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Guide to what’s on in London in August 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Fancy zorbing at St Katharine Docks?

Summer is in full swing… Schools are closed, there’s weddings and festivals up and down the country. However for those staying in the capital, there’s plenty of alfresco – and indoor – fun to be had around town. Of course, the final Bank Holiday weekend of the year takes place from 26 – 28 August so London will be buzzing.

  • 31 July – 27 August : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its 12th year, bringing over 270 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to 22 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre and the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 3 August : Zorbing @ St Katharine Docks

Try your hand at Zorbing with Hubbub. Time TBC. 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 Kats website.

  • 3 August : Summer Fete @ Paddington Basin

A lunchtime fete featuring stalls, games, photo fun, music and more. 12pm-2pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Edgware Road or Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.

  • Now until 3 August : Future Forest @ Westfield Stratford City

Food and drink wizards Bompas & Parr are creating an immersive forest experience for both adults and child. For children, the Forest Zorb Lagoon provides the chance to walk, tumble and jump on water, while both young and old can walk through the Fruit Cloud – a walk-in fruit-flavoured mist. Opening hours vary. Free to enter. Future Forest, Westfield Stratford City, Olympic Park, Montfichet Road, Stratford, E20 1EJ. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the Westfield website.

  • 4 August : The Fakery

Learn how to pass off store-bought bakes into looking homemade with a masterclass from ‘star faker’ Juliet Sear. The Food Network are hosting a pop-up ahead of their new show Bakers Vs Fakers where you can learn how to glam up your cake so it looks like you made it yourself. Classes at 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm and 5.30pm-7pm. Free, but register for a place. Food at 52, 96 Central Street, EC1V 8AJ. Nearest station: Old Street. For a free ticket, visit Eventbrite.

  • 4 – 6 AugustLondon Craft Beer Festival

Forty-five breweries from London, the UK , Europe and USA will be showing off 100s of beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs from Hot Chip and Foals. Times vary. Tickets: £35-£42.50 (includes free glass and unlimited small pours). Shoreditch Electric Light Station, Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, N1 6HD. Nearest station: Old Street. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.

  • 4 – 6 August : Summer In The City

The UK’s largest online video and YouTube event featuring Jack Maynard, Oli White, Emma Blackery, The Gabbie Show, Dodie, Nathan Zed and more. 11am-9pm. Tickets from £28. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For tickets, visit the Summer In The City website.

  • 6 August : King’s Cross Sports Day

Get sporty with a range of activities, including yoga, bootcamp training, rock-climbing, tightrope walking, sack racing, or egg and spoon. 11am-4pm. Free. Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.

  • 8 August : Summer Evening with the London Philharmonic Orchestra

A free concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, including Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. 7pm onwards. Free. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.

  • 8 – 12 AugustGreat British Beer Festival

Up to hundreds of real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers with be available to try, while there will also be plenty of entertainment and food. Tickets start from £11. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.

  • 9 August – 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.

  • 10 August : Dance Off

Different styles of dances will battle it out to be crowned the crowd’s favourite. 12pm-2pm. Free entry. Fountains at the Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.

  • 10 – 12 August : Mr Black Espresso Martini Fest

Fans of the Espresso Martini will love this three-day festival, from Drink Up London (London Cocktail Week, London Beer Week, London Wine Week). Over 50 bars across London will be offering £5 Espresso Martinis and other Mr Black cocktails. Wristbands: £10. For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.

  • 12 August : River Rat Race

Watch the wettest obstacle race in the UK as participants swim, crawl, jump and slide through 35 obstacles over 10km. Money raised goes to Children with Cancer UK. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the Rat Race website.

  • Now until 13 August : Cubitt Sessions

A series of free concerts in King’s Cross, spanning music, immersive theatre, surreal comedy, movement, street culture, experimental jazz and improvised opera. Times vary. Free to watch. Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For listings, visit the King’s Cross website. Read the rest of this entry

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Guide to London’s urban beaches in summer 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Enjoy one of the capital’s urban beaches, such as this one on the South Bank

London may be 40 miles from the nearest seaside resort, but in the summer a surprising amount of sandy spots seem to crop up around the capital. During the warmer months, a host of bars, hotels, parks and outdoor spaces are hosting their own mini beaches with plenty of opportunity for fun and frolics for both young and old.

