Visitors can safely check out the grounds, Painted Hall, and other buildings of the iconic Greenwich attraction.
The historic heart of Greenwich, the Old Royal Naval College, is reopening to the public this month following lockdown. Implementing safety measures in line with government guidance, the iconic 17th century complex will be opening its doors to its building and grounds from 13 July 2020. Londoners and tourists alike will be able to safely visit the stunning Painted Hall, King William Undercroft and interpretation gallery. The safety of visitors and staff will be prioritised with people advised to book in advance, with limited tickets available daily to ensure social distancing. As well being able to check out some of the college’s famous sights, there will also be special events and entertainment for the remainder of the summer season.
The Old Royal Naval College’s buildings were designed by Sir Christopher Wren and date back to the 17th century and early 18th century. Its glorious Painted Hall, painted by James Thornhill, re-opened late last year following several years of restoration. (Read about Metro Girl’s visit to see the ceiling up close during the project).
Visitors to the Old Royal Naval College can learn about its centuries of history with a new smartphone tour, free on the Smartify app. Families will enjoy the Building Detectives treasure trail tour for children aged 5-12 years.
Kicking off on 28 August – 12 September is the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, with plenty of events taking place within the grounds. This year’s festival will celebrate the heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic – the NHS, along with the strength of community spirit and the environment. Roaming film club Luna Cinema will also be pitching up for alfresco cinema screenings in August. Meanwhile, Amber Markets are also planning to return later this year with global street food.
To mark Black History Month in October, the ORNC will launch a new exhibition exploring the history of the black sailors in the British Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries, curated by black British historian S.I. Martin.
- Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Greenwich, Cutty Sark or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the ORNC website.
- The grounds will be open daily 7am-7pm. The Painted Hall, King William Undercroft, Visitor Centre Shop and Ticket Desk will be open daily from 10am–5pm. The Chapel will be open from 10am–2pm for private prayer. (The Victorian Skittle Alley remains closed). Spaces must be booked in advance for tours and the ORNC recommends visitors bring their own headphones for use with the multimedia guides. Guided tours will be limited to a maximum of five people. Groups larger than 25 will not be permitted to visit the site. No cash payments will be accept: Card and mobile payments preferred.
Details of outdoor and drive-in cinemas in and around London, including ticket prices, locations and more
This summer, our social lives have been changed beyond all recognition due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the lockdown is gradually easing in stages, going to the cinema is a more complex activity as we practice social distancing. However, film fans missing their big screen experience can now book a ticket for one of London’s outdoor or drive-in cinemas, there’s even a floating film experience for those interested in hiring a boat. For those with a car and don’t mind travelling a bit further, there are also drive-ins appearing outside the capital in the home counties. Some cinemas are even extending their usual summer season until late October.
