Yes, autumn is here. The clocks have gone back, the temperatures are dropping and it feels like we’re on the countdown to the festive season. However, there’s plenty of non-Christmas events on around town to keep you living in the moment. With cosying up with a good book particularly inviting prospect at the moment, there are several literary festivals taking place around the capital. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best festivals and special events in the capital this November.
For a guide to London’s open-air ice rinks, click here.
For a guide to the capital’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
- Now until 1 November : London Literature Festival
The London Literature Festival returns to the Southbank, with renowned writers, futurologists and transhumanists discussing the future in these uncertain times. Among the highlights include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tom Hanks, Philip Pullman, Annie Leibovitz and a live reading of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs. Many events are free, but tickets go up to £70. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 1 November – 23 December : The Ethicurean at The Gardening Society
Festive pop-up on the roof of John Lewis in Oxford Street, featuring food from the award-winning Ethicurean restaurant, an immersive theatrical dining experience ‘The Poisoned Garden’, bookable lodges and Christmas cocktails. Open Sun-Wed 12pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 12pm-11pm. Free entry, booking advised for the restaurant or lodges. John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Nearest station: Bond Street or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- 2 November : Cantina Laredo’s Dia De Los Muertos
London’s new tequila and guacamole bar Cantina Laredo host a Day Of The Dead celebration with a one-off ofrenda four-course menu, cocktails, face-painting, DJs and more. 5pm-late. Tickets: £55pp. Cantina Laredo, 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, WC2H 9FB. Nearest station: Leicester Square. For booking, visit BookATable.
- 2 – 4 November : Wahaca’s Day Of The Dead @ The Vaults
Three day festival to celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos featuring Mexican food, drink, live music, DJs and culture in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station. Fancy dress encouraged. 7pm-2am (family day from 1pm on 4 Nov). Tickets: £15-£25. The Vaults (entrance via Leake Street tunnel), Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Wahaca website.
- 3 – 20 November : World Press Photo Exhibition
The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Open 10am-11pm. Free. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Embankment or Waterloo. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.
- 3 – 29 November : Richmond Upon Thames Literature Festival
A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough. Featuring workshops, talks and Q&As from authors, including David Starkey, John Grindrod, Andy Friend, Henry Hemming, Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan, Hilary Spurling and more. Venues include The Bingham, Marble Hill House, Old Town Hall, Strawberry Hill House, Teddington Library and more. For booking, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.
- Now until 4 November : London Horror Festival
Festival of live horror performance including cabaret, film screenings, Zombie weekends, midnight performances and a short horror play competition. Ticket prices vary. Most events take place at the Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, Islington, EC1V 4NJ. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the London Horror Festival website.
- Now until 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival
The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their third literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. Events range from free to £10. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn Library and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.
- 4 November : Regent Street Motor Show
Three hundred cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow ahead of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day. Featuring entertainment and interactive displays. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic. 10.30am-4pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regent Street Motor Show website.
- 4 November : Winter Wine Festival
One day wine festival featuring a choice of 600 wines to taste. As well as tastings, there is also a free wine walk, masterclasses and discounts on wine shopping. 12pm-6pm. Tickets: £20-£25. The Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5DA. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Wine Gang website.
- 4 November : Spice World Screening with Live Orchestra
Spice Girls fans will love this immersive screening of their 1997 movie, accompanied by a live orchestra, with Spice Girls masks and photobooth on site. 7pm-10pm (guests can stay for the club night afterwards until 3am). Tickets from £10. Clapham Grand, 21-25 St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, SW11 1TT. Nearest station: Clapham Junction. For booking, visit the Clapham Grand website.
- Now until 5 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair
For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 750 independent boutiques. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £20 (advance), £24 (on the door). Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- Now until 5 November : Winter Art & Antique Fair
Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art and talks. Opening times vary. Tickets: £15-£20 (cheaper in advance). Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympian Antiques website.
- 5 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
Watch the beginning of 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7.04-8/8.45am. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Route goes from Hyde Park Corner, past Buckingham Palace, over Westminster Bridge and south via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham. Free to spectate. Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.
Summer is coming to an end and the temperatures are starting to cool. The children are going back to school and there’s a noted drop in the number of tourists (which probably relieves most Londoners tbh). However, with September usually being a pretty warm month, Londoners can enjoy the capital with a lot less crowds than over the official summer months. One of the highlights of September is Open House London, which takes place in the middle.
- 31 August – 16 September : Portobello Film Festival
Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the KPH, Pop Up Cinema in Acklam Road and the Muse Gallery. Free. Nearest stations: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.
