Author Archives: Metro Girl

Take a walk on the arty side as Sculpture in the City launches free tours to mark Sculpture Week London

City of London Guides will be taking art lovers on free guided tours of this year’s SITC artworks.

Summer Moon by Ugo Rondinone is among the artworks on the Sculpture in the City walk
© Nick Turpin

Sculpture in the City is launching a series of free guided walking tours of its latest edition to coincide with Sculpture Week London 2022.

The inaugural Sculpture Week takes place from 12-18 September 2022 and celebrates London’s wide collection of public sculpture. The week-long event is a collaboration between Frieze Sculpture, the Fourth Plinth programme in Trafalgar Square and Sculpture in the City. During the celebration, the latest Fourth Plinth commission will be unveiled, as well as the opening of this year’s Freize Sculpture in Regent’s Park.

Sculpture in the City is an annual public art exhibition, which sees contemporary sculptures erected at various sites across the City of London. Currently in its 11th edition, the 2022/23 collection launched in June, with pieces in situ until spring next year. The 11th edition of SITC features 20 artworks from internationally acclaimed and emerging artists, as well as six sculptures from the previous year.

During Sculpture Week London, Sculpture in the City has teamed up with City of London Guides to host free guided walking tours of the 11th edition artworks, displayed against a backdrop of some of the Square Mile’s most iconic architecture.

  • Sculpture in the City tours for Sculpture Week London 2022 take place from 13-18 September 2022. Tues-Fri 6pm-7.30pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am-1pm and 6pm-7.30pm. Meeting point: Undershaft, City of London, EC3A 8AH. Nearest station: Aldgate, Bank or Liverpool Street. For more information and to register for a free place, visit the Sculpture in the City website

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Guide to what’s on in London in September 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on this month, including Open House, Life Lessons, Totally Thames and more.

Superbloom sees the Tower of London’s moat filled with flowers

Autumn has arrived, the kids are back in school and London’s festival season is busier than ever. With September usually still a warm month, there’s plenty of alfresco fun to be had around town. Among the big events are the month-long Totally Thames Festival, the hugely popular Open House Festival and the return of Frieze Sculpture.

Read on to find out what festivals, exhibitions and special events are on in London this September, including ticket prices, transport details and more.

Some events are subject to cancellation or rescheduling due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Keep up to date with organisers’ social media before you go.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 18 September 2022 : Portobello Film Festival

Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the Gate Picturehouse and the Muse Gallery. Free. Nearest stations: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 30 September 2022 : 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. 🐻

  • 1 September – 2 October 2022 : STRETCH @ Eccleston Yards

A month-long wellness and fitness festival comes to Eccleston Yards, featuring workshops, classes, experiences, talks and more, such as outdoor painting, floral therapy, nutrition advice, marathon tips, yoga and more. Times vary. Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, 21 Eccleston Place, Belgravia, SW1W 9NF. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website.

  • Now until 2 September 2022 : Summer by the River

A host of free entertainment returns to the riverside location, including family theatre, live music, DJs, film screenings, Platinum Jubilee events, dance classes and more. Times vary. Free. London Bridge City, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge (south of the river), SE1. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website. 🐻

  • 2 September 2022 : Food & Play Pop-up

An afternoon and evening of food and fun comes to Wimbledon, featuring international food, cocktail mixing demos, beer and cheese pairings, DJs, and games (table football, Connect 4, Giant Jenga, board games and more). From 12pm-9pm. Free entry. The Piazza, Wimbledon, SW19 1QB. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information, visit the Love Wimbledon website. 🐻

  • 2 – 4 September 2022 : Pub in the Park – Chiswick

Celebration of food and music sets up camp in west London for the weekend. Featuring performances from Craig David TS5, The Sugar Hill Gang, Beverley Knight, Faithless DJ, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Christians, along with top celebrity chefs and London restaurants. Open Fri 6pm-10.30pm, Sat 11.30am-4.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sun 1om-7pm. Tickets: Adults £43.40-£55.51, Children £27.13-£40.69. Chiswick House & Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For more information, visit the Pub in the Park website. 🐻

  • 2 – 4 September 2022 : Meatopia

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. Over 18s only on Friday. Open Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Tickets from £26.50. Tobacco Dock (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Meatopia website.