  • 1 June – 24 September : Beach Bar @ The Montague Hotel

Pop-up beach bar returns to the gardens of The Montague Hotel. Featuring real sand, beach hut, tropical cocktails, palm trees and BBQ. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm. The Montague Hotel, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BJ. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit The Montague Hotel website.

  • 23 June – 10 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross

A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.

  • 2 July – 3 September : Hampstead Beach

The Jewish Community Centre is hosting a two month long pop-up beach, featuring lots of sand, cocktails, food and special events. Open Sun-Thu 9am-10.30pm, Fri 9am-5pm. Sat closed. Free entry. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, Hampstead, NW3 6ET. Nearest station: Finchley Road and Frognal or West Hampstead. To book, visit the JW3 website.

  • 15 July – 28 August : Big Screen On The Beach

Camden’s Roundhouse is hosting alfresco film screenings on its summer beach pop-up. Films include The Goonies, Mean Girls, Moana, Frozen, Titanic, Beauty And The Beast and many more. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children £5. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For booking, visit The Roundhouse website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in July 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing with the capital bursting to life with indoor and outdoor events as every turn. Of course, Wimbledon dominates a big chunk of July (3-16th) with tennis, Pimm’s and strawberries the order of the day. The end of the month, the school holidays kick off so there will be plenty of harassed parents looking for ways to entertain their children. So find some inspiration whatever your age or budget in Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on this July.

To find out where London’s urban beaches are this summer, click here.

  • 1 July : Art Night

A free contemporary arts festival takes over spaces, venues and landmarks in the capital for one night only, featuring art, architecture, dance and music. Every year, a cultural institution is invited to focus on a different part of London. This year, the event will take place in the East End with the Whitechapel Gallery and independent curator Fatos Ustek. 6pm-4am. Free. For more information, visit the Art Night website.

  • 1 – 2 July : Eat Drink Ealing

Food and drink festival returns for a second year, featuring gourmet food stalls, artisan beverages, wine tasting, live music, cookery courses, children’s activities and more. Tickets: £3 (children under 12 go free). Ealing Common, W5. Nearest station: Ealing Broadway or Ealing Common. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festival website.

  • 1 – 2 July : Chorus Festival

Annual festival celebrating the power of the voice, featuring choirs from the Nordic regions. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 1 – 31 July : Rum Festival @ The Jam Tree

Both branches of The Jam Tree will be hosting a month-long celebration of the mighty rum. Featuring Bottomless Brunches with live steel bands, cocktail masterclasses, salsa lessons, Caribbean supperclubs, BBQ and more. The Jam Tree, 541 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW6 2EB. Nearest station: Fulham Broadway or Imperial Wharf or The Jam Tree, 13-19 Old Town, Clapham, SW4 0JT. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For more information, visit The Jam Tree website.

  • 2 July : Eid Festival

Festival to celebrate Eid and mark the end of Ramadan. Including a food festival, live music, performances, shopping and children’s activities. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (2 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.

  • Now until 2 July : Carters Steam Fair @ Hornsey

The vintage travelling funfair sets up camp in Hornsey, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open 11am-9pm. Free admission. Priory Park, Hornsey, N8 8QR. Nearest station: Hornsey. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • Now until 2 July : East End Film Festival

For its 16th year, the East End Film Festival has been spread out to five weekends. Featuring screenings, Q&As, a Twin Peaks-themed ball and more. At venues across East London, including a Masonic temple. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.

  • 4 July : La Traviata – Royal Opera House BP Big Screen

Watch the Royal Opera House’s production of La Traviata live on the big screen. 7pm. Free. At Lyric Square (Hammersmith), Trafalgar Square or General Gordon Square (Woolwich). For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • 4 – 9 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Celebrity and expert speakers include Chris Packham, Charlie Dimmock, Michaela Stracham, Pippa Greenwood, Christine Walkden, Helen Bostock, Martin Hughes-Games, David Domoney, Justin Fletcher, Hemsley & Hemsley, among others. Open Tues-Sat 10am-7.30pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm. Advance tickets range from £19 to £36.50 depending on full/half-day and RHS membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.

