Guide to what’s on in London in July 2022

Find out what events and exhibitions are on in the capital, including Pride, Cocktails in the City, London Zoo lates and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017Summer is in full bloom with long warm nights and a gargantuan choice of events on in London. Schools are breaking up for the summer holidays towards the end of the month so expect plenty of local and out-of-town families diverging on the capital looking to be entertained. Fortunately, there’s a host of family-friendly events on around town.

This month sees the long-awaited return of some popular events after being scaled back or cancelled over the past two years due to Covid-19.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 3 July 2022 : Feria de Londres

Three-day festival inspired by the Andalusian celebration of Spanish food and culture. Featuring Spanish dance and music performances and workshops, food traders, and drink vendors. Open Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 11am-3pm/3pm-6pm/6.30pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-4pm/4pm-9pm. Tickets: Adults £10, Under 16s free. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s or Bank. For more information, visit the Feria de Londres website. 🐻

  • 1 – 3 July 2022 : The Allergy & Free From Show

Show for people who suffer from allergies, intolerances, coeliac disease, hay fever or eczema. Featuring cooking classes, seminars, expert advice, skin consultations, live music and more. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Free (register online). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 1 – 3 July 2022 : Just V Show

Plant-based living for Vegans to Flexitarians. Featuring Vegan-friendly skincare, lifestyle products and food, seminars and both popular and new vegan brands. Tickets: Free (register online). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 2 July 2022 : Pride in London

Pride is back with a bang as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Pride in the UK. Parade starts at Hyde Park Corner and ends at Trafalgar Square. Timings TBA. Free to spectate. For more information, visit the Pride in London website.

  • Now until 3 July 2022 : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Keats Grove Community Mural Festival, Family Garden Party, The Taming of the Shrew production, Art Fair and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website. 🐻

  • 3 July 2022 : Pride @ Wembley Park

Celebrate Pride at Wembley with live performances, DJs, dance workshops (Zumba, pop and voguing), art classes, face painting, fitness sessions (yoga and Pilates) and drag queens. 11am-10pm. Free. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. 🐻

  • 3 July 2022 : Red Bull Soapbox Race

Enjoy one of the country’s most quirky races, with participants competing with their handmade vehicles. 12pm-6pm. Tickets: Over 25 yrs £29.99, Under 25 yrs £19.99. Alexandra Palace Park, N22 7AY. Nearest stations: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Red Bull website. 🐻

  • 4 – 9 July 2022 : RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021

The world’s largest garden show returns to the grounds of the historical Hampton Court. Attractions include show gardens, Market Theatre, live music, DJs, RHS Flower School, Festival of Roses, Floral Marquee, talks and demos. RHS members only Mon and Tues. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5.30pm. Tickets from £28.85 (cheaper for RHS members). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For tickets, visit the RHS website. 🐻

  • Now until 6 July 2022 : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Open Thu, Mon-Wed 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-7pm. Tickets from £45. The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 7 July 2022 : City Beerfest

One day festival in the City of London raising money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Featuring beers, street food, and live music. From 12.30pm-9pm. Tickets: £13.50. Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s or Bank. For tickets, visit the City Beerfest website. Read the rest of this entry

Aldgate Pump | The story behind the City of London’s historic water pump

There has been a watering hole on the spot since at least the 13th century

The old Aldgate Pump in the City of London

Situated at the junction of Aldgate, Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street stands a historic water pump. Although not the first iteration of the pump, the Aldgate Pump has long been symbolic as the start of London’s East End. For years, it was famous for being the starting point for distances between the City of London into Middlesex and Essex. It takes its name from nearby Aldgate, one of the original Roman gates into the City.

The Aldgate Pump in 1874.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London

There has been a watering spot at the site since at least the 13th century, initially as a well during the latter part of King John’s (1166-1216) reign. Historian John Stow (1524-1605) lived near the Aldgate well in the tumultuous year of 1549 and recalls witnessing from his own doorstep the execution of the Bailiff of Romford for alleged ‘rebellion’. Stow wrote in his 1598 book, ‘Survey of London’: “The Bailiff of Romford, in Essex, was one, a man very well beloved. He was early in the morning of St Magdalene’s Day, brought by the Sheriffs of London and the knight-marshall to the well within Aldgate, to be executed upon a gibbet set up that morning.” The well appears on Braun and Hogenburg’s London map in 1574, as well as on The Agas Map of Early Modern London in 1633.

