Guide to what’s on in London in August 2018
School’s out for summer! August is, without a doubt, the busiest time in the capital. Parents and grandparents are taking to London’s parks and museums to entertain the kids, while tourists are arriving en masse to take advantage of our city’s fabulous sights and attractions. After a scorching few months in the capital, many Londoners will be hoping for more hot weather… although a few rainstorms may be welcome for our poor parched parks and not-so-green spaces. Across London, there’s plenty of events and festivals taking place this August. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best of the city this month.
Here’s a guide to London’s urban beaches and lidos.
- 3 August : Wear – an opera performance
Tête à Tête brings a modern, immersive opera production to King’s Cross, exploring the themes of fashion and the future. 8pm. Tickets: £7.50 (advance), £9.50 (on the door). The Crossing, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.
- 3 – 4 August : Cocktails In The City – London Summer
London’s best bars gather in one space for a festival of cocktails. Participating bars include Barrio, Mr Fogg’s, Cahoots, The Nightjar and The Cocktail Trading Co. Open Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-5pm and 5.30pm-10pm. Tickets: £20 (inc welcome cocktail). Bedford Square Gardens, Fitzrovia, WC1B 3HH. Nearest station: Russell Square or Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit the Cocktails In The City website.
- 3 – 5 August : London Craft Beer Festival
Over 65 breweries from London, the UK, Europe and USA will be showing off 100s of beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs from Two Door Cinema Club, Hercules & Love Affair, Huey Morgan, Toddla T, Everything Everything, Trojan Sound System, Hip Hop Karaoke and more. Times vary. Tickets: £46.50 (includes free glass and unlimited small pours). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.
- Now until 3 August : Festibowl 2018
Festival of lawn bowling returns to the City every Thursday and Friday throughout the summer. There will also be DJs, street food and cocktails. 12pm-11pm. Tickets from £25. Finsbury Square, City of London, EC2A. Nearest stations: Moorgate, Liverpool Street or Old Street. For tickets, visit the Festibowl website.
- Now until 3 August : Somnai
Experience a live, multi-sensory experience with immersive technologies including virtual reality. Somnai is said to be the biggest theatrical event since Punch Drunk and offers a ‘lucid dreaming’ experience. Over 18s only. 90 minutes long. Times vary. Tickets from £35. Somnai, 2 Pear Tree Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 3SB. Nearest stations: Old Street, Barbican or Farringdon. For booking and more information, visit the Somnai website. Read Metro Girl’s review.
- 4 August : London Tequila Festival
Live music and DJs, over 30 different Tequilas, Processions and piñatas, Tequila cocktail bar, tacos, fajitas and more. 12.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets £16.99-£22.99 (inc complimentary shot). Acklam Village Market, Acklam Road, Ladbroke Grove, W10 5TY. Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 7 – 11 August : Great British Beer Festival
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 £11 advance (£14 on the door). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.
- 8 – 25 August : Secret Cinema presents William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet
Immersive cinema company brings Baz Lurhmann’s vision of Verona Beach to the capital. Expect love, violence, Hawaiian shirts and a banging soundtrack in a five-hour outdoor festival, including screening. No cameras allowed. Times vary. Tickets start from £51.67. At a secret London location. For more information and tickets, visit the Secret Cinema website. Read Metro Girl’s review of a previous Secret Cinema event.
- 8 August – 2 September : Summer By The River – Outdoor Theatre
Watch a live outdoor performance of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz by the Thames. Performances from Wed-Sat at 6pm, Sun at 4pm. Free entry. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, London Bridge, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.
- 9 – 10 August : Canal Zorbing
Fancy trying out some zorbing on the canal? 12pm-9pm (book a 15 minute time slot on the website). Free. Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Edgware Road or Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 10 – 12 August : Summer In The City
The UK’s largest online video and YouTube event featuring Jack & Dean, New Hope Club, Bars & Melody, Dodie, Carrie Hope Fletcher, The Shades and more. 11am-9pm. Tickets from £30. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For tickets, visit the Summer In The City website.
