This gallery contains 9 photos.
A look at the festive lantern festival, which returned to London for the 2nd year.
Special events and festivals
Summer is finally here! After a wet and cold start to the year, hopefully we’ll finally seeing some warmth and sunshine this month.
As the most alfresco-friendly season, it’s no surprise the capital in jam-packed with events, including the London Design Biennale, the London Festival of Architecture, Polo in the Park, Junipalooza, Taste of London, the launch of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy and the return of Zoo Nights at London Zoo.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
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.
Some of the world’s top designers, curators and design institutes gather for an interactive and musical exhibition of design. Open 11am-7pm. General admission from £23. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest stations: Temple, Holborn or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
A month-long celebration of architecture, with this year’s theme being ‘In Common’. Featuring talks, installations, tours, exhibitions, open studios, film screenings, debate, conferences and more. At various venues around town. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.
A host of free entertainment returns to the riverside location, including family theatre, live music, DJs, film screenings, 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.
For wannabe expats or holiday home owners who want to find out more about buying a property overseas. Open Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm. Tickets: £10. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Place in the Sun website.
Nine-day community arts festival returns in-person to south-east London, featuring live music, dance, craft markets, poetry, art installations, film screenings, workshops, talks, interactive games and more. At venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Brockley Max website. 🐻
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.
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.
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.
Bringing polo from the country estates into London. As well as watching the polo, there is plenty of entertainment and food and drink. Featuring the Fulham Food Festival, Fever Tree Garden, Mahiki pop-up, Pimm’s bus, Champagne Lanson Fruit Market, live music and DJs, shopping and kids’ activities. Open from 12pm. Tickets start from £43 (adults), £16.15 (children only on Sunday), 4 and under free. Hurlingham Park, Fulham, SW6 3RH. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge or Parson’s Green. For more information and tickets, visit Chestertons Polo In The Park’s website. 🐻
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Lebanese-born architect Lina Ghotmeh. 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. Read the rest of this entry
May 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.
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 website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on a previous year’s Cavalcade, click here. 🐻
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. 🐻
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. 🐻
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.
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. 🐻
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.
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.
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. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry
It’s April so by now the spring weather should hopefully be in full swing. London is really opening up to tourists and the festival season really ramps up. Of course, the Easter holidays mean the capital becomes a hub of family fun with parents and carers looking for ways to entertain the little ones. This year, Easter Weekend takes place 7-10 April so expect a lot of special events over the long weekend. There’s also the annual festivities for Eid, Vaisakhi and St George’s Day.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
South London’s largest attended independent beer festival, featuring 100 beers and 25 ciders to sample. Also featuring live entertainment. Open Wed 6pm-11pm, Thu 1pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 1pm-11pm. Tickets: £12-£40. Le Gothique, John Archer Way, Wandsworth, SW18 3SX. Nearest station: Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Town or Wandsworth Common. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
Canalside drinking and dining destination Number 90 are hosting their 9th birthday party all day, with DJs, food, cocktails. DJs include DJ Fett Burger, San Proper, Scarlett O’Malley, Aroop Roy and more. Open 12pm-4am. Free entry before 10pm, tickets from £5 after 10pm. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Number 90 website.
Two weeks of family-friendly fun at the new Battersea Power Station retail and entertainment complex. Activities include Giant Flower Trail, Mobile Farm, Illustrated Playground, face-painting and more. Times vary. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website.
A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Celebrity guests and experts include Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Phil Spencer, Martin Lewis, Gregg Wallace, John Torode, Lisa Faulkner, Olly Smith, Rosemary Shrager, Kate Hardcastle, Danni Menzies, Paul A Young and many more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also include free access to the Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
Indoor food festival returns, featuring cooking masterclasses and workshops, drinks experts, celebrity chefs, shopping, Artisan Producers’ market, and more. Celebrity guests and experts include Nikita Pathakji, Asimakis Chianotis, Helen Graham, Lola Milne, Theodore Chana, Nathan Davies, Charlie Jeffreys, Carole Edwards, Skinny Jean Gardner, Kevin Flynn and more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also includes free access to Ideal Home Show). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Eat & Drink Festival website.
Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including music, open studios, art shows, interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, talks, literary events, plays, performance art and music events. Lots of events are free, but some will cost. At various venues across New Cross, Nunhead, Hatcham, Brockley and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Telegraph Hill festival website.