By the 18th century, developments in engineering meant the Aldgate well had now become a pump to accommodate the booming London population. What is believed to be the first illustration of the Aldgate pump appeared in 1798, depicting it as an obelisk erected on a plinth, topped by a lantern, with further lamps on each side. The pump was served by one of the capital’s many subterranean streams. Read the rest of this entry

Where to watch Wimbledon 2022 on the big screen in London

Where to watch the live action from SW19 with some atmosphere if you’ve missed out tickets to the real thing

Pile of tennis balls © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019After two summers of pared back events, big screens are back with a bang across the capital. Over this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships (27 June – 10 July 2022), a host of London’s spaces will be hosting pop-up, alfresco screening spaces. Most are free and feature nearby hospitality so you can drink and eat as you watch the live action from SW19. Be prepared to turn up early for a good spot, particularly in the last few days when the suspense amps up during the semis and finals.

Here’s a guide to London’s big screens for the Wimbledon tennis championships 🎾 this summer:

  • 1 June – 27 August 2022 : Summer Screens @ Canary Wharf

Along with the tennis, there will also be screenings of F1, cricket, and films throughout the summer. Free. Canada Square Park and Union Square, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest stations: Canary Wharf or Heron Quays. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.

  • 27 June – 10 July 2022 : Merchant Square

Watch the latest from Wimbledon by the Paddington Canal. Grab a deckchair or bring your own blanket. There will also be a bar serving cocktails. Times vary. Free. Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest station: Edgware Road or Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.

  • 27 June – 10 July 2022 : Wimbledon @ Hammersmith BID Summer Festival

All the action from SW19 and the Tour de France on the big screen in Lyric Square. From 12pm. Free. Lyric Square, Hammersmith, W6 0NB. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information, visit the HammersmithLondon website.

  • 27 June – 10 July 2022 : Wimbledon in the Gardens

Enjoy free screenings of the tennis in Mayfair, alongside food and drink from Stripes. 11am-8pm. Free. Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, W1K 6TD. Nearest station: Bond Street or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Mayfair London website.

  • 27 June – 10 July 2022 : Wimbledon @ Flat Iron Square

Head to Southwark’s street food hub to watch the matches on a big screen in the garden. Free entry. Flat Iron Square, 68 Union Street, Bankside, SE1 1TD. Nearest station: Borough, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Flat Iron Square website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in June 2022

Find out what festivals, events and exhibitions are on in London as summer kicks off.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012Summer is here at last and what a bumper month of events are on in the capital. Of course, the big event is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which will see an extra long Bank Holiday weekend from 2-4 June, with a host of royal-themed celebrations on around town. There’s also half-term holidays from school the first week of June so parents will be searching for ways to keep their little ones occupied.

Aside from Platinum Jubilee fun, expect to see immersive experiences, the return of foodies’ paradise Taste of London and a host of arts festivals.

Read on to find out what’s on in London this June 2022, including exhibitions, festivals, and special events for both adults and children alike.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 30 May – 2 September 2022 : Summer by the River

A host of free entertainment returns to the riverside location, including family theatre, live music, DJs, film screenings, Platinum Jubilee events, dance classes and more. Times vary. Free. London Bridge City, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge (south of the river), SE1. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website. 🐻

  • 1 – 5 June 2022 : Jubilee @ Southbank Centre

Five days of entertainment and parties to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne, including Step Hop House with Folk Dance (2 Jun), Danny Boyle in Conversation (5 Jun), and a Platinum Jubilee Celebration Concert (4 Jun). Tickets vary from free to paid. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻

  • 1 – 30 June 2022 : London Festival Of Architecture

A month-long celebration of architecture, with this year’s theme being ‘act’. Featuring talks, installations, tours, exhibitions, open studios, film screenings, debate, conferences and more. At various venues around town. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.