- 1 – 3 September : Meatopia
Weekend of meat, drink, music and fire. Featuring chefs from Hix, Berber & Q, Lobos, Lagom, Patty & Bun, Rhoda, Camino, Tommi’s Burger, Pizarro, Smokestak and more. Music from Tom Findlay (Groove Armada), Tantz, Hip Hop Karaoke, Beatbox Collective, The Nest Collective, Karuke, Bring Your Own Brass, Men Diamler, Bill Brewster, Op Sa! and more. Open Fri 1 5pm-11pm, Sat 2 12pm-9pm, Sun 3 12pm-7pm. Tickets: £23.85-£106 (depending on package). Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For information and booking, visit the Meatopia website.
- 1 – 10 September : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival
Ten day festival featuring free screenings in the Peckham and Nunhead area at various locations, including The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead Cemetery, Peckham Library, The Ivy House and more. Films include Singin’ In The Rain, Good Fellas, Deep End, Wall-E and Night Of The Living Dead. Free. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and Nunhead. For more information and listings, visit the PNFFF website.
- 1 – 30 September : Totally Thames
Totally Thames is a month-long celebration of our city’s main waterway. Among the many activities taking place are the St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival (9-10 Sept), The Great River Race (9 Sept), walks, art installations, live music, theatre, dinners, river relay, film screenings and many more activities. For more information, visit the Totally Thames website.
- 1 September – 1 October : Lambeth Heritage Festival
A month long festival celebrating the heritage and people of Lambeth – stretching from the South Bank all the way to Streatham and Norwood. Featuring talks, film, music, theatre, exhibitions, walks and workshops. At venues across the borough including Migration Museum, Brixton Windmill, Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Archives, the Cinema Museum, London Fire Brigade Museum, the Chocolate Museum, Brockwell Lido and more. For more information, visit the Lambeth.gov.uk website.
- 3 September : Angel Canal Festival
One day festival in the City Road Lock, Basin and Regents Canal towpath. Featuring over 80 stalls, children’s fun fair, Punch & Judy, story-teller, boat trips and canoeing, art projects and galleries, live music and street theatre. 11am-5pm. Free admission. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Angel Canal Festival website.
- 3 September : Zee London Mela
Festival celebrating South Asian culture, featuring four stages, outdoor arts, DJs, world food market and more. Free admission. Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, W3 8LQ. Nearest stations: Gunnersbury, South Ealing or Acton Town. For more information, visit the Zee London Mela website.
- Now until 3 September : Star Wars Identities
Star Wars fans are in for a treat as over 200 costumes, props, models and artwork from the franchise are displayed in a special exhibition. Find your own Star Wars character in an interactive quest. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £20-£25. Children £10-£15. The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Star Wars Identities website.
- Now until 3 September : London Bridge City Summer Festival Theatre – The Odyssey
Watch God and Monster’s epic production of The Odyssey in three parts at this open-air free theatre. Wed-Sun 6pm-10pm (Pt 1 6pm, Pt 2 7.30pm and Pt 3 9pm). Free. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.
- Now until 3 September : The Art Of The Brick – DC Super Heroes
Lego artist Nathan Sawaya has created an exhibition of Lego sculptures of Super Heroes and Villains including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and Harley Quinn. Open Sun-Wed 10am-6pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £16.50, Child £11. The exhibition is in a temporary structure on the corner of Upper Ground and Cornwall Road, South Bank, SE1 9PP. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit the Art Of The Brick website. For a review of the previous Art Of The Brick exhibition, click here.
- 4 September : RSC Live – Titus Andronicus
Watch Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus broadcast live from the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. From 7pm. Tickets: £10. East Wintergarden, 43 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, E14 5NX. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 5 September : Candlelight Opening @ Sir John Soane’s Museum
Late-night opening of the Sir John Soane’s Museum, the former home of the 19th century architect, which is full of his sculptures, painting and antiquities. First 200 visitors in the queue at 5.30pm guaranteed entry, after that it will be one-out, one-in until 8.30pm. 6-9pm. Free. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John’s Soane Museum website.
- 8 -9 September : The Beavertown Extravaganza
Two day beer festival by the Beavertown Brewery, featuring 70 of the world’s best breweries. Open Fri 8 3-10pm, Sat 9 1-8pm. Tickets: £55. The Printworks, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 7PJ. Nearest station: Rotherhithe. For tickets, visit TicketAnnoy.
- 8 – 10 September : FemFest
Female-focused art festival featuring multi medium art exhibition, performance, fem film night, arty party and the usual Sweet ‘Art freebies and surprises. Times TBC. 47-49 Tanner Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3PL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Sweet Art website.
