Guide to what’s on in London in September 2021
Discover what’s on in the capital this September, including Chelsea Flower Show, Totally Thames, Open House Festival and London Fashion Week.
Autumn is here, but London is certainly open as many postponed festivals make a long awaited return after being postponed due to COVID-19. Horticulturists will be thrilled to see the Chelsea Flower Show back, while gin lovers will be looking forward to boozing away at Junipalooza. The hugely-popular Open House Festival returns, giving the public access to 100s of buildings normally off-limits.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
- 1 – 30 September 2021 : Totally Thames
Month-long festival celebration the river and its heritage. Featuring a host of online and in-person events focusing on the heritage, environment and culture of the Thames. At various locations. Some events are free. For more information and booking, visit the Thames Festival Trust website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. 🐻
- 1 – 30 September 2021 : Lambeth Heritage Festival 2021
Month-long festival celebrates the diverse history of Lambeth, including workshops, lectures, history fair, exhibitions, harvest festival, talks, guided tours and walks. Most events are free, but some are ticketed. At various locations across Lambeth. For more information, visit the Lambeth Council website.
- 3 – 5 September : Meatopia 2021
A festival for carnivores, for those who love cooking with fire. Featuring over 60 of the world’s top fire chefs, bars, live music, DJs, and more. Open Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 11.30am-6.30pm. Tickets from £23.85. Tobacco Dock (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Meatopia website.
- 4 – 5 September 2021 : Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair
Shop for vintage fashion, accessories and textiles from the 1900s onwards from over 50 dealers at the striking Art Deco Freemasons Hall. Open 11am-5pm. Tickets: £5. Freemasons Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5AZ. Nearest stations: Holborn or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the fair website.
- 4 – 12 September 2021 : Open House Festival
Step inside some of London’s most interesting buildings, from innovative new builds to historic centuries-old structures. Featuring nearly 700 events, including 100 walking tours and children’s activities. Many of these buildings are usually off-limits to the public. Free. Various locations. For more information, visit the Open City website. Read Metro Girl’s guide to this year’s festival. 🐻
- Now until 5 September 2021 : IQL Summer Screen @ Stratford
Enjoying screenings of classic movies, sporting events (Tokyo Paralympics) and new releases on the big screen, as well as yoga classes. Times vary. Tickets are free, but need to be booked in advance due to limited numbers. IQL Summer Screen (near Layard Street), Stratford, E20 1JN. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information and listings, visit the International Quarter website. 🐻
- Now until 5 September 2021 : Summer Festival @ Hammersmith BID
A season of free, family-friendly activities in Hammersmith city centre. Featuring Tokyo Paralympic screenings, alfresco film nights, opera, wellness classes and more. Times vary. Free. Events take place at St Paul’s Green, Lyric Square and 245 Hammersmith. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information, visit the Hammersmith BID website. 🐻
- Now until 5 September 2021 : Dub London – Bassline of a City
A new exhibition explores dub reggae and its influence on the capital. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, Barbican, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest stations: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information, visit the Museum of London website.
- Now until 5 September 2021 : The Romance of Ruins @ Sir John Soane Museum
Exhibition showcases watercolours from a 1764 expedition to ancient Ionia (modern Turkey), against the backdrop of the Sir John Soane’s museum. Open 10am-5pm. Entry: free (timed ticket). Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane Museum website.
- 8 – 12 September 2021 : Hampstead Heath Outdoor Film Festival
The Hideaway Cinema sets up camp in Hampstead for five days, screening new releases, classic and family movies. Times vary. Tickets: Adults from £15, under 15 yrs from £5. Hampstead Heath, Hampstead, NW3. Nearest station: Hampstead or Hampstead Heath. For booking, visit the Hideaway Cinema website. 🐻
- 8 September – 2 October 2021 : Openaire Float-In Cinema
Watch your favourite film while sitting on a boat floating in the Paddington Basin. Hire a boat and enjoy a ride around Little Venice before mooring by the big screen. Times vary. Tickets: Boat for up to 8 people £248.40. Deckchair £19.25. Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest stations: Paddington or Edgware Road. For more information and booking, visit the Openaire website. 🐻
- 9 September : Beerfest Lite
Beer festival outside historic Guildhall, featuring live music, food and drink. 12pm-9pm. Free entry. Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s or Monument. For more information, visit the City of London website.
- 9 – 12 September 2021 : Photo London
Exhibition of world-class photography, featuring galleries, publishers, talks, guided walks, workshops and more. Open Thu 1pm-9pm, Fri 1pm-7pm, Sat 12pm-7pm and Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Tickets: Adults from £29, Youth (13-17yrs) £19. Somerset House, Strand, Aldwych, WC2R 1LA. Nearest stations: Temple or Holborn. For more information, visit the Photo London website.