  • 1 June – 18 September 2022 : Superbloom @ Tower of London

The historic moat surrounding the Tower will be filled with flowers to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As well as flower displays, there will also be a sound installation and sculptural elements. Various tickets available with or without the main Tower of London visit. Tickets (Superbloom only): Adults from £12, Children from £6.60. Tower of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the Tower of London website. 🐻

  • 2 June 2022 : Trooping The Colour

Military parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday with soldiers, horses, musicians and a flypast. Parade from 10am and flypast at 1pm. Free. Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade via the Mall, Whitehall, SW1. Nearest stations: Green Park, Westminster or St James’s Park. For more information, visit the Household Division website. 🐻

  • 2 – 3 June 2022 : Queen’s Platinum Jubilee @ Battersea Power Station

Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with live music, dance performances, roaming acts, family games, the Queen’s Baton Relay (2 June) and lighting of the Jubilee Beacon. Times vary. Free. Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest station: Battersea Power Station. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website🐻

  • 3 – 5 June 2022 : Foodies Festival @ Syon Park

Food festival including Chefs Theatre (Atul Kochhar, Daniel Lee, Aaron Middleton, Tony Rodd, Ryan Baker, Shelina Permalloo and more); Cake & Bake Theatre; Drinks Theatre; live music from Scouting For Girls, East 17, Lee & Simon from Blue and Liberty X; street food stalls, competitions and food challenges; Kids Cookery Theatre and more. Fri-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Tickets start from £23. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website. 🐻

  • 3 – 5 June 2022 : Jubilee Weekend Colouring Workshop

Artist and illustrator Samme Snow hosts a weekend of colourful art workshops for children and adults alike. Workshops held from 10am-6pm. Register online for a free ticket. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. 🐻

  • Now until 4 June 2022 : Brockley Max

Nine-day community arts festival returns in-person to south-east London, featuring live music, dance, craft markets, poetry, art installations, film screenings, workshops, talks, interactive games and more. At venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Brockley Max website. 🐻

  • 4 June 2022 : Jubilee Dance Party

One day festival to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including five stages, dance lessons, family entertainment, live music, DJs, and street food. 12pm-7pm. Free. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event. 🐻

  • 4 June 2022 : Queen’s Baton Relay

Watch the Queen’s Baton Relay arrive in the City following its journey through 72 Commonwealth nations. Enjoy sporting and cultural activities, pose with the baton, and feast on street food. From 12pm-3pm. Free. Paternoster Square, City of London, EC4M 7DX. Nearest station: St Paul’s or City Thameslink. For more information, visit the City of London website. 🐻

  • 4 – 12 June 2022Camberwell Arts Festival

Nine day festival celebrating the arts and creative talent of Camberwell. Featuring exhibitions, open studios, interactive evensong, comedy, blues party, summer fair, guided walks and much more. At venues in Camberwell, Peckham, Loughborough Junction, Denmark Hill, Brixton and East Dulwich. For more information, visit the Camberwell Arts Festival website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 June 2022 : Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Witness the beauty and diversity of the natural world in this annual photography exhibition. Open Mon-Sun 11am-5.50pm. Tickets: Adults £15.50, Children £9.25. Natural History Museum, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM museum website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 June 2022 : Mexican Geniuses – A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience

An immersive, digital art show brings visitors into the paintings of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Open Tues-Thur 10am-7pm, Fri & Sun 10am–8pm, Sat 10am-8.30pm. Tickets: Adults from £19.90. Retail Park, Unit 1 Canada Water, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU. Nearest station: Surrey Quays. For more information and tickets, visit the Mexican Geniuses website. 🐻

  • 5 June 2022 : Platinum Jubilee Pageant

Reflect on 70 years of the Queen’s reign with a pageant of military and entertainment, culminating at the Queen Victoria memorial opposite Buckingham Palace for a grand finale. From 2.30pm-5pm. Starting at Whitehall, then up The Mall and ending outside Buckingham Palace. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, St James’s Park, Victoria and Westminster. For more information, visit the Platinum Pageant website. 🐻

  • 8 – 20 June 2022 : Fitzrovia Arts Festival

Music and culture festival, celebrating the best of Fitzrovia. Featuring concerts, drama pieces, talks, walks and social and fitness events. Events are free. At venues across Fitzrovia including Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, Royal Society of Musicians and the Fitzrovia Chapel. Nearest stations: Tottenham Court Road, Warren Street and Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Fitzrovia Arts website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Toast the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with royal inspired cocktails at St James Bar

A Jubilee Gimlet at the St James Bar

This year, the UK celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. And when it comes to celebrations, there are many of us that like to do so with a toast or two. Located just a stone’s throw from St James’s Palace is the St James Bar, which is marking 70 years of the monarch’s reign with a royal inspired cocktail menu.

