Guide to what’s on in London in August 2016
Summer is well and truly in full swing. Schools are closed, there’s weddings and festivals up and down the country and plenty of alfresco fun to be had around town. Of course, the Rio Olympics will be kicking off on 5 August to expect plenty of sporting and Brazilian activities on around town as well.
To find out where to watch the Rio Olympics on the big screen, click here.
For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 1 – 28 August : Camden Fringe
The Camden Fringe returns for its 11th year, bringing over 250 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to 25 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre and the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.
- 6 – 7 August : London Triathlon
Watch over 13,000 entrants who will be taking part in cycling, running and swimming across the Thames to raise money for charity. Free to spectate. ExCel, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Canning Town. For more information, visit the London Triathlon website.
- 7 August : Brixton Splash
Free community street festival taking over various streets in Brixton, featuring live music, poetry, art exhibitions, street theatre, crafts, children’s activities, food and sound systems. 12-7pm. Free. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.
- 7 August : Splash Fest
A pop-up water park comes to Battersea Park for one day only. Featuring five zones of water-themed challenges and games over a 2.5km trail, with water slides, bubbly brook and water spouts. 9am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £22, Children £10, Under 3s free. Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road. For booking, visit the Splash Fest website. For more information, visit Metro Girl’s blog post on Splash Fest.
- Now until 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.
- 9 – 13 August : Great British Beer Festival
Up to hundreds of real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers with be available to try, while there will also be plenty of entertainment and food. Tickets start from £9 (CAMRA members), £11 (non-CAMRA members). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.
- 11 – 13 August : Some Voices presents Festival Headliners
London’s coolest choir Some Voices are bringing their own takes on the hits of Coldplay, Beyonce, Blur, Adele, Basement Jaxx, Pulp, Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton, Jay Z, The Verve and many more. Also featuring The Secret Forest, Field Of Dreams and Pop Up Disco. Door open 7pm. Tickets: £17. Mercato Metropolitano, 48-50 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For tickets, visit the Some Voices website.
- 12 – 14 August : London Craft Beer Festival
Twenty four breweries from London, the UK , Europe and USA will be showing off over 100 beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs. Tickets: £28-£38.50. Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Hackney, E2 9DY. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.
- 13 August : Holi One Colour Festival
Thousands of people wearing white come together in Wembley Park for a festival of music, dance and performance art. Inspired by the Indian Holi festival, participants will end up covered in multi-coloured powder. Tickets start from £29.99. Wembley Park, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0TU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information and booking, visit the Holi One website.
- 13 August : Spotlight Festival
One day festival returns to Seven Dials in the West End, featuring live music and performances, live portraits, flower crown making, airstream photobooth, deck chairs, crazy golf, pop-up tea garden and free Prosecco. 12-7pm. Free entry. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website. To find out more, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival.
- 13 August : River Rat Race
Watch the wettest obstacle race in the UK as participants swim, crawl, jump and slide through 35 obstacles over 10km. Money raised goes to Shelter. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the Rat Race website.
- 14 August : Indonesia Day
Discover Indonesia with a one day festival, featuring music, dance, arts and crafts, food and drink. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 16 August – 24 September : David Bowie – Unseen Photographs
Exhibition of black and white photographs of the late, great David Bowie by Gerard Fearnley – brother of Derek Fearnley, who played bass for the music legend in 1966/67. Limited edition prints will also be available to purchase. Open Tues-Sat. Free entry. 12 Piccadilly Arcade, SW1Y 6NH. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Snap Galleries website.
- 20 August : Camberwell Fair
One day fair, featuring live music stage, community stage, dance workshops, games, and market with local businesses running pop-up stalls. 10am-8pm. Free. Burgess Park, Camberwell, SE5 7QH. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle or Peckham Rye then a short bus ride or walk. For more information, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.
- 20 – 21 August : Halal Food Festival
The UK’s only food festival dedicated to Halal. Featuring stalls, cookery theatre, demonstrations, shisha lounge and live entertainment. Tickets: £5-£10, Children under 12 go free. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping. For tickets, visit the London Halal Food Festival website.
