Londoners don’t get anywhere near the amount of warm weather we would like. So when it is sunny, we all head outside. Of course, this leaves film fans in a predicament – who wants to be stuck indoors when the weather is so glorious? Over the past few years, pop-up and open air cinemas have been steadily rising in popularity and this summer will be no different. Of course, sometimes the weather isn’t so kind, so many roaming film clubs are hosting screenings in unique London indoor venues as well. Here’s a guide to the capital’s open-air and pop-up cinemas so you can enjoy some alfresco entertainment with an ice-cold beer or glass of wine… sounds good doesn’t it?
- 4 May – September : Rooftop Film Club
The Rooftop Film Club is for rooftops only (obviously). Screening a mix of films including recent releases and classics. Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof East in Stratford, Queen Of Hoxton in Shoreditch and Kensington Roof Gardens. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets: £15. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- 23 May – September : The Nomad Cinema
Travelling cinema company returns this summer with a new roll call of venues. Locations include Proud East, Paddington Street Gardens, The Hoxton Hotel, CityPoint, Grosvenor Square, Queen’s Park and Festival Gardens by St Paul’s Cathedral. Ticket prices £10-£25. For booking, visit the Nomad Cinema website.
- 6 June – 25 July : London Bridge City Summer Festival Screenings
Free film screenings every Tuesday throughout June and July. Get to the steps early to grab a spot. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website.
- 7 – 18 June : Westfield Open-Air Cinema
Westfield will be hosting an open-air cinema during at London Food Month’s Night Market. A host of international street food stalls and bars will be serving grub and refreshments so keep you fuelled while you watch a mix of classic and new films. Cinema tickets are Adults £4, Children £2 when added to food market entry (Adults £15, Children £8). Perks Field, 7 Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington, W8 4PU. Nearest station: Queensway or High Street Kensington. For booking, visit the London Food Month website. Read the rest of this entry
Spring is in full swing with sunnier days becoming more frequent. The longer days, warmer weather (hopefully) and two bank holidays mean May is a bumper month for festivals and events on around the capital. Fans of cycling and drinking are particularly in for a treat with many themed events on around town. Here’s Metro Girl’s curated selection of what’s on in London this May.
For London’s pop-up and open-air cinemas this summer, click here.
- 1 May : Beer And Bread Festival
Festival returns for the second year, featuring a wider selection of ales, beers, breads, pastries and cakes from local businesses. Includes live music from No Frills Band and CL!VE, and a performance by the Hammersmith Morris Men. 1-5pm. Free entry. Windmill Gardens (west end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill), Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Windmill website.
- Now until 1 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. Open Sat-Sun 10am-6pm, Mon 10am-5pm. Procession of illuminated boats @ 9pm on Sun 30. Free. Little Venice, Maida Vale, W2. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association. For Metro Girl’s blog post on last year’s Cavalcade, click here.
- Now until 1 May : Morden Hall Park Country Fair
Country show in the grounds of Morden Hall, featuring Savage Bike Skills Display Team, birds of prey flying displays, Grant Bazin the Horse Whisperer, terrier racing, children’s entertainer, Circus Skills Workshop, the goat show including bottle feeding lambs and kids, children’s petting pens, historical re-enactment and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets on the gate (or cheaper online): Adults £7.50, Children age 5-16 £3, Under 5s free. Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden or Phipps Bridge (tram). For more information, visit the Oakleigh Fairs website. For Metro Girl’s post on Morden Hall Park, click here.
- Now until 1 May : Wellbeing Festival
Festival of wellbeing, featuring workshops, demonstrations and performances on the live stage, lifestyle studio and wellbeing spa. Open Sun 30 10am-7pm, Mon 1 10am-5pm. Tickets: £11-£13. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the MindBodySpirit website.
- 2 May : 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 8pm. 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.
- 3 – 7 May : London Craft Week
A celebration of craftsmanship, featuring over 230 events, such as workshops, exhibitions, open studios, tastings, galleries and shops. Various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.