The luxurious and intimate cocktail bar is located in the Sofitel London St James, with cosy banquettes and bar stools to perch on while you sip your way through the special menu from the team’s mixologists. In the run-up and immediate aftermath of the Jubilee celebrations, the St James Bar will offer a special menu of three drinks inspired by the Queen, ranging in price from £17-£18.

Lilibet Fizz: Named after her family nickname, this fruity drink combines two of the Queen’s best-loved drinks, Bollinger Champagne and Pimm’s Cup No.1

The Coronation: A seriously bling creation inspired by the coronation, features subtle notes of bergamot and wood and pays homage to Her Majesty’s favoured teas, Earl Grey and Assam.

Jubilee Gimlet: A variation of the Queen’s favourite Martini and inspired by the classic Gimlet, this concoction features gin and Champagne with a mix of sweet florals and acidity.

  • The Jubilee-inspired cocktails are on sale from 16 May – 12 June 2022. At St James Bar, Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, St. James’s, SW1Y 4AN. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Charing Cross. Bar opening times: Thu-Sat 5pm-12am, Mon and Sun 12pm-12am, Tues-Wed closed. For more information, visit the Sofitel St James website.

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A decade of Memoirs of a Metro Girl!

Reflecting on a decade of blogging about London

Ten years ago today, Memoirs of a Metro Girl was launched! At the time, I was working as a digital journalist for a national newspaper and I was finding myself unfulfilled by some of the content I was writing. After a colleague told me about WordPress, I decided on a whim to launch my own blog. I had read a few other London blogs around at the time and many were written by newcomers or visitors to the capital. Blogs by tourists obviously have a very different view of London to myself, although hopefully they love the city as much I do. Having been born, grown up and spent my adult life in London, I hoped I could add a real insider’s insight to the capital, reflecting on how certain areas had changed over the years – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse! Admittedly, the blog went ‘live’ with only a couple of pages, when I should have built up more first… but hindsight is an amazing thing. I also cringe at the quality of my photos in those early posts, but thankfully camera phones have rapidly advanced and acquiring a SLR camera has also improved my imagery. I’ve also stopped getting embarrassed about taking photos of food in restaurants, despite some friends often rolling their eyes when I do so!

I initially wanted to cover events, pop-ups, bar and restaurant reviews in London as I played as hard as I worked. I was known amongst my friends and family for my wide knowledge of London and always had recommendations and tips to hand, from cocktail bars to hidden treasures. In addition to blogging about my hometown, I thought I would slip in the odd travel piece about my holidays – a topic area I have purposely neglected in recent years to focus specifically on the capital, preferring to just pop photos of my travels on my Instagram instead. Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Wembley Park at the Jubilee Dance Party

One day festival will see five stages across the north-west London neighbourhood on 4 June 2022.

Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee at a dance party
© Chris Winter / Wembley Park

Grab your dancing shoes this summer as Wembley Park celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a dance party. The north-west London neighbourhood will be hosting five stages of live acts, DJs and dance leaders on Saturday 4 June 2022. Whether you want to see the professionals in action, or shake your tail feather instead, there’s something for everyone.

Along with dancing galore, there will be street food stalls, DJs, live music and family zones as Londoners come together to mark Queen Elizabeth II‘s 70 years on the throne. Across the stages across Olympic Way, there will be dance classes for all ages and abilities, showcasing different genres throughout the day.

One stage will feature live entertainment, including family shows and live bands. Families will have plenty to keep them occupied, including face painters, bubbleologists, circus acts, stilt walkers, street dancers and pavement artists. Aside from the entertainment, there will also be interactive areas, including photo booths, selfie stations and a giant photo wall of a digitally-generated portrait of Her Majesty, made of photos taken on the day.

  • Jubilee Dance Party takes place on 4 June 2022, from 12pm-7pm. At Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. Free entry. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in May 2022

Find out what festivals, events and exhibitions are on in the capital this spring, including prices and transport options.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Canalway Cavalcade returns to Little Venice

Spring is in full swing and the sunshine is really becoming a regular around town… thank goodness! This month, there’s only one bank holiday (2 May) as the later one has been bumped later to 2-3 June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. There’s also half-term holidays for kids from 30 May – 3 June.

With the rising cost of living biting many families’ pockets, there are plenty of free and affordable festivals and events on around London this May, such as the Herne Hill Free Film Festival, Eid in the Square and Canalway Cavalcade.