  • Now until 4 September 2022 : The Beach @ Brent Cross

London’s largest beach returns for the summer, along with street food, games and rides. Open: Term-time (Sat & Sun only – 12pm-9pm), School holidays (Daily 12pm-9pm). Entry: £5 pp (£4 advance). Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For more information, visit the Brent Cross website. 🐻

  • Now until 4 September 2022 : Doctor Who – Time Fracture

Fans of the Time Lord will love this immersive, theatrical experience as you ‘travel’ back to 1940s Mayfair during the Blitz. Times vary (experience lasts 2hr 15mins). Over 8 yrs+ only. Tickets from £29.95. UNIT HQ, 1-8 Davies Mews, Mayfair, W1K 5AB. Nearest station: Bond Street. For booking, visit the Doctor Who: Time Fracture website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Zoetropes, rainbow foam and flying hammocks | Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is back for 2022

Outdoor arts and theatre festival returns to Greenwich and East London for 18 days.

Charon by Peter Hudson will be at the Royal Docks
© Mitzi Peirone

Returning to the Thameside neighbourhoods this month is the hugely-popular Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF). Taking place at various locations, the free arts and theatre festival kicks off on 26 August 2022 and runs for 18 days, with this year’s theme being ‘Common Ground’. Artists from Spain, Germany, Flanders, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Ukraine, and the U.S. will join homegrown talent, with 12 UK premieres taking place. Launching the GDIF 2022 will be the UK premiere of Spark, by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde. The sky above the Queen’s House lawns in Greenwich will be lit up by thousands of biodegradable light sparks in a two-night performance inspired by fireflies.

One of the highlights of this year’s GDIF includes Peter Hudson’s 32ft high zoetrope Charon, created for the Burning Man Festival in 2011, which will be placed in situ at the Royal Docks. Meanwhile, Stephanie Lüning will transform Greenwich Peninsula into a river of rainbow foam with her Island of Foam installation. Families will love This Woven O by Oliver MacDonald, an arena made of willow hosting accessible theatre and storytelling, in Woolwich. Canning Town will become the chill zone with the mindful fairground ride Relaxerette, by Arjan Kreidhof.

There will also be performances from Graeae, Common Wealth, Speakers Corner and Fuel, Gobbledegook Theatre, Royal Ballet, Protein Dance, Fevered Sleep, Chris Green, Tara Theatre, Middle Child Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company during the festival.

The Greenwich Fair returns to the Old Royal Naval College and Cutty Sark Gardens on 27 August, while the two-day outdoor dance festival Dancing City will pop up at Canary Wharf on 10-11 September. Last year’s GDIF attracted over 75,000 visitors, with more expected for 2022 as London continues to recover from the pandemic.

  • The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival runs from 26 August – 11 September 2022. At various locations across Greenwich and Docklands. Free to attend. For more information and booking, visit the GDIF website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in August 2022

Find out what events and exhibitions are on in London this month, including beer festivals, Happy Place Festival, the Notting Hill Carnival and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

 

The summer is flying by as the final month of the season arrives. Expect to see a lot less Londoners in town and a lot more out-of-towners and visitors from abroad as the city becomes continues to be a tourist magnet. There’s also a Bank Holiday at the end of the month (29 August), so expect plenty of events on over the long weekend. This year sees the long-awaited return of the Notting Hill Carnival, following two years on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

School holidays continue for the remainder of the month so there is plenty of events and activities for children taking place around the capital.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 28 August 2022 : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its 16th year, bringing over 200 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre, Etcetera Theatre, The Phoenix Arts Club, The Little Angel Theatre, The Water Rats and the Hen And Chickens, among others. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 1 – 29 August 2022 : This Bright Land

A summer celebration of community and culture in the courtyard of Somerset House, featuring performances, dance, music, talks, workshops, observation wheel and open-air vogue balls. Open 12pm-10.30pm. Free entry. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 2 – 6 August 2022 : Great British Beer Festival

Britain’s flagship beer festival returns with over 1,000 of British and international real ales, ciders, perries and beers with be available to try. Open Tues 2 5pm-10.30pm, Wed-Fri 12pm.-10.30pm, Sat 12pm-7pm. Tickets: £20 (inc festival glass, brochure and 2 half pint tokens). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.

  • 5 August 2022 : Food & Play Pop-up

An afternoon and evening of food and fun comes to Wimbledon, featuring international food, cocktail mixing demos, beer and cheese pairings, DJs, and games (table football, Connect 4, Giant Jenga, board games and more). From 12pm-9pm. Free entry. The Piazza, Wimbledon, SW19 1QB. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information, visit the Love Wimbledon website. 🐻

  • 6 August 2022 : Happy Place Festival

A festival celebrating self-love and happiness. Featuring creative workshops, meditation, mindfulness, talks, yoga classes, and more. Open 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £35.75, Children 5-16 yrs £16.50, 4yr and under free. Chiswick House & Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4 2RP. Nearest station: Chiswick. For tickets and more information, visit the Happy Place website. 🐻

