Guide to what’s on in London in September 2017
Summer is coming to an end and the temperatures are starting to cool. The children are going back to school and there’s a noted drop in the number of tourists (which probably relieves most Londoners tbh). However, with September usually being a pretty warm month, Londoners can enjoy the capital with a lot less crowds than over the official summer months. One of the highlights of September is Open House London, which takes place in the middle.
- 31 August – 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 – 3 September : Meatopia
Weekend of meat, drink, music and fire. Featuring chefs from Hix, Berber & Q, Lobos, Lagom, Patty & Bun, Rhoda, Camino, Tommi’s Burger, Pizarro, Smokestak and more. Music from Tom Findlay (Groove Armada), Tantz, Hip Hop Karaoke, Beatbox Collective, The Nest Collective, Karuke, Bring Your Own Brass, Men Diamler, Bill Brewster, Op Sa! and more. Open Fri 1 5pm-11pm, Sat 2 12pm-9pm, Sun 3 12pm-7pm. Tickets: £23.85-£106 (depending on package). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For information and booking, visit the Meatopia website.
- 1 – 10 September : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival
Ten day festival featuring free screenings in the Peckham and Nunhead area at various locations, including The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead Cemetery, Peckham Library, The Ivy House and more. Films include Singin’ In The Rain, Good Fellas, Deep End, Wall-E and Night Of The Living Dead. Free. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and Nunhead. For more information and listings, visit the PNFFF 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 (9-10 Sept), The Great River Race (9 Sept), walks, art installations, live music, theatre, dinners, river relay, film screenings and many more activities. For more information, visit the Totally Thames website.
- 1 September – 1 October : Lambeth Heritage Festival
A month long festival celebrating the heritage and people of Lambeth – stretching from the South Bank all the way to Streatham and Norwood. Featuring talks, film, music, theatre, exhibitions, walks and workshops. At venues across the borough including Migration Museum, Brixton Windmill, Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Archives, the Cinema Museum, London Fire Brigade Museum, the Chocolate Museum, Brockwell Lido and more. For more information, visit the Lambeth.gov.uk website.
- 3 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.
- 3 September : Zee London Mela
Festival celebrating South Asian culture, featuring four stages, outdoor arts, DJs, world food market and more. Free admission. Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, W3 8LQ. Nearest stations: Gunnersbury, South Ealing or Acton Town. For more information, visit the Zee London Mela website.
- Now until 3 September : Star Wars Identities
Star Wars fans are in for a treat as over 200 costumes, props, models and artwork from the franchise are displayed in a special exhibition. Find your own Star Wars character in an interactive quest. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £20-£25. Children £10-£15. The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Star Wars Identities website.
- Now until 3 September : London Bridge City Summer Festival Theatre – The Odyssey
Watch God and Monster’s epic production of The Odyssey in three parts at this open-air free theatre. Wed-Sun 6pm-10pm (Pt 1 6pm, Pt 2 7.30pm and Pt 3 9pm). Free. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.
- Now until 3 September : The Art Of The Brick – DC Super Heroes
Lego artist Nathan Sawaya has created an exhibition of Lego sculptures of Super Heroes and Villains including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and Harley Quinn. Open Sun-Wed 10am-6pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £16.50, Child £11. The exhibition is in a temporary structure on the corner of Upper Ground and Cornwall Road, South Bank, SE1 9PP. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit the Art Of The Brick website. For a review of the previous Art Of The Brick exhibition, click here.
- 4 September : RSC Live – Titus Andronicus
Watch Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus broadcast live from the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. From 7pm. Tickets: £10. East Wintergarden, 43 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14 5NX. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 5 September : Candlelight Opening @ Sir John Soane’s Museum
Late-night opening of the Sir John Soane’s Museum, the former home of the 19th century architect, which is full of his sculptures, painting and antiquities. First 200 visitors in the queue at 5.30pm guaranteed entry, after that it will be one-out, one-in until 8.30pm. 6-9pm. Free. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John’s Soane Museum website.
- 8 -9 September : The Beavertown Extravaganza
Two day beer festival by the Beavertown Brewery, featuring 70 of the world’s best breweries. Open Fri 8 3-10pm, Sat 9 1-8pm. Tickets: £55. The Printworks, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 7PJ. Nearest station: Rotherhithe. For tickets, visit TicketAnnoy.
- 8 – 10 September : FemFest
Female-focused art festival featuring multi medium art exhibition, performance, fem film night, arty party and the usual Sweet ‘Art freebies and surprises. Times TBC. 47-49 Tanner Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3PL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Sweet Art website.
- 9 – 10 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. 12-6pm. 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 the festival, read Metro Girl’s post here.
- 9 – 10 September : Vintage Classic Car Boot
Weekend festival of classic cars, street food wagons, music, performances, street theatre and more. 10am-6pm. Entry £5. Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
- 10 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.
- Now until 10 September : Magnum X Moschino Pleasure Store
Magnum ice cream is opening a pop-up store designed by Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott, where customers can personalise their own Magnums. Open Mon-Wed 10am-7pm, Thur 10am-10pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-6pm. 21-23 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9LL. Nearest stations: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Magnum UK website.