Here’s a guide to the best events, festivals and exhibitions on in London this May.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 29 April – 1 May 2021 : Italian Sparkling Wine Festival

Taste over 60 types of Italian wine from over 15 wine specialists. Open 4pm-10pm. Tickets: £20-£30 (inc bespoke Eataly wine glass and limited-edition pouch). Eataly, 135 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3YD. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For tickets, visit the Eataly website.

  • Now until 1 May 2022 : Marylebone Food Festival

Restaurants and cafes across Marylebone take part in a week-long foodie celebration. Featuring special festival menus, events and launch dinner hosted by Jay Rayner. At various venues in Marylebone Village, W1. Nearest stations: Bond Street, Marble Arch or Baker Street. For more information, visit the festival website.

  • 1 May 2022 : Queen’s Yard Summer Party 2022

Festival spread out across Hackney Wick features the best of local art, culture, wellness, food and drink. At various venues across E9, including The Yard, Number 90, Lord Napier Star, Colour Factory and more. For listings and more information, visit the party’s website.

  • 2 May 2022 : Beer and Bread Festival

Festival returns to the historic Brixton Windmill for the 5th year. Local businesses will be selling beer, ale, bread, pastries and bakes, while there will live music, craft workshops, children’s activities and meet-the-millers of the windmill. From 1pm-5pm. Free entry. Brixton Windmill, Windmill Gardens (west end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill), Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Windmill website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 May 2022 : Canalway Cavalcade

A unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. Open 10am-5pm. Free. Little Venice, Maida Vale, W2. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on a previous year’s Cavalcade, click here. 🐻

  • Now until 2 May 2022 : La Linea

The London Latin Music Festival returns at venues across the capital. Venues include Ritzy Picturehouse, Rich Mix, Union Chapel, Jazz Cafe and more. For more information, visit the Como No website

  • 5 – 8 May 2022 : Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead

An event giving people a chance to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There are over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale at more affordable prices. Open Thur 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets from £11/£14. Hampstead Heath (Lower Fairground Site), East Heath Road, Hampstead, NW3 1TH. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath or Hampstead. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.

  • 5 May – 29 August 2022 : Our Time On Earth

An immersive exploration of radical ideas for the way we live on Earth. Open Sun-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sat 10am-8pm. Tickets: £18. Curve, Barbican Centre, City of London, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest stations: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information, visit the Barbican Centre website.

  • 7 May 2022 : Eid in the Square

Celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid and the end of Ramadan in Trafalgar Square, with traditional and contemporary entertainment, costumes, food stalls, workshops, sporting events, and tours. 12pm-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website. 🐻

  • Now until 8 May 2022 : Van Gogh Self-Portraits

Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraiture is explored in a new exhibition. Entry times from 10am-5.15pm. Tickets: Adults £16-£20, Under 18s free. The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Temple. For tickets, visit the Courtauld Gallery website. 🐻

  • Now until 8 May 2022 : Grand Designs Live

Find inspiration to improve or build your home with experts and top brands. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Standard advance £12-£15, Standard on-the-door – weekday £17, weekend £20. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 9 – 15 May 2022 : London Craft Week

A celebration of craftsmanship, featuring over 250 makers, designers, brands and galleries, with workshops, exhibitions, open studios, tastings, galleries and shops. At various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.

  • 10 – 20 May 2022 : Herne Hill Free Film Festival

The free film festival returns to Herne Hill for the ninth year in a mini edition. Films include Tron, Another Round, The Father and more. Venues include Prince Regent pub, Canopy Beer, Herne Hill Velodrome, Herne Hill Baptist Church and effraspace. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website. 🐻

  • 10 May – 24 July 2022 : Dreamachine

Go on an immersive experience of light and music to ‘explore the extraordinary potential of your mind’. Over 18s only. Ticket: Free (register online). Woolwich Public Market, Plumstead Road, Woolwich, SE18 7BZ. Nearest station: Woolwich Arsenal. For more information and booking, visit the Dreamachine website.

  • 11 – 15 May 2022 : Photo London

Photography fair at Somerset House, featuring expanded exhibition spaces and the chance to experience a range of photographic practices. Tours and talks also available. Tickets: Adults from £29, Children under 13 free. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.