  • 8 – 21 August 2022 : Carnaby Summer Festival 2022

Two week festival comes to the vibrant Soho district, including free workshops (e.g. candle-making and pottery painting, life drawing), interactive masterclasses with Carnaby locals, giveaways, live music, shopping offers, restaurant discounts and more. Times vary. Events take place in Carnaby Street and neighbouring streets, Soho, W1. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website. 🐻

  • 10 – 11 August 2022 : Canal Zorbing at Merchant Square

Roll across the Paddington Basin in a giant Zorb. Times TBC. Free. Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest stations: Paddington and Edgware Road. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website. 🐻

  • 10 – 22 August 2022 : King’s Cross Summer Sounds 2022

Free music festival returns to King’s Cross, with this year’s theme being ‘Connected Communities’. Performances daily at 6.30pm-8.30pm and Sundays 1pm-6pm. Free. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. 🐻

  • 10 – 31 August 2022 : The Provibers @ Leadenhall Market

Entertainers The Provibers, famed for their interactive experiences at the UK’s top festivals, bring festival fun to the City’s historic Leadenhall Market. Every Wednesday from 12pm. Free. Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Bank, Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website. 🐻

  • 11 – 13 August 2022 : Cocktails in the City

The London summer series of the popular cocktail festival continues over three weekends monthly between July and September. London’s top bars host their own pop-ups, alongside live music, street food, silent disco, tastings and demonstrations. All cocktails are £8.50. Open 12pm-4pm and 5pm-10pm. Tickets: £20 (daytime or evening slots). Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest stations: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Cocktails In The City website.

  • 12 – 13 August 2022 : London Craft Beer Festival

Popular beer festival returns to London, featuring over 100 world-class breweries. There will also be street food stalls and live music. Open daily 11.30am-11pm. Tickets (early or evening sessions) from £57.50. Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and booking, visit the London Craft Beer Festival website.

  • 13 – 14 and 20 – 21 August 2022 : Icons of Wembley Silent Disco Tour

Dance and sing your way round Wembley Park as you listen to some of Wembley’s biggest performers in a Silent Disco. Times vary. Ages 6 years and over. Tickets: Adults £24, youth £19. Meet at Black Sheep Coffee, 2 Olympic Way, Wembley, HA9 0GU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. 🐻

  • 18 – 21 August 2022 : APP World SUP Tour Stop 2022

A weekend of water fun, including watching the Pros battling it out for the London SUP Open, SUP Yoga lessons, youth clinics, introductory paddle sessions, live sport, music, entertainment, and more. Times vary. Free. Middle Dock and Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website. 🐻

  • 18 August – 30 October 2022 : Stranger Things – The Experience

An immersive experience bringing you into the world of 1980s Hawkins, Indiana. Featuring a 1 hour experience, ’80s themed mixtape medley with food and drink, photo opportunities, merchandise and more. No under 5 yrs. Open Wed-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-9pm. Tickets from £39. Troubadour Brent Cross Studios, Tilling Road, Brent Cross, NW2 1LW. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For tickets, visit the experience website. 🐻

  • 20 August 2022 : Thamesmead Festival

One-day celebration, featuring live music, carnival, food stalls, dog show, dance, craft stalls and more. From 12pm-7pm. Free entry. Southmere Park, Hartslock Drive, Thamesmead, SE2 9XA. Nearest station: Abbey Wood. For more information, visit the Thamesmead website.

  • Now until 21 August 2022 : Summer Exhibition @ Royal Academy of Arts

An eclectic exhibition of 1,500 pieces of art submitted by professionals to unknown artists. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: £18. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest stations: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Royal Academy of Arts website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on last year’s exhibition.

  • 25 – 27 August 2022 : Arrow FrightFest

Horror fantasy film festival sees over 70 screenings during five days. Including premieres of The Lair, Dark Glasses, Fall and Something In The Dirt. Times vary. Tickets: Single £14.50, Thurs day pass £37, Fri-Sat day pass £65, Sun-Mon day pass £55, festival pass £200. Cineworld Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA and Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY. Nearest stations: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the FrightFest website.

  • 25 – 28 August 2022 : Bank Holiday Weekender @ Number 90

East London destination Number 90 are hosting four days of festivities over the long weekend, including music from The Disco Express, S.A.S.H and Half Baked Records, as well as 2-4-1 burger and cocktail offers on select days. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Number 90 website.

