Guide to what’s on in London in March 2016
Spring is here… apparently! With the winter weather hopefully approaching an end, the festival season is finally starting to kick off. Towards the end of the month is Easter and school holidays, so London will really start to wake up after the winter lull. Don’t forget its Mother’s Day on 6 March so there’s some fun festivals taking place over the weekend to enjoy with your family.
For a special Easter guide to what’s on in London for both families and adults-only, click here.
- Now until 1 March : View Festival
Three day festival of art history, featuring debates, talks, film screenings, student presentations, exclusive museum tours and an art book fair. Some events are free, while others cost up to £10. Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 2DT. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information, visit the View Festival website.
- 2 – 4 March : London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival
CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) North London host a beer and cider festival. As well as over 150 beers, ciders and perries to choose from, there is also food and stalls selling merchandise. Open Wed-Thur 12-3pm & 5-10.30pm, Fri 12-10.30pm. Tickets: Free on Wed and Thurs lunchtimes, £4 (£3 for CAMRA members) all other times. Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, WC1H 9AU. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information visit the CAMRA North London website.
- 3 – 6 March : Asia House Fair
The Asia House Fair is returning for the eighth year, with stallholders selling unique handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, homeware, clothes, accessories, gifts, art and food. There will also be an exhibition of Asian art and embroidery exhibition in the Asia House Gallery. Opening hours: Thu 3 – 5-8.30pm, Fri 4 – 11am-7pm, Sat 5 – 11am-6pm, Sun 6 – 11am-5pm. Free entry. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone, W1G 7LP. Nearest station: Regents’ Park, Oxford Circus or Great Portland Street. For more information, visit the Asia House website.
- 4 – 5 March : Shakespeare Son et Lumière
A light and sound show projected on the façade of Guildhall to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. While you watch 3D projection mapping technology, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama will perform a special music composition. There will also be Shakespeare-themed cocktails and the rare chance to view Shakespeare’s signature on his mortgage deed and the Guildhall Library’s copy of the First Folio. 6.45pm – 8.45pm (20-minute loop) last show commencing 8.15pm approx. Free entry. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V. Nearest station: St Paul’s. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- Now until 5 March : Asia House Film Festival
A diverse programme of 19 films that includes several European premieres and UK premieres. 11 feature films, three documentaries and five short films coming out of countries including Japan, China, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and Afghanistan. Venues include Ham Yard Hotel, Regent Street Cinema, The Cinema Museum and Asia House. For more information, visit Asia House website.
- 5 – 20 March : Telegraph Hill Festival
Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including a production of Guys & Dolls, classical concert, 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.
- 5 March – 2 April : Hung Up, Ripped Off @ Atom Gallery
An exhibition of artist David Shand’s screenprints of collages from photographs of decayed photos and adverts. Open 11am-6pm. Atom Gallery, 77 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3EG. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Atom Gallery website.
- Now until 6 March : Magical Lantern Festival
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with an immersive journey through a sea of lights. Over 50 life-sized sculpted lanterns will be dotted through the gardens with light depictions of animals and nature. Open Tuesday-Sunday 5-10.30pm. Tickets: Adults £16 (online), £18 (on the door). Child £10 (advance), £12 (on the door). Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For booking and more information, visit the Magical Lantern UK website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival, click here.
- Now until 6 March : Vault Festival
Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo across eight venues, three bars and a restaurant. Ticket prices vary. Entertainment includes live music, dance, drama, comedy and late-night parties. Open Wed-Sun. Ticket prices vary, although venue entry is free. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest stations: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Vault Festival website.
- Now until 6 March : Orchid Festival
An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks. The sea of colour from one of the world’s most stunning flowers will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: £14 adults or £2.50 children. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 7 – 12 March : Maslenitsa Festival
Russian folk festival to celebrate the end of winter and coming of Spring, featuring lecture, exhibitions, fashion showcase, concerts and screenings. At various locations in London including the Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo, Natalia Kaut Studio, The Tabernacle and the Royal Geographical Society. For more information, visit the Maslenitsa website.
- 8 – 13 March : Women Of The World Festival
A festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women. Caitlin Moran, Annie Lenno, Racheal Ofori, Gemma Cairney, Bridget Christie, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Yasmin Kadi, among the featured names. Events range from free to £40. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 8 March – 11 April : London Handel Festival
Six weeks of concerts, talks and walks in venues, including Frederick Handel’s own parish church St Georges in Mayfair, as well as the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music, St George’s Hanover Square, the Foundling Museum, Grosvenor Chapel, Handel House and Wigmore Hall. For more information, visit the London Handel Festival website.
