Guide to what’s on in London in July 2013
Summer is well and truly here! While July this year isn’t quite so exciting as last year with the opening of the London Olympics, there is still tons of activities to keep you occupied. Of course, there are many events celebrating the anniversary of the games and it’s also the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
- 30 June – 6 July : Hampstead Summer Festival
Week long festival in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair (30 June), Garden Party (6 July), piano recitals, yoga, pub quizzes and art exhibitions. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.
1 July : Canada Day
Celebrate Canada’s birthday in Trafalgar Square with a free festival. Includes Taste of Canada food experiences, street hockey tournament and performances from Canadian acts including The Tragically Hip, Jann Arden, Arkells and The Sheepdogs. 10:30am to 22:30pm. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, check out the Canada Day website. To read Metro Girl’s blog on this year’s event, click here.
- 3 – 31 July : House of Peroni
A month long celebration of contemporary Italian culture at 41 Portland Place in Fitzrovia. Features exhibitions of art, design and photography, workshops, debates and masterclasses, cuisine from the Michelin-starred Costardi brothers and drinks from mixologist Gerry Calabrese. Free entry (Over 18s only), but some events cost. 41 Portland Place, W1B 1QH. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus, Regent Street or Great Portland Street. For more information, visit the House of Peroni website.
- 5 – 14 July : British Summer Time Festival
Concerts, comedy, food, film and theatre comes to Hyde Park. Includes concerts (£35-95) from Bon Jovi, Sir Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, JLS, Kaiser Chiefs, Lionel Richie, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Saturdays, among others. The festival will also have themed areas, including the Piazza with a range of culinary delights, children’s theatre and comedy club. The Village Green includes real ale and string quartets, jazz bands, community choirs performing on the bandstand, and living cooking demonstrations. There will also be an open air cinema. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information and tickets, visit the British Summer Time website.
- Now until 6 July : Shubbak Festival
A celebration of contemporary culture from the Arab world, featuring exhibitions, concerts, films, plays, family events and talks at venues across London, including the Tate Modern, Lyric Hammersmith and the British Museum. For more information and tickets, visit the Shubbak Festival website.
- 6 July – 31 August : The Press Photographer’s Year
Exhibition of thought-provoking images from 2011 and 2012 on display in the Lyttelton Exhibition Square. Free. National Theatre, Upper Ground Southbank, London SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the National Theatre website.
- 9 – 14 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, featuring three zones Inspire, Grow and Escape. Celebrity guests include Linda Barker, Bill Oddie and Kate Humble. Advance tickets range from £15 to 29.50 depending on full/half-day and membership of the RHS. More on the door. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.
- Now until 10 July : East End Film Festival
Diverse film festival including premieres, industry masterclasses, free pop-up screenings and immersive live events at venues across the East End. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.
- 11 – 14 July : Coronation Festival 2013
Four day event at Buckingham Palace to mark 60 years since the Queen’s Coronation. Over 200 companies who hold the Royal Warrant will be showcasing their products in the gardens. Over three evening concerts, there will be performances from Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Katie Melua, Laura Wright, The Feeling, National Youth Orchestra, English National Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Strictly advance tickets only. Buckingham Palace, Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA. Nearest tube: Victoria. For more information, visit the Coronation Festival website.
- 11 – 14 July : MexFest
A four-day celebration of Mexican culture in London. Includes cinema, architecture, exhibitions, music and gastronomy from the Latin American nation. Takes place at various locations across the capital. For more information, visit the MexFest website. For MetroGirl’s blog post on the best Mexican restaurants in London, read Por fin! Mexican food is finally making waves in London.
- 11 and 18 July : BP Big Screens
Performances of Puccini’s La Rodine (11 July) and Tosca (18 July) will be beamed live from the Royal Opera House to big screens around the UK, including Trafalgar Square, Victoria Park, Walthamstow Town Square and General Gordon Square in Woolwich. Free. All performances start at 7.30pm. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 13 July : Get Reading
Reading festival in Trafalgar Square, which sees thousands of children invited. Featuring famous authors and celebrities reading stories to children and families. Free. 11am-5pm. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Greater London Authority website.
- 13 – 14 July : Dance Al Fresco
Dance event in Regents Park, with ballroom on Saturday 13th and Argentine tango on Sunday 14th. Demonstrations and the chance to dance. Tickets: £10 for class and dancing, free for spectators. The Broadwalk, Avenue Gardens, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1. Nearest tube: Regent’s Park or Great Portland Street. For more information, visit the Dance Alfresco website.
