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'Beautifully Midsummer' at the Battersea Barge
'Beautifully Midsummer' at the Battersea Barge

11 magical midsummer celebrations in London

Spruce up your flower crown and put those maypole skills to the test with our pick of London’s midsummer celebrations

By Alexandra Sims
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The days are getting lighter, the weather’s feeling warmer, which can only mean Summer Solstice – aka the longest day of the year – is fast approaching. On Wednesday June 21 the sun will rise at 4.34am and set at 9.31pm, giving us a whole 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight to bask in. While druids and hippies hang out at Stonehenge, here are the best events taking place over the Midsummer week right here in the capital, from Scandinavian celebrations (because who does Midsummer better than the Swedes?) to yoga, music and 12 hour-long extravaganzas.

Midsummer events and parties in London

1. Swedish Midsummer Supper Club

Things to do Food and drink events

No one knows how to throw a Midsummer party quite like the Swedes, and this solstice-style feast takes flower crowns and Scandi chic as its inspiration with a meal of home-smoked salmon, sandalwood herrings, strawberry cake, crispbread, Scandinavian cheeses, janssens temptation, gravad lax, all cooked-up by Swedish chef (no Muppets jokes, please) Linn Soderstrom and with some birch Maypole making in the mix. 

2. A Swedish Midsummer Night

Things to do

Dance around the Maypole at this midsummer party in a west London warehouse organised by Londonswedes. You might want a few extra clips for your flower hair garland, because this party will be going until 3am over two floors and in the big open courtyard with live music, DJs and a hot dog van to help you get your second wind. 

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The Beavertown Extravaganza
© Graham Brooks

3. Sour Solstice

Things to do Food and drink events

The brewers at Beavertown are paying homage to Mother Nature this summer solstice by throwing a party celebrating all things sour and wild in the world of beer. In addition to their own zingy brews they’ll also be pouring pints filled with guest beers they love and launching a new wild ale. Tickets are ‘all in’, meaning all beer is included in the price. 

4. Longplayer Day

Things to do Quirky events

Celebrate the longest day of the year by joining this 12-hour peripatetic cross-disciplinary festival inspired by Longplayer - a 1,000-year-long musical composition by Jem Finer performed on a set of highly resonant singing bowls and has played continuously since the first moments of the year 2000, and is designed to play on, without repetition or interruption, until the last moments of 2999. 

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5. Scandinavian Midsummer Market

Things to do Markets and fairs

Celebrate Midsummer the Scandi way as stalls selling arts, crafts and Nordic treats will be popping up between the Finnish and Norwegian Churches in Rotherhithe for a day of family fun. Alongside shopping, there will also be live music and the cafe and shop at the Finnish Church will be open for visitors.

6. Ommersion: Summer Solstice

Things to do Classes and workshops

Join a midsummer immersive yoga experience combining movement with sound, scent, meditation and energy. The two-hour experience will start with an hour of yin yoga to the sounds of Mongolian Overtone chanting and meditation bowls, followed by an hour of savasana accompanied by gong bath meditation vibrations and scents from aromatherapy oils. 

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MUSIC_UnionChapel_CREDIT_AndrewBrackenbury_TOPic.jpg
© Andrew Brackenbury

7. Union Chapel Summer Fete

Things to do

The Union Chapel will be filled with the resonant sounds of a Victorian pedal harmonium at this community Summer Fete, with a performance from modern folk group Enderby's Room. And when the music isn't playing, you can entertain yourself by getting into Victorian fancy dress for a day of arts, crafts, cake and gin. Lots of gin.   

8. Summer Solstice Dark Arts Circus Promenade

Things to do Quirky events

Celebrate the summer solstice with a magical, musical night time promenade through the grade I listed Housemill, led by poets, storytellers, artists set to a musical soundtrack and celebrating all things folklore. 

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9. Beautifully Midsummer

Things to do

Spruce up your flower crown, dance around the maypole and eat copious amounts of herring because Swedish midsummer is coming to London. Celebrate the longest day of the year Nordic style by partying on a two-floored yacht on the Thames, complete with Midsummer buffet, live folk music, a midsummer pole, ice-cold cider and schnapps at this night co-hosted with Rekorderlig Cider and sponsored by Scandikitchen, Bjork, Swan & Dyer and Big Moon Orchestra.

Do as the Swedes do

Scandinavian London

Things to do

London has a serious crush on Scandinavia, as you'll see from our round-up of the capital's best Scandi-influenced restaurants, cafés bars, pubs and shops. Here's where to head if you're hungry for hygge – or just hungry.

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