- 9 – 13 March : London Ear Festival
An international, contemporary music festival, celebrating music from Britain, Austrian, Germany, Italy, Austria and Norway. Tickets prices vary. Events take place at The Warehouse (13 Theed Street, SE1 8ST) and Cello Factory (33-34 Cornwall Road, SE1 8TJ). Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the London Ear Festival website.
- 10 – 12 March : Cocktails In The City
A three-day extravaganza will see some of London’s and Europe’s best cocktails bars coming together under one roof. A host of pop-up bars and food venues will be spread across four levels. 6-11pm. Ticket: £15 includes 1 cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet. One Mayfair, 13A North Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 6ZA. Nearest station: Bond Street or Marble Arch. For more information and booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on Cocktails In The City, click here.
- 10 – 13 March : Affordable Art Fair @ Battersea Park
For those among us who aren’t loaded, this event is a chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There is over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging for £40 to £4,000. Admission costs £10.80-£21.60 in advance depending on entry time. Nearest station: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.
- 10 – 14 March : Cinema Made In Italy
Film festival of the newest features from Italy at the Ciné Lumière, featuring screenings and Q&As including Wondrous Boccaccio, The First Light, The Beginners and Don’t Be Bad. Tickets: £10-£12 plus booking fee. Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensbury Place, SW7 2DT. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Ciné Lumière website.
- 12 March : International Women’s Day @ Inner Space
A host of short talks, reflective exercises, conversations and meditations for women by women to mark International Women’s Day. 11am-1pm. Free entry. Westminster City Hall (17th Floor), 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP. Nearest station: St James’s Park or Victoria. For more information, visit the Inner Space website.
- 12 – 13 March : Spokeswomen Women’s History Cycle Tours
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Spokeswomen are hosting two cycle tours marking historic London women. ‘Pioneering women of the 19th and 20th Century’ (Sat 12, 10am) will be a leisurely ride around Westminster on women who rewrote the history books. ‘Heroines of literature’ (Sun 13, 10am) will meet famous women of literature. Free, but reserve your place through the website. For more information, visit the Spokeswomen Tour website.
- 13 March : St Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
If you’re actually Irish or not, all are welcome to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The parade starts at 12 noon in Piccadilly, before proceeding to Trafalgar Square for the festival. The Square will play host to the free St Patrick’s Day Festival from 12-6pm, which includes dance, music, comedy, films, and a farmers’ market. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the Greater London Authority website.
- 15 March – 7 May : Charlotte Brontë at the Soane
A new exhibition to celebrate the 200th birthday of novelist Charlotte Bronte. Although she lived mostly in Yorkshire, she made several trips to London to visit her publisher. Some of her possessions from her visit and her life in Yorkshire are on show. Free entry. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane Museum website.
- 16 – 27 March : BFI Flare – London LGBT Film Festival
The British Film Institute hosts the 11 day festival of lesbian and gay film featuring screenings of The Pass, Summertime, Holding The Man, Mapplethorpe, Theo & Hugo and more. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the BFI website.
- 17 – 20 March : Number 90’s 2nd Birthday
Celebrate the canalside bar and restaurant’s 2nd birthday, featuring DJs, bands, performers, live art installations, food stalls and innovative cocktails. Thurs 12-11.45pm, Fri and Sat 12pm‐4am, Sun 12‐11pm. Free entry. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Number 90 website.
- 18 – 20 March : Move It Festival
Dance festival featuring performances, classes, retail, and talks by experts, including Karen and Kevin Clifton, Darcey Bussell, Jason Samuels Smith, Elena Glurjidze, Cartel, Marawa’s Majorettes and Twist & Pulse. Tickets: 1 day adult pass £15/£18, 1 day child pass £11/£13.50. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Move It website
- 18 – 20 March : Chorus Festival
Festival celebrating singing as a group, featuring concerts, warm-ups and workshops. Tickets range from free to £55. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 18 – 28 March : Find Your London Festival
An 11 day festival celebrating the capital’s outdoor spaces, from gardens to parks, high streets to marketplaces. Featuring over 100 events, including yoga in the park, cycle trails, treasure hunts, beekeeping and an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party. For more information, visit London.gov website.
- 18 March – 3 April : Ideal Home Show
A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Tickets: Adults £12 (weekday) or £14 (weekend). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 19 March : Head Of The River Race
Four hundred crews from around the world take their boats to race 4.25 miles from Mortlake to Putney. The race starts at 2.15pm so grab a spot along the Thames to catch the action. Free. Nearest stations to spectator points: Mortlake, Barnes Bridge, Hammersmith or Putney Bridge. For more information, visit the Head Of The River Race website.
- 19 March – 9 October : Clangers, Bagpuss & Co Exhibition
Exhibition of vintage children’s TV characters including Bagpuss, The Clangers, Pogles Wood, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. See the original puppets, sets and filming equipment. Free admission. Open 10am-5.45pm daily. Museum Of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the Victoria & Albert museum website.
