Guide to what’s on in London in September 2018
Autumn is coming. It feels like we’ve been treated to an extra long summer this year thanks to the blazing hot temperatures. However, with London not really cut out for the practicalities of an uber hot heatwave, the cooler evenings and not-so-busy capital is sure to be welcomed by many Londoners. Despite being autumn, there’s plenty of alfresco festivals throughout September, with foodies and booze fans well accommodated. Here’s Metro Girl’s round-up of the best events on in the capital this September.
- 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.
- 1 September : Camberwell Fair
A long tradition of the Camberwell Fair continues, stemming back to the 13th century. Featuring market, games, two live music stages, food, drink and community events. 12pm-9pm. Free entry. Camberwell Green, Camberwell, SE5 7AF. Nearest station: Denmark Hill or Oval. For more information, visit the Camberwell Fair 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 (7-9 Sept), The Great River Race (8 Sept), Billingsgate Roman Bath House open days, walks, mudlarking, art installations, live music, theatre, dinners, river relay, film screenings and many more activities. Many events are free. For more information, visit the Totally Thames website.
- 1 – 31 September : 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 a local history fair, talks, guided walks, film, music, theatre, exhibitions, and workshops. At venues across the borough including West Norwood Cemetary, Lambeth Palace, the Cinema Museum, National Theatre, Brixton Library and Brixton Windmill. For more information, visit the Lambeth.gov.uk website.
- 2 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 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.
- 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 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.
- 5 September : The Rum Off @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum in the first heat of the Rum Off 2018. Four leading rum brands – Havana Club, The Real McCoy, Gosling’s and Skipper – will compete through a series of cocktail making heats, with you getting to vote for your favourite. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £8. Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 7 – 9 September : Classic Boat 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.
- 7 – 9 September : HRP Food Festival @ Tower of London
Food festival in the moat of one of London’s most iconic buildings. Expect street food, pop-up bars, masterclasses, artisan producers, music, shopping & gifts and kids’ entertainment. Featuring celebrity chefs and experts including Michel Roux Jr, Nadiya Hussain, Melissa Hemsley, Marcus Bean, Dr Rupy Aujla, Jose Pizarro and more. Tickets: £22.70. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, City of London, EC3 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Fenchurch Street or Tower Gateway. For tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website.
- 7 – 10 September : ‘Ginema’ with Hayman’s
Hayman’s Gin are turning their distillery into a pop-up cinema. Sit in a beanbag and watch a classic movie while enjoying gin cocktails. Over 18s only. G&T reception at 7pm, film at 7.30pm. Tickets: £40 (includes screening, London Dry Gin popcorn, welcome G&T, two gin cocktails, £5 voucher for distillery tour). Hayman’s, 8A Weir Road, Balham, SW12 0GT. Nearest station: Balham. For more information, visit the Hayman’s website.
- 8 – 9 September : GO! Organic Festival
A festival of everything organic, featuring live music, entertainment, music, food, celebrities, lifestyle and health. Talks from Jonathan Dimbleby, Natalie Fee, Simon King, Chris Collins, Helen Browning and more. Music from a host of acts including The Hosiers and The Magic Numbers. Tickets: Adults from £28.08, Child 5-15yrs from £14.30. Battersea Evolution (Queenstown Road entrance), Battersea Park, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For tickets, visit the GO! Organic Festival website.
- 14 – 16 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 £16 (advance). The Green, Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For tickets, visit The Handmade Fair website.
- 14 – 19 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.
- 14 September – 12 January 2019: Divine Proportions
A heavenly new immersive dining experience for Gods and Goddesses in the Vaults below Waterloo station. Shotgun Carousel’s new production reimagines the story of the God of Wine, hedonism and ritual ecstasy. Except a five-course meal accompanied by entertainment. Shows Tues-Sun, doors open 6.30pm. Tickets: £35-£55 (includes dinner and entertainment). The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For tickets, visit The Vaults website.
- 15 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.