- 9 – 10 September : Classic Boats Festival
As part of the Totally Thames celebration (see above), St Katharine Docks are hosting a weekend festival, featuring a display of 40 sail and power vessels, alongside a range of waterside attractions. 12-6pm. Free. St Katharine Docks, 50 St. Katharine’s Way, Tower Bridge, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway (DLR). For more information, visit the St Katharine Docks website. To find out more about the festival, read Metro Girl’s post here.
- 9 – 10 September : Vintage Classic Car Boot
Weekend festival of classic cars, street food wagons, music, performances, street theatre and more. 10am-6pm. Entry £5. Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
Spring is well and truly in full swing, with the Easter Holidays kicking things off from the end of March. As the temperatures warm and the days get longer, the festival season is really starting to kick off. Here’s a guide to special events on in London this April.
For a guide to what’s on in London over the Easter holidays, click here.
- 1 – 10 April : London Games Festival
A new festival is bringing 15 fun events to 10 locations in the capital, including South Bank, Tobacco Dock and the Museum of London. The first three days of the festival features talks, workshops and an exhibition in Somerset House. For more information, visit the Games London website.
- 2 April : Prohibition Party
Step back to the 1920s with Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Prohibition Party, featuring fabulous costumes, gambling, cocktail making classes and more speakeasy fun. 8pm-2am. Tickets start from £30. The Laundry, 4 Sidworth Street, London Fields, E8 3FN. Nearest station: London Fields. For tickets, visit Prohibition 1920s website.
- Now until 2 April : Hung Up, Ripped Off @ Atom Gallery
An exhibition of artist David Shand’s screenprints of collages from photographs of decayed photos and adverts. Open 11am-6pm. Atom Gallery, 77 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3EG. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Atom Gallery website.
- Now until 3 April : Easter Rising 1916 Sean Sexton Collection
Exhibition of the role of photography of keys events in the battle for Irish independence between 1840 to 1930s, including the Easter Rising in 1916. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £3/£2.50. The Photographers Gallery, 16–18 Ramillies Street, Soho, W1F 7LW. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit The Photographers Gallery website.
- Now until 3 April : Ideal Home Show
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. Tickets: £12 (weekday) or £14 (weekend). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- 4 – 24 April : CircusFest
Three week festival of spectacular UK and international circus. Ticket prices vary. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.
- 6 April – 4 September : Exhibitionism @ Saatchi Gallery
The Rolling Stones stage their first major exhibition to mark 50 years of rock ‘n’ roll. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £21. Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s Square, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4SQ. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.
- 6 April – 4 September : Goosebumps Alive
This summer, another immersive theatre experience returns to the tunnels below Waterloo station. With two separate shows for adults or children inspired by the ’90s cult horror series. Take a journey through the dark, abandoned vaults and scare yourself silly as you try to escape the stuff of nightmares. Times vary. Tickets: Adults start from £32.50. Children from £15. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit Goosebumps Alive website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the production.
- 7 – 10 April : The Other Art Fair
Chance to buy art from 130 unrepresented artists, regardless of how experienced you are in purchasing artwork. Also features book signings, panel discussions, an immersive dining experience, film screenings, performance art and pop-up food and drink with DF/Mexico, First Aid Box and Meantime Craft Brewery. Tickets: £8.80 in advance. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, WC1B 4DA. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit the Other Art Fair website.
- 7 – 10 April : London Coffee Festival
A celebration of coffee for the capital’s caffeine lovers at the Old Truman Brewery, featuring food, music and – of course – coffee. Visitors will even have the chance to make perfect coffee at home from some top baristas. Tickets start from £14.40 (advance), £20 (on the door). The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website.
- 7 April – 17 July : Udderbelly Festival
Udderbelly returns to the South Bank for an eighth year, featuring three months of comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in an inflatable upside down cow venue. Ticket prices vary. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.
- 28 April – 3 May : Roberto Grosso exhibition
London-based Italian artist Roberto Grosso is showcasing some of his limited edition art on metal, metallic paper and perspex. Space W10, 593 Harrow Road, Kensal Green, W10 4NJ. Nearest station: Kensal Green. For more information, check out the ArtSmart Contemporary website.
- 8 April – 31 May : Anarchy In The UK #PunkLondon exhibition
An exhibition of punk rock photography featuring classic and previously unseen images from the archive of photographer Richard Young. Opening hours Mon 11am-5pm, Tue-Thu 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm. Richard Young Gallery, 4 Holland Street, Kensington, W8 4LT. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Richard Young Gallery website.
The summer is in full swing and with the school holidays kicking off at the end of the month, it means there’s plenty of free events on around town. Of course Wimbledon is easing us into the month with plenty of free screenings on around town if you haven’t been lucky enough to get a ticket. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in London this month.
For ideas on how to entertain families over the summer holidays, click here.
