first permanent venture. The all-day dining space – defined by its vibrant artworks, vintage furnishings and warm yellow accents – presents Alsatian-inspired plates, courtesy of chef Holly Haynes (previously of 40 Maltby Street) and a low-intervention bottle list carefully curated by sommelier Honey Spencer. There’s also a lunch menu offering a fine selection of sandwiches: we recommend the roast beef, horseradish, crème fraiche and watercress.

An asparagus-topped risotto dish at new fine-dining restaurant All'onda in Fitzrovia
All'onda, Fitzrovia. | Photo by Anton Rodriguez

All’onda, Fitzrovia

Location: 67 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4PH
Price: Small plates from 24 GBP; large plates from 28 GBP 

Another new Fitzrovia  opening this month is swish restaurant All’onda – which roughly translates from Italian as ‘on the wave’, which refers to a specific risotto-making technique that gently tosses rice to create a flowing texture reminiscent of waves. Chef Andrea Granzarolo is on the pans, serving classic flavours including spring green risotto primavera, and lobster and tarragon risotto alongside playful new creations such as Venetian risotto al nero di seppia – a bold blend of cuttlefish ink, ‘nduja, artichoke risotto, coffee, black lime and sweetbreads. The laid-back setting is made welcoming with dark wood, warm lighting and a standout sculpture of a rice grain by a Japanese artist.

The best exhibitions in London

A myriad of colourful artworks frame the walls at the Royal Academy's 2024 Summer Exhibition
Installation view of the Summer Exhibition 2023 at the Royal Academy of Arts. | Photo by David Parry

Summer Exhibition 2024 

Location: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
When: 18 June – 18 August
Price: 22 GBP 

The Royal Academy presents its 256th Summer Exhibition later this month featuring more than 1,200 contemporary artworks and architecture from emerging and established creatives. This year’s theme is ‘making space’, as chosen by British sculptor and exhibition coordinator Ann Christopher, allowing a breadth of interpretation for artists to explore what space means to them. In the courtyard, a striking textile sculpture by British artist Nicola Turner explores the intersection between life and death, and has been built from organic matter such as horsehair and wool. Elsewhere, pieces from Vivien Blackett, Rachel Whiteread, Diana Copperwhite and Permindar Kaur slot alongside public submissions.

Black and white photograph of cacti tree
Oaxaca Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico de Oaxaca), Mexico, 1998-1999. | Photo by Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide: Shadowlines at The Photographers’ Gallery

Location: 16-18 Ramillies St, London, W1F 7LW
When: 14 June – 22 September 
Price: From 4 GBP 

Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide takes over The Photographers’ Gallery this summer with a three-month exhibition displaying her signature black-and-white portraiture and landscape photography. From the Seri people of the Sonoran desert to the Mexican-American cholo gangs of Los Angeles and Tijuana, via the sculptural cacti of the botanical gardens in Oaxaca, Iturbide’s work offers an insight into everyday life in her home country. Much of the pieces on display are from her ongoing series Juchitán de las Mujeres – an acclaimed collection created from ten years of travels along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the 1980s. Iturbide’s work can also be viewed at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles

An artwork by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, Der Blaue Reiter, R. Piper & Co., as seen at Tate Modern Expressionists exhibition
An artwork by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, Der Blaue Reiter, R. Piper & Co., Munich, 1912

Expressionists: Kandinsky, Münter and The Blue Rider at Tate Modern

Location: Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
When: Until 20 October
Price: 22 GBP

Tate Modern brings together boundary-breaking artwork from the celebrated Munich-based group The Blue Rider this summer. Forming in the early 20th century, friends and artists including Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter and Franz Marc transformed the modern art landscape with experimental colour, sound and light. In partnership with the Lenbachhaus museum, the curation sees some 130 artworks brought to the UK for the first time in more than 60 years with freestyle performance, experimental photography and abstract paintings dotted throughout.

The best things to do in London this month | Yoko Ono at Tate Modern
Yoko Ono with Half-A-Room (1967) from HALF-A-WIND SHOW, Lisson Gallery, London, 1967. Photo by Clay Perry

Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind at Tate Modern

Location: Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
When: Until 1 September
Price: 22 GBP

Tate Modern is hosting the UK’s largest exhibition celebrating the work of artist and activist Yoko Ono, particularly her trailblazing early conceptual and participatory art, film and performance. Spanning seven decades of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice, the show traces the development of her work and its impact on contemporary culture, bringing together more than 200 works including installations, scores, films, music, and photography. Also featured are her instruction pieces, which instruct the viewer to complete the work, sometimes with a single verb, such as ‘Touch’, or phrases like ‘Listen to a heartbeat’. A particular focus in the exhibition is her radical work created during her time living in London in the 1960s.

Chaka Khan at the Royal Festival Hall as she hosts Meltdown festival
Chaka Khan by Jo Metson Scott at Royal Festival Hall

Cultural Happenings in London

Chaka Khan’s Meltdown, South Bank

Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
When: 14 – 23 June
Price: Event prices vary

The legendary, multi-genre American singer Chaka Khan is the latest artist to curate Southbank Centre’s annual Meltdown festival and it’s little surprise that her line-up impresses from start to finish. The ten-day festival kicks off on 14 June with genre-defying music from Incognito, Mica Paris and Emeli Sandé. Chaka Khan will take to the stage at Royal Festival Hall to open the festival and perform hits from her killer 50-year career, before returning to close out her Meltdown curation with Nu Civilisation Orchestra in the first-ever live performance of her 2004 ClassiKhan album – which was fittingly recorded in London at Abbey Road Studios. There’s a whole roster of free events and workshops, too, featuring Habibti Nation, London Queer Soundsystem, Sisters In Dub and New Movementz UK.

Artist singing on stage at Last Word Festival
Roundhouse, Camden. | Photo by Corinne Cumming

The Last Word Festival, Camden 

Location: Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
When: 6 – 30 June
Price: Event prices vary

Camden’s Roundhouse hosts the 11th edition of London’s Last Word Festival this month. The 2024 festival commences with a Poetry Slam Final between six national talents who will compete with an original quick-fire spoken word composition. Between a host of other events from poets, writers and artists, Tolani Shoneye of popular podcast The Receipts will offer insider insights and practical tips on podcasting followed by a post-event networking session. Meanwhile, premiere screenings from the awardees of last year’s RoundHouse Film Fund will see films from Honey Birch, Issy Franklin and Ella Mayamothi Sommeil.

Continue your cultural tour of London with our insider guide to the city’s greatest galleries and museums.