Guide to what’s on in London in May 2023

Find out what’s on in the capital this May, including the Chelsea Flower Show, Photo London, and MCM Comic Con.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018May is often many people’s favourite month due to the warm weather, longer daylight hours and two Bank Holidays… although this year we have three Bank Holidays due to King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s Coronation on 6 May.

This month we start to sell a lot more alfresco festivals and events on around the capital, such as one of London’s biggest events, the Chelsea Flower Show. There’s also the return of the hugely popular Clerkenwell Design Week, MCM Comic Con and the Dulwich Festival.

Here’s a guide to the best events, festivals and exhibitions on in London this month.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 29 April – 1 May 2023 : IWA Canalway Cavalcade 2023

The unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice celebrates its 40th anniversary. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. Open 10am-5pm. Free. Little Venice, Maida Vale, W2. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association websiteFor Metro Girl’s blog post on a previous year’s Cavalcade, click here🐻

  • 1 May 2023 : Beer and Bread Festival

Festival returns to the historic Brixton Windmill for the 6th year. Local businesses will be selling beer, ale, bread, pastries and bakes, while there will live music, craft workshops, children’s activities and meet-the-millers of the windmill. From 1pm-5pm. Free entry. Brixton Windmill, Windmill Gardens (west end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill), Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Windmill website. 🐻

  • 3 – 27 May 2023 : Herne Hill Free Film Festival

The free film festival returns to Herne Hill for the 10th year. Films include The Iron Giant, Nope, The Banshees of Inisherin, Saint Maud and E.T. and more. Venues include Prince Regent pub, Brockwell Lido, Herne Hill Velodrome, Off the Cuff and effraspace. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website.  🐻

  • Now until 7 May 2023 : La Linea

The London Latin Music Festival returns at venues across the capital. Venues include Jazz Cafe, Rich Mix, Colour Factory, SOAS Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, Barbican, AMP Studios and Village Underground. For more information, visit the Como No website.

  • Now until 7 May 2023 : Grand Designs Live

Find inspiration to improve or build your home with experts and top brands. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Weekday £13, weekend £16, Children 15yr and under free. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House. For more information, visit the show’s official website. 🐻

  • Now until 8 May 2023 : Ukraine – Photographs from the Frontline

Harrowing exhibition of images taken by photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind in Ukraine in the run up to and during the current conflict with Russia. Open daily 10am-6pm. Free entry. Imperial War Museum London, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North. For more information, visit the IWM website.

  • 8 – 14 May 2023 : London Craft Week

A celebration of craftsmanship, featuring over 750 makers, designers, brands and galleries, with workshops, exhibitions, open studios, tastings, galleries and shops. At various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.

  • Now until 9 May 2023 : Beyond the Streets London

New exhibition showcases graffiti and street art, curated by Roger Gastman and featuring over 100 artists. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: Standard £25, 6-16 yrs £10. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website. 🐻

  • 10 – 14 May 2023 : Photo London

Photography fair at Somerset House, featuring expanded exhibition spaces and the chance to experience a range of photographic practices. Tours and workshops also available. Tickets: Adults from £32, Children under 13 free, weekend pass £52. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Photo London website. 🐻

  • 11 – 14 May 2023 : Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead

An event giving people a chance to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price, between £50-£7,500. Open Thur-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets from £11.66. Hampstead Heath (Lower Fairground Site), East Heath Road, Hampstead, NW3 1TH. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath or Hampstead. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website

  • 12 – 13 May 2023 : Laithwaites Wine Festival

The Laithwaites Wine Festival returns following a four year absence, featuring over 350 wines, 100 wine producers from 17 countries, artisan foods, tastings and sensory experiences. Open Fri 6pm-9pm, Sat 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm. Tickets: From £37.50. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Laithwaites website.

  • 12 – 14 May 2023 : Pub in the Park – Wimbledon

Touring food and music festival comes to Wimbledon for the weekend. Feeling live performances from Bananarama, Judge Jules, The Feeling, Clean Bandit, DJ Spooney, Gabrielle, The Christians, and Beatles Dub Club. Pop-up restaurants. Live cooking zone with demo stage, firepit, bookshop and more. Open Fri 6pm-10.30pm, Sat 11.30am-4.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sun 1pm-7pm. Tickets: Adults day £47.20-£58.64, Weekend £174.94, Children £29.44-£44.15. Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon Park Road, SW19 6PE. Nearest stations: Wimbledon Park, Southfields and Earlsfields. For more information, visit the Pub in the Park website. 🐻

  • 12 – 21 May 2023 : Disney Wonder of Friendship – The Experience

An immersive Disney experience with the characters and stories brought to life through augmented reality. Over 18s only. Open 12pm-9.30pm. Tickets: £18.50. 180 The Strand, Temple, WC2R 1EA. Nearest station: Temple. For tickets, visit the event website.