- Now until 10 August : Spritz & Giggles pop-up
Aperol Spritz pop-up bar in the City of London, featuring plenty of cocktails, entertainment, sports screenings. Seating both inside and alfresco. Open Mon-Tues 4pm-11pm, Wed-Sat 1pm-12am, Sun closed. Spritz & Giggles, 37 Broadgate Circle, City of London, EC2M 2QS. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Moorgate. For more information, visit the website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- 11 – 12 August : London Halal Food Festival
The UK’s only food festival dedicated to Halal. Featuring stalls, cookery theatre, demonstrations, shisha lounge and live entertainment. All vendors will be cash only. Tickets: Adults £5-£20, Under 12s free. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit the London Halal Food Festival website.
- 12 August : Unveiling of William Blake’s gravestone
After decades of lying in an unmarked grave, British artist and poet William Blake’s resting place has been discovered and commemorated with a new gravestone. The inauguration ceremony will feature readings, performances and a candlelit vigil. From 3pm until sunset. Free entry. Bunhill Fields, 38 City Road, Shoreditch, EC1Y 2BG. Nearest station: Old Street. For more information, visit the William Blake Society website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the history of his grave.
- Now until 12 August : Cubitt Sessions
A series of free concerts in King’s Cross, spanning music, immersive theatre, surreal comedy, movement, street culture, experimental jazz and improvised opera. Times vary. Free to watch. Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For listings, visit the King’s Cross website.
- 16 – 19 August : Mr Black Espresso Martini Fest
Fans of the Espresso Martini will love this three-day festival, from Drink Up London (London Cocktail Week, London Beer Week, London Wine Week). Over 50 bars across London will be offering £6 Espresso Martinis and other Mr Black cocktails. Wristbands: £10 (includes access to £6 cocktails, entry to Mr Black’s Church of Coffee pop-up (@ Truman Brewery) and access to 1,000 free Espresso Martinis on 16 Aug). For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.
- 17 August – 30 September : Audrey Hepburn – Beyond The Screen
Photography exhibition of the late, great Audrey Hepburn, featuring portraits by Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson, Bob Willoughby, Eva Sereny, Mark Shaw and Douglas Kirkland. Open Mon-Sun 11am-6pm. Free entry. Proud Central, 32 John Adam Street, WC2N 6BP. Nearest station: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Proud Galleries website.
- 18 – 19 August : Vintage Classic Car Boot
The most stylish car boot sale in town featuring classic cars and bikes. The vehicles will be selling music, food, fashion and design. 10am-6pm. Tickets: £5. Granary Square and West Handyside Canopy, Kings Cross, N1C 4BH. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
- 18 – 19 August : Zee London Mela
Family festival inspired by South Asia, featuring live music, performers, food, drink and more. Hours TBA. Southall Park, Uxbridge Road, Southall, UB1 3BT. Nearest station: Southall. For more information, visit the London Mela website.
- 20 August : Anthony Jeselnik – Funny Games
Netflix comedy star Anthony Jeselnik (known for his roasts of Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump) will be performing two London shows ahead of the Edinburgh Fringe. 21 August is already sold out. 6.30pm. Tickets: £26.25. Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For tickets, visit MyTicket.co.uk.
- Now until 20 August : #SpiceupLondon Spice Girls exhibition
Hundreds of the Spice Girls stage costumes are on display alongside thousands of items of memorabilia and merchandise. Tickets: Adults £10, Children (12-16yrs) £5, Under 12s free. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Spice Girls Exhibition website.
- 23 – 27 August : Frightfest
Five day film festival featuring scary thrillers, fantasy and horror films. Ticket prices vary. At Cineworld Leicester Square and Prince Charles Cinema, WC2H. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the FrightFest website.
- 23 – 27 August : Make More
Billed as a festival for ‘makers and doers’. Featuring workshops, live music, stand-up comedy, street food, bars and markets. Open Thu 23 and Fri 24 3pm-10pm, Sat 25-Mon 27 11am-10pm. Tickets: Adults £28-£32, 11-17yrs £12-£15, 10yrs and under free. Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, E3 3TB. Nearest stations: Mile End or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Make More website.
