June may have got off to rainy start but the cultural calendar is scorching. Festival season hits full swing with the London International Festival of Theatre, the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, the London Festival of Architecture, the Hampton Court Palace Festival, the City of London Festival and the Southbank Centre's Festival of the World.

Gastronomes delight with the Taste of London in Regent's Park, music lovers and revellers gather for the Lovebox Weekender in Victoria Park and rainbow revellers get into the party spirit for Pride London 2012. Fans of a more classical singing genre congregate in leafy west London for Opera Holland Park, featuring productions of Cosi Fan Tutte, Lucia di Lammermoor and a revival of Fantastic Mr Fox.

London opera and ballet proves to be in rude health with a vibrant programme that includes the English National Opera's Billy Budd at the London Coliseum and Les Troyens at the Royal Opera House, which moves into July with a "director's choice" triple bill put together by retiring Royal Ballet director Monica Mason: Ashton's Birthday Offering, Turgenev's A Month in the Country and Nijinska's must-see classic of 20th-century ballet, Les Noces.

Both Sadler's Wells and the Barbican have a month-long series of appealing co-productions, while musical favourite West Side Story comes to the Royal Albert Hall, which in July hosts the world-famous Proms.

Artistically, June is yet another stand-out month in London, with Yoko Ono exhibiting at the Serpentine, Andy Warhol at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and Edvard Munch - he of 'The Scream' - at Tate Modern. The ever-popular Royal Academy Summer Exhibition also returns, while art and design take centre stage at the Royal Hospital Chelsea with Masterpiece London. The Business Design Centre in Islington once again opens its doors to New Designers and the hottest trends from young UK talents.

Sporting events include Royal Ascot, Andy Murray's annual bid to win the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the returning Lords vs Commons tug-of-war and the historic Henley Royal Regatta. Enjoy the age-old tradition of Trooping the Colour and another royal delight - an extended Buckingham Palace Summer Opening.

Of course, with the Olympics on the horizon, all roads lead to Stratford, so to speak, and the London 2012 Festival continues apace with a melting pot of contrasting events. Standout offerings include Damon Albarn's Dr Dee - An English Opera at the ENO, the Southbank's Poetry Parnassus, Tate Britain's Olympic and Paralympic Posters, the Barbican's Genius of Hitchcock season and BBC Radio 1's huge Hackney Weekender.

With such a jam-packed schedule, you'd expect July to quieten down a little - a pre-Olympic calm before the storm; but that is not the case - by any stretch. The aforementioned Proms returns to the Royal Albert Hall with an adventurous and accessible mix of classical music. A stone's throw away in Hyde Park, the summer live music scene dazzles with a live performance from Madonna, there's also the Wireless Festival, featuring songstresses Rihanna and Jessie J. Hard Rock Calling sees 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen take to the stage as the headline act.

The open air concerts in Hyde Park are but the tip of the musical iceberg in a month that also boasts the Somerset House Summer Series (featuring Tim Minchin and Temper Trap) and a new music festival at London's docklands, Bloc, with performances from Snoop Dog, Orbital and Gary Numan. Another musical event, the BT River of Music, will have six stages dotted around different Thames-side locations in celebration of the coming Olympics.

With the Summer Games set to get under way with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the Official Opening Ceremony on 27th July, it's no surprise that there's a strong sporting theme running through July. Sport vs Design at the Design Museum highlights the role technology and equipment plays in sport today, while Stadia: Sport and Vision in Architecture at Sir John Soane's Museum is a celebration of the world's greatest sporting arenas. Actual sporting events include the British 10K London Run and, to a lesser extent, the Chap Olympiad - a Pimm's-drenched celebration of buffoonery and sporting ineptitude in Bedford Square.

July is a huge month for dance, too. The UK's three national dance companies collaborate in a Big Top in Greenwich in Dance GB - The Olympic Project, while the biennial Big Dance returns alongside Dance Alfresco in Regent's Park. On top of all that, Matthew Bourne's wickedly satirical dance drama Play Without Words comes to Sadler's Wells.

Festivals and popular returning events include the East End Film Festival, Rushes Soho Shorts Festival and the London Literature Festival, and the Hampton Court Flower Palace Show returns. Welsh oddball Rhod Gilbert has a new solo show alongside comedy festivals in both Camden and Ealing.

Highlights of the artistic programme in July are Metamorphosis: Titian, which brings together contemporary artists with paintings by the Renaissance master, and the installation artist Tino Sehgal's take on the Tate Modern Turbine Hall. Tate Modern Oil Tanks also launch a 15-week arts festival. In the world of theatre, the British museum celebrates the Bard with the wonderfully interactive Shakespeare: Staging the World, while an intriguing collaboration brings Desdemona to the Barbican stage.

And then as if all this was not enough on 27th July the London Olympics kicks off.