View and buy original prints from old and modern masters. Open Thur-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets from £15. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Original Print Fair website.
Free family activities will be taking place across the Square Mile as part of The Wild Escape. Including workshops, installations, story-telling, and more. For ages 3-11. Events are free, but booking is strongly recommended. At the Guildhall Art Gallery, London Metropolitan Archives, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE and the Salter’s Company. For more information, visit the City of London website.
Head to the Paddington Basin with your little ones for an Easter Egg hunt with an Alice in Wonderland theme. For ages 4-12yrs. 11am-4pm (each hunt last 25 mins). Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest stations: Paddington and Edgware Road. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
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. 🐻
Gather in Trafalgar Square to watch the Easter story performed by the Wintershall Players on Good Friday. Expect donkeys, doves, a 100-strong cast and a re-enactment of the Crucifixion. Performances at 12pm and 3.15pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Wintershall Players website. 🐻
Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, vintage market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets range from £10 to £58. At various venues in East London, including Oslo, and Paper Dress Vintage. For more information and tickets, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.
Four day celebration of Star Wars, including immersive exhibits, interactive show floor, screenings, merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, autograph sessions, fan activities, costumes and more. Tickets: Adults from £65, Children from £33. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Star Wars Celebration website. 🐻
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.
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. 🐻
In-person and online festival to promote gaming and interactive entertainment, including a Trafalgar Square exhibition, LGF World Stage, Games Finance Market, the Now Play This exhibition, BAFTA Games Awards, industry talks, and more. For more information, visit the Games London website. 🐻
Family event in the grounds of Brixton Windmill, featuring an Easter egg hunt, arts and craft workshop, windmill tours, windmill tours and more. 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.
Check out images from the four competitions of the annual awards. Open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm. Tickets: Standard £15, Children under 12 free. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻
Check out the UK’s biggest display of planted tulips. Daily tulips talks at 11am and 2pm. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets (inc with regular entry): Adults £26-£29, Child £13-£14.50. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For more information, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻
Buy music, food, fashion and more surrounded by classic cars and bikes. Also featuring street food, clothing repair stalls, live DJs, craft beer and cocktail stalls. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £6. Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.
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.
Festival of Java, featuring tastings, coffee masters, food & wine pairing, Global Coffee School, DJs and more. Entry times via timed sessions. Thu and Fri daytime for industry only. Open to public: Fri 4pm-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets from £24. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information and tickets, visit the London Coffee Festival website. Read the rest of this entry
Spring is on its way… apparently! Although we know that March tends to be a pretty cold month, with snow often making a fleeting appearance, so maybe it’s not quite time to start planning your summer wardrobe.
This month there’s a huge choice of art fairs to suit all tastes and budgets if you’ve got a spare wall at home that needs jazzing up. There’s also the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square and the return of dance-fest Move It with some of the biggest movers and shakers showing their stuff.
Find out the best events, exhibitions and festivals on in London this March.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
One of the world’s most influential contemporary craft and design festival comes to London, featuring work from over 400 artists. Open 11am-6pm. Tickets: General admission £25. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Somerset House website.
Film and Comic Con returns, giving you the opportunity for autograph sessions, photoshoots, and panels. Names include Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things), Vinnie Jones, Elizabeth Henstridge, Christina Chong, Mandip Gill, Brian Blessed, Sam Jones, Moosa Mostafa, Christopher Lambert and more. Open Sat-Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults Sat £25, Sun £23, Children Sat £22, Sun £20. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the London Comic Con website.
A series of light installations bring colour and neon to the newly reopened complex. Open 8am-11pm (best viewed after dark). Free entry. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻
An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Cameroon. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £16.50, Children (4-15yr) £5.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
An exhibition from artist Tanya Schultz (Pip & Pop) featuring installations made from sugar, candy and assorted craft materials. Opening times vary depending on season. Tickets included with gardens entrance. Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
Cirque du Soleil bring their show Kurios to London. The show tells the story of an ambitious inventor. Times vary. Tickets start from £51. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry
Why should adults have all the festival fun? This February, London’s leading arts festival for children is returning to the Southbank Centre. The Imagine Children’s Festival is celebrating its 21st year with a jam-packed schedule of over 100 events during two weeks. Parents and carers will be spoiled for choice with a programme of theatre, comedy, music, literature, poetry and dance during the half-term holidays. Over half of the events are free, making the festival accessible to everyone.
