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Have your best London summer yet

For the next few months, we’ll be inspiring you with the very best hidden gems and awesome things to do that London has to offer – all during off-peak hours

By Time Out in association with Transport for London
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NOTE: As this article was originally published in 2018, any specific event mentioned in this article has now passed. 

Summer is in full swing, which means it’s the perfect time to explore the city you love. London is packed with exciting under-the-radar experiences – and the best way to discover them is through the wonderful world of off-peak. We’ve teamed up with Transport for London to steer you towards fabulous and affordable off-peak activities, which we’ll be unveiling over the next few months. This time, we’re looking beyond inner London and focusing on summer fun outside central London. The best part? TfL’s affordable off-peak prices mean that zipping across the city to lush gardens, city farms and rooftop crazy golf is practically pocket money friendly.

Remember to check TfL Journey Planner before you travel. 
When the British summer is at its best, remember to carry a bottle of water with you while you make your journey 

              

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
Andy Parsons

Chill out in a green oasis

Attractions Parks and gardens Dalston

It’s easy to accidentally miss Dalston Eastern Curve Garden – a community space nestled behind a wooden fence next to busy Dalston Junction. You’ll feel the hectic pace of the city melt away as soon as you step through the doors and into this leafy, tranquil garden, which provides families with a safe place for outdoor play and learning. Free.

Getting there: Overground to Dalston Junction.

Local bus routes: 30, 38, 56, 67, 76, 149, 242, 243, 277.

Hill Garden and Pergola
Flickr / Laura Nolte

Stroll through a jaw-dropping secret garden

Attractions Parks and gardens Hampstead

Ever wondered how the Edwardian rich and famous lived? Discover a slice of faded grandeur at Hampstead’s Hill Garden and Pergola. Built by Lord Leverhulme in the early twentieth century, this hidden corner of the West Heath features an ornate elevated walkway with overhanging plants and smooth stone columns, and gardens you could lose yourself in for hours. Free

Getting there: Northern line to Golders Green then 210 bus.

Local bus routes: 210 268, 390

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Splash around at Peckham Rye Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Peckham

Watch your kids’ eyes widen with joy when you arrive at Peckham Rye Park’s brand new play area. Inspired by the Tumbling Bay Playground in the Olympic Park, this kiddie wonderland has a big focus on water-based fun, including hand pumps that push water through streams. There are also sandpits, tunnels and swings. Free.

Getting there: Overground to Peckham Rye then 343 bus.

Local bus routes: 12, 37, 40, 63, 78, 112, 176, 185, 197, 312, 363, 484.

Make new friends at the farm

Things to do Wimbledon

You and your crew will feel like you’re miles out of London at Deen City Farm – a pretty-as-a-picture slice of countryside at the National Trust’s Morden Hall Park. The five-acre site is home to more than 100 happy animal residents, including Kimby the alpaca, whose best friend is Herman the ram. There’s also a super-cute shop selling children’s books and more. Free

Getting there: Northern line to Colliers Wood.

Local bus routes: 93, 200.

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Pedalos at Alexandra Palace
Scott Chasserot

Go potty for pedalos

Things to do Cultural centres Alexandra Palace

Kids and kids-at-heart will have an equally great time gliding around Alexandra Palace Boating Lake in a dragon, a swan or a VW Beetle. After you’re finished zooming across the water, chill out beside the lake. From £5.95. 
Getting there: Piccadilly line to Wood Green.

Local bus routes: W3.

Play in a sky-high kidult paradise

Things to do Stratford

This one-stop shop for alfresco fun packs in crazy golf, baseball-batting cages and hip hop-inspired lawn bowls (named De La Bowl, of course) all on one rooftop in Stratford. With stunning and (hopefully) sun-soaked views, plus a rooftop film club, Roof East is the place for Notorious F.U.N. Free entry. Events are ticketed.

Getting there: Central or Jubilee line to Stratford.

Local bus routes25, 69, 86, 104, 108, 158, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 473, 678, D8, S2, 906, 907, 909, 920, 925.

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Parkland Walk
Scott Wishart

Wind your way through an abandoned railway line

Attractions Parks and gardens Finsbury Park

Did you know that a train line once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace? These days, it’s a leafy, 4.5 mile nature reserve known as Parkland Walk that leads walkers and cyclists through tunnels, past old train stations and under the mysterious Crouch End Spriggan sculpture, creeping out of the brickwork. Free.

Getting there Piccadilly or Victoria line to Finsbury Park.

Local bus routes: W3, W7, 41, 91, 210.

Catch a movie under the stars

Cinemas Borough of Greenwich

What’s the best thing about Peckham Rye’s Rooftop Film Club? It’s a close tie between the sunset panoramic views from the top of the Bussey Building and the fantastic selection of movies to choose from, most nights of the week in summer. Book your ticket in advance. £15.95

Getting there Overground to Peckham Rye.

Local bus routes 12, P12, P13, 37, 63, 78, 343, 363.

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T001-00775
David Potter

Get there for just £1.50!

Yep, TfL’s off-peak fares mean that your summer adventures don’t have to break the bank. Off-peak fares apply on weekdays before 6.30am, between 9.30am and 3.59pm, and after 7pm, plus all day at weekends and bank holidays. To check your fare, search TfL Single Fare Finder.

Fare shown is for an adult off-peak pay as you go journey not going via Zone 1 on Tube, DLR and most London Overground services.

Always touch in and out with the same card or device to pay the right fare.

And let’s not forget the Hopper fare, which lets you take unlimited bus or tram journeys anytime, anywhere within one hour of first touching in for £1.50. 

Children under five travel free. With a Zip Oyster photocard, five to ten-year-olds can travel free on all TfL services, while 11 to 15-year-olds can travel free on buses and trams and travel at half the adult rate on all other TfL services.

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