  • Now until 5 July : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Tickets from £28. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 5 July – 8 October : Frieze Sculpture

Free outdoor sculpture exhibition in Regents Park, featuring 23 new and significant creations by 20th-century masters and leading contemporary artists, including Rasheed Araeen, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Gary Hume, KAWS, Alicja Kwade, Michael Craig-Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Jaume Plensa, Thomas J Price, Ugo Rondinone and Hank Willis Thomas. Regents Park, Marylebone, NW1. Nearest station: Regents Park, Great Portland Street or Camden Town. For more information, visit the Frieze website.

  • 6 July – 17 August : Tales Of Silk & Music Festival

Historic Devonshire Square in the City of London is celebrating UK-India Year Of Culture with an Indian dance festival. Featuring performances from world class dancers. During the festival, Cinnamon Kitchen will be hosting a Summer Pavilion and Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden. Performances every Thursday at 12.30pm. Free to watch. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival.

  • 7 – 9 July : Just V Show

Lifestyle festival for vegans, vegetarians or those who want to live a more plant-based diet. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: £10 (includes entrance to Love Natural Love You and The Allergy & Free From Show, also on in the same venue). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Just V Show website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London this Easter 2017 for adults and children

© onefox/Pixabay

Chicks, chocolate and bunnies galore in London this Easter
© onefox/Pixabay

Easter is fast approaching! To many of us that means a long weekend, lots of chocolate and (hopefully) warmer temperatures. With parents searching for ways to entertain their children, a host of London attractions have curated special activities over the break. My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in the capital during April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, here’s listings of things to keep you occupied. However, it’s not all for the kids, with a special section at the bottom with adults-only Easter fun over the Bank Holiday weekend (which is 14 – 17 April in case you’re wondering).

For a guide to what else is on in London in April, click here.

  • 24 March – 23 April : George Irvin’s Funfairs

Travelling funfairs will be setting up camp at Crystal Palace (24 Mar – 9 Apr), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (1 – 17 Apr), Clapham Common (1 – 23 Apr) and Hampton Court (13 – 18 Apr) over the Easter break. Rides include Big Apple Coaster, Dodgems, Bungee Trampolines, Tea Cups, Waltzer, Inflatable Slide and Carousel, among many others. For more information, visit the Irvin Leisure website.

  • 1 – 16 April : Bunny Hop and Seek for Easter @ Museum Of Brands

Hunt a parade of Easter bunnies around the museum and through the Time Tunnel. Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Activities free with museum entrance: Adults £9, Children 7-16yrs £5. Museum Of Brands, 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, W11 1QT. Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove. For more information, visit the Museum Of Brands website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Moomin Adventures @ Kew Gardens

Explore Kew Gardens on an interactive trail before ending up at the magical Moomin Festival Camp in the wild woodland. There will also be the opportunity for craft workshops, sample the Moomins’ pancakes and visit the Hemulens’ Herbarium. There will also be Lindt chocolate treats for every visitor. Tickets: Adults: £14, Children £2.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Jurassic Kingdom

Dinosaur fans will get the opportunity to see 30 life-sized installations of animated dinosaurs, which move and make noise. There will also be street food and drink vendors on site. 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults – £13.50 (online), £15 (on the door), Children £11.50 (online), £13 (on the door). Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4RB. Nearest station: Osterley. For tickets, visit the Jurassic Kingdom website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Easter Egg Hunt @ Battersea Park Zoo

Find out what zoo animals will be holding Easter eggs. Open 10am-4.30pm. Visitors can purchase a £1.50 (including prize) quiz sheet upon entry and follow the trail. General admission: Adults £8.95, Children 2-15 yrs £6.95. Battersea Park Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Easter Family Fun @ Hampton Court Palace

Go on a Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at the homes and gardens of King Henry VIII. Other activities include meet Princess Caroline, decorate your own chocolate cup and find out how Georgians used to drink their chocolate. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £23 (£20.30 online), Children £11.50 (£10.20 online). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

  • 1 – 21 April : Easter @ WWT London Wetland Centre

Enjoy the Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail and Easter Giant Duck Hunt (1 – 17 April only) during the Easter Holidays. The trail (£1 entry) will feature 6ft sculpture of Dusty Duck with a chocolate prize at the end, while the hunt (£1 entry) will feature ducks hidden around the reserve with a prize at the end. Entrance tickets: Adult £12.26-£13.49, 4-16 years £6.75-£7.42, family tickets £34.36-£37.80. London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the London Wetland Centre website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in August 2016

99 ice cream © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Summer is here!