For a guide to London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 30 June – 5 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, featuring three zones Inspire, Grow and Escape. Celebrity and expert speakers include David Domoney, Charlie Dimmock, Rachel Allen, James Wong, Jonathan Moseley and Mig Kimpton, among others. Advance tickets range from £19.50 to £35 depending on full/half-day and membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.
- 1 – 12 July : East End Film Festival
Diverse film festival including premieres, industry masterclasses, Q&As, screenings and immersive live events at venues across the East End. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.
- 2 July – 18 October : Audrey Hepburn – Portrait Of An Icon
Exhibition of photographs of the late, great Audrey Hepburn. Featuring images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, plus family snaps and behind-the-scenes. Tickets: £9-£10. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
- 3 July : Don Giovanni on the BP Big Screen
Performance will be beamed live from the Royal Opera House to big screens around the UK, including Trafalgar Square, Canada Square Park, Lyric Square Hammersmith and Walthamstow Town Square. Free. 7pm onwards. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 3 – 5 July : Foodies Festival @ Alexandra Palace
Enjoy fine food and drink, teach your kids to cook in the Children’s Cookery Theatre, listen to live music, tea dances, vintage kitchen market and watch chefs in action such as John Whaite, Adam Handling and Aldo Zilli. Tickets: £10-£15. Fri and Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 4 – 11 July : The Streatham Festival
Eight day festival in Streatham with this year’s theme of ‘coming of age’. Featuring dance, comedy, music, workshops, arts and crafts, writing, film and talks. At various venues across Streatham. For more information, visit the Streatham Festival website.
- Now until 5 July : Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
Nine day 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.
- Now until 5 July : Hampstead Summer Festival
Now extended to two weeks long, the festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (5 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.
- 9 – 11 July : The Greatest Spectacle Of Lucha Libre
A celebration of Mexican wrestling, food and entertainment. Tickets: £20-£45 (discounts available for children). York Hall, Bethnal Green, E2 9PJ. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information or tickets, visit Lucha Libre World website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.
Can you believe it’s summer already? With the long warm nights, festival season is in full swing with tons of alfresco events. There’s cultural celebrations, film festivals, free outdoor theatre and open gardens, among many others activities so there’s plenty to do whatever our interests. Here’s Metro Girl’s pick of the best things on in London this June.
For a guide to open air cinemas in London, click here.
For a guide to open air screenings of Wimbledon and other sport this summer, click here.
- 1 – 30 June : London Festival Of Architecture
A month long celebration of architecture, with this year’s theme being ‘work in progress’. Featuring talks, installations, tours, exhibitions, open studios, film screenings, debates and conferences. At various venue around town. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.
- 2 – 16 June : Spitalfields Summer Music Festival
Two week festival incorporating classical music, contemporary music, family activities and bespoke tours. Some events are free, while others will cost. For more information, venues and tickets, visit the Spitalfields Music website.
- 3 – 7 June : Soho Create
A five day festival celebration the best of Soho’s creative scene, including discussions, speeches, talks, chats, drinks, performance and parties. Speakers include Kelly Hoppen MBE, Angela Hartnett, David Lan, Stephen Mangan, Alan Yentob, Gareth Pugh, Jessica Hynes, Jo Malone, Mike Figgis, Ms Dynamite, Maureen Lipman CBE and many more. Various locations in Soho. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit Soho Create.
- 3 – 5, 10 – 30 June : More London Free Festival
Free fringe festival of music and theatre at The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park by the Thames. Featuring include Camillo Menjura, The Magic Lantern, Rex Domino, The Pantaloons perform Pride & Prejudice, Arthur Lea, Bellatrix, We Used to Make Things, Music Fridays presented by Sunday Best, Stick In The Wheel and much more. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website.
- 5 – 7 June : Nine Elms Horticultural Spa & Apothecary Experience by Loop.pH
As part of the Chelsea Fringe Festival, relax in a temporary structure that is part greenhouse and part pneumatic bubble. Visitors are invited to ephemeral and futuristic tea ceremony, where your drink is ‘served through clouds of fragrant medicinal fog consumed through breathing and absorbed into the skin’. There will also be workshops. Free. 12-8pm. Riverside Gardens, Nine Elms Lane, Vauxhall, SW8 2DU. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Nine Elms London website.
- 5 – 7 June : Polo In The Park
Bringing polo from the country estates into London. As well as watching the polo, there is plenty of entertainment and food and drink venues, including Mahiki Bar; Lanson Champagne Garden; Fentiman’s Botanical Garden, Pimm’s Bus, luxury shopping village and Club Med Kids. Tickets: £30-£45 (adults), £10-15 (children). Hurlingham Park, Fulham, SW6 3RH. Nearest tube: Putney Bridge or Parson’s Green. For more information and tickets, visit Chestertons Polo In The Park’s website. To read about Metro Girl’s visit to Polo In The Park, check out this post
- 5 – 7 June : Stoke Newington Literary Festival
A festival featuring readings, workshops and performances at venues across the suburb, including the Town Hall, Library and Abney Park Cemetery. Tickets range from free to £12. Will Self, Michael Rosen, Tracey Thorn, Tom Huddleston and Zoe Williams among the names taking part. For more information and tickets, visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website.