  • 25 August – 3 November 2022 : Jurassic World – The Exhibition

Immerse yourself in scenes inspired by the classic film franchise as you get up close with dinosaurs. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults from £26, Children from £18.50. ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Jurassic World Exhibition website. 🐻

  • 26 August – 11 September 2022 : Greenwich & Docklands International Festival

Celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

King’s Cross Summer Sounds 2022 | Free music festival returns to N1

Local and international artists will perform over 12 days.

King’s Cross Summer Sounds returns on 10 August 2022

King’s Cross will be filled with the sounds of music this August as its annual free music festival returns. Previously known as Cubitt Sessions, the King’s Cross Summer Sounds sees 12 days of festivities from local and international artists at Coal Drops Yard, kick starting on 10 August.

The 2022 theme, Connected Communities, embraces the cultural diversity of the London district. Visitors can enjoy music every evening from 6.30pm-8.30pm and on Sundays from 1pm-6pm.

Opening the festival is celebrated Flamenco composer and guitarist Paco Peña and Friends. Other festival highlights include folk quartet Tacla; alternative pop duo APRE; and an Evening of Songs from the Shows featuring Danial Boys. Closing out the festival on 21 August is the world-renowned London Community Gospel Choir.

King’s Cross Summer Sounds Programme:

• Wed 10 Aug – Paco Peña & Friends

• Thu 11 Aug – Tacla, Gypsy jazzers from North Wales

• Fri 12 Aug – APRE pop duo supported by Zola Courtney

• Sat 13 Aug – Evening of Songs from the Shows, Danial Boys & Guests. Read the rest of this entry

Superbloom at the Tower of London | Moat is transformed into a floral tribute to the Queen

Serpentine Pavilion 2022 | A look inside Theaster Gates’ Black Chapel

Guide to London’s open-air cinemas in summer 2022

Find out where London’s pop-up outdoor cinemas are this summer, including prices and transport details.

Outdoor cinema guide London © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2020As the summer nights get warmer, what better way to enjoy the season by watching one of your favourite films underneath the stars (if you can see them in London!). Returning for the sunnier months are a host of roaming pop-up cinemas, with big screens cropping up in some of the capital’s best parks and green spaces.

While many are ticketed, there are also some freebie screenings, but you’re advised to turn up early to secure a spot and avoid disappointment.

Here’s a guide to London’s outdoor cinemas, including prices, locations and transport details.

  • 29 April – 4 September 2022 : Rooftop Film Club

Watch your favourite classics or newer releases in a cosy deckchair with a cool vista. Times vary. Tickets: £16.95-£22.95. Venues include Roof East (7 – 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Street, Stratford, E15 1XE. Nearest station: Stratford) and the Bussey Building (133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST. Nearest station: Peckham Rye). For more information, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

  • 30 May – 2 September 2022 : Summer By The River

Film screenings will be broadcast on the big screen at The Scoop as part of the entertainment schedule by the river this summer. Times and days vary. Free (first come, first served). London Bridge City, Bankside, SE1 2AA. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and full listings, visit the London Bridge City website.

  • 30 May  – 22 September 2022 : Canary Wharf Summer Screens

As part of Canary Wharf’s open-air screen, which broadcasts sporting matches, there will be film screenings on Wednesdays and weekends. Free. Canada Square Park & Union Square, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest stations: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.

  • 23 June – 2 October 2022 : Luna Cinema

Roaming alfresco cinema pops up at various locations across the capital (and the UK). Expect old classics and new favourites. Times vary. Tickets: Adults from £19.50, Children from £13.50. Venues include Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre, Chiswick House, Kensington Palace, Dulwich Park, Danson House, Westminster Abbey, Lincoln’s Inn, Clapham Common, Kenwood House, Hampton Court Palace, Marble Hill, Wimbledon Park and Old Royal Naval College. For more information and tickets, visit the Luna Cinema website.

  • 24 – 26 June, 1 – 3 July and 19 – 21 August 2022 : Adventure Cinema

Head to an outdoor screening of classic films and new releases. Tickets: Adults from £14.50, under 12s from £9.50. London venues include Beckenham Place Park (Nearest station: Beckenham Hill), Charlton House & Gardens (Nearest station: Charlton), and Osterley Park & House (Nearest station: Osterley). For more information and booking, visit the Adventure Cinema website.

  • 27 June – 3 August 2022 : Screen on the Canal

Everyman Cinema takes the big screen to the banks of the canal. Films include Dune, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Free Guy, West Side Story, Belfast, King Richard, Matilda, and Encanto Sing-a-Long. Free. Canalside Steps, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in July 2022

Find out what events and exhibitions are on in the capital, including Pride, Cocktails in the City, London Zoo lates and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017Summer is in full bloom with long warm nights and a gargantuan choice of events on in London. Schools are breaking up for the summer holidays towards the end of the month so expect plenty of local and out-of-town families diverging on the capital looking to be entertained. Fortunately, there’s a host of family-friendly events on around town.