- Now until 24 August : Wind In The Willows outdoor theatre tour
Sixteenfeet Productions will be touring outdoor spaces around London with the classic play Wind In The Willows. Adults: £12.50, Children £8.50. Venues include Morden Hall Park (3-6 August), Streatham Rookery Gardens (9-13 August), Osterley Park (15-19 August) and Chiswick House & Gardens (21-24 August). For more information and tickets, visit the Sixteenfeet website.
- 24 – 28 August : The Monster
If you’re up to the challenge, take on The Monster, one of the world’s largest inflatable obstacle courses. Min age 11 (limited time slots available for 11-15 year olds). Tickets from £19.80. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Alexandra Palace website.
- 25 – 26 August : Smithfield 150
Culture Mile takes over the market and streets of Smithfield to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the market. Featuring Horrible Histories, Silent Disco, invent your own cocktail, live music, entertainment, food and more. The event features six festival zones and two stages. 11am-8pm. Free. Smithfield, EC1. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the Culture Mile website.
- 25 – 27 August : HRP Food Festival – Hampton Court Palace
Food festival in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Featuring celebrity chefs and cooks, such as Michel Roux Jr, Nadiya Hussein, Melissa Hemsley, Marcus Bean, Lotte Duncan, Dr Rupy Aujla and Rhiannon Lambert. Tickets: Adults £19.20, Children £9.60. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Richmond. For more information, visit the HRP Food Festivals website.
- Now until 25 August : Moonshine Saloon
A new immersive cocktail experience from the same team behind Alcotraz. Bring your own liquor to the Wild West and learn about the dark world of moonshining. Dress in cowboy gear and Stetsons and let experienced mixologists whip up some cocktails using your spirit of choice. Open Wed-Fri 6.15pm-10.15pm, Sat 12.15pm-11pm. Booking fee: £33.99 (includes 4 cocktails from brought drink of choice and 1hr 45m inside the saloon). Moonshine Saloon, 535 Kings Road, Fulham, SW10 0SZ. Nearest station: Fulham Broadway. Bookings can be made on the Moonshine Saloon website or DesignMyNight. Read Metro Girl’s blog post to find out more.
- 26 – 27 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 the TFL website for transport information because many stations nearby will be closed. For more information, visit the Notting Hill Carnival website.
- Now until 26 August : Camden Fringe
The Camden Fringe returns for its 13th year, bringing over 270 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to 22 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.
- Now until 28 August : James Cook : The Voyages @ British Library
An exhibition charting the three voyages of Captain James Cook, featuring logbooks, diaries, sketches and artefacts. Opening hours vary. Tickets: Adults £14, Senior £11, Students: £7 (free for members). The PACCAR Gallery, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston. For more information and tickets, visit the British Library website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition.
- 29 August : Science Museum Lates – Circus
Late-night opening of the Science Museum, celebrating 250 years of the circus. Learn to juggle, practice the hula hoop, learn about the history of circus, as well as the usual silent disco, live music, screen-printing workshops, food and drinks. Over 18s only. 6.45pm-10pm. Free entry. Science Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Science Museum website.
- 30 August – 15 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.
- 31 August : Friday Late – Threads @ The V&A
Late-night opening of the V&A focuses on how black and Asian histories are an important part of Britain’s past. Featuring live performance, poetry, film, installation, debate, DJs and late-night exhibition openings. 6.30pm-10pm. Free entry. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets, visit the V&A website.
- 31 August : Uniqlo Tate Lates
Late-night opening of the Tate Modern celebrates DIY free party culture. Featuring DJs, film, workshops, art, talks and street food. 6pm-10pm. Free entry. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest station: Blackfriars. For more information, visit the Tate website.
- 31 August – 2 September : Spin Festival
Cycling festival featuring over 100 road, urban and lifestyle exhibitors. Expect plenty of stalls, workshops, talks and more. Tickets: Adults £13, Weekend pass £21. Printworks, Surrey Quays Road, Rotherhithe, SE16 7PJ. Nearest station: Canada Water. For more information, visit the Spin website.
- 31 August – 2 September : Meatopia
Weekend of meat, drink, music and fire. Featuring chefs from Smoke & Salt, Smoking Goat, Ox Club, Smokestak, The Lido, Foxlow, Patty & Bun, Hawksmoor and more. Music from The Cuban Brothers, John Fairhurst, DJ Pierre, New York Brass Band, Tom Findlay (Groove Armada) and more. Open Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-7pm. Tickets: £23.85-£93.28 (depending on package). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For information and booking, visit the Meatopia website.
