Guide to LondonTravel Edit

London Summer Guide: The Season’s Best Activities and Events


The British Summer Social Season is a delightful tradition that captivates visitors and locals alike. It’s a whirlwind of glamorous events where being seen is just as important as having fun. WAWW Guide teamed up with Innerplace concierge service to give you exclusive access to any and all of these events. Innerplace Concierge is a trusted partner of WAWW Escapist Travel Club.

Ah, summer in London—the season when the city undergoes a miraculous transformation, akin to a TV makeover show. Instead of a new haircut and wardrobe, it’s the entire metropolis that gets a youthful glow-up. It’s not just about the days getting longer or the hemlines rising in tandem with the mercury. No, it’s about the Pimm’s o’clock phenomenon, where the clink of ice in a glass becomes the city’s favourite symphony. It’s about strawberries that taste like they’ve been dipped in sunshine, served alongside cream that’s fluffier than the late Queen’s corgis.

Let’s not sidestep the glorious events of the Season. If you do not reside in London, it is your time to either catch up with society or enjoy the most wonderful sporting and cultural events. The Season traditionally refers to many quintessentially English occasions that take place in southeast England, all within 70 miles of London, and they mark the summer months like the chiming of a clock.

The origin of the Season

“The Season” traditionally refers to the period in late spring and early summer when a series of social events are held, often associated with the upper classes in the UK. It dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries when the British elite would migrate from their country estates to London to enjoy the city’s social, cultural, and political offerings. This period was an opportunity to form alliances, secure marriages, and increase social standing.It was the original social network, where status updates were delivered by raised eyebrows and gossip was the main currency. Over time, the Season expanded to include sporting events and cultural festivals, reflecting society’s changing tastes and interests. To this day, the Season remains the ultimate blend of business and pleasure, proving that even the stiff upper lip can curl into a smile at the sight of a well-aimed cupid’s arrow or the thrill of a race well run.

Dress code of the British Social Season

So, if you find yourself amidst the British Social Season, remember: it’s not just about watching flowers grow or boats row. It’s about being part of a grand tradition, a splendid spectacle of the social calendar. The true sport of the Season is  people-watching. It’s a pastime more competitive than any horse race. It’s worth remembering that  the dress code is less of a guideline and more of a commandment, etched in stone and handed down by the fashion gods themselves. The Season is a sartorial spectacle, one must dress to impress, or risk being the talk of the town—and not in a good way. Whether you’re sipping champagne at Royal Ascot, cheering at a polo match, or enjoying a garden tour at a flower show, embrace the spirit of The Season!

Events of the British Social Season

Today, while still steeped in tradition, the Season has evolved to be more inclusive, with charity events and public participation playing a larger role. It remains a highlight of the British summer, continuing to showcase the UK’s cultural heritage while also adapting to the modern era.

Some of the most notable events of the British social Season include the Chelsea Flower Show, which marks the beginning of the Season with its spectacular display of horticulture; the Royal Ascot, known for its horse racing and fashion; the Henley Royal Regatta, which is a rowing event attended by thousands; and the Wimbledon Championships, the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Other events such as the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Cowes Week sailing regatta also form part of this busy social calendar.

So, here’s to London in the summertime, when the city shakes off its historic dust, polishes its monuments, and winks at the sun, saying, ‘I may be over a thousand years old, but watch me sizzle’. Cheers!

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Royal Ascot, from Tuesday, 18th June to Saturday, 22nd June

Venue: Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire.

What to Expect: A highlight of the social calendar, Royal Ascot combines top-class horse racing with elegant fashion. The Royal Enclosure demands formal attire, including hats for ladies. The royal family attends, adding regal flair to the festivities.

Glyndebourne Opera Festival, from 16th May to 25th August

Location: Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex.

What to Expect: World-class opera performances set against the backdrop of the beautiful Sussex countryside. Dress elegantly and enjoy the music, picnics, and the refined atmosphere.

Epsom Derby, Friday, 31st May and Saturday, 1st June 

Location: Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey.

What to Expect: One of the most famous horse races in the world, attracting high society and racing enthusiasts. Dress to impress and witness the thundering hooves as the horses compete for glory.

Wimbledon Tennis Tournament,from Monday, 1st July to Sunday, 14th July

Location: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London.

What to Expect: The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon attracts tennis aficionados and celebrities. Wimbledon is the pinnacle of tennis events, but other tournaments like the Queen’s Club Championships and the Eastbourne International also attract tennis enthusiasts.

Henley Royal Regatta, from Tuesday, 2nd July to Sunday, 7th July 

Venue: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

What to Expect: Watch rowing teams compete on the River Thames while enjoying the riverside ambiance. Dress smartly and soak up the sporting elegance of this prestigious event.

Goodwood Revival, from Friday, 6th September to Sunday, 8th September

Venue: Goodwood Circuit, West Sussex.

What to Expect: Step back in time to the golden era of motor racing. Attendees dress in vintage clothing, and classic cars take to the track. It’s a nostalgic and stylish way to bid farewell to the summer season.

Polo Matches, throughout the summer

Venue: Various Locations.

Polo events are held at prestigious venues across the UK, such as Guards Polo Club, Cowdray Park Polo Club, and Ham Polo Club. Enjoy thrilling matches, champagne, and the equestrian elegance of polo.

Henley Royal Regatta

About Innerplace, The Trusted WAWW Guide Partner:

Innerplace distinguishes itself as a premier Lifestyle Management and Concierge service, renowned for its exceptional offerings. With a history spanning over 18 years, Innerplace affords its members swift entry into a world of luxury.

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by Elena Leo, WAWW Director of Editorial