- 11 – 17 September : London Mezcal Week
Week-long celebration of Mezcal, Mexican culture, art and food across various venues. Events include art exhibitions, panel discussions, Mezcal masterclasses and food pairings. Ends with a Mezcal Festival over the 16-17 September weekend in Hackney, featuring street food, live music, DJs, art and lots of cocktails. For more information and tickets to events, visit the London Mezcal Week website.
- 14 September : Gladiators @ Merchant Square
Become a gladiator and take part in a series of challenges, including Quintuple Steps, Stepping Stones, Cargo Net, Hang Tough and Balance Beam. 12-2pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington or Edgware Road. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 14 September : Chilli Con Carnival
The UK’s first festival dedicated to Chilli Con Carne is coming to Brixton Beach, featuring special hot dishes from top street food vendors, hot sauce making classes, chilli-tasting and more. 6pm-11pm. Tickets: £5 inc bespoke chilli dish from resident food traders; £8 inc bespoke chilli dish & house chilli cocktail. Brixton Beach, Pope’s Road, Brixton, SW9 8JH. Nearest station: Brixton. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight. For more information about Brixton Beach, click here.
- 15 – 17 September : The Handmade Fair
Three day fair from Kirstie Allsop, featuring celebrity names, hands-on making, shopping, food, drink and more. 9.30am-6pm.Tickets: From £15 (advance), £17 (on the door). The Green, Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Richmond. For tickets, visit The Handmade Fair website.
- 15 – 20 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. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £20. Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1. Nearest stations: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the LAPADA London website.
- 16 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.
- 16 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.
- 16 – 17 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.
- 16 – 17 September : Open House Junior
Running alongside Open House London is a family festival of architecture. Featuring events and activities for children aged 5-11. At various locations in Paddington Central, City Hall and the Leadenhall Building. For more information, visit the Open House London website. For Metro Girl’s post on Open House Junior, click here.
- 16 – 23 September : Streatham Free Film Festival
The 3rd annual Streatham Free Film Festival will be taking places at venues across Streatham, including The Rookery, The British Home and The Hideaway among others. Including talks, screenings, competitions and sing-a-longs. Films include Beauty And The Beast, The Wicker Man, La La Land, Grease and Moulin Rouge! For more information, visit the Free Film Festivals website.
- 16 – 24 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.
- 16 – 24 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 installations, street galleries, pop-up stores and many more. To find out more, visit the Design Festival website.
- 17 September : Horseman’s Sunday @ Connaught Village
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Horseman’s Sunday, when horses from Hyde Park Stables gather at St John’s Hyde Park Church for a blessing and giving of thanks. The family-friendly service will feature an orchestra and church choir. There will be a variety of activities including entertainer Custard the Clown and his ‘horse’ sidekick, church fete featuring children’s games, face-painting, live jazz, stalls, a horse parade and free food for the children. Service at 10am, horse parade at 12pm. Free entry. St John’s Hyde Park, Hyde Park Crescent, Paddington, W2 2QD. Nearest station: Paddington, Lancaster Gate or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Connaught Village website.
- 20 September – 1 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. Festival pass from £49-£149. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 20 September – 25 February 2018 : No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain
Exhibition at the Migration Museum focusing on seven turning points in Britain’s history which have changed its people and communities. Open Wed-Sun 11am-5pm (late opening on last Thursday of the month until 9pm. Free admission. Migration Museum @ The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7AG. Nearest station: Vauxhall, Westminster or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Migration Museum website. Read Metro Girl’s blog on the exhibition here.
- 21 – 24 September : London Fashion Week Festival
London Fashion Week Festival 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. The Store Studios, 180 Strand, WC2R. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the London Fashion Weekend website.
- 21 – 24 September : Carnaby Fashion Festival
Carnaby London hosts a four-day celebration for the London Fashion Week Festival, featuring fashion talks, workshops and offers across 13 brands of Carnaby. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.
- 21 – 24 September : The Great British Sewing Bee Live
Following the success of the TV show, the first ever dressmaking festival. Featuring Great British Sewing Bee Live Super Theatre with Patrick Grant and Esme Young; 250+ workshops and demonstrations, dressmaking drop-in sessions, catwalk, galleries and dressmaking suppliers. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £16.50. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For tickets, visit the Great British Sewing Bee website.
- 22 – 23 September : The City Wine Show
A showcase of award-winning wines from around the world. Featuring three halls, including prestigious wine producers and champagne, Global Masters competition wines and masterclasses. Tickets from £17.50. Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane, City of London, EC4M 7DD. Nearest stations: St Paul’s. For booking, visit the City Wine Show website.
- 22 – 24 September : BBC Good Food’s Feast
Food festival in the moat of London’s iconic Tower of London. Featuring live demonstrations, street food vendors, pop-up restaurants, masterclasses, artisan shopping, buskers and entertainment. Chefs and experts include Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jnr, John Torode, Ben Tish, Jose Pizarro, Marcus Wareing and more. Tickets start from £10/£20. For tickets, visit the BBC Good Food Show website.
