Guide to what’s on in London in September 2016
Summer is nearing an end. However, September usually has that lovely balmy weather with significantly less tourists so London is more comfortable. Of course, the Rio Paralympics will be on 7 – 18 September so expect to see some Brazilian-themed fun on around town and opportunity to watch the games on the big screen.
For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 1 September : Canalside Comedy
Enjoy a free lunchtime comedy show by the canal in Paddington. 12.30-1.30pm. Free. Canalside Live Stage, Paddington Basin, Paddington, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 1 – 4 September : Chambord Chapter Eight Games
French liquor Chambord are hosting a four day pop-up on the Dalston Roof Park, featuring plenty of cocktails, food and flamingo croquet. Tickets: £7.50 (plus fee) for time slots. Dalston Roof Park, 18 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL. Nearest station: Dalston Junction or Dalston Kingsland. For more information, visit Chambord’s Facebook page.
- 1 – 11 September : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival
Ten day festival featuring free screenings in the Peckham and Nunhead area at various locations, including The Montague Arms, The Nunhead Gardener, Glengall Wharf Garden and The Ivy House. Free. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and Nunhead. For more information and listings, visit the PNFFF website.
- 1 – 16 September : Portobello Film Festival
Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the KPH, Pop Up Cinema in Acklam Road and the Muse Gallery. Free. Nearest stations: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.
- 1 – 30 September : Totally Thames
Totally Thames is a month-long celebration of our city’s main waterway. Among the many activities taking place are the St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival (10-11 Sept), The Great River Race (3 Sept), walks, art installations, live music, theatre, dinners, river relay, film screenings and many more activities. For more information, visit the Totally Thames website.
- 2 – 4 September : Meatopia
Weekend of meat, drink, music and fire. Featuring chefs including Niklas Ekstedt, Jose Pizarro, Matti Hurttia, Luke Findlay, Tomos Parry, Andrew Clarke, Henry Harris, Jackson Boxer and Gina Hopkins. Music from Professor Green (DJ set), Andy Smith (Portishead), MC Zani and Bass 6, DJ Tofu and Temple Funk Collective. Tickets: £23.85-£34.45. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For information and booking, visit the Meatopia website.
- 4 September : Angel Canal Festival
One day festival in the City Road Lock, Basin and Regents Canal towpath. Featuring over 80 stalls, children’s fun fair, Punch & Judy, story-teller, boat trips and canoeing, art projects and galleries, live music and street theatre. 11am-5pm. Free admission. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Angel Canal Festival 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 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.
- 4 September – 30 October : Dinner At The Twits
An immersive and gruesome dining experience inspired by Roald Dahl’s classic The Twits. From the same team behind Alice’s Adventures Underground and food wizards Bompas & Parr. Minimum age 14+. Tickets: £80-£110 (feature a 90 minute show, arrival cocktail, banquet with wine, box of chocolates and hot beverage). The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit The Twits dinner website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the production.
- 5 – 9 September : Health & Happiness Week @ Merchant Square
Spend your lunch break focused on your health as part of Reclaim Your Lunch Break. Featuring free fitness classes, including ping pong, running, paddle board yoga, hula fit and jumping fitness. 12.30-1.30pm. Free. Merchant Square, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 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.
- 7 September : Urban Edibles @ Ask For Janice
Foraging expert Jason Irving will host an evening of urban foraging, featuring tips on hunter gathering and foraging hotspots. Guests will then be able to try the raw ingredients which will be used in fresh cocktails and inventive dishes. 6-9pm. Tickets: £20. Ask For Janice, 50-52 Long Lane, Smithfield, EC1A 9EJ. Nearest station: Farringdon. For booking, visit Billetto.
- 7 – 18 September : Paralympic Screenings @ Pop Fields
Watch the Rio Paralympics on the big screen in Pop Fields, the outdoor space next to Pop Brixton, where you can buy food and drink from local vendors. Free entry. Pop Fields, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PQ. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Pop Brixton website.
