Things to do in London in August

Even as I was creating this post I was shocked at the amount going on in London this month – you reallyare in for a treat! And yes, there’s no guarantee of sunshine but there’s no much on, both outdoors and inside that even if it chucks it down, you know there will be something for you to do. 

Make sure you head to a music festival or two, I am off to Wilderness Festival and Soul Circus Festival (not in London) but I can’t wait – London has an array, including the famous Notting Hill Carnival at the end of August. And don’t forget that much-anticipated bank holiday at the end of the month…

London Craft Beer Festival
If you can name us a trio of habits more commonplace in the capital than drinking craft beer, eating street food and getting stuck in an east London backstreet after missing the last train, you win a bottle of beard oil. The London Craft Beer Festival is moving into a bigger, badder venue at Shoreditch Electric Light Station, the home of the UK’s National Circus School, so expect a few new tricks. The line-up of breweries includes The Kernel, Brew Dog, Gipsy Hill, Beavertown, Stone & Wood and Thornbridge Brewery. Find out more here.

51st State Festival
Returning for a third year in Trent Park – a country house estate in Cockfosters – this one-day festival organised by the ever-inventive Found crew expands from US house to a more all-embracing dancefest this year, gathering together originators and new acts. Get in quick if you fancy checking out this excellent addition to London’s mushrooming dance festival scene.

Hackney Flea Market
Set in the busy heart of Stoke Newington’s Church Street, Hackney Flea Market offers an ecclectic range of items including everything from jewellery, vintage fabrics and furniture to old maps and kitchenalia. Both independent creatives from the local area and vintage stallholders will have something to suit everyone.

Festival Spotlight
Festival Spotlight returns for its 4th year in Seven Dials. From 12-6pm on Saturday 19 August, the area is transformed into a traffic free, entertainment hotspot where visitors can enjoy a series of live performances, as well as exclusive activities and promotions from over 95 brands throughout the village. Compered by TV & Radio presenter Laura Jackson and includes pop-up bar hosted by Monmouth Kitchen.

Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories
His children’s story went on to become the toast of the West End, but there’s much more to Michael Morpurgo than ‘War Horse’. At this Museum of Childhood exhibition, the author’s storytelling themes of war, animals and friendship are explored through soundscapes, old manuscripts and illustrations.

Night Feast Walthamstow
Tuck into street-food morsels from Sticky Bundits, Shelly Belly and Yaay Yaay and sup on beers from Wild Card at this community pig-out.

Roof Terrace Summer Sessions
Drink some multi-coloured cocktails on the fourth floor Roof Terrace of the Ham Yard Hotel at their pop-up summer bar. The hotel will be running a series of ‘Summer Sessions’ throughout August including a Garden to Glass session filled with botanical drinks and a Rosé on the Roof night. It’s £15 per entry, including a welcome drink, and the opening hours vary, so book ahead to secure your spot.

Notting Hill Carnival
Since Notting Hill Carnival debuted in 1964, the event has undoubtedly grown and morphed, attracting revellers with its spectacle of floats featuring calypso, mas and pan bands as well as a series of soundsystems for alfresco dancing. You can be sure of dense crowds and a vibrant celebration of music, movement and masquerade together with Caribbean food stalls serving up jerk chicken and fried plantain.

August bank holiday weekend
Forget about work, shift yourself from the sofa and make the most of the long weekend. Plan your August bank holiday to the minute with our round-up of the very best events taking place in the capital during the three day weekend.

Festival of Love
The Southbank Centre’s having quite the love-in this summer with the return of their Festival of Love – a summery collection of installations, activities, pop-ups and performances that celebrate humankind’s most overwhelming emotion. This year, it falls inside the Nordic Matters programme – and very likely the big wedding weekend will be back for the August bank holiday.

South West Four
The mighty SW4 – Clapham Common’s bank holiday dance music explosion – returns for another weekend of big drops, club anthems and arms in the air. If you’re longing for big beats but can’t afford Ibiza and are loath to spend the last days of summer in a dark room, head to SW4 for your fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. The names that SW4 pulls in include some of the biggest DJs and live dance acts on the planet – including a live show from Pendulum –which is probably why it has a marked tendency to sell out well ahead of time.

Eastern Electrics
After three years luxuriating in rural Hertfordshire, premier dance festival Eastern Electrics is setting up home in a new central London venue: but don’t worry they plan to retain all ten stages and the line-up is sure to include some suitably huge names from dance music’s A-list to delight the party-hungry hordes. And if you want a break from all that dancing, there’s an area catering for all your cabaret, fairgound and pillow fight needs.


What are you doing this month? Send me suggestions, or tweet me at @sophiessuitcse!