- 5 – 7 June : Carters Steam Fair @ Peckham Rye
The vintage travelling funfair sets up camp in Peckham Rye, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open Fri 4-10pm; Sat 12-10pm and Sun 12-8pm. Free admission. Peckham Rye, SE15 3UA. Nearest station: Peckham Rye, Nunhead or East Dulwich. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.
- 5 June – 17 July : Sunset Safari
Late night opening at London Zoo is a bit different this year. Instead of previous years’ London Zoo Lates, this summer’s evening openings on Fridays are open to friends, couples and families. You can see the animals getting ready for bed on a self-guided Safari Trail. There will also be entertainment and a world food market. 6-10pm. Tickets start from £14.56/£20.80. London Zoo, Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), NW1 4RY. Nearest tube: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and booking, visit the Zoological Society London website.
- 6 June : Turkish Day
A celebration of Turkish culture, including food, guest speakers and entertainment in Trafalgar Square. Free. 12-8pm. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 6 June : Brockley Street Art Festival
One week long celebration of street art, featuring local, national and international talent. Featuring activities for adults and children alike, including colouring competition, mural painting, live DJs and talks. Various venues around Brockley. For more information, visit the Brockley Street Art Festival website.
- 6 June – 31 August : Festival Of Love
The Festival Of Love returns to the Southbank Centre for the second year in a row, featuring love-themed music, exhibitions, performances, activities and other events. Highlights include the Big Wedding Weekend and exhibtion of neon artist Chris Bracey’s work in ‘Love And Liquid’. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 7 June : Indonesia Day
Family event in Trafalgar Square showcasing the culture and traditions of Indonesia, featuring food, performances and cultural activities. Free. 12-6pm. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 8 June : Albanian Festival
A celebration of Albanian culture, including folk dancing, singing, poetry and an iPhone photography competition. Free. 4-9pm. More London, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the More London website.
- 8 June : Trader Vic’s Tiki Cinema
Trader Vic’s in the London Hilton are hosting monthly screenings in their Tiki-themed bar and restaurant. This month’s screening is Dr No. Film starts at 7.30pm, food is served from 6pm. Tickets: £13 (including screening and a cocktail). Trader’s Vic, 22 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Trader’s Vic website
- 9 – 24 June : Theatre In The Square (Hammersmith Summer Festival)
BID teamed up with the Lyric Hammersmith to provide alfresco theatre performances. Productions include Boy Meets Girl, Monotone Man and Citizen Squid. Free. 12-3pm every Tuesday and Wednesday. Lyric Square, Hammersmith, W6 0ED. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information, visit the Hammersmith London website.
Spring is in full swing, the nights are getting longer and the days are getting warmer. With two bank holidays, May is jam-packed with festivals and special events, with many outside so we can enjoy the spring weather. Here’s a guide to what is on in London this month.
For a guide to London’s open air cinemas this summer, click here.
- 1 – 17 May : Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe
Two week festival in the borough of Wandsworth featuring theatre, dance, art, music, comedy, poetry, workshops, talks, markets and more. Highlights include Noel Coward’s Private Lives, Alice In Wonderland, South African Voices and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. For more information, visit the Wandsworth Art Festival website.
- 1 – 31 May : Herne Hill Free Film Festival
Four week festival featuring free screenings in the Herne Hill area at various locations, including Railway Tavern, Herne Hill Velodrome, Brockwell Lido, Prince Regent Pub and Rosendale School. Films include The Ladykillers, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Nearest train station: Herne Hill. For more information and screenings, visit the Herne Hill Free Festival website.
- 1 – 31 May : Notting Hill MayFest
A month-long festival in and around Notting Hill, featuring concerts, lectures, exhibitions, film screenings, children’s events and a May Fair on 9 May. Various venues including St John’s Church, St Peter’s Church, 20th Century Theatre and the Gate Theatre. Ticket prices vary. For more information and tickets, visit the MayFest website.
- 2 – 4 May : Canalway Cavalcade
A unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. Free. 10am-6pm. Nearest tube: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association.