- 15 September : Wanderlust 108
Lifestyle festival returns to London offering a triathlon with a twist. A 5k run or walk, followed by outdoor yoga and meditation. From 7.30am-5pm. Tickets from £31. Battersea Park, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest stations: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For tickets, visit the Wanderlust website.
- 15 – 23 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-£11, 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.
- 15 – 23 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.
- 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 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.
- 16 September : Pearly Kings and Queens’ Festival
Annual Harvest festival by the Pearly Kings and Queens of the East End, featuring marching bands, Morris dancers, Maypole dancers, donkeys and Newfoundland dogs. From 12pm. Free. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Pearly Society website.
- Now until 16 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 Swiss Army Man, Road House, The Cotton Club, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus and more. Free. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and Nunhead. For more information and listings, visit the PNFFF website.
- 20 – 23 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, Westminster, WC2R. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the London Fashion Week Festival website.
- 20 – 23 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: Adults from £40, Children from £20 (advance). ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent. For more information, visit the New Scientist Live website.
- 22 September : Gung-Ho!
You can run, walk or jump over this 5k inflatable obstacle course. You are rewarded with a T-shirt and headband when you complete the course. 9am-5pm. Tickets from £35. Crystal Palace Park, Crystal Palace, SE19 2GA. Nearest station: Crystal Palace. For more information, visit the Gung-Ho! website.
- Now until 22 September : Tusk Rhino Trail
Twenty one rhino sculptures have been dotted around the capital near iconic spots. Each piece has been customised by an artist to raise awareness of rhino conservation. To download the trail map and find out more about the charity’s work, visit the Tusk Rhino Trail website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the Tusk Rhino Trail.
- 22 – 23 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. Check out Metro Girl’s guide with reviews and tips.
- 23 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!). From 10.30am. Free for spectators who want to watch the action along the way. City of London start point TBC. For more information, visit the Great Gorilla Run website.
- 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. Free. 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 23 September : Skylight
Rooftop bar Skylight London in Wapping approaches the end of its summer season with city views, cocktails, street food, lawn games, World Cup and Wimbledon 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.
- 24 September : Gin Off 2018 Semi-Final
Help find the world’s best gin in one of the semi-final of this year’s Gin Off. From 6pm-9pm. Tickets: £10 (include 4 gin cocktails). Graphic Bar, 4 Golden Square, Soho, W1F 9HT. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For booking, visit the Graphic Bar website. For more information, check out Metro Girl’s blog on the Gin Off.
- 24 – 29 September : The Re Set
Evening Standard presents a week of events focused on health and wellbeing. Expect celebrity and expert speakers, talks, workshops, classes and more. Venues across London. For more information, visit The Re Set website.
- 26 September – 7 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.
- 26 September – 21 October : Dance Umbrella
A festival bringing new dance to the capital and a wider audience who may not usually access the art form. Various events at locations across the capital, including The Old Vic, Somerset House, Stratford Circus Arts Centre, National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and Barbican. Tickets prices vary. For more information and tickets, visit the Dance Umbrella website.
- 29 – 30 September : Style Fest @ Centre:MK
Style fest takes over Milton Keynes’ Centre:MK for the weekend, themed around the beauty of power. Hosted by TV presenter AJ Odudu, expect live catwalk shows, beauty demos, a British Fashion Council panel talk, giveaways, mindfulness and yoga classes. Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm. Free. Middleton Hall, Centre:MK, Witan Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 2HP. Nearest station: Milton Keynes Central (30 minutes from London Euston). For more information, visit the Centre:MK website.
- 30 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.
- 30 September : London Bridge Sheep Drive
Watch or take part in the annual Sheep Drive, a 800 year old tradition where sheep are paraded over London Bridge. The Wool Fair will also be taking place at Monument. Free to spectate. London Bridge, SE1 9DD. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Monument. For more information, visit the Sheep Drive 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 : 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.
- 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 : 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.
- 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. See 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.