Guide to what’s on in London in July 2015
The summer is in full swing and with the school holidays kicking off at the end of the month, it means there’s plenty of free events on around town. Of course Wimbledon is easing us into the month with plenty of free screenings on around town if you haven’t been lucky enough to get a ticket. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in London this month.
For ideas on how to entertain families over the summer holidays, click here.
For a guide to London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 30 June – 5 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, featuring three zones Inspire, Grow and Escape. Celebrity and expert speakers include David Domoney, Charlie Dimmock, Rachel Allen, James Wong, Jonathan Moseley and Mig Kimpton, among others. Advance tickets range from £19.50 to £35 depending on full/half-day and membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.
- 1 – 12 July : East End Film Festival
Diverse film festival including premieres, industry masterclasses, Q&As, screenings and immersive live events at venues across the East End. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.
- 2 July – 18 October : Audrey Hepburn – Portrait Of An Icon
Exhibition of photographs of the late, great Audrey Hepburn. Featuring images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, plus family snaps and behind-the-scenes. Tickets: £9-£10. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
- 3 July : Don Giovanni on the BP Big Screen
Performance will be beamed live from the Royal Opera House to big screens around the UK, including Trafalgar Square, Canada Square Park, Lyric Square Hammersmith and Walthamstow Town Square. Free. 7pm onwards. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 3 – 5 July : Foodies Festival @ Alexandra Palace
Enjoy fine food and drink, teach your kids to cook in the Children’s Cookery Theatre, listen to live music, tea dances, vintage kitchen market and watch chefs in action such as John Whaite, Adam Handling and Aldo Zilli. Tickets: £10-£15. Fri and Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 4 – 11 July : The Streatham Festival
Eight day festival in Streatham with this year’s theme of ‘coming of age’. Featuring dance, comedy, music, workshops, arts and crafts, writing, film and talks. At various venues across Streatham. For more information, visit the Streatham Festival website.
- Now until 5 July : Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
Nine day celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website.
- Now until 5 July : Hampstead Summer Festival
Now extended to two weeks long, the festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (5 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.
- 9 – 11 July : The Greatest Spectacle Of Lucha Libre
A celebration of Mexican wrestling, food and entertainment. Tickets: £20-£45 (discounts available for children). York Hall, Bethnal Green, E2 9PJ. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information or tickets, visit Lucha Libre World website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.
- 10 July : Camden Lock Live
One day, free urban boutique festival returns to Camden for a third year, featuring a range of entertainment. Live music from acts such as Stealing Sheep, The Cuban Brothers, Norman Jay MBE, Flyte and more. Festival also features street performers, dance workshops, cocktails, food, artisan shopping and more. 12-11pm. Camden Lock, 217 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AB. Nearest tube: Camden Town or Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Camden Lock website.
- Now until 10 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. Venues include Broadgate Circle, Devonshire Square, Sky Garden, The Gherkin and Southwark Cathedral. A majority activities are free, but some performances cost up to £23. For more information, visit the City Of London Festival website.
- 10 – 12 July : Hyper Japan
A celebration of Japanese culture and products at The O2. Includes cuisine, drinking, shopping, live music and a mix of pop and traditional culture. Tickets: £10-£16. The O2, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest tube: North Greenwich. For more information and advance tickets, visit the Hyper Japan website.
- 11 July : Chap Olympiad
A celebration of sporting ineptitude, featuring Umbrella Jousting, Bakewell Battles and Not Playing Tennis and plenty of gin and tonic. Eccentric dress encouraged. 12pm until dusk. Tickets: £25. Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, WC1. Nearest station: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Chap Olympiad website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on Chap Olympiad.
- 11 July : Carnaby Street Eat
One day international food festival in Carnaby Street, featuring 30 of the area’s restaurants, bars and cafes bringing their dishes outside. Also including a live demon kitchen, £5 taster dishes and live music and entertainment. Free entry. 12-7pm. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby website.
- 11 – 26 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.
- 12 July : Bastille Festival @ Borough Market
French festival for adults and children, featuring magicians, street performers, boules, food, drink and live music. Free. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, Borough, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Bastille Festival website.
- 13 – 26 July : Save The Arctic exhibition @ Waterloo station
Two week long exhibition of photographs of 60 celebrities wearing Vivienne Westwood’s Save The Arctic T-shirt. The images will be displayed in the advertising space leading up to Shell oil company’s London HQ, who are due to start drilling in the Arctic this month. Open during tube station hours. Waterloo Station (York Road exit), SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo (obviously!). For more information on the Greenpeace campaign, click here.
