Guide to what’s on in London in July 2016
Summer is in full swing. Of course Wimbledon and UEFA Euro 2016 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. With the school holidays kicking off at the end of the month, you can expect even more festivals and activities for parents desperate to keep the kids entertained.
For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 1 July – 31 August : The Rose Bar @ The Bingham
A pop-up bar dedicated to rose wine in the stunning surrounds of The Bingham bar, terrace and rose garden. Also serving Rose Afternoon Tea. The Bingham, 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT. Nearest station: Richmond. For more information, visit The Bingham website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the Rose Bar, click here.
- 1 July – 4 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross
A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.
- 2 July : Bermondsey Festival
This year’s Bermondsey Festival is headlined by Paul Young. Featuring reggae group Indika, Motown trio The Aim, and Kinetika Bloco on the carnival parade. Featuring music, dance, children’s activities and more. 12-8pm. Free. Southwark Park, Gomm Road, Bermondsey, SE16 2EH. Nearest station: Bermondsey. For more information, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.
- Now until 2 July : LIFT Festival
Lift festival returns to the capital, brining ‘pioneering new theatre, spectacular performances and moments of magic’. Over 30 events at locations across London featuring work from 14 countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Canada, Japan, Australia, the USA, Lebanon and Syria. For more information, visit the LIFT Festival website. For Metro Girl’s blog on the LIFT Festival, click here.
- Now until 2 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.
- 2 – 9 July : The Streatham Festival
Eight day festival in Streatham with this year’s theme of ‘celebrating Streatham’. 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 3 July : Hampstead Summer Festival
The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (3 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.
- Now until 3 July : Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: Somme 100
Outdoor exhibition features images of the present-day battlefields alongside archive pictures of the trenches during the Great War. Free. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V. Nearest station: St Paul’s. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- Now until 3 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.
- 5 – 10 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Celebrity and expert speakers include Jim Buttress, David Domoney, John Craven, Mr Bloom, Diarmuid Gavin, Pippa Greenwood, Charlie Dimmock and more. Advance tickets range from £16.50 to £37 depending on full/half-day and RHS membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.
- 9 July : Shuffle Festival
Film and arts festival in Mile End, featuring live music, food and drink and film screenings. This year, the festival will explore ‘the role that myth, belief, and reverence has in humanity’. 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.
- 9 July : Rotherhithe Festival
The Rotherhithe Festival returns featuring live music, food and drink market, craft stalls and community events. 11am-9pm. Free. King George’s Fields (off Moodkee Street), Rotherhithe, SE16. Nearest station: Canada Water. For more information, visit the Rotherhithe Festival website.
- 9 July – 7 August : East London Fringe Festival
Five week festival celebrating East London’s vibrant and bohemian culture, featuring music, art, lifestyle, film screenings, parties and cultural events. Venues include Shoreditch Park, Hoxton Square, Hackney Road Rec Ground, Cargo, Juno Bar, Bedroom Bar and more. For more information, visit the ELFF website.
- Now until 14 July : Harlequin EURO Festival
Five week programme of free dance and music shows to celebrate European culture, languages and folk traditions. Highlights include Gabrielle Ducomble Band, Like the Beatles tribute concert, Flamenco Vision (flamenco music & dance) and The Italian Dream Opera. Concerts take part during lunchtime. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival, click here.
- 14 July : Il Trovatore – Royal Opera House BP Big Screens
Watch the Royal Opera House’s production of Verdi’s Il trovatore live on the big screens in Trafalgar Square, Canada Square Park in Canary Wharf, Lyric Square in Hammersmith, Walthamstow Town Square and General Gordon Square in Woolwich. Simply bring a cushion or blanket and find a spot. Free. 7.15pm with pre-performance screening from 6.45pm. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 14 – 22 July : Ealing Comedy festival
Comedy festival featuring Barry Cryer, Paul Sinha, Stephen K Amos, Andy Parsons, Seann Walsh and Shappi Korsandi. 7.45-10.45pm. Tickets: £22. Walpole Park, Ealing, W5. Nearest station: West Ealing or Ealing Broadway. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festivals website.
- 14 – 24 July : London Indian Film Festival
Celebration of the hottest new Indian independent cinema, featuring screenings, premieres and masterclasses. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the festival website.
- Now until 15 July : Sunset Safari
London Zoo’s summer 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: Adults £27, Children £20.25. 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.
