Guest Post: Summer in the City

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Spring has arrived and the clocks have finally sprung forward to greet it. I always think there’s no better time to be in the Capital. The parks are in bloom, all of the brilliant outdoor markets no longer come with a weather morning and even the grumpiest of Londoners seem to be in a better mood. 

Now that the weather is warming up, there are a whole host of things you can do to make the most of the new season in London.

Picnic in the park
London might be known as the big smoke, but it is also renowned for the beautiful parks scattered between its huge grey buildings. I always think that the best way to make the most of these little green gems is by filling up a picnic hamper (or M&S shopping basket), grabbing some friends and a few beers and sprawling out on the grass.

Which park you choose is up to you. Clapham is Common by name as well as by nature, and you might find yourself elbowing several rugby lads out of the way to claim your spot. Victoria Park is a quirky alternative, full of strange pagodas and lined by a canal which is home to a handful of houseboats. Further north is Hampstead Heath, which has enough forest tracks to lose a whole day exploring. If you’re a southerner, you can’t beat Greenwich Park. It has gorgeous views across all of London and it has a nearby market, perfect for picking up last-minute picnic supplies.
Boris Biking 

If lazing about isn’t your thing, get on yer bike – or Boris’. I have only just been brave enough to give these a go and I wish I’d plucked up the courage sooner. They are surprisingly easy to ride and one of the cheapest activities in London. I took one out to cycle around Hyde Park and it was such a brilliant way to see it all. Start along the Serpentine and then weave your way around the many paths, past the old police station and out to the rose garden. There’s no way you’d cover so much ground on foot and the wide open paths are perfect for a quick race to satisfy your inner child. 
Explore the markets

London has a plethora of brilliant markets in which to while away a Saturday. From once-a-month flea markets in Hackney to tourist trap stalwarts like Portobello Road, there’s a market for every mood. 
Spitalfields is the ultimate choice for some amazingly cheap and stylish clothing. Kharise Francis’ stall sells brilliant jumpers and dresses in block colours with an edgy cut for amazingly low prices. Make sure you snap them up before she hits the big time! There’s also a scarf stall which sells some vintage finds for absolute steals, perfect for when the weather turns chilly again.
On the other side of London is Portobello Road. It’s much harder to find a vintage bargain here as most of the stall holders have wised up, but the atmosphere is unbeatable. Street performers provide a lively soundtrack to the swarms of shoppers filling the streets. 
For foodies, a trip to Borough Market is a must. Every cuisine in the world is brought to London Bridge for your delight. Snaffle a few tasters before you settle on one dish. Or two, or three…
Sky Garden

Let’s be real for a second. It’s all very nice to imagine yourself wafting around in a slip of a skirt sniffing at the blossom on the trees, but there’s a reason we have something called April Showers. If the weather turns cold and grey, get a hit of the outdoors in the safety of the indoors at the Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street.

It’s a huge glass enclosure at the top of the Walkie Talkie building which has a living garden inside. There’s also an impressive balcony looking out across the Capital. It’s a beautiful place to spend a few hours either for a coffee in the Sky Pod or a delicious dinner in their Brasserie. Just don’t forget to book in advance as tickets are essential!

Thanks so much, Amy for your guest post! Amy and I are friends from university who have resparked our friendship via our blogs. She blogs at Yng Ldn and talks about all things London living and her great escape travels. If you’re ever wondering what you should be doing in London, Yng Ldn is a great place to have a look! I loved her post on “The Best Pizza I’ve Ever Had” – I really need to try this restaurant!

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