Dulwich Village Christ Chapel © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

The Dulwich Festival returns

  • 13 – 22 May 2022 : Dulwich Festival

After two years of a pared back festival due to Covid-19, the Dulwich Festival is back with a host of live events for its 29th year. With the theme of ‘Regeneration and Awakening’, there will be over 40 events, including live music, theatre, talks, fairs, local history, guided walks, workshops, street art walks, family events and more. At various locations in Dulwich Village, East Dulwich and West Dulwich, SE21 and SE22. Nearest stations: West Dulwich (12 mins from Victoria) and East Dulwich (13 mins from London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the Dulwich Festival website. 🐻

  • 14 – 16 May 2022 : Art Car Boot Fair

Shop for art from 120 artists, as well as live painting, portrait-making, games, raffles, a bar and live performances. Open Sat 14 2pm-7pm, online only Sun and Mon. Tickets: £15 (free after 5pm). Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Art Car Boot Fair website.

  • 15 May 2022 : Urban Village Fete

A contemporary twist on a traditional village fair featuring stalls, music, DJs, dance, art & design workshops and street food. From 11am-7pm. Free entry. Central Park, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

  • 19 – 22 May 2022 : Sci-Fi London Film Festival

The annual celebration of the sci-fi genre returns to east London, featuring premieres, talks and screenings. Stratford Picturehouse, Salway Road, Stratford, E15 1BX. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the Sci-London Film Festival website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in April 2022

Find out what’s on in London in April, including the Oxbridge boat race, the Vaisakhi festival and the London Games Festival.

April 2022 is sure to be a whole lot better than 2021, when the UK was in the middle of a phased exit from lockdown. With the weather getting warmer and summer fast approaching, London’s festival and event calendar is really kicking off.

This year, Easter weekend falls on 15-18 April so expect the capital to really come to life with a host of family and chocolate-themed activities. There is also an early May bank holiday weekend starting on 30 April.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 31 March – 3 April 2022 : London Coffee Festival

Java lovers should head to the East End for this four celebration of coffee. Featuring tastings, coffee masters, food & wine pairing, Global Coffee School, DJs and more. Entry times via timed sessions. Thu and Fri daytime for industry only. Open to public: Fri 4pm-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets from £24. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information and tickets, visit the London Coffee Festival website.

  • 1 – 2 April 2022 : The Creative Craft Show

An event for stitchers, sewers and hobbycrafters, featuring workshops, demonstrations and talks. Open 10am-4pm. Tickets: Adults from £10, Children free if accompanied by an adult. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 1 – 3 April 2022 : London Spanish Film Festival – Spring Weekend

Three day film event ahead of the London Spanish Film Festival in September, featuring several new Spanish language releases. Tickets TBA. Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, Kensington, SW7 2DT. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the London Spanish Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 10 April 2022 : London Games Festival

In-person and online festival to promote gaming and interactive entertainment, including a Trafalgar Square exhibition, LGF World Stage, Games Finance Market, the Now Play This exhibition, BAFTA Games Awards, industry talks, and more. For more information, visit the Games London website. 🐻

  • 1 – 18 April 2022 : Dino Kingdom

Enjoy an immersive pre-historic adventure with life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs, augmented reality, 3D mapping technology exhibits, excavation site, fun fair, food and drink and more. Open daily 10am-4pm (timed entry). Tickets: Adults £14/£17, Children 3-15 yrs £12/£15, infants free. Dino Kingdom London, Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, W3 8LQ. Nearest stations: GunnersburySouth Ealing or Acton Town. For more information, visit the Dino Kingdom website. 🐻

  • 1 April – 4 September 2022 : 150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework

Retrospective exhibition of one of the country’s oldest arts organisations. Open 11am-6pm. Tickets: £12.65. Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the museum website.

  • Now until 2 April 2022 : Wandsworth Common Spring Beer Festival

The 12th annual beer festival returns to SW18, featuring 100 beers and 25 ciders to sample. Also featuring live entertainment. Open Wed 6pm-11pm, Thu 1pm-11pm, Fri 12.30pm-11pm, Sat 1pm-11pm. Tickets: £10-£40. Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, John Archer Way, Wandsworth, SW18 3SX. Nearest station: Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Town or Wandsworth Common. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • 2 – 19 April 2022 : Power UP

Interactive gaming events explores five decades of video games and consoles. For ages 5 and over. Tickets from £8. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets and more information, visit the Science Museum website. 🐻