- 2 – 4 May : Morden Hall Country Show
Country show in the grounds of Morden Hall, featuring jive pony equestrian acrobatics, terrier racing, Goat Show, birds of prey, Devilstick Peat children’s entertainment, historical re-enactment, ferret racing, arts, crafts, gifts and food marquees. Entrance: £7.50, concessions £6, Children age 5-16 £3, Under 5 free, family: £19 (2 adults and 2 children). £2 per car for the car park. Morden Hall Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden or Phipps Bridge (tram). For more information, visit the Oakleigh Fairs website.
- 2 – 10 May : Grand Designs Live
Based on the Channel 4 TV series, the show features ideas and inspiration for your own grand design, including workshops, consultations and lectures. Tickets: Weekday £12, Weekend £15. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the Grand Designs Live website.
- 3 May : Streetfest
One day celebration of street culture, featuring performance art, live urban music, film, dance, sport and fashion. Acts include Kutmah, James Massiah, MC Loyle Carner, Hannah Faith, Shamz Le Roc, So Fresh So Clean and Doctor’s Order Showcase. 1-11pm. Tickets start from £20. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping. For more information and tickets, visit the Streetfest website.
- Now until 3 May : New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival
A free film festival run and staffed by volunteers offering free screenings in venues around New Cross and Deptford. Classics will be screened alongside independent films by new and local talent. Films on show include Friday Night Fever, Paddington, Love & Basketball, Arthur Sleep and singalong Frozen. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website. For Metro Girl’s interview with one of the film-makers and trailer of one of the film’s being shown, click here.
- Now until 3 May : London Coffee Festival
A celebration of coffee for the capital’s caffeine lovers at the Old Truman Brewery, featuring food, music and – of course – coffee. Visitors will even have the chance to make perfect coffee at home from some top baristas. Tickets start from £11.50 (advance), £14.50 (on the door). The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website.
- Now until 4 May : Pick Me Up
Graphic arts festival at Somerset House’s Embankment Galleries, showcasing and selling original graphic art, design and illustration. Daily 10am-6pm, late nights on Wed and Thurs until 10pm. Tickets: £10, concessions £8. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information, visit the Pick Me Up website.
- 5 May – 8 October : Victorian London In Photographs
Exhibition of archive shots of Victorian London on show at the London Metropolitan Archives. Free entry. Opening times: Mon and Sat 9.30am-4.45pm, Tues-Thurs 9.30am-7.30pm, Closed Fridays and Sundays. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- 6 – 10 May : London Craft Week
An inaugural event celebrating craftsmanship, featuring workshops, exhibitions, open studios, galleries and shops. Various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.
Can you believe it’s August already? Well, as usual the summer is flying by, but I can’t complain as the weather – on the whole – has been pretty damn glorious. The World Cup and Wimbledon bought an extra sense of excitement to July, but with the Commonwealth Games in full swing and the children off school, the choice of things to do in London has gone way up! Here’s a guide to what’s on in the capital this month.
For a guide to pop-up cinemas in London this summer, click here.
For listings of music festivals in and around London this summer, click here.
- 30 July – 3 August : Shuffle Festival
Film and arts festival curated by Danny Boyle. Featuring live music, food and drink and film screenings. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Southern Grove, E3 4PX. Nearest tube: Mile End, Bow Road or Devons Road. For more information and tickets, visit the Shuffle Festival website.
- 1 – 3 August : Hackney WickED Festival
Three day festival championing creativity and local culture, featuring galleries, open studios, temporary exhibitions, pop up spaces, site-specific installations and events in the Hackney Wick area. Nearest tube: Hackney Wick (Overground). For more information, visit the Hackney WickEd website.
- 1 – 31 August : The Cornershop
Artist Lucy Sparrow is opening the world’s first pop-up cornershop selling handmade lifesize sweets (made from felt). Open daily, 10am-7pm. The Cornershop, 19 Wellington Row, Bethnal Green, E2 7BB. Nearest station: Hoxton. For more information visit the Cornershop blog.
- 2 August : Africa Centre Summer Festival
Weekend of African music, fashion, dance, food, performances and film in and around Covent Garden Piazza. Free. 12-10pm. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Africa Centre website.
- 2 August : Eid Festival
To celebrate Eid, Trafalgar Square will play host to a one-day festival, featuring a food market, live music and performances, and children activities, featuring face-painting, henna, calligraphy and sports. Noon until 6pm. Free. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 3 August : Brixton Splash
Free community street festival taking over various streets in Brixton, featuring live music, poetry, art exhibitions, street theatre, crafts, children’s activities, food and sound systems. Free. Nearest tube/train: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.
- 6 – 31 August : Free Theatre @ The Scoop
Free theatre performances every night Wednesday through to Sunday in The Scoop near Potters’ Field Park, including The Rhine Gold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods. 6-10.15pmWed-Sun. Free. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website.
