While London offers plenty to see and do year-round, the capital really comes alive for the August Bank Holiday. With the weather behaving beautifully, and summer set to linger a bit longer, here are five ideas for getting out and about this weekend.
It’s loud, it’s full of life, and it’s legendary. The vibrant, noisy festival is held year-round and is a must-visit while you’re in London. The carnival is spread across a 20 mile route, which is filled with processions, Caribbean food, pounding music, steel bands, dancers and brightly-coloured floats. Although it runs all weekend, the main parade takes place on the Monday, beginning on Great Western Road and finishing in Ladbroke Grove.
Film 4 Summer Screen
Every year, the beautiful Somerset House teams up with Film 4 to host this two-week open-air film festival. Although the festival itself finishes just before the Bank Holiday weekend, it’s well worth coming early to soak up the vibrant atmosphere. The floor is scattered with guests, cushions and blankets as everyone picnics during the films.
The Alma on Newington Green Road, Islington, will spend the bank holiday celebrating British cider. Running from Friday August 23 until Monday August 26, the event is free to enter and there will be a range of ciders to sample. Guests will also be able to soak up the atmosphere, as there will be music and DJs playing throughout the weekend.
The world-famous Spitalfields market will transform itself into an Africa Mini-Market over the bank holiday. Visitors will be able to celebrate the capital’s multi-cultural history by enjoying traditional African street food and crafts, while children will be entertained with face painting and hair braiding. Meanwhile, the market will come alive with traditional hot-stepping African dancers, the beats of Djembe drummers, live acoustic music and traditional story-telling.
The Film 4 FrightFest is held at the West End’s Empire Cinema and is most definitely not for the faint at heart. Tickets give visitors the chance to watch any number of spooky films in one day, or over the course of the entire festival. However, tickets sell out fast, so be sure to book up now.