Summer is well and truly in full swing. Schools are closed, there’s weddings and festivals up and down the country and plenty of alfresco fun to be had around town. Of course, the Rio Olympics will be kicking off on 5 August to expect plenty of sporting and Brazilian activities on around town as well.

To find out where to watch the Rio Olympics on the big screen, click here.

For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 – 28 August : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its 11th year, bringing over 250 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to 25 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre and the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 6 – 7 August : London Triathlon

Watch over 13,000 entrants who will be taking part in cycling, running and swimming across the Thames to raise money for charity. Free to spectate. ExCel, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Canning Town. For more information, visit the London Triathlon website.

  • 7 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. 12-7pm. Free. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.

  • 7 August : Splash Fest

A pop-up water park comes to Battersea Park for one day only. Featuring five zones of water-themed challenges and games over a 2.5km trail, with water slides, bubbly brook and water spouts. 9am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £22, Children £10, Under 3s free. Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road. For booking, visit the Splash Fest website. For more information, visit Metro Girl’s blog post on Splash Fest.

  • Now until 7 August : East London Fringe Festival

Five week festival celebrating East London’s vibrant and bohemian culture, featuring music, art, lifestyle, film screenings, parties and cultural events. Venues include Shoreditch Park, Hoxton Square, Hackney Road Rec Ground, Cargo, Juno Bar, Bedroom Bar and more. For more information, visit the ELFF website.

  • 9 – 13 August : Great British Beer Festival

Up to hundreds of real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers with be available to try, while there will also be plenty of entertainment and food. Tickets start from £9 (CAMRA members), £11 (non-CAMRA members). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.

  • 11 – 13 August : Some Voices presents Festival Headliners

London’s coolest choir Some Voices are bringing their own takes on the hits of Coldplay, Beyonce, Blur, Adele, Basement Jaxx, Pulp, Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton, Jay Z, The Verve and many more. Also featuring The Secret Forest, Field Of Dreams and Pop Up Disco. Door open 7pm. Tickets: £17. Mercato Metropolitano, 48-50 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For tickets, visit the Some Voices website.

  • 12 – 14 August : London Craft Beer Festival

Twenty four breweries from London, the UK , Europe and USA will be showing off over 100 beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs. Tickets: £28-£38.50. Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Hackney, E2 9DY. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.

  • 13 August : Holi One Colour Festival

Thousands of people wearing white come together in Wembley Park for a festival of music, dance and performance art. Inspired by the Indian Holi festival, participants will end up covered in multi-coloured powder. Tickets start from £29.99. Wembley Park, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0TU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information and booking, visit the Holi One website.

  • 13 August : Spotlight Festival

One day festival returns to Seven Dials in the West End, featuring live music and performances, live portraits, flower crown making, airstream photobooth, deck chairs, crazy golf, pop-up tea garden and free Prosecco. 12-7pm. Free entry. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website. To find out more, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to London’s urban beaches (yes, beaches!) this summer 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Enjoy one of the capital’s urban beaches, such as this one on the South Bank

So London is famously an inland city… around 40 miles away from the nearest seaside resort. However, did you know there’s many urban beaches that pop-up around the capital over the summer? If you can’t manage to get fly to more exotic climes or can’t face the traffic on the motorway, a few hours on one of London’s sandy retreats may just help you imagine you’re elsewhere.

Here’s a guide to London’s urban beaches:

  • 27 May – 28 August : Brixton Beach Boulevard

Be transported to 1980s Miami beach with food, drinks, music and a live outdoor screen screening sporting events. Open Thur 6-11pm, Fri 6pm-12am, Sat 1pm-12am and Sun 1-10pm. Entry price varies depending on event. Popes Road, Brixton, SW9 8JH. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Beach Boulevard website.

  • 4 June – TBCBeach 338

Beach club at the Studio 338 venue, featuring 180-tons of imported sand, wooden decking, cabanas, 2 beach bars, BBQs, sunbathing decks and hammocks. Hours vary. Beach 338 @ Studio 338, 338 Boord Street, Greenwich, SE10 0PF. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Studio 338 website. NB: Following a fire at Studio 338 on 8 August 2016, this is unlikely to be open until further notice. Please check their website.