Key: 🧘 Seated viewings only (you may need to bring a blanket/cushion)
🚗 Can only attend in a car
- 3 – 19 July : Celestial Drive-In Cinema
Boasting London’s largest LED screen, Celestial Cinema are screening classic and modern favourites for drive-in audiences. Food and drink available. Daytime and evening screenings available. Tickets start from £29.50 for one car with two people. Flamingo Park, Sidcup By-Pass Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6HL. For more information, visit the Celestial Cinema website. 🚗
- 4 July – 23 September : The Drive In
A new drive-in cinema offers film screenings and live experiences (e.g. musical performances, theatre, etc) in Enfield. With refreshments available, social distancing guidelines and the audio beamed in through your car stereo. Tickets: One car £35. The Drive In, Troubadour Meridian Water Harbet Road, Enfield, N18 3QQ. For tickets and more information, visit The Drive In website. 🚗
- 4 July – 31 October : Rooftop Film Club presents Drive In Film Club
This summer, the Rooftop Film Club are launching a drive-in experience for those with cars while their usual rooftop experience is on hold. Food and drink will be available, delivered to your car by roller-skating servers. Daytime and evening screenings available. Tickets: One vehicle £27.50-£29 (depending on screening time). Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. For more information, visit the Rooftop Film Club website. 🚗
- 5 July – 20 September : Sunset Cinema
Enjoy a US-style, vintage drive-in experience. Food and drink available to pre-order, as well as on the night. Movies include Rocketman, Dirty Dancing, La La Land, Mamma Mia!, Grease, Knives Out, Back To The Future, and more. Tickets: £50 (1 car and 2 passengers), £15 for each additional passenger. Twyford Avenue Sports Ground, Twyford Avenue, Acton, W3 9QA. For more information, visit the Sunset Cinema website. 🚗
- 5 July – 31 August : The Drive-In (from Secret Cinema and Goodwood)
Enjoy a drive in experience in Chichester, West Sussex (80 miles from London). The famous Goodwood Motor Circuit is teaming up with Secret Cinema and Häagen-Dazs to host screenings of classics and family favourites, such as Toy Story, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, The Incredibles and more. Tickets: £50-£57.50 (1 car and up to 5 passengers). Discounts available for NHS workers. Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PX. For more information, visit the Secret Cinema website. 🚗
- 6 – 12 July and 16 – 21 September : @TheDriveIn
Suzuki presents @TheDriveIn is a new experience offering film screenings, as well as stand-up comedy, bingo and silent car discos. The experience will be travelling around UK cities, but will be making stops in London at Circus Field in Blackheath (6-12 July) and Pudding Mill Lane car park in Stratford (16-21 September). Tickets: £38.50 (per car). For more information, visit the @TheDriveIn website. 🚗
- 21 July – 10 October : Luna Cinema
Luna Cinema are hosting their usual outdoor summer screens, as well as drive-in experiences for those Londoners who are fortunate enough to have a car. Among the venues for their pop-up alfresco screenings include Morden Hall Park, Hampton Court Palace, Tooting Bec Common, Dulwich Park, Brockwell Lido, Marble Hill, Wimbledon Park, Wandsworth Park, Chiswick House & Gardens, Gunnersby Park, Walpole Park, Holland Park, Kensington Park, Regents Park, Kenwood House, Alexandra Palace, Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich), Danson House, Swanley Park, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Victoria Tower Gardens, Victoria Embankment Gardens. Meanwhile, the Luna Drive in Cinema will be popping up at Allianz Park in Hendon and Printworks in Rotherhithe. Films include a mix of classic and newer releases. Tickets: Adults £16-£18, Children £13.50. Drive-in tickets: £29.50-£39.50 (depending on car size, capacity and position to screen). For more information on the Luna’s outdoor cinema, visit their website, or for the drive-in cinema, click here. 🚗🧘
- 21 August – 20 September : Summer Showtime on the Coaling Jetty @ Battersea Power Station
Arclight Cinema and The Turbine Theatre are teaming up to present film screenings (and other entertainment) on its Coaling Jetty by Battersea Power Station. Screening a range of classic and more recent releases. Tickets range from £27-£45 for pallets and pitches. The Coaling Jetty, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AB. Nearest stations: Battersea Park, Queenstown Road Battersea or Sloane Square. For booking, visit the Arclight Cinema website. 🧘
- 2 – 27 September : Openaire Float-In Cinema
A pop-up cinema with a difference! Enjoy a classic or recent popular film while sitting in a boat or a deckchair by the canal. You can pick up a GoBoat from Little Venice and enjoy a trip down the canal to Paddington, or grab a waterside deckchair. Tickets: Boat hire + up to 6 people £215 or deckchair £16.50pp. Paddington Basin Canal (by Merchant Square), Paddington, W2 1AS. Nearest station: Edgware Road or Paddington. For booking and more information, visit the Openaire website. 🧘⛵️
29 July – 30 August : Free Range Film ClubCANCELLED
Roaming outdoor cinema travels to three (and more to come) alfresco spaces around the capital, showcasing new and classic films. Bring a blanket (no furniture) and you will be given an allocated space, socially distanced from others for your safety. Street food and licensed bar available. Tickets: £20 (+ booking fee). For more information on the Free Range Film Club, visit their website.