- 7 – 18 September : Paralympics Screenings @ Merchant Square
Watch the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics on the big screen in Paddington. Food and drink will be available. 10am-10pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, Paddington, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 8 – 11 September : London Flower Show
Show gardens, flower & produce displays, live entertainment, art installations and growing competitions. 11am-7pm. Tickets start from £10. Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB. Nearest station: Boston Manor or Syon Lane. For more information, visit the London Flower Show website.
- 9 – 11 September : Kings Place Festival
Music and arts festival in Kings Cross, including classical, contemporary, comedy, folk, spoken word, jazz and family. Tickets start from £6.50, although some events are free. Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Place website.
- 10 September : Cream Classics performed by Cream’s Philharmonic Orchestra
Iconic dance music brand’s classic tracks as you’ve never heard them before. Cream Classics Performed by Cream’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Doors: 7pm (Orchestra 9-11pm). Tickets start from £30. O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, Brixton, SW9 9SL. Nearest station: Brixton. For tickets, visit TicketWeb.
- 10 September : Blitz Party
Step back in time to the 1940s for a themed night of patriotic revelry, featuring swing dancing, big band music, cocktails, performers, dance classes and vintage makeovers. Dress code: 1940s glam, home front utility clothing and allied uniform. 8pm until late (dance class at 7pm). Tickets from £30. Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PQ. Nearest station: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit The Blitz Party website.
- 10 -11 September : Classic Boats Festival
As part of the Totally Thames celebration (see above), St Katharine Docks are hosting a weekend festival, featuring a display of 40 sail and power vessels, alongside a range of waterside attractions. 1-5pm. Free. 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. To find out more about St Katharine Docks, read Metro Girl’s post here.
- 10 – 18 September : Colourscape Music Festival
The travelling festival combining contemporary music and art pitches up at Clapham Common for a week. Featuring colour and music workshops and weekend concerts. Tickets: Adults £5-£10, Children £2-£5. Clapham Common (near the Long Pond boating lake), SW4. Nearest stations: Clapham Common or Clapham South. For more information, visit the Colourscape website.
- 11 September : Tour Of Britain
The Tour Of Britain cycle race comes to London – the final stage of the eight day professional cycling race. It will start and finish @ Regent Street St James, taking in sights such as Aldwych, Somerset House, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben along the way. 2.30-4.30pm. Free for spectators. Many roads and bridges will be closed to traffic. Nearest stations: Westminster, Embankment, Temple, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Tour Of Britain website.
- 11 September : Hackney One Carnival
East London has got its own carnival, with music, dance and costumes. Starts with carnival procession from Ridley Road at 2pm with the finale from 5-8pm. There will be a kids’ area and live stage at Gillett Square. 12-8pm. Free. Nearest stations: Hackney Central, Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction. For more information, visit the Hackney council website.
- 13 – 17 September : LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair
Five day fair in Mayfair with the opportunity to buy fine art and antiques, including furniture, jewellery, carpets, tapestries, antiquities, clocks, ceramics and silver. Mr Fogg’s will be hosting a pop-up bar featuring 18th and 19th century antiques. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £20. Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1. Nearest stations: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the LAPADA London website.
- 15 September : Crystal Maze @ Merchant Square
Take up the challenge in the pop-up crystal maze with a chance to complete challenges in order to enter the crystal dome. It’s your childhood dreams come true, you can take part with your colleagues or friends. Sign up your team and choose your start time. The winning team will receive a £250 donation to a charity of your choice. 12-2pm. Free entry. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 16 September – 7 November : Backyard Cinema – Lost World
Roaming cinema club Backyard Cinema brings a new level of adventure to your favourite action movies. Sit inside the Lost Jungle with sound effects, tropical plants and trees and special surprises as you watch films such as Jurassic Park, Jungle Book, Hunger Games, The Goonies, Lion King, Apocalypse Now and Peter Pan. Tickets from £16.50. Lost World, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. For more information, visit Metro Girl’s blog on the Lost World.