Among the highlights of the Imagine Children’s Festival 2023 are CBeebies’ YolanDa’s Band Jam, magician and TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, World’s Youngest DJ DJ Archie and scientists Ben Garrod and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Little ones looking for literature and poetry fun will enjoy readings and workshops from the likes of Michael Rosen, Zanib Mian, Cressida Cowell, and Janelle McCurdy. Meanwhile, budding little theatre aficionados can choose between Julia Donaldson’s Tales from Acorn Wood, Rapunzel, Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish and Hermit.
There will be plenty of interactive activities during the festival fortnight, including writing workshops, unlimited play, craft zone, hip-hop dancing demos with ZooNation’s Youth Company and printmaking with street artist STIK. This year’s festival is relaxed, so families are free to come and go from the events as they please. The bill includes inclusive events, including sensory adapted shows, BSL-interpreted and non-verbal performances.
This gallery contains 9 photos.
A look at the festive lantern festival, which returned to London for the 2nd year.
Happy New Year! 2023 is here at last after a challenging 2022 for many. While the cost of living crisis is unfortunately looking set to rumble on for a while yet, there are some free events to keep your entertained. January is famously a dark and cold winter month, so expect some illuminations, such as the hugely popular Winter Lights festival in Docklands, to brighten up proceedings. Meanwhile, London’s equivalent to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Waterloo’s Vault Festival is returning to the arches for the 11th year.
There’s also still some festive outdoor ice rinks on around town, check out this guide for more information.
Look out for the for family-friendly activities.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to gather to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website. 🐻
The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists, designers and engineers create five miniature cities made entirely of gingerbread and icing. There are also daily gingerbread house-making workshops. Open Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm, Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Under 12s £10. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻
The award-winning festival of lights is return to the capital, but this time to south London’s Crystal Palace. Talk a winter walk through a light display with illuminations, interactive displays and installations. Open 5pm-10pm (last entry 8.30pm). Tickets: Adults £19.50/£24.50, Child 3-15yrs £13/£16.50. Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2GA. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace or Penge West. For more information and booking, visit the Lightopia website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the festival. 🐻
Take a break from your Christmas shopping at the Winter Festival, featuring Santa’s Grotto, ice rink, fun fair rides and food and drink. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-9pm (From 17 December onwards, opening times extend to 12pm-9pm daily). Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For more information and booking, visit the Winter Festival Brent Cross website. 🐻
The south-east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a festive fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Wheel, Bar Ice, Real Ice Slide, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, Ice Sculpting Workshops, Santa Land, Bavarian Village, and more. Open daily 10am-10pm. Tickets (must be pre-booked) Standard £5, Peak £7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £25 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry
This year has flown by and it’s finally December! After two pared-back Decembers thanks to the pandemic-that-should-not-be-named, many will be making up for lost time by fully embracing the festive season this year. However, with the cost of living crisis rumbling on, plenty of Londoners will be looking for more affordable celebrations to share with friend and families in the run-up to Christmas.
Among the events on in the capital this December include illumination and light trails, festive cinematic experiences, and many events celebrating food and drink on the most gluttonous time of the year.
There’s also opportunities for alfresco ice skating or shopping at one of London’s many Christmas markets.
Look out for the for family-friendly activities.
Japan House is opening its doors for an evening of demonstrations, workshops, and tastings of Japanese food and drink, as well as the opportunity to learn about Japanese card making and gift wrapping. 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 5SA. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Japan House London website.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s annual light trail moves to a new location this year. Along with the lights, there will also be festive food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Well Hall Pleasaunce Park, Well Hall Road, Eltham, SE9 6SN. Nearest station: Eltham. For more information, visit the Greenwich Council website.
Sample beer from over 20 breweries, alongside cocktails, mulled wine, street food, and DJs on three consecutive Fridays. 6pm-10pm. Free entry. Bohemia Place Market, Hackney, E8 1DU. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
The courtyards of the historic royal palace will be transformed into a foodies’ paradise, with artisan food and drink, gift stalls, and carol services. From 10am-6pm. Tickets (included with palace admission): Adults from £26.10, Children from £13, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻
Art installation sees shadow images and stories celebrating London’s diverse communities light up the windows of the Royal Albert Wharf. From 4pm-10pm. Free. Royal Albert Wharf, Dock Walk, E16 2GU. Nearest station: Gallions Reach. For more information, visit the Royal Docks website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry
Are you ready to shop till you drop this Christmas? If you’re looking for something a bit more atmospheric than a department store or high street chain, then one of London’s Christmas markets or fairs may just be for you.