- Now until 9 September 2021 : Summer Staycation Live Music Sessions @ Paddington Basin
Enjoy free, live music every Thursday lunchtime at the Paddington basin. Thursdays only 12.30pm-2.30pm. Free. Floating Pocket Park, Paddington Basin, W2 1AN. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 9 – 19 September 2021 : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival
Eleven day film festival at various venues across Peckham and Nunhead. Including screenings of short films and feature-length movies, and pub quiz. All events are free. Nearest stations: Nunhead, Peckham Rye and Queenstown Road Peckham. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.
- 9 September – 2 October 2021 : Crystal Palace International Film Festival
Independent film festival returns to south London, featuring screenings and premieres of full-length, short films and documentaries, culminating in an awards night presented by Johnny Vegas. Tickets: £9-£25. At various locations in SE19, SE27 and SE25. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace, West Norwood or South Norwood. For more information, visit the festival website. 🐻
- Now until 11 September 2021 : Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF)
Two week festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts returns. Installations, theatre, dance, circus, street games, music and kids’ entertainment will be taking place at various locations. Most events are free. For more information, visit the GDIF website. 🐻
- 11 September 2021 : Free From Festival
The UK’s 1st Gluten, Dairy and Refined Sugar-Free Food Festival, featuring producer stalls, talks, demonstrations and live music. Open 11am-6pm. Tickets up to £54. The Boiler House, Old Truman Brewery), 152 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6RU. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 11 September 2021 : Wemba’s Dream @ Wembley Park
Head to a free, day-long performance experience festival using a combination of music, dance, theatre and spoken word. The creative collaboration between Wembley Park and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will take place throughout the day at various spaces across the site. Wembley Park, HA9. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For timing and locations, visit the Wembley Park website. 🐻
- 17 – 18 September 2021 : Camden Inspire
New street festival celebrates the local area, featuring activities, workshops, live music, film screenings and performances, as well the chance to view art in the Camden Open Air Gallery. 11am-8pm. Free. Buck Street and Stucley Place (off Camden High Street), Camden, NW1. Nearest stations: Camden Town or Camden Road. For more information, visit the Camden Inspire website.
- 17 – 19 September 2021 : Peckham Festival
Explore the best of SE15’s diverse culture and community, featuring live music and performances, film screenings, talks, workshops, walks, art displays and installations, and more. At various locations across Peckham. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye or Queenstown Road Peckham. For more information, visit the Peckham Festival website.
- 17 – 21 September 2021 : London Fashion Week
A mix of digital and physical events showcasing the latest from British and international designers. Although many shows are invite only, there are some collections open to the public. At various locations in London. For more information, visit the London Fashion Week website.
- 17 – 26 September 2021 : Chelsea History Festival
Explore the history of Chelsea with a series of talks, tours and events, both physical and virtual. Events range from free to £20. At various locations in Chelsea, including the National Army Museum and Burton Court. Nearest stations: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Chelsea History Festival website.
- 18 – 19 September 2021 : Junipalooza 2021
Gin festival returns, featuring over 60 different distillers offering 200 different gins to try and buy. Open Sat 11am-3pm, 4pm-8pm, Sun 11am-4pm. Tickets from £26.80. Tobacco Dock (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Tobacco Dock website.
- 18 – 19 September 2021 : National Wedding Show
Brides and grooms-to-be can find inspiration at this huge show, featuring everything you could need to plan your big day. Featuring 100s of wedding experts and businesses, runway shows, talks and a champagne bar. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults from £17, Children (10-15yrs) from £9.50. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 0NE. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the National Wedding Show website.
- 18 – 26 September 2021 : London Design Festival
The 19th edition of the festival returns to the capital, featuring showrooms, exhibitions, installations, and events celebrating British and international design. At various locations across London. For more information, visit the festival website.
- Now until 19 September 2021 : Secret World of Plants @ Kew Gardens
Enjoy unique art installations dotted amongst the plants of Kew. Entrance included with normal ticket. Opening hours vary, but you must book an entry time slot. Tickets: Adults £15/£16, Children £5. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
- 21 – 26 September 2021 : RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Due to the pandemic, the world’s most famous flower show is taking place this month instead of the usual spring. Open Tues-Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 8am-5.30pm (Tues & Wed entry for RHS members only). Tickets: RHS members from £66.75, Public from £83.75. Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4SR. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website. 🐻
- 24 September 2021 : Soane Lates: Spotlight on Soane
Late-night opening of the Sir John Soane Museum, featuring expert talks on some of the museum’s wonders and a glass of wine. Time slots: 6pm or 7.30pm (90 minutes). Tickets: £25. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest station: Holborn. For booking, visit the Sir John Soane Museum’s website.
