6 Unconventional Activities to Explore in London and Avoid the Summer Crowds

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London is the Most Popular Destination this Summer

London is set to be the most popular international destination for travelers this summer, according to data from Google Flights. The capital of the United Kingdom is the most-searched destination of the summer, with travelers flocking to the city for its endless things to do. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London are just a few of the iconic tourist sights that draw visitors to London. But with this summer set to be an exceptionally busy one, here are 7 lesser-known things to do in London to avoid the crowds.

1. Visit Richmond

Richmond is a beautiful residential neighborhood in southwest London situated along the Thames. Although it’s part of London, it feels like it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Some of the best things to do in Richmond are to stroll through the impressive Kew Gardens, have a picnic in sprawling Richmond Park, and grab a drink at one of the many riverfront pubs. Richmond is just a 40-minute ride on the Tube from central London, making it a great day trip if you want to get away from the city.

2. Go on a Street Art Tour

London is known for its world-class museums and art galleries, but it’s also home to a thriving street art scene. The East End, in particular, is full of colorful murals and graffiti that are worth exploring. You can join a guided tour or venture out on your own to discover some of London’s most exciting street art. Some notable spots to check out include Brick Lane, Shoreditch, and Hackney Wick.

3. Explore Notting Hill

Notting Hill is perhaps best known for its annual carnival, which takes place in August. However, this trendy neighborhood is worth checking out anytime. Its charming streets are lined with boutique shops, cute cafes, and colorful houses that make for great photo ops. You can also visit Portobello Road Market, which is open every day except Sundays, to hunt for unique souvenirs and vintage finds.

4. Take a Boat Trip on the Thames

The River Thames is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and taking a boat trip along the river is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. There are numerous boat tours to choose from, ranging from short sightseeing trips to longer dinner cruises. You can also catch one of the regular river buses that operate between key destinations on the river, such as Westminster and Greenwich.

5. Visit the Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is a public space located at the top of the Walkie Talkie building in the City of London. It offers incredible views of the city skyline and is home to a variety of plants and trees, creating a lush garden oasis in the heart of the city. Best of all, entry to the Sky Garden is free, although you do need to book a time slot in advance.

6. Explore the South Bank

The South Bank of the Thames is a lively area packed with cultural institutions, street performers, and food vendors. You can take in a show at one of the many theaters, visit the Tate Modern art museum, or take a spin on the London Eye Ferris wheel. The South Bank is also home to Borough Market, one of London’s oldest and most popular food markets, which is open from Thursday to Sunday.

7. Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the world’s leading museums of art and design and is located in South Kensington. Its collections span over 5000 years of human creativity, with exhibits ranging from ancient Chinese ceramics to contemporary fashion. Best of all, admission to the Victoria and Albert Museum is free, although some special exhibitions may require a ticket.


1. What are some popular tourist destinations in London?

Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London are some of the most popular tourist destinations in London.

2. How can I avoid crowded tourist spots in London?

To avoid the crowds in London, you can explore lesser-known neighborhoods like Richmond and Notting Hill, take a street art tour, or visit attractions like the Sky Garden or the Victoria and Albert Museum.

3. What is the best way to see the city from a different perspective?

Taking a boat trip along the River Thames is a great way to see London from a different perspective.

4. Is admission to the Victoria and Albert Museum free?

Yes, admission to the Victoria and Albert Museum is free, although some special exhibitions may require a ticket.

5. When is the Notting Hill Carnival?

The Notting Hill Carnival takes place annually in August.