  • 3 April 2022 : Oxbridge Boat Race

Watch the historic annual boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford University crews. Thousands will line the banks between Putney Bridge and Mortlake to watch the action. Women’s boat race @ 2.23pm and Men’s boat race @ 3.23pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Chiswick or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the Boat Race website. 🐻

  • 5 – 26 April 2022 : The Arks of Gimokudan

Filipino artist-designer Leeroy New presents his first UK large-scale installation to mark Earth Day 2022. The installation will feature three ships made of recycled and reused materials and waste. Free. Somerset House courtyard, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 7 April 2022 : SicilyFEST London 2022

A celebration of Sicily and its food, wine, produce and culture. Also featuring a kids’ area and DJs. Open Thur 5.30pm-10pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: £2.50 (advance), £3 (on the door). Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the FeverUp website. 🐻

  • 7 – 10 April 2022 : Roy’s Art Fair

Roy’s Art Fair returns, aiming to make art more affordable and accessible. Meet and buy direct from the artists, take part in workshops and check out installations. Open Thur 5pm–8.30pm, Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat 12pm–6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Free. At Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Blackfriars or Southwark. For more information, visit the Roy’s People Art Fair website.

  • 7 – 12 April 2022 : F R A G M E N T S Festival

An experiential festival featuring short events dotted across the City celebrating the 100th anniversary of T S Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. Tickets: £20 (all-access). Events take place at 22 City of London churches. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

  • 8 – 10 April 2022 : Now Play This 2022

Festival of experimental games returns to the capital. Open Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £9/£6.50 conc. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 8 – 10 April 2022 : Ceramic Art London

Contemporary arts event, featuring exhibitions, talks, and opportunities the buy. Open Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £16, Children free. Central St Martins, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Ceramic Art London website.

  • 8 April – 29 August 2022 : Football – Designing the Beautiful Game

Explore the stories of design from the world of football. Open Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm. Tickets: Adults from £16.80. Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, W8 6AG. Nearest stations: Earls Court, High Street Kensington or Holland Park. For booking, visit the Design Museum website.

  • 8 April – 11 September 2022 : Inspired!

Exhibition explores how visual artists have taken inspiration from the literary arts. Opening hours TBC. Tickets: £8. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.

  • Now until 10 April 2022 : Telegraph Hill Festival

Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including music, open studios, art shows, interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, talks, literary events, plays, performance art and music events. Lots of events are free, but some will cost. At various venues across New Cross, Nunhead, Hatcham, Brockley and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Telegraph Hill festival website. 🐻

  • 11 April – 26 October 2022 : Magnificent Maps of London

London Metropolitan Archives show off their historical map collection in a new exhibition. Featuring maps from the 16th century to present day. Open Mon-Thu 10am-4pm. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the City of London.gov.uk website.

  • 12 April – 31 May 2022 : Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY)

Check out 138 photographs of landscapes and people from around the world in an outdoor exhibition. Open 24/7. Free. Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the TPOTY website. 🐻

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Exploring the stories behind the art | Inspired! exhibition launches at Guildhall Art Gallery

Exhibition explores the theatre, literature and music which has inspired the visual arts.

The ‘Old Drury Lane Theatre on Fire’ by Abraham Pether (1809) is one of the artworks in the Inspired! exhibition

Artists find inspiration in many places, often in real-life subjects, such as people or landscapes. However, there’s a wealth of artworks which have grown from the fictional – be it theatre, literature and music. Launching this spring at the Guildhall Art Gallery is a new exhibition which explores the way artists have turned to poetry, plays, novels and music to inspire their work.

A large section of Inspired! will focus on Victorian story-telling. Much of the period’s artwork was nostalgic in reaction to the Industrial Revolution with artists looking back to simpler times, thanks to William Shakespeare‘s works, Medieval folktales and Greek myths. For example, Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of actor John Philip Kemble (1757-1823) as Coriolanus in the Bard’s tragedy. Meanwhile, the burning of Drury Lane Theatre in 1808 was depicted by Abraham Pether’s painting the following year.

For those who enjoy Pre-Raphaelite art, pieces by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) found inspiration in the Romantic poets and the work of John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle. Also at the exhibition include works inspired by the likes of Sir Walter Scott, Chopin, Joseph Addison, among many others.

  • Inspired! Art inspired by theatre, literature and music runs from 8 April – 11 September 2022. Opening times TBC. Tickets: £8. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website.

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