- 20 – 21 August : Canary Wharf Jazz Festival
The annual jazz festival returns to Canada Square Park again, featuring performances from Nerija, Julia Biel, Shez Raja feat Arun Ghosh, Eliane Correa & En El Aire Project, Red Snapper, Gospel Singers Incognito, Binker + Moses, J-Sonics, Natalie Williams Soul Family and Beats + Pieces. Sat 20 1.30-10pm, Sun 21 1.15-9pm. Free. Canada Square Park, E14. Nearest tube: Canary Wharf. For more information and set times, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- Now until 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.
- 25 August : Notting Hill Carnival Party @ Merchant Square
Warm up for the Notting Hill Carnival with a lunchtime party in Paddington. Watch some of the dancers performing to a steel band, while chowing down on jerk chicken at the Crave street food market. 12-2pm. Free entry. Canalside Live Stage, Paddington Basin, Paddington, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 25 – 29 August : FrightFest
Five day film festival featuring scary thrillers, fantasy and horror films. Ticket prices vary. VUE West 12 Shopping and Leisure Centre, Shepherds Bush Green, W12 8PP. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush. For more information, visit the FrightFest website.
- 26 – 28 August : Gin Festival
The UK’s largest gin festival returns to London with over 100 different gins being showcased. Featuring talks from gin experts, live entertainment, food and more. Times vary. Tickets: £12.50. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping. For tickets, visit the Gin Festival website.
- 27 – 29 August : BBC Good Food Festival
Food festival in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Featuring celebrity chefs and cooks, such as Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jnr, John Torode, Lisa Faulkner, Sophie Godwin and Miriam Nice. Tickets to the palace include free entry to the festival – Adults £18, Children £9. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Richmond. For more information, visit the BBC Good Food Festival website.
- 27 – 29 August : 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 Jane Devonshire, Dhruv Baker, Tony Rodd, Rakesh Nair, Nick Bennett, Ian Pengelley and George Lyon. Sat and Sun 11am-7pm, Mon 11am-6pm. Tickets: £16. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 28 – 29 August : Notting Hill Carnival
Long-running institution returns to the streets of West London. Plenty of soundstages will be dotted around featuring a wide range of music. Then of course there’s the carnival itself. Sunday is more geared towards children, while Monday is the adults’ day. Free. Check TFL website for transport information because many stations nearby will be closed. For more information, check out the Notting Hill Carnival website.
- Now until 4 September : Exhibitionism @ Saatchi Gallery
The Rolling Stones stage their first major exhibition to mark 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll. Open Thu-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun-Wed 10am-6pm. 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.
And some of London’s pop-ups…
- Now until 21 August : The Floating Gaarden from Hoegaarden
Hoegaarden have launched a floating beer barge outside No.90 in Hackney Wick. Featuring over 500 plants and shrubs, a Soundscape garden and bar. The barge sets sail every weekend up to six times daily, while remains static from Wed-Fri. Opening hours vary. Sailing tickets can be booked through a prize draw system. Moored outside No.90, Main Yard, Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Floating Gaarden website.
- 5 – 21 August : Olympic-themed pop-up @ Cocobananas
Cocobananas beach shack bar will be transforming into a slice of Brazil during the Rio Olympics. Featuring supper clubs, cocktails, music and more. Cocobananas, 101 Howie Street, Battersea, SW11 3BA. Nearest stations: Clapham Junction, Queenstown Road Battersea or Battersea Park. For more information visit the Cocobananas website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up, click here.
- Now until 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.
- 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 : The Gardening Society
The rooftop of John Lewis in Oxford Street has cafe, bar, yoga classes, great views and a rotating set of pop-up restaurants serving lunch and dinner. Open Mon-Wed: 12-8pm, Thurs-Sat: 12-10pm, Sun: 12-6pm. The Gardening Society (Enter via the 5th Floor), John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, W1A 1EX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Bond Street. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
For a guide to London’s urban beaches this summer, click here.
For a guide to London music festivals this summer, click here.