Loving London in summer

19 May 2014

If someone asked me what time of the year to go to London, I’d tell them “summer”, obviously. Okay, I may be slightly biased. Summer in London means the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, all-whites, Pimms and strawberries and cream.

London "The sun transforms the city."

When I first arrived in Londontown, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I nabbed a job working for The Wimbledon Shop. It was a dream come true to work behind the scenes at one of the world’s favourite sporting events. The following year I returned to Wimbledon purely as a spectator. Some friends and I camped for 25 hours in the Centre Court queue. Little did we know, it was to be one of the hottest days on record and we were to get horribly sunburnt…in London. After my day on the picnic blanket in Wimbledon Park waiting in line, I had a tan to die for. Then, I watched Rafael Nadal and his arms on Centre Court. If that’s not a good way to spend summer in London…

London Under Ground "Summer in London makes for postcard pictures"

For some, all this Wimbledon chat may not sound in the least bit appealing. But I have to tell you; summer in London is so much more. It’s like the sun transforms the city. Summer in London is the office workers in the city centre taking off their clothes to sunbathe in the park at lunchtime. Summer in London is happy people; a stark change in the general mood and the odd smile on public transport. Summer in London is beer gardens and outdoor sport and countryside day trips. Summer in London is clothing sales and “braais” in the backyard. Summer in London makes for postcard pictures, breathtaking views from London Eye, 11pm sundowners and journal-entry-worthy memories.

Summer in London, when the sun shines, at an almost perfect temperature, for four to five weeks makes up for the other forty-something weeks of drizzle and gloom. Summer in London may be the best weather I have experienced anywhere I have been. And that’s saying something. I come from the southern hemisphere after all.

Philippa Francis

Over the last few years, I have fallen in love with travel and I am not sure I will be able to stop, except for my other great love; writing. After studying journalism at Rhodes and Stellenbosch Universities, I wanted to get a taste of the bigger world. I have worked all sorts of jobs and I have saved. I have ‘bused’ around Europe and backpacked around south-east Asia. I have seen magical sights and met wonderful people from all walks of life.