Top 10 things to do this August bank holiday

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



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© Real Food Market

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 23 to Monday August 25 2014.


Notting Hill Carnival

  • Free

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.

  1. Notting Hill Chepstow Rd, Westbourne Grove, Ladbroke Grove, W11 1HT
  2. Sun Aug 24 - Mon Aug 25
More info

Camden Beach

  • Free

NW1 isn't usually on the list of coastal getaways but, thanks to the ever-creative team at the Roundhouse, 'Camden Beach' is returning this summer with 900 square metres of pseudo-shoreline consisting of 150 tonnes of sand. Installed on the venue's terrace, the free Camden Beach comes complete with deck chairs, beach huts and, as if you need telling, a fully stocked bar. You'll also find end-of-the-pier attractions (arcade games, air hockey, ping pong and the like), a blissfully stationary ice-cream van, and pop-up restaurants to complete the atmosphere.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Until Sat Aug 23
More info

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 is currently taking registrations for its 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.

  1. JW3 Jewish Community Centre, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3 6ET
  2. Sun Aug 17 - Mon Aug 25
More info

Up Hill Down Hall – An Indoor Carnival

  • Free

If you just can’t wait for Rio 2016 to get your carnival fix, and want to get into the swing of the Notting Hill celebrations early, then head to the Tate Modern for this unique contemporary art procession extravaganza. The all day event will feature artist’s works that have been informed by the history of the Notting Hill Carnival and performances combining Brazilian and Caribbean carnival traditions.

  1. Tate Modern Bankside, SE1 9TG
  2. Sat Aug 23
More info

Model Market

The makers of Street Feast are bringing their night-time street food party to an abandoned 1950s covered market in Lewisham, so now the foodies of south east London don't have to cross the river to tuck into delicious portable dinners from the likes of Breddos Tacos, Yum Bun and SmokeStak. Booze comes in all sorts of varieties, most notably alcoholic slushies and shandies served from an old hair salon. Find a spot among the outdoor and indoor eating spaces, or head up to the rooftop to catch the evening sun.

  1. Model Market 196 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LS
  2. Fri Aug 22
More info

BBC Good Food Festival

BBC Good Food is joining forces with Hampton Court Palace to make sure visitors are royally stuffed. Artisan producers, local restaurants, butchers, bakers and kitchen gadget makers will be setting up shop in the grounds of the palace over the August bank holiday weekend. Chefs including Mark Jarvis from The Bingham Hotel will be cooking seasonal dishes live in the summer kitchen and there will be musical performances from swing singers The Polka Dots and vintage groovers Red Jackson.The festival will be providing entertainment for little ones in the form of a kids' cookery school; younger visitors can also enjoy Hampton Court's family room, maze and recently restored chocolate kitchens.

  1. Hampton Court Palace East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
  2. Sat Aug 23 - Mon Aug 25
More info

Regency Weekend

Gossip, rumours and scandal – discover the truth behind the glory days of Wellington. From the heyday of the Prince regent and the rigours of courtly life to the regimes of the Red Coats during their combat campaign. Experience life and laughter in regency England.

  1. Apsley House Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7NT
  2. Sun Aug 24
More info


The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has enticing plans for the summer. Visitors can go au naturel (from the ankles down) to wander the barefoot walking trail: balance on beams, hop across tree trunks, experience the moist, bouncy softness typical of rainforest floors and get muddy in the squelch zone. For those who are more about tasting nature than touching it, the gin and tonics garden will be open, teaching tasters about the forgotten medicinal properties of cocktails (no, really). More sensory experiences will be available at the Palm House. At Rainforest Remedies, visitors can learn how indigenous peoples from around the world have used nature for healing purposes over the years. Visitors can wander around a gigantic human-shaped horticultural display, The Healing Giant, which will showcase the effects of plants on the different parts of the body.

  1. Kew Gardens Kew Rd, TW9 3AB
  2. Until Sun Sep 7
More info

Silent Disco at The View from The Shard

The silent disco phenomenon reaches new heights at these exclusive Time Out events. Pick your channel and choose your side as three DJs battle it out over separate wireless channels, playing the best in pop, rock and party classics, while you dance the night away at 1,000ft. The View from The Shard is the visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe's tallest building, The Shard. With unparalleled, panoramic views, it offers visitors a unique perspective on the capital.

  1. The View from the Shard Joiner St, SE1 9SP
  2. Sat Aug 23
Buy tickets

Real Food Market

  • Free

Now weekly, the Real Food Market features around 40 food and drink producers selling seasonal produce directly to the public. Typical stalls include Spinach and Agusi with spicy Ghanaian stews; the Meantime Brewing Company with Greenwich-made beers; and Ash Green Organics with seasonal fruit and veg. There's a focus on sustainably and ethically produced food, and the market proudly supports small producers and independent traders. Whether you're coming to shop or snack, you can pick from French duck confit sandwiches, Spanish churros & chocolate and Blue Cheese British Organic Beef Burgers to Moroccan chicken dishes and Korritos (Korean BBQ meat wrapped up Mexican burrito style).

  1. Southbank Centre Square Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Every day until Sun Mar 22
More info
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Users say


Aaah.... Carnival?