  • 12 – 21 May 2023 : Dulwich Festival 2023

The Dulwich Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary, with dozens of events, including live music, theatre, talks, fairs, local history, guided walks, workshops, street art walks, family events and more. At various locations in Dulwich Village, East Dulwich and West Dulwich, SE21 and SE22. Nearest stations: West Dulwich, North Dulwich and East Dulwich. For more information and listings, visit the Dulwich Festival website. 🐻

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Dulwich Festival returns

  • 14 May 2023 : Urban Village Fete

A contemporary twist on a traditional village fair featuring stalls, music, DJs, dance, art & design workshops and street food. From 11am-late. Free entry. Central Park, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

  • 18 – 21 May 2023 : Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair

The 66th edition of the prestigious book fair returns to London, featuring titles by acclaimed authors, historic manuscripts and ephemera from celebrity readers. Open Thu 5pm-9pm, Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets prices vary on Thur-Fri, free entry on Sat-Sun. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Firsts London website.

  • 19 – 21 May 2023 : Balance Festival

Wellness festival returns to the East End for a weekend of mindfulness, fitness, relaxation and more. Opening times vary (morning and afternoon sessions). Tickets vary depending on day and session. Adults start from £17.50. The Old Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, E1 6QR. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Balance Festival website.

  • 19 – 27 May 2023 : FLUX Exhibition 2023

An exhibition of 50 contemporary artists, including painters, sculptors and performance artists. Open Mon-Wed, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm, Thu-Fri 12pm-7pm. General entry: Free. Design District, The Retail Unit, 6 Mitre Passage, North Greenwich, SE10 0ER. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Flux Exhibition website.

  • 20 – 28 May 2023 : Chelsea Fringe 2023

The alternative garden festival is back for the 12th year, featuring workshops, trails, exhibitions, family activities and more. At various locations across the capital. For more information, visit the Chelsea Fringe festival website. 🐻

  • 22 – 29 May 2023 : Belgravia in Bloom 2023

The neighbourhood of Belgravia has been taken over by a floral festival with displays and experiences throughout the boutiques and restaurants. At Elizabeth Street, Motcomb Street, Pimlico Road and Eccleston Yards. Nearest station: Knightsbridge, Sloane Square and Victoria. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website.

  • 23 – 25 May 2023 : Clerkenwell Design Week

Independent design festival featuring workshops, presentations, product launches, showrooms, debates and even a design walk. Venues across Clerkenwell. Nearest stations: Barbican or Farringdon. For more information, visit the Clerkenwell Design Week website

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The Chelsea Flower Show is back

  • 23 – 27 May 2023 : The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The biggest event of the year for horticulturists. Full of stunning fantasy gardens and opportunities to buy your own plants and flowers. Open Tues-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-5.30pm. Most tickets sell out in advance, so buy ASAP. RHS members from £37.85, Public from £48.85. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the RHS website. 🐻

  • 26 – 28 May 2023 : MCM Comic Con

Pop culture show featuring chances to meet your favourite stars and buy memorabilia from your favourite shows and films. Open Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: £21-£24, Children 10yrs and under free. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For tickets and more information, visit the MCM Comic Con website. 🐻

  • 26 – 29 May 2023 : Mind Body Spirit Festival

Festival of wellbeing, featuring workshops, demonstrations and performances on the live stage, alchemy of sound, wellbeing studio, ceremony space, midlife wisdom, wellbeing spa and vulva casting, and more. Open Fri-Sun 10am-7pm, Mon 10am-5pm. Tickets: £18. London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the festival website.

  • 27 – 29 May 2023 : Foodies Festival @ Syon Park

Food festival including Chefs Theatre; Cake & Bake Theatre; Drinks Theatre; live music from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Fleur East, Scouting for Girls and Callum Beattie; street food stalls, artisan market; Kids Cookery Theatre and more. Open 11am-9pm. Tickets start from £21. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website🐻

  • 30 May – 4 June 2023 : Backyard Cinema’s Romeo + Juliet @ Alexandra Palace

Backyard Cinema’s hugely popular screenings of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet with a live choir comes to the historic Alexandra Palace Theatre. Age 12yrs +. 7.30pm. Tickets from £34.50. Alexandra Palace Theatre, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Backyard Cinema website.