- 16 – 23 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.
- Now until 17 July : Sunset Safari
Late night opening at London Zoo is a bit different this year. Instead of previous years’ London Zoo Lates, this summer’s evening openings on Fridays are open to friends, couples and families. You can see the animals getting ready for bed on a self-guided Safari Trail. There will also be entertainment and a world food market. 6-10pm. Tickets start from £14.56/£20.80. London Zoo, Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), NW1 4RY. Nearest tube: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and booking, visit the Zoological Society London website.
- 17 July – 23 August : Camden Beach
The ‘beach’ returns to Camden again this year, with 150 tonnes of sand, deckchairs, ping pong, bars and restaurants. Located in the grounds of the Roundhouse. Open Mon & Tues 5-11pm, Wed-Sun 12-11pm. Free. Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8EH. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.
- 17 – 18 and 22 – 24 July : Ealing Comedy festival
Set over two consecutive weekends, comedy festival featuring Julian Clary, Russell Kane, Marcus Brigstocke and Robet Delaney. Tickets: £22. Walpole Park, Ealing. Nearest station: West Ealing or Ealing Broadway. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festivals website.
- 18 – 19 July : Lambeth Country Show
Over 100,000 people are expected at this annual extravaganza of entertainment, food, drink, farm life, funfair rides, general revelry and live music in Brockwell Park in Herne Hill. Free. 12-8pm. 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. For Metro Girl’s blog post on a previous year’s LCS, click here.
- 18 – 19 July : Walthamstow Garden Party
Music and theatre, arts and crafts, food and drink and plenty of family-friendly activity. Free. 12pm until late. Lloyd Park (behind William Morris Gallery), Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 5JW. Nearest station: Walthamstow Central. For more information, visit Waltham Forest’s website.
- Now until 19 July : Udderbelly Festival
Udderbelly returns to the Southbank for a seventh 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.
- 19 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. 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £3.50. 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.
- 19 July : Chinatown Family Day Festival
Entertainment for all the family across two stages in Chinatown, including fan dancing, magic shows, Chinese Elvis, Lion Dance, traditional Chinese stilt workers, pot jugglers, drummers, martial arts, Chinese circus, treasure hunt, face painting and calligraphy classes. Chinatown’s restaurants will also be offering special menus. 12-5pm. Free. Chinatown, W1. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Chinatown London website.
- 22 July – 9 August: Classic Films @ Canary Wharf
Watch digitally-restored classic films from the BFI National Archive on the big screen. Movies include Penny Points To Paradise, The Salvage Gang, Night Ferry, Godzilla, Let’s Go Crazy and others. Screenings at 6pm daily and 11am on Saturdays. Free. Canada Square Park, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 24 – 26 July : Foodies Festival @ Clapham Common
Enjoy fine food and drink, teach your kids to cook in the Children’s Cookery Theatre, listen to live music, tea dances, vintage kitchen market and watch chefs in action such as Ping Coombes, Anna Haugh, John Whaite, Adam Handling and Aldo Zilli. Tickets: £10-£15. 11am-8pm, 11am-7pm. Clapham Common, Clapham, SW4. Nearest station: Clapham Common, Clapham South or Clapham Junction. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 24 July – 1 August : Shuffle Festival
Film and arts festival in Mile End, featuring live music, food and drink and film screenings, including Q&As with director Danny Boyle. Ticket prices vary, but many events are free. Various venues around Mile End, E3. Nearest tube: Mile End. For more information and tickets, visit the Shuffle Festival website.
- 25 July : Eid Festival
Festival to celebrate Eid and mark the end of Ramadan. Including a food festival, live music, performances and children’s activities. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 25 July : Summer Festival @ Alexandra Palace
Festival at the historic Alexandra Palace, including silent disco, ice rink gala, Dirty Dancing screening, street food, Proms in the Palace, live music, pitch & putt, funfair, Segway, boat races and children’s activities. 11am-11pm. Free entry. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information, visit the Alexandra Palace Summer Festival website.
- 25 July : Camberwell Fair
One day festival in Camberwell, featuring live music, dance, market, games, dance workshops, food and drink and more. Free entry, but register for tickets in advance. 12-8pm. Camberwell Green, Camberwell, SE5. Nearest station: Denmark Hill. For more information and registration, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.