- 13 – 28 July : Festival Of Archaeology
Nationwide event with events taking place at the Museum Of London, British Museum, London Canal Museum and Thames archaeology. Many events are free. For listings, visit the Archaeology Festival website.
- 14 July : Red Bull Soapbox Race
International race which sees amateur drivers race homemade soapbox vehicles. Tickets: £5. Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY. Nearest train station: Alexandra Palace or tube station: Wood Green. For more information, visit the Red Bull Soapbox Race website.
- Now until 14 July : Udderbelly Festival
Udderbelly returns to the Southbank for a fifth year, featuring three months of comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in an inflatable upside down cow venue. Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.
- 18 – 25 July : London Indian Film Festival
Celebration of the hottest new Indian independent cinema, featuring screenings, premieres and masterclasses. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XT. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the festival website.
- 20 – 21 July : Lambeth Country Show
Over 100,000 people are expected at this annual extravaganza of entertainment, food, drink, farm life and general revelry in Brockwell Park in Herne Hill. Includes stages with live music, as well as a funfair. Free. Brockwell Park (can be accessed from Norwood Road, Dulwich Road or Tulse Hill). Nearest train station: Herne Hill (9 minutes from Victoria) or a 15 minute walk from Brixton tube. For more information, visit the Lambeth Country Show website. To read Metro Girl’s post on last year’s festival, click here
- 21 July : Sunday Best Scooter Fest
Festival for enthusiasts of classic and modern scooters. Includes live music from ska bands and DJs spinning R ‘n’ B, Soul and ’60s. Stalls selling vintage clothes, Mod memorabilia and scooter parts. Tickets £5-£5.50. Capel Manor Gardens, Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 4RQ. Nearest train station: Turkey Street (30 minutes from Liverpool Street). For more information, visit the Sunday Best website.
- Now until 26 Jul (Fridays only) : London Zoo Lates
Visit London’s iconic zoo after-hours on Fridays in June and July. All the usual fun… except with alcohol and no screaming children! Includes pop-up bars, live music, food market and other entertainment. Embrace your inner child and rent a costume or buy an animal mask. Metro Girl went last year and a had a great time. Tickets are £25 and must be booked in advance, but sometimes early booking discounts are available. Located on Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), NW1 4RY. Nearest tube: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information, visit the London Zoo website.
- Now until 26 July : City Of London Festival
One month long festival across the City to entertain residents, workers and visitors. Features music, visual arts, dance, cabaret, film, walks and talks. Includes concerts in St Paul’s Cathedral and circus performances in St Bartholomew-The-Great church and The Gherkin. A majority activities are free, but some performances cost up to £20. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- 27 – 28 July : Open East Festival
Festival in the Olympic Park to mark the 1st anniversary of the opening of the London Olympics. Features Real Food Festival, performances from The Waterboys, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Amadou and Mariam, storytelling and puppets for children, Art Car Boot Fair and watch the Anniversary Games athletics from the stadium (tickets inside sold out) on the big screen. Tickets: £9.50 adults, £6 5-16 years, under 5s free. 1.30-10pm. Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, E20 2ST. Nearest tube: Stratford. For more information, visit the No Ordinary Park website.
- 26 – 28 July : Hyper Japan
A celebration of Japanese culture and products in Earls Court. Includes cuisine, shopping, mix of pop and traditional culture. Tickets: £8-£15. Children under 10 are free. Earls Court Two, Lillie Road, SW5 9TA. Nearest tube: Earls Court or West Brompton. For more information and advance tickets, visit the Hyper Japan website.
- Now until 29 September : London Wonderground
The London Wonderground Festival returns to the Southbank for a second year – an entertainment and cabaret extravaganza in Jubilee Gardens, near the foot of the London Eye and by the Southbank Centre. It includes cabaret, children’s show, comedy, burlesque and alfresco drinking. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on a recent visit. Open all day untill 11pm every night. Free to get in, but entry fee for shows. Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube or train: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.
- Now until late September : Gorilla Circus – Flying Trapeze School
Gorilla Circus returns to Regent’s Park for its summer season. Metro Girl went last year and had a really good time – read what happened here. Beginners classes start from £26 for two hours. Booking must be done in advance, which is available on the Gorilla Circus website.
For a list of open air and pop-up cinemas in London this summer, click here.