This summer sees some of the biggest music acts and DJs in the world converging on London – and the Home Counties – for the festival season. Here’s a one-stop guide to what’s on and where to get tickets. However, be aware that many will sell out in advance so I would recommend getting your tickets asap.
- 11 – 25 June : Hampton Court Palace Festival
Big names perform against the backdrop of the historic palace. Acts include Dionne Warwick, Jools Holland, The Beach Boys, Van Morrison, Jamie Cullum, George Benson, Rick Astley and Jason Donovan. Tickets range from £45 to £70 depending on act. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest train station: Hampton Court (trains from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the Hampton Court Palace Festival website.
- 13 – 22 June : Meltdown
This year’s Meltdown festival on London’s Southbank is curated by Musical and artistic innovator James Lavelle. Featuring gigs by UNKLE, Chrissie Hynde, DJ Shadow, Grandmaster Flash, Mark Lanegan, Joshua Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age), Edwyn Collins, Radkey, Neneh Cherry and Goldie. Tickets range from free to £40. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For booking and more information, visit the Meltdown website.
- 14 June : Found Festival
Daytime dance party in Haggerston Park is organised by forward-thinking London club night Found. Featuring house and techno acts including Damian Lazarus, DJ Sneak, Ben Pierce, Noir, Lil’ Louis, Moody Man, Lombardo, Geddes, Krankbrother and more. 11am-9pm. Tickets start from £50. Haggerston Park, Audrey Street, off Goldsmith’s Row, Shoreditch, E2 8QH. Nearest station: Hoxton (Overground) or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Found Festival website.
- 20 – 21 June : Camden Crawl
Dozens of venues across Camden come together for this annual festival, which allows revellers to buy a wristband and then crawl around the gigs. Acts include Of Montreal, ABC, The Field, Yuck, Atari Teenage Riot, Mouse On Mars, Steve Mason, Alexis Taylor, Au Revoir Simone, Dirty Beaches perform across 25 stages at venues such as Koko, Underworld, Electric Ballroom and Proud. Tickets: Friday pass £27.50, Saturday pass £30, 2 day pass: £49.50. Nearest stations: Camden Town, Camden Road, Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Crawl website.
- 21 June : CoppaFeel! FestiFeel 2014
Festival curated by Fearne Cotton aims to raise awareness for the charity CoppaFeel, which encourages women to check their breasts for signs of cancer. Performances from Rizzle Kicks, Lianne La Havas, Zane Lowe, Swim Deep, Norman Jay and more. 1pm onwards. Tickets: £23. London Fields Brewery, 365-366 Warburton Street, E8 3RR. Nearest train station: London Fields. For more information, visit the Festifeel website.
- 28 – 29 June : Calling Festival
Although the Hard Rock is dropped, the Calling Festival lives on. Stevie Wonder, Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Thunder, Paloma Faith, Jack Johnson, Richie Sambora. Tickets £69.50 per day. Clapham Common, SW4. Nearest tube: Clapham Common. For more information and tickets, visit the Calling Festival website.
- 4 – 6 July : Wireless Festival
The Wireless Festival moves to Finsbury Park for 2014. Acts include Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Outkast, Pharrell Williams, Drake, Rudimental, Tinie Tempah, Basement Jaxx, Iggy Azalea, Wiz Khalifa, Ellie Goulding, Robin Thicke, Sean Paul, Salt ‘N’ Pepa and much more. Tickets start from £75 (not including fees). Finsbury Park, N4. Nearest tube: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Wireless Festival.
- 5 July : High Definition Festival
Dance festival outside London in East Sussex. Line-up includes Carl Cox, The Martinez Brothers, Gorgon City, Ms Dynamite. Tickets start from £39.50. Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex TN3 9JT. Nearest train station: Eridge Park (trains from London Bridge) and then a taxi. For more information and tickets, visit the High Definition website.
- 10 – 20 July : Summer Series @ Somerset House
The open-air concerts in the courtyard of Somerset House returns again in July. Acts include Agnes Obel, The Cat Empire, Kelis, Daughter, Kodaline, Bastille, Franz Ferdinand, Chvrches, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and Little Dragon. Tickets: £28.50 (not including booking fees). Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple or Holborn. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
- 12 – 13 July : Electric Daisy Carnival
The popular American dance music festival comes to the UK for a weekend at Milton Keynes Bowl. Includes some of the world’s biggest DJs, including Avicii, Calvin Harris, Fatboy Slim, Nicky Romero, Hardwell, Steve Aoki, Gordon City, Route 94, Steve Angello, Timo Maas, Paul Oakenfold and Paul Van Dyk. Tickets: Saturday £65, Sunday £60, Weekend £120. Milton Keynes Bowl, Watling Street, Milton Keynes, MK5 8AA. Nearest train station: Milton Keynes (Trains from Euston, 30 minute walk). For more information, visit the Electric Daisy Carnival website. Read the rest of this entry
Spring flew by and now we’re in June, the summer is finally here (let’s hope it sticks around and provides some decent weather!). Aside from Wimbledon and World Cup, there’s also plenty going on in London around town. Festival season is kicking off with a mix of free and paid-for events in the capital.