- 22 March : Hairspray @ Hard Rock Café
The Hard Rock Café are screening Hairspray as part of their monthly film night. The Rock Room will be turned into the Corny Collins Show for the evening, with stylists on hand to create beehive hairstyles and vendors selling popcorn and ice cream. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets from £10. Hard Rock Cafe London, 148 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QY. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For tickets, visit Design My Night.
- 24 – 27 March : Le Beat Bespoke Festival
Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, record fair, market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets: Individual gig tickets vary, or 3 day pass £38, 4 day pass £48. 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.
- 24 – 27 March : London International Ska Festival
Four day festival of ska music at venues across the capital, including the Jazz Café and the Forum. Wristbands for the whole festival £130, individual gigs range in price. For more information and tickets, visit the London International Ska Festival website.
- 24 – 28 March : Craft100 Beer Festival
Head to Clapham for a celebration of craft beer, featuring over 100 different beers, no annoying tokens and free entry. Open 12-11pm (midnight on Fri & Sat). 128 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham, SW4 6ED. Nearest station: Clapham Common and Clapham North. For more information, visit the Craft100 website.
- 27 March : 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. Starts at 5.55pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Boat Race website.
- 27 March : Goat Race
For an alternative to the Boat Race, check out one goat named Cambridge racing against another called Oxford. Proceeds from ticket sales go to charity. Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, E1 5AR. Nearest station: Whitechapel or Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the Goat Race website.
- 29 March – July : Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet With A Live Choir
Backyard Cinema are marking the 20th anniversary of Baz Luhrmann’s cult classic Romeo + Juliet with a screening accompanied by a live choir. Ice cream, bubbly and popcorn will be on sale. Tickets start from £20. St Mary’s Church, Wyndham Place, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ. Nearest station: Baker Street and Edgware Road. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website.
- 30 March : London in 2050 – Lates @ Science Museum
The theme of this month’s Wednesday Lates opening for adults is London in 2050. As well as talks and activities, there will also be live music, the Science Museum comedy show, flight simulators and a silent disco. 6.45-10pm. Free entry. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Science Museum website.
- 31 March : Eaton Square Concert – Gemma Rosefield
Cellist Gemma Rosefield will be performing as part of the Eaton Square Concerts this spring, an annual event which brings world class chamber music to St Peter’s Church in Belgravia. 7.30pm. Tickets: £18 (£12 concession). St Peter’s Church, 119 Eaton Square, Belgravia, SW1W 9AL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For booking, visit the Eaton Square Concerts website.
- 31 March – 10 April : Camberwell Free Film Festival
Ten day free film festival comes to SE5 featuring screenings, talks, and Q&As. Film screenings include Good Vibrations, Rocks In My Pocket, The Falling, 45 Years, Paddington, Bugsy Malone, Suffragette and more. At various venues including Longfield Hall, William Booth College, the Camberwell Arms, Camberwell Library. For more information, visit the Camberwell Free Film Festival website.
- Now until 3 April : Easter Rising 1916 Sean Sexton Collection
Exhibition of the role of photography of keys events in the battle for Irish independence between 1840 to 1930s, including the Easter Rising in 1916. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £3/£2.50. The Photographers Gallery, 16–18 Ramillies Street, Soho, W1F 7LW. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit The Photographers Gallery website.
- Now until 10 April : Hard Rock Couture @ Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
To celebrate the original Hard Rock Café in London’s 45th birthday, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not will be hosting a collection of Hard Rock’s pop and rock fashion memorabilia. Free entry to exhibition with all Ripley’s tickets. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, 1 Piccadilly Circus, Soho, W1J 0DA. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. To book tickets in advance and save up to 25%, visit Ripleys London website. For more information on the exhibition, read Metro Girl’s blog piece.
- Now until 17 April : Alice In Wonderland exhibition @ British Library
Exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice In Wonderland, including his original manuscript, hand-drawn illustrations, and an Alice In Wonderland pop-up shop. Opening hours vary. Free entry. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, King’s Cross or St Pancras. To find out more, visit the British Library website. For Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition, click here.
- Now until 20 April : Painting The Modern Garden
Exhibition of gardens portrayed in art from the 1860s to the 1920s, featuring works by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Manet, Sargent, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt and Klee. Tickets: £17.60, Under 16s with fee-paying adult go free. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park. For booking, visit the Royal Academy’s website.
- Now until 22 May : Vogue 100 – A Century Of Style
An exhibition of the stunning photography commissioned by British Vogue since it was founded in 1916. Open 10am-6pm. Open late on Thursday and Friday until 9pm. Tickets: £17/£19, Concessions £15/50/£17.50. 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.