- 4 May : Carnaby Style Night
A shopping extravaganza where over 100 shops, restaurants and bars will be offering 20% off. There will also be Airstream GIF booth, on street haircuts from Johnny’s Chop Shop, a pop-up bar, live music and entertainment. 5-9pm. Carnaby, Soho, W1B. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. To register online for your free ticket, visit the Carnaby website. For more information on the event, read Metro Girl’s blog post.
- 4 May – September : Rooftop Film Club
Roaming cinema club launch their spring/summer programme with outdoor screenings on rooftops. Venues include the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, the Bussey Building in Peckham Rye, Roof East in Stratford and Tobacco Dock in Shadwell. Ticket includes headphones, blankets and deckchairs. Tickets: £15. To find out more, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.
- 5 May : Cinco de Mayo fiesta @ Barts
Chelsea speakeasy Barts is hosting a Mexican fiesta to mark Cinco de Mayo, including live entertainment, pinatas, Frozen Margaritas, maracas and sombreros. Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3DW. Nearest stations: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Barts website. For Metro Girl’s review of Barts, click here.
- 5 – 21 May : Wandsworth Arts Fringe
Two week fringe festival in the borough of Wandsworth featuring theatre, dance, art, music, comedy, poetry, workshops, talks, markets and more. Highlights include London’s Vegetable Orchestra, the Antiques Breadboard Museum Pop-Up Gallery, Everything Stops For Tea, My Fanny Valentine, Clowning With Shakespeare and more. For more information, visit the Wandsworth Art Festival website. Read the rest of this entry
Spring is here at last! The days are getting longer and the temperatures are warmer up. London’s festival season really kicks off with tons of alfresco events taking place all over the capital. This year, Easter is a bit later than usual so there will be plenty of harassed parents looking for ways to entertain the kids during the school holidays.
- Now until 1 April : Cocktails In The City
A three-day extravaganza will see some of London’s and Europe’s best cocktails bars coming together under one roof. A host of pop-up bars and food venues will be spread across four levels. 6-11pm. Ticket: £15 includes 1 cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet. One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 4AQ. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Regents Park. For booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s post on the event.
- Now until 1 April : Whisky Live
Whisky festival comes to 18th century surroundings, featuring masterclasses, food pairings, the VIP Lounge and exclusive private VIP pourings. Open Fri 31st 4-10pm, Sat 1 Apr 11am-5pm. Tickets: £45-£65. Honourable Artillery Company, City Road, EC1Y 2BQ. Nearest station: Old Street or Moorgate. For booking, visit Eventbrite.
- Now until 1 April : West Norwood Free Film Festival
Free film festival comes to West Norwood for the first time featuring screenings of Back To The Future, The Goonies, Memento, Babette’s Feast, Paterson and Northern Soul. At various venues in SE27 including St Luke’s Church, Knowles Of Norwood, The Clockworks and more. Nearest station: West Norwood. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.
- 1 – 17 April : Urban Festival
The Southbank Centre hosts a two week celebration of urban culture, featuring breakdancing battles, dance residencies, workshops, free family events, parties and more. Events range from free to ticketed. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 2 April : Oxbridge Boat Race
Watch the historic annual boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford University crews. Thousands will line the banks between Putney Bridge and Mortlake to watch the action. Women’s boat race @ 4.35pm and Men’s boat race @ 5.35pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Boat Race website.
- 2 – 10 April : Camberwell Free Film Festival
Ten day free film festival comes to SE5 featuring screenings, talks, and Q&As. Film screenings include Moana, Rear Window, Son of Saul, I Daniel Blake and more. At various venues including William Booth College, Whirled Cinema, The Phoenix, Coldharbour Studios, The Crooked Well, Grand Union Camberwell, The Flying Dutchman and The Sun. For more information, visit the Camberwell Free Film Festival website.
- Now until 2 April : The Other Art Fair
Chance to see and buy art from 130 unrepresented artists, regardless of how experienced you are in purchasing artwork. Also features book signings, panel discussions, kids’ workshops, Carolina Mizrahi’s immersive ‘Ruby’ room with hidden underground bar, The Modern Pantry pop-up restaurant and much more. Tickets: £8 in advance. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, WC1B 4DA. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit the Other Art Fair website.