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More articles to entertain you during lockdown
Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital this summer.
Summer is here! The schools are out, the tourists are in town and (hopefully) the weather is glorious. As you would expect, there’s more events and festivals than ever taking place in the great outdoors. If you’re a parent or grandparent looking to entertain the kids during the school holidays, there’s plenty going on – with many events even free! There’s also plenty on around the August Bank Holiday, including the famous Notting Hill Carnival.
Here’s a round-up of the best events on in the London this August.
For a guide to London’s outdoor and pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- 3 August : International Scottish Gin Day @ Mr Fogg’s
Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour will be serving a special cocktail menu celebrating Scottish gin for one-day only. Expect concoctions such as a Scots Seaside Martini, Scottish Spice and a Hendricks in the Highlands. 1pm-12am. 1 New Row, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA. Nearest station: Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Mr Fogg’s website.
- 3 – 4 August : London Halal Food Festival
The UK’s only food festival dedicated to Halal. Featuring over 150 food & drink stalls, cookery theatre, The Souq market, kids zone, Halal Eat Offs, chill out lounge, live music and more. N.B. All vendors will be cash only and there are no cash machines are venue. Tickets: Adults £10-£30, Under 10s free. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit the London Halal Food Festival website.
- 3 – 4 August : Prudential RideLondon
The annual cycling festival returns to London. Eight miles of road in central London will be closed to cars so people can experience cycling on safe and clear roads. Anyone is welcome to take part in the FreeCycle on Saturday 3, while more serious cyclists will be passing through London on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4. Other events for spectators include the Brompton World Championship and RideLondon Classique. To register, visit the Ride London website.
- 3 – 11 August : Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown Festival
This year’s Meltdown Festival is curated by Nile Rodgers. Acts include Jungle, Johnny Marr, Kero Kero Bonito, Thundercat, Yael Naim, CHIC, anais, Durand Jones & The Indications, and more. Ticket prices vary. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 4 August : Island Love Brunch @ Skylight
Celebrate the end of another red hot summer with an alfresco brunch with views of the city. Expect food and drink from Skylight, Yiro and Flipside along with summer club anthem hits, live performances and games inspired by the hit show Love Island. Over 18s only. 12pm-3pm. Tickets: £10-£45. Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight.
- 6 August : Taste of Puglia Supper Club
The second of Bottles wine bar ‘Taste of…’ supper club, this month exploring the Italian region of Puglia. Guests can enjoy three courses alongside wine tastings from Puglia. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: £35. Bottles, 67 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AA. Neatest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit DesignMyNight.
- 6 – 10 August : Great British Beer Festival
Over 1,000 of British and international real ales, ciders, perries and beers with be available to try, along with the new wine and gin bar. Also including live entertainment and street food. Tickets £9-£11 (advance), £14 (on the door). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.
- 7 – 11 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 £6 Espresso Martinis and other Mr Black cocktails. Wristbands: £10 (includes access to £6 cocktails, entry to Mr Black’s Church of Coffee pop-up (@ Truman Brewery) and access to 1,000 free Espresso Martinis on 16 Aug). For more information, visit the DrinkUpLondon website.
- 7 – 30 August : Fentimans Secret Spritz Garden
Pop-up cocktail garden in leafy Clerkwenwell, featuring refreshing cocktails and workshops in a secret garden. Opening hours: Wed-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm and Bank Holiday Sunday 12pm-11pm. Nearest station: Farringdon (5 min walk). For the location, visit the Secret Spritz Garden website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 7 August – 2 September : Summer By The River – Outdoor Theatre
Watch a live outdoor performance of The Sea Queen or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by the Thames. Performances from Wed-Sat at 6pm, Sun at 4pm. Free entry. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, London Bridge, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.
