Dare we say it? Could this summer see the return of the beloved London events of the season? Based on the government roadmap, which has seen limited capacity for outdoor events open up since 17 May and all restrictions set to lift from 21 June, organisers of the city’s most popular events are cautiously working on their return. From Wimbledon’s championship games to Chelsea’s annual Flower Show, the traditional English summer looks set to make its grand comeback in a more socially distanced fashion. Here, we’ve rounded up the London summer events that are planning to return this year.
Tennis fans’ favourite event of the year is hoping to kick off again this June. Tickets are likely to be even more difficult to nab than usual, with organisers currently planning to allow only 25% capacity. Try your luck at being one of the lucky few, but for those who can’t get them in time, the games will be televised as usual, and there are sure to be watch parties and celebrations across the city. Find your venue, reserve the strawberries and cream, and pull out the tennis whites, and it’ll feel like you’re in the stands yourself.
Run by the Royal Horticultural Society, the annual flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court is scheduled to return this July. Visitors will be able to explore an impressive array of gardens designed by a range of horticulturalists, exploring themes including Scandinavian design, sustainability and wellbeing. On top of the gardening displays, the show will also feature a plant village to shop, talks, workshops and live musical performances. The final night will close with an epic firework display against the iconic backdrop of Hampton Court Palace.
One of the city’s most famous musical events that dates back to 1895 returns this summer for a series of concerts in Cadogan Hall and the Royal Albert Hall, all of which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and many aired on BBC TV. The programme of performances is yet to be announced, but like previous years, the Proms will certainly include an impressive schedule of daily concerts highlighting the best talent from the world of classical music. From renditions of pieces by famed composers to interpretations of modern pop, it’s sure to be a joyous celebration of music that’s not to be missed.
The world-renowned regatta returns this summer, in August instead of its typical July date, with hopes that it’ll be safe enough then for crowds to gather along the banks of the Thames to watch rowers speed past. Guests will don their typical regatta finery — think hats and summer suits — and sip glasses of champagne as the race rolls on. VIPs can head for the members’ only Stewards’ Enclosure, or can rent a boat to get up close to the action while sipping their drinks. Keep an eye open for a number of events and special dining occasions in the area, as many hospitality groups will be hosting their own regatta celebrations, too.
Normally hosted in May, the annual celebration of flowers and all things horticultural returns this September — the first change for the Chelsea Flower Show date in its 108 year history is due to the organiser’s hope to host an event as close to the typical festivities as possible. Garden designers are up for the challenge of creating their world-renowned installations in a different season, with award-winning gardeners including Sarah Eberle and Raymond Evison planning to use the opportunity to show off blooms that wouldn’t normally be appropriate for May weather. In addition to the main attraction of the spectacular garden displays, the show will also feature the Discovery Zone, showcasing the latest scientific advancements in the world of horticulture, and a plant studio celebrating the boom in home-gardening during the lockdown.