- 3 – 28 April : I Am London exhibition
Photography showcase of iconic, pioneering, creative and fascinating Londoners and its places. Free. City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 7 May : The Iris @ Now Gallery
A new art installation from artist Rebecca Louise Law, featuring 10,000 fresh irises suspended from the ceiling. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Free entry. NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the NOW Gallery website.
- 7 – 9 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 £16.50 (advance), £22.50 (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.
- 8 April : Rebel Bingo
Rebel Bingo turn the traditional numbers game on its head with competitions, loud music and lots of attitude. Not for the faint-hearted and strictly over 18s only. 8-11.30pm. Tickets from £13.50. Mecca Bingo, 180 Arlington Road, Camden, NW1 7HL. Nearest station: Camden Town. For more information, visit RebelBingo.com.
- 8 – 9 April : VeggieWorld London
Europe’s biggest and oldest vegan festivals is coming to London, featuring food and fashion stalls, international food court, cookery demos, animal yoga, children’s activities and more. Open Sat 8 10am-7pm, Sun 9 10am-5pm. Tickets: £8 (advance), £10 (on the door). Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, W8. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the VeggieWorld website.
- Now until 9 April : Telegraph Hill Festival
Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including music, open studios, art shows, interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, talks, literary events, wellbeing, plays, performance art and music events. Lots of events are free, but some will cost. At various venues across New Cross, Nunhead, Hatcham, Brockley and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Telegraph Hill festival website. Read the rest of this entry
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
Spring is here… allegedly! The temperatures are rising – just a bit – and the nights are getting lighter. With the advent of March, London starts to come alive with a lot more festivals and events on around town. There’s also a host of film, food and drinking festivals if that whets your whistle.
For a guide to what’s on in London over the Easter holidays, click here.
- 1 – 5 March : Cinema Made In Italy
Film festival of the newest features from Italy at the Ciné Lumière, featuring screenings and Q&As including 7 Minutes, Ears, Pericles The Black, The Confessions, In Guerra Per Amore, Slam, Pawn Streets, Vangelo and I Was A Dreamer. Tickets: Adults £12, Children £10. Ciné Lumière, 17 Queensbury Place, SW7 2DT. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Ciné Lumière website.
- 1 March – 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, Children £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.
- 3 March – 7 May : The Iris @ Now Gallery
A new art installation from artist Rebecca Louise Law, featuring 10,000 fresh irises suspended from the ceiling. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Free entry. NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the NOW Gallery website.
- Now until 5 March : Orchid Festival
An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by India. The sea of colour from one of the world’s most stunning flowers will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: £8 adults or £2.50 children. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- Now until 5 March : Vault Festival
Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo across three venues, five bars and a restaurant. Entertainment includes live music, theatre, film, dance, comedy and late-night parties. Open Wed-Sun. Ticket prices vary, although venue entry is free. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For booking, visit the Vault Festival website. For highlights, check out Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s festival.
- 5 – 12 March : French Fest @ Live At Zedel
An eight day celebration of French culture, featuring music, opera, theatre and comedy in French or English or both. Dining options also available. Live At Zedel takes place at Crazy Coqs or Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street, Soho, W1F 7ED. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Brasserie Zedel website.
- 7 – 12 March : Women Of The World Festival
A festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women. Gillian Anderson, Sandi Toksvig, Catherine Mayer, Nilüfer Yanya, Reni Eddo-Lodge, among the featured names. Events range from free to £30 or many included with day pass £22. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 8 – 10 March : London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival
CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) North London host a beer and cider festival. As well as over 150 beers, ciders and perries to choose from, there is also food, tombola and ‘shut the box’. Opening times vary. Tickets: £4 (£3 for CAMRA members), but free during Wed and Thur lunchtime openings. Camden Centre, Bidborough Street, WC1H AU. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information visit the CAMRA North London website.
- 9 – 12 March : Affordable Art Fair @ Battersea Park
For those among us who aren’t loaded, this event is a chance for people to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There is over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging for £40 to £4,000. Tickets: £10-£12 in advance, more on the door. Battersea Evolution, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.