- Now until 7 August : Banquet of Hoshena
Dinner Time Story brings their new immersive dining experience to London. Diners will be treated to a projector-lead dining concept using 3D visual technology, image mapping and experiential props. Tickets: £85/£95/£110. Westfield, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: White City. Pre-booking requests: email@example.com or tel: 07510 204 003. Visit Banquet of Hoshena on Instagram. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 9 – 11 August : London Craft Beer Festival
Over 100 breweries from London, the UK, Europe and USA will be showing off 100s of beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs from Friendly Fires, Zombie Disco Squad, Kaiser Chiefs, Jack Stevens, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and more. Times vary. Tickets: £40-£79.96 (includes all your beer, tasting glass and programme. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest station: Wapping or Shadwell. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.
City views, Rosé and weekend brunches as Le Pont de la Tour launches La Maison du Rosé summer terrace
There’s something about a warm summer night which makes me want to reach for a glass of rose. If that sounds right up your street, there’s a special drinking destination by the banks of the Thames this season. French riverside restaurant Le Pont de la Tour is teaming up with the Minuty Rosé brand to launch a rosé terrace for the summer, La Maison du Rosé.
With stunning views of Tower Bridge and the City of London, La Maison du Rosé will be a sun trap on a warm day. Visitors can enjoy the alfresco surroundings while sipping on Minuty’s prized Rosés, Fruits de Mer platters, unique rosé tastings and weekend rosé brunch menus. The terrace will be adorned with pastel pink colours, pink flowers and Insta-ready decorations. Expect an outdoor bar, a decorative canopy and plenty of blossom and flowers.
Throughout the summer, Le Pont de la Tour will offer Rosé packages with a glass/bottle of Rosé with fresh Fruits de Mer platters. The terrace will also host weekly Rosé brunch on Saturdays, which includes three courses and a bottle of Rose. The brunch menu features Eggs Royale or Benedict, followed by Cornish Blonde skate wing with shrimps and cucumber grenobloise and wild garlic risotto with confit hen egg and parmesan crisps and finally, to finish, French toast with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream or a refreshing lemon tart with meringue.
La Maison du Rosé will also offer guests the chance to enjoy wine tastings and masterclasses on Rosé from the Minuty vineyards on the French Riviera. The terrace will offer a variety of Minuty rosés including the limited-edition Côtes de Provence 2018.
- La Maison du Rosé is open now until 31 August 2019. At Pont de la Tour, 36D Shad Thames, SE1 2YE. Nearest station: London Bridge. Rose brunches every Saturday: £150 for four people, three courses and a bottle of Minuty Rosé. For more information and booking, visit Le Pont de La Tour website.
For a guide to what’s on in London in August, click here.
Find out where the capital’s roaming cinemas will be located this summer.
With the evenings getting lighter and warmer, the thought of watching a film in the open-air or an unusual venue probably sounds quite appealing right now. If you’re looking for a difference experience than your local Odeon or Vue, why not pay a visit to one of London’s roaming cinemas. From rooftops to stunning royal backdrops to immersive experiences, you’ll be spoiled for choice this summer.
- 1 May – 31 August : Rooftop Film Club
Pop-up cinema returns to rooftops across the capital, screening new and classic films. At Roof East (Stratford), Bussey Building (Peckham) and Queen of Hoxton (Shoreditch). Expect a mix of classics and new releases, such as Dirty Dancing, The Breakfast Club, Us, Love Simon, Aquaman, Clueless and many more. Screenings @ 9pm. Tickets from £14.95. For more information and tickets, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- 21 May – 9 July : Beach Club Cinema @ Fulham Beach
Riverside beach club hosts a film night every Tuesday throughout the summer. Movies include The Beach, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Top Gun, Eat Pray Love, The Notebook, There’s Something About Mary, Grease and Dirty Dancing. Also on site in bars, dining, shuffleboard, table tennis, minigolf and more. Tickets: £10-£30. Fulham Beach, 364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, SW6 2TY. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For more information, visit the Neverland London website.
