We never thought we’d say it, but it might actually be… too hot?
After years of complaining, we’ve finally got the long, hot summer that we wanted. You won’t find me complaining about it because I adore the sunshine (throwback to the blissful temperatures of northern Colombia and Morocco!). However, we Brits are known for complaining about the weather regardless of whether it’s rain or shine. If you’re one of these people who struggles with the heat, read on! Because, short of running away to Norway or somewhere equally as blissfully cold, there isn’t much you can do until the weather gods are done teaching a lesson. Instead, accept your fate and focus on the problem at hand: how can you cool down?
1. Speed around on an ice-kart
We’ve all tried go-karting at some point, but ice-karting is the perfect remedy to the sunshine that’s still somehow burning down outside. Queens in Paddington is the place to head if you’re truly ready to be surrounded by nothing but cool, cool ice. Bring along seven friends and race around the 12,000 metre rink or step things up a notch with the “human curling” experience. Otherwise known as go-nutting, it’s probably the only place in London where you’re able to launch yourself on to a giant rubber dingy before propelling across the ice towards a huge bullseye. It’s almost enough to let you forget about the sweltering conditions outside.
2. Kayak on the Thames
Unless you’re ready to contract some suspicious diseases, we wouldn’t recommend swimming in the Thames in central London. But there’s one way to almost fully immerse yourself in the water without getting wet: kayaking. Push yourself along one of the world’s most iconic stretches of water with the waves lapping against your boat and you’ll feel cooler in no time. If you’re determined to avoid the sunshine but still think this sounds like a fun thing to do, go down to the Chelsea docks just before sunset for the Big Ben By Night trip.
Sure, skating on the ice or floating along the Thames might cool you down a little, but a guaranteed way to reduce your temperature is at London’s Ice Bar. You literally cannot find anywhere cooler to chill out in the city. Temperatures are set at a deliciously cold -5c, so you’ll almost (almost) be glad to see the sunshine when you leave. Spend 40 minutes chilling with a cocktail in Mayfair’s Ice Bar Londonor, if you’re trying to avoid the sun for as long as possible, go all out with a restaurant experience.
4. Grab an ice cream
We’d be here all day if we tried to talk you through every single place to go for an ice cream in the capital. But, because it’s London, there are some ultra special places to check out and cool down at the same time. Head to Mamasons for unusual flavours like black coconut, barako coffee, and ube (a kind of purple yam). Or, if you’re feeling fancy, try any of these ridiculously delicious picks.
5. Head to a crypt
Want to reduce your body temperature but also learn something at the same time? The Venn diagram might be small but there is one option: the crypt at St Paul’s cathedral. There are three different tombs holding Lord Nelson, The Iron Duke and Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of the cathedral. It’s pretty important these tombs stay cold so they can, well, continue to do their job, so you can wander down there with a firm belief that you won’t be exposed to any of that dreaded heat.
6. Take a dip
There are, luckily, countless places to swim in London, so no matter where you’re residing you’ll be able to find a pool to crawl to. If you’re not yet too drunk on sunlight then we’d recommend any of these outdoor lidos to waste away a few hours while dreaming of the rain. But if, like many of us, you’re trying to hide away from any kind of natural light or blue sky whatsoever, there are indoor options, too.
7. Just go for a splash
We appreciate that although we’d love to strip off and jump in a pool, it’s not always appropriate timing. So if you’re in desperate need of cool surroundings but don’t have the time or inclination to dive in head first, there are plenty of fountains to ease the pain. Granary Square fountains, just around the corner from Kings Cross, are not only pretty but also incredibly useful for allowing you some much-needed respite. With 1080 water spouts, it’ll be difficult to stay dry and the colourful lights in the evening are an added bonus.