Whether you live in east, west, north, or south, London, or are just visiting the capital, there’s plenty of festive shopping opportunities around town. This season the capital will see the return of some popular, long-term markets, such as the Southbank Centre Winter Market or Winter Wonderland, while many local communities, museums and charities are hosting one-off or weekend long fairs.
Many of the markets and fairs have free entry, while some charge a small entry fee to raise money for charity. Some also offer Christmas activities, including crafting workshops, carol-singing and Santa’s Grottoes.
Discover London’s best Christmas markets and fairs this 2022 festive season:
Some markets are opening throughout the run-up to Christmas, with some still going into the new year. Most of these markets will close earlier than usual on Christmas Eve and be closed all day on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Shop at riverside chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats on the South Bank. Open Sun-Thur 11am–10pm, Fri & Sat 11am–11pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
Over 40 wooden cabins will be selling festive food, drink and gifts. Open Sun-Wed -10am-6pm, Tues-Sat 10am-8pm. Free entry. Market is located across two sites: The first in between Clarence Street and High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1. Nearest station: Kingston. For more information, visit the Kingston Christmas Market website.
Annual festive market featuring food, drink, craft and gift stalls across The Scoop More London, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. There will also be choir performances, outdoor film screenings and local community activations. Open daily 11am-10pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.
Winter Wonderland returns to Hyde Park and offers a German market selling gifts, as well as food and drink. You can bring the whole family and get into the festive spirit with a fun fair, circus, live shows and an ice rink. Open daily 10am-10pm. Tickets (must be pre-booked) Standard £5, Peak £7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £25 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Hyde Park, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.
Festive edition of the popular Canopy Market, with shopping stalls, food and drink, and live music. Open Tues–Thur 12-7pm, Fri 12pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm. Free entry. West Handyside Canopy, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. Read the rest of this entry
One of the most festive activities you can do in London is glide – or stumble – across one of London’s many pop-up ice rinks. Some of the capital’s most stunning buildings and palaces provide the backdrop to temporary outdoor ice rinks during the winter season. Along with the ice, you can often expect hot toddies, Christmas food, and special events, such as ice discos. Some rinks offer lessons for those new to the sport or lacking confidence in their balance.
This year, the Natural History Museum is no longer hosting a rink, however there’s a new addition at the recently-opened Battersea Power Station complex.
Here’s a guide to London’s temporary outdoor ice rinks this 2022/2023 season:
London’s longest outdoor rink is in the capital’s financial centre and comes with a roof so offers rain-proof fun! There’s also an off-piste bar serving food and drink. Open daily. Sessions last 50 minutes. Tickets only available online. Tickets: Adults and over 13yrs £19.95, Children 3-12 yrs £14.95. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For booking, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
Skate on London’s rooftops with views of the City of London’s skyscrapers. Features alfresco and covered bars, igloos, and street food. Open Thu-Sun only. Free entry to Skylight. Skating tickets: £15 (45 minutes inc. skate hire). Skylight (Pennington Street entrance), Tobacco Quay, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For booking and more information, visit the Skylight London website.
The newest addition to London’s pop-up ice rinks is set against the Art Deco backdrop of the renovated Battersea Power Station complex. Nearby you can enjoy live entertainment, vintage fun fair rides or food and drink. Open Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9am-11pm. Tickets: Adults £12-£19.80, Children 12 yrs and under £8-£12.75. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station ice rink website.
One of London’s most popular outdoor rinks returns to the Neo-Classical courtyard of Somerset House. There will also be rinkside food and drink, skating lessons, club nights and more. Open daily 9.30am-9.30pm. Tickets: Adults £10-£22. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For booking, visit the Somerset House website.
An ice rink fit for a queen is situated outside the majestic Palladian Queen’s House in Greenwich, with views towards the Old Royal Naval College and the Thames beyond. Open 10am-9pm. Tickets: Adults from £16, Children from £10. Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For tickets, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website. Read the rest of this entry