London, What's On – Reviews, Venues & Information
London knows how to party. Each and every month of the year the city is brimming with annual events, festivals, parties, races, fairs, ceremonies, parades, and fireworks. Londoners just seem to know how to get the best out of their city.
The year starts with a bang with a giant parade on January 1 and then continues with stellar events from there on. Jazz Fest, Film Fest, Art Fair, Wimbledon, gardening shows in Bloomsbury and Chelsea. Heck, there's even a festival dedicated to mimes! The year rounds out with plenty of Christmas celebrations — Trafalgar is Noel Central with a giant tree shipped in from Oslo. To discover what's on when you're there as well as the most fun activities, be sure to read our updated monthly guides, using these links —
Read Our Monthly Guides to Activities & Events in London
Springtime in London
March Events in London
- HEAD OF THE RIVER RACE
It's London's longest running sporting event! Hundreds of crews from around the world compete on the river Thames in an historic boating race. The race was created in 1921 to give crews a reward at the winter training season.
• March 19, 2017
- C2C – COUNTRY TO COUNTRY
That's right, it's a country music festival in London and it's immensely popular, drawing in 50,000 fans over three three-day event. Past headliners have included Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and our close personal friend, Dwight Yoakam.
• March 10 to 12, 2017
- ST PATRICK'S DAY
It's a big party as 150,000 gather for London's St Patrick's Day Parade with floats, marching bands, Irish dancing, and lots of green beer. The parade jigs its way from Piccadilly, to Whitehall. The festivities continue in Trafalgar Square with Irish events & ceilidhs.
• Sunday, March 19, 2017
• Irish Centre Website…
What's On in April
- LONDON MARATHON
Join 36,000 other runners & walkers along the 26.2-mile (42.2km) marathon route that travels from Greenwich, crosses the river at Tower Bridge, past the London Eye, the Tower of London, and a splendid finish at Buckingham Palace.
• April 23, 2017
- SHAKESPEARE'S BIRTHDAY AT THE GLOBE THEATRE
Celebrate Will's birthday at the (reconstructed) theatre where it all began. The Globe Theatre exhibition is open to visit free of charge. For a small fee, you can also see classic Shakespeare films at the Globe!
• Sunday, April 18, 2017
- FEAST OF ST GEORGE
Organized by the Mayor of London, the Feast of St George is officially celebrated on April 23. The feast features traditional English fare with fun events. FYI: St George is the patron saint of England, famous for the legend of him slaying the dragon. In Trafalgar Square.
• April 23
• Mayor of London Events Website…
Things to Do in London in May
- CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW
Experience the world's greatest flower show! See beautiful gardens and discover emerging gardening trends from leading horticulturalists.
• May 24 to 28, 2017
- REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE
The award-winning London event is very popular, with friends setting up picnic hampers on the lawn, sipping wine as the fairy lights twinkle in the trees. Over 140,000 people attend the four annual productions between May and September.
• May to September
- MUSEUMS AT NIGHT
Like Nuit Blanche in Paris, the London celebration pulls an all-nighter at museums and art galleries throughout the city. Museums at Night is a very popular activity for British art lovers.
- FA CUP FINAL
It's the English Football Association league final. Pubs will be packed to the rafters as fans watch their favourite teams in action. If you can, try and get tickets or find a local pub and enjoy a pint and the spectacle.
• Wembley Stadium
- London Wine Week
Buy a £10 wristband and then enjoy self-guided wine tours, events, and tasting sessions across London. Local sommeliers will send you on on the trail to discover new grapes, cuvets, and vintages.
Summer in London
June Events in London
- GREENWICH & DOCKLANDS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
Ten days of free outdoor theatre, dance, and street arts. Parks, streets, and public spaces across East London are transformed.
- WIMBLEDON GRAND SLAM TENNIS
For a fortnight every summer tennis fans gather for the popular Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships. It's one of four annual Grand Slam tournaments and the only one played on grass. The first tournament was held in 1877.
What's On in July
- NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
The streets of West London come alive with Europe's biggest Caribbean festival! The first carnival was held it remains true to its Caribbean roots.
• July 15 to September 2, 2016
- HAMPTON COURT PALACE FLOWER SHOW
Organized by the Royal Horticultural Society, this show features horticultural displays at the Royal Palace of Hampton Court. You'll see stunning floral displays.
• July 5 to 10, 2016
- RIDE LONDON
The annual festival of cycling was originally the Mayor of London's idea. Join fun family rides on closed roads in London. Professional cyclists will race in the RideLondon Surrey Classic and RideLondon Grand Prix.
• July 30 to 31, 2016
Things to Do in London in August
- GREAT BRITISH BEER FESTIVAL
Could there be anything more British than a festival devoted to beer? Organized by the Campaign for Real Ale, sip and sample more than 900 ales, ciders, and beers. At the Olympia Exhibition Centre.