- 15 – 17 July : Embankment Summer Market
A unique three-day event in Embankment Gardens, featuring 190 stalls selling artisan and designer crafts, bars, produce market, street food, live music, entertainment and lawn games such as giant jenga and croquet. Free entry. Victoria Embankment Gardens (off Villiers Street and Victoria Embankment), Westminster, WC2N 6NS. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the City Showcase website.
- 15 – 17 July : Hyper Japan
A celebration of Japanese culture and products. Includes cuisine, drinking, shopping, live music and a mix of pop and traditional culture. Tickets: £15-£17. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and advance tickets, visit the Hyper Japan website.
- 15 – 17 July : Star Wars Celebration
Three days of Star War fun, featuring memorabilia stands, Q&As, meet and greets, panels, competitions and more. Guest appearances from Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Warwick Davis and LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Tickets: Adults £30, Children £15. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House. For more information, visit the Star Wars Celebration website.
- 16 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
- 16 – 17 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 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.
- 16 – 17 July : Walthamstow Garden Party
A weekend of local and international talent produced by The Barbican, featuring music, theatre, storytelling, poetry, pop-up cinema, craft and design markets and Real Food Festival. Free entry. Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 5EH. Nearest station: Walthamstow Central. For more information, visit the Garden Party website.
- 16 – 31 July : Festival Of Archaeology
Nationwide event with events, such as walks and talks taking place at the Museum Of London, Union Chapel, Burlington House, London Canal Museum and Benjamin Franklin’s House, among others. Many events are free. For listings, visit the Archaeology Festival website.
- Now until 17 July : Udderbelly Festival
Udderbelly returns to the South Bank for an eighth 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), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.
- 17 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 station: Turkey Street (30 minutes from Liverpool Street). For more information, visit the Sunday Best website.
- 18 July : The Graphic Gin Off
Top gin brands Boodles, Tarquin’s, and Sipsmith challenge last year’s winner, Martin Millers for a place in the quarter-finals of the Gin Off. Guests will be able to try four inventive gin cocktails and decide on their favourite. 6-9pm. Tickets: £10. Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 23 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 £5 taster dishes, experimental cooking demos and live music and entertainment. 12-5pm. Free entry. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby website.
- 23 July : Plaza Latina
A celebration of Latin American culture, featuring food market, samba and salsa, piñata workshops, mask making, face painting, percussion classes and dance workshops. 12-9pm. Free. Nursery Row Park, East Street, Camberwell, SE17 1AL. Nearest station: Elephant And Castle. For more information, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.
- 23 – 24 July : Archikids Festival
Festival of architecture for 5-11 year olds in the City of London, featuring workshops and activities to inspire enthusiasm for design and construction. Free. For more information, visit the Archikids website.
- 23 – 24 July : Ealing Jazz Festival
Two day festival of jazz, featuring Roy Ayers, Vasilis Xenopoulos Quintet and K.O.G and the Zongo Brigade, YolanDa Brown, Keith Waithe and the Macussi Players and Nerija. Tickets: £5.50. Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing. Nearest stations: Ealing Broadway, West Ealing or South Ealing. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festivals website.
- 23 July – 4 September : BeachEast @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The UK’s largest urban beach opens this summer in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Featuring a sandy ‘beach’, huge kid’s paddling pool, funfair rides, two beach bars and a host of sporting events and activities, such as volleyball, cricket, football, boccia and fitness classes. Open daily from 10am. Free entry. BeachEast, Stratford Waterfront (near former Olympic Stadium & Pool), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E15 2DU. Nearest stations: Stratford and Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the BeachEast website.
- 29 – 30 July : Cocktails In The City – Summer Edition
A special summer edition of the hugely popular Cocktails In The City event, featuring 25 of London’s best cocktail bars, experimental dining and tastings in alfresco surroundings. All cocktails at show £7.50. Open Fri 29 4-9.30pm, Sat 12-9.30pm. Tickets: £15. Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1. Nearest stations: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Cocktails In The City website. To find out more, read Metro Girl’s post on CITC.
- 29 July – 29 August : Camden Beach
The ‘beach’ returns to Camden again this year, with 150 tonnes of sand, deckchairs, ping pong, bars and restaurants. You can also book VIP beach huts. Located in the grounds of the Roundhouse. Open Mon 5-11pm, Tues-Sun 12-11pm. Free. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.