- 31 May – 9 July : Summer on Screen @ Wembley Park
Enjoy classics, latest blockbusters, live opera and Bollywood hits at open-air screenings in Wembley Park. Films include A Star Is Born, Hamid, Sister Act, Moulin Rouge!, The Greatest Showman and more. 7pm. Free, but first come first served for seating. Arena Square, Engineers Way, Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0AA. Nearest station: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website.
- 31 May – 26 September : Luna Cinema
Luna Cinema will be popping up at various venues across the capital this summer. Venues include Danson House (Bexleyheath), Morden Hall Park, Marylebone, Fulham Palace, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Brockwell Lido (Herne Hill), Battersea Park, Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich), Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace, Opera Holland Park, Victoria Embankment Gardens, Dulwich Park, Kensington Palace, Chiswick House and Gardens, Kenwood House, Wandsworth Park, Alexandra Palace, Crystal Palace Park, Tooting Common, Wimbledon Park and Marble Hill. Tickets: Adults from £15.50, Children from £10.50. For booking, visit the Luna Cinema website.
- 4 June – 3 August : Movies On The River
Watch a movie while cruising down the River Thames. Films include Bohemian Rhapsody. Grease, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Top Gun, La La Land, Black Panther and many more. Departures @ 8pm. Tickets from £29. Departures from Tower Millennium Pier, Tower Hill, City of London, EC3N 4DT. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or Fenchurch Street. For tickets, visit Time Out London. Read the rest of this entry
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 most will sell out in advance so I would recommend getting your tickets asap.
- 4 June : Camden Rocks
Hard rock and metal festival featuring over 200 bands (big names and underground talent) to 20 venues around NW1. This year’s line-up includes The Cribs, Sikth, Escape The Fate, Billy Bragg, We Are The Ocean, Carl Barât & The Jackals and Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind. Tickets: £35. For tickets, visit the Camden Rocks website.
- 4 – 5 June : Born & Bred
Celebration of UK and international bass culture, with acts including ILoveMakonnen, Wiley and Slimzee and Novelist. Tickets start from £20. Haggerston Park, Hoxton, E2. Nearest station: Hoxton or Cambridge Heath. For tickets, visit the Born & Bred website.
- 8 – 23 June : Hampton Court Palace Festival
Big names perform against the backdrop of the historic palace. Acts include Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Katherine Jenkins, Art Garfunkel, George Benson, Caro Emerald, Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Anastacia and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Tickets range from £45 to £95 depending on act. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (trains from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the Hampton Court Palace Festival website.
- 10 – 19 June : Guy Garvey’s Meltdown
This year’s Meltdown festival on London’s Southbank is curated by Guy Garvey, frontman of Elbow, TV presenter and DJ. Featuring gigs by Femi Kuti, The Staves, Richard Hawley, Laura Marling, among others. Tickets range from free to £45. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking and more information, visit the Soutbank Centre website.
- 11 June : Found Festival
Six stages of house, techno, disco and more. Acts include Kerri Chandler, Derrick May, Dyed Soundorom, Trade (Blawan & Surgeon), Rødhåd, Legowelt, Theo Parrish, Ron Trent, Marcellus Pitman, Petre Inspirescu (RPR), Mara Trax (Maayan Nidam & Vera), Binh, Mood II Swing, Wamdue Kids, Dream 2 Science, 808, Abandon Silence and Cubed. 11am-9pm. Tickets from £30. Brockwell Park, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0PA. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more information, visit the Found Festival website.