- 17 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. 11am-7pm. Free. Bermondsey Square, Southwark, SE1 3UN. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Bermondsey Street Festival website.
- 17 September : Great Gorilla Run
Runners dress up as gorillas for this 8km run, which raises awareness of the dwindling population of these amazing creatures. Starts and finishes at Minster Court in the City of London. If you want to take part, you must register (£60, but includes your own gorilla costume to keep!). Free for spectators who want to watch the action along the way. Minster Court, Mincing Lane, City of London, EC3R 7DD. Nearest station: Fenchurch Street or Monument. For more information, visit the Great Gorilla Run website.
- 17 September : Prohibition Party
Step back to the 1920s with Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Prohibition Party, featuring fabulous costumes, gambling, music, dance classes and more speakeasy fun. 8pm-2am. Tickets start from £30. In a secret London location to be revealed 1 week before. For tickets, visit Prohibition 1920s website.
- 17 – 24 September : Streatham Free Film Festival
The 2nd Streatham Free Film Festival will be taking places at venues across Streatham, including the White Lion Pub, The Hideaway, Deli Lama, The Railway, Streatham Tate Library among others. Including talks, screenings, competitions and sing-a-longs. Films include Saturday Night Fever, Victoria, Ida, Day Of The Wacko and Modern Times. For more information, visit the Free Film Festivals website.
- 17 – 18 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. Some buildings are strictly pre-booking or ballot only and you need to apply in advance to gain entry. Be prepared to queue for the more popular buildings, such as City Hall and The Gherkin. Free. For more information, visit the Open House London website. For Metro Girl’s guide to Open House London, with tips and highlights, click here.
- 17 – 18 September : Tequila & Mezcal Fest
A weekend celebration of Tequila and Mezcal, including Mexican food, live Mariachi bands, Mexican art and artisan products on sale. Tickets start from £15 (early bird tickets include 10 Tequila or Mezcal samples). Boiler House, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Stret. For more information and booking, visit the Tequila Fest website.
- 17 – 18 September : FutureFest
Two day festival of innovation, featuring immersive experiences, compelling performances and radical speakers. Guests include Brian Eno, Will Self and Melody Hossaini. Tickets range from £50-£80. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For more information and tickets, visit the FutureFest website. Check out Time Out London for ticket offers.
- 17 – 25 September : London Design Festival
Festival celebrating innovation and creativity at various events in the capital, including exhibitions, talks and the chance to buy. Among the 300 events on in town include a bio-responsive garden by Bompas & Parr, street galleries, pop-up stores and many more. To find out more, visit the Design Festival website.
- 18 September : London Fashion Week @ Devonshire Square
Oxford Fashion Studio present collections from designers Hailly London, Hertta, Vjera Vilicnik, John Herrera, Zulfiya Sultan, April Banbury, Inês de LuCa, Ot Kutyr Fashion House , Ivan Midzic and Kraken Counter Couture. Shows @ 5pm and 7pm. Tickets: £35-£75. Western Courtyard, Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 20 September : Pizza and Beer in Your Face @ Heist Bank
Enjoy a beer and pizza night with three craft beers and pizza from a wood-fired oven. Listen to resident beer expert, Daniel Pavey and guest speakers from Fourpure, Wolfpack and Wild Beer Co while savouring unusual pizza toppings, including Lamb & Preserved Lemon, Culatello, Fennel & Garlic Salami and Chocolate & Raspberry. 7-9pm. Tickets: £15 (includes pizza and three beers). Heist Bank, 5 North Wharf Road, Paddington, W2 1LA. Nearest station: Edgware Road or Paddington. For tickets, visit Billetto.