- 25 – 26 July : ArchiKids Festival
Festival of architecture for families, featuring tours, workshops, exploration trails, and competitions at spaces and places of architectural wonder in the hope of encouraging children’s interests in buildings. Aimed at 11-15 year olds. At various venues across London. For more information, visit the Open City website.
- 26 July : National Paralympic Day
Celebrate National Paralympic Day as part of the Liberty Festival, featuring live music and DJs, dance, aerial theatre, sound and visual art installations and promenade pieces. 11am-7pm. Free. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E15 2ER. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 26 July : More London Free Festival (Live Sport)
Watch your favourite sport on the big screen while sitting at The Scoop. Including Wimbledon, Ashes test matches, British Open Golf and Tour De France. Free. Times vary. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the More London website.
- 30 July : Comedy In The Courtyard
Free comedy show in Covent Garden, featuring Aisling Bea, Justin Moorhouse and Joel Dommett. 7.30pm. Free tickets, but pre-registration required. St Martin’s Courtyard, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. To register for your free ticket, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website. For more information, check out Metro Girl’s post on the evening here.
- 31 July – 21 August : Panarmonion Bar & Stage
A stage and bar will pop-up at Kings Cross for three weeks bringing free daily entertainment. The bar will serve cocktails, wine and beers, while a range of music and dance performances will grace the stage. Open Mon-Fri: 4-11pm, Sat: 12-11pm, Sun: 12-5pm. Free entry. Lewis Cubitt Square, Handyside Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4UZ. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Cross website.
- Now until 2 August : Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty
The first retrospective of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, from his MA graduate collection to his final, unfinished Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Tickets: £17.60 adults, £16.50 OAPs, £9 students. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For tickets and more information, visit the V&A website.
- Now until 2 August : Time Run
A new live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape the room’ games. For groups of three to five people, you will join Edwardian inventor Luna Fox on a journey through time. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB. Nearest station: London Fields. For booking, visit the Time Run website. Read Metro Girl’s post on Time Run for more information and to see the trailer.
- Now until 8 August : Summer Screens @ Canary Wharf
Grab a blanket or a picnic and watch some of the summer’s biggest sporting events on the big screen, including Wimbledon tennis, Grand Prix, British Golf Open and live opera from the Royal Opera House. Free. Times vary. Canada Square Park, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- Now until 30 August : Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition
An exhibition of the annual Wildlife Photographer Of The Year – the 50th year of the competition. Although entrance to the museum is free, this exhibition is ticketed. Adults: £12.60, Children & Concessions: £6.30. Open 10am-5.50pm daily. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM website.
- Now until 31 August : Festival Of Love
The Festival Of Love returns to the Southbank Centre for the second year in a row, featuring love-themed music, exhibitions, performances, activities and other events. Highlights include the Big Wedding Weekend and exhibtion of neon artist Chris Bracey’s work in ‘Love And Liquid’. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- Now until 31 August : The Secret Garden pop-up restaurant and bar
Pop-up supremo Jimmy Garcia returns to Clapham with his culinary creations and cocktails in a new venue. Using ingredients from the finest garden produce, the SG will offer tasting menus, Sunday roasts and table BBQs. 409 Clapham Road, Clapham North, SW9 9BT. Nearest station: Clapham North. For booking, visit Jimmy’s Pop Up website. Read Metro Girl’s post on The Secret Garden for the menu and more details.
- Now until 6 September : Carsten Höller: Decision
Belgium-born artist Carsten Höller’s exhibition explores perception and decision making, prompting an interactive experience for guests. You will then get the chance to exit the exhibition down a slide! Tickets: Adults £13.50-£15, Student £11. Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website. To read about Metro Girl’s visit to the exhibition, click here.
- Now until 27 September : London Wonderground
The London Wonderground Festival returns to the Southbank for a fourth year – an entertainment 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. Headlining this year’s Wonderground is cabaret-meets-circus show Scotch & Soda – read Metro Girl’s review here. Open daily until 11pm. Free to get in, but tickets required for shows. Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.
- Now until 8 October : Victorian London In Photographs
Exhibition of archive shots of Victorian London on show at the London Metropolitan Archives. Free entry. Opening times: Mon and Sat 9.30am-4.45pm, Tues-Thurs 9.30am-7.30pm, Closed Fridays and Sundays. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- Now until 18 October : Serpentine Pavilion
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Spanish architects Selgascano. Free to visit, but also contains a café inside. Kensington W2 3XA. Nearest tube: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s post on this year’s Pavilion, click here.