- Now until 24 September 2021 : Tusk Lion Trail
Colourful life-sized sculptures of lions have been dotted around the capital to raise awareness of the Tusk charity’s animal conservation work. At various locations in the West End and City of London. For more information, visit the Tusk Lion Trail website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the trail. 🐻
- 24 – 25 September 2021 : Homebuilding & Renovating Show
Homeowners looking to improve, extend, renovate or build their abodes can find inspiration. Featuring seminars, masterclasses, expert advice and exhibition hall. Open Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4.30pm. Tickets: £12. ExCel London (East entrance), Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s website.
- Now until 25 September 2021 : London Wonderground
Summer culture extravaganza has moved from the South Bank to Earls Court. Expect the best in comedy, circus, music and family entertainment in the big top and upside cow Udderbelly. As well as performances, there will also be outdoor bars, street food, musical bandstand performances, vintage fairground rides, family activities and a ‘beach’. Tickets: free entry to site, but shows are ticketed. London Wonderground, Empress Place, Earls Court, SW6 1TT. Nearest station: West Brompton. For more information and tickets, visit the London Wonderground website. 🐻
- 25 September 2021 : La Piñata
A celebration of Mexican food, drink and culture, featuring over 20 producers of tequila and mezcal. Sessions at 11am-3pm and 4pm-8pm. Tickets: From £25. Tobacco Dock (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 26 September 2021 : Mela in the City
A celebration of Bengali arts, culture and heritage. Expect music, dance and poetry performances and opportunities to get involved. Times TBC. Free entry. Aldgate Square, Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AF. Nearest station: Aldgate or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the City of London website.
- Now until 26 September 2021 : London in the Sky
Take the phrase ‘dine with a view’ to a whole new level as you are suspended 100ft in the air while dining. Enjoy breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or cocktails while safely strapped to a hovering platform above the O2 in Greenwich. Diners must be at 1.4metres tall. Times vary. Tickets: £89-£199. The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information and booking, visit the London in the Sky website.
- Now until 26 September 2021 : Pop-Up Screens
Roaming cinema brings your favourite films to the big screen at a host of outdoor spaces across London. Tickets: Adults £14, Children £9. Venues include Bishops Park (Fulham), Kennington Park, Ravenscourt Park (Hammersmith), Hilly Fields (Brockley), Coram’s Fields (Holborn), Guildhall Yard (City), Manor House Gardens (Hither Green), and North Greenwich Peninsula. For more information and booking, visit the Pop-Up Screens website. 🐻
- Now until 26 September 2021 : Van Gogh Alive UK
An immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh. Open: Sun–Thur 10am–8pm, Fri–Sat 10am–9pm. Tickets: Adults £24. Kensington Gardens (East Albert Lawn), Kensington, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: Gloucester Road, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Van Gogh Alive website.
- Now until 30 September 2021 : Summer of Play @ Wembley Park
A whole season of free events are taking place in and around Wembley Park, including live music, outdoor cinema screenings, public art trail and sporting activities. Free. At various locations in Wembley Park. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the events. 🐻
- Now until 30 September 2021 : Summer by the River 2021
A series of entertainment returns to The Scoop near City Hall. Featuring outdoor cinema, theatre, live music, fitness classes, karaoke, riverside bar and pop-up restaurant from Jimmy Garcia. Times vary. Most events are free. London Bridge City (between Tower Bridge and London Bridge on the south side of the Thames), SE1. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and full listings, visit the London Bridge City website. 🐻
- Now until late September 2021 : Wander Art Trail
Art lovers should head to the West End to discover installations from 12 world-renowned contemporary artists. Participating artists include Fernando Laposse, Julien Colombier, Margaux Carpentier, Morag Myerscough, Yinka Ilori, Andre Mendes, Craig & Karl, Emily Forgot, Jordan Söderberg Mills, Kinska, Ricardo Cavolo, and Richard Woods. Free. At various locations in Belgravia and Mayfair. Nearest stations: Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Belgravia website.