- 21 September – 2 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened in the Piccadilly Circus area. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 22 – 25 September : London Fashion Weekend
London Fashion Weekend follows London Fashion Week, giving access to everyone who loves fashion (who has tickets!). Featuring fashion shows, makeovers and opportunities to shop at discount prices. Ticket packages start from £20. Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the London Fashion Weekend website.
- 22 – 25 September : New Scientist Live
A festival of ideas and discovery from New Scientist magazine. Featuring four immersive zones: Brain & Body, Technology, Earth and Cosmos. Tickets: £25 (advance). ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House. For more information, visit the New Scientist Live website.
- 22 September – 2 October : Spiegeltent
A Spiegeltent is popping up in Canary Wharf for 11 days with a host of entertainment for adults and children, including comedy, live music, cabaret, burlesque, circus and more. Ticket prices range from free to £15 depending on event. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For most information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 23 September – 23 October : Merge Festival
The annual arts, music and performance festival returns to Bankside, drawing upon the area’s heritage and contemporary culture. Events include Bompas & Parr’s supernatural voice installation Voice of God, slapstick food demonstrations, the Riverside Stage and a giant airship. For more information, visit the Merge Festival website.
- 23 September : Drunken Herbalers
Herbal experience, The Valerian Den for a journey of exploration through mystical herbs. Test out tincture and herbal concoctions at the Herbal Apotheca and enjoy herbal cocktails. 6-11pm. Tickets: £2 (early bird), £5 (early bird and cocktail). The Bee Garden (end of Abbot Street), Dalston, E8 3DL. Nearest station: Dalston Junction. For tickets, visit Billetto.
- Now until 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.
- 25 September : Japan Matsuri
A celebration of Japanese culture returns to Trafalgar Square. ‘Matsuri’ means festival or holiday so expect plenty of entertainment, food and drink and other chances to buy Japanese products. 10am-8pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Japan Matsuri website.
- 25 September : Festival Of Heat – London’s Chili Festival
Celebrate the mighty chill with a day of cooking demonstrations, growing and tasting workshops, chili and harvest stalls, food stalls, live folk music, DJs and spicy world foods. 11am-6pm. Tickets: £10. The Red Market, 288-299 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9LA. Nearest station: Old Street. For more information, visit the Festival Of Heat website.
- 25 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 station (to Guildhall): St Paul’s or Bank. Find out more information on the Pearly Society website.
- Now until 25 September : London Wonderground
The London Wonderground Festival returns to the Southbank for a fifth year – an entertainment extravaganza, featuring cabaret, children’s shows, comedy, burlesque, fun fair 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 stations: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.
- 26 – 30 September : Italia, Amore Mio festival
Festival of Italian food, drink and music. Daily from 11am-8pm. Free entry. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website. For Metro Girl’s blog on the festival, click here.
- 29 September : Aperitivo Party @ Barts
Italian liqueur brand Staibano is bringing the Amalfi coast to Chelsea for an aperitivo evening, featuring cocktails, canapés, live Italian music and fun and games in the garden. From 6pm onwards. Barts, Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3DW. Nearest station: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Barts website.
- 29 September – 2 October : London Oktoberfest
Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. (NB: this event is NOTHING to do with the one which was cancelled at the last minute last year). Opening hours vary. Tickets start from £5-£10. Millwall Park, Manchester Road, Isle of dogs, Canary Wharf, E14 3AY. Nearest station: Island Gardens or Mudchute. For booking, visit the London Oktoberfest website.
- 29 September – 9 October : Wimbledon Bookfest
Festival featuring readings, children’s events, storytelling, comedy, courses and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Kate Atkinson, Nick Clegg, Deliciously Ella, Rose Tremain, Jeremy Paxman, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Miriam Gonzaléz Durántez and more. Tickets prices vary. A majority of events take place in tents on Wimbledon Common, but also other venues nearby. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the BookFest 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’s urban beaches this summer, click here
For a guide to London music festivals this summer, click here.