- 31 August – 16 September : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival
Ten day festival featuring free screenings in the Peckham and Nunhead area at various locations. Films TBA. Free. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and Nunhead. For more information and listings, visit the PNFFF website.
- Now until 31 August : Big Screen @ Broadgate
Broadgate’s sports screenings continue throughout August, featuring broadcasts of the cricket, Barracuda Championship golf, European Athletics Championships, US PGA Championships, Nordea Masters, the Northern Trust and the Belgian Grand Prix. The Hamptons pop-up bar will be serving drinks. Times vary. Free entry. Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BR. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Broadgate website.
- Now until 1 September : Beautiful Allotment pop-up
A pop-up alfresco bar in the garden of the Geffrye Museum from Bourne & Hollingsworth. Featuring bookable day beds, potting sheds, cocktail bars and BBQ areas surrounded by homemade furniture, trailing plants and vegetable patches. Open – Wed-Fri: 4pm-11pm, Sat: 12pm-11pm, Sun: 12pm-8pm. Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, E2 8EA. Nearest station: Hoxton. For more information, visit the Bourne & Hollingsworth website.
- Now until 2 September : 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 15 September : Cointreau Acapulco Pop-up
Cointreau launches a summer pop-up bar to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Margarita cocktail. Expect cocktails, Sunday brunches, DJs and cocktail masterclasses. At the Secret Garden, South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, City of London, EC2M 2AF. Nearest station: Moorgate or Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Cointreau website or the South Place Hotel website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- Now until 23 September : Skylight
Rooftop bar Skylight London returns to Wapping with city views, cocktails, street food, lawn games, sports screenings and more. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry. Croquet: Indoor £25, Outdoor £35 (45 min game), Petanque: £15 (2-4 players). Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Skylight London website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
- Now until 23 September : The London Mastaba
Artist Christo has created a temporary, floating sculpture on the Serpentine Lake to coincide with his and late wife Jeanne-Claude’s exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. Open during park hours. Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s blog post, click here.
- Now until 30 September : Sounds and Sorcery
A new immersive music concert experience inspired by Disney’s Fantasia. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £38-£43, Children under 12s £28.50-£33.50, Under 3s free. The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For tickets, visit the Sounds and Sorcery website.
- Now until 30 September : Scoop – The Wonderful World Of Ice Cream
A sensory immersive celebration of ice cream from food wizards Bompas & Parr. Featuring the history of ice cream, ice cream weather, glow-in-the-dark ice cream, the neuroscience of ice cream and the dark side of desserts. Open: Mon-Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults: £12, Conc £10, Under 16s £6 (+ booking fee). Unit 2, Gasholders Building, 1 Lewis Cubitt Square, Kings Cross, N1C 4BY. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information and booking, visit the BMOF website.
- Now until 30 September : Underbelly Festival
Summer-long arts festival on the South Bank, 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. To find out about Black Cat: Bohemia, which is headlining Underbelly from 22 August – 30 September, click here.
- Now until 7 October : Serpentine Pavilion 2018
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Frida Escobedo. 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. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of this year’s pavilion.
- Now until 31 October : Picturing Forgotten London
The London Metropolitan Archives’ exhibition features photographs of the capital’s lost buildings. Opening hours vary. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. For more information, visit the City of London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 4 November : Frida Kahlo – Making Her Self Up
Exhibition featuring clothing and personal artefacts of late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Open 10am-5.45pm. Tickets: £15. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets, visit the V&A website.
- Now until Christmas : Casa Bonita pop-up
Latin American-themed pop-up bar featuring classic cocktails, Mexican street food and DJ spinning Latin beats. Open Mon-Sat 2pm-1am, Sun 2pm-11pm. Free entry. Casa Bonita, 5 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PF. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. Visit Casa Bonita’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- Now until early June 2019 : Sculpture In The City 2018/2019
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. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2017/2018 exhibition.
For a guide to London’s pop-up summer cinemas, click here.
Find out where’s London’s nearest lavender fields are.