32 Unofficial Signs That Summer Has Started In London

Ah, summer. In London, we pine for it all year then usually end up complaining once it arrives. But ahead of its official arrival (because seasons have set dates, don’t you know) on June 21, we’re beside ourselves at the thought of hot summer days and warm evenings that stretch out forever. In anticipation of London’s dizzying array of festivals, bottomless brunches, rooftop bars, and outdoor terraces we thought we’d gather together a list of the ultimate signs that summer has started in London.

We took to social media to find out what you think signals the true start of London in summer, and boy did you have plenty to say!

1. “Raincoat + flip-flops on at the same time”

I knew the fickle weather would come up. Always be prepared. Trust me.

2. “Cocktails at Midnight Apothecary, a dinner/afternoon tea Dalloway Terrace an opera at Opera Holland Park and a play at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and finally a concert at Hampton Court Palace Festival”

Wow. Can you plan our next day out, please?

3. “People complaining about the heat.”

A favourite pastime of just about everyone. I’ve promised myself to never complain about the heat in London until it’s north of 30°C… I haven’t always succeeded.

4. “They talk about 20C heatwaves”


someone suffering from a heatwave in front of a fan, bottle of water in hand
Credit: Shutterstock – Photo by Stokkete

5. “The Sahara desert being cooler than the Central Line”

Yep, this line can make you feel slightly toasty. But when you think of what’s at the end of your journey – Hyde Park! Rooftop Bars! Brick Lane! Epping Forest! – the feeling of melting might just be worth it…

6. “Everyone’s on a happy vibe”

A rare sight, perhaps. But it’s summer, after all. Plus, it helps that…

7. “People are finally getting the vitamin D they need.”

We’re just happier when the sun’s out! It’s science.

8. “The rancid stench of barbecues”

Be it in London Fields or the parks of Victoria, Brockwell or Hyde; there’s no surer sign of a heatwave (or anything over 15°C with a bit of sunshine) than the scents of a thousand barbecues across the green spaces of the big smoke. Rancid seems a bit harsh though.

9. “There is no proper summer season in the Uk that’s why everyone go abroad !!”

Hash judgement or harsh reality? Difficult one… We just feel a bit hurt, to be honest.

10. “When sun’s glow is repeated in the countless Aperol spritzes on the terrace tables.”

What came first: the London summer or the Aperol spritz?

11. “When you get an end seat on the tube but have to peel yourself off the glass when you get up!”

My, what a way with words you have. But I sure know the feeling!

12. “BO on the tube”

Catch me reapplying my antiperspirant at least five times a day.

13. “London is even hotter than…..” headlines.

Ahem… We’ve certainly never done that… Not at all

14. “Hay fever.”

It’s not a joke. Every damn year. We resort to drastic measures to combat it sometimes!

someone wearing a respiratory mask while pollen swirls around them from the plant in front of their face
Credit: Shutterstock – Photo by damiangretka

15. “Sunbathers in the parks”

Gotta catch them rays while you can.

16. “The ice-cream truck”

The most exciting music of all time.

17. “The first Christmas decorations appear in the shops?”

They do seem to arrive earlier and earlier each year!

18. “Covent Garden and Borough Market rammed with people”

The population of London sure does seem to quadruple when it gets warmer.

19. “No limes left in the supermarket”

I do start making a lot more margaritas in the summer…

20. “Airports packed”

Well, we can’t all stand that unpredictable weather for the entire year.

a plane flying through the sky
Credit: Shutterstock – Pgoto by travellight

21. “Stripey deckchairs are out in the parks”

Now these are just objectively “good vibes”.

22. “Pimm’s starts flowing… “

Well, it would be rude not to after all…

23. When every morning in the office starts with ‘It’s hot out there’.

Who doesn’t love a bit of weather small talk? That is what summer (and spring and autumn and winter) is all about.

24. “Top off, can of Stella in hand.”

Although, apparently the cost of living crisis makes even that image unlikely…

25. “Pink men walking around with their top off and a can of lidl beer .. used to be stella but cost of living and all that”

First, it was housing prices, then it was inflation, but now it’s even affecting the park beers!

26. “Lots of people walking round with sun burn”

When the “tanning” goes wrong, it can go VERY wrong.]

27. “A fully packed beer garden”

And it’s either completely empty inside, or full of people escaping the heat outside.

28. “Everyone hands in a sick note at work and chills in the local pub beer garden”

Are we condoning this? No comment. Are we saying it doesn’t sound like a great idea? Also no comment. Expect those green spaces to be packed out come the weekend! @ my boss: if you see me sunbathing at 3pm on Friday… No, you didn’t!

people sitting in a beer garden in the sunshine enjoying a sunny day
Credit: Shutterstock – Photo by Paolo Paradiso

29. “Picnic blankets”

Do you do picky-bits and an old yoga mat or charcuterie and a proper picnic blanket?

30. “When you ended up resigning from your day job just to enjoy summer.”

That seems a bit excessive to me. Do you also have a night job, is that why you can do it?

31. “Finding there’s absolutely nowhere to sit, just after you’ve brought a pint from the latest pop up bar on the south bank (don’t judge me for being too touristy)”

No judgment here, I’m right there with you trying to find a perch too!

32. “You already feel like winter is coming”

It always comes back around too quickly.

Secret London | News