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Hackney Festival of Fitness
Photograph: Stefania Curto

The best fitness and wellbeing festivals in London this year

Gym memberships may just be for January, but those feel-good hormones are worth pursuing all year round

By Emma Hughes
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We all love a festival – but with the excesses of the festive season still fresh in our collective memories, the prospect of swigging from a plastic pint glass in a field isn’t a massively appealing one (yet). The solution? One of the new breed of extravaganzas focused on living a happier, healthier life, complete with taster workouts, thought-provoking workshops and free samples a-plenty. From a body-positivity get together to a yoga expo and an open-water swimming day, these are the best fitness and wellbeing festivals in London taking place in 2020. 

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1. Anti Diet Riot Fest

A challenge to the sadly still-prevailing thin, white and able-bodied ideal in the fitness and wellness industries, Anti Diet Riot Fest is popping up in Hoxton for workshops and talks exploring ‘body, sex and food liberation’. There’ll be more than 30 inspiring speakers and a total ban on diet chat and body shaming. 

Colours Hoxton, N1 6NU. Jan 19. Day ticket £40. Find out more here.

2. Food For Thought Festival

Instagram’s favourite nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert, is the brains behind this new-for-2020 festival. With fellow social media stars like presenter Chessie King and trainer Alice Liveing topping the bill, expect myth-busting talks on everything from sustainability and climate change to meditation. 

RE:CENTRE Hammersmith, W6 9HA. Jan 25. Day ticket £30. Find out more here.

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Life Lessons 2020
Life Lessons 2020
Photograph: Life Lessons

3. Life Lessons

Held at the Barbican, this is one for those who like to ponder the big issues, featuring the likes of bestselling author Adam Kay, writer and superstar drag artist Amrou Al-Kadhi and model-turned-entrepreneur Lily Cole. Come with an open mind, leave with food for thought.  

The Barbican, EC2Y 8DS. Feb 16-17. Day tickets from £60. Find out more here.

Livewell London 2019
Livewell London 2019
Photograph: Will Ireland

4. Live Well London

With more than 130 classes to try, including barre, boxing, HIIT, yoga and pilates, plus talks, cookery demonstrations and workshops, Live Well London is a one-stop shop for anyone with an interest in getting moving. Feeling super organised? You can pre-book your sessions. 

Old Billingsgate, EC3R 6DX. Feb 21-Mar 1. Day tickets £39. Find out more here.

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Balance Festival
Balance Festival
Photograph: Balance Festival

5. Balance Festival

The UK’s biggest wellness extravaganza is back for 2020. Expect cutting-edge workouts from some of London’s top fitness studios (including Boom Cycle, Third Space and Barry’s), nutritious food galore (anyone for kombucha?) and pampering from natural beauty brands. 

The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL. Apr 17-19. Day tickets £50. Find out more here

 

Hackney Festival of Fitness
Hackney Festival of Fitness
Photograph: Stefania Curto

6. Hackney Festival of Fitness

The Hackney Half is a fixture in London runners’ calendars – but did you know there’s an entire festival taking place around it? Details are still under wraps, but if it’s anything like the race it’ll be a brilliant day out. 

May 15-16. Find out more here.

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London Wellbeing Festival
London Wellbeing Festival
Photograph: London Wellbeing Festival

7. London Wellbeing Festival

Founded in 1977, this has a strong claim to being London’s OG wellness festival. A leftfield mix of talks, music, workshops and interactive experiences, it attracts attendees from all over the world. 

Olympia London, W14 8UX. May 22-25. Day tickets £15. Find out more here

Sweatlife
Sweatlife
Photograph: Sweatlife Festival

8. Sweatlife Festival

Sweatlife Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary year with a weekend of wellness in London. Taking place over the International Day of Yoga, the event will see classes from the likes of Barry’s Bootcamp, Third Space, Psycle and more, plus talks, panels and pop-up shops. 

Location TBC. June 20-21. Find out more here

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Serpentine Lido
Serpentine Lido
Photograph: Serpentine Lido

9. Swim Serpentine 2020

Planning on making 2020 the year you try open-water swimming? Dive in at Swim Serpentine, the annual one-day celebration of the sport in Hyde Park. Join thousands of swimmers taking part in events ranging from half a mile to a full two-mile lap of the Serpentine, then enjoy the hot tubs and exhibition area. 

Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park. Sept 26. Day tickets TBC. Find out more here

 

Photograph: Om Yoga Show

10. Om Yoga Show

Head to Alexandra Palace for this celebration of all things yogic. The biggest gathering of its kind in Europe, it’s set to host dozens of exhibitors covering everything from state-of-the-art clothes and kit to snacks. Come ready to shop and learn.   

Alexandra Palace, N22 7AY. Oct 16-18. Day tickets TBC. Find out more here

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