California knows how to party, but so does London. The Big Smoke is one of the biggest and best event centers in the entire world; sports fans, foodies, and music lovers all travel to London each year. Why? Because the festivals and events that are held each year are out of this world!
Music events like the Tramlines Festival feature big-name artists like the Arctic Monkeys and Paul McCartney. London also hosts amazing performing arts events like plays, musicals, and monologues.
Of course, everything is hold right now. We may not know exactly when events and festivals can get back to normal, but there’s nothing wrong with getting excited for when they once do. Because they will – it may just take that bit longer before we get there.
When times get easier, in London, there’s so much to see, do, taste, and listen to that it can almost be overwhelming. That’s why we’re going to show you the top festivals and events in London. Bring your walking shoes because we’ll be travelling through all 32 of London’s boroughs. You might also want to store your things with a reliable luggage storage service before visiting any of these venues.
All Points East
All Points East is a 10-day music festival of epic proportions. Each year, legendary musical acts like Massive Attack, Tame Impala, The Kooks, and The Strokes rock out at Victoria Park. APE first debuted in 2018. Here are just a few of the musicians who’ve headlined APE in the past:
- Bombay Bicycle Club
- The Chemical Brothers
- Mumford & Sons
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- The xx
Despite the fact that some of the other festivals in this guide have been around longer, you definitely shouldn’t sleep on All Points East.
BFI London Film Festival
Cinephiles rejoice! The BFI London Film Festival started all the way back in 1957. This special event showcases brilliant feature-length movies and short films created by some of London’s most talented filmmakers. These artists include independent creators from around the UK to established filmmakers like Shane Meadows and Nicolas Roeg.
Artists from other parts of the world also attend this event; the likes of Ang Lee and Wes Anderson have both debuted films at the BFI London Film Festival. For the cherry on top, a large portion of the festival’s proceeds is donated to charities and educational organizations. Stop by the BFI London Film Festival’s website to learn more about upcoming events.
Christmas at Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a nature lover’s dream come true. More than 50,000 different species of plants can be found here during most times of the year. Things get really exciting around Christmas time. Some of the garden’s holiday-themed attractions include:
- An illuminated Rose Garden
- A redecorated Temperate House
- The “Tunnel of Light”
- A Christmas-themed dinner at the Botanical Restaurant
Stop by the Kew Gardens’ website to reserve a spot for this fantastic Christmas-themed event.
Crystal Palace Park Fireworks
Crystal Palace Park is always a sight for sore eyes. This Victorian garden has mazes, pounds, and statues all over the place! Some of the park’s biggest draws are its massive dinosaur sculptures.
The park’s Firework Spectacular is simply breathtaking. Every year, around New Year’s Eve, the park lights up the sky with colorful, electrifying fireworks. This pyrotechnical masterpiece is easily worth the price of admission.
London Design Festival
London’s architecture has always been one of the city’s biggest draws. The designs of buildings like the Elizabeth Tower to monuments such as the Victoria Memorial are simply breathtaking. The London Design Festival celebrates the city’s architects, artists, and engineers.
Since 2003, landmarks and special projects created by London’s designers have been showcased at the festival. The event organizers strive to “celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world.” Based on the amazing projects that are on display each year, it’s hard to disagree!
Notting Hill Carnival
Fantastic music, elaborate dances, and delicious food are all hallmarks of the Notting Hill Carnival. And the tulips. Each year, members of London’s British African-Caribbean communities host this inspiring event. Activists Claudia Jones and Rhaune Laslett are credited as the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival, which first took place in 1966.
Since then, the Notting Hill Carnival has become a staple of Notting Hill, Kensington, and London as a whole. Everyone’s welcome and encouraged to join in on this vibrant street festival!
Find food, fun, and a great time with your friends at Streeteat – an incredible food festival hosted by Underbelly in Southpark. Streeteat always attracts large crowds thanks to its large menu; burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and all kinds of seafood can be found here.
Every year, something new is added to Streeteat’s menu. New food trailers always excite and delight the senses. However, Streeteat does have a few fan-favorite trailers that’ll never go out of style. Cristina’s Far From Home specializes in crafting unique burgers that can’t be found anywhere else. Cripes It’s Crepes does the same but, you know, with crepes.
Totally Thames Festival
Just like Big Ben or the Parliament building, the River Thames is a staple of London’s culture. It only makes sense to hold an annual event that celebrates the river’s importance to the city. Enter the Totally Thames Festival, an event with art, sports, education, and heritage-themed activities. Here are just a few of the things to look forward to at this festival:
- The Rivers of the World art showcase
- The Kids’ Choir & Sing for Water performances
- The Live from Under the Thames concert
Case in point, you have to check out the Totally Thames Festival if you’re heading to London. Click on over to the Thames Festival Trust’s main website to learn more about events like the Totally Thames Festival.