- 11 – 12 June : Field Day
Two day festival returns to East London, featuring performances from James Blake, PJ Harvey, Air, The Avanlanches, Formation, Goat, Hattie Whitehead, Mystery Jets, Tourist, Mabel and many more. Tickets: £49.50-£54.50. Victoria Park, Victoria Park Road, Hackney, E3 5SN. Nearest station: Bethnal Green or Mile End. For more information, visit the Field Day website. Read the rest of this entry
Watching films in the open air has long been a fantasy of mine since I watched Danny and Sandy go the drive-in in the classic film Grease. On previous holidays to visit my family in Canada, I have been to the drive-in a few times and absolutely loved it. However, when it comes to London, not many of us have cars, and with traffic and parking a bit of a nightmare, drive-ins aren’t such a good idea for the capital.
In recent years, the ideas of pop-up open air cinemas in London has been growing steadily in popularity. The great thing about these pop-ups is the possibilities for locations are endless – parks, rooftops, museums, cemeteries… They screen a mix of new and classic films and appear in venues across the city so there is always something on near you during the summer.
Two weeks ago, a friend and I booked tickets for the Pop Up Screens’ screening of Back To The Future. The 1985 film is a classic and has been a favourite of mine since childhood. While the film has long been a part of my DVD collection, I have always wanted to watch it on the big screen as I never had this opportunity when it was first released. The venue for this particular screening was Morden Hall Park in South West London. Located 10 minutes walk from Morden tube station, or with ample on-site parking for drivers, the park is a lovely large space run by the National Trust, with streams, lots of woodland and the historic Morden Hall and Cottage. Parked outside the 18th century buildings was a DeLorean replica time machine, complete with flux capacitor, which excited the BTTF geek inside me!
We had booked our tickets online – £8 per person – and I was pleased to see the company encourages you not to print out the tickets, but showed your email with reference number at the date on your smartphone in a bid to save paper. Armed with our deckchairs and hoodies for when it got colder later, we pitched up a good spot in front of the screen. Also on site were toilets, a licensed bar selling wine, cider and beer, a Drum & Kernel Popcorn stand and a food stand serving burgers, etc. The prices were reasonable for both and the popcorn serving was very generous and a tasty fusion of sweet and salty flavouring. As always, the film was brilliant, but is special to watch it in a large group. There was a wide range of ages in attendance, including families. When (SPOILER ALERT!) George McFly knocks out bully Biff in one of the film’s pivotal scenes, there was a cheer from the audience, and when the movie ended, there was a round of applause – not what you get in a normal cinema. Overall, it was a great opportunity to watch a classic film on a big screen, be introduced to a part of London I hadn’t seen before and share the cinematic experience with a group of people I didn’t know. Highly recommended.
- Pop-Up Screens host screenings at locations across London during the summer and early autumn, including Fulham, Shepherd’s Bush, Lewisham, Hammersmith, Parson’s Green, Holborn and Greenwich. For more information and tickets, visit their website Pop Up Screens.
For a full list of pop-up cinemas companies, read Cinema under the stars: Guide to open air cinemas in London.
There’s something a bit romantic about watching a film outside. Although for most of the year it’s too darn cold, over the past few summers, open air cinemas have been steadily growing in popularity. The chance to grab your favourite cushion or deckchair, grab a bottle of wine and some plastic picnic glasses and head to a rooftop, park or other venue is a great way to spend a warm summer evening. Here’s a guide to open-air cinema venues and companies in London this summer.
- The Nomad Cinema
Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include Brompton Cemetery (!), Bushy Park, Coram Secret Garden, Ealing Summer Screenings, Fulham Palace, Homelanz Festival (10 August), Horniman Museum, Hyde Park Lido, Queen’s Park, Roundwood Park and Willesden Sports Centre. To find out about screenings, visit the Nomad Cinema website.
- The Luna Cinema
Locations include Battersea Park, Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Park, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens (Kew The Movies), One New Change, Opera Holland Park, Regent’s Park. For more information, visit the Luna Cinema website.
