there’s nothing better than a weekend? A three-day weekend, of course.
The end of August brings with it the promise of a sunny mini-break, which has no shortage of fun to fill it. There’s the return of London’s biggest party after a three-year absence, and a full list of music and food festivals, family fairs and more.
Here’s our guide to making the most of the bank holiday bargain.
Celebrate the return of Notting Hill Carnival
It’s the big one, back for the first time since 2019. Europe’s biggest street carnival returns to Notting Hill for its 54th edition this bank holiday weekend, bringing its boisterous mix of exuberant costumes, sound systems , non-stop dancing and all the rest. The party starts at 6 am on Sunday morning and continues until Monday evening.
Free, August 28-29, nhcarnival.org
Sing along at a music festival
It’s a busy weekend for music festivals in the capital. The National, Disclosure and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds headline All Points East in Victoria Park from Friday to Sunday, while Lee Valley Showground is Eastern Electrics’ venue for Saturday dance and eclectic travel. opening on Sunday. Meanwhile, Junction 2 – the excellent gathering of DJs that was canceled in June due to subway strikes – is resurrecting in two days at Tobacco Dock on Saturday and Sunday.
Drink at the Blackhorse Beer Mile
The Blackhorse Beer Mile is back on pints for its summer party. Bringing together six breweries and taprooms – Truman’s Social Club, Exale Brewing, Wild Card Brewery, Hackney Brewery, Beerblefish Brewing and Signature Brew – all within 10 minutes’ walk of each other, the offering ranges from DJ sets and live music to Japanese cuisine and a game of Dutch shuffleboard (and, of course, plenty of beer).
Free, Aug 28 E17, blackhorsebeermile.co.uk
Travel back in time at Victorian Vauxhall
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens will be transported back around 150 years this weekend as a Victorian-style funfair rolls into the green space. Expect circus acts, performers, fish and chips and vintage games, all aimed at families with children. Entry is free, but if you register in advance to buy tickets, you’ll be entered into a raffle for a VIP tour of Vauxhall City Farm.
Free, 2pm-7pm, August 27, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, SE11 5HL, beinvauxhall.com
Enjoy the Hampton Court Palace Food Festival
Treat yourself to this food festival, which promises more food vendors than ever. With over 100 stalls to choose from – offering cheese, brownies, churros, gelato, gin, beers and more – there will also be live music in the bandstand and family activities such as facials, arts and crafts, and even Shire horseback riding.
Free with general admission ticket (adults from £26.10, children from £13), 27-29 August, KT8 9AU, hrp.org.uk
Attend the final weekend of This Bright Land
During August, the courtyard of Somerset House was the scene of This Bright Land, a new festival that brought together everything from street food and DJ sets to vogue balls and a big Ferris wheel. It’s the last weekend, and although Saturday’s vogueing event is sold out, there’s still room for Friday’s Daytimers club night and Sunday’s street party.
Prices varied, through August 29, Somerset House, WC2R 1LA, somersethouse.org.uk
Grab a bargain at Hackney Flea Market
Hackney Flea Market, which has popped up in various guises from Peckham to Walthamstow since its first launch in 2013, will return to Stoke Newington this weekend. It’s a treasure trove of vintage and used items you might not find anywhere else, as well as a great place to browse products from local and independent creatives.
Free, August 27-28, Abney Hall, 73a Stoke Newington Church Street, N16, hackneyfleamarket.com
Join the Arcade Food Hall Summer Party
Arcade Food Hall – the dining complex that houses Thai restaurant Plaza Khao Gaeng, among many others – is hosting a summer party this weekend. A special barbecue menu, which ranges from a barbecue eel sando sushi to a grilled peach fritter with honey-whipped mascarpone, is the star attraction, with DJs providing the music late into the night.
August 25-28, 103-105 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1DB, arcadefoodhall.com
Watch a movie in an outdoor cinema
The free outdoor cinema that operated as part of the Underbelly festival at Earl’s Court will run throughout the weekend with a crowd-pleasing programme: The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Breakfast at Tiffany’s are just a few of the showings. . A slightly more extravagant selection can be found on the Barbican’s outdoor screen, from classic Japanese monster film Mothra to French animated fantasy Planète Sauvage.
Underbelly Festival, Empress Place, SW6 1TT, underbellyfestival.com / Sculpture Court, Barbican, EC2Y, barbican.org.uk
Be cultural at the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival
A free 17-day program of dance, theatre, art and circus performances kicks off in south-east London on Friday, as the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival returns for its 2022 edition. Highlights include a new digital artwork created in response to the war in Ukraine, a multi-disciplinary exhibit that mixes “geology, science fiction and rave culture” and an installation that will cover the Greenwich Peninsula in technicolor foam.
Free, from August 26 to September 11 festival.org
Discover the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall
There’s a great Proms action program lined up at the Royal Albert Hall over the bank holiday weekend, from the Earth Prom – an audiovisual celebration of BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, with scores by Hans Zimmer and others – a chance to hear the famous local organ, played by American musician Nathan Laube.
Miscellaneous Awards, Royal Albert Hall, SW7 2AP, royalalberthall.com