This month sees the long-awaited return of some popular events after being scaled back or cancelled over the past two years due to Covid-19.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 3 July 2022 : Feria de Londres

Three-day festival inspired by the Andalusian celebration of Spanish food and culture. Featuring Spanish dance and music performances and workshops, food traders, and drink vendors. Open Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 11am-3pm/3pm-6pm/6.30pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-4pm/4pm-9pm. Tickets: Adults £10, Under 16s free. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s or Bank. For more information, visit the Feria de Londres website. 🐻

  • 1 – 3 July 2022 : The Allergy & Free From Show

Show for people who suffer from allergies, intolerances, coeliac disease, hay fever or eczema. Featuring cooking classes, seminars, expert advice, skin consultations, live music and more. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Free (register online). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 1 – 3 July 2022 : Just V Show

Plant-based living for Vegans to Flexitarians. Featuring Vegan-friendly skincare, lifestyle products and food, seminars and both popular and new vegan brands. Tickets: Free (register online). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 2 July 2022 : Pride in London

Pride is back with a bang as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Pride in the UK. Parade starts at Hyde Park Corner and ends at Trafalgar Square. Timings TBA. Free to spectate. For more information, visit the Pride in London website.

  • Now until 3 July 2022 : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Keats Grove Community Mural Festival, Family Garden Party, The Taming of the Shrew production, Art Fair and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website. 🐻

  • 3 July 2022 : Pride @ Wembley Park

Celebrate Pride at Wembley with live performances, DJs, dance workshops (Zumba, pop and voguing), art classes, face painting, fitness sessions (yoga and Pilates) and drag queens. 11am-10pm. Free. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. 🐻

  • 3 July 2022 : Red Bull Soapbox Race

Enjoy one of the country’s most quirky races, with participants competing with their handmade vehicles. 12pm-6pm. Tickets: Over 25 yrs £29.99, Under 25 yrs £19.99. Alexandra Palace Park, N22 7AY. Nearest stations: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Red Bull website. 🐻

  • 4 – 9 July 2022 : RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021

The world’s largest garden show returns to the grounds of the historical Hampton Court. Attractions include show gardens, Market Theatre, live music, DJs, RHS Flower School, Festival of Roses, Floral Marquee, talks and demos. RHS members only Mon and Tues. Open Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5.30pm. Tickets from £28.85 (cheaper for RHS members). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For tickets, visit the RHS website. 🐻

  • Now until 6 July 2022 : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Open Thu, Mon-Wed 11am-9pm, Fri-Sun 11am-7pm. Tickets from £45. The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 7 July 2022 : City Beerfest

One day festival in the City of London raising money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. Featuring beers, street food, and live music. From 12.30pm-9pm. Tickets: £13.50. Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s or Bank. For tickets, visit the City Beerfest website. Read the rest of this entry

Aldgate Pump | The story behind the City of London’s historic water pump

There has been a watering hole on the spot since at least the 13th century

The old Aldgate Pump in the City of London

Situated at the junction of Aldgate, Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street stands a historic water pump. Although not the first iteration of the pump, the Aldgate Pump has long been symbolic as the start of London’s East End. For years, it was famous for being the starting point for distances between the City of London into Middlesex and Essex. It takes its name from nearby Aldgate, one of the original Roman gates into the City.

The Aldgate Pump in 1874.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London

There has been a watering spot at the site since at least the 13th century, initially as a well during the latter part of King John’s (1166-1216) reign. Historian John Stow (1524-1605) lived near the Aldgate well in the tumultuous year of 1549 and recalls witnessing from his own doorstep the execution of the Bailiff of Romford for alleged ‘rebellion’. Stow wrote in his 1598 book, ‘Survey of London’: “The Bailiff of Romford, in Essex, was one, a man very well beloved. He was early in the morning of St Magdalene’s Day, brought by the Sheriffs of London and the knight-marshall to the well within Aldgate, to be executed upon a gibbet set up that morning.” The well appears on Braun and Hogenburg’s London map in 1574, as well as on The Agas Map of Early Modern London in 1633.

By the 18th century, developments in engineering meant the Aldgate well had now become a pump to accommodate the booming London population. What is believed to be the first illustration of the Aldgate pump appeared in 1798, depicting it as an obelisk erected on a plinth, topped by a lantern, with further lamps on each side. The pump was served by one of the capital’s many subterranean streams. Read the rest of this entry