  • 6 June – 30 September : CopaCabana Beach @ South Bank

Pop-up beach returns to the South Bank for daytime frolics with the children and night-time fun for the adults. Right by the sand is a pop-up bar serving Brazilian-inspired food and drink, such as Spicy Malagueta Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries and Caipirinha cocktails. 11am-late Free. South Bank (near the skateboard park), SE1 8XX . Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Copacabana Beach website.

  • 1 July – 4 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross

A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.

  • 11 July – TBC : Urban London Beach @ Royal Docks

Temporary beach with sands feature views of the City and of the Emirates Cable Car crossing the Thames. Open 10am-8pm. Free entry. 1 Siemens Brothers Way, E1 1GB. Nearest station: Royal Victoria (DLR). For more information, visit the Royal Docks website.

  • 23 July – 4 September : BeachEast @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The UK’s largest urban beach opens this summer in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Featuring a sandy ‘beach’, huge kid’s paddling pool, funfair rides, two beach bars and a host of sporting events and activities, such as volleyball, cricket, football, boccia and  fitness classes. Open daily from 10am. Free entry. BeachEast, Stratford Waterfront (near former Olympic Stadium & Pool), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E15 2DU. Nearest stations: Stratford and Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the BeachEast website.

  • 29 July – 29 August : Camden Beach

The ‘beach’ returns to Camden again this year, with 150 tonnes of sand, deckchairs, ping pong, bars and restaurants. You can also book VIP beach huts. Located in the grounds of the Roundhouse. Open Mon 5-11pm, Tues-Sun 12-11pm. Free. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.

  • 30 July – 29 August : The Beach @ Watford

The pop-up beach will also feature plenty of sand, family activities, movie and Olympics screenings and more. 10am-10pm daily. Free entry. The Parade, High Street, Watford, WD17. Nearest station: Watford Junction. For more information, visit the Watford.gov.uk website.


For a guide to what else is on in London in September, click here.

Find out where to watch the Rio Olympics on the big screen this summer.

To find out about London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here or for all that latest summer music festivals in London, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in July 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing. Of course Wimbledon and UEFA Euro 2016 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. With the school holidays kicking off at the end of the month, you can expect even more festivals and activities for parents desperate to keep the kids entertained.

For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 July – 31 August : The Rose Bar @ The Bingham

A pop-up bar dedicated to rose wine in the stunning surrounds of The Bingham bar, terrace and rose garden. Also serving Rose Afternoon Tea. The Bingham, 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT. Nearest station: Richmond. For more information, visit The Bingham website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the Rose Bar, click here.

  • 1 July – 4 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross

A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.

  • 2 July : Bermondsey Festival

This year’s Bermondsey Festival is headlined by Paul Young. Featuring reggae group Indika, Motown trio The Aim, and Kinetika Bloco on the carnival parade. Featuring music, dance, children’s activities and more. 12-8pm. Free. Southwark Park, Gomm Road, Bermondsey, SE16 2EH. Nearest station: Bermondsey. For more information, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 July : LIFT Festival

Lift festival returns to the capital, brining ‘pioneering new theatre, spectacular performances and moments of magic’. Over 30 events at locations across London featuring work from 14 countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Canada, Japan, Australia, the USA, Lebanon and Syria. For more information, visit the LIFT Festival website. For Metro Girl’s blog on the LIFT Festival, click here.

  • Now until 2 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.

  • 2 – 9 July : The Streatham Festival

Eight day festival in Streatham with this year’s theme of ‘celebrating Streatham’. 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 3 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (3 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.

  • Now until 3 July : Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: Somme 100

Outdoor exhibition features images of the present-day battlefields alongside archive pictures of the trenches during the Great War. Free. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V. Nearest station: St Paul’s. For more information, visit the City Of London website.

  • Now until 3 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. Read the rest of this entry

Egg-cellent guide to what’s on in London this Easter 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

There’s plenty going on in London this Easter

It may not feel very spring-like, but the new season is well and truly upon us with the start of the Easter Holidays. With parents searching for ways to entertain their children, a host of London attractions have curated special activities over the break. My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in the capital during March and April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, here’s listings of things to keep you occupied. However, it’s not all for the kids, with a special section at the bottom with adults-only Easter fun over the Bank Holiday weekend.