• August 9 to 13, 2016
- FILM4 SUMMER SCREEN AT SOMERSET HOUSE
Enjoy a movie under the stars! Set in the 18th-century courtyard at Somerset House, classic films are shown on a giant screen with full surround sound.
• August 4 to 17, 2016
Autumn in London
September Events in London
- TOTALLY THAMES ARTS FESTIVAL – TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
London brings the river to life with a month-long celebration of art, music, family fun, walks, and boating events along the 42-mile stretch of river banks. The final night's lantern procession and the fireworks finale are a must-see!
• September 1 to 30, 2016
- THE GREAT RIVER RACE
It's a river-boat marathon race on the River Thames, from the Docklands to Surrey. Hundreds of crews compete, from professional athletes to amateurs. All-in-all a watery fun-filled day in London!
• September 3, 2016
What's On in October
- BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL
The festival celebrates the best of Bloomsbury district in a showcase for artists and academics, dancers and musicians. Performances are held in the streets, parks, museums, and galleries.
• October 9 to 23, 2016
- LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
See red carpet premieres from Hollywood movies, world cinema, to low budget indepedent films. There are also classes, seminars and workshops, all relating to the world of cinema.
• October 5 to 16, 2016
- FRIEZE ART FAIR
Contemporary art from 1,000 artists are on display in Regent's Park. The annual fair features leading international art dealers and galleries, and the artists they represent.
• October 6 to 9, 2016
Things to Do in London in November
- REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY CEREMONY
Held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, the Queen pays tribute along with the PM, Members of the Cabinet, the Mayor of London and other dignitaries.
• November 13, 2016
- LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL
World-class artists and emerging new stars. The festival brings the best music to London. Many shows sell out in advance. Make sure you get your tickets early.
• November 11 to 20, 2016
- LORD MAYOR'S SHOW AND FIREWORKS
Don't miss the 801st (that's right, eight centuries) version of the celebration that welcomes the new Lord Mayor. Thousands of performers march, sing, and dance, dressed in costumes. The river pageant sets off near Westminster Bridge, and floats towards Tower Bridge and with a firework finale.
• November 12, 2016
Winter in London
December Events in London
- CHRISTMAS IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE
It's the heart of Christmas in London. Trafalgar Square is transformed with a 65-foot tall Norwegian spruce shipped from the forests outside of Oslo. The countdown to Christmas starts with the lighting of the tree in early December.
- WINTER WONDERLAND IN HYDE PARK
It's a magical old-fashion Christmas with an ice kingdom with skating, restaurants and Santa Land.
• Late November to early January
- CHAMPIONS TENNIS
Watch the greatest tennis players at the Royal Albert Hall. In attendance will be Grand Slam Champions, former World Number 1's and tennis icons like John McEnroe, Pat Rafter and Tim Henman. At Royal Albert Hall.
• November 30 to December 4, 2016
What's On in January
- NEW YEAR'S DAY PARADE
The parade travels from Piccadilly and ends at Parliament Square in the late afternoon. The route includes Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall.
• Noon, January 1, 2017
- INTERNATIONAL MIME FESTIVAL
The Guardian newspaper calls this, "A festival where the most interesting work often has a metaphysical quality." It's a treasure-trove of Britain's best contemporary mime artists.
• January to February, 2017
- THE LONDON ART FAIR
This is London's premier contemporary art fair. The fair presents the finest in modern British and international art.
• January 18 to 22, 2017
- LONDON BOAT SHOW
100,000 boat lovers gather at the 10-day event that features new and exciting trends in boat travel. You can actually get to the boat show via a boat! Visit the website for details.
• January 6 to 15, 2017
Things to Do in London in February
- CHINESE NEW YEAR — THE YEAR OF THE ROOSTER
Join the crowd that gathers on the West End to wish each other Happy New Year in Mandarin and Cantonese. Find out more about the event from the London Chinatown Chinese Association.
• Saturday, January 28, 2017
- JORVIK VIKING FESTIVAL
Celebrate all things Viking! The 9-day event is inspired by Norse mythology and includes combat performances, crafts, lectures, music, and archaeological expert sessions. The festival is held in York ("York" = "Jorvik") with easy transportation from London.
• February 20 to 28, 2017
- LONDON FASHION WEEK
Organized by the British Fashion Council, Fashion Week is held twice a year, in September & February. Top international talent presents their collections to the press, buyers & photographers. A few events are open to us mere mortals.
• February 17 to 21, 2017
British Public Holidays 2017
- January 1 – New Year's Day
- April 14 – April 14
- April 17 – Easter Monday
- May 1 – Bank Holiday
- May 29 – Spring Bank Holiday
- August 28 – Summer Bank Holiday
- December 25 – Christmas Day
- December 26 – Boxing Day
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