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Top 10 things to do this August bank holiday

Staying at home is just not an option this August bank holiday weekend...

© David Tett

Forget about work, shift yourself from the sofa and make the most of the long weekend. Plan your August bank holiday to the minute with our round-up of the very best events taking place in the capital from Saturday August 29 to Monday August 31 2015

CHECK THIS OUT: The best events in London this August

The best things to do this bank holiday


Notting Hill Carnival

Since Notting Hill Carnival debuted in 1964, the event has undoubtedly grown and morphed, attracting ever more revellers with its spectacle of floats featuring calypso, mas and pan bands as well as a series of soundsystems for alfresco dancing. You can be sure of dense crowds and a vibrant celebration of music, movement and masquerade together with Caribbean food stalls serving up jerk chicken and fried plantain. The more family-friendly Sunday is the best day to take children to the Carnival, with the main parade on Monday normally winding a path from Great Western Road, along Chepstow Road and Westbourne Grove to Ladbroke Grove.

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Notting Hill, Westbourne Park Sunday August 30 2015 - Monday August 31 2015

Beach East

Life's a beach at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this summer, with over 2,200 square metres of sand deposited at the site for endless sandcastle competitions and balmy evening walks. A gigantic paddling pool and funfair rides will entertain the kids, and Pub Tropicana and Coconut Joe's bar will keep the adults suitably refreshed. Look out for a programme of live performances, competitions and sports events which will be released online shortly.

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford Until Monday August 31 2015

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

More than 670 people will take part in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015-16 – the only event of its type to offer anyone, even if they have never stepped on a boat before, the chance to circumnavigate the world in an eleven-month-long marathon. This is the event's tenth edition and Londoners are invited to wave the boats off from St Katharine Docks and to admire the departure ceremony as it passes under Tower Bridge. The twelve 70-foot yachts will leave St Katharine Docks at 2.15pm on Sunday August 30, with the official crew departure ceremony starting at 1pm. In the week preceding the departure the race village will be offering open boat tours so that you can see what life is like on board.

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St Katharine Docks, Tower Hill Until Sunday August 30 2015


Ball games aren't generally suitable for rooftops, but a tres Francais pastime will be rolling into Hackney this weekend, and luckily its balls are weighty enough to withstand any weather or player related highjinks. Just in case you've never actually googled 'old French men in berets with shiny silver balls' we'd better explain that pétanque (also known as boules) involves players throwing metal balls as close as they can to a little wooden jack on a hard or sandy surface known as a 'terrain'. You'll need two teams of between one and three players to play, and terrains will be available at £20 per 30 minutes. If you aren't feeling competitive you can still join the Francophile fun. Extra added cross-Channel-holiday spirit is available in the form of Orangina cocktails – the fizzy drink brand is sponsoring the event – and Hawksmoor's Richard Sandiford will be grilling burgers on his wood-fired 'drumbecue' with his street food pop-up Flamin' Liberty. And thanks to being on top of an eight-storey car park, the view's as pretty as Brigitte Bardot. Well, nearly. Entry is free but if you'd like to play pétanque advance booking is recommended (and will save you £3.50).

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Roof East, Stratford Until Wednesday September 2 2015


West London's really going up in the world this summer – right up onto the roof of the Beeb's old car park, in fact, as Storeys moves in for a summer of food, art, booze and music. The edible line-up includes Crabbieshack and their soft-shell crab burgers, Le Bun's French-American menu and Caribbean from White Men Can't Jerk. Daytimes will feature brunch dishes, a bloody mary bar and day beds; evenings will focus on terrific cocktails, great DJs and – presumably – a pretty hot view of the city. Entry is free.

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Multi Storey Car Park Former Television Centre, White City Until Sunday September 13 2015


What do you get when you cross the charitable aspect of Live Aid with the farm location of Woodstock? A really great pun, is what, and Livestock sounds like it'll live up to the fun in its name. Twenty musical acts will provide the entertainment in this pretty organic farm, and there'll be bars, food stalls and children's entertainment, too. Look out for Madness tribute act Silencerz, supergroup copycats the Trembling Wilburys and Enfield's very own ukulele band, SOUP. Profits go to local Enfield schools to buy musical instruments.

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Forty Hall Farm, Forty Hill Saturday August 29 2015


If knowledge is power London's going to come out of the bank-holiday weekend with a lot more oomph than it went in with, because this family-friendly festival is aiming to teach us all a thing or two. Science workshops, expert talks, live dance and music, language lessons and metaphysical poetry will all be on offer, with a dedicated area for toddlers and activities designed with teens in mind to make sure all ages are entertained. Grown-up guests can pick up life skills in finding the ideal job or tracking down the perfect partner. Street food and knowledge-inspired cocktails will be on sale, and there are plenty of picnic spots to enjoy them in.

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Various, London Until Sunday August 30 2015

Mind Sports Olympiad

There are, it seems, myriad ways of proving your prowess – and winning gold, silver or bronze medals – that don’t involve getting sweaty. This annual festival of the mind will feature sedentary tournaments in more than 60 board games. Classics such as chess, draughts, Scrabble and Monopoly all feature alongside more recent hits such as Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. Card games, an amateur poker world championship, a general knowledge quiz, and even a Tetris tournament are also on the schedule. Register in advance for your chosen tournaments at the Mind Sports Olympiad event page to get on board. 

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JW3, Frognal Until Monday August 31 2015

Free From Festival

If your dietary requirements mean you spend a noticeable portion of your time squinting at ingredients lists this food festival will be a breath of risk-free fresh air. A whole host of exhibitors will be on hand to introduce alternative ingredients for those intolerant to dairy, gluten or sugar. Naturally there'll also be plenty of 'free from' treats to tuck into, and specialist chefs will give demonstrations and share tips on making healthy, delicious dishes which even those with particular dietary requirements can enjoy.

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The Boiler House, Brick Lane Monday August 31 2015

South West Four

Clapham Common’s dance music explosion returns for another weekend of classic club-flavoured festival business, overflowing with anthems and arms in the air. If you're longing for super-club sounds but can't afford Ibiza and are loath to spend the last days of summer in a dark, sweaty room, head to SW4 for your fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. 

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Clapham Common, Clapham Until Sunday August 30 2015

Looking for more bank holiday ideas?

Bank holiday in London

If laying in bed with a boxset was your initial bank holiday plan, scrap it – there's too much going on to stay indoors.

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By: Time Out London editors



Its great to have a celebration and music but can any one listen to one music from the other?

i have noticed its very unorganised with music being blasted left and right. surely how can you appreciate any of the music and does any one know the roots of this. Can it be placed in a park like other civilised gatherings in the year 2014. im very suprised it still is such a mess with smoke of nasty smelling food and people walking around like they have lost a dog.


Aaah.... Carnival?