For a guide to what else is on in London in April, click here.

Family fun

  • 18 – 28 March : Find Your London Festival

An 11 day festival celebrating the capital’s outdoor spaces, from gardens to parks, high streets to marketplaces. Featuring over 100 events, including yoga in the park, cycle trails, treasure hunts, beekeeping and an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party. For more information, visit London.gov website.

  • 19 March – 10 April : Easter @ Kew – Chocolate Sensations with Lindt Gold Bunny

There will be a host of Easter-themed fun at Kew over the holidays, including Lindt Gold Bunny Flavour Trail, Chocolution – bean to bar workshops, story-telling, face-painting and more. Tickets (regular entrance): Adults: £14, Children £3.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 19 March – 10 April : Easter @ Design Museum

Over Easter, the Design Museum will be hosting a series of family-friendly events around the Cycle Revolution exhibition, including Pedal Powered Cinema, Colouring Competition and an Easter Egg Hunt. Tickets (general entrance): Adult £13.65, Children £6.85. Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For tickets, visit the Design Museum website.

  • 19 March – 10 April : Where’s Wally @ View From The Shard

Kids can search for explorers Wally, Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard and Odlaw as they explore the viewing platforms at View From The Shard. From 10am until sunset. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children): £74.95 (advance) or £79.95 (on the door). The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the View From The Shard website. For Metro Girl’s review of View From The Shard, click here.

  • 24 March – 2 April : My First Ballet – Sleeping Beauty

Introduce your child to ballet with the English National Ballet and English National Ballet School production of this classic fairytale. Performance times vary. Tickets: £10-£25. Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT. Nearest station: Holborn or Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.

  • 24 March – 10 April : George Irvin’s Funfairs

Travelling funfairs will be setting up camp at Shepherds Bush Green (24 Mar – 10 Apr), Hampton Court (25 – 29 Mar), Clapham Common (25 Mar – 10 Apr) and Crystal Palace (1 – 10 Apr) over the Easter break. Rides include Big Apple Coaster, Dodgems, Bungee Trampolines, Tea Cups, Waltzer, Inflatable Slide and Carousel, among many others. For more information, visit the Irvin Leisure website.

  • 25 – 28 March : Easter Egg Hunt @ Battersea Park Zoo

Find out what zoo animals will be holding Easter eggs? Visitors can purchase a £1.50 (including prize) quiz sheet upon entry and follow the trail. General admission: Adults £8.95, Children 2-15 yrs £6.95. Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London for Halloween 2015

© 2014 Merlin Entertainments

Bring your kids to get scared silly this Halloween at the London Dungeons
© 2014 Merlin Entertainments

The onset of autumn can be a bit depressing for many of us as the nights get darker and the temperatures get colder. So perhaps that’s why so many of us are getting more excited about Halloween than we used to – a bit of fun to lift us out of our pre-winter blues. Now it’s not only the Americans that go crazy for the annual scarefest with a host of daytime and nighttime events for both children and adult on in London. As it coincides with half-term, there’s plenty of Halloween-themed fun for kids throughout the week in the lead up to the 31 October. Meanwhile, for party animals, there’s plenty of late-night revelry, or for a calmer alternative, there’s special meals and film screenings.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

Daytime jitters

  • 1 October – 1 November : Séance! at the London Dungeon

The London Dungeon are hosting a Halloween twist on their usual attractions, set in 1873 at a gathering hosted by the top medium of the day. Guests will be transported back to 50 Berkeley Square in scenes based on real events with supernatural disturbances and visits from the spirit world. Tickets start from children £17.50, adults from £21.50. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.

  • 16 October – 1 November : Dark Arts @ Warner Bros Studio Tour 

Explore some of the darker side of Harry Potter movies. Try your duelling techniques against a Death Eater, see Malfoy Manor and a 20ft model of Voldemort’s snake Nagini and floating mannequin of Muggle Studies teacher Charity Burbage. Tickets: £22.50 children, Adults £33 (must be booked in advance). Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.