- Now until 29 July : The Northbank Summer Festival
Enjoy Wimbledon screenings, live music, market stalls and a tea dance. 12.30-7pm daily. Free. Victoria Embankment Gardens (off Villiers Street), Westminster, WC2N 6NS. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. For more information, visit The Northbank London website.
- 29 July – 21 August : Focus On The Wild photo exhibition
An exhibition of wildlife photos from around the world. 11am-6pm. Free entry. Gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Oxo Tower website.
- 30 July : Clipper Race Homecoming
Welcome back those who have participated in the Clipper round-the-world yacht race. The fleet will arrive at Tower Bridge at 9.45am, with a parade of sail into St Katharine Docks between 10-10.30am. There will also be a big screen, live music, drummers, dancers and international cuisine, pyrotechnics and official spectator boats. Free entry. St Katharine Docks, 50 St. Katharine’s Way, Tower Bridge, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway (DLR). For more information, visit the St Katharine Docks website.
- 30 July : MySliceFest
London’s biggest celebration of pizza, featuring lots of the Italian fast food and live music. Acts include Bluey Robinson, Delilah, DJ Luck & MC Neat, DJ Cable, Sammy Porter, Guy D’Angelo, Shorebitch and many more. Doors open 12pm. Tickets from £25. Wembley Park, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0TU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For tickets, visit MySliceFest website.
- Now until 30 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. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- Now until 30 July : Yayoi Kusama: Sculptures, Paintings & Mirror Rooms
Victoria Miro presents an exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, featuring pumpkin sculptures, new painting and immersive mirror rooms. Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Free entry. Victoria Miro Gallery, 16 Wharf Road, Islington, N1 7RW. Nearest station: Old Street or Angel. For more information, visit the Victoria Miro website.
- 30 – 31 July : Prudential Ride London
The annual cycling festival returns to London. Eight miles of road in central London will be closed to cars so people can experience cycling on safe and clear roads. Anyone is welcome to take part in the FreeCycle on Saturday 30, while more serious cyclists will be passing through London on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 31. To register, visit the Ride London website.
- Now until late August : Jimmy’s BBQ Club Pop-up
Pop-up king Jimmy Garcia returns to Clapham with the return of his foodie hit BBQ Club in an enchanted garden venue. Enjoy four courses of barbecued rare meat, marinades, sauces and intricate side dishes. There will also be BYOB table license, garden cocktails and craft beers. Open Wed-Fri 7.30pm. £38pp. Located in a private garden in Clapham Old Town. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For booking, visit Jimmy’s Popup website.
- Now until 4 September : Exhibitionism @ Saatchi Gallery
The Rolling Stones stage their first major exhibition to mark 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll. Tickets: £21. Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s Square, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4SQ. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.
- Now until 4 September : Goosebumps Alive
This summer, another immersive theatre experience returns to the tunnels below Waterloo station. With two separate shows for adults or children inspired by the ’90s cult horror series. Take a journey through the dark, abandoned vaults and scare yourself silly as you try to escape the stuff of nightmares. Times vary. Tickets: Adults start from £32.50. Children from £15. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit Goosebumps Alive website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the production.
- Now until 6 September : Shakespeare In Ten Acts @ British Library
An exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare death, featuring how his plays were performed through history and how his reputation changed. Featuring the only surviving play-script in his hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, the earliest printed edition of Hamlet and Shakespeare’s First Folio Tickets: Adults from £12. PACCAR Gallery, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, King’s Cross or St Pancras. For booking, visit The British Library website.
- Now until 25 September : London Wonderground
The London Wonderground Festival returns to the Southbank for a fifth 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. Open daily until 11pm. Free to get in, but tickets required for shows. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.
- Now until 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. Open 10am-5.45pm daily. Free admission. Museum Of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the Victoria & Albert museum website.
- Now until 9 October : Serpentine Pavilion and Summer Houses
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), while four architects will design four 25sqm summer houses. Free to visit, but also contains a Harrods pop-up café inside. Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: 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.
- Now until 31 October : London Bridge City Summer Festival
Replacing the More London Free Festival is an expanded festival featuring live music, theatre and dance performances, fitness classes, film and sports screenings and return of the London Riviera pop-up bar and restaurant. Free. Events taking place between Tower Bridge and London Bridge on the south bank of Thames. Nearest stations: Tower Hill or London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City Summer Festival website.
For a guide to London music festivals this summer, click here.