  • 31 May – 6 June 2023 : Sci-Fi London Film Festival

The annual celebration of the sci-fi genre returns to east London, featuring premieres, talks and screenings. At Picturehouse Central, Prince Charles Cinema, The Garden Cinema and Rich Mix. For more information, visit the Sci-London Film Festival website.

  • Now until 4 June 2023 : David Hockney – Bigger and Closer

Experience the world through Hockney’s eyes in an immersive, digital art exhibition. Open daily, hours vary. Tickets from £25. Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DY. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Lightroom website.

  • Now until 4 June 2023 : Thin Air

Exhibition brings together works by seven contemporary artists as they transform 55,000 square feet of connecting environments, using light, atmospherics, sound and experimental new media. Open Wed-Thur 12pm-9pm, Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £20/£25, Child 4-16 yrs £10. Beams, Thameside Industrial Estate (West End of Thames Refinery), Factory Road, Royal Docks, E16 2HB. Nearest station: London City Airport or Pontoon Dock. For more information, visit the Beams website.

  • Now until 30 June 2023 : 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: £40-£130. 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 websiteCheck out Metro Girl’s review of the show.

  • Now until 30 June 2023 : Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience

Step into the art of Vincent Van Gogh in this immersive experience exploring his greatest artworks. Open Mon, Wed & Thur: 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 9am-7pm. Tickets: Adults from £25.40, Children from £16.40. Commercial Street 106, 106 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6LZ. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street. For more information and booking, visit the Van Gogh Expo website. 🐻

Scenes in the Sq Mary Poppins © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2020

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! It’s Mary Poppins

  • Now until 1 July 2023 : Scenes in the Square

Check out bronze sculptures of iconic film characters around Leicester Square. Eight interactive characters, such as Laurel & 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 websiteCheck out Metro Girl’s gallery of the exhibition. 🐻

  • Now until 11 July 2023 : No Place Like Home (A Vietnamese Exhibition) Part II

Vietnamese diasporic artists explore the theme of the home through a Vietnamese lens. There will also be accompanying workshops, food sharing, performances and a panel discussion. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Free entry. Museum of the Home, 36 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, E2 8EA. Nearest station: Hoxton. For more information, visit the Museum of the Home website.

  • Now until 30 July 2023 : Ai Weiwei – Making Sense @ The Design Museum

Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition focusing on design, featuring recent works and commissioned pieces. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Children £7.50. 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 31 August 2023 : Frameless

Explore a new way to engage with art in an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Visitors can travel through four galleries, coming up close to masterpieces from the likes of Cezanne, Kandinsky, Monet, Dalí, Van Gogh, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Klimt, among others. Opening hours vary. Tickets from £15, Kids under 5 yrs free. 6 Marble Arch Place, Marylebone, W1H 7AP. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For tickets, visit the Frameless website.🐻

  • Now until 10 September 2023 : Berthe Morisot – Shaping Impressionism @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

The first UK exhibition since 1950 of one of Impressionism’s founding artists Berthe Morisot. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £15/£16.50. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich, SE21 7AD. Nearest stations: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. For booking, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

  • Now until 30 September 2023 : Coronation exhibition @ Westminster Abbey

Explore hundreds of years of Coronations at the event’s venue at an exhibition to coincide with King Charles III’s Coronation. Entry times vary (NB: the Abbey will be closed to visitors from 25 April – 7 May). Tickets (inc general entry to the Abbey): Adults £27, Children 6-17yrs £12. Westminster Abbey, 20 Dean’s Yard, Westminster, SW1P 3PA. Nearest stations: Westminster, St James’s Park or Victoria. For more information, visit the Westminster Abbey website. 🐻

  • Now until 29 October 2023 : Crown to Couture exhibition @ Kensington Palace

Explore centuries of fashion, ranging from couture worn by the Georgians to red carpet ensembles by Lizzo at the Met Ball and Lady Gaga at the MTV Awards. Open Wed-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £24/£29, Children £12.70/£14. Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX. Nearest station: Kensington High Street. For booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website. 🐻

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About Metro Girl

Media professional who was born, brought up and works in London. My blog is a guide to London - what's on, festivals, history, reviews and attractions. All images on my blog are © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl, unless otherwise specified. Do not use without seeking permission first.

Posted on 27 Apr 2023, in art, Families, Festivals, London and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Guide to what’s on in London in May 2023.

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