  • 24 – 31 October : Witch Academy on the London Eye

Special Halloween experiences for adults and children. For kids, the Witch Academy includes a 30 minute ride on the Eye, Storytelling for children (4-9 years), a Halloween character host and free goody bag. For adults, there’s the Trick Or Treat Cocktail experience, including two Halloween themed cocktails, nibbles, 1 hour on the London Eye (2 rotations) and priority boarding. Tickets: Children from £16.65, Adults from £26.55 (witch academy) or £45 (cocktail experience). London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

  • 24 October – 1 November : Boo At The Zoo

A week of fiendish fun at London Zoo including spider talks, pumpkin patch, spooky storytime and talks at the Owl Emporium. Activities take place from 1oam-4pm and free with entry to zoo. Entrance tickets: Adults £22.50, Child £16.65. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website.

  • 24 October – 1 November : Spookfest @ London Museum of Water & Steam

Learn the secret history of the engine houses, enjoy a ride on the ghost train, a trip through the creepy wood and Halloween craft activities. Tickets: £11.50 adults, £5 children. London Museum of Water & Steam, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford, TW8 0EF. Nearest station: Kew Bridge. For more information, visit the London Museum of Water & Steam.

  • 26 – 31 October : Halloween Pumpkin Carving @ Eltham Palace

Pumpkin carving sessions at the Medieval and Art Deco Eltham Palace. Book a time slot at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Tickets: Adults £13, Children £7.80. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit English Heritage website. For Metro Girl’s review of Eltham Palace, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in August 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

London Wonderground returns to the Southbank

With the summer holidays from school having kicked off, the season is now in full swing. The closure of schools mean there is even more going on in London this month to keep young and old occupied during the sunny days and balmy nights. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this August.

For a guide to open-air pop-up cinemas in London, click here.

For ideas on how to entertain the children over the summer holidays, click here.

  • 31 July – 21 August : Panarmonion Bar & Stage

A stage and bar will pop-up at Kings Cross for  three weeks bringing free daily entertainment. The bar will serve cocktails, wine and beers, while a range of music and dance performances will grace the stage. Open Mon-Fri: 4-11pm, Sat: 12-11pm, Sun: 12-5pm. Free entry. Lewis Cubitt Square, Handyside Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4UZ. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Cross website.

  •  1 August : Africa Centre Summer Festival

Day of African music, fashion, dance, food, performances and film in and around Covent Garden Piazza. Free. 12-10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Africa Centre website.

  • 1 August :  RideLondon FreeCycle

Festival of cycling including an 8 mile car and lorry-free route through the capital featuring 50,000 riders. Free to register. For more information, road closures and routes, visit the Prudential RideLondon website. On Sunday 2 August, the professionals will take to the streets, starting from Horse Guards Parade, before moving on to Surrey in a 200km race.

  • Now until 1 August : Shuffle Festival

Film and arts festival in Mile End, featuring live music, food and drink and film screenings, including Q&As with director Danny Boyle. Ticket prices vary, but many events are free. Various venues around Mile End, E3. Nearest tube: Mile End. For more information and tickets, visit the Shuffle Festival website.

  • 2 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. 12-7pm. Free. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.

  • Now until 2 August : Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty

The first retrospective of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, from his MA graduate collection to his final, unfinished Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Tickets: £17.60 adults, £16.50 OAPs, £9 students. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For tickets and more information, visit the V&A website.

  • Now until 2 August : Time Run

A new live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape the room’ games. For groups of three to five people, you will join Edwardian inventor Luna Fox on a journey through time. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB. Nearest station: London Fields. For booking, visit the Time Run website. Read Metro Girl’s post on Time Run for more information and to see the trailer.

© Time Run

Enter the world of Edwardian adventurer and inventor Luna as you take part in Time Run
© Time Run

  • 3 – 30 August : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its eighth year, bringing over 180 productions to 17 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre (read Metro Girl’s review on the adjoining pub The Bridge Houseand the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 5 – 30 August : More London Free Festival – Theatre

Open-air theatre festival by the Thames, featuring shows such as Captain Show-Off! and Women Of Troy. Free. Shows on Wed-Sun, 6-10.30pm. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website. While you’re there, why not eat or drink at the nearby London Riviera pop-up bar.

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