For a guide to open-air cinemas in London, click here.
For a guide of where to watch the World Cup and Wimbledon on the big screen this summer, click here.
For a guide to music festivals in and around London this summer, click here.
- 2 – 8 June : London Wine Week
Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Wine Week with a variety of offers and events around the capital. To get the most out of it, buy a £10 wristband so you can enjoy wine at some of the capital’s best restaurants for as little as £5. For more information, visit the London Wine Week website.
- 4 – 7, 11-13, 18-20 June : More London Free Festival
Free fringe festival in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park by the Thames. Starting with an opening street party with live Latin and Caribbean music and dance. Shows include The Pantaloons – History Of Britain and Merry Opera Company – Kiss Me, Figaro. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website.
- 6 – 8 June : Stoke Newington Literary Festival
A festival featuring readings, workshops and performances at venues across the suburb, including the Town Hall, Library and Abney Park Cemetery. Tickets range from free to £10. Ray Davies, Mark Kermode, Lynn Barber and Jukebox Fury among the names taking part. For more information and tickets, visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website.
- 6 – 8 June : Sidelines: Football Film Festival
A weekend of thought-provoking films based around sport and human rights hosted by Amnesty International. Includes the UK première of Eric Cantona’s new documentary Looking for Rio. Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare St, Hackney, E8 1HE. Nearest train/overground: Hackney Central. For more information visit the Amnesty International website.
- 6 – 8 June : London Swing Festival
Fifth annual London Swing Festival. Once again we bringing together people from all over the world, a team of inspiring teachers and fabulous bands to some of London’s finest ballrooms for an annual celebration of Swing dance and Swing music in London. For more information, vist the London Swing Festival website.
- 6 – 8 June : London Foodies Festival @ Clapham Common
Enjoy fine food and drink, teach your kids to cook in the Children’s Cookery Theatre, listen to live music, tea dances, vintage kitchen market and watch chefs in action such as Natalie Coleman, Shelina Permalloo. Steven Edwards, Andrew Kojima, Mat Follas and Steve Groves. Tickets start from £12. 11am-8pm. Clapham Common, SW4. Nearest train station: Clapham Common or Clapham Junction. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 6 – 8 June : Junipalooza Gin Festival
An event dedicated to gin, featuring fun, immersive installations that combine botanicals, industrial warehousing, music and gin. There will be a variety of bars serving over 40 gins. For more information, visit the Gin Foundry website. Tickets start from £20. Factory 7, 13 Hearn Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3LS. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Gin Foundry website.
New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival 2014: Classic films and undiscovered talent comes to Lewisham
When you think of the word ‘film festival’, screenings and Q&As are generally what comes to mind, right? Well the New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival is so much more. Shockingly, the London borough of Lewisham doesn’t have any cinemas so this annual event provides residents to finally get the chance to watch movies in a grander setting than their front room.
Now in its third year, the NXDfff is bigger than ever, with 35 events taking place in 23 venues over nine days. The variety in events mean there will be something for everyone and the beauty of the festival is it’s all free.
Local buildings such as the The Hill Station, The Amersham Arms and Sanford Housing Co-Op will be transformed into pop-up cinemas for the predominantly evening events, with daytime screenings on during the weekends. Fordham Park in New Cross will be hosting bike-powered screenings of Attack The Block (Sat 26th) followed by a DJ set, while Telegraph Hill Park will have a bike-powered singalong of classic musical Grease (Fri 3rd).
One quirky feature on the line-up is Ping Pong, a film about octogenarian ping pong players, which will be screened at Old Tidemill School in Deptford (Sun 4th). Other highlights include Stateless – a mini festival within the festival (Wed 30th) – featuring screenings exploring the meaning of statelessness and a triple bill of films curated by London’s Film Africa Festival (Sat 26th). There will also be an experimental documentary screening of Surname Viet, Given Name Nam in the open air on 6mm film in Deptford’s Douglas Square (Wed 30th). No doubt proving a popular draw will be a screening of Coen Brothers classic O Brother, Where Art Thou? in Old Deptford Police Station – how fitting! – with live music from Danny & The Moonlighters and The Hellfire Orchestra (Fri 2nd).
- This year’s New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival runs from Friday 25 April to Sunday 4 May 2014. Full programme details of all screenings can be found on www.freefilmfestivals.org.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.