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London sights with air-con

When temperatures spike, it may be a shock for some guests to find there aren’t many London sights with air-con – a mixture of town’s historic buildings and Britain’s erratic summer season climate means it’s not at all times important and may’t essentially be added on later.

View across the water of the Serpentine in Hyde Park to the bridge with trees reflected in the water - where to cool down during a heatwave, including London attractions with air conditioning
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So what do you do when there’s a heatwave in London, particularly for those who’re visiting town with children and wish to flee the warmth?

I’ve picked out a number of the most important vacationer sights in London with air-con, air cooling or locations to go the place you gained’t soften whereas the heatwave lasts.

London within the warmth: have to know

Keep in mind that even these locations which have air-con have a tendency to not be as fiercely chilly as different nations – I’ve wanted to place further layers on when going indoors within the US and Asia prior to now, however probably the most you’re more likely to discover is a pleasantly cool expertise.

And whereas London’s museums and galleries at all times have to maintain their valuable reveals in a local weather managed atmosphere, that doesn’t at all times translate right into a managed local weather for guests – even the place there’s a cooling system, you gained’t stroll in to gusts of icy chill.

Exterior of the National History Museum in South Kensington - if you're looking for London attractions with air conditioning, this is one to postpone for a cooler day

A mixture of massive crowds and the Pure Historical past Museum’s Grade I listed constructing means this specific attraction usually will get very heat inside – if you’re going, the dinosaur gallery has low gentle and generally is a little cooler.

The British Museum has air-con in some areas however many are cooled solely by followers – and the most well-liked galleries can get very busy, whereas the Nice Courtroom’s fantastic glass roof doesn’t make it the best spot.

And the London Transport Museum has some huge open galleries to slot in its assortment of double decker buses and different classic transport, however there’s no air-con right here both.

To discover a assured cool spot in a museum, try the short-term exhibitions – a terrific tip from Museum Mum, as the federal government scheme which insures loans has strict guidelines about environmental controls so these are an ideal place to flee the warmth in London.

London sights with air-con


The SeaLife Centre is one in every of my prime picks for a wet day in London with children, however with air-con all through the aquarium, it’s additionally the right spot to shelter from the warmth.


Should you’re searching for a museum in South Kensington to remain cool, the V&A ought to prime your listing – not solely does this Grade I constructing have air-con however there’s a fountain within the courtyard too.

The Postal Museum

Much less well-known than a number of the different London museums, the Postal Museum is much more tempting within the warmth – in addition to air-con, the underground tunnels which as soon as delivered mail throughout town are additionally pretty and funky.

Now not used to move mail, you may nonetheless journey the Mail Rail practice throughout your go to (though do keep in mind that it may be hotter contained in the carriages than within the tunnels).

Museum of London

The Museum of London additionally has a cooling and air-con system inside, so you may uncover town’s historical past, proper from the times when hippos lived the place Trafalgar Sq. is now – and presumably welcomed the solar.

My daughter completes an activity trail at the Museum of London - one of the London attractions with air conditioning

Nationwide Maritime Museum

Should you head all the way down to Greenwich (and a breeze on one of many river boats is a particular bonus if you may also discover a shady seat), the Nationwide Maritime Museum has air-con.

The world across the large map can get heat, however with tales of Polar adventures (in addition to Tudor piracy and Pacific explorations), there’s loads to find inside when you keep cool.

Tate Fashionable & Tate Britain

With tens of millions passing by way of the Tate Fashionable’s galleries alone, air-con has at all times been important to guard the artworks – with the added bonus of defending the guests from melting as effectively.

Tate Britain additionally has air-con and tends to be one in every of London’s quieter galleries, so you may dodge overheated crowds as effectively.

Nationwide Gallery

The Nationwide Gallery has boasted some air-con since 1949 to guard its work, in addition to more moderen air-con added throughout lockdown closures.

Just like the Tate and Museum of London, there’s the added bonus that entry is free.

The exterior of the National Gallery in London, seen from Trafalgar Square against a blue sky - one of the London attractions with air conditioning

Madame Tussauds

Should you’ve received an attraction filled with wax works, you may’t take the chance of all of them melting when the temperature rises so fortunately Madame Tussauds does have air-con.

Equally understandably, the waxworks don’t do effectively with extremes of warmth or chilly, so the system tries to maintain the temperature pretty fixed, which suggests it should by no means find yourself being freezing inside.

London Eye

The London Eye’s capsules are all air conditioned – however keep in mind that the glass pods are principally mini greenhouses, so on a searingly sizzling day, you may nonetheless count on it to get heat inside.

Except you’ve quick observe tickets, you’ll even be ready within the queue to board in your time slot as effectively.

London theatres with air-con

Most of the West Finish’s theatres are too previous, protected or fragile to have full air-con: the air cooling programs are sometimes impressively environment friendly although, at theatres such because the Apollo.

Nevertheless, some do have correct air-con together with the Adelphi Theatre (Again to the Future Musical), the Victoria Theatre (Hamilton), the Theatre Royal Haymarket (for The Tiger Who Got here To Tea), the Vaudeville Theatre (Six), in addition to the Criterion.

The Lyceum (for The Lion King), Apollo Victoria (for Depraved), Cambridge Theatre (for Matilda), Prince Edward Theatre (for Mary Poppins), the Lyric (Room on the Broom), the Palladium (Magnificence and the Beast) and the Garrick (for Horrible Histories) all have air cooling.

