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London events in September

Your guide to the best happenings, events and things to do throughout September 2016 in London

Woah. Don’t pull on those slippers just yet. September gets a bad rep as the chilly harbinger of winter but it’s still actually kinda warm. Here’s our pick of the best September events - it’s not so much about saying goodbye to summer, but cheering that summer lives on - so forget burying yourself away, there's a treasure trove of outdoor activities perfect for autumn fun. From the last of the music festivals and night markets, to London Fashion Week and the Totally Thames Festival, pack a brollie (just in case) and get stuck in.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our September 2016 highlights

Totally Thames Festival

Returning for another year, the Totally Thames festival graces the banks of the River Thames this September. Bigger than previous years, the celebration will take place across the whole of the month (Tue Sep 1–Wed Sep 30 2015) and is one of the many London events in September worth making a splash about.

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By: Time Out London editors


This meaty food fest is a carnivalesque, cornucopia of carnivorous delights. London's hunger for protein shows no sign of waning so for its fourth year this celebration of butchery and booze will include an opening night of music combined with, yep, you guessed it, hulking slabs of meat. Expect 25 chefs creating bespoke dishes live every day, whole roasted beasts, trucker caps, fun music, dancing, a dedicated craft beer section and live demos.

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Tobacco Dock , Wapping Friday September 2 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016


If you like your meat grilled, your music loud and your beer on tap then Grillstock will be some sort of nirvana arriving in Walthamstow. Chow down on pit-smoked ribs while dancing (or simply nodding, depending on how much you’ve eaten) to live music at this meaty feast. The weekend will host a line-up of more than 25 bands and DJs as well as a low and slow BBQ competition. And if you’ve got the talent, be sure to enter the hot-dog eating competition.

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Chestnuts Field , Walthamstow Monday September 5 2016 - Tuesday September 6 2016

The London Flower Show

A four-day festival of gardens, flowers and plants in Osterley House and Park. As well as 20 show gardens, trade stands, floral displays there is a dedicated kids space, plus a chance to sample fresh fruit and veg entries to the produce growing competition.

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Osterley Park and House , Osterley Thursday September 8 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016

Hackney One Carnival

An afternoon of bright, noisy fun in Hackney as a carnival parade fills the borough's streets. Yes, the Hackney One carnival might not match Notting Hill for scale but East London definitely pulls out all the stops with feathery, glittery and winged costumes all dancing to the beat of steel pan bands on floats and wandering musicians. Hackney Town Hall Square will host the area's best young musicians, Gillett Square will be transformed into an all-day play area, and Ridley Road will host the after-party, with reggae, soca and Brazilian music.

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Various Hackney venues , Hackney Sunday September 11 2016

Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Around 50 tall-masted sailing ships will grace the east end of the Thames with their presence for this five-day festival. It’s a chance to taste just how busy and vital the Thames used to be as the quickest trade route out and into the city, and how stunning it would have been to stand bankside and witness huge vessels swim past. Visitors can even climb on board, as well as enjoying gigs, parades, firework displays and other entertainments. This event coincides with the Totally Thames festival. The ships are planning a regatta from Greenwich across the Atlantic in 2017.

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Royal Borough of Greenwich , Greenwich Wednesday September 14 2016 - Sunday September 18 2016

Open House London

This hugely popular, capital-wide annual festival of architecture celebrates its twenty-fourth anniversary in 2016 and takes place over the weekend of September 17 and 18. The festival allows access to hundreds of buildings not normally open to the public – private homes, government buildings, historic sites, educational establishments and many others.

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Various Venues , London Saturday September 17 2016 - Sunday September 18 2016

London Design Festival

Critics' choice

This multi-event, multi-venue, eight-day festival takes place across the capital to bring remarkable design both old and new to a vast London audience. Highlights include a crazy golf course in Trafalgar Square designed by top British creatives Paul Smith, Mark Wallinger, Tom Dixon and Zaha Hadid and a 20m moving metallic ribbon in the V&A’s Tapestry Gallery.

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Various locations around London , London Saturday September 17 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016


It’s always funny to see how life in 2016 was imagined by former generations. Some predictions are eerily close, others can now seem off-the-wall bonkers. This two-day festival pulls together experts in a range of fields brave enough to discuss 'The Future'. Confirmed speakers include multi-award winning stage designer Es Devlin, restaurateur Oliver Peyton, and composer and artist DJ Spooky. 

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Tobacco Dock , Wapping Sunday September 18 2016 - Monday September 19 2016

Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

It’s easy to spot a Pearly: they wear suits and hats covered in hundreds of shiny buttons! This annual event features traditional English entertainment including maypole dancing, Morris dancers and a marching band – be prepared to declare your London pride by shouting along to 'Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner' – before embarking on a parade around the City of London to St Mary-le-Bow Church for the 3pm service. A rare chance for a proper East End knees up.

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Guildhall Yard , Mansion House Sunday September 25 2016

Check out what's happening in October

London events in October

The return of crisp days and cold evenings mean we're on the verge of winter, but that's no excuse to hibernate.

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By: Phoebe Trimingham



Everyone with a Smartphone or Phablet should bookmark Timeout. For Londoners, this is your one-stop shop for non-stop social interest and activities (Tongue-twister). My pick is the Open House opportunities.