- 9 March – 18 June : American Dream – Pop To The Present
Look back over 60 years of the world superpower with prints from American artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu. Tickets: Adults £16.50, Children under 16 free (w/ a paying adult). British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DG. Nearest station: Holborn or Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit the American Dream Exhibition website. Read the rest of this entry
Gloomy January is over so by now you’ve hopefully got used to the cold weather and your finances have recovered after the festive season. With winter in full swing, February gets a little injection of colour (well, pink and red) in the middle of the month with the saccharine fest that is Valentine’s Day (more on that in another blog post!). There’s also half-term holidays so no doubt parents will be looking for things to occupy their little ones. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this February.
For a guide to Valentine’s Day events, click here.
- Now until 2 February : Broadgate Ice
Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.
- 2 – 5 February : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show
Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as lots of travel companies, there is photography masterclasses, health advice and meet the experts. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £11 in advance, Under 12s free when accompanied by paying adult. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.
- 3 – 4 February : London Remixed Festival
A two day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters +and more. Open: Fri 8pm-1am, Sat 8pm-4am. Tickets: £8-£15. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For more information, visit the London Remixed Festival website.
- Now until 4 February : London International Mime Festival
Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £9.50-£29. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Platform Theatre, Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and The Peacock. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.
- Now until 4 February : Amaluna by Cirque du Soleil
The newest touring production from the Cirque, a spectacular re-telling of The Tempest. Tickets range from £20-£115. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website.
- 4 – 5 February : Fare Healthy
Feel good festival of food, exercise and wellbeing. Featuring Deliciously Ella, Skye Gyngell, Anna Jones, Natasha Corrett, Martin Morales, Dale Pinnock, Madeleine Shaw, Melanie Sykes, James Duigan, Gaby Roslin and many more. 9.30am-6pm. Tickets: £25. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For tickets, visit the Fare Healthy website. Read the rest of this entry
Happy New Year! January tends to be a bit of an anti-climax after all the fun of December. We’re all feeling lighter in our pockets, our bills are bulkier than usual and the weather’s not helping to lift our spirits either. Fortunately, there’s plenty going on around town – many of it free – to lift us out of the winter doldrums. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this January.
For a guide to Valentine’s Day events, click here.
- 1 January : New Year’s Day Parade
Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the streets of London to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website.
- Now until 2 January : Winter Wonderland
The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.
- Now until 2 January : Christmas at Kew
A one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be Santa at the North Pole Village, a Tunnel of Light, vintage rides, festive food and drinks. 5-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults £16-£18, Children £10-£12. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 6 – 15 January : London Boat Show
Boats of all shapes and sizes on show at ExCel in Docklands. Open 10am-6pm (late nights Thurs until 8pm). Tickets: Adult £15-£20, Children 15 years and under free with a paying adult. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the London Boat Show website.
- 6 – 15 January : London Short Film Festival
Ten day festival celebrating the best in short film-making at venues across the capital, including the ICA, Ace Hotel, Round Chapel, Oval Space, Hackney Attic, and Hackney Picturehouse. For more information, visit the London Short Film Festival website.
- 7 – 8 January : Vegan Life Live
Two day festival celebrating and exploring the vegan lifestyle. Open Sat 7 10am-6pm, Open Sun 8 10am-5pm. Tickets start from £10. The West Hall, Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information, visit the Vegan Life Live website.
- Now until 8 January : Christmas in Leicester Square
The West End’s famous square features a Christmas market. A Spiegeltent will play host to La Soiree‘s variety show, starring The English Gents, Acantha Lang, Hamish McCann, Denis Lock and Ursula Martinez. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.
- 8 January : Twelfth Night Celebration
Theatre company the Lions Part host their annual celebration of the new year, ‘mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity’ in the Bankside area of London. From 2pm. Free. Outside Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, SE1 9DT. Nearest stations: Blackfriars, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Lions Part website. Read the rest of this entry
A festive bomb has been dropped on London turning everything sequinned, red and green. As you would expect, a host of Christmas themed activities and events are on around the capital. However, if you’re feeling seasonally jaded, there’s some regular events like film and arts festivals on around town. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in the capital this December.
For ideas on where to spend New Year’s Eve in London, click here.
Fancy a festive cocktail? Here’s where to find London’s Christmas tipples.
