Guide to what’s on in London in September 2013
Is it really September already? Well anyone who has lived in London the past few years will know the ninth month is generally still pretty summery. A lot of the tourists clear out in late August, so the crowds are more manageable for those who want to come out to play. Here’s my latest guide to what’s going on in September. As usual, please check back as I will add more events as time goes on.
For a guide to open-air cinemas in London, read Cinema under the stars: Guide to open air cinemas in London.
- 1 September : Mela
Free festival celebrating South Asian culture. Featuring nine zones, five stages, outdoor arts, DJs, world food market and more. 1-9pm. Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, W3 8LQ. Nearest tubes: Gunnersbury, South Ealing or Acton Town. For more information, visit the Mela website.
- 1 September : Angel Canal Festival
One day festival in the City Road Lock, Basin and Regents Canal towpath. Featuring a children’s fun fair, Punch & Judy, story-teller, boat trips, art projects and galleries, live music and street theatre. Free admission. 11am-5pm. For more information, visit the Angel Canal Festival website.
- 6 – 15 September : Thames Festival
Free 10 day festival. Celebrating both London and the multi-cultural melting pot that makes our city so unique. Featuring fairs, cruises, entertainment, river walks and talks, a barge-driving race (15 September), and much more. For more information, visit the Thames Festival website. To read about Metro Girl’s visit to last year’s festival, click here.
- 7 September : Great River Race
Annual boat marathon along the River Thames, starting at Millwall Riverside at 12.10pm, rushing through central London and finishing at Ham House, Richmond around 15.10. Anything goes with the type of boats, including Hawaiian war canoes, Chinese dragon boats, whalers and Irish curraghs. For more information, visit the Great River Race website.
- 7 September : National Paralympic Day featuring Liberty Festival
Event celebrating disability sport and art one year after the London Paralympic games in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Includes street theatre, dance, live music, film, children’s activities and stalls. Free. 12-8pm. Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, E20 2ST. Nearest tube: Stratford. For more information, visit the London.gov website.
- 7 – 8 September : Stratford Rising Festival
Theatre Square in Stratford is transformed into a giant pop-up playground for young and old, featuring free screenings, shows, adventures, games and activities. Free. 12-7pm. Theatre Square, Stratford, E15 1BX. Nearest tube: Stratford. For more information, visit the Stratford Rising website.
- 8 September : Super Family Sunday at British Library
As part of the End of Propaganda exhibition, a free event giving families the chance to get their own propaganda image. 11am – 4pm. British Library, 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB. Nearest tube: Euston, or King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the British Library website.
- 9 September – 10 November : Chris Arthur: Scenes from National life exhibition
Photography exhibition of working life at the National Theatre, including unseen portraits of Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Smith and Laurence Olivier on display in the Lyttelton Exhibition Space. Free. National Theatre, Upper Ground Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the National Theatre website.
- Now until 15 September : Portobello Film Festival
Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the Louise T Blouin Institute, Portobello Pop Up Cinema, Westbourne Studios, The Tabernacle and The Muse. Free. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.
11 – 27 September : More London Free Festival
Free screenings of films in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park by Tower Bridge. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the More London website.
- 11 – 15 September : PruHealth World Triathlon
The World Triathlon comes to London for five days of competition in Hyde Park. Although there are paid seats in the grandstand, spectators can line the route for free. Follows the same route as the London 2012 Olympics, taking in cycling, running and swimming in the Serpentine and down to Buckingham Palace and back. For more information and spectator maps, visit the PruHealth World Triathlon website.
11 – 16 September : Bar Chocolat pop-up in Covent Garden
Baileys is opening a pop-up bar, featuring a multi-sensory experience at Mercer Studios in Covent Garden. Artisan chocolatier Amelia Rope, stylist Petra Storrs and Bompas & Parr are behind the experience, featuring cocktails, theatre, food and more. Mercer Studios, Mercer Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9QE. Nearest tube: Covent Garden. For more information, visit the Bar Chocolat website.
- 13 – 15 September : Kings Place Festival
Music and arts festival in Kings Cross, including classical, contemporary, comedy, folk, spoken word, jazz and family. All tickets £4.50. Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG. Nearest tube: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Place website.