- Now until 3 October 2021 : Luna Cinema
Roaming alfresco cinema pops up at various locations across the capital (and the UK). Expect old classics and new favourites. Times vary.l Tickets: Adults start from £16, Children from £11. Venues include Brompton Cemetery, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Regent’s Park Open-Air Cinema, Chiswick House, Kensington Palace, Dulwich Park, Victoria Tower Gardens, Wandsworth Park, Westminster Abbey, Wimbledon Park, Clapham Common, Kenwood House, Hampton Court Palace, Marble Hill and Old Royal Naval College. For more information and tickets, visit the Luna Cinema website. 🐻
- Now until 17 October 2021 : Serpentine Pavilion 2021
After a 2020 hiatus, the latest temporary pavilion by the Serpentine Gallery has been unveiled. This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally. Open 10am-6pm. Free. Serpentine Pavilion, 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 blog post on the pavilion.
- Now until 24 October 2021 : Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street
With lockdown making us more casual than ever, no doubt our sneakers have been worn more than ever in the past year. This new exhibition celebrates the footwear phenomenon. Tickets: £12 (adults), members free. Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, W8 6AG. Nearest stations: Earls Court, High Street Kensington or Holland Park. For booking, visit the Design Museum website.
- Now until 30 October 2021 : Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience
An immersive experience inspired by the classic story. Travel back in time to Victorian London and the Martian invasion of 1898. Experience immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and other cutting-edge technology. Overs 12 only. Times vary. Tickets: £39.50-£84.50. The Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3A 2BJ. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For booking, visit the War of the World’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the show.
- Now until 14 November 2021 : Remember the Future exhibition
Artists in residence will set up studio at Orleans House and explore in art ways we could fix the Earth’s ecological crisis. Among the artists taking part in the six-month project include Ackroyd & Harvey; Nestor Pestana; Bryony Benge-Abbott; Vicky Long and Eloise Moody. During the exhibition, there will also be workshops, talks, family activities and late night events. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Entry: free (donations welcome). Orleans House Gallery, Orleans Road, Twickenham, TW1 3BL. Nearest station: St Margaret’s. For more information, visit the Orleans House Gallery website.
- Now until 21 November 2021 : The Art of Banksy
Exhibition of Banksy’s art made up of pieces from private collections (although not curated or authorized by the artist himself). Expect prints, canvasses, screen prints, sculptures and other unique works. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9.30am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: £21.50-£24.50. 50 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9LJ. Nearest stations: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For tickets, visit the Art of Banksy website.
- Now until 21 November 2021 : The Making of Rodin @ Tate Modern
Explore the sculptor who changed modern art in a new exhibition of his plasterwork. Entry times 10am-4.30pm/5pm. Tickets: £18, under 12s free. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest station: Blackfriars. For more information and booking, visit the Tate Modern website.
- Now until 23 December 2021 : Noël Coward: Art & Style exhibition
Exhibition celebrating the life and work of playwright Noël Coward. Open daily 10:30am-4pm. Free entry, but booking required. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s or Bank. For more information, visit the City of London website.
- Now until 31 December 2021 : Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser
An immersive and theatrical exhibition charting the evolution of Lewis Carroll’s iconic character and how she has inspired media, fashion and culture. Open Wed-Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: £20, under 12s free. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information and to book your timed entry, visit the V&A website. 🐻
- Now until 31 December 2021 : Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition
London Muggles can get their Potter fix a bit closer to home with an exhibition of photographs charting the whole franchise. You can also enjoy a drink at the Butterbeer bar. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £20, Children 5-15yrs £14. London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BN. Nearest stations: Covent Garden, Temple or Holborn. For more information and booking, visit the Harry Potter on Location website. 🐻
- Now until 9 January 2022 : Marble Arch Mound
An 25-metre artificial hill has been erected by Marble Arch, offering visitors views down Oxford Street and over Hyde Park. Advance booking recommended. Opening hours vary. Free entry. Marble Arch, Westminster, W1H 7EL. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For more information and booking, visit the Marble Arch Mound website. 🐻
- Now until 27 February 2022 : The Murder Express
Enjoy an immersive fine dining experience on board a 19th century train carriage. Enjoy a four-course meal cooked by a Masterchef finalist, while sipping on cocktails and watching a murder mystery unfold. Times vary. Tickets from £60. Located at 63 Pedley Street, E1 5FB. Nearest stations: Bethnal Green, Shoreditch High Street or Whitechapel. For more information, visit Funicular Productions. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.
- Now until 22 April 2022 : Sculpture In The City 2021/2022
Free public art exhibition, bringing 18 contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. Free. 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 Sculpture in the City website.
- Now until July 2023 : Scenes in the Square
Check out bronze sculptures of iconic film characters around Leicester Square. Eight interactive characters, such as Lauren & Hardy to Wonder Woman will be placed in the square for four months. Free. Leicester Square, Westminster, WC2H 7DE. Nearest stations: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Leicester Square website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the exhibition. 🐻