- 1 December : Christmas In The Queen’s House
Late night opening of the Queen’s House in Greenwich with the 17th century building turned into a giant advent calendar with surprises behind every door. 6.30-9pm. Tickets: £25 (£20 conc). Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest station: Cutty Sark (DLR) or Greenwich. For booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.
- 1 – 4 December : London Illustration Fair
Four day event celebrating illustration, featuring artist-led stands, talks, workshops, music, DJs, live signings. Open Thur 6-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entry: £6 advance, £8 on the door, Under 12s free. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo . For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.
- 1, 8, 15 and 22 December : Live Music Sessions @ St Martin’s Courtyard
Festive gospel choir Get Gospel will be entertaining shoppers on Thursday evenings throughout December. 5,30-8.30pm. Free. Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.
- 1 – 10 December : Dolce by Ferrero Rocher pop-up
Italian chocolatier Ferrero Rocher are hosting a pop-up dessert experience. Open from 1-11pm. Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco). Dolce, 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For booking, visit the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on Dolce, click here.
- 1 – 22 December : Art For Love Christmas Festival
Three weeks of festive entertainment at Devonshire Square in the City of London. Line-up includes Get Gospel choir, Michael Jackson tribute dance show, penguin visit, acrobatic arts show in the Winter Globe, live music from Zalon, Girls On Sax and Sammie Jay. Show times vary between lunchtime and evenings. Free. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.
- 1 – 23 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square
After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on 1 December (a gift from Norway), there is daily carol singing in the Square between 5 – 23 December and the Blessing of the Crib on 4 December. Carol singing between 4-8pm weekdays and 2-6pm weekends. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC1. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 2 December : London Lift-Off Film Festival
The London branch of the international Lift-Off Film Festival, which gives a platform to independent filmmakers. Screenings taking place nightly. Charlotte Street Hotel, Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RJ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Lift-Off Film Festival website.
- 2 – 4 December : Portobello Winter Festival
The iconic west London market gets a festive makeover featuring vintage and pop-up stalls, Christmas rum shack, steel pan band, live music and dancers and Grotto wonderland for the kids. 10am-8pm. Free entry. Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W10 5QZ. Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
- 2 – 11 December – London International Animation Festival
Showcase of animation from around the world featuring gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmakers Q&As, workshops, audience voting and screenings. Tickets start from £11.50 (Barbican session tickets) to £95 for full pass. At the Barbican, The Horse Hospital, Close-Up Cinema and The Whitechapel Gallery. For more information and tickets, visit the LIAF website.
- Now until 3 December : Pigs Ear Beer And Cider Festival
Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Opening hours TBC. Entry: £3 (members), £5 (non-members). Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.
- 3 December : The Great Christmas Pudding Race
Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Entertainment starts at 11am, first race at 12.10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.
- 3 December : Beautycon
Social media influencers and celebrities will come together to talk beauty, fashion and style. Featuring Justine Skye, Estee Lalonde, Fleur DeForce, Dulce Candy and Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo. 12-6pm. Tickets start from £30. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Beautycon website.
- 3 – 4 December : Santa and his huskies come to the London Wetland Centre
Special Christmas weekend event at the London Wetland Centre, where families can visit Santa’s Grotto, enjoy a sleigh ride with the huskies or a donkey ride or make decorations in the elves’ workshop. Normal admission prices to LWC apply: Adults £13.10, Children £7.20. Santa visit £6 per child (includes gift). London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes. For more information, visit the WWT London Wetland Centre website.
- 3 – 4 December : Frost Fair
Festive family event at the Museum Of London Docklands, featuring performances, interactive games and crafts. 12-4pm. Free entry. Museum Of London, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, Docklands, E14 4AL. Nearest station: West India Quay (DLR). For more information, visit the Museum Of London website.
- 3 – 22 December : A Peninsula Christmas
Christmas extravaganza by The O2 in Greenwich Peninsula. Featuring designer-maker Christmas market, Tepee Snug Bar, Santa’s Grotto of Wonderment, Enchanted Forest, Arcola Theatre, Storybrook, Theatre Bugs Panto, Craft London Tasting Menu and many more. 12pm-late. Free entry. Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website.