- 13 September – 10 October : Endless Stair
As part of the London Design Festival (below), architectural firm dRMM will erect a temporary staircase structure outside the Tate Modern. The 436 metre structure is the same height as three storey building and will be an interactive experience with visitors allowed to climb it. Open during daylight hours. Can accommodate 93 people at a time. Nearest tube/train: Blackfriars. For more information, visit the DRMM website. For Metro Girl’s blog on a visit to the Endless Stair, click here.
- 14 – 22 September : London Design Festival
Festival celebrating innovation and creativity at various events in the capital, including exhibitions, talks and the chance to buy. To find out more, visit the Design Festival website. To read Metro Girl’s blog on the pop-up TFL ’50s canteen at last year’s Design Festival, click here.
- 14 – 22 September : Colourscape Music Festival on Clapham Common
The travelling festival combining contemporary music and art pitches up at Clapham Common for a week. Featuring colour and music workshops and weekend concerts. Clapham Common, SW4. Nearest tube: Clapham Common or Clapham South. For more information, visit the Colourscape Music Festival’s Facebook page.
- 15 – 17 September : Fashion Film Festival @ St Martin’s Courtyard
To celebrate London Fashion Week, Silent Cinema will screen fashion-themed movies in St Martin’s Courtyard, including Zoolander, Grey Gardens and The September Issue, which can be heard through wireless headphones. Although free, there will only be a limited amount of tickets on the night. St Martin’s Courtyard, Slingsby Place (off Long Acre), WC2. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Silent Cinema website.
- 19 – 22 September : Vodafone London Fashion Weekend
London Fashion Weekend follows London Fashion Week, giving access to everyone who loves fashion (who has tickets!). Strongly recommended to buy tickets in advance, which are available for different prices and packages. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple or Holborn. For more information, visit the London Fashion Weekend website.
- 21 – 22 September : Open House London
This annual event is hugely popular and sees buildings that are not normally open to the public, throw open their doors for just two days. Many buildings are strictly ticket only and you need to apply for a ballot to gain entry. Be prepared to queue. Free. Check out the Open House London website for more information. To read about Metro Girl’s day visit to Lloyd’s of London at Open House last year, click here or to find out about a Roman bath house that’s open this year, click here.
- 21 September : Great Gorilla Run
Runners dress up as gorillas for this 7km run, which raises awareness of the dwindling population of these amazing creatures. If you want to take part, you must register (£80, but includes your own gorilla costume to keep!) and raise a minimum of £400. However, those who want to watch, can see the action along the Southbank and across Tower Bridge. For more information, visit the Great Gorilla Run website.
- 21 September : Bermondsey Street Festival
Celebration of music, dance, arts, cuisine and creativity from the local area. Featuring fashion shows, dog shows, live music, stalls, food and a fete. Free. 11am-7pm. Bermondsey Square, 2 Bermondsey Square, Southwark, SE1 3UN. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Bermondsey Street Festival website.
- 25 September – 6 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 films and 150 short films screened in the Piccadilly Circus area. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 27 September : Night Contact London
Late night photography and multimedia festival in Dalston, East London. Featuring photographic works which ‘provoke or engage in conversations with other media, such as film, music and literature’. 6-11.30pm, and after-party until 2am. Will take place around the Gillett Street area, just off Kingsland High Street. Nearest station: Dalston Kingsland. For more information, visit the Night Contact London website.
- 27 – 29 September : Real Street Food Festival
Food festival returns to the Southbank, outside the Royal Festival Hall. Featuring street food from around the world. Free. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Real Street Food Festival website.
- 29 September : Pearly Kings & Queens’ Harvest Festival
Pearly Kings and Queens are an iconic part of London culture, who aren’t seen around the capital as much as they used to. Unsurprisingly, they are likely to be the main attraction at the festival at Guildhall, which also includes traditional entertainment, a parade and a Harvest Festival service. Starts at Guildhall Yard at 1pm, before the service at St-Mary-Le-Bow Church at 3pm. Nearest tube (to Guildhall): St Paul’s or Bank. Find out more information on the Pearly Society 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 shows, comedy, burlesque, fun fair rides and alfresco drinking. 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. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on a recent visit.
- Now until late September : Gorilla Circus – Flying Trapeze School
Gorilla Circus returns to Regent’s Park and Battersea 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.