In a slight twist of irony, for those who’re planning to look at Frozen on the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, there’s no aircon, so that you’ll have to depend on the motion to maintain you cool.

To test individually, the Official London Theatre web page lists amenities for London’s theatres.

Vacationer sights in London with cooling programs

Tower Bridge

There’s no air-con inside London’s well-known bridge, however Tower Bridge does have ceiling followers contained in the high-level walkways to chill guests down.

And searching down by way of the glass ground would possibly ship a shiver down your backbone.

Tower Bridge seen against a blue sky with pink blossom in the foreground - there are fans inside if you're visiting London in a heatwave

Science Museum

The temperature within the Science Museum varies relying which space you’re visiting, however there’s a cooling system in Wonderlab, which makes it a very great spot to flee the warmth.

However the basement rooms, together with the Backyard – a favorite of youthful children – does are inclined to get fairly heat.

Shrek’s Journey

In case your children are trying ahead to visiting Far Far Away, the excellent news is that a lot of the Shrek’s Journey attraction has cooling programs to cease you overheating.

The Magic Bus additionally contains water sprays and blasts of air. Pretty.

Different issues to do when it’s sizzling in London

Should you’re seeking to escape the warmth in London with children, it’s not simply air conditioned sights which will help maintain you cool.

Discover the dancing fountains

Splash pads, dancing fountains, no matter identify you give them, they’re unbeatable when it’s sizzling in London with children.

Simply behind King’s Cross, the fountains at Granary Sq. are made up of 1,080 choreographed jets – every individually managed – which squirt in patterns for teenagers to splash in.

Or on the South Financial institution, the Showing Rooms interactive sculpture on the Southbank Centre is a enjoyable various, with jets of water creating ‘rooms’ earlier than they vanish.

Additional alongside the river, you’ll discover the Extra London fountains close to Tower Bridge, whereas there’s usually one other set within the courtyard of Somerset Home on the other financial institution (not presently on).

Jets of water at the dancing fountains of Granary Square near Kings Cross on a hot day - one of the best places to cool down in London in a heatwave

Go to the parks

Regardless of being one of many greatest cities on the planet, London additionally scores effectively with regards to inexperienced house, with a collection of pretty parks – Hyde Park has some nice shady spots in addition to the Diana Memorial fountain to dip your ft in.

Regent’s Park is one other nice various, or watch the pelicans at St James’s Park. However many of the royal parks could have a number of patches of shade to hang around when it’s sizzling.

Should you’re joyful to enterprise out of central London, Kew Gardens and the London Wetlands Centre close to Barnes are additionally nice choices to flee – there’s water play within the Wetlands Centre playground too

Head up excessive

The upper you go, the extra probability of discovering an elusive breeze – the Sky Backyard has shady areas and generally is a pretty spot when it’s sizzling in London, in addition to being one in every of my favorite viewpoints in London.

Stroll by the water

There are miles and miles of Thames path to discover – and whereas I’m not suggesting a protracted stroll throughout a heatwave, you will discover a breeze off the water as you sit on the banks. The Southbank is at all times probably the greatest choices.

Or head to the canals – Little Venice is one other pretty spot, whereas the Grand Union Canal close to Paddington is lined with cafes.

Should you’d slightly be on the water, try my ideas for the perfect boat excursions in London with children in addition to locations to kayak with children

Go for a swim

Though you’ll must journey out of central London (except you’re staying in a resort with a pool), there are lidos across the metropolis the place you may have a dip.

Or head west to benefit from the seaside at Ruislip Lido – there’s a splash pad right here too, though you may’t really swim within the reservoir. Unsurprisingly it’s a preferred spot on a sunny day.

A view of part of the Tower of London against a blue sky - the thick stone walls of the ancient fortress are perfect for a hot day in London

Go to the Tower of London

There’s – unsurprisingly – no air-con in the Tower, however as anybody who’s visited a fort in winter is aware of, thick stone partitions make for cold interiors.

So within the top of summer season, venturing into the previous royal flats may be blissfully cool. The world with the Crown Jewels can also be local weather managed to guard them.

Head inside a cathedral

In the identical approach, the centuries-old stone partitions of each Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s cathedral maintain the inside fantastically cool on sizzling days.

Seize an ice cream

There are some unbelievable locations to show cooling down into an artwork type – for the perfect ice cream in London, try this nice publish from Globetotting.

Getting round London within the warmth

Should you’re planning a bus tour, the 2 most important hop on hop off suppliers – Tootbus and Huge Bus Excursions – each have air-conditioned areas on their buses.

These are typically decrease deck solely or on some buses with enclosed higher areas – allowing for that many of the prime deck is generally open to the weather (and likewise the place you’ll get the perfect views), you don’t get such a profit.

For extra recommendations on London’s greatest bus excursions with children, try this publish

A London Underground sign with the words underground on - the new Elizabeth line is air conditioned if you're travelling around London in a heatwave

On the tube, the Central line is formally the most well liked line, whereas the brand new Elizabeth Line has air-con and is genuinely cool. In any other case, the strains which keep nearer the floor – particularly the Overground, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & Metropolis and Circle – are typically cooler than the deep strains just like the Picadilly and Northern line.

Should you’d slightly journey by water, the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers service has air conditioned interiors in addition to an open part on the deck to catch a breeze.

Disclosure: This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks – any purchases you make are unaffected however I could obtain a small fee

Pure Historical past Museum/Tower Bridge/London Underground signal courtesy of Depositphotos, all different photos copyright MummyTravels


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