- Now until 4 December : Enchanted Woodland
Syon Park in South West London is open after hours, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open Fri-Sun 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £9, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website. Read the rest of this entry
Autumn is well and truly in full swing. The clocks have gone back, the temperatures are sadly 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. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to the best festivals and special events in the capital this November.
For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
Or for London’s festive ice rinks, click here.
- 2 – 4 November : Nomad Cinema @ Imperial War Museum
Roaming cinema club are setting up camp in the historic surrounds of the Imperial War Museum for three special screenings. Guests will watch films including Atonement, Casablanca and Full Metal Jacket underneath spitfires suspended above them. Cinemagoers will also have the chance to check out the Real to Reel: A Century of war Movies exhibition. Tickets £25. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle. For tickets, visit the Nomad website.
- 3 – 22 November : Nightwatchers @ Tower Of London
Enjoy special access to the Tower Of London when the visitors have gone for an immersive nighttime experience, directed by award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM. Have an induction to the world of covert investigation as you find your way around London’s most notorious prison using messages and phonecalls. For ages 16+ only, running time 45 minutes. Tickets: £18-£20. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.
- 4 – 21 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.
- 4 – 27 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 Kate Summerscale, Diana Durke, Helena Kelly, Christopher Frayling, Sarah Moss, Simon Bradling, Andrew Lownie and more. Ticket range from free to £15. 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. Read Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- Now until 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival
The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their second 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 and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.
- 5 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.
- 6 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
This year marks the 120th anniversary of the 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7.04-8/8.30am. 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.
- Now until 6 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: £19.75. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website. Read the rest of this entry
The nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping as the countdown to Christmas kicks off. However, there’s plenty of reasons to live in the moment this October with lots of festivals and special events on around London. Of course, for those with a love of fancy dress, the month ends with Hallowe’en with plenty of ghoulish fun to be had in the capital.
For a guide to Halloween activities and parties on around town, click here.
- 1 October : NFL on Regent Street
American football festival returns to Regent Street. The shopping haven will be pedestrianised between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus to celebrate Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars game at Wembley. Includes appearances by NFL players and coaches, cheerleaders, inactive games, NFL merchandise, food and drink. Free. Regent Street, Soho/Mayfair, W1. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regents Street website.
- 1 – 2 October : Classic Car Boot Sale
A boot sale with a difference, featuring vintage fashion, homewares and pop culture memorabilia up for purchase from the boots of over 100 classic cars. Entry: £5 (£4 in advance). Lewis Cubitt Square (off Stable Street), Kings Cross, N1C 4AY. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
- 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival
Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. Highlights include Veuve Cliquot Gourmet Odysseys, American Express menus, restaurant hopping tours, London’s longest lunch and Eat Film. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.
- Now until 2 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened at cinemas in the West End area. Venues include Vue Piccadilly Circus, Century Club and The Hospital Club. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 29 September – 2 October and 6 – 9 October : London Oktoberfest
Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. (NB: this event is nothing to do with the one which was cancelled at the last-minute last year). Opening hours vary. Tickets start from £5-£10. Millwall Park, Manchester Road, Isle of dogs, Canary Wharf, E14 3AY. Nearest stations: Island Gardens or Mudchute. For booking, visit the London Oktoberfest website.
- Now until 2 October : Spiegeltent
A Spiegeltent is popping up in Canary Wharf for 11 days with a host of entertainment for adults and children, including comedy, live music, cabaret, burlesque, circus and more. Ticket prices range from free to £15 depending on event. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For most information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 3 – 9 October : London Cocktail Week
Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Cocktail 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 cocktails at participating venues for as little as £5. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website.
- 5 – 16 October : BFI London Film Festival
Film buffs rejoice for the biggest event in the British film calendar – next to the Baftas of course – but this is the one we can all experience. Eleven days of screenings, premieres, exhibitions, masterclasses and Q&As will be taking place across the capital, at 15 venues including Odeon Leicester Square, Hackney Picturehouse, Ritzy Cinema and Curzon Mayfair and Cine Lumiere. For more information, visit the BFI website.
- 5 – 16 October : 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 Christopher Ecclestone, MyAnna Buring and Nikki Amuka-Bird perform a reading of The Time Machine and Margaret Atwood discussing her latest book. Many events are free, but tickets go up to £25. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.