- Backyard Cinema
Locations include Beach Blanket Babylon, London Fields Brewery and Camden Market. For more information, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
- Pop Up Screens
Locations include Fulham, Shepherd’s Bush, Morden, Lewisham, Hammersmith, Parson’s Green, Holborn and Greenwich. To find out about screenings, visit the Pop Up Screens website. For Metro Girl’s review of a recent Pop Up Screen screening, click here.
- Rooftop Film Club
The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof Gardens at Kensington and Netil House in London Fields. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- Hot Tub Cinema
Unlike the other pop-up cinemas, this company in winter too because cinemagoers sit in hot tubs while watching the films. Also features a BBQ and licensed bar. This summer, the cinema will be on the rooftop of Rockwell House in Shoreditch. Single tickets £30 or an entire hot tub for up to six people £180. To find out more, visit the Hot Tub Cinema website.
- BP Big Screens
Not quite films, but Royal Opera House productions will be broadcast live on big screens in Trafalgar Square, Canary Wharf and Victoria Park on select dates over the summer. For more information, visit the ROH’s BP Big Screen page.
- Floating Cinema
An intimate cinema on a specially-kitted out barge, which will travel around East London over the summer. As well as screenings, will also include workshops and themed nights. For more information, visit the Floating Cinema website.
- More London Free Festival
From 11-27 September, there will be free screenings of films in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the More London website.
- Trinity Summer Series Cinema
The gardens of the Trinity Hospice in Clapham will be open to the public for screenings over three nights (21-24 August) with screenings of Dirty Dancing, Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Top Gun. Tickets £15 with sales going to the Hospice. 30 Clapham Common North Side, SW4 ORN. Nearest tube: Clapham Common. For more information, visit the Trinity Hospice website.
To find out what else is on in London this summer, read Guide to what’s on in London in September 2013
Our British summer is shorter than we would like to be, but we can always guarantee the biggest music acts and DJs in the world will be drawn towards London for a series of open-air gigs and festivals. 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.
- 29 – 30 June : Hard Rock Calling
Bruce Springsteen, Alabama Shakes, Kasabian, Klaxons, Paul Wellers and The Black Crowes are among the acts rocking this year’s Hard Rock Calling, which has moved to Queen Elizabeth Park. Tickets start from £51.75. Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, E20 2ST. Nearest tube: Stratford. For more information, visit the Hard Rock Calling website.
- 5 – 14 July: British Summer Time @ Hyde Park
A festival of music, comedy and theatre at Hyde Park. Includes concerts from Bon Jovi, Bush, Eliza Doolittle, Sir Elton John, Jake Bugg, Jennifer Lopez, JLS, Kaiser Chiefs, Lionel Richie, Paul Young, Stooshe, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Saturdays and The Vaccines, among others. Tickets for main stage concerts range from £35 to £95. Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information and tickets, visit the British Summer Time website.
- 6 July : Carnaby Sound
One day free music festival in Soho’s Carnaby Street. Featuring live music from artists and bands in a wide range on genres. Also includes food stalls, store promotions and activities, complimentary drinks. Nearest tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby Street website.
- 9 – 14 July : Kew the Music
Six day festival features big names including Paul Weller, Blondie, Leona Lewis and Jools Holland performing at outdoor picnic concerts against the backdrop of the Victorian Temperate House at Kew Gardens. Tickets start from £35.50. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 11 – 21 July : Summer Series at Somerset House
The open-air concerts in the courtyard of Somerset House returns again in July. Acts include Lianne La Havas, Tom Odell, Jessie Ware, Goldfrapp and Bassment Jaxx. Tickets: £27.50 (not including booking fees). Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple or Holborn. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
- 12 – 14 July : Wireless Festival
Wireless has moved from its previous site in Hyde Park to Queen Elizabeth Park. Acts over the three days include Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Emeli Sande, Rita Ora and Calvin Harris. Although some tickets are sold out, there are some still available. Tickets start from £75 (not including fees). Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford, E20 2ST. Nearest tube: Stratford. For more information, visit the Yahoo! Wireless Festival website.