- Now until 23 September : Alice’s Adventures Underground
Award-winning immersive theatre experience returns to The Vaults. Choose between Adventures In Wonderland for 5-10 years old and Alice’s Adventures Underground for 11 plus and adults. Tickets for Adventures In Wonderland: Adults £26.50, Children £15.50. Tickets for Alice’s Adventures Underground: Adults £39-£54. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Alice’s Adventures Underground website. For Metro Girl’s review of Alice’s Adventures Underground, click here.
- 23 September : Wanderlust 108
A new lifestyle festival comes to London offering a triathlon with a twist. A 5k run, followed by outdoor yoga and meditation. From 7.30am-4pm. Tickets from £30. Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, E3 5TB. Nearest stations: Mile End, Cambridge Heath or London Fields. For tickets, visit the Wanderlust website. Read Metro Girl’s post for more information.
- 24 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, Westminster, WC2N. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Japan Matsuri website.
- 24 September : Cheese Street N1
Huge cheese festival comes to North London, featuring tastings, cheese pairings, workshops, street food, butter making, cheese angels, live music and more. 10am-3pm. Free entry. Chapel Market, Islington, N1 9PZ. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the London Farmers Market website.
- 24 September : Out Of This World – Lady Boy Pageant
Thai restaurant Mango Tree hosts a fabulous lady boy pageant, featuring lights, glitter, canapes, cocktails, DJs and glamour. 7pm-11.30pm. Tickets: £20. Mango Tree, 46 Grosvenor Place, Belgravia, SW1X 7EQ. Nearest station: Victoria. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 28 September – 1 October : New Scientist Live
A festival of ideas and discovery from New Scientist magazine. Featuring four immersive zones: Brain & Body, Technology, Earth and Cosmos. Tickets: £26 (advance). ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent. For more information, visit the New Scientist Live website.
- 28 September – 1 October : London Oktoberfest
Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. Opening hours vary. General admission starts from free to £10 (depending on day). 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 – 30 September : Shoreditch Oktoberfest
An Oktoberfest celebration with a twist, featuring Bavarian food, German breakdancers, Oompah Band, Karaoke, DJs and lots of beer. Open 5pm-11pm. Tickets from £20. Last Days Of Shoreditch, 1-3 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3DT. Nearest station: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Shoreditch Oktoberfest website.
- 30 September : NFL on Regent Street
American football festival returns to Regent Street. The shopping haven will be pedestrianised between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus to celebrate Sunday’s New Orleans Saints V Miami Dolphins game at Wembley. Includes appearances by NFL players and coaches, cheerleaders, inactive games, NFL merchandise, food and drink. Free. Regent Street, Soho/Mayfair, W1. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the NFL UK website.
- 30 September : The Prohibition Party 10th Birthday
Vintage-style party in the tunnels below Waterloo station, featuring live music, DJs, gambling, dancers, cocktails and more. 8pm-2am. Tickets from £30. The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For tickets, visit the Prohibition Party website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the event.
- Now until 30 September : Underbelly Festival
The usual Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground have merged to form the summer-long Underbelly Festival. Featuring comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in the inflatable upside down cow venue, international street food, open-air bar. Festival grounds open daily until 11pm. Ticket prices for show vary, but a majority are under £20, free entry to festival grounds. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Underbelly Festival website.
- Now until 1 October : The World Of Anna Sui
Exhibition featuring over 100 looks from the American fashion designer’s archives dating back to 1991. Open Tues-Sat: 11am-6pm (or 8pm on Thurs), Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £9.90, Concessions £7.70. Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3XF. Nearest station: London Bridge. For booking, visit the Fashion and Textile Museum’s website.
- Now until 6 October : Backyard Cinema – Miami Beach
Roaming cinema club Backyard Cinema have created a slice of Miami in the foodie surrounds of Mercato Metropolitano. Relax on the sandy beach and sip on cocktails from the Flamingo Beach Bar whatever the weather with a mix of classic and new Hollywood hits. Backyard Cinema, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- Now until 8 October : Frieze Sculpture
Free outdoor sculpture exhibition in Regents Park, featuring 23 new and significant creations by 20th-century masters and leading contemporary artists, including Rasheed Araeen, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Gary Hume, KAWS, Alicja Kwade, Michael Craig-Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Jaume Plensa, Thomas J Price, Ugo Rondinone and Hank Willis Thomas. Regents Park, Marylebone, NW1. Nearest station: Regents Park, Great Portland Street or Camden Town. For more information, visit the Frieze website.
- Now until 8 October : Serpentine Pavilion
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Francis Kéré. Free to visit, but also contains a 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 March 2018 : Painted Hall Ceiling Tours
The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College is undergoing a huge restoration. For a limited time only, visitors will be able to ascend 60ft to see the painted ceiling up close. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £5. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest station: Greenwich, Maze Hill or Cutty Sark (DLR). To book, visit the Old Royal Naval College website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the tour here.
- Now until June 2018 : Sculpture In The City 2017/2018
Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the City Of London’s official website.
To find out where London’s urban beaches are this summer, click here.
Click here for a guide to London’s music festivals this summer.
For London’s pop-up and open-air cinemas this summer, click here.