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Top ten things to do this May bank holiday

The May bank holiday weekend is guaranteed to be a scorcher even if the sun doesn't shine

Forget about work, shift yourself from the sofa and get out and about over the second of the May bank holiday weekends. Plan your time off to the minute with our round-up of the very best May events taking place in the capital over Saturday May 28 - Monday May 30 2016 and let's just hope the sun lasts – and, even if it doesn't, the capital is packed with museums, exhibitions and fail-safe pubs, so you can be sure your extra day of freedom won't go to waste.

RECOMMENDED: Read our full guide to the bank holiday in London

May bank holiday in London events

Red Market

Red Market – the outdoor pop-up taking place in the large courtyard area of Shoreditch's Red Gallery – returns for 2016, with a 'Last Days of Shoreditch' theme. This could be the last summer they have at the site due to recently granted planning permission, so be sure to get your fill of street food, music and crazy golf courtesy of Junkyard Golf Club while the space is still theirs.

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Red Market , Shoreditch Until Saturday August 27 2016

Crafty Fox Spring Market - Brixton

The popular Crafty Fox’s Spring Market returns to Brixton with over 100 designers and crafters handpicked by guest curator Charlotte Abrahams. On top of discovering unique makers there's also the chance to learn how to make traditional Polish chandeliers at a full day workshop, dance to the DJ and indulge in the well-stocked bar.

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The Dogstar , Brixton Saturday May 28 2016 - Sunday May 29 2016

Route 37 Beer Festival

London Beer Lab, The King & Co and We Brought Beer are joining forces this bank holiday to run a craft beer trail along the 37 bus route between Clapham and Brixton. Loyalty beers, Swedish brunch and 'beer flight' tastings all feature (book brunch by emailing hello@thekingandco.uk).

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Various , London Saturday May 28 2016 - Tuesday May 31 2016

Soapbox Science

London's Southbank is taken over for the sixth time in 2016 by some of the UK's leading female scientists for an afternoon of talks. Each speaker gets a chance to draw in a crowd, explain the ins and outs of their research and take questions from the audience. The experts come from a range of academic areas, and their talks ditch dull PowerPoint presentations and lecture-style presentations in favour of inspirational events.

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Gabriel's Wharf , South Bank Saturday May 28 2016


Eating out is the new going out for many a Londoner, so it’s no surprise that this new May bank holiday gathering in Brockwell Park is as much a food event as a music festival. Chefs, restaurants, bars and breweries from all points south of the river will be serving up the goodies, with DJs and live acts including Nightmares On Wax and Norman Jay MBE helping you dance those calories right back off.

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Brockwell Park , Herne Hill Sunday May 29 2016

London Wine Week

Oenophiles rejoice, for London Wine Week is with seven days of decanting vintages, decoding the wine list, and spitting left, right and centre. The £10 wristband gets you discounts and deals across more than 100 venues in London; it also means you're entitled to £5 wine taster flights at partnering bars. The festival hub in Devonshire Square offers a pretty covered terrace and some tempting drinks deals to get you started. Check the London Wine Week website for participating venues and to get the lowdown on talks and tastings.

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Various , London Until Sunday May 29 2016

Sunday Papers Live

Pitched as a real-life incarnation of your favourite Sunday rag (think broadsheet rather than red-top), this many-sided day out is centred around a series of talks from experts on world news, fashion, food and much more. For an extra fee, there are also Sunday roasts served banquet-style on a long table, cocktails, coffees and guided walks.

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Cecil Sharp House , Primrose Hill Sunday May 29 2016 - Sunday October 30 2016

Africa at Spitalfields

Africa at Spitalfields is back for its fourth year, offering city dwellers the chance to experience (and purchase a bit of) African culture without leaving the capital. The one-day market takeover will see produce and cuisine from all corners of the continent, as well as stallholders selling everything from art, literature, kids clothing. handcrafted dolls, instruments and street food.

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Spitalfields Market , Spitalfields Monday May 30 2016

Party People

Put together by party pros Percolate and their resident DJs Krywald & Farrer, Party People is a free, weekly summer session that runs every Sunday at Mick's Garage, an industrial warehouse in Hackney Wick. It’s a place to hang and relax – there’ll be food and Crate Brewery beer, plus table tennis and football for that essential kidult angle – as well as hear some top DJs through a high-end soundsystem.

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Mick's Garage , Hackney Wick Sunday May 29 2016 - Sunday August 28 2016

Spencer House Garden Open Days

The restored, eighteenth-century garden, originally designed by Henry Holland, is open just twice this summer, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the restoration and re-opening to the public of Spencer House. Entry is by timed ticket (available from 10.30am on the day).

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Spencer House , St James' Sunday May 29 2016 - Sunday June 5 2016

Looking for more fun this summer?

17 must-do things in London this summer

London during the summer is the best place on earth. Fact. From new art blockbusters and fresh faces in the West End, to London music festivals and a beachload of fun things to do, here’s 17 events you don't want